HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — It may not have been pretty but a win is a win.
The Eastern girls basketball team turned the ball over 25 times Saturday morning but the Lady Eagles still managed to escape the Big Sandy Superstore Arena with a 51-41 victory over Boyd County, in the opening game of the final day of the Huntington Invitational.
The Lady Lions (13-7) led 7-5 at the 5:30 mark of the opening period but a 14-to-4 run by the Lady Eagles (17-1) to finish the first with a 19-11 lead.
Eastern pushed its lead to nine points halfway through the second quarter but Boyd County rallied to cut the lead to 28-23 at halftime.
Eastern picked up the defense in the second half, holding BCHS to five points in the third period, and extending the lead to 41-28 headed into the fourth. Boyd County hit a pair of three-pointers in the fourth but went just 7-of-16 from the free throw line, allowing the Lady Eagles to hold on for the 51-41 victory.
“Obviously, Boyd County can play really well with the wins they have, beating Fairland and Newark Catholic,” sixth year Eastern head coach John Burdette said. “I told the girls ‘this is what determines whether you’re going to be successful or not’. We started sluggish but the girls pulled through and ended up getting the win.”
The Lady Eagles were led by Jenna Burdette with 13 points, followed by Laura Pullins and Jordan Parker with nine each. Maddie Rigsby added seven points, Erin Swatzel had six, Katie Keller added five, while Alia Hayes finished with two.
Eastern shot 21-of-46 (45.7 percent) from the field, 3-of-11 (27.3 percent) from three-point range and 6-of-9 (66.7 percent) from the free throw line. As a team the Lady Eagles had 36 rebounds, 12 steals, 19 assists, two blocks and 25 turnovers.
“I think an early morning game effects anybody even if you hadn’t played the night before because you’re not used to it,” John Burdette said. “Some of our shots were short but were about the end of the season so if you’re gonna be in shape you’re probably pretty close to being there now.”
Swatzel led the Green and Gold with eight rebounds, followed by Parker and Keller with six each. Burdette and Parker each had five assists, Laura Pullins had four, while Burdette had a game-high three steals. Keller anchored the EHS defense with two blocks in the win.
Boyd County was led by junior Logan Fraley with 17 points and sophomore Destiny Goins with 13. Taylor Wheeler marked six points, Alexis Lunsford added three and Huston Reeves finished with two, rounding out the Lady Lions total.
BCHS shot 12-of-39 (30.8 percent) from the field, 3-of-15 (20 percent) from beyond the arc and 14-of-29 (48.3 percent) from the charity stripe. Boyd County had 22 rebounds, led by Goins and Wheeler with six each, and 20 turnovers in the setback.
The Lady Lions were held 14 points below their season average of 55 points per game, marking their second lowest total of the year. BCHS holds a 61-60 win over Newark Catholic and a 61-51 victory over Fairland this season. All 17 of the Lady Eagles’ victories this season have been by double digits.
Eastern’s Jenna Burdette was named MVP of the game for the Lady Eagles, while Logan Fraley was named MVP for the Lady Lions. Burdette was also the Eastern MVP in Friday night’s overtime loss to Huntington St. Joe.