BETHEL — Eastern sophomore Allison Day scored a game-high 16 points for the Lady Warriors, leading her squad to a 43-28 blowout victory over Bethel-Tate Saturday afternoon.
Day scored six of her 16 points in the first quarter, helping her team build an 8-2 lead. However, the Lady Tigers roared back, scoring the final five points of the frame to cut the lead to 8-7.
In the second quarter, the teams continued their back-and forth battle. After Allison Parks drove to the basket for two points that gave her team the lead, Taylor Stamper responded by draining a pair of free-throws to put the Lady Warriors back on top. The squads traded the lead back and forth four more times before halftime, with Eastern leading 16-15 at the break.
Then things began to fall apart for the Lady Tigers. Still without star Julia Jenike due to an ankle injury, the team’s lack of depth began to show in the third quarter. Eastern scored 15 points in the quarter while the Tigers mustered just eight, giving the Lady Warriors a 31-23 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The final eight minutes were more of the same. Bethel couldn’t put the ball in the basket and Eastern continued to push the tempo, out-scoring the Lady Tigers 12-4 en route to the team’s 12th win of the season. The loss drops the Tigers to 9-6 entering their matchup with the Georgetown Lady G-Men Thursday, Jan. 21, a game in which Jenike is expected to make her return.
Eastern head coach Kevin Pickerill said pushing the tempo was all a part of his team’s plan, as he knew the Lady Tigers lacked depth without Jenike.
“We knew we’d wear them down a bit because they’re not real deep,” Pickerill said.”We only went eight deep today with [Morgan] Reynolds out with a concussion. We wanted to attack their press with long passes down the side. When you shoot 75 percent in the second half, you’re going to win a lot of ballgames.”
Day’s 16 points led all scorers. Mikayla Farris added 12, but no other Lady Warrior scored more than four points. Allison Parks led Bethel with 11, nine of which came on three three-point baskets. Pickerill said Day’s finally figuring out how to play with the padding on her injured hand.
“We’ve had some heart-to-heart talks over the last week both as a group and to her as an individual about what we need her to do as a sophomore,” Pickerill said. “She should be progressing, and I think the last two games out she’s been able to do that.”
The Lady Warriors return home for a non-conference bout against Paint Valley and Lexi Woods Monday, Jan. 18 at 5:30 p.m. Woods leads the Chillicothe area in scoring at 20.6 points per game, nearly half of her squad’s average of 46.7 points per game. Pickerill said he knows the team will have a bit of a battle on their hands, especially given their rigorous schedule of late.
“They’re going to play a lot of zone and half-court man,” Pickerill said. “We’ve been playing a little bit of an NBA schedule here the last few days, we’ve had six games in the last 13 days and two more this week. We’ll get through it, we’ll keep battling.”
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Other scores from around the area:
Southern Buckeye Athletic and Academic Conference
Girls’ Varsity Basketball
McNicholas 54, Western Brown 39
Roger Bacon 40, New Richmond 36
Southern Hills Athletic League
Girls’ Varsity Basketball
Williamsburg 67, Fayetteville 63
Boys’ Varsity Basketball
Waverly 74, West Union 47*
Manchester 46, New Boston 43*
* – Coach Young Classic at North Adams