TUPPERS PLAINS, Ohio — Wire-to-wire.
The Eastern girls basketball team never trailed on Thursday evening, as the Lady Eagles rolled to a 56-30 victory over Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division guest South Gallia.
The Lady Eagles (11-1, 8-1 TVC Hocking) — winners of four straight — led 12-0 by the 4:15 mark of the first quarter, but were held scoreless for the next three minutes. SGHS (2-9, 1-8) — which has now dropped four straight decisions — finally broke through with a trifecta at the 1:18 mark, but Eastern finished the period with a 6-0 run and an 18-3 lead.
Eastern began the second quarter with a 12-1 run, but went scoreless for the final two minutes of the half. SGHS scored the final two points of the second quarter and trailed 30-6 at the break.
Over the first six minutes of the second half, Eastern outscored the Lady Rebels 13-to-2, pushing the hosts’ lead to 43-8. South Gallia ended the third quarter with a 4-2 run, and then the Lady Rebels scored the first six points of the fourth quarter to cut the deficit to 45-18.
Eastern scored seven of the next nine points and led 52-20, with 3:45 to play. The Lady Rebels outscored EHS 10-to-4 over the rest of the game, capping off the 56-30 Lady Eagles victory.
For the game, Eastern claimed a 24-to-22 rebounding advantage, including 14-to-9 on the offensive glass. EHS committed 18 turnovers, exactly half as many as SGHS. Eastern also held a 13-to-5 advantage in assists and a 19-to-6 edge in steals.
The Lady Eagles shot 20-of-48 (41.7 percent) from the field, including 4-of-13 (30.8 percent) from three-point range. Meanwhile, SGHS was 9-of-26 (34.6 percent) from the field, including 5-of-21 (23.8 percent) from beyond the arc. EHS shot 12-of-18 (66.7 percent) from the free throw line, while SGHS made 7-of-10 (70 percent) free throw tries.
The Lady Eagles had just seven active players due to various injuries, but all seven found the scoring column. Sophomores Becca Pullins and Alyson Bailey each had 13 points in the victory, while Elizabeth Collins added 10 points. Laura Pullins and Jess Parker both scored eight points, while Kelsey Casto and Kaitlyn Hawk each added two.
Collins and Laura Pullins led the victors on the glass with seven rebounds apiece. Collins had a team-best four assists, followed by Parker and Laura Pullins with three each. Collins also led the EHS defense with four steals and a block, while Parker, Bailey and Laura Pullins each added four steals.
SGHS freshman Kiley Stapleton led the Red and Gold with 12 points, followed by Amaya Howell with 10 points. Aaliyah Howell posted five points, Olivia Hornsby added two, while Erin Evans chipped in with one point.
Hornsby, Evans, Stapleton, Amaya Howell and Ashley Griffith each pulled in four rebounds for the Lady Rebels, while Hornsby and Amaya Howell both dished out two assists. Hornsby also led the SGHS defense with four steals.
The Lady Eagles won the first meeting between these teams by a 55-12 count, on December 12 in Mercerville.
Thursday’s game also gave EHS fans their first look at ‘The Nest’ since its recent renovations. EHS added new padding along both baselines, as well as along the front of the stage.
EHS hosted Oak Hill in non-league play on Saturday and returns to the court on Monday, when Meigs hosts the Lady Eagles.
SGHS met with in-county rival River Valley on Saturday and returns to league action on Thursday, when Belpre visits Gallia County.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.