NEW PARIS — After losing to National Trail last year at home Eaton’s girls’ basketball team was looking to return the favor when they visited the Blazers on Saturday, Feb. 10, to close out the regular season.
Eaton flew out to a 20-5 first quarter lead and cruised to a 57-38 win.
“This was a game we badly wanted, seeing as they won on our home court last year, so it was nice to return the favor, especially since they pretty much returned the same players,” Eaton coach Dave Honhart said.
For Eaton, it was their fourth road game in eight days and fifth game in 10 days.
“I wasn’t sure how much we would have left in the tank. I was very proud of our girls for the energy, execution and teamwork they brought,” Honhart said. “National Trail is a scrappy, hard-working team (and) you can’t let up at all against them.”
Eaton took advantage of its size to pull down 49 rebounds, 25 on the offensive end.
“I was especially proud of the way our players hit the offensive boards (25 for the game), shared the ball (14 assists) and shot it behind the line (6-13). These are all things we’ve been working on. We still need to finish shots around the rim, better, but it’s hard to complain considering we were up almost 30 late in the game before they hit a few shots at the end,” Honhart said.
Bailey Shepherd led the Eagles with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Becca Mowen had nine points and 12 rebounds, Emily Dungan had five points, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals and Bailee Worley scored 12 points and had four steals.
Makena Laird led the Blazers with 11 points and Molly Skinner tossed in seven.
Trail cut the Eaton lead to 26-14 at halftime, but the Eagles pushed the lead to 42-20 after three quarters.
For Trail, it was another night where its shots wouldn’t fall.
“It was another cold shooting day for our girls,” Trail coach Michael Paige said. “We were unable to get shots to fall until the fourth quarter. It just seem to be to little to late.”
Earlier in the week, Eaton suffered losses to Northmont (59-29) and Bellbrook (62-32).
Kylee Pitsinger led the Eagles with eight points. Shepherd and Dungan each had six.
Against Bellbrook, Alexis Miller had eight points, while Pitsinger added six and Dungan and Worley each contributed five.
“We faced two really good opponents, which are good opportunities to measure ourselves. Against Northmont we did a good job of attacking the rim and getting to the free throw line, but we struggled to hit them (10-27.) Against Bellbrook, we handled their pressure much better than in our first matchup with them. We had a bad stretch in the first quarter and third quarter with regards to taking care of the ball, but overall, we improved in that area,” Honhart said.
Trail lost its two other games last week as well, falling 53-41 to Carlisle and 69-24 to Miami East.
Against Carlisle, Evan Byrd led the Blazers with 15 points. Laird had nine points and eight rebounds and Savanna Abner had 7 assists.
Against Miami East, Laird and Byrd each had nine.
Eaton (7-15, 2-10 SWBL), the No. 8 seed, is scheduled to open Division II sectional play on Saturday, Feb. 17, at 3 p.m. against No. 3 seed Springfield Shawnee. The game will be played at Tecumseh High School.
Trail (5-17), the No. 9 seed, is scheduled to play No. 3 Covington in the first round of the Division IV sectional at Brookville High School on Saturday, Feb. 17. Game time is set for 11 a.m.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH