EATON — Eaton’s girls basketball team suffered a pair of disappointing losses last week.
The Eagles opened with a 51-46 home loss to previously winless Talawanda on Tuesday, Jan. 29, then followed up with a 56-47 setback at Edgewood on Thursday.
Eaton (6-13) has now lost six straight.
“Disappointing outcomes in both games against a couple of D-1 opponents in Talawanda and Edgewood. When we watched Talawanda on film, it was clear that they did a lot of things very well, and that their record certainly didn’t match their talent,” Eaton coach Dave Honhart said. “I think we got tight once we realized it was going to be a close game. Our kids did a good job of coming from behind in the first half to reclaim the lead and of building an 8-point lead midway through the third quarter. Unfortunately we couldn’t hold it. Talawanda made some nice shots and our offense went cold.”
On the strength of its inside play, Eaton led 26-25 at the half and extended its lead to 35-27 with 5:30 left in the third quarter.
But the Eagles offense went cold going 0-for-7 the remainder of the quarter as the Brave closed to within 36-35. Eaton missed its first five shots of the fourth and Talawanda took advantage grabbing a 38-36 lead less than a minute into the final quarter and never trailed again.
The Brave led by as many as seven (51-44) late in the game.
“Down the stretch I was proud of the way we battled from five down to get to within one, but they made more plays than we did in the final minutes,” Honhart said.
Eaton was led by Becca Mowen’s 15 points and Annika Gels’ 10.
The duo combined to go 11-of-14 on shots in the paint — mostly during the first half — but had limited touches on the block in the second half.
“Becca Mowen and Annika Gels did a nice job of dominating inside throughout the game. Our players were very emotionally invested in the game, it just didn’t come out the way we’d wanted. We had the shots we wanted down the stretch, but it didn’t work out,” Honhart said. “Sometimes, it’s clearly not your night, but I feel like I should have been able to figure out a way to help us win that game and I simply didn’t, which is an awful feeling.”
Lexi Milled scored five points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. Emily Dungan tossed in five points and had two steals.
Bailey Shepherd contributed four points, four rebounds, four steals and three steals.
Against Edgewood, Eaton held an 11-10 late in the first quarter, but the Cougars made a 3-pointer with a second left in the quarter to take a 13-10 lead. It was a lead they would not relinquish.
The Cougars began the second quarter with a 9-0 run to take a 22-11 lead. Eaton fought back to get within 28-23 at the half.
A rocky third quarter for Eaton proved to be the difference. The Eagles were outscored 14-4 over the first four minutes to fall behind 42-27.
Despite the deficit, Eaton battled back to within 48-44 with just over two minutes left in the game but couldn’t get any closer.
”I was really proud of the way our team responded after Tuesday’s game. Due to weather, we did not get a chance to practice on Wednesday. Emily Dungan and Lexi Miller both had strong nights shooting the ball and with their overall play,” Honhart said. “We really played as a team at both ends of the floor. We did a better job with turnovers and rebounding than we did on Tuesday, but Edgewood has a lot of good shooters and they move the ball really well, which eventually leads to open shots. Twice we fell down by double figures and more than cut the deficit in half. I think we came from 13 down to get to within four with a couple minutes to go. I felt like if we got one more stop and score we would be in business. Give Edgewood credit for making their FT’s once we started the foul game and for handling the ball late when we pressured them.”
Dungan led the team with 16 points, three rebounds, three steals and two assists.
Miller tallied 15 points, on 6-of-8 shooting, and had six rebounds.
Becca Mowen tossed in six points and had three rebounds. Allison Mowen had five points.
Eaton was scheduled to play Tri-County North on Monday, Feb. 4, then will host Preble Shawnee on Thursday for Senior Night.
“We are all hungry to get back to winning. Part of that involves improving some fundamentals such as box outs, close outs, defensive footwork, ball handling and shooting. Part of that involves me putting players in better positions to be successful. Part of that involves players stepping up and key moments and making plays to get us buckets and stops,” Honhart said. “I believe in this team and I believe we have some more winning basketball in us.“
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH