TUPPERS PLAINS, Ohio — They hung in there for a half.
The Eastern girls basketball team trailed Waterford by just four points midway through Wednesday’s Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division bout in Meigs County, where the Lady Wildcats left with a 53-36 victory.
Waterford (8-3, 6-1 TVC Hocking) led by as many as five points, at 7-2, in the opening period, but Eastern (3-8, 2-5) tied it at nine with 1:15 left in the quarter.
The Lady Eagles took their first and only lead of the game at 11-9, when Jennifer Parker hit a two-point 36 seconds into the second quarter. WHS was back up after a three-pointer by Mackenzie Suprano 38 seconds later, and the guests led the rest of the way.
Waterford was ahead 21-17 at halftime, and then outscored Eastern 20-to-7 in the third period, making the margin 41-24 with eight minutes to play.
The guests were ahead by a game-high 22-points, at 49-27, with 3:58 left in the contest, and cruised to the 53-36 victory.
WHS won the rebounding battle by a 33-to-24 count, including 16-to-8 on the offensive end. EHS had 18 turnovers, while Waterford gave possession away 11 times. The hosts combined for eight assists, six steals and three rejections, while the Lady Wildcats ended with 11 steals, nine assists and two rejections.
EHS sank 14-of-40 (35 percent) field goal attempts, including 1-of-8 (12.5 percent) three-point tries, while WHS was 24-of-64 (37.5 percent) from the field, including 4-of-19 (21.1 percent) from deep. At the foul line, Eastern made 7-of-14 (50 percent), while Waterford hit 1-of-4 (25 percent).
Sydney Reynolds paced the hosts with 14 points and nine rebounds, to go with three blocks and two steals on the defensive end. Parker was next with 11 points, featuring the team’s lone triple. Kennadi Rockhold contributed four points, eight rebounds and a team-best two assists to the hosts’ cause, Ella Carleton chipped in with three points. Hope Reed and Brielle Newland added two points apiece, with Reed grabbing two steals, and Newland pulling in four rebounds.
Suprano scored a game-best 17 points, and came up with eight rebounds for Waterford. Cara Taylor was next with 15 points and three assists, followed by Alayna Jones with seven points. Riley Schweikert and Kari Carney scored six points each, with Schweikert grabbing a game-high 10 rebounds. Lily Fanchino rounded out the winning total with two points, to go with five rebounds.
Suprano, Taylor, Brier Offenberger, Laykyn Jones and Madi Hiena had two steals each for the Waterford defense, while Schweikert earned a steal and a block.
These teams are slated to meet again on Jan. 21 in Washington County.
After visiting Belpre on Thursday, Eastern will be back on its home court against Berne Union on Tuesday.
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Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.