Gary Peffly has preached to his team to play one game at a time and stay focused on the task at hand.
After a 19-day layoff, his team showed little signs of rust.
Eaton’s girls basketball team moved closer to its goal of winning the program’s first-ever league championship with impressive wins over Brookville and Bellbrook last week. The latter gave Eaton a two-game lead in the Southwestern Buckeye League’s Southwestern Division over Bellbrook, which has won 12 of the last 13 league titles.
The win over Bellbrook gave Eaton a sweep over the league power for the first time.
“This was a great way to start the new year off with two huge Southwestern Buckeye League wins,” Peffly said. “I thought we played quite well since we have not played a game in 19 days. Our pressure defense was the difference in both games. We did not allow any Brookville players to score in double figures and only one Bellbrook player.”
Eaton opened the week with a 61-31 win over Brookville on Thursday, Jan. 9.
Eaton placed four players in double figures on the night
Senior Michelle McKinney was 5-of-7 from the field in scoring 11 points and collecting five steals. Junior Autumn Whirley scored 11 and had four rebounds, four assists and three steals. Sophomore Julia Titus came off the bench to add 11 points and five rebounds. Junior Danielle Karns added 10 points and pulled down a team-high 8 rebounds.
The Eagles held a 13-6 lead after the first quarter the cranked up the defensive pressure in limiting Brookville to just 12 points over the next two quarters, while extending their lead to 57-18.
On Saturday, Eaton traveled to Bellbrook for what may have been the league championship game.
Once again, Eaton turned to its defense to take control of the game and cruise to a 58-49 win. Eaton won the first meeting between the teams 41-33 on Dec. 12.
Eaton jumped out to a 13-9 lead after the opening quarter and extended its lead to 26-15 by halftime. Eaton led by as many as 17 points early in fourth quarter (40-23).
Whirley led the way with 19 points on 5-of-11 shooting. She also has six rebounds and five assists. Titus came off the bench to score a career-high 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting and grabbed 8 rebounds and blocked four shots.
Libby Springmeier scored nine and had six rebounds and three steals. McKinney added seven points, five rebounds, four assists and four steal. Liz Tolliver came off the bench to score five points and grab six rebounds.
“We now have a two game lead in league play with five more conference games to play. We are getting great play from our bench especially Julia Titus scoring in double figures both games,” Peffly said. “We need to continue working hard in practice everyday. One game at a time. Every game we have to focus on the task in front of us. Pressure defense has to be our MO and then play team offense.”
Eaton (10-2, 7-0 SWBL) is scheduled to play at Fairfield on Wednesday, Jan. 15 and at Franklin on Thursday. They will travel to Berlin Hiland High School on Monday, Jan. 20, to battle Westerville North as part of the Classic in the Country Tournament.