Gary Peffly is starting to sound like a broken record when it comes to his team in league play.
Or just a veteran coach who has been around the block a time or two.
“One game at time.”
That’s what the veteran coach has been telling his players since the beginning of the season.
So far it’s worked, as the Eaton girls basketball team is closing in on its first-ever league championship.
After posting a 62-41 win over visiting Valley View, Thursday, Jan. 23, the Eagles (12-4) are now 9-0 in the Southwestern Buckeye League’s Southwestern Division. Eaton needs just one more win to clinch at least a share of the title or a Bellbrook loss.
The Eagles utilized their inside game as Valley View focused on shutting down guard Atumn Whirley and Eaton’s perimeter game.
And the Eagles made them pay.
Liz Tolliver came off the bench to score a team-high 16 points and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds. Tolliver made 5-of-10 shots and 6-of-9 free throws.
Danielle Karns scored 15 points and grabbed five rebounds. She also added five blocked shots.
Julia Titus came off the bench to score nine points.
“We got 42 points from our post players,” Peffly said. “I felt our perimeter players did a great job of getting the ball inside. Valley View put too much emphasis on stopping Autumn Whirley which left the inside wide open.”
Peffly said he feels his team is balanced.
“We have too much balance for a team to do that against us. Karns, Tolliver, Titus and (Katie) Yoder did a great job of picking for each other.”
Eaton jumped out to 16-5 lead after the opening quarter and led 29-14 at the break. They led by as many as 24 in the third quarter before the View trimmed the lead to 13. But the Eagles closed the quarter on a small run to push their lead to 47-28 entering the final quarter.
On Monday, Jan. 20, Eaton played in the Classic in the County at Berlin Hiland where they took on Division I Westerville North.
The Eagles stayed close to the bigger school, despite struggling to put the ball in the basket. Eaton shot just 27 percent from the field and 33 percent from the foul line in suffering a 48-39 loss.
The two teams played evenly for the first three quarters, before North pulled away late.
Eaton was led in scoring by Karns and Whirley, who scored 14 points each. Tolliver chipped in with six.
“(We) played extremely hard but couldn’t get the ball in the basket,” Peffly said. “I was very proud of our effort and the way we handled ourselves in that atmosphere. There were probably around 200 college coaches watching our game. It was a great experience for our team.”
The Eagles were scheduled to travel to St. Henry Tuesday, Jan. 28. They are to visit Brookville on Thursday in attempt to clinch at least a share of the league title. The Eagles will close out the week by hosting Oakwood on Saturday.
“We have to continue to work hard in practice and take one game at a time,” Peffly said.