Solid team effort leads to Eastern’s 12th victory –
By Wade Linville –
Coming off a 58-38 win over the Whiteoak Wildcats, the Eastern Warriors ventured to Georgetown High School for a non-league bout on Feb. 14 to escape with a 61-40 win over the Georgetown G-Men.
The win marked the 12th of the season for the Warriors, as they upped their overall record to 12-9 on the season.
“The kids played pretty well,” Eastern’s long-time head coach Rob Beucler said of his Warriors’ effort in Tuesday’s win. “We’ve been pretty pleased with the way the kids have been playing the last couple of games.”
It was a solid team effort by the Warriors that led to Tuesday’s win with the G-Men coming off two big league victories.
“We’re very young, but we’re getting better,” said Beucler. “This year we’re playing more younger kids (freshman and sophomores) than I’ve ever played.”
There were three Warriors to reach double figures in scoring against the G-Men. Junior Garyn Purdy led the way in scoring for the Warriors with 16 points, 12 of which came in the first half of play. For the game, Purdy buried five shots from the field and went a perfect six-of-six from the foul line.
Eastern sophomore Marcus Hamilton finished with 15 points, sinking three shots from beyond the arc and three two-point field goals.
Eastern junior Josh Tolle ended the night with 11 points, draining three shots inside the arc, sinking one three-pointer, and connecting on two-of-two attempts from the foul line.
Eastern senior Blake Rigdon finished with seven points, while freshman Titus Burns and junior T.J. Stivers contributed with four points each.
Rounding out Eastern’s scoring in Tuesday’s win were sophomore Gage Boone and senior Jacob Diener with two points each.
The Warriors were also able to accomplish their goals on the defensive end, holding Georgetown’s leading scorer, 6’6” sophomore postman Noah Pack, below his average of more than 18 points per game.
Pack finished with 15 points, sinking four shots from the field and seven-of-11 attempts from the charity stripe. He was the only Georgetown player to reach double figures in scoring.
A three-pointer by Georgetown senior Solomon Underwood started off scoring for the game, but it was Hamilton rifling in a shot from beyond the arc to tie the game at three.
Following a field goal by Diener and a bucket by Georgetown junior Logan Doss, the two teams were knotted at five apiece .
The G-Men broke the knot to take a 7-5 lead as Pack dished out an assist for an easy bucket by Ellis, but it was a steal by Burns that led to a field goal by Purdy that tied the game at seven.
The Warriors rounded out the first period on a 14-2 run.
Tolle connected on a pair of free throws after being fouled on a shot to put the Warriors on top 9-7.
After holding the G-Men scoreless in the next trip down the court, Tolle buried a jump-shot from inside the arc to expand the Eastern lead to 11-7.
Pack was fouled on a shot attempt and ventured to the charity stripe to drain both attempts and cut the Eastern lead to two points with 2:30 to go in the first quarter.
The Warriors rounded out the first quarter by scoring 10 unanswered points.
A three-pointer by Hamilton lifted the Warriors to a 14-9 lead, then it was Purdy knocking down a jump-shot to leave the G-Men trailing by seven.
A three-pointer by Rigdon widened the margin to 10 points (19-9).
To cap off scoring in the first quarter, it was Hamilton taking an in-bounds pass from the side straight to the hoop for an easy score. With one period in the books, it was the Warriors leading 21-9.
Both teams managed 11 points in the second quarter of play, and at halftime it was the Warriors leading 32-20.
The Warriors came off halftime break to outscore the G-Men 16-14 in the third quarter to expand their lead to 48-34.
After going scoreless in the third quarter, Hamilton heated up once again to score seven of the Warriors’ 13 points in the fourth quarter as they outscored the G-Men 13-6 in the frame.
The G-Men got more than double the opportunities the Warriors did at the foul line and were able to bury 15-of-25 attempts. The Warriors knocked down 11-of-12 attempts from the charity stripe.
The G-Men dropped to an overall record of 5-15 with Tuesday’s loss.
The G-Men were scheduled to face the Blanchester Wildcats in their final game of the regular season on Friday, Feb. 17, a league contest to determine which team finishes third in Southern Buckeye Athletic/Academic Conference National Division standings.
The G-Men were then scheduled to compete in the annual SBAAC Tournament on Feb. 18.
The G-Men, as the No. 8 seed, will then take on the No. 9 seed Felicity-Franklin Cardinals in the Southwest District Division IV Sectional Tournament at Taylor High School on Saturday, Feb. 25.
The Warriors were scheduled to wrap up their regular season with a Feb. 17 SHAC contest on the road against the Manchester Greyhounds.
The Warriors, as the No. 5 seed, move on to Southeast District Division III Sectional Tournament play at Waverly where they will take on No. 12 seed Northwest (4-15) in round one of the sectional on Monday, Feb. 20.
EHS 21 11 16 13 – 61
GHS 9 11 14 6 – 40
Eastern (61): Purdy 5 6-6 16, Hamilton 6 0-0 15, Tolle 4 2-2 11, Rigdon 2 2-2 7, Burns 1 1-2 4, Stivers 2 0-0 4, Diener 1 0-0 2, Boone 1 0-0 2. Three-pointers: Hamilton 3, Burns 1, Rigdon 1, Tolle 1. Team: 22 11-12 61.
Georgetown (40): Pack 4 7-11 15, Doss 3 2-2 9, Underwood 2 2-4 8, Gast 1 1-2 3, Brookbank 0 2-4 2, Strickland 0 1-2 1, Ellis 1 0-0 2. Three-pointers: Underwood 2, Doss 1. Team: 11 15-25 40.