JACKSON, Ohio — It doesn’t get much more convincing than that.
The Eastern girls basketball team proved their dominance yet again Saturday afternoon, as the Lady Eagles defeated Portsmouth Notre Dame 91-35 in the district semi final in the Apple City.
The Lady Eagles (22-1) began the game with a 10-to-2 over the first three minutes of play and expanded their lead to 19-4 with 1:49 remaining in the first quarter. Eastern outscored the Lady Titans 6-to-5 over the rest of the first to take the 25-9 advantage.
Eastern began the second quarter with a 16-to-1 run before the Lady Titans hit back-to-back three-pointers with around three minutes left in the first half. Eastern surged to a 52-18 lead at halftime with an 11-to-2 spurt.
The Lady Eagles scored the first eight points of the second half before Notre Dame answered with a 5-0 run. Eastern scored the next 18 points and led by 55, before the Lady Titans scored to end the quarter down 78-25.
The Green and Gold cleared their bench in the fourth quarter and outscored the Lady Titans 13-to-10 over eight minutes to take the 91-35 triumph.
“We had two of our worst practices of the year coming in but I thought we played really well,” EHS head coach John Burdette said. “It was good to get some of the girls on the bench quality minutes and they did good in there. We never know when we will need them in a big spot.”
Eastern was led by Jordan Parker with 23 points, followed by Jenna Burdette with 17, all of which came in the first half. Laura Pullins had 12 points, Katie Keller marked 11, while Erin Swatzel and Hannah Barringer both finished with seven points. Maddie Rigsby and Lindsey Hupp each had six points, while Abbie Hawley rounded out the scoring with two points.
The Lady Eagles shot 36-of-67 (53.7 percent) from the field, 10-of-24 (41.7 percent) from beyond the arc and 9-of-14 (64.3 percent) from the free throw line. Eastern had 48 rebounds, 17 assists, 10 steals, two blocks and nine turnovers.
Burdette and Hannah Barringer each had nine rebounds to pace EHS, followed by Pullins with six. Morgan Barringer and Keller each marked five rebounds in the win. Pullins, Parker, Burdette and Rigsby each had two steals, while Hannah Bailey and Burdette each rejected a shot. Burdette had a team-high seven assists, followed by Keller, Swatzel and Rigsby with two apiece.
Brooke Pierron led Portsmouth Notre Dame with 16 points, followed by Hagen Schaffer with 11. Brooke Stevenson had five points, while Lauren Edwards rounded out the Lady Titan scoring with three points.
NDHS shot 12-of-38 (31.6 percent) from the field, 5-of-22 (22.7 percent) from three-point range and 6-of-14 (42.9 percent) from the free throw line.
The Lady Eagles will face Portsmouth Clay on Thursday in the district final at Jackson. The last time EHS and Clay squared off in the the tournament was in the 2011 district final when the Lady Eagles took the 64-26 triumph.
Eastern’s last loss at the district level came to South Webster in the district final in 2010 by a count of 62-58. Since that time the Lady Eagles have won seven games at the district tournament by an average margin of 36.7 points per game.