EDDYVILLE – Even at 0-3, Tony Fenton knew he had a team capable of success.
Eight games later, the results are starting to speak for themselves for the Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont girls basketball team.
The Rockets completed a regular-season sweep of South Central Conference rival Albia on Tuesday night, rolling to a 59-30 win over the Lady Dees. EBF’s first win of the season came earlier this year to the Lady Dees, a 54-39 road triumph that helped the Rockets rebound from losses to Lynnville-Sully, Pleasantville and Washington to open the year.
Now, EBF has won seven of eight including five wins in SCC play. The standings on the board inside EBF’s gymnasium tell the story with the Rockets name right behind Knoxville’s in the conference standings.
“That’s our goal. It’s been our goal all season,” EBF senior Madysen Wade said. “We keep our expectations pretty high. One of our main goals is to win at least a share of the conference championship. If we keep putting in the same work as we have before and keep listening to our coaches, I think we can achieve that goal.”
EBF (7-4, 5-1 SCC) made life difficult for the Lady Dees on both ends of the court. Defensively, the Rockets challenged every shot and every pass forcing Albia into 30 turnovers with 18 steals that led to several easy transition baskets.
“We’ve really worked on man-to-man defenses. We’ve been putting in extra work, even on our off days. It’s brought us closer together as a team,” Wade said.
Wade led the Rockets with 12 points in the win. Four EBF players reached double figures with Brooke Shafer missing a shot in the final two minutes that would have given the Rockets five players with over 10 points on Tuesday.
“This is pretty much a team effort right now,” Fenton said. “Even when our top scorers aren’t scoring, it seems like we have some one else that picks us up.”
Grace Roberts capped an 11-point night with a corner 3-pointer before checking out midway through the fourth quarter. Rylee German and Emalee Davis each had 10. German came up one rebound short of a double-double while Davis led all players with seven assists and three steals.
“Our kids are playing with a lot of confidence. They really believe in each other,” Fenton said. “They don’t care who is on the court. They’re sharing the basketball. That really allowed us to get the ball down the court from one side to the other tonight and allowed us to get a lot of open looks.”
Albia (2-6, 0-5 SCC) could not build off a thrilling 51-46 overtime win over Pleasantville to open 2020 last week. Sophie Waber led the Lady Dees with eight points in the loss.
Albia is scheduled to host Chariton on Thursday night while, weather permitting, EBF is scheduled to host Davis County on Friday. The win keeps the Rockets within one game of Knoxville. The two teams play on Jan. 28 in Knoxville.
Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont 59, Albia 30
Albia (30) — Sophie Waber 8, Halle Hindman 6, Ayana Thomas 6, Ericka Archibald 4, Jenny Kelley 4, Lauren Kaldenberg 1, Danica Workman 1. Totals 11-61 8-16 30.
3-point goals — 0-12. Fouled out — none. Rebounds — 55 (Thomas 13). Assists — 5 (Archibald 3). Steals — 8 (Thomas 2). Blocks — 3 (Paige Kidney, Abigail Martin, Waber). Total fouls — 16. Turnovers — 30.
EBF (59) — Madysen Wade 12, Grace Roberts 11, Emalee Davis 10, Rylee German 10, Brooke Shafer 9, Lillie Hynick 3, Eleanor Breon 2, Whitney Klyn 2. Totals 23-46 8-21 59.
3-point goals — 5-14 (Wade 2-8). Fouled out — Davis. Rebounds — 31 (German 9). Assists — 18 (Davis 7). Steals — 18 (Hynick 5). Blocks — 8 (German 5). Total fouls — 15. Turnovers — 20.
Halftime: EBF 36-11