A decisive second quarter carried Normal West High School's girls basketball team to a 61-46 victory over Champaign Centennial Saturday in a Big 12 Conference game at Champaign.
West, which improved to 3-6 overall and 2-3 in the Big 12, was led by Kayla Braffet's 12 points, four steals and three assists. Lindsey Hinshaw added 12 points for the Wildcats, while Michelle Henderson had 10 points.
The Wildcats outscored Centennial 24-5 in the second quarter to take a 34-19 lead and was never threatened in the second half.
Centennial (1-7, 1-3) was paced by Rachel Follmer's 20 points.
"Kayla Braffet did a great job against Follmer, holding her to three points in the second quarter," said West coach Steve Price. "As a team we limited them to five points. That was our big turnaround there."
Cymone Allen led the Wildcats with six rebounds as West earned a 34-22 advantage on the boards. Jessica Benchley had three steals. West shot 49 percent from the field (25 of 51) and held Centennial to 36.6 percent (15 of 41).
BHS 45, Danville 42
A strong defensive effort carried Bloomington to a Big 12 victory at Danville.
"They were getting a lot of open looks in the first half," said BHS coach Sondra Vogel. "We came out in a 1-2-2 zone in the second half and that really snatched up their shooters and put pressure on them."
Senior Beth Current had a double-double scoring 14 points and grabbing 10 rebounds for the Raiders (4-4, 4-0), who found themselves tied 26-26 at halftime. Current also added three steals for BHS.
With under two minutes remaining, the Raiders pulled ahead by five and kept Danville at bay the rest of the way for the victory.
"Our zone was the key to our victory" said Vogel.
Kelly Carter scored 14 points and Kristin Petrinec added nine points and seven blocks for BHS.
Normal Community 41, Mattoon 24
Normal Community coach David Feeney described his team's home victory over Big 12 Conference foe Mattoon his teams best game this year, and not just because they won.
"Our energy was there from the beginning," Feeney said. "I thought our team had a passion. They had some tall players, so we needed that."
NCHS (4-5, 3-1) led 13-5 at the end of the first quarter and never trailed. Emily Hanley had 17 points, seven rebounds and six steals to pace the Ironmen. Renna Berry added eight points and NCHS swiped 17 steals against the Green Wave (3-4).
"I think this could be a turning point game," Feeney said. "We'll have to have win a couple more games."
Central Catholic 53, Midwest Central 51
Jessi Kohn scored 18 points to lead Central Catholic (7-2) to a nonconference victory over Midwest Central (7-3) at Manito.
Stacey Miller added 10 points for the Saints, while Colleen Sprague contributed eight points and nine rebounds. Jackie Atkins chipped in eight assists, while Kohn and Miller each had three steals.
"We came out and gave them a little pressure. They had a lot of good 3-point shooters," said Central Catholic coach Debbie Coffman. "Our defense did a nice job. Our whole team contributed today, which was great. We kind of had an inside-outside game."
Piasa 47, University High 40
Unbeaten Piasa Southwestern (9-0) raced to an 18-4 first-quarter lead and held off a second-half U High rally to post the win in the Riverton Shootout.
U High (5-3) trailed 29-15 at halftime before outscoring Piasa Southwestern 25-18 in the second half. Alisa Ndorongo led the Pioneers with 14 points. Tonya Brown grabbed seven rebounds and Laura Bullinger had six as U High built a 28-18 edge on the boards. The Pioneers shot a chilly 28 percent (13 of 46) from the field.
"We came out very sluggish and could not get anything going on either end of the court," said U High coach Bob Morris. "I was proud of the way our girls came back in the second half, but it was too little, too late."
Melissa Gray had a game-high 16 points for Piasa Southwestern, and Danielle Wooley added 13.
"They were a very disciplined team that deserves to be 9-0," Morris said.