Du Quoin girls basketball Lady Indians' winning streak snapped
The Du Quoin girls basketball team saw its two-game winning streak come to end with a home loss to River-to-River Mississippi Division foe Nashville on Thursday and a road loss to nonconference Hamilton County Saturday.
Nashville (16-4, 4-1 Mississippi), behind the record-setting performance of the Hornettes all-time block leader Rylee Luechtefeld, beat the Lady Indians 44-31 at Anders Gymnasium to drop Du Quoin to 2-3 in the conference.
"I thought we battled really well tonight," said Du Quoin Coach Shawn File. "I thought we played hard, but there were times their post play was a little bit too much for us. The box says we lost by 13, but I don't think that was indicative of how the game really was. I don't think (Coach Doug Althoff) is looking forward to having us at his place on Senior Night. I came away thinking we can play with anyone."
Luechtefeld broke the previous single game record of eight blocks in the third quarter when the senior 6-1 center had four blocks. She added two more in the fourth quarter to finish with 11. Luechtefeld scored nine points, including a 3-pointer in the third quarter, and led the team with eight rebounds.
"Luechtefeld is a great player," File said. "She a great shot blocker and a very good shooter."
Du Quoin led 8-4 late in the first quarter and 10-9 early in the second quarter, but a layup by Luechtefeld with 5:32 remaining in the first half gave the Hornettes a lead they never gave up.
Nashville extended its lead to six points at the half and to eight to open the third quarter. After back-to-back baskets by Delaynie Dearmond and Abbi Mocaby to cut the lead to four the Hornettes went on an 11-2 run to put the game away.
Dearmond led the Lady Indians with 10 points followed by Bailey Harsy with seven and Lauren Heape and Ayanna Dunklin finishing with six points each. Harsy and Dunklin led the team with six rebounds apiece with Harsy adding two blocks and one steal and Dunklin two steals.
Saturday behind 25 points by senior forward Grace Lueke Hamilton County beat the Lady Indians, 52-39, to drop Du Quoin to 10-9 overall.
Like the game against Nashville, Du Quoin got off to a good start, taking a 9-8 lead after the first quarter. However, also like the Nashville game the Lady Foxes took control in the second quarter with Lueke scoring eight points on four field goals and eight points by Carson Belangee on two field goals and 4-for-4 at the line to take a 27-21 lead at the half.
"We had a quick start to the game and jumped out to a 9-2 lead, but we didn't defend well giving up 19 points in the second quarter which is what we average giving up in a half," File said. "Abbi Mocaby and Loveleen Dunklin hit a couple of threes right before half to bring us within 6 at halftime, but we got into some foul trouble in the second half and Lauren Heape and Bailey Harsy had to spend some time on the bench."
Hamilton County extended their lead to 11 points heading into the fourth quarter with Lueke scoring 10 points in the third quarter.
"We came out in a zone to start the second half, but after a couple of Grace Lueke 3 pointers we went back to our base man-to-man defense," File said. "The game seemed to stay in the 8-10 point deficit for most of the second half. It was a very physical game with both teams getting to the foul line often."
After attempting just seven free throws (making five) against Nashville the Lady Indians were sent to the line 11 times against Hamilton County, but managed to only make 12-of-23 attempts.
Mocaby led Du Quoin with 10 points followed by Loveleen Dunklin with nine, Dearmond with seven and Heape with six.
This will be a crucial week for the Lady Indians with Mississippi leader Carterville coming to town Tuesday and Ohio Division's second ranked team Benton arriving Thursday.