Last updated: January 20. 2014 3:01PM - 2252 Views
By - bwalters@civitasmedia.com

Eastern senior Jenna Burdette (14) releases a shot attempt over Olentangy Liberty defender Kristen Levering (10) during the first half of Saturday night's girls basketball contest at Pickerington High School Central. (Bryan Walters/photo)
Eastern senior Jenna Burdette (14) releases a shot attempt over Olentangy Liberty defender Kristen Levering (10) during the first half of Saturday night's girls basketball contest at Pickerington High School Central. (Bryan Walters/photo)
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PICKERINGTON, Ohio — Another statement game. Another statement win.

Jordan Parker scored the 1,000-point of her career, Jenna Burdette became the school’s all-time leading scorer and the Eastern girls basketball team rolled to a 70-38 victory over Olentangy Liberty at the Pickerington Central Prep Shoot Out held Saturday night on the PHSC campus in Fairfield County.

The Lady Eagles (12-0) never trailed in the contest, as the guests stormed out to an 8-0 lead two minutes into regulation before securing a 14-5 edge after one quarter of play.

The Lady Patriots (9-5) — who went over six minutes without a field goal to start the game — pulled to within five points on three separate occasions in the second canto, thanks in large part to hitting four trifectas and a 6-of-7 shooting performance during that span.

EHS, however, opened up its 26-21 lead with a 12-4 surge over the final three minutes of the first half — allowing the Green and Gold to secure a 38-25 cushion at the break. OLHS was never closer the rest of the way.

The two individual milestones came during the final minute of second quarter. Burdette drilled a trifecta from the left wing with 42 seconds left, allowing the Dayton signee to surpass Dennis Eichenger as the school’s most prolific scorer. Eichenger’s record of 1,486 career points has also stood for close to 40 years.

The second accomplishment came just before the buzzer, as Parker hauled in a long pass on a fast break and gained control of herself before releasing a five-footer from the left block. Parker’s field goal allowed her to become the eighth girl in program history to reach quadruple digits for a career.

Parker — an Alderson Broaddus signee — spoke about what it meant to join the likes of Burdette, Jessica Karr, Jessica Brannon, Valerie Karr, Morgan Weber, Erin Weber and Kasey Turley on such a distinguished list.

“First off, I couldn’t have done this without my teammates. They’ve been here with me this whole time, and this is as much about them as it is me. It’s also kind of nice to know that it’s done,” Parker said. “It’s humbling to join those other great players on the wall, but it’s even better that this happened in a win.”

Parker entered the game needing six points to reach the 1K milestone, while Burdette needed 15 points to tie Eichenger on the all-time scoring list. Parker had knowledge of what she needed coming in, but the daughter of EHS coach John Burdette did not.

“I had no idea because dad told me during a timeout. He said ‘congratulations, you just became the school’s all-time leading scorer on that last basket.’ That was it,” Jenna said. “I know it’s a big deal and it is pretty cool, but honestly, I’m just glad we won.”

Eastern made 14-of-29 shot attempts in the first half, which included a 5-of-8 effort from behind the arc. The guests also outrebounded Olentangy Liberty by a 13-10 margin, including a 4-0 edge on the offensive glass.

OLHS made 7-of-13 shots in the opening 16 minutes, including a 5-of-8 performance from three-point range. The Lady Patriots also committed 10 turnovers by halftime, compared to four by EHS.

The Lady Eagles forced seven turnovers while going on a 19-6 charge in the third for a 57-31 advantage, then closed regulation with 13-7 spurt from its bench to wrap up the 32-point triumph — Eastern’s largest lead of the night.

The Green and Gold finished the night 26-of-59 from the field for 44 percent, including an 8-of-19 effort from three-point range for 42 percent. EHS claimed a 31-20 advantage on the boards — including a 10-2 edge on the offensive end — and committed 13 turnovers overall.

Burdette — who sat out all of the fourth quarter — led the Lady Eagles with a game-high 23 points, followed by Parker with 13 markers. Katie Keller and Maddie Rigsby were next with nine points apiece, while Laura Pullins chipped in a team-high seven markers off the bench.

Erin Swatzel was next with five points, while Hannah Bailey and Hannah Barringer rounded out the scoring with two markers apiece. Eastern went 10-of-12 at the free throw line for 83 percent.

Olentangy Liberty — a Division I program with nearly eight times as many students as EHS — finished the evening 12-of-35 overall from the field for 34 percent, including a 5-of-13 effort from behind the arc for 38 percent. The hosts committed 22 turnovers and made 9-of-18 charity tosses for 50 percent.

Kristen Levering and Madison King each paced the Lady Patriots with 10 points, followed by Alera Fisher with five points and Lauren Hafer with four markers.

Following the game, sixth-year EHS coach John Burdette spoke about the win and all the events that led up to the end result.

“We had a good team effort tonight. We had eight players score and we were pretty good on the defensive end of the floor,” Burdette said. “It was good to play against someone that was bigger than us, to be honest. We were able to get some good experience from this one and the younger girls continued to show improvement. It was just a good night for us overall.

“It’s very rare to see two kids from one class both reach 1,000 points for a career. Those two — like my other three seniors — have always been good ball players, and I’m really proud of them for what they’ve been able to accomplish.”

Eastern — which ended the weekend with a school-best ranking of No. 3 in the Division IV AP poll — is off to its best start in four years with this senior class.

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