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Golden Eagles breeze past Tornadoes, 64-36

Photo by Jay W. Bennett Belpre’s Khyleigh Scott defends during a high school girls basketball game against Southern Thursday.

BELPRE — Belpre scored the first nine points of the game here Thursday night and never looked back as the Golden Eagles routed visiting Southern, 64-36, in a Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division tilt.

The Tornadoes of head coach Ronnie Quillen were making their season debut, but the visitors couldn’t overcome a tough night shooting as well as 30 turnovers.

Head coach Chris Murray’s Golden Eagles, who improved to 3-4 with a home game set for 4 p.m. Saturday versus Portsmouth Clay, led 21-5 after one, 40-18 at intermission and 61-27 entering the final canton.

A 3 on the left wing from Alyssa Hutchinson just 39 seconds into the game was later followed by a Kaitlen Bush lay-in, a Halee Williams putback and then a Bush steal and layup for the 9-0 cushion just 3:38 in.

Kelly Shaver’s field goal from a Kayla Evans assist finally got Southern on the board at the 4:02 mark, but Belpre then went on a 12-1 run to take complete control. Jaylynn Wright had a triple and scored seven of her nine counters in the spurt. Williams, who finished with game-highs of 19 points and 17 rebounds, also added a bucket while Bush knocked down a triple from the top of the key via a Curstin Giffin assist.

Evans, who led the visitors with 14 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and three steals, scored late in the period to draw Southern within 16.

A trap by Hutchinson and Bush to open the second resulted in one of Bush’s game-high seven steals as she raced in for another layup. Bush finished with 14 points and also had a game-high six assists.

Maddie Garber’s three-point play for part of her nine counters gave Belpre a 31-7 lead at 5:20 of the second. Garber added a trifecta to make it 34-7 and it was 40-14 after Giffin, who had four thefts, finished on a strong take to the hole.

Southern, which shot just 29.8% (14 of 47), managed to make it 40-18 at the break thanks to consecutive baskets by Michelle Adkins via assists from Lily Allen and Shaver.

With 3:11 to play in the third, Allie Jaraucaro connected on a 3 to give Belpre a 59-25 advantage. The margin was still 34 entering the fourth thanks to a Katie Woodford lay-in for the Golden Eagles.

Khyleigh Scott joined Wright with eight rebounds apiece while Jaraucaro grabbed seven caroms. Williams also added a trio of steals as the Golden Eagles had just 10 turnovers.

Lila Cooper pitched in four points and 10 rebounds for Southern, which also received five tallies and nine caroms from Kass Chaney.

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com

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