Pekin picks apart Pirates
Cardinal and Van Buren eliminated
The Pekin girls? basketball team ended Alburnett?s season Tuesday night with a 61-34 victory over the visiting Pirates.
There is a reason Panther Head Coach Davis Eidahl said he was ?nervous? about playing the Pirates. Alburnett won 14 of their final 20 games to end their 2017-18 campaign at 14-9 after losing three straight to start the season by 52. 23 and 47 points, respectively.
Pekin defended their home court from the beginning against the upstart Pirates, outscoring Alburnett 19-11 through the first eight minutes. The Panthers doubled-up their guests in the second period, outpacing the Pirates 16-8 for a 35-19 halftime advantage with Maci Gambell going into the break with 11 of her game-high 24 points and her cousin Haley having 12 of her 18 points. The other 12 first half points were scored by Whitney Johnson who had all seven of hers in the first 16 minutes, Zoey Wright who had three and Paige Winn with two.
The third quarter saw Alburnett mount a comeback with a 10-0 run before Wright hit a layup for Pekin to make it 37-29 midway through the period. The Panthers then outscored the Pirates 6-1 over the next four minutes to hold a 43-30 advantage going into the fourth quarter.
Pekin then pulled away offensively with an 18-4 margin in their favor during the final frame of the box score that left the totals tallied at 61-34 for the Panthers.
Next up for Coach Eidahl and his team are the 12-10 Pella Christian Eagles who have nine of their 10 losses coming to teams ranked in Class 1A, Montezuma, or 4A, Pella, Indianola, Grinnell and Dallas Center-Grimes, with the other loss coming to Class 4A?s Norwalk on the road after defeating the Warriors by 31 at home. Tipoff is Friday night at 7 p.m. in Eddyville.
Q) How do you feel after tonight?s ballgame?
Coach Eidahl: Good, I was nervous about it, but we adjusted and did some things I really liked. They got out a little faster and we adjusted our defense and got out to a big lead and then they caught up, but we adjusted again and once we started playing our own type of ball, we just took over.
Q) How do you feel about your next opponent, Pella Christian?
Eidahl: We match up good with them, we?ll be alright. Their record is deceiving because they play in that 4A league, so they?ll be good. We?ll need to play good defense against them.
Q) Anything specific you?re going to focus on before Friday?
Eidahl: Probably blocking out. We need to do better, I think they may have outrebounded us.[Pekin outrebounded Alburnett 31-21] We were just a little out of position, so we?ll work on that for a couple of days.
The Comets were eliminated Saturday night at Danville when they were defeated 65-16 in the opening round of the Class 2A region 5 bracket.
Lydia Moses did half of the Comet?s scoring when she totaled eight points on 3-5 shooting, including 2-4 from deep. Freshman Anna Mullikin had three points on 75 percent shooting from the foul line, while fellow ninth grader Alexia McClure had two points and sophomore Maddie Cloke had three points off of a successful long ball to round out the offense.
First year coach Jacob Blumer and his team finished the season 2-19 overall with wins over Moravia at home and at New London.
The Warriors won their Class 2A region 5 opening game Saturday night at home versus West Burlington 60-57, but were eliminated from the tournament Tuesday night when they lost 67-60 at Mediapolis in the regional quarterfinals.
Mediapolis jumped out to an early 22-13 lead after one period and although the Warriors outscored the Bulldogs 18-17 in the second quarter, the home team pulled away in the third with a 17-7 advantage that left Van Buren trailing by a score of 56-38 headed into the final frame. Head Coach Matt Zietler got his team to fight back and outscore their SEISC opponents 22-11 over the last eight minutes, but it was too litte, too late as the Warriors fell by seven points.
Van Buren finishes the season 17-7.