Updated Thu, Feb 6, 2014 2:11 am
With the tournament looming, the Nelsonville-York Buckeyes (10-7) are looking to be playing their best basketball at the end of the season. They took a step in that direction Wednesday night, defeating the Eastern Eagles (1-16) on the road 65-55.
Senior Josh Fayette and juniors Jay Elliot and Colt Adams carried the load for the Buckeyes, combining for 52 of the team’s 65 points. Elliot finished with a game-high 19 points, while Adams and Fayette scored 17 and 16 points respectively.
With 3:42 seconds left in the first quarter, the two teams were tied at seven, but back-to-back 3-pointers by Elliot gave N-Y a lead it would not relinquish the rest of the game. However, the rest of the first half would prove to be very back-and-forth. The Buckeyes entered the locker room leading 34-30.
N-Y, like it has much of the season, came out of the locker room with a more energized effort. A full-court press forced a number of Eagle turnovers, and the Buckeyes kicked off the half with a 12-3 scoring run.
Eastern head coach Jeremy Hill noticed the difference in N-Y’s play in the second half.
“I think you got to give the credit to Nelsonville-York. Coach Kline went it and made adjustments at halftime,” Hill said. “We outrebounded them pretty well in the first half but we didn’t do that as well in the second half as we did in the first half.”
N-Y’s strong second half was certainly aided by Eastern’s sloppiness on the offensive end. Twenty-five Eagle turnovers keyed numerous fast break opportunities for the Buckeyes. This also helped Nelsonville-York to shoot 58 percent from the field, compared to Eastern’s 43 percent shooting performance from the floor.
“A lot of this game definitely came down to shooting,” Hill said. “[In the] first half we made some shots, but we could not find the bottom of the hole in the second half.”
Senior forward Chase Cook paced the Eagles on the offensive end. He finished with 15 points and seven rebounds, but also had six turnovers. Senior Christian Speelman added 13 points.
Nelsonville-York remains in fourth place in the TVC-Ohio, with its conference record remaining at 2-5. The Eastern Eagles remain at the bottom of the TVC-Hocking with a 1-11 conference record.
The Buckeyes return to action Friday night when they host the first place Athens Bulldogs.
Eastern will also take the court on Friday night when they host the Wahama White Falcons.