TUPPERS PLAINS, Ohio — 32 minutes of dominance.
The Eastern girls basketball team outscored Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division guest Belpre in all four quarters Wednesday night, as the host Lady Eagles rolled to a 67-34 victory, at ‘The Nest’.
Belpre (10-8, 8-5 TVC Hocking) led 7-5 through the opening four minutes of the play, but Eastern (13-5, 11-2) ended the first period with a 11-2 run and a 16-9 lead. The Green and Gold pushed the lead to 16 points, 29-13, six minutes into the second period, but the guests ended the half with a 6-2 run that cut the deficit to 31-19 at halftime.
An 8-5 BHS run to start the second half cut the EHS lead to single digits, but the Lady Golden Eagles were held off the scoreboard for the final 5:30 of the third quarter. Eastern scored 14 points over that span and led 50-27 headed into the finale.
The host Lady Eagles outscored the Orange and Black 17-to-7 over the final eight minutes of play, capping off the 67-34 victory.
“We played better tonight,” EHS head coach John Burdette said. “As far as going to the basket, getting better shots and shooting the ball we did a lot better than what we have been doing in the past. Defensively, a couple times we broke down, but all-in-all the defense wasn’t bad.”
Eastern sophomore Elizabeth Collins led the EHS offense with 19 points, followed by Laura Pullins with 15. Rebecca Pullins and Alyson Bailey each scored nine points, Jess Parker added seven, while Kelsey Casto finished with four. Abbie Hawley and Madison Kuhn rounded out the Lady Eagle offense with two points apiece in the win.
Laura Pullins paced the Green and Gold on the glass with 10 rebounds, followed by Collins with seven and Rebecca Pullins with six. Parker and Alyson Bailey each had five assists for EHS, while Laura Pullins and Rebecca Pullins both recorded three assists.
Parker led the way defensively for EHS with three steals, while Collins finished with two steals and one blocked shot. Rebecca Pullins also recorded two steals, while Laura Pullins had one steal and a game-best two rejections.
“The girls that came off the bench did a lot better tonight,” Burdette said. “We’re rotating a few more girls than what we have, and I hope to be able to do that come tournament time.”
Eastern shot 8-of-16 (50 percent) from the free throw line and 26-of-47 (55.3 percent) from the field, including 7-of-13 (53.8 percent) from three-point range. As a team the Lady Eagles had 29 defensive rebounds, 12 offensive boards, 21 assists, 10 steals, four blocked shots and 20 turnovers.
“Belpre’s a pretty good team,” Burdette said. “All their losses have come against pretty good teams, they don’t have any weak losses and they’ve won quite a few ball games. They’d been playing well, so we were excited for this game tonight.”
Belpre was led by Cheyenne Barker with nine points, followed by Hannah Lawrentz and Katelyn Hughes with eight each. Kenzie Reed scored six points, Daisy Cowdery added two, while Makayla Zimmerman finished with one marker in the loss.
Cowdery pulled down a team-best seven rebounds for BHS, while Hughes and Barker each had four steals in the setback.
The Orange and Black shot 11-of-14 (78.6 percent) from the free throw line and 10-of-52 (19.2 percent) from the field, including 3-of-18 (16.7 percent) from beyond the arc. As a team the Lady Golden Eagles had 18 rebounds, three assists, 12 steals and 13 turnovers.
Eastern also defeated the Orange and Black on December 14, by a 47-32 count in Washington County. The Green and Gold — who have now four of their last five games — visited Wahama on Thursday and will return to action on Monday at 15-1 Waterford. The league leading Lady Wildcats claimed a 48-30 decision at Eastern on December 21 and have now won 33 straight league games.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342 ext. 2100.