STEWART, Ohio — Every possession mattered.
The Eastern girls basketball team dropped a 72-63 decision to Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division host Federal Hocking on Thursday at McInturf Gymnasium, with the Lady Lancers claiming a 26-to-24 edge in field goals, and a 18-to-14 advantage in the turnover battle.
The Lady Lancers (3-0, 1-0 TVC Hocking) were ahead 13-9 eight minutes into play and doubled their lead in the second quarter, outscoring Eastern (1-2, 0-1) by a 22-to-18 count for a 35-27 halftime advantage.
Each team scored 20 points in the third quarter, leaving FHHS with a 55-47 lead headed into the finale. The Lady Eagles came up with 16 points in the finale, but the Maroon and Gold closed the door on the 72-63 win with 17 in the stanza.
For the game, Eastern shot 24-of-56 (42.9 percent) from the field, including 3-of-10 (30 percent) from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, Federal Hocking was 26-of-60 (43.3 percent) from the field, including 8-of-22 (36.4 percent) from three-point range. At the foul line, EHS hit 12-of-16 (75 percent) and FHHS sank 12-of-18 (66.7 percent).
Both teams recorded 35 rebounds in the contest. EHS finished with 12 assists, five steals and three blocked shots, while the Lady Lancers combined for 15 assists, eight steals and two rejections.
Jennifer Parker was responsible for all-3 Lady Eagle three-pointers and led the way with 21 points. Sydney Reynolds recorded 20 points, and team-highs of nine rebounds, three assists and two rejections in the setback. Erica Durst was next with nine points for Eastern, followed by Kennadi Rockhold with six, Juli Durst with four and Hope Reed with three.
Leading the hosts, Paige Tolson poured in 40 points and dished out a game-best seven assists. Tolson — a Glenville State commit — surpassed 1,000-point mark for her career, and now has 1,030 points.
Alexis Smith contributed 17 points and four steals to the winning cause, Tiffany Allen chipped in with five points, while Reagan Jeffers added four points. Kylie Tabler, Brennan Jarvis and Ava Tate had two points each in the win, with Tabler grabbing a team-best six rebounds.
Eastern will look for revenge when the Lady Lancers visit Meigs County on Jan. 7.
Next, the Lady Eagles host Belpre on Monday.
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Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.