EATON — Franklin used a 12-0 run over the final four and a half minutes of the first half to pull away from Eaton, then held on for a 52-39 on the Eagles home court on Tuesday, Nov. 28.
“Congratulations to Franklin on the win. They play extremely hard. They pressure the daylights out of you on defense,” Eaton coach Dave Honhart said. “But I am very proud of our team and the effort that they gave. We are young, we are inexperienced, and we’ve been battling through injuries. That’s not an excuse, but the reality is it takes longer to develop that rhythm that we need to.”
Eaton turned the ball over six times and was 0-for-5 from the field during that stretch, which saw a 15-13 Eaton lead turn into a 27-15 halftime deficit.
“At the end of the first half we didn’t take very good care of the basketball, and attacking their pressure with poise was at the top of our game plan,” Honhart said. “And for a lot of the night we did pretty good job with that. However, I felt their pressure controlled us at the end of the first half because they feed off of turnovers.”
Despite the loss, Honhart said he sees his team growing.
“I’m fiercely competitive and I want to win ballgames and so do our players,” he said. “But right now, we’re not nearly as focused on the end result of a game as on getting better every day, every possession. And one of the things we talked about beforehand that I thought we made improvement on is competitive resiliency.”
Eaton was able to get within seven on a few occasions in the second half but could not quite get over the hump.
“But right now, we still sometimes if a play doesn’t go our way, we droop a little bit and we’ve improved tremendously, but we have a way to go just with that response and immediately animating and saying, okay, man, they got that possession, we’re getting the next one,” Honhart said. “We were competing as hard as we could all night. Very proud of our players effort, we will get better.”
Junior Olivia Orr paced the Eagles with 19 points, with 11 coming in the second half.
Honhart said Orr will be receiving a lot of attention from opposing teams this season as she takes on more of a leadership role.
“Olivia Orr is adjusting to a new role. She is going to be guarded by one of the opponents’ best players every night. It’s a little bit different right now than what she’s been used to. She’s going to get double teams quickly now,” Honhart said. “With the players that she’s played with in the past, they (opponents) couldn’t afford to leave someone to come double her. Now they will. O is getting better by the possession at understanding when to attack and when to dish and she’s really dedicated to mastering that balance because I think she will develop into a playmaker who is very hard to stop whether that’s because she’s piling up assists or piling up buckets.”
Senior Gracie Copper added seven and junior Charlee Ruebush tossed in five.
Eaton shot 36.5 percent (15-of-41) from the field. They committed 27 turnovers on the night, with 19 coming in the first half. The Eagles also outrebounded the Wildcats 29-25.
Eaton (0-2) was scheduled to play at Brookville on Thursday, Nov. 30 and travel to Oakwood for an afternoon game on Saturday, Dec. 2.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 and follow on X @emowenjr.