SHERDIAN - Here's a simple fact about the game of basketball: You get more opportunities to take shots if you outrebound your opponent. When you take more shots, you have a higher probability of scoring.

The Class 2A Sheridan Blackhawks girls' basketball team just might have disproved that fact in their victory against the Eastern Comets 58-51 on Saturday night.

The Blackhawks (3-0) were outrebounded 35-16 to the much taller and more physical Comets (0-2) who had five players with at least five rebounds.

"We really struggled with their size," said Sheridan head coach Jeff Guenther. "Their kids are big, they're strong, they're physical, and they pushed us around."

While Eastern did overmatch the Blackhawks in the post, the difference in rebounding wasn't all due to being pushed around. Many times when a shot was taken the Sheridan players were either out of position or not boxing out.

The Blackhawks played a very good first quarter and were very aggressive with their on-the-ball defense. They came away with four steals in the quarter, but they only led to just four points.

The rebound differential was starting to grow in the first quarter, but it didn't really take its effect until the second quarter. The Blackhawks were struggling to attack Eastern's 2-3 zone and started to make some poor decisions passing the ball.

"We've really not been tested yet," said coach Guenther. "Everything we've done for the most part has been in transition, this is the first time anybody has sat back in a zone and made us work."

The Comets limited the Blackhawks to just three shot attempts in the second quarter and only allowed one second-chance opportunity. They went on a 10-0 run midway through the quarter to take their first lead. The Comets outscored the Blackhawks 14-3 in the quarter and Sheridan's only points came from the free-throw line.

Halftime breathed new life into the Blackhawks as they came out on a roll in the third quarter. They gave Eastern a quick basket but would score six unanswered points to tie the game up at 26.

The Blackhawks applied aggressive half court pressure to prevent the Comets from attempting shots and getting rebounds. The pressure caused the Comets to commit some costly turnovers and they led to easy layups for the Blackhawks.

"That was critical," said coach Guenther. "I was really proud of the kids for being able to make that adjustment from the chalkboard."

The adjustment certainly worked for the Blackhawks as they went 8-for-13 from the field. They were attacking the basket and were able to draw fouls, which put the Comets' forwards into some foul trouble.

Free throws were big in the second half for the Blackhawks as they went 12 of 18 from the line. It very well could have been a different outcome had the Blackhawks left more points at the line.

The Blackhawks were led by two of their youngest players in sophomore Brittany Welch and freshman Audrey Reed. The offense almost exclusively ran through those two players throughout the night. Putting the scoring load on two underclassman can sometimes be risky, but coach Guenther knows that they can handle it.

"They're both basketball players," he said. "Having a freshman and a sophomore (starting) guard is not an issue at all if they're players."

Welch finished with 30 points on the night and knocked down 11 big free throws in the second half to keep the Blackhawks on top. Reed finished the night with 11 points and put forth a great effort in her first home game.

The leading senior for Sheridan was Payton Fleener, who was near perfect from the floor. She went 5-for-6 shooting and made one free throw to give her 11 points on the night. She grabbed a couple of hard-fought rebounds in the second half and was aggressive on the defensive end for the Blackhawks.

The Blackhawks will put their undefeated record on the line as they travel to Lizton on Tuesday to they take on the Class 3A Tri-West Bruins (1-1) at 7:30 p.m.