The seniors for the Normal Community High School girl's basketball team closed out their home career in stellar fashion Thursday night as the Ironmen won their eighth straight game in knocking off cross-town rival Normal West 64-48 in a Big 12 Conference game on senior night at the Normal Community gymnasium.
The Ironmen improved to 14-10 overall after starting out 6-10 and went to 9-2 in conference play to stay within a game of league leaders Bloomington and Champaign Central. The Wildcats dropped to 4-18, 2-8.
"This senior class is a special group," coach Dave Feeney said of Emily Hanley, Tashana Turner, Renna Berry, Krystal Gundy and Katie Nelson. "They've gone 92-22 in four years and are 49-3 in conference games over that period."
All five seniors scored for the Ironmen with Hanley leading the way with a game-high 20 points on 10 of 11 field-goal shooting. Gundy added 16 points and five rebounds for Normal Community while Berry finished with six points, a team-high nine rebounds, three steals and three assists.
"Normal's senior leadership was very evident tonight," Normal West coach Steve Price said. "They made a significant impact getting the ball inside to Hanley and Gundy and that was the difference in the game. They did a great job."
The Ironmen led 12-11 after one quarter and 30-23 at the half before outscoring the Wildcats 25-10 in the third period to take a commanding 55-33 lead heading to the fourth quarter.
"Normal came out in the third quarter with a sense of urgency," Price added.
Sophomore Hali Daniels added 10 points for Normal Community.
Senior forward Michelle Henderson scored 14 points to lead Normal West while senior guard Allison Shelton added 11 points and led the Wildcats on the boards with seven rebounds. Sophomore Kayla Braffet finished with nine points and six rebounds while sophomore Cymone Allen had five points and five assists.
"Give Normal West credit, Coach Price has them playing hard," Feeney added. "They gave us all we wanted in the first half. We're starting to click and gaining more and more confidence every day."