TUPPERS PLAINS, Ohio — Every time the Lady Tornadoes got close, the Lady Eagles simply pulled away again.
The Eastern girls basketball team never trailed and claimed a 58-40 victory over Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division guest Southern on Monday night at ‘The Nest’.
Eastern (4-7, 2-5 TVC Hocking) — winner of back-to-back games — scored the first 10 points of the game and led 17-3 by the end of the first quarter.
Southern (2-9, 1-7) was back to within 11 points in the second quarter, but the Lady Eagles stretched their advantage to 30-16 by the half.
The Purple and Gold scored the first seven points of the third period, cutting their deficit in half. EHS answered with a 5-to-2 spurt, but Southern scored four in a row and trailed 35-29 with 2:28 left in the stanza.
Eastern, however, scored the next 16 points and led 51-29 with six minutes left in regulation. Southern responded with an 11-0 run, but didn’t score again, eventually falling by the 58-40 count.
In the win, the Lady Eagles were 18-of-51 (35.3 percent) from the field, including 2-of-12 (16.7 percent) from deep. Meanwhile, Southern made 15-of-43 (34.9 percent) field goal attempts, including 3-of-12 (25 percent) three-point tries.
At the foul line, EHS shot 20-of-35 (57.1 percent) and SHS was 7-of-13 (53.8 percent).
The hosts won the rebounding battle by a 33-to-29 count, with a 13-to-9 edge in offensive boards. The Green and White — who committed 17 turnovers, 14 fewer than SHS — finished with team totals of 17 steals, 15 assists and four rejections, while Southern tallied 11 assists, six steals and one block.
Erica Durst led the Lady Eagles with 12 points, followed by Sydney Reynolds and Jennifer Parker with 11 each. Olivia Barber and Jaymie Basham scored six points apiece, with 11 and eight rebounds respectively, and a team-best four assists by Barber. Kennadi Rockhold and Juli Durst both marked five points, while Whitney Durst tallied two.
Leading the hosts on defense, Juli Durst had six steals, while Barber posted three steals and two blocks.
Kayla Evans paced the guests with 18 points and eight rebounds. Phoenix Cleland came up with 10 points and a team-best four assists in the setback, Baylee Wolfe added nine points, while Shelby Cleland claimed two points and six rebounds. Rounding out the SHS total, Kelly Shaver scored one point.
Phoenix Cleland led the Lady Tornado defense with four steals, while Jordan Hardwick contributed a steal and a block.
The rematch between Eastern and Southern is scheduled for Feb. 3 in Racine.
Both teams continue league play on Thursday, with the Lady Eagles visiting Wahama, and the Lady Tornadoes hosting Miller.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.