GALION — On Friday night the girls’ high school basketball season kicked off in the area. Galion started the Carson Early era off with a 31-22 victory over Crestline.
“It’s just exciting,” said an emotional Carson Early following his first career win “(I’ve) been here with the program for 11 years, so It just gets emotional to see the girls have fun and come out and play hard.”
Sophomore Cameron Eckert was the high-scoring player for Galion with 12 points.
“She’s (Eckert) one of our two returning letters from last year. She’s one of the ones I had a talk with during the off-season, I said ‘hey you’re going to have to help us lead this team’,” Early explained.
Fellow sophomore Audrey Glew added 10 points.
Kennedi Sipes paced the Bulldogs with 14 points to lead all scorers.
The first quarter started with a slow pace as both teams settled into their first game. After a quarter, the Lady Tigers led Crestline 7-2.
Both teams picked up the pace after the first eight minutes. Sipes was able to get the Bulldogs going as she poured in eight of her 10 first-half points in the period. Galion had an answer in the form of Cameron Eckert. The sophomore hit a pair of triples to propel a Galion run in the final moments of the second quarter.
Galion came out in the third quarter and extended their lead, outscoring Crestline 11-6 during those eight minutes. Glew pitched in five points and was physical on the boards to help out the Lady Tigers. Galion led 29-17 after three-quarters of basketball.
“I thought we played good D tonight, it took us a little bit to get our shooting going. It definitely took us awhile to get our shots going,” Early said.
Crestline had one last punch for Galion, but the Lady Tigers held tough. The Lady Tigers scored just two points in the final quarter. Crestline got a three-pointer from Kori Nechouski, but missed five free throws in the final eight minutes.
Overall, Crestline made just 6-of-19 free throws on the night. Galion was successful on 6-of-11 of there’s.
Galion held Sipes to just four points outside of the second quarter and that was the difference in this one. The Lady Tigers found an adjustment that worked and did not look back. Dezi Lester stood out on the defensive end for the Lady Tigers.
“I think our girls played really good on defense,” Early explained. “We changed stuff up and kind of face-guarded Sipes there, she was hurting us there in the first half.”
Galion freshman Bianca White pitched in four points. Brooklyn Gregory added five points for Crestline.
The Lady Tigers will be back in action on Tuesday at Mt. Gilead. After that Galion won’t play again until Dec. 1 at Marion Harding to open up Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference play.
Crestline will play at East Knox on Tuesday.