EATON — After a three-game winning streak got the Eaton girls’ varsity basketball team to .500 for the season, the Lady Eagles dropped a tough game to visiting St. Henry on Thursday, Dec. 22. Eaton got off to a good start, but St. Henry was able take back the early momentum and take a 59-52 win.
Eaton is now 4-5 on the season with one more game to play before the start of the new year.
Eaton’s strong start allowed them to take an early 10-4 lead as junior Bailee Worley connected on a pair of 3-pointers. Then momentum changed, according to coach Dave Honhart, with St. Henry scoring the next 15 points to take a 19-10 advantage. Eaton clawed back to within six at halftime, 28-22.
St. Henry scored the first seven points of the third quarter to open up a commanding lead, Honhart added. With a minute to go in the third quarter the Redskins led 44-25.
Eaton then regained momentum using a full-court press to go on a 22-8 run and close the score to 52-47 with two minutes to go. St. Henry broke Eaton’s half-court pressure for a couple of big baskets late in the game and hung on to win 59-52.
“St. Henry is a much improved team. They are really balanced. Almost all of their players are both threats to score from the outside and good at taking you off the dribble,” Honhart said.
“They drive with vision really well and are great at both finding the open teammate and finishing tough shots. They are one of the best teams we’ve played this year.
“I was really proud of the way we battled back in the fourth quarter. As players and coaches, I think we truly believed we were going to catch them. Credit St. Henry’s for coming up with a couple of key baskets when they needed them.”
Sophomore Emily Dungan had a career-high 19 points for Eaton to go with six steals, four assists and four rebounds. Worley and sophomore Becca Mowen each added nine points and senior Megan Lipps had seven rebounds for Eaton.
While Eaton had five fewer turnovers than St. Henry, the Eagles lost the rebounding battle, 41-28.
“There are a lot of little things at both ends of the court that we have to get better at, which will help us compete better against top teams,” Honhart said. “What I love about this team is that our best players are extremely driven to want to improve and have an incredible desire to compete. Because of that, I’m confident we’ll continue to improve.”
Eaton returns to the court for another non-Southwestern Buckeye League match-up against National Trail on Thursday, Dec. 29, at home. The varsity game starts at 7:15 p.m., with the JV team hosting West Carrollton at 6 p.m.
The Eagles get back into their SWBL schedule after the first of the year, traveling to Franklin on Thursday, Jan. 5. Both teams will enter that match-up 2-2 in league play. Bellbrook remains atop the standings with a 3-0 record, 5-2 overall. Monroe is 5-1 in the SWBL and 6-2 overall.