TUPPERS PLAINS, Ohio — The Eastern boys basketball team fell in its home opener Tuesday evening to the Alexander Spartans by a score of 64-39.
The first quarter was very defense-heavy, with both teams struggling to get shots to land.
After trading points and leads in the opening minutes, the Spartans (2-0) started to pull away off the back of a 9-1 scoring run, heading into the second quarter with a 13-7 lead.
The Eagles (0-2) had a lot of trouble with turnovers to start the second quarter, having passes sail over players’ heads or having Alexander players steal the ball.
The Spartans were relentless in the second set of eight minutes, going on a 16-2 run in the first four minutes of the quarter.
While the Green and White had a bit more luck scoring in the remainder of the second quarter, they were still outscored 6-4, so the Spartans had a big 31-13 lead heading into the locker rooms.
The Eagles started the second half hot, going on a 7-2 scoring run to cut into the Alexander lead.
As the third quarter went by, Eastern nearly cut the lead to single digits, with the scoreboard showing a differential of 13 points on two different occasions, but the Red and Black went on another scoring run in the last few minutes to head into the final quarter with a 46-27 lead.
While the Eagles were able to score points here and there in the fourth quarter, it was too late to stage a comeback.
The Spartans were almost able to extend their lead to 30 points at a couple spots, but the Eagle offense did enough to make sure that didn’t happen.
Leading the Eagles in scoring was freshman Gavin Riggins, who had four field goals and five free throws for a total of 13 points.
Just behind him was junior Trey Hill, who notched two 3-pointers and three field goals for 12 points.
In third was junior Jace Bullington, who had three field goals for six points.
Rounding out the Eagle scoring were Bryce Newland with two points, Ethan Short with two points, Cooper Barnett with two points and Connor Nolan with two points.
Leading the Spartans in scoring was Kyler D’Augustino, who recorded 10 field goals and four free throws for 24 points.
In rebounds, Isaiah Reed led the Eagles with 10, while Braydin McKee and D’Augustino had eight each for the Spartans.
The Eagles will be back in action at 7:15 p.m. Friday when they host the Nelsonville-York Buckeyes.
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Colton Jeffries can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.