Southern Makes Key Free Throws to Beat Eastern

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The Eastern Eagles trailed by 13 points going into halftime, but they cut the lead to one point with four minutes to play in the fourth quarter.

From that point on, Southern scored seven-straight points to make it 46-39, then iced the game with key free throws to win 53-45.

“Unfortunately, execution down the stretch didn’t happen for us, and that was the difference,” said Eastern coach Jeremy Hill. “Southern did, and we didn’t.”

Southern came out hitting on all cylinders in the first quarter, and jumped out to an 11-2 lead halfway through the first. The Tornadoes did not trail in the ballgame.

“That was as good of shooting that I’ve seen out of Southern all year long,” stated Hill.

Tylar Blevins led the Tornadoes with 21 points and seven rebounds. He hit all three of his three-pointers and only missed two field goals in the game.

No other Tornado scored in double figures, but Crenson Rogers hit seven free throws and grabbed two offensive rebounds.

The first half was a struggle for the Eagles as they shot 6 for 21 and only scored 19 points. Cam Richmond only made one shot all game on 12 attempts, and Dillon Swatzel didn’t score until halfway through the third quarter finishing with only six.

Jett Facemeyer continues to play well for the Eagles as he dropped in 20 points.

Ross Keller played a crucial role in Eastern’s comeback attempt after he finished with 13 points and 5 offensive rebounds.

“Ross for the first time tonight was a basketball player,” said coach Hill. “He constantly says he’s a football player, but tonight he was a basketball player. He was the spark plug, he was the one that kept us in the ball game, and I’m so proud he had this game.”

Only three other Eagles scored and Eastern finished with 14 turnovers on the night.

“Next Wednesday is about something, and we feel like we are going to get ourselves prepared a lot better, and we feel like we have some stuff up our sleeves,” stated coach Hill.

These two teams meet next Wednesday Feb. 17 at Meigs high school. Tipoff is at 6:15.