MERCERVILLE, Ohio — A hot hand that was also a little slippery.
Despite committing 21 turnovers, the Eastern girls basketball team shot 64 percent from the field through three quarters Thursday night en route to a 51-30 victory over host South Gallia in a Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division matchup in Gallia County.
The visiting Lady Eagles (12-4, 10-2 TVC Hocking) netted 21 of their first 33 shot attempts while establishing a comfortable lead of 50-21 headed into finale. The Lady Rebels (3-13, 3-8) — who made only 2-of-20 field goal attempts after halftime — closed regulation with a 9-1 run to wrap up the 21-point outcome.
EHS claimed a season sweep of the Red and Gold after previously posting a 47-33 decision at Tuppers Plains back on December 10. The Green and Gold have won three consecutive decisions, while the Lady Rebels dropped their sixth straight outcome.
South Gallia jumped out to early leads of 3-2 and 6-5, but Becca Pullins nailed a trifecta at the 5:43 mark that resulted in a permanent Eastern advantage. EHS eventually held the hosts scoreless over the final 7:03 of the opening canto to secure a 20-6 edge through eight minutes of play.
The Lady Rebels ended a 7:57 scoreless drought when Aaliyah Howell hit a basket at the 7:07 mark, making it a 22-8 contest. Eastern, however, hit its first six shots and went 7-of-8 overall in the second canto, and the guests closed the half on a 13-8 run to secure a 35-16 intermission advantage.
The Green and Gold went 7-of-12 from the field in the third period and claimed their largest lead of the night at 50-19 after Laura Pullins hit a field goal with 1:34 remaining. Eastern went scoreless over the next 9:27 of regulation as the hosts made an 11-1 charge to close things out.
The guests, who missed all seven of their fourth quarter shot attempts, got a free throw from Jess Parker with six seconds left to complete the 21-point triumph.
Eastern committed six turnovers in each of the final three periods, while SGHS gave the ball away only 13 times in the contest. The Lady Eagles outrebounded the hosts by a 37-16 overall margin, including a 10-5 edge on the offensive glass.
EHS netted 21-of-40 field goal attempts for 53 percent, which included a 2-of-7 effort from behind the arc for 29 percent. The Lady Eagles were also 7-of-14 from the free throw line for 50 percent.
Elizabeth Collins led Eastern with 18 points, with 16 of those coming in the first half. Laura Pullins was next with a double-double effort of 10 points and 10 rebounds, while Parker and Alyson Bailey each contributed eight markers.
Becca Pullins chipped in five points to the winning cause and Mandy Kuhn completed the scoring with two markers. Collins also hauled in eight caroms for the guests.
The Lady Rebels connected on 9-of-43 shot attempts for 21 percent, including a 3-of-14 effort from three-point range for 21 percent. The hosts were also 9-of-15 at the charity stripe for 60 percent.
Erin Evans paced SGHS with 12 points, followed by Howell and Ashley Northup with eight markers apiece. MiKayla Poling rounded out the host tally with two points to go along with a team-best nine rebounds.
Both teams had TVC Hocking contests scheduled for Saturday and each returns to action Monday. Eastern travels to Jackson for a non-conference contest at 6 p.m., while SGHS hosts Wahama in a TVC Hocking contest at 6:30 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.
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