MERCERVILLE, Ohio — Early momentum can often make all the difference.
The Eastern girls basketball team returned to the winning column on Saturday afternoon after defeating Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division host South Gallia by a final of 68-16 in Gallia County.
Eastern (13-6, 11-3 TVC Hocking) made 9-of-17 field goals in the first period, as South Gallia (6-13, 3-12) converted on just 2-of-11 from the field. The Lady Eagles scored eight consecutive points to start a 20-5 run, beginning their charge to a 52-point victory.
The win for the EHS provided a season sweep, having defeated SGHS by 60-24 count on Dec. 4, 2017 in Tuppers Plains.
The visitors’ lead extended to 28-5 by the 4:19 mark of the second quarter, but a three-pointer by Alyssa Cremeans ended the South Gallia scoring drought with 4:04 remaining in the half.
That trifecta proved to be the Lady Rebels’ only points of the second period, as the Green and White entered the locker room with a 30-8 advantage.
Eastern made 14-of-33 shots from the field for 42 percent, including 1-of-7 from beyond the arc for 14 percent. The Lady Eagles gathered 17 rebounds and committed nine turnovers.
The Lady Rebels connected on just 3-of-20 field goals for 15 percent, including a 1-of-8 performance from three-point range. SGHS has 13 rebounds and turned the ball over 16 times.
The hosts were held scoreless through the first 3:14 of the second half, as EHS extended the lead to 30 points with an 8-0 run.
South Gallia ended its scoreless drought with a three-pointer at the 4:46 mark of the third, but the guests made a 12-1 run to end the period holding a 50-12 lead. The Lady Eagles closed the finale on an 18-4 run to wrap up the season sweep.
“I’m very proud of the girls,” Eastern head coach Jacob Parker said following the game. “We are coming off of a very tough loss where some things didn’t go our way. I really looked forward to seeing how we would respond.
“The one thing we hoped for was for them to come out today with intensity. We came out and executed plays and our transition game. The defense really stepped up. The way our defense played allowed us to get easy buckets.”
Eastern shot 30-of-60 for 50 percent from the field, including 3-of-14 for 21 percent from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, South Gallia was 5-of-45 for 11 percent from the field, including 2-of-20 for 10 percent from long distance.
At the free throw line, EHS was 5-of-13 for 38 percent, while SGHS shot 4-of-8 for 50 percent.
The Lady Eagles outrebounded the Lady Rebels 38-19. The Red and Gold committed 30 turnovers, compared to 19 by the visitors.
Eastern senior Elizabeth Collins led the way in victory with 14 points. Alyson Bailey provided 12 markers and Kelsey Casto chipped in 10 points.
Kaitlyn Hawk was next with eight markers, while Cass Casto dropped in six points. Jess Parker, Madison Williams, Ashton Guthrie and Olivia each finished with four points apiece, respectively.
Sydney Sanders rounded out the scoring for EHS with two markers.
For SGHS, Erin Evans finished the night with six markers. Alyssa Cremeans was next with three points, while Makayla Waugh, Aaliyah Howell and Kiley Stapleton chipped in two points apiece. Faith Poling rounded out the scoring with one marker.
Scott Jones can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106.