Blair Oaks tops Eldon

In girls basketball

Sara Jones of Blair Oaks looks to pass the ball to a teammate during Thursday night’s game against the Eldon Lady Mustangs in Wardsville.

Sara Jones of Blair Oaks looks to pass the ball to a teammate during Thursday night’s game against the Eldon Lady Mustangs in Wardsville. Katie Alaimo

WARDSVILLE, Mo. — Blair Oaks senior LeeAnn Polowy put together another dominant performance.

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Josh Hall reports

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But she wasn’t the only one who was a difference maker for the Lady Falcons.

Blair Oaks placed three players in double figures and forced 22 turnovers to claim a 63-45 victory against Eldon in a Tri-County Conference matchup Thursday night.

“Overall, it was a good team effort,” Blair Oaks coach Leroy Bernskoetter said. “Defensively, they did a really nice job. We got a lot of transition buckets from our defense, which was great to see.”

Polowy scored a game-high 23 points to lead Blair Oaks, which was 23-of-61 (37 percent) from the field. But the Missouri State signee had some help.

Sara Jones finished with 12 points after going 4-of-5 from behind the arc, while Lauren Viessman added 10 and Chelsi Emerson chipped in with eight to help pace the Lady Falcons, to remain the only unbeaten team in the conference.

“That’s some of our leaders stepping up there,” Bernskoetter said. “They knew it was a conference game and we talked about just relaxing, coming out and focusing.”

Blair Oaks (15-7, 5-0) set the tone from the opening tip and never let up.

The Lady Falcons jumped out to an eight-point lead, but Taylor Pehle capped off a 8-0 Eldon run with a three-point play to cut the Lady Mustangs’ deficit to one with 4:30 remaining in the first quarter.

Blair Oaks responded in a big way.

Polowy and Viessman converted on back-to-back three-point plays and Robyn Schroeder followed with a jumper to cap an 11-0 run that gave Blair Oaks a 20-8 lead entering the second period.

Polowy scored 11 first-quarter points and the Lady Falcons’ defense forced nine turnovers to take control early.

“We did not shoot very well and we had too many turnovers,” Eldon coach Tony Pace said. “That was big. One of our keys to winning games, no matter who we play, is handling the ball. We didn’t handle it very well.”

Eldon (13-8, 2-2) was 16-of-39 (41 percent) from the field and 4-of-13 from behind the arc, but committed 22 turnovers — 18 in the first half.

“They did a great job taking advantage of those turnovers in the first half,” Pace said. “We had all kinds of other deficiencies, but that was the difference in the game.

“At this point in the season, we’ve had a few games where we’ve kind of tripped up a little bit and had a few turnovers. But nothing like we had tonight. Part of that was Blair Oaks, part of that was us.”

The Lady Falcons maintained at least a 10-point lead in the third quarter before taking a 34-20 advantage into the final period.

They didn’t stop there.

Blair Oaks opened the fourth quarter with a 12-2 run capped with a 3-pointer by Jones to give the Lady Falcons a 46-22 lead — their biggest of the night — with 5:15 left to play.

Becca Lasson, who led Eldon with 14 points, hit back-to-back treys in final three minutes to bring the Lady Mustangs within 18, but that’s as close as they would get.

Hannah Green and Pehle both finished with 10 points, while Treva Hankey chipped in with nine to lead Eldon, which claimed a 30-26 rebounding advantage.

“Eldon is a good ball club,” Bernskoetter said. “They’ve got some really good players, and tonight, I thought we did a nice job against them.”

Blair Oaks, which was limited to 13 turnovers, will host Versailles on Monday in another conference matchup.

The Blair Oaks junior varsity team claimed a 30-19 win against Eldon in the opener Thursday night.

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