Eastern Uses Defense to get Past the Lady Flyers

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The Eastern Lady Eagles didn’t allow a field goal by the St. Joseph Central Lady Flyers until the 4:05 mark of the second quarter and only 10 on the game winning 59-28.

Eastern cruised from the start and were able to have all 10 players get some tournament experience. A 19-1 first quarter set the tone for the rest of the game of Eastern making their shots and playing strong defense.

Eastern coach John Burdette has been wanting the Lady Eagles to come out focused Laura Pullins said and they did with their stifling defense and ability to create easy shots.

Laura Pullins led Eastern with 23 points and 6 rebounds, controlling the game from the start with 14 points in the first half pushing the Lady Eagles to a 22 point lead. Pullins only missed two shots on the night and was central to everything Eastern did with three assists.

Freshmen Jess Parker and Becca Pullins stepped up in their first postseason game with nine points each. All but one player scored to complement the big night by Laura Pullins.

The Lady Eagles waited until they found the open shot on every possession playing unselfish basketball leading to 14 assists including three each by Alyson Bailey and Hannah Bailey.

Eastern dominated on the boards with 34 rebounds, including 16 on the offensive end leading to plenty of second chance points. No one on Eastern had more than 6 rebounds, as it was a team effort with everyone grabbing at least one board and eight players having at least three rebounds.

The Lady Flyers could only manage to shoot 21 percent against the solid defense by the Lady Eagles and did not have a player score in double-digits. Lusey Booker led the Flyers with eight points and Megan Riley grabbed five offensive boards on the night.

A press defense by Eastern forced St. Joseph’s into 15 turnovers and frustrated the Flyers throughout the game. Eastern converted the turnovers into points and push the pace where they outplayed the Lady Flyers.

Eastern will play No. 3 Fairfield on Feb. 20 in the district semifinals at Jackson High School.