ELIZABETHTOWN — A pressure defense helped the Lady Eagles to force 29 Heidi Trask turnovers Tuesday, and East Bladen easily earned a 60-16 Four County Conference win.
The Lady Eagles improve to 18-1 overall and 9-1 in the conference with the victory, while the Lady Titans fall to 8-12, 4-7.
East Bladen opened the game with a 14-0 run that took up the better part of 7 minutes. Lacey Suggs accounted for a trio of baskets, while Asha Graham had a pair of buckets. Abby Ward and Abbey Norris each scored a basket to complete the spurt.
The Lady Eagles’ defense, meanwhile was forcing Heidi Trask into 13 first-quarter turnovers while holding the visitors scoreless until the 1:18 mark when the Lady Titans scored their lone basket of the opening quarter. East Bladen took the 14-2 lead into the second quarter.
Trask extended it scoring binge to five straight points by hitting three straight free thows to open the second stanza, cutting the deficit to 14-5. But Suggs, Miller Heustess and Imani Turner-Dobson each hit baskets to open a 20-5 advantage. The Lady Titans sandwiched a Suggs basket with a bucket and free throw before East Bladen went on a 5-0 spurt on a free throw and basket by Asha Graham and bucket by Miller before Trask ended the half with a basket — but the Lady Eagles went into halftime leading, 27-10.
East Bladen, which had pulled off its pressure defense in the second quarter, brought it back to open the second half and it once again paid dividends. Trask could manage just a pair of free throws in the quarter and had nine turnovers, while the Lady Eagles used a 6-0 spurt on baskets by Christiana Cromartie, Ward and Dobson — then went on a 13-0 run to finish the quarter sparked by baskets from Graham, Suggs, Ward and two by Emily Scott. Suggs also canned a trio of free throws and the Lady Eagles went up 46-12 going into the final 8 minutes.
Coach Patty Evers, who had substituted freely since the second quarter, continued to do so through the fourth quarter. East Bladen continued its run to 17-0 with the fourth-quarter’s first two baskets by Dobson. After a Trask bucket, Dobson and Scott each drained a basket and, after Trask’s final basket of the night, the Lady Eagles got the game’s final three buckets to finish off the 44-point win.
“We worked hard on our defensive stance and controlling our fouls,” Evers said. “We’re still a work in progress.
“Chris (Cromartie) played well and we did a good job of rebounding,” she added. “Emily (Scott) is really coming along and Abby (Ward played well.”
All 10 Lady Eagles scored in the game, led by Suggs with 14 points, Dobson with 10 and Graham with nine. Ward contributed six points and six assists, while Scott had six points and eight rebounds. Cromartie also had eight rebounds along with seven blocks, while Dobson also recorded seven blocks. Suggs added five assists and four steals, while Graham had five steals.