[Dylan Westmeyer | WOUB]

Eastern shows promise, but falls short in Sectional Semifinals

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BAINBRIDGE, Ohio (WOUB) — The boy’s tournament started this weekend, and this pitted the 22 seeded Eastern Eagles against the 11 seed Paint Valley Bearcats. 

This game went back and forth in the first quarter with the Bearcats taking the first small lead. That was when the Eagles started hitting their threes. After Paint Valley rallied back, the first quarter ended in an 18-18 tie. 

The second quarter wasn’t kind to Eastern as they weren’t able to keep their offensive pace. Going into the locker rooms, the Eagles found themselves down 38-30.

Eastern just wasn’t able to continue their dominant offense that they showed the entire regular season. This was due in part to the fact that they couldn’t keep Dax Estep away from the rim. Estep shot 12-16 from the field, and all of them were from 2-point range. 

The Eagles came out of the locker room hoping to change things around, but it was really more of the same.

The two teams tied again in the third quarter just as they did in the first as Jace Bullington came alive. Bullington ended with 17 points and shot 3-4 from three, and the Eagles were down eight at the end of three.

After mimicking the first quarter in the third with the tie, they did the same thing in the fourth as they did in the second, losing the quarter by eight.

At the end of the day, the Eagles just couldn’t get their regular season defense back in the tournament. The Bearcats shot 63% from the field, and eastern couldn’t hold them off the offensive glass.

The size of Paint Valley dominated in the game, and Eastern tried to offset it with their three-point shooting. They hoisted 14 threes and knocked down seven of them, including Trey Hill and Bullington shooting a combined five for seven.

Eastern is going to graduate three seniors, Bryce Newland, Isaiah Reed, and Ethan Short. Other than that, everybody will return, including their two main scorers in Hill and Bullington. The Eagles will look to continue their intense defense and add a little scoring to improve upon this season