Kristin Petrinec paced a balanced scoring attack with 15 points as the Bloomington High School girls basketball team clinched a share of the Big 12 Conference crown with a 53-39 victory over Decatur MacArthur in its final regular season game at Decatur Thursday.
"The girls are really excited," said BHS coach Sondra Vogel. "This is the first conference championship since the 1998-99 team."
BHS (16-8 overall) shares the Big 12 title with Champaign Central at 12-1.
BHS took control from the start, sprinting to a 15-7 first quarter advantage. The Raiders boosted the margin to 34-17 by halftime and never let MacArthur within 10 points in the second half.
"We talked to the girls about driving at the basket and getting to the free throw line, and they did a good job tonight," said Vogel, who saw her team attempt 18 free throws, making 13. "We played nine deep and we played solid defense."
Kelly Carter added 11 points, including three 3-pointers. Shelby Parker contributed nine points and three steals while Lovie McClom had seven points. Beth Current collected a game-high 11 rebounds to go with seven points for the Raiders.
NCHS 56, Urbana 43
Senior forward Emily Hanley recorded a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Ironmen as Normal Community defeated Urbana in a Big 12 game at Urbana.
The Ironmen won their 10th straight game to finish the regular season with a 16-10 overall record while going 11-2 in conference play. NCHS finished one game behind league co-champions Bloomington and Champaign Central for the conference title.
NCHS led 11-8 after one period before extending the lead to 24-16 at the half. Urbana rallied in the third quarter to pull within 36-30 heading to the final period before the Ironmen outscored the home team 20-13 in the fourth quarter to pull away.
"It was a very physical game, but I thought our kids showed a lot of toughness," NCHS coach Dave Feeney said. "I'm really proud of how hard our kids worked. We got some contributions from everybody."
Senior forward Krystal Gundy added 11 points for the Ironmen while freshman Kimmy Hassel and sophomore Hali Daniels finished with six points apiece.
Mahomet-Seymour 48, U High 39
Senior guard Hillary Hatfield scored 10 of her team-high 18 points in the fourth quarter as Mahomet-Seymour held off a University High rally to claim the Corn Belt Conference title outright with a victory over the Pioneers at Normal.
It was the regular season finale for both teams. Mahomet-Seymour finished at 20-6 overall and 12-2 in the league, one game ahead of second-place Pontiac. U High slipped to 15-11 and 10-4 in the Corn Belt.
"I tip my hat to Mahomet. They deserve it," said U High coach Bob Morris. "It was a very competitive game, and Mahomet played an outstanding game."
Mahomet-Seymour took control early, grabbing leads of 16-8 in the first quarter and 23-16 by halftime. The Bulldogs were held to two points in the third period as U High trimmed the margin to 25-24 heading into the fourth quarter.
Mahomet-Seymour took advantage of U High turnovers and made 15 of 20 free throw attempts in the final period to pull away. The Bulldogs outscored U High, 16-4, from the foul line overall.
"We showed our competitiveness when we got down early and then got back in the game," said Morris. "We committed a couple of costly turnovers in the fourth quarter and Mahomet capitalized on them. We had to play catch up after that and they made their free throws."
Alisa Ndorongo recorded a double-double for U High with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Natalie Larson had eight points while Danielle Fox handed out a team-high four assists.
Mahomet-Seymour also received 11 points from Kathleen Donoho.
Champaign Central 53, Normal West 36
Normal West kept it close for three quarters before Champaign Central pulled away in the fourth quarter as the Wildcats dropped their regular season finale in a Big 12 game at the West gymnasium.
The game was tied 13-all after one quarter before the Maroons took a 22-17 lead at the half. Champaign Central, which shared the Big 12 title with Bloomington at 12-1, led 38-30 heading to the fourth quarter and outscored the Wildcats 15-6 in the final period to secure the victory.
"I was pleased with the team in the first half," said West coach Steve Price. "We did a good job of handling their full court pressure and converted that into 10 points."
Sophomore Kayla Braffet scored 13 points to lead the Wildcats and added seven rebounds and three steals. Senior guard Allison Shelton had five points, five rebounds and two steals for West, while senior forward Michelle Henderson led the Wildcats on the boards with eight.
Allie Lindeman scored a game-high 28 points to lead Champaign Central.
"We tried to mix it up defensively on them, but Lindeman and Elam did a great job of moving the ball inside-out in the fourth quarter," Price added. "That hurt us in the second half."
Pontiac 47, Rantoul 30
Jackie Kelly scored 14 points and Erin Halloran added 12 to lead Pontiac (17-7, 11-3) to a regular season-ending victory in Corn Belt Conference action at Rantoul.
The win was the 13th in the last 14 games for Pontiac and secured a second-place finish in the conference, one game behind champion Mahomet-Seymour.
"I was really pleased with our play tonight," said Pontiac coach Gary Brunner. "Jackie Kelly, who is not normally a scorer, made some huge baskets. And our second team attacked Rantoul well."
Lincoln 79, Springfield Southeast 30
Senior guards Patty Carmitchel and Christine Presswood combined to score 55 points for the Railsplitters as Lincoln knocked off Springfield Southeast in a Central State Eight Conference game at Lincoln.
Carmitchel finished with a game-high 28 points, including a school record eight 3-point baskets, to help Lincoln finish the regular season at 13-13 overall and 5-9 in conference play.
Presswood added team-highs of six assists, five rebounds and three steals to go with her 27 points while Carmitchel also had four assists and three blocked shots. Presswood had 13 points from the free-throw line as Lincoln outscored Southeast, 18-0, from the line.
Shanan McLaughlin and Natasha Wilson chipped in seven points apiece for the Railsplitters.