EATON — Eaton’s girls’ basketball team used a big fourth quarter to pull away from Edgewood for a 42-25 win on Thursday, Jan. 25.
Eaton outscored the Cougars 20-3 over the final eight minutes to collect one of its biggest wins of the year.
“This is one of the best wins we’ve had in a while and it was a total team win. Edgewood is a D-1 school and in second place in the SWOC, a league comprised mainly of D-1 schools,” Eaton coach Dave Honhart said. “Beating Edgewood started at the defensive end. Give Assistant Coach Maggie Neanen credit for simplifying our plan into six words: ‘Protect the Middle and Bother Shooters.’ Edgewood is a good shooting team and we did a good job of keeping them off balance with several different zone defenses and ultimately holding them to 11 of 55 shooting on the night. While we struggled with turnovers, we shot it pretty well, going 14 of 31 from the floor.”
The game was tied at 22-22 after three quarters and Honhart said he liked his team chances.
“Edgewood plays very tough defense, but when we got to the end of the 3rd quarter with a tie score, I felt good about things as our players tend to play their best in the 4th quarter,” he said. ” True to form, we really clamped down defensively built a lead with a 13-0 run over the first 4:30 of the 4th quarter.”
Eaton held the Cougars to just 1-of-17 shooting in the final quarter.
Freshman Alexis Miller poured in six straight points to give the Eagles a six-point lead. Junior Becca Mowen scored on an inside basket and a 3-pointer, both coming off of great passes from junior Emily Dungan. A Bailey Shepherd putback basket gave Eaton at 35-22 lead with three minutes left in the game.
From there, according to Honhart, “Dungan really took the game over for us in the final moments, both with her rebounding and free throw shooting. Dungan had a career-high 11-rebounds and went 7-of-8 at the free throw line. The crowd support and our bench enthusiasm were both outstanding, which definitely helped us down the stretch.”
Eaton was looking to take that momentum into its clash with SWBL leading Valley View on Saturday, but the Spartans had other ideas, handing the Eagles a 79-39 setback.
Valley View made seven of its first eight shots and 11-of-17 in the first quarter to put the Eagles in big hole (28-7) they couldn’t get out of.
The Spartans hot shooting continued in the second quarter as they made 9-of-16 from the field to take a commanding a 50-14 halftime lead.
Eaton was just 4-of-19 shooting in the first half and committed 17 turnovers.
Eaton’s shooting woes continued in the third quarter. The Eagles were just 3-of-16 from the field as they saw their deficit grow to 68-21.
Shepherd led Eaton with 10 points. Kylee Pitsinger had nine points. Mowen and Annika Gels each had five points.
“It was not our day at all and Valley View deserves the credit for that. They are a really, really good team that plays together exceptionally well and shoots it very, very well. It is extremely clear just how hard their best players work at the craft of shooting,” Honhart said. “That is a team that has the potential to go on a deep playoff run and I wish them the best of luck.”
Eaton is scheduled to host Middletown Madison on Thursday, Feb. 1. Prior to the varsity game, seniors Bailee Worley, Kurstin Frost and Ashton Staight will be in honored.
”I’d encourage everyone to attend and help us get a win in the final home game for Bailee Worley, Kurstin Frost and Ashton Staight. If there is one character trait that defines the class of 2018, it is hard work,” Honhart said. “I’d encourage everyone to get behind this team and these seniors, pack the place with purple and help cheer us on.”
There will be an informal reception in the cafeteria after the game with refreshments — all are invited.
The Eagles (6-11, 2-8 SWBL) are scheduled to travel to Franklin on Saturday.
Next week, the final week of the regular season, will be a busy one for Eaton. They are scheduled to play at Northmont on Monday, Feb. 5, at Bellbrook on Thursday and at National Trail on Saturday.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH