Close games have become synonymous with the early weeks of the Ashland High girls basketball team’s 2018-19 season.
It was no different Tuesday night.
Ashland held a late-game lead but was unable to close things out, as Eagle Point was able to force overtime and then hold on for a 60-56 win over the Grizzlies in Midwestern League action at Mountain Avenue Gymnasium.
“We’re right there, but we need to get over that hump and figure it out,” Ashland head coach Antione Perry said in regard to his team’s ability to close out games. “It’s on us, and Eagle Point, we give them credit and they took it. We just need to figure out how to get over that hump.”
Ashland (3-4 overall, 0-2 MWL) — which hosts Churchill on Friday night — has lost its four games this season by an average of just 4.8 points per game, three of which determined by five points or less.
Eagle Point (4-2, 1-1) trailed by three points with a minute to go, but was able to tie the game with 20 seconds left in regulation off a missed free throw. Both the Grizzlies
Perry said the biggest difference down the stretch was not having point guard Nina Munson on the floor after she fouled out late in the fourth quarter.
“It took another ball handler off the floor,” Perry said.
Munson, who had 19 points in the game, was one of three Grizzlies to finish in double figures. Sophomore post Kendyl Abel was able to use her size advantage in the paint against smaller Eagle Point defenders and record a game-high 22 points, while fellow sophomore Jayd Sollinger added 13 points.
The trio of Munson, Abel and Sollinger combined to score all but two of the Grizzlies 56 points in the game.
Eagle Point senior guard Nicole Lawler scored a team-high 17 points and hit five of the Eagles’ seven 3-pointers in the game, four of which came in the first three quarters. Andrea Flores added 11 points, while Kelsi Monroe had 8 points in the win.
EAGLE POINT (60): Shelton 2, Hogan 7, Monroe 8, Flores 11, Amidei 4, Burgess 3, Swanson 8, Sked 0, Lawler 17, Sather 0. Totals: 23 7-11 60.
ASHLAND (56): Altig 0, Sollinger 13, Barnes 0, Larson 0, Munson 19, Witnauer 0, Rodriguez 2, Abel 22. Totals: 24 7-18 56.
Eagle Point191211810— 60
3-point goals — Eagle Point 7 (Hogan 1, Burgess 1, Lawler 5), Ashland 1 (Sollinger 1); Fouled out — Munson.
JV score — Ashland 32, Eagle Point 24.
ASHLAND 50, EAGLE POINT 29: At Ashland, senior guard KJ Pippa scored a game-high 26 points and hit a trio of 3-pointers as Ashland cruised to its first league win of the season by beating Eagle Point at Mountain Avenue Gymnasium.
Ashland (3-3, 1-1) held Eagle Point to 14 points in the first half, one of the Grizzlies’ best defensive efforts of the young season, according to head coach Sam Osofsky.
The Eagles (2-7, 0-2), who didn’t have a player finish in double figures, were led offensively by Tre McGarrell, who had six points in the loss.
Ashland hosts the lone unbeaten in the MWL so far this season, Churchill, on Friday night.
EAGLE POINT (29): McHugh 2, Kendrick 0, Chaparro 0, Shaffer 0, McGarrell 6, Gelbrich 3, Esquibel 2, Bradd 4, Rodriguez 0, Aguilar 0, Gorman .4 Totals: 12 2-3 29.
ASHLAND (50): Pippa 26, Wallner-Sentle 2, Ekwall 4, Hanks 0, Sanford 0, Saulsbury 6, Swenson 0, Sayre 0, Carter 2, Desmond 4, Barnes 0, Harris 0, Lapierre 6. Totals: 19 3-5 50.
Eagle Point21296— 29
3-point goals — Eagle Point 3 (McGarrell 2, Gelbrich 1), Ashland 7 (Pippa 3, Saulsbury 2, Lapierre 2).
Contact Danny Penza at 541-776-4483 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @penzatopaper.