Twenty first-half turnovers buried a young Eastern boys basketball team against an experienced and balanced Frankton squad as the Green and Gold fell 83-44 in Comet coach Mike Springer’s debut Wednesday night.
“They really came out and jumped us,” Springer said. “We’ve got to learn to play at a higher intensity level and at the same time, be able to play a smart basketball game.
“It’s going to be a growing experience for us,” Springer added. “I told the kids after the game, I’m going to get better, they’re going to get better…we’re going to continue working to make ourselves the best team we can.”
Braden Gibson scored 19 points to lead Eastern. Junior Noah Cope hit 3 of 5 3-pointers and finished with 11 points, while sophomore Jacob Kinder chipped in nine points and a team-high six rebounds in his first varsity start.
Gibson, the Comets lone senior, was surrounded by two juniors and two sophomores to round out the starting five of an inexperienced Eastern squad that finished the game with 32 miscues.
“We’re young, but we will learn from this game and play better in the future,” Springer said. “Everyone did some positive things, but part of the problem was [Frankton] is a really good team. [Frankton has] good quickness, good size, good shooters.
“There was a point where it was about a 12-point game in the second quarter and we were just on the edge of getting back in it, but we’re just not mature enough yet to do that."
The Eagles used a 16-4 run to go up 20-7 before Cope’s buzzer-beating trey made it a 10-point game, 20-10, at the first stop.
Gibson’s pair of free throws to make it 26-14 with 5:07 to play in the first half made the score as close as the Comets would get as the Eagles pulled away over the remainder of the period to go up 40-23 at the half.
The Eagles outscored Eastern 18-6 in the third period, essentially putting the game on ice with a 58-29 cushion heading into the final frame.
“We were battling, battling, battling, and then we came out really flat to start the second half and they really just picked it up to kickstart a run,” Springer said.
Junior All-Star Aaron Korn led the Eagles with 24 points. The senior also pulled down a team-high nine rebounds. The Eagles' balanced scoring attack saw all 12 players who took the floor put points on the board.