ROCKSPRINGS, Ohio — A different kind of competitive balance.
The Meigs girls basketball team had seven players reach the scoring column and nine individuals hauled in at least one rebound on Monday night during a hard-fought 58-53 victory over visiting Eastern in a non-conference matchup at Larry R. Morrison Gymnasium.
The Lady Marauders (2-0) battled through two ties and five lead changes in the opening frame, but an Andrea Mahr trifecta at the buzzer ultimately provided the hosts with a permanent lead of 16-15 through one period of play.
The Lady Eagles (1-1) — who started each of the first two quarters with identical 2-of-10 shooting efforts — were never closer as MHS went on a 15-6 second quarter surge that pushed its halftime lead out to 31-21.
Meigs — which held the guests to 25 percent shooting in the first half — twice extended its cushion out to as many as 13 points, with the last occasion coming at 42-29 after a Mallory Hawley bucket with 20 seconds left in the third.
Hope Reed, however, nailed a trifecta with seven seconds remaining, allowing Eastern to enter the finale trailing 42-32.
The Lady Eagles surged out of the fourth quarter gate with an 8-2 run after an Erica Durst basket made it 44-40 two minutes in, but MHS countered with a small 7-4 spurt to extend the lead back out to three possessions (51-44) with 3:43 to go.
Erica Durst closed a 7-2 run with a basket at the 1:28 mark to make it a 53-51 contest, but Hawley answered with 3-of-4 free throws to push the edge back out to five points with 30 seconds remaining.
Juli Durst whittled the deficit back down to 56-53 with two free throws with 18 seconds to go, but the hosts got a run-out as Jennifer Parker successfully went uncontested on a layup bid with eight seconds to go.
The Lady Eagles — who led by as many as six points in the first quarter — came up short on a 3-point attempt at the buzzer to complete the 5-point outcome.
The Lady Marauders outrebounded EHS by a 43-40 overall margin, but the guests did muster a 16-13 edge on the offensive glass. Meigs committed seven of its 17 turnovers down the stretch, while the Lady Eagles finished with 11 giveaways following an error-free fourth quarter.
Meigs went 22-of-56 from the field for 39 percent, including a 4-of-11 effort from 3-point range for 36 percent. The hosts were also 10-of-13 at the free throw line for 77 percent.
Hawley led MHS with a team-high 17 points and Mahr followed with 15 points, with a dozen of those coming in the first half.
Keaghan Wolfe and Rylee Lisle were next with eight and seven points, respectively. Parker, Maggie Musser and Delana Wright completed the winning tally with five, four and two markers.
Lisle hauled in a team-best 10 rebounds, while Hawley, Mahr and Parker also grabbed seven caroms apiece.
Eastern connected on 18-of-64 field goal attempts for 28 percent, including a 2-of-16 effort from behind the arc for 13 percent. The guests also went 15-of-28 at the charity stripe for 54 percent.
Erica Durst led EHS with a double-double effort of 20 points and 13 rebounds, followed by Sydney Reynolds with 14 points and 10 boards.
Reed was next with 10 markers, while Juli Durst and Audry Clingenpool completed the scoring with five and four points.
Meigs opens Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division play on Thursday when it hosts Wellston at 6 p.m.
Eastern returns to action Wednesday when it hosts Caldwell in a non-conference contest at 6:30 p.m. The Lady Eagles also travel to Waterford on Thursday night for their TVC Hocking Division opener.
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Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.