EATON — Despite holding Bellbrook to 43 points, a season-high 30 turnovers and a 29.6 shooting percentage proved to be too much for Eaton’s girls’ basketball team to overcome.
Eaton held a 13-12 halftime lead, but Bellbrook limited the host squad to just eight points in the second half to claim a 43-21 Southwestern Buckeye League Southwestern Division win on Thursday, Jan. 17.
The game was originally scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 19, but was moved up due to the incoming snow storm.
“I was pretty pleased with our defense for most of the game. Through the first 20 minutes we held Bellbrook to 18 points. I didn’t think our defense was as strong over the last 12 minutes, but if you’d said before the game, they’d only score 43, I think we would have taken that,” Eaton coach Dave Honhart said.
Bellbrook didn’t shoot much better than Eaton, but the visiting Eagles grabbed 16 offensive rebounds to offset their off shooting night.
“We held them to 27 percent shooting, despite giving up 23 offensive rebounds. Good on the field goal defense, unacceptable on giving up that many rebounds. Some of them just bounced the wrong way, but we have to be stronger in our box outs and better in our pursuit of the ball,” Honhart said. “Defensive rebounding will be a point of emphasis this week at practice.”
Eaton grabbed an early 5-0 lead and led 11-5 on a Kylee Pitsinger basket with 1:35 to play in the first quarter.
Despite not scoring again until there were 51 seconds left in the first half, Eaton held the halftime advantage.
Bellbrook seized control of the game in the third quarter, outscoring Eaton 17-2, to take a 29-15 lead into the final quarter. Eaton attempted just two shots in the quarter, while committing 10 turnovers.
“Offensively we had 30 turnovers, and you just aren’t going to win games that way. Give Bellbrook lots of credit, as they do a great job of pressuring the ball and reading passes,” Honhart said. “That being said, as our coach, it is my job to get that number significantly reduced. We are an aggressive transition team, so we are always going to have more turnovers than a walk it up the court team, but it’s my job to help develop our players’ ball-handling, passing and decision-making skills so that we end most offensive possessions by getting a good shot. It’s also my job to put our players in position to be successful and to have the right players out on the court, so my assistants and I have some work to do in that area.”
Eaton, which was just 8-for-27 from the field, was led by junior Bailey Shepherd’s 11 points. She also had five steals and three rebounds.
Senior Annika Gels had four points and five rebounds.
Senior Emily Dungan tossed in four points and had three rebounds and two steals.
Senior Becca Mowen had five rebounds.
Eaton was scheduled to play at Edgewood on Monday, Jan. 21, but the game has been rescheduled for Thursday, Jan. 31.
Eaton (6-9, 2-7 SWBL) is scheduled to host Franklin (11-3, 8-1) on Thursday, Jan. 24 and will travel to Valley View (12-4, 6-2) on Saturday.
“This week we get to go against the two teams at the top of the league standings. It is a great opportunity for us to compete against the best, see where we stand, and try to pull off an upset or two,” Honhart said.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH