Eagles bounce back in a big way

Noah Cloonan

After loosing their first game of the season on Thursday the Ashland Eagles (22-1, 16-1) came out with a vengeance and cruised to a 78-50 victory over the Malone Pioneers (6-16, 3-14).

The Pioneers got on the board first with a free throw by Tara Schaffter, but Ashland responded with an 8-0 run and never looked back. It took a while for the Eagles to get rolling connecting on only 2 of their first 6 shots, but they soon found their groove and took Malone for a wild ride.

A 7-0 run by the Eagles, featuring two Mckenzie Miller three-pointers, extended the lead to 21-5. The Eagles played suffocating defense, holding Malone to just 1-11 from the field to start the game.

After a Pioneer basket, the Eagles went on another 6-0 to extend the lead to 31-7. The Eagles shot almost 53 percent in the first half and held a 45-17 advantage going into the locker room.

Malone came out in the second half and played better basketball than they did in the first half. They traded buckets with the Eagles and closed the gap to 21. The Eagles never let the Pioneers get any closer and closed out the game strong en route to a 78-50 victory.

Sophomores, Andi Daugherty, Laina Snyder, and Julie Worley led the Eagles in the victory. The trio combined to score 37 points, 23 rebounds, and dished out eight assists. Worley was the game high scorer with 15 off the bench.

“Julie’s been a great spark for us all year off the bench,” said head coach Robyn Fralick.

Miller stayed hot from beyond the arc going 3-3 and chipping in 11 points. Snyder had a game high 11 rebounds and now has over 500 rebounds in her collegiate career.

“I’m one of the ones that gives up the most offensive rebounds,” said Snyder, “I took that personally.

This increased effort helped her to achieve this milestone and helped her team to improve to 22-1 on the season.

“Fun is a byproduct of effort,” said Snyder, “We just had unbelievably more effort today than we had previously.”

For Fralick, the game on Thursday marked her first loss as a collegiate head coach, but the loss did not faze her.

“I think that you get all kinds of refocuses in a season,” said Fralick. “It can be from a loss and it can be from a win, but clearly that was a good re-focuser.”

The Eagles now have a home win streak of 23 games and are very tough to beat in Kate’s Gymnasium.

“We love playing at Kate’s,” said Fralick. “Home is our sacred space.”

The Eagles have three more games at home this season including a rivalry game next Thursday against Findlay (14-9, 9-8).