Conference races starting to heat up

Conference races starting to heat up

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Conference races starting to heat up

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Conference standings are starting to take shape in both Indiana and Ohio high school girls basketball, though there’s plenty of basketball yet to play.

Eaton is 7-0 overall and 4-0 in the SWBL Southwestern Division — pretty good considering the Eagles own the only two victories over conference powerhouse Bellbrook in the last six years.

“Since fourth grade, we’ve always wanted to win the league title, so we’ve just got to win the rest of the league games, get another win against Bellbrook and we’ll be good,” said Michelle McKinney, one of three Eaton seniors.

Eaton will host non-conference foe Talawanda on Tuesday before traveling Thursday to Valley View, looking for a little redemption.

The Eagles finished second in the conference last year to Bellbrook, despite handing them their first conference defeat in five years.

Their second conference loss was last Thursday at Eaton, allowing the Eagles to remain perfect.

Eaton went 10-2, falling once to Bellbrook, and the other time to Valley View.

Bellbrook won the conference at 11-1.

However, the Eagles are looking past no one, coach Gary Peffly said.

“We’ve got Talwawanda and Valley View next week, and then we’ve got Richmond the week after that,” Peffly said following Saturday’s 64-14 win over Franklin.

“… We’re talking about three quality teams that we have to go out on the floor and play a good basketball game if we expect to be successful. If we don’t play good in those games, we’re not going to be successful. That’s what I’m looking for.”

In Tri-Eastern Conference action, Hagerstown, Union City and Tri High are 2-0, while Lincoln is 1-1.

That should change this week.

Seven TEC games are scheduled for this week, including tonight’s Winchester at Lincoln contest that was postponed from Saturday.

The Falcons won last year’s meeting 49-41, before going on to complete a 7-0 TEC championship.

Currently the Falcons are 1-2, and can ill-afford a loss. Neither can 0-2 teams Centerville and Union County.

Centerville plays host to Hagerstown Tuesday, while Wednesday features Northeastern at Union City and Tri at Union County.

Lincoln travels to Union City on Friday, while the week could potentially end with a match of undefeated teams.

Tri is at Hagerstown Saturday, while Union County is at Winchester.

“… We’ve got a huge game next Tuesday night with the Bulldogs coming to town, and it’s just absolutely enormous,” Hagerstown coach Chris Oliger said. “We’ll be prepared.”

Union County hasn’t won a TEC game in almost two years, but the improved Patriots have the tools, and the fight, to surprise teams.

They were seconds from handing Hagerstown a loss last Wednesday.

“They work hard for me,” Patriot coach Scott Gray said. “They work hard in practice, and they’re just now starting to grasp things on ‘This is how I have to play all the time. I can’t take possessions off.’

“…(If) we keep working hard, we’ll break through.”

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