WATERFORD, Ohio — Almost reaching the ‘Big 5-0’ without passing forty.
Host Waterford picked up its 49th consecutive league victory Monday night with a hard-fought 37-33 decision over the Eastern girls basketball team in a Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division matchup at the Cooper Annex Building in Washington County.
The Lady Wildcats (15-2, 13-0 TVC Hocking) — the reigning Division IV champions in The Buckeye State — took control of the game early with a 15-3 first quarter surge, but the visiting Lady Eagles (15-3, 12-2) did everything in their power to make things interesting the rest of the way.
EHS used a 10-3 charge to close the halftime deficit down to two possessions at 18-13, then used a small 10-9 run in the third canto to pull within 27-23 headed into the finale. Both teams netted 10 points apiece down the stretch to wrap up the four-point outcome.
WHS — which is now one win away from at least a share of its third straight TVC Hocking crown — also claimed a season sweep after posting a 55-48 decision in Tuppers Plains back on December 17.
Eastern was the last team to defeat WHS in league play, doing so with a 75-44 decision at Waterford back on February 6, 2014. The Lady Eagles went on to win the Division IV state championship that season.
Eastern made four of its 11 total field goals from behind the arc and also went a perfect 7-of-7 at the free throw line.
Jess Parker and Becca Pullins led EHS with eight points apiece, followed by Alyson Bailey with seven points and Laura Pullins with six markers. Elizabeth Collins completed the scoring with four points.
Waterford made only two of its 15 total field goals from three-point range and also netted half of its 10 charity tosses, which included a 2-of-6 effort at the stripe in the fourth quarter.
Megan Ball paced the hosts with a game-high 16 points, half of which came in the opening canto. Alli Kern was next with 14 markers, while Hayley Duff and Rachel Adams rounded out the winning tally with respective efforts of four and three points.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.