NEW CARLISLE — The Eaton girls fell 66-51 to the four-seed Benjamin Logan during the first round of tournament play at Tecumseh High School on Saturday, Feb. 13.
“We game-planned to try to really control their top three scorers and pound the ball inside because we thought they would struggle to defend Julia Titus,” said Eaton head coach Dave Honhart.
Eaton struggled from three-point range in the contest and, in turn, allowed Ben Logan to provide extra coverage on Titus.
The Eagles were only down 12-8 in the early-going, before the Raiders busted the game wide open and amassed a 25-12 run to end the half.
“They forced us into a couple of turnovers that led to easy baskets and they did a good job of isolating (Nikki) Current on a couple of baseline plays before our help could arrive,” said Honhart. “To our players’ credit, they battled hard in the second half when it would have been easy to give up, but it felt like every time we cut into the lead, Benjamin Logan found the open person and made a key shot.”
In the second half, Eaton played the Raiders fairly evenly, outscoring Ben Logan 10-9 in the third and 21-20 in the fourth. They even had the lead down to 12 points in the waning minutes of the fourth, but did not have enough time to amass the comeback.
“I was very proud of the way our girls competed until the final buzzer,” said Honhart.
Titus finished with 17 points and Paige Whitesell had 15. Emily Dungan came off the bench to score eight points.
Eaton finished their season at 12-11 and graduate four seniors – Titus, Paige Whitesell, Madi Bowman, and Brittany George.
Honhart had this to say about his departing players –
Titus: “Julia did a great job of learning to become a very consistent go-to player, despite being the focus of every team we played. She led the SWBL Southwest Division in scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage and was second in blocks. Clearly she was one of the best players in the league.”
Whitesell: “Paige really developed into an outstanding point guard. Paige improved steadily throughout the season and grew from someone who struggled a little bit with pressure to a poised guard that barely noticed it. She is a good shooter and driver and provided a consistent scoring threat from the perimeter.”
Bowman: “Madi grew into a player who really embraced her role as someone who was going to get rebounds, provided tough defense around the rim and take and make high percentage shots. Madi is our vocal leader and really grew into someone who was far more concerned with team results than individual success. She led the team in charges and frequently gave us lifts with her emotion.”
George: “Brittany grew as a shooter as the season went on and provided consistent leadership for us at the defensive end. Brittany is a smart player and a versatile defender who brought a lot of intangibles to the court.”