TUPPERS PLAINS, Ohio — It was Jenna Burdette’s night, and she certainly didn’t disappoint the home crowd.
The Eastern junior poured in a game-high 32 points and became just the seventh female in school history to surpass the 1,000-point plateau Thursday evening during a 64-55 victory over visiting Warren in a non-conference matchup at the Eagle’s Nest in Meigs County.
Burdette — a two-time AP Division IV Southeast District Player of the Year — became the first Lady Eagle to ever reach quadruple digits as a junior, doing so on a successful trifecta from the left wing with 7:12 remaining in the second period.
That three-pointer broke a 15-all tie and gave EHS a lead it would never relinquish the rest of the night, and that history-making shot also sparked a 15-2 surge over the next four minutes — allowing Eastern to claim its biggest lead of the night at 30-17 with 3:10 left in the half.
The visiting Lady Warriors (5-6) pulled to within 35-27 at the break and also cut their deficit down to five points on three separate occasions in the second half, but ultimately never came closer than 60-55 with 31 seconds left in regulation.
Burdette — who has given a verbal commitment to the University of Dayton — started the night needing just nine markers to join Jessica Karr (1,224 points), Jessica Brannon (1,189), Valerie Karr (1,133), Morgan Weber (1,021), Erin Weber (1,013) and Kasey Turley (1,154) in the Lady Eagles’ 1,000-point club.
Burdette also moved ahead of the Weber sisters on Thursday night, as she currently sits fifth alltime with 1,023 points.
It was a joyous evening for the junior guard, who was just as pleased about the final outcome as she was her personal accomplishment.
“It’s an awesome feeling to accomplish this, but the fact that it comes in a victory is the most important part of all of it,” Burdette said. “I didn’t realize that my thousandth point started that big run in the second quarter, so that just makes it that much more special.
“It was a good win against a good opponent, and it definitely gives us some confidence and momentum headed into the second half of the season. It was just a good night, period.”
Burdette scored at least six points in each frame and had 23 points through three quarters of play, then made 9-of-10 free throws in the fourth to help EHS secure the nine-point decision.
The Lady Warriors managed to stay within striking distance by forcing 23 turnovers while committing only 14 mistakes themselves. Warren’s downfall, however, came from beyond the arc — as the guests netted just 1-of-20 attempts and also missed their final 14 tries over the final three-plus quarters of play.
It wasn’t a perfect victory, but EHS coach John Burdette was ultimately pleased with the final result against a significantly-bigger Division II program.
“I told the girls coming in that Warren had a good club and to be ready to play ball when the game tipped off,” the elder Burdette said. “We answered the bell from the start and kept after it, and we got another quality win. These are the games that we haven’t always had success with in the past, so this is a good boost for the girls.”
Eastern — which has now won five straight — suffered its only loss of the season on December 17 against visiting Jackson, another Division II program that plays in the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League.
The Lady Eagles jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, but a Mackenzie Ullman basket at the 1:03 mark capped a 15-10 run to give Warren its only lead of the night at 15-14. Savannah Hawley hit a free throw with nine seconds left to end the first quarter tied at 15-all.
After missing its first eight shots, Warren closed the second canto with a 10-5 surge to pull within eight points at the intermission. Eastern — which had 13 first half turnovers — outscored the guests by a 20-12 overall margin in the second canto.
The Lady Eagles managed only one more point than the guests in the second half. EHS used a 15-14 run to establish a 50-41 lead headed into the finale, then both team netted 14 points apiece down the stretch to wrap up the nine-point contest.
Eastern connected on 21-of-55 field goal attempts for 38 percent, including a 7-of-13 effort from three-point territory for 54 percent. The hosts were also 15-of-22 at the free throw line for 68 percent, including a 12-of-17 effort in the fourth stanza.
After Jenna Burdette, the Lady Eagles received 10 points from Maddie Rigsby and seven markers from Erin Swatzel. Jordan Parker added six points, while Savannah Hawley and Katie Keller each contributed four markers. Tori Goble also had one point for Eastern, which had all seven players reach the scoring column.
The Lady Warriors sank 18-of-64 shot attempts for 28 percent, which included a 2-of-14 effort from the field in the pivotal second frame. WHS was also 18-of-25 at the charity stripe for 72 percent.
Mackenzie Ullman paced Warren with 15 points, followed by Jordanna Rauch with 13 points and Victoria Buzzard with 11 markers. The guests had seven turnovers apiece in each half.
When asked about what it meant to him to see his daughter eclipse a career milestone, John Burdette could only smile and speak on behalf of the flock.
“I know none of these girls or myself will ever forget this night. As nice a night as this is for Jenna, there is not a better group of girls that you’d want around to be part of this,” the fifth-year frontman said. “These girls have been around together since kindergarten, so it’s more like family. It’s a special night for all of us.”