LEON – East Union (3-8) fell behind early against Central Decatur (7-4) Tuesday night, leading to a 56-20 loss to the Cardinals.
Central Decatur’s Lauren Martin knocked down a 3-pointer off East Union’s opening-possession turnover, setting the tone for the rest of the night.
East Union struggled with the Cardinal press, which forced seven turnovers in the first quarter. The Eagles looked to move the ball up the floor, but tipped passes led to easy opportunities for the Cardinals.
Grace Nixon was able to tie the game at three in the first few minutes off an offensive rebound and made shot under the goal. From there, Central Decatur went on a 10-2 run to end the quarter with three consecutive Eagle turnovers.
Kaylin Lack got to the line off a fast break, but the shooting woes continued for East Union. She missed both free throws as Martin knocked down another 3-pointer.
East Union went 8-for-19 from the free-throw line. Entering Tuesday, East Union shot 47.4% from the line.
Karah Kirkland was able to give the Eagles a boost with back-to-back shots early in the quarter, one coming off two offensive rebounds to cut Central Decatur’s lead to 18-9. East Union wasn’t able to capitalize on the momentum.
“When we played East Union the first time, had we not crashed the offensive glass, we would have lost that game,” Central Decatur head coach Frank Howell said.
The offense stalled against the Cardinals’ press. East Union didn’t connect on another shot until 1:23 in the third quarter. Central Decatur went on a 22-0 run to go up 40-9, where Kaitlyn Mitchell made the Eagles’ first shot in nearly an entire quarter.
“We stayed pretty sound defensively, so that prevented them from making a run on us,” Howell said.
Noelle McKnight ended the quarter with a free throw on the next possession, connecting on a shot to put East Union down 40-14.
Central Decatur continued to stretch the lead as the Eagles went to the free-throw line more often, scoring four points from the line in the fourth quarter.
East Union head coach Mike Cooley was unable to be reached.
UP NEXT – East Union travels to Nodaway Valley (10-0) Thursday. Tip off is set for 6 p.m.
Central Decatur 56, East Union 20
EAST UNION (20) — (FG FT PTS) Totals — 6 8-19 20. Noelle McKnight 1 6-8 8, Karah Kirkland 3 1-4 7, Kaitlyn Mitchell 1 0-0 2, Grae Nixon 1 0-0 2, Kaylin Lack 0 1-6 1. 3-point goals — 0. Team fouls — 8. Fouled out — None.
EAST UNION (56) — (FG FT PTS) Totals — 21 5-8 56. Lauren Martin 4 1-1 11, Lyndsey Dale 4 0-0 10, Hallee Hamilton 3 1-2 9,Eily Hall 3 0-0 6, River hamaker 2 2-4 6,Kylee Rockhold 1 0-0 3, Addie Graham 1 1-1 3, Aniston Jones 1 0-0 3. 3-point goals — 9 (Martin 2, Hamilton 2, Dale 2). Team fouls — 18. Fouled out — Hamaker.