CAMDEN — Eaton’s boys’ basketball team opened Southwestern Buckeye League play last week with a pair of games – one within the Southwestern Division and one outside the division. The Eagles struggled offensively and dropped both games to go to 1-3 on the season.
On Tuesday, Dec. 5, Eaton traveled to Preble Shawnee to take on the Arrows. Eaton was unable to get on track offensively against an aggressive Arrows’ defense.
“We struggled mightily with turnovers, 26, and were disappointed with our effort on the defensive end.” Coach Alex Prater said. “We did not defend or rebound the way we need to in order to be successful.”
Preble Shawnee turned a close game after the first period into a commanding lead outscoring Eaton 22-5 in the second quarter. Eaton was unable to recover and fell 67-36.
“It was a disappointing performance for our team and we look forward to getting back to work in order to improve.
“At this stage, we are looking for improvement on a daily basis. We understand that in order for us to grow as a program, we have to remain focused on the process and approach each day with great intensity and compete with each other in order to improve our deficiencies and begin to have better results.”
Senior Grant Sullender led Eaton with 18 points and six rebounds, while junior Owen Baumann chipped in with six points.
On Friday, Eaton traveled to Bellbrook and dropped a low-scoring game, 38-28. Both teams struggled offensively, with Eaton holding a slight advantage through three quarters, 24-21. Bellbrook closed the game scoring 17 points in the final period to take the 10-point win.
“I thought our kids played with great effort and did what we needed to for 29 minutes,” Prater added.
“There was much improvement from Tuesday in regards to defense, rebounding, and taking care of the basketball. For most of the game, we were able to dictate the tempo and held a lead.
“Bellbrook did a great job of executing down the stretch and took advantage of their free-throw attempts when we were forced to foul,” Prater explained. Bellbrook converted 8 of 8 in the fourth quarter.
“It was encouraging to see our team respond after such a poor performance on Tuesday, but we must be more consistent and take better advantage of our opportunities in order to close-out games and get wins on the road.”
Junior Isaac Manning led the Eagles with nine points. Sullender added eight points and six rebounds and senior Aaron Tolliver chipped in with seven.
Eaton was scheduled to play Monroe at home on Tuesday, Dec. 12. They stay at home for their next two games, hosting Oakwood on Friday, and Talawanda on Tuesday, Dec. 19.