EATON — Eaton’s boys’ basketball team came up short in a pair of games last week, both by a three-point margins. The Eagles played hard in both games, according to coach Alex Prater, but could not come away with wins.
The Eagles opened the week with a tough overtime loss to Monroe and then battled Oakwood. In both games the third quarter was key. Eaton bounced back from a halftime deficit against Monroe, only to come up short in overtime, 59-56. Oakwood was able to recover from a halftime deficit and take the lead in the third period, before going on for the win, 62-59.
Eaton led by as many as 12 points in the second period against Oakwood on Friday. The Eagles got back-to-back three-pointers from James Howard and Grant Sullender to go ahead 22-9. Oakwood got back into the game after that as Eaton took a 27-22 led into halftime.
Oakwood took the momentum from its second quarter surge into the third quarter, outscoring Eaton 20-12 and taking a three-point lead. That lead held up as the teams played even in the final period and Oakwood came away with the win.
“We played well offensively and shot the ball extremely well (71 percent),” Prater stated. “The difference in the game was our inability to keep Oakwood off of the offensive glass.
“We also had several defensive breakdowns in the second half that hampered our ability to close out the game. We have to get better defensively and on the glass in order to win close games like these.”
“Grant Sullender had another big night for us (30 Points, 7 Rebounds, 3 Assists) and Hunter Frost was in double digits as well (10 points). Despite an ankle injury, Aaron Tolliver contributed 7 assists as he did a great job facilitating his teammates.
“We look forward to the opportunity to improve over the next couple days of practice and come out and compete at a high level on Tuesday. We have been working hard and lost three straight close games (two by one possession) and need to take the next step in order to convert our hard work into wins.”
Eaton took the Monroe Hornets to overtime in their home opener on Tuesday, Dec. 12. The Eagles tied the game at the end of regulation, but lost in overtime, 59-56.
“It was a very competitive game that went back and forth most of the second half.” Prater said. “Both teams had players step up and make big plays.”
The Eagles fell behind early in the game as Monroe jumped out to a 7-0 lead and led 23-17 at halftime. Eaton, however, rallied in the third quarter and knotted the score at the end of regulation on a 3-pointer by Hunter Frost.
Eaton was outscored 17-14 in the extra period and trailed by three, 59-56, as the quarter ended.
“For us, Grant Sullender was unbelievable down the stretch. Aaron Tolliver had a good game. I thought James Howard really stepped up and played well for us.” Prater added.
Sullender led the Eagles with 23 points, followed by Tolliver with 10 and Howard with nine. Sullender also handed out eight assists.
Eaton drops to 1-4 on the season with the loss. The win pushes Monroe’s record to 4-1.
Eaton was scheduled to host Talawanda on Tuesday, Dec. 19, before getting back into SWBL action on Friday at Franklin. After Christmas, the Eagles will travel to New Madison for the annual Tri-Village tournament. They will play Ansonia in the opening round on Friday, Dec. 29 at 6 p.m.