EATON — The Eaton girls’ basketball team suffered two defeats in a row in the SWBL Southwestern Conference, after falling at Bellbrook on Thursday, Jan. 7, 59-34, and at home to Valley View on Saturday Jan. 9, 51-40.
On Thursday, Jan 7, the Eagles fell in part because of a hot shooting third quarter by Bellbrook, as the host team made five three pointers en route to a 25-point third quarter.
Eaton got off to a slow start, only scoring six points in the first quarter, but defense kept the Eagles in the game as they only allowed 10 points for Bellbrook.
In the second quarter the Eagles used a balanced scoring attack to play the hosts even in the quarter. Paige Whitesell, Brittany George, Julia Titus and Madi Bowman all scored in the quarter for the Eagles.
Cassidy Hofacker, however, found her rhythm for Bellbrook as she scored seven of her game-high 15 points in the second quarter.
The teams entered intermission with the score, Bellbrook, 21, Eaton, 17.
Head coach Dave Honhart felt his team was in good position after the first half. “We felt good about only being down four points at half, we didn’t feel we had played that well offensively, and were pleased with how we played defensively in the first half,” he said.
In the third quarter, the wheels fell off the bus for the Eagles, as Hofacker was one of four Bellbrook players to make a three pointer in the quarter.
Honhart blamed turnovers, but gave credit to the opposing team for a high pressure half-court defense.
Bellbrook scored 25 in the quarter as the Eagles only scored five, and the game was virtually over for the visiting Eaton squad with the score at 45-22 entering the final quarter.
Titus led the Eagles with 10 points and Sydney Lamberson and Bowman each added six. George and Whitesell each scored five points in the contest.
Honhart gave credit to his counterpart after the game. “Bellbrook is extremely good — the thing that stands out about them is how hard their players clearly worked to improve in the off-season.”
On Saturday, Jan. 9, the Eagles returned home to host Valley View but results remained the same for the team who has now lost three straight games.
The Eagles fell 51-40, despite 13 fourth quarter points for Titus who ended the game with a game-high 18 points. Bailee Worley added eight points for the Eagles.
Honhart found himself once again crediting his opposition.
“Give Valley View all the credit in the world, they are missing two of their top players, and they really elevated their game and played extremely well.”
The third quarter once again doomed the Eagles, who failed to score in the quarter and lost the lead for good.
Valley View took a lead after the first period, at 11-8. Eaton battled back and took a three-point halftime lead with the score at 26-23.
The third quarter came and the scoring stopped for the Eagles, as Valley View went on a 10-0 run.
With the team trailing, Eaton was forced to foul and Valley View stepped up to the line, making 14 of 21 free throw attempts in the quarter. The Spartans only scored four points from the field in the final quarter.
“We started the game very slow and effort was not where it needed to be,” Honhart said afterward. “ After that, we played extremely hard, but it was just one of those games where the ball never seemed to bounce our way. There were aspects of the gameplan that we needed to execute better, and a number of little things that we need to improve at, but despite the loss, I was very proud of our players’ efforts.”
For the game, the Spartans shot 37 free throw attempt,s making 22 of them.
The Eagles fall to 8-7 overall and 3-4 in the SWBL Southwestern conference. Next week, the Eagles host Monroe on Thursday, Jan. 14, and Oakwood on Saturday, Jan. 16.
Reach Austin Schmidt at 937-683-4062, or on Twitter @aschmidt_RH.