Line not kind to TC

PEMBERVILLE – Eastwood had its first win of the season all lined up.

Foul shots were the biggest difference in Monday’s game, as Eastwood made 19 of 25 attempts. Columbian went 6 of 19.

Using that advantage, the Eagles were able to hold off the winless Tornadoes, 43-38.

“Free throws killed us tonight; we left way too many points on the free throw line,” said Columbian coach Katie Fazekas, whose team fell to 0-10. “We do the work to get to the free throw line, and we don’t capitalize on it. Good teams make free throws, and tonight, we didn’t do it.”

Eastwood did, and its work at the stripe accounted for all of its 13 fourth-quarter points, holding off a TC squad that was able to get within two points in the final period.

Free throw shooting was not a strength of the Eagles in Friday night’s loss to Lakota, where they went 12 of 28, but coach Lindsay Ross said it was a focus of her team coming in.

“We did stress about our free throws, because the last game we were 43 percent from the line, and tonight we were 76,” Ross said. “So that’s something that we really focused on in practice, and told them that you’ve got to have confidence when you step up to the line.”

It was not only Eastwood’s first win of the season, but also Ross’ first as a varsity coach.

“After all this hard work that the girls have been doing, putting in the time and effort, we finally pulled out a win,” she said. “They deserve it.”

The Eagles (1-9) were led by Mackenzie Albright’s 15 points, Emily Hayward’s 10 points (8 of which came at the foul line) and Aubrey Peters’ 13 rebounds.

Columbian was led – again – by Valesha Province. Coming off Saturday’s 36-point effort against Shelby, Province made four 3s and finished with a game-high 22 points, most of it coming against heavy defensive pressure.

“They were all over her like a wet blanket,” Fazekas said. “Which is going to be the norm. People are going to be all over her.”

The Tornadoes trailed 23-16 at the half, with Province accounting for 14 of those points. After being down by as many as 11 in the third quarter, they rallied, using a 7-0 run to get within 27-24 after a Mackenzie Zimmerman jumper.

Zimmerman got the Tornadoes within 34-32 after a beautiful spinning jumper with 3:04 left in regulation, but that was as close as TC got.

Zimmerman had eight points, with Laura Heminger adding seven and a game-best 13 rebounds.

“We can’t get over the hump right now,” Fazekas said. “They fight; the kids work hard, I’ll credit them that they keep working, but winning is an attitude, and right now we don’t have it. We don’t know how to win yet. We’re going to have to learn.”