SPRINGFIELD — Playing against a team that plays deliberate style of basketball, Dave Honhart wanted to force the tempo.
His team responded.
Eaton scored five points in the first 15 seconds and never looked back in claiming a 57-38 win over No. 7 seed Bellefontaine in the second round of the girls Division II sectional tournament at Springfield High School on Wednesday, Feb. 20.
“I am extremely proud of all of our players and coaches. This was a total team effort. Bellefontaine is a talented, well-coached disciplined team,” Honhart said. “This was a big win for us. We were determined to force Bellefontaine to play at our pace as much as possible and to be focused and patient on defense when they slowed it down. We talked about attacking throughout the game and our players did a great job of that. We attacked the moment; anytime we needed a stop or an answer we came up with it.”
With the win, the No. 8 seeded Eagles advanced to the sectional final, where they were scheduled to meet Carroll, the No. 1 seed and the state’s top-ranked team. The game was scheduled to be played on Monday, Feb. 25. The winner advances to the district final to be played on Friday, March 1, at Mason High School.
Eaton (9-15), was led by junior Bailey Shepherd’s 20 points. She also had five rebounds, five steals, and blocked two shots.
Senior Emily Dungan provided a spark off the bench scoring 11 points, with four rebounds and four steals.
Senior Becca Mowen added eight points and six rebounds.
Freshman Mara Posey added eight points. Senior Annika Gels chipped in with four points, four rebounds and three assists. Sophomore Lexi Miller and freshman Allison Mowen each added three points. Miller also grabbed five rebounds, while Allison Mowen had three assists.
Eaton led a 20-13 after the first quarter. Bellefontaine cut the lead to 20-16 early in the second quarter before the Eagles went on a 12-0 run and built a 36-22 halftime lead.
The lead never fell below 10 the rest of the game and was as large a 20 in the fourth quarter.
The win was the second straight for Eaton as a lower seed. The knocked off No. 6 Ponitz in the first round 69-40.
“There are not too many girls basketball teams in SW Ohio that have won back-to-back playoff games this past week as the lower seed both times, but the Eaton Eagles have, and in decisive fashion,” Honhart said.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH