TUPPERS PLAINS, Ohio — It’s not how you start that matters, it’s how you finish.
In the early minutes of Thursdaynight’s Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division match up between the Lady Cats of Waterford and the host Lady Eagles of Eastern it seem that the visiting Green and White would hold the upper hand. But a 26-4 run for to close the half gave EHS all the momentum it needed to put the game away. The Lady Eagles were better on both ends of the court and Eastern rolled to a 76-39 victory over the Eight-time defending league champions.
After trailing 9-4 with 2:57 remaining in the opening stanza Eastern (4-0, 4-0 TVC Hocking) went on an 11-0 run to end the quarter including back-to-back three pointers by Jordan Parker and Jenna Burdette. The Lady Eagles’ were smothering on the defensive end in the second quarter, holding WHS (2-1, 2-1) without a field goal in the period. EHS scored 15 for the second straight quarter and led 30-13 at half.
The Lady Eagles went on a 7-0 run in the first minute of the second half to push it’s lead to 24 points. At the 6:54 mark of the third quarter Waterford’s Randee Seevers hit a three-pointer to give the Lady Cats their first field goal since Brooke Drayer’s three-pointer at the 2:57 mark of the first quarter. Parker led EHS with 11 points in the quarter and the Lady Eagles held the 52-32 advantage headed into the finale.
A 9-7 run over the first five minutes of the fourth period put EHS up 61-39 and victory seemed certain. The Lady Eagles went on a 15-0 run over the final three minutes of the game to put the icing on the 76-39 victory over Waterford.
“This was our first big game and we talked about playing with heart and intensity before the game,” Eastern head coach John Burdette said after the game. “They came out and everyone had a good game they play well together and that’s hard to beat.”
The Lady Eagles were led by Jordan Parker with 26 points, followed by Jenna Burdette with 24 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter. Parker and Burdette hit four three-pointers apiece. Erin Swatzel finished with eight points, Katie Keller notched seven, while Maddie Rigsby had six. Tori Goble contributed with four points and Savannah Hawley finished with three to round out the EHS scoring.
Swatzel led Eastern 13 rebounds, followed by Rigsby with six. Keller, Parker and Burdette each had five rebounds. Burdette had eight assists on the night, while Pakrer led EHS with five steals.
Waterford was led by Seevers with 15 points on the night, all of which came from beyond the arc in the second half. Drayer finished with 14 points , Regan Porter finished with six and Hannah Dailey notched two points. Chelsey Paxton and Maddy Sury each finished with one point to round out the WHS scoring.
“At times we can look good and at times we can look pretty shabby” Burdette said of his teams defense. “We get lost a little bit and we talked about that at the end of the ball game. We talked about open cutters through the lane and the little miscommunications that we but that’s just stuff we gotta work on.”
The Lady Eagles’ defense held Waterford without a field goal for 12 consecutive minutes from the 2:57 mark of the opening quarter until the 6:54 mark of the fourth. The Eastern offense has now scored 70 or more in three games this season.
With the triumph Eastern snaps Waterford 31-game TVC Hocking winning streak that has stood since December 6th 2010 when the Lady Eagles last defeated WHS in the regular season. The last TVC hocking team other than EHS to defeat Waterford was Trimble on January 5th 2006.
These teams will meet again January 28th in Washington County.