JACKSONVILLE - Their 19th consecutive victory has placed Eureka into the Final Four. The Hornets tripped Pleasant Plains 54-47 in Monday's supersectional at Sherman Gymnasium on the Illinois College campus.
Tessa Leman poured in 29 points for the Hornets (28-3), who set a single season record for wins. Her three-point play midway through the third quarter put Eureka on top to stay at 32-29.
“She’s a tall guard. She’s going to give teams fits in the state finals,” commented Eureka coach Jerry Prina. “The nice thing with that is we have other scoring options if she needs to kick it out.”
Fellow senior Natalie Bardwell finished in double figures with 11 points.
PP (28-4), which saw an 11-game winning streak come to a close, was led by Caroline Jachino's 18 points. The Cardinals only have one senior on the entire roster and start four sophomores.
The Hornets advance to face Chicago Harlan (25-7) on Friday with a 5:30 p.m. tip from Redbird Arena on the Illinois State University campus in Normal. The Falcons, members of the Chicago Public League, eliminated Monticello 55-36 in the Pontiac Supersectional.
Notes: Monday was the one-year anniversary of the passing of Eureka graduate and longtime supporter Wendy Parsons due to pancreatic cancer. Behind 14 from Leman, the Hornets outrebounded the Cardinals 44-24 and converted 18 free throws to just four for PP. Eureka advanced to the state finals in the former two-class system in 1986 and again in '88. T. Leman's first basket of the second half gave the senior the distinction of being the all-time leading scorer, boy or girl, in school history. She passed 2009 graduate Jordan Prosser (1,737), who went on to play for Bradley. T. Leman sits with 1,755 points.
See article on Feb. 22 Woodford County Journal newsstands