ASHLAND — A lengthy losing streak nearly came to an end at Mountain Avenue Gym on Tuesday night.
However, after staying with Eagle Point for three quarters, the Ashland girls basketball team couldn't keep things within reach down the stretch.
After trailing by five points at both halftime and after three quarters, Ashland saw Eagle Point pull away late and claim a 60-48 win in Midwestern League action.
"We started the fourth quarter off pretty bad and gave up eight points straight, so that really set the tone," Ashland head coach Antione Perry said. "It was a close game and to do that, it put us behind there. The girls still played hard, and we’re getting better each and every week."
The Grizzlies (3-18 overall, 0-11 MWL) trailed 25-20 at the break and 42-37 at the end of the third quarter. The Eagles (10-12, 4-7) closed the game with a strong fourth quarter, outscoring the Grizzlies 18-11 in the period, to push their lead into double digits and get some much-desired breathing room.
Eagle Point, which had previously lost four of its last five games entering Tuesday night's trip to Ashland, was led offensively by senior post Carlene Hart, who scored a game-high 23 points in the win. Follow senior post Ashli Meerten had 14, while junior forward Alexa Burgess had eight.
Freshman wing Jayde Sollinger scored a team-high 13 points for Ashland in the loss. Senior guard Mya Elder-Hammond added 12 points, while sophomore Vita Witnauer and freshman Kendyl Abel had eight and seven points, respectively.
Ashland plays its final road game of the season on Friday night when it faces North Eugene at 7 p.m.
"The wins aren’t there and that gets frustrating, but the girls realize we need to play a complete four quarters," Perry said. "Tonight was probably the closest we’ve been to doing that. Even Friday night (against Springfield) we had one bad quarter, but the girls are taking that with them out there and getting better."
EAGLE POINT (60): Hogan 5, Flores 0, Burgess 8, Swanson 0, Rincones 5, Lawler 5, Meerten 14, Hart 23. Totals: 28 3-11 60.
ASHLAND (48): Altig 0, Voskes 3, Sollinger 13, Barnes 0, Gorringe 1, LaCoste 0, Munson 4, Elder-Hammond 12, Witnauer 8, Abel 7. Totals: 17 9-16 48.
3-point goals — Eagle Point 1 (Lawler), Ashland 4 (Sollinger 3, Voskes 1). Fouled out — Meerten.
JV score — Eagle Point 44, Ashland 31.
ASHLAND 69, EAGLE POINT 57: The trio of KJ Pippa, Anthony Swanson and Gabe Ekwall combined for 54 points to lead Ashland to a win over Eagle Point at Mountain Avenue Gym that snapped the Grizzlies' six-game losing skid on Tuesday night.
Ashland (6-15, 2-9), which went nearly a month between wins, used a big second half to claim the comeback victory. The Grizzlies, who trailed 26-23 at the half, outscored the Eagles 46-31 after the break to get the win.
Pippa finished with a game-high 19 points, while Ekwall had 18 and Swanson added 17 before fouling out in the fourth quarter.
Eagle Point (3-18, 2-9) got a team-high 16 points from Levi Scott, who hit three of his team's five 3-pointers in the game. Dennen Adams added 13 points, while Hayden Neyt had 10.
Ashland plays its final road game of the regular season at 5:30 p.m. on Friday night at North Eugene. The Grizzlies' only other MWL win this season came against the Highlanders in Ashland on Jan. 19.
EAGLE POINT (57): Adams 13, Z. Scott 9, Judd 2, L. Scott 16, Neyt 10, Hoopes Jr. 0, Vance 6, Gelbrich 3, Gorman 0. Totals: 21 12-16 57.
ASHLAND (69): Pippa 19, Swanson 17, Wallner-Sentle 6, Ekwall 18, A. Jones 6, Shibley 0, Desmond 2, Saulsbury 0. Totals: 25 13-23 69.
3-point goals — Eagle Point 5 (Adams 1, Z. Scott 1, L. Scott 3), Ashland 5 (Swanson 1, Wallner-Sentle 1, Ekwall 1, A. Jones 2). Fouled out — Swanson. Technical foul — Gelbrich.
JV score — Ashland 61, Eagle Point 38.
Danny Penza is the sports editor for the Ashland Daily Tidings. Reach him at 541-776-4483 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @penzatopaper.