ALBIA — It wasn't so much an introduction as much as a welcome back on Friday night.

"It's conference play," Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont head girls basketball coach Tony Fenton said. "Everybody knows everybody."

After a sluggish first quarter, both EBF and Albia found their rhythm during the second quarter of Friday's South Central Conference opener. It was a quarter of play that would prove to be the turning point for the unbeaten Rockets, who improved to 4-0 on the season thanks to 11 consecutive points that helped EBF pull away for a 49-32 win over the Lady Dees.

Freshman Ava Eastlick hit a 3-pointer and a lay-up for five of her team-leading 16 points in the first half, helping spark the Rockets to a 17-6 edge in the second quarter. Eastlick and Whitney Klyn each hit a 3-pointer under two minutes left in the first half, helping EBF open a 26-12 halftime lead.

"We expected them (EBF) to be able to score and rebound," noted Albia's head coach Katy Dykes.

The Lady Dees would find the third quarter more to their liking, playing even basketball with Rockets. Ayana Thomas would notch seven of the 11 points for Albia during the period.

Albia got as close as 10 early in the fourth quarter after scoring the first four points of the final eight minutes. EBF countered, however, with a seven-point scoring binge including a fourth made 3-pointer by Eastlick to help the Rockets put the opening SCC win away.

Thomas led the Lady Dees in scoring with 12 points, followed by Sophie Waber with six. Aliya Meyers and Juliana Brown each scored four points for Albia.

Klyn would put together a complete game for EBF with five blocks, six assists and seven points. While Albia (1-3, 0-1 SCC) travels to Chariton on Tuesday, EBF (4-0, 1-0) will be in Bloomfield facing another tough conference road test at Davis County.

"Davis County will be strong," noted Fenton. "They are one of the teams picked to win the conference."


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