A strong defensive effort helped the University High School girls basketball team to a 74-48 Corn Belt Conference win over Eureka on Monday night.
"Our energy on the defensive end of the floor was the key to the game," said U High coach Bob Morris. "Our defense allowed our offense to get going."
Senior Alisa Ndorongo scored a game-high 22 points to lead U High (6-3, 3-1), which jumped out to a 22-11 lead after the first quarter. Eureka (4-4, 1-3), led by Heather Myers' 16 points, battled back to make it a 40-31 U High lead at halftime, but that's as close as the Hornets would come as the Pioneers pulled away in the second half.
"We controlled the tempo of the game in the second half due to our defense," said Morris. "We recognized their scorers, we had hands in their shooters' faces and rebounded well off our defensive sequences."
U High outrebounded the Hornets 43-24 and Eureka managed just four attempts from the free-throw line. Molly Kaisner scored 19 points including five 3-pointers and Tonya Brown added eight points with 10 assists for the Pioneers. Chelsea Prosser added 13 points for Eureka.
"We closed the gap to 10 points probably 10 times throughout the game but U High made a run every time that we couldn't answer," said Eureka coach Jami Larson. "It's a credit to them and an embarrassment to us."
Mahomet-Seymour 51, Central Catholic 50
Hillary Hatfield made two free throws with 2 seconds left to lift Mahomet-Seymour to a Corn Belt Conference win over Central Catholic at Mahomet.
The Saints (7-3, 3-1) held the lead most of the game, but strong defensive pressure by Mahomet forced Central Catholic into seven turnovers in the final four minutes and helped the Bulldogs erased a 10 point deficit to come away with the victory.
"Mahomet came out and pressured the ball which forced us into some key turnovers," said Saints coach Debbie Coffman. "We had an opportunity at the end but the shot didn't fall. Our shots just were falling tonight."
Laura Morris scored 22 points to lead Mahomet (7-2, 2-1) and Hatfield added 10 points along with her game winning free throws. Colleen Sprague scored 14 points with 10 rebounds to lead the Saints and Stacey Miller also added 12 points with five assists for Central Catholic.
Calvary Baptist 62, Urbana Uni-High 48
Calvary Baptist's (4-3, 2-0) defense held Urbana Uni-High to nine points in each of the first two quarters while opening a 35-18 lead at halftime and cruised to a conference victory at Normal.
The Crusaders were led by Sarah McCorkle and Shelby Koehl, both with 18 points. McCorkle hit the only two 3-pointers in the game. Calvary Baptist had 18 steals for the game.
"We had a ton of steals. That is what did it for us," said Calvary Baptist coach Tammi Bonner.