EAGLE POINT — The Grizzlies got their second-half mojo back.
Trailing by five points at halftime, the Ashland High girls basketball team used a huge second-half effort to claim a 51-43 against Eagle Point and snap its four-game losing skid in Midwestern League action on Tuesday night.
“We got back to what we were doing earlier in the year — especially in the second half. We needed to play some better defense — and we did that,” Ashland head coach Antione Perry said. “That’s the huge thing and a big relief for us. Just to be able to play the way we did, not get down after we feel behind and then come back was big. I know we’ve got some tough games coming up here, but we’re not backing away from any of those games.”
Perry said back in December before league play started that the goal was to get at least one league win and go from there.
Now the Grizzlies, who lost 60-56 in overtime to Eagle Point on Dec. 18, have two league wins under their belt.
Ashland (6-10 overall, 2-7 MWL) is on the road again Friday night when it faces Churchill (13-3, 9-1) in Eugene.
“We’re shooting for more,” Perry said with a laugh.
Ashland sophomore wing Jayd Sollinger scored 15 of her game-high 21 points in the second half, while junior point guard Nina Munson did a little bit of everything to lead the Grizzlies’ comeback.
Munson, who had six points in the win, dished out six assists and pulled down eight rebounds.
“Nina only had six points, but she had one of her best games of the year,” Perry said. “She really controlled the game and gave everybody else confidence. Jayd’s going to catch and shoot and with her height she’s going to be able to shoot over a lot of players who are guarding her, but it’s definitely Nina that’s going to drive the thing for us.”
Ashland trailed 21-16 going into the half as Eagle Point’s Teya Amidei hit two 3-pointers right before halftime to spark a quick 8-0 Eagles run.
But then the Grizzlies got back to their strong second-half ways.
Ashland outscored Eagle Point (8-9, 4-6) 16-14 in the third quarter to make it a one-possession game, then held the Eagles to just eight points in the final period to pull away.
Sollinger was the lone Grizzly in double figures, but junior post Ashlyn Baldwin added eight points.
Eagle Point’s Kelsi Monroe and Andrea Flores both finished with a team-high 11 points, while Amidei — who hit all three of the Eagles’ 3-pointers — had nine points.
“Some of the teams we’ve been playing lately have been playing well,” Perry said in regard to his team’s recent second-half struggles. “We’re obviously young, but I think we hit a little bit of a wall and us as coaches had to find ways to motivate them where we still have good practices but get them some rest as well. The girls, they just stepped up, and I think getting a taste of winning (earlier in the season) helped that and they were just tried of losing.”
ASHLAND (51): Wilson 5, Sollinger 21, Barnes 2, Moran 0, Baldwin 8, Larson 4, Munson 6, Abel 5. Totals: 22 5-12 51.
EAGLE POINT (42): Shelton 4, Hogan 2, Monroe 11, Flores 11, Amidei 9, Burgess 4, Swanson 0, Lawler 0, Sather 2. Totals: 15 9-12 42.
Eagle Point912148— 42
3-point goals — Ashland 2 (Wilson 1, Sollinger 1), Eagle Point 3 (Amidei 3).
JV result — Ashland won.
ASHLAND 67, EAGLE POINT 40: At Eagle Point, Lowell Saulsbury scored all of his game-high 15 points from behind the 3-point line as Ashland was able to snap a six-game losing streak with a win over Eagle Point.
Saulsbury hit five of the Grizzlies’ nine 3-pointers in the game. KJ Pippa, playing in his second game back from injury, finished with 13 points.
Gabe Ekwall and Nate Desmond both added nine points in the win.
Ashland (6-10, 2-7) led virtually the entire way, including a 20-4 advantage of Eagle Point after the first quarter.
Hayden Neyt also scored a game-high 15 points in a losing effort for Eagle Point (2-15, 0-10), which finished 22-for-27 from the free throw line.
Ashland is on the road again Friday night, traveling to Eugene to face MWL-leading and No. 1-ranked Churchill (15-3, 10-0).
ASHLAND (67): Pippa 13, Smith 5, Wallner-Sentle 2, Ekwall 9, Hanks 0, Sanford 2, Saulsbury 15, Swanson 4, Carter 0, Desmond 9, Barnes 3, Harris 2, Lapierre 2. Totals: 21 9-11 67.
EAGLE POINT (40): Judd 6, McHugh 2, Kendrick 2, Shaffer 0, Neyt 15, Gelbrich 2, Esquibel 11, Rodriguez 0, Aguillar 0, Gorman 0. Totals: 8 22-27 40.
Eagle Point412814— 40
3-point goals — Ashland 9 (Smith 1, Ekwall 1, Saulsbury 5, Desmond 1, Barnes 1), Eagle Point 1 (Judd 1).
Contact Danny Penza at 541-776-4483 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @penzatopaper.