Four days after losing to Springfield by 45 points, the Ashland High girls basketball team experienced the other side of a blowout and found it much more appealing.
Freshman wing Mikayla Titus scored 16 points and Ashland used a strong third quarter to pull away from Eagle Point before putting the finishing touches on a 64-48 Midwestern League victory Tuesday at Mountain Avenue Gym.
"They were pretty excited," Ashland coach Antione Perry said of the Grizzlies. "They know we're moving in the right direction but they also know that, hey, we still have a lot of work to do and we can still be a really good team but we just have to keep working."
The win allowed the Grizzlies (4-8, 1-3 MWL) to eclipse last season’s three-win total with still a month remaining in the season and was their first league victory since another win over Eagle Point last February. The Eagles (0-13, 0-4) have lost 11 of 13 games by double digits.
Ashland and Eagle Point were tied at 15 heading into the second quarter. The Grizzlies outscored the Eagles 33-16 in the middle two quarters to go up 48-31 lead.
Perry attributed most of the Grizzlies’ surge to their defense.
“Once (Carlene) Hart got in foul trouble, it took really their main post player out and we just picked up our defensive intensity,” Perry said. “We really try to concentrate on ourselves and just try to get better every day and they did a good job in the second and third quarters to extend the lead.”
Perry said watching his team working to hold a lead rather than cut into one was a new experience.
“The fourth quarter, it went well, but with this young team they don’t understand really how to finish games as far as just pulling the ball out and running your offense, not just taking extra threes,” he said. “Young players, they want to score. It’s a fine line.”
Ashland used a balanced scoring attack to beat the Eagles, as six Ashland players tallied six points or more. Junior guard Mya Elder-Hammond had five points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals, sophomore wing Raisa Rich scored eight points and sophomore guard Sarah Summers finished with seven points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals.
“The balance was really nice and that’s what I was looking for because I believe that’s more my team,” Perry said.
Junior forward Odalis Rincones led Eagle Point with 17 points, but no other Eagle scored more than five.
Perry hopes the Grizzlies can build on Tuesday’s performance at North Eugene on Friday. The Highlanders are 4-9 overall and 1-3 in the MWL following Tuesday's loss to Marist.
“It was huge to get this one because we go on the road Friday,” he said. “We’re going to try to steal a win.”
EAGLE POINT (48): Beal 4, Shelton 4, Monroe 5, Miller 3, Burgess 3, Rincones 17, Kiefer 5, Meerten 3, C. Hart 4, Lawler 0, Negrete 0. Totals: 13 18-34 48.
ASHLAND (64): Mellon 6, Voskes 2, Titus 16, Barry 7, Rich 8, Osorio-Wells 2, Munson 2, Elder-Hammond 5, Summers 7, Rodriguez 2, Kolar 7, Barnes 0, Altig 0. Totals: 26 7-19 64.
3-point goals — Eagle Point 4 (Rincones 3, Miller 1), Ashland 5 (Mellon 2, Titus 2, Barry 1). Fouled out — C. Hart.
JV result — Eagle Point won.
Eagle Point beat Ashland 79-69, Tuesday at Mountain Avenue Gym.
With the loss, the Grizzlies fell to 3-10 overall and 0-3 in the MWL. Eagle Point improved to 6-4 and 2-1.
Malik Pippa led Ashland with 21 points.