Lady Eagles soar past Jackson, 67-45
Bryan Walters email@example.com
JACKSON, Ohio — A clinic in team work.
Eastern had seven players reach the scoring column while holding host Jackson to 25 percent shooting from the floor Monday night during a 67-45 triumph in a non-conference girls basketball contest in the Apple City.
The Lady Eagles (3-0) shot 46 percent from the field and forced 19 turnovers in the victory, as the guests stormed out to a 21-7 first quarter lead and never looked back. EHS twice led by 20 points in the first half and were also ahead 55-25 with 29 seconds remaining in the third canto.
The Ironladies (4-1) managed to whittle their deficit down to 18 points on three separate occasions in the fourth, but ultimately never came closer than 61-43 with 2:56 left in regulation. The 22-point loss was also Jackson’s first setback at home since February 4, 2012, a span of 13 straight contests.
The win was a small measure of revenge for the Lady Eagles, whose last home loss came against these same Ironladies in a 67-56 decision back on December 18, 2012. It is also the largest setback for Jackson in the last four seasons, which is now 63-11 during that span.
JHS jumped out to early leads of 3-0 and 5-4, but Eastern countered with a Jenna Burdette trifecta at the 5:43 mark for a permanent lead at 7-5. The Lady Eagles followed with a 14-2 surge over the final five minutes of the opening period, giving the guests a 21-7 edge after eight minutes of play.
EHS followed with a 13-7 surge to start the second canto, which gave the Green and Gold a 34-14 cushion with 3:05 remaining in the half. Both teams traded a basket apiece the rest of the way, allowing the Lady Eagles to take a 36-16 advantage into the intermission.
Eastern’s defense came up big in the opening 16 minutes of play, as Jackson’s main offensive weapons — Kent State signees Madison Ridout and Lydia Poe — were limited to three points apiece at the break. The senior duo finished the night with 21 markers combined.
The opening half really set the tone in the final outcome, or at least sixth-year EHS coach John Burdette thought so afterwards.
“We came out and played hard. We always talk about the importance of playing hard in the early moments of a game, and that’s what we did tonight. We had some lapses in the second half, but we continued to play hard,” Burdette said. “Jackson played hard in the second half and they never quit, and we never expected them to. That was one of the reasons we scheduled this game, because they have always been a good test for us.”
Eastern extended its lead to 46-16 with 5:13 left in the third, then Jackson ended a six-minute scoreless drought with a 9-2 spurt to pull to within 48-25 with 2:47 remaining. The Lady Eagles closed the period with a 7-4 run to claim a 55-29 edge headed into the finale.
The Ironladies pulled to within 59-41 at the 3:32 mark and were again within 18 points with under three minutes left, but EHS closed the game with a 6-2 run to wrap up the 22-point decision.
Eastern connected on 25-of-54 field goal attempts for 46 percent, including a 3-of-12 effort from three-point range for 25 percent. Jackson, conversely, went 15-of-60 from the floor and made just 4-of-22 trifecta tries for 18 percent.
The Lady Eagles — who committed 14 turnovers in the win — also outrebounded the hosts by a 40-38 margin.
“They were as good as what we expected. We played them last year and it was a great win down there for us last year. We felt we had all we needed on them preparation-wise, but you talk Division II or Division IV, that team could play any Division II schedule they wanted to play,” second-year JHS coach Matt Walburn said. “Hats off to them. They are a great team. I have no excuses tonight. We just got beat by a very good team.”
Jenna Burdette — a Dayton signee — scored a game-high 22 points for the Lady Eagles, followed by Jordan Parker and Erin Swatzel with 11 markers apiece. Parker — an Alderson-Broaddus signee — also led EHS with seven steals and five assists.
Maddie Rigsby was next with nine points, followed by Katie Keller with seven points and 10 rebounds. Laura Pullins chipped in five points to the winning cause, while Hannah Barringer chipped in two markers.
The Lady Eagles finished the night 14-of-19 at the free throw line for 74 percent, compared to an 11-of-17 effort at the charity stripe for 65 percent by Jackson.
Poe led the hosts with 12 points, followed by Ridout with nine points and Annie Speakman with eight markers. Ridout and Poe did haul in 11 and 10 rebounds, respectively.
With momentum moving forward, Coach Burdette is hopeful that this victory will serve as a reminder as to what this team can accomplish when properly motivated for a big game.
“When we come out and play basketball the way we can play it, these girls can be a fun team to watch,” Burdette said. “I would hope that with the age and experience that we have that we would keep up our intensity and not take a night off. With five seniors in their final year, we don’t want to take any nights off.”
Paul Boggs, sports editor of the Jackson County Times-Journal, contributed to this report.
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