EATON — Visiting Bellbrook jumped out to as much as a 14-point lead in the first half, then held on in the second, to claim a 46-45 win over previously unbeaten Eaton, Thursday, Dec. 19 at Eaton High.
The host Eagles went on a 7-0 run in the game’s final 4 minutes and 15 seconds, but simply ran out of time. With 8.4 seconds left to play, Eaton had the ball and a chance to tie the game at 46-all, but the Eagles opted to score an inside layup in hopes of getting a foul and another chance to score.
Instead, Bellbrook controlled the inbounds pass and ran out the clock to hang on to the win.
“That’s an undefeated team that was playing with a lot of confidence, and they wouldn’t quit,” Bellbrook coach Jason Tincher said moments after the win. “We came out here, and we’ve got exams this week, but I think our girls were ready.
“We let (Eaton) back in the game, but I think a lot of that is because of them! They played really hard. They’re a well-coached team, and they got some good looks off of us, and just kept coming. So hats off to them.”
Sophomore Dreann Pryce scored 19 of her game-high 23 points in the first half, and had seven first-half steals as well, to set the tone for the game. Bellbrook led 18-4 roughly a minute into the second quarter.
Bailey Zerby was the other Golden Eagles player to get into double-figure scoring, with 12 points.
Bellbrook snagged 15 Eaton turnovers in the first half, but the Eagles adjusted the rest of the way.
For Eaton, Bailey Shepherd finished with 22 points, and 15 of those were while she was nursing 3-4 fouls and battling to get her team back into contention. Ali Mowen also ended up in double-figure scoring with 10 points.
“I’m proud of how my kids played, too. They were resilient, they stayed tough during Eaton’s comeback and they did a nice job, and held them off,” Tincher said. “Bailey (Zerby) shot the ball well, we got good rebounding from our bigs, Kayla Paul and Gigi Painter both played really well. Brooklyn Hall got her first start tonight, and I think she did very well, and our point guard is just a sophomore, and so I’m really proud of Kendall Knisely. They put a lot of pressure on her, but she did a really nice job for us.”
Bellbrook jumps to 7-1 overall, and 3-1 in the Southwestern Buckeye League’s Southwestern division. The Golden Eagles host Brookville next, at 1:15 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 21 at Bellbrook High.
Eaton is now 6-1 overall, 2-1 in SWBL Southwestern division play, and will host Franklin in another SWBL matchup also on Saturday.