ELIZABETHTOWN — The Eagles put the defensive clamps down in the third quarter and ran away with a 69-37 non-conference win over visiting East Columbus on Monday.
The win improves east Bladen to 1-1 on the young season.
The Eagles opened the game with a 9-0 spurt, but the Gators went on a 10-6 run to close out the quarter and trailed by just 15-10 going into the second stanza.
East Bladen got three-pointers from Ethan Hines and J.R. Robinson to start the quarter that ballooned the lead to 21-10, but East Columbus fought back with a 6-2 run that closed the gap to 23-16.
That’s when the Eagles’ defense kicked into high gear. While pouring in eight points to close the half, East Bladen held the Gators to a single free throw down the stretch and took a 31-17 lead into intermission.
That defensive intensity continued for the Eagles in the second half, as East Columbus could put up just four points in the third quarter. Meanwhile, East Bladen opened the half with an 11-0 explosion highlighted by steals from the Hines brothers, Ethan and Eian, and opened a 42-17 margin.
By the time the third quarter was over, the Eagles held a 50-21 edge.
The two teams traded points through the fourth quarter, but East Bladen got the better of it in the end with a 19-16 quarter win and the 32-point game win.
Dayvon Powell led the Eagles with 18 points, while Robinson added 17 points. Ethan Hines scored 10 points and added five steals. Chris Cromartie, Derrick Burney and Powell all had six rebounds for East Bladen.
The Eagles will travel to St. Pauls on Friday for a rematch of the season-opener with the Bulldogs.
Lady Eagles romp
A 25-2 explosion in the second quarter helped East Bladen to a 55-23 non-conference win on Monday over visiting East Columbus.
The win improves the lady Eagles to 5-0 on the season.
The Lady Gators took advantage of East Bladen turnovers early and opened the game with a 5-2 spurt. But the Lady Eagles refocused and closed the first quarter with a 9-0 run, highlighted by an Abby Ward three-pointer, and took an 11-5 lead into the second stanza.
That run continued, reaching 17-0, and gave East Bladen a 19-5 edge. The Lady Eagles finished the half with a 17-2 run and took a 36-7 lead at halftime.
East Bladen came out of intermission and continued the defensive show, opening the third quarter with a 9-0 run to open a 45-7 advantage before closing the period with a 6-4 spurt for a commanding 51-11 lead.
A running clock and the Lady Eagles’ bench took over in the fourth quarter. The Lady gators managed to pour in 12 points and held East Bladen to just four, but the Lady Eagles easily sealed the 32-point win.
Lacey Suggs led East Bladen with 27 points — 20 in the first half. She also grabbed eight boards and had five steals. Ward canned 10 points and completed a double-double by getting 11 steals. Christiana Cromartie had seven points and five steals, while Ashley Hardin grabbed seven rebounds.
The Lady Eagles will travel to St. Pauls on Friday for a rematch with the Lady Bulldogs.