Burdette Stuffs Stat Sheet In Tourney-Opening Win

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The Eastern Lady Eagles clinched their seventeenth straight sectional title after defeating the Symmes Valley Lady Vikings, 78-38.  Senior Jenna Burdette’s triple-double carried the Eagles (21-1) to their first postseason victory in 2014 after they went to the Final Four in the OHSAA tournament last season.

Thursday night’s victory marks Eastern’s fourteenth win this season by 40 or more points. Four Eastern players reached double digits in scoring, including Burdette, who dropped 15 points, 12 steals, and 10 assists. Burdette was only three rebounds away from a rare quadruple-double.

Jordan Parker also added a game-high 16 points while senior center Erin Swatzel chipped in 12.

The Lady Eagles jumped out to an early 7-0 lead and never looked back. Eastern controlled the pace of the game right from the start taking a 30-8 first quarter lead. The rest of the game was more of the same for the Eagles, who took out their five senior starters for underclassmen in the entire fourth quarter. Head coach John Burdette was pleased with his younger players’ performance against the Vikings.

“We like to get them experience because that’s who we’re going to have next year,” Burdette said. “They get a chance to see what it’s like to play in the tournament and I think that’s important. They played well for it being their first tournament game.”

While Eastern advances to the next round in the postseason, it must continue without freshman Alia Hayes who tore her ACL in the Eagles final regular season game against Belpre back on Feb. 8. Hayes put in solid minutes during the regular season for the Eagles and her injury reduces Eastern’s roster to only eight players for the rest of the tournament.

Thursday’s postseason win was a good start for the Lady Eagles, who will face off against No. 4 Portsmouth Notre Dame at Jackson High School on Saturday, Feb. 22. Tip off is set for noon.