EATON — Eaton’s girls’ basketball team got a much needed win over Brookville on Saturday, Jan. 20. The win snapped a three-game losing skid.
“During Friday’s practice, we really emphasized ball movement and players movement on offense and our players had outstanding carryover on Saturday,” Eaton coach Dave Honhart said of the 51-22 win. “It was the best player and ball movement on offense we’ve had all season, which led to our best team play. Our players have really been improving over the last month and on Saturday at Brookville that improvement showed at both ends of the floor.”
The Eagles jumped out to an 18-4 lead after the first eight minutes and never let up in claiming the Southwestern Buckeye League win.
“Our players also really executed our gameplan. We talked about that the first drive or first post entry wouldn’t lead to good shots because of the way Brookville packs the paint. You have to go inside-outside and re-attack and our players totally bought in and made it work,” Honhart said. “This is the third straight league team that we have done significantly better against the second time we’ve played them, compared with the first time, which is always an improvement goal.”
Honhart said senior Bailee Worley set the tone right from the beginning by drilling a step-back jumper and getting on the floor for a loose ball. She had a season-high 10 defensive deflections.
“In both games this week, her half-court passing and vision was really special. There is a reason she is among the league-leaders in assists,” he said.
Eaton extended its lead to 32-8 by halftime and led 50-16 after three quarters.
Junior Becca Mowen tied her career high with 15 points on 5-for-5 shooting and had seven rebounds and three steals. Sophomore Bailey Shepherd (11 points) and junior Emily Dungan (10 points) both scored in double-figures. Shepherd also had 11 rebounds for her third double-double of the season.
The Eagles opened the week with division-leading Valley View on Thursday, Jan. 18 and suffered a 62-35 loss.
After a close first quarter in which Eaton trailed 14-10, the Eagles were outscored 21-4 in the second frame and never recovered.
“This is the first time we’ve played them this season and you can see why they are leading the league with a 14-1 record. I was proud of the way our players battled back from a quick 7-0 deficit to get to within one at 11-10 late in the first quarter,” Honhart said. “After that, the dam broke and Valley View was able to pull away.”
Despite the loss, Honhart said he was able to see some positive play from his team.
“While it is frustrating to lose by a big margin there were actually some positives to take away from it. We passed the ball well and did a much better job of taking care of the ball than we have been; 17 turnovers versus their pressure defense is progress,” he said. “We held our own on the boards, which has also been a struggle for us at times, especially the defensive rebounds. They just shot the ball much better than us, which is partly a product of their defense and partly because they are such a tough team to match up against. Hunter Stidham is truly a complete player who is both a great scorer and passer for them.”
Eaton shot just 20.4 percent for the game, making just 10-of-49 shot attempts, while the Spartans were 26-of-62 for 42 percent.
Dungan (9 points) and senior Kurstin Frost (7 points) led the Eagles in scoring, while Shephard the team in rebounding with 10. Mowen had six points and eight rebounds.
Eaton (5-10, 2-7 SWBL) is scheduled to host Edgewood on Thursday in what Honhart said “should be a fun, competitive game. They shoot the ball very well, and our games with them over years have been exciting and competitive.”
On Saturday, the Eagles travel to Valley View and look to see if they can improve upon their performance from Thursday.