Laura Pullins Goes Off As Lady Eagles Survive Double Overtime

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The rematch of last years District Finals lived up to the hype with the Eastern Lady Eagles defeating the Notre Dame Lady Titans 58 to 53 in double overtime.

“We gave the fans their money’s worth, but we won the ball game and that’s all that matters right now,” said Eastern head coach Jacob Parker.

Laura Pullins hit the go ahead three-pointer with 1:44 left in the second overtime to put the Lady Eagles up 54-53 and they never looked back. Pullins finished the night with an incredible stat line, 34 points and 15 rebounds.

“Being a senior, I knew I had to step up being the senior, I knew I had to score the points, I knew I had to drive to the bucket,” said Pullins.

Notre Dame had an incredible size advantage on Eastern, however, the Lady Eagles matched the size mismatch with stellar defense.

Sophomore Alyson Bailey shut down one of Notre Dame’s best players Hagen Schaefer. Schaefer finished the night with seven points on 10 shots.

“I knew my opponent, I studied up on her and knew what I had to do. Just like every other game, I am usually on their lead scorer and I did what I could to help the team,” said Bailey.

Not to mention Bailey’s great defense, the team as a whole had great defense. In the third quarter, Eastern held the Lady Titans scoreless for the first five minutes of the half. During that span, Notre Dame had six turnovers. On the night, the Lady Titans finished with 20 turnovers.

“Defense wins championships,” said head coach Parker. “Those stops early helped us win the game, the stops late helped us win the game, and it was a team effort.”

Junior Liz Collins didn’t register a point and fouled out of the game, but her defense was critical. She finished the game with two key blocks and eight rebounds.

Sophomore and All-Future team member Kelsey Casto stepped up in her place and hit the game-tying free throw in the first overtime to keep the Lady Eagles alive.

Notre Dame’s game plan was to get it to the post and that is what the Lady Titans did. Forward Lexi Smith finished the game with 26 points and 13 rebounds; however, those 26 points came on 23 shot attempts.

The only other Lady Titan to register double figures was their other post Katie Dettwiler, who finished with 12 points and six blocks.

“The biggest thing was their size and it did disrupt some of our shots going to the basket,” stated coach Parker.

Eastern will play Waterford next Thursday at Jackson High School in the Regional Semi-Finals.