EATON — The Eaton Eagles girls’ basketball team suffered two heartbreaking defeats to close out the season, falling to Northmont on Monday, Feb. 1, 53-48, and Franklin on Saturday, Feb. 6, 38-37.
Julia Titus scored a total of 50 points on the week and recorded two more double-doubles to bring her season total to 14.
Despite the two losses, head coach Dave Honhart said his team gets better as they prepare for tournament action.
Eaton found themselves battling against Northmont all night as the visiting Eagles clawed their way back from a 17-9 deficit after the first quarter.
The two teams played evenly in the second and third quarter, as Northmont’s lead only increased to 10 points heading into the final frame.
The Eagles came out on fire in the last quarter, and eventually tied the game up with four minutes to play.
Titus led the charge, scoring nine of her 28 points in the game in the fourth quarter. Brittany George added a three and Emily Dungan added two made free throws in the quarter.
The Eagles had a chance to tie in the final seconds, but the shot missed and Northmont knocked down two free throws to close out the contest, 53-48.
“I’m especially proud of the way we competed against Northmont,” Honhart said after the loss. “We dug ourselves out of three holes and really competed against one of the most athletic teams we faced all season.”
The Eagles found themselves in another back-and-forth battle after recovering from an early 9-2 deficit on Saturday, Feb. 6, against Franklin.
It was the final home game for four seniors with Titus, George, Paige Whitesell and Madi Bowman all playing in their final regular season game.
The lead never extended past four points for either team, after the Eagles eliminated the early seven-point Franklin lead.
Eaton had a chance to win after Titus set up Bowman for layup with 30 seconds left to give the Eagles the lead.
Kyla Hartley however had the hot hand for Franklin in the fourth quarter as she made three threes in the final frame including one with just a second left to give the Wildcats the win.
Hartley had made two three pointers all season prior to the game.
As a team, the Eagles shot 1-10 from the free throw line and once again Titus was the only Eagle to score double figures.
“We just have to have more scoring from other people. It’s not like we’re not getting good shots, they just aren’t going in right now,” Honhart said, noting he still has confidence in his team’s shooting. “We are certainly better shooters than what we’ve shown this week. It will come back around.”
Honhart believes his team will have plenty of close game experience heading into the tournament. “Most of the season has been close games,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of close game experience. Of course you want to win, but we got better this week.”
The Eagles face Benjamin Logan in the opening round of the OHSAA Sectional Tournament.
“We’ve played one 50-50 game after another,” Honhart stated. “I think they are a very good, well-coached team. They have some outstanding players in Hayley Boysel, Nikki Current and Natalie Drumm. I think they are solid, but I think they are a good match-up for us. It’s a four versus five battle, so it’s another 50-50 battle.”
Benjamin Logan won the Central Buckeye Conference Mad River Division by going 10-0 in the conference. They finished 19-3 overall. Eaton finished 12-10 and 6-6 in the SWBL Southwestern.
The game is on Saturday, Feb. 13, at noon at Tecumseh HS.
Reach Austin Schmidt at 937-683-4062, or on Twitter at aschmidt_RH.