Behind 35 points from Abby Cochenour, the Eastern Lady Eagles opened up the 2021-2022 basketball season with a road win over the Piketon Lady Redstreaks Monday evening. In a back-and-forth game, the Eagles defeated the Redstreaks 62-55.

“Coming in, everybody has their opener and (they are) guessing and trying to figure out rotations to figure out what defense works best and what offense will work. I coached against Piketon several years ago when I was at Eastern before, and it’s the same scrappy Piketon. It’s always been that way, and we just have to take care of the basketball and rebound,” said Eastern coach Darren King. “I told the girls when basketball started that if we take care of the little things, big things happen, so we’re trying to take care of those little things first.”

It was a fast paced start to the game, as Eastern held an early 10-8 advantage with 4:59 in the opening quarter. Both teams continued to trade baskets as it would be tied 15-15 after the first quarter.

Piketon took a 17-15 lead early in the second quarter, before Cochenour scored seven straight points to give the Eagles a 25-17 lead with 4:14 in the half. Piketon then cut the lead to 25-22 with 2:21 left in the second quarter before they took a 26-25 lead with just under a minute to play in the half. Madison Shuler scored just before the buzzer to give the Eagles a 27-26 halftime lead.

“Everyone knows she’s (Cochenour’s) the core that will make us go, but we’re trying to get that distributed to a couple of others on the team. As long as we can do that, it’s only going to help her (Abby Cochenour) and us out. It’s nice to have somebody like her,” said King.

With 2:39 in the third quarter, the Redstreaks took a 36-34 lead after a trifecta from Jazzlyn Lamerson. Eastern then retook the lead 37-36, as the game headed to the fourth quarter.

After Piketon tied the game 40-40 with just over six minutes left to play in the game, Cochenour then connected on a triple to give Eastern a 43-40 lead with 6:07 left to play. The Eagles then built the lead to 49-44 with 3:40 to play in the game. Eastern then took a 57-50 lead with 1:43 left after a steal and bucket. Piketon’s Ali Taylor then cut the lead to five 58-53 with 27.9 left, as she connected on a three. Cochenour then scored her final points of the night as she hit a pair of free throws, and the Eagles went on to win 62-55.

“I play three freshmen, two sophomores and a junior, so especially (for) the freshman and sophomores, it’s kind of a wake up call for them. They haven’t played at this level yet, and I think once we get going into the season we’ll be okay,” King mentioned about the excitement of coming into the first game.

Abby Cochenour led the Eagles with 35 points, 6 rebounds and 6 steals. Addison Cochenour finished with a double-double scoring 15 points along with 12 rebounds. Cylie Weaver scored 5 points, along with 4 boards, while Madison Shuler finished with 4 points.

For the Redstreaks, Jazzlyn Lamerson led them with 16 points, 5 rebounds and 4 steals. Natalie Cooper scored 12 points along with 6 boards, while Kennedy Jenkins scored 11. Addison Johnson scored 7 points.

Eastern was 22-of-42 shooting, while Piketon finished 24-of-45. The Eagles were 7-of-15 from the 3-point arc, while Piketon was 3-of-10. Piketon won the turnover battle 20-18. Eastern was 11-of-20 from the line, while Piketon was 7-of-12. Eastern had 29 rebounds with 14 being offensive, while Piketon had 24 with 9 being offensive.

Eastern will be back in action on Saturday when they host Galla Academy while Piketon looks to bounce back next Thursday when they open up Scioto Valley Conference play against Southeastern.

“We have a game Saturday against Gallipolis. I don’t know anything about them. I knew a little about Piketon and some of the kids that were here last year,” said King. “We just have to continue to get better at the little things. We need to work on our offense and need for it to run a little bit smoother and get more rebounds. We gave up too many offensive rebounds tonight. Hopefully we’ll build from that and go on.”

EHS — 15 12 10 25 — 62

PHS — 15 11 10 19 — 55

EASTERN (62) — Cylie Weaver 1 0 3-7 5, Kelsey Helphenstine 0 0 1-2 1, Addison Cochenour 5 1 2-3 15, Lydia Park 1 0 0-0 2, Payton Hardin 0 0 0-0 0, Gracie Fox 0 0 0-0 0, Abby Cochenour 6 6 5-7 35, Madison Shuler 2 0 0-0 4, TOTALS 15 7 11-19 62.

PIKETON (55) — Kennedy Jenkins 4 1 0-0 11, Savannah McNelly 1 0 1-2 3, Addison Johnson 3 0 1-2 7, Jazz Lamerson 6 1 1-2 16, Natalie Cooper 4 0 4-4 12, Ali Taylor 0 1 0-0 3, Abrial Johnson 0 0 0-0 0, Izzy Dean 0 1 0-0 3, Laney Brown 0 0 0-0 0, TOTALS 18 4 7-12 55.

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