TUPPERS PLAINS, Ohio — A tough test to open the year.
The Eastern girls basketball team began the season with a 45-30 setback to non-conference guest Nelsonville-York on Monday at Meigs County.
The Lady Eagles (0-1) — who never led in the contest — tied the game twice, at 2-2 in the opening minute, and at 4-4 with 3:43 left in the first quarter. Nelsonville-York led 13-8 by the end of the first period, and then scored 13 straight to start the second.
The Lady Buckeyes were ahead 29-12 at halftime, and led by a game-high 22 points, at 39-17, six minutes into the second half.
Eastern trailed 40-19 at the start of the fourth quarter, and outscored NYHS 11-to-5 in the stanza, falling by a final tally of 45-30.
Each team claimed 34 rebounds in the game, with the Lady Buckeyes earning a 15-to-12 edge on the offensive glass. EHS committed 21 turnovers, while the guests gave the ball away 10 times. Collectively, the Lady Eagles tallied seven assists, three steals and two rejections, while Nelsonville-York recorded 15 steals, 10 assists and three blocked shots.
Eastern shot 14-of-52 (26.9 percent) from the field, including 0-of-7 from three-point range, while NYHS made 18-of-62 (29.0 percent) field goal attempts, including 3-of-15 (20 percent) from deep. At the foul line, the Lady Eagles made 2-of-4 (50 percent), and the Lady Buckeyes sank 6-of-10 (60 percent).
EHS freshman Hope Reed led the hosts with 10 points and a pair of assists, followed by Juli Durst with six points. Jennifer Parker and Sydney Reynolds scored five points apiece, with Reynolds pulling in a dozen rebounds and dishing out a pair of assists. Whitney Durst and Ella Carleton scored two points each in the setback.
Leading the Lady Eagle defense, Reed had two steals, while Whitney Durst rejected two shots.
Mackenzie Hurd led the Lady Buckeyes with 16 points, eight rebounds and six assists, to go with four steals and two rejections on the defensive end. NYHS freshman Airah Lavy — who marked a game-high five steals — tallied 13 points for the victors. Ashleigh Cantrell and Brooklyn Richards scored six points apiece, Alivia Speelman came up with three, while Kaina Hernandez marked one point.
Next, the Lady Eagles visit Shenandoah at 1 p.m. on Saturday for their first road trip of the season.
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Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.