Girls basketball Road warriors Lady Indians head to Benton on a winning streak
The Du Quoin girls basketball team beat Webber, 49-26, in its final game before Christmas to take a four-game winning streak into the 31st annual Benton Christmas Classic this week.
"I don't think we've figured it out by any stretch of the imagination, but it's been nice to go on the road these past eight days beating Johnston City, Anna-Jonesboro and Webber and we're going to be road warriors for the rest of the year playing at the Benton tournament," said Du Quoin Coach Shawn File.
"The magic number for me is 40 points. If you keep teams under 40 then you are going to be pretty successful. This year we've kept teams under 40 all but two times. In those seven games our record is 6-1 -- Christopher got 38 and beat us early on. Pinckneyville scored 44 and we beat them, so we are 1-1 when we are over 40."
Du Quoin (8-2) is one of the top eight teams in the Benton 16-team field and will open the tournament against Hamilton County (11-1) at 1:30 p.m. Monday in Rich Herrin Gym.
"That's a big girl tournament," File said. "Carterville, Benton, Alton-Marquette, Mount Vernon and Hamilton County are the top five teams, so we have our work cut out for us. Playing those good teams is what you want to do because that is going to prepare you for February. We know Hamilton County is a very good program from their middle school all the way up."
The Webber game was a great tuneup with the Lady Indian defense holding the Lady Trojans to single digits in three of the four quarters.
"We want to see those single digit quarters," File said. "We did a good job of pressuring to force turnovers quite early on. It was a pretty good evening for the most part even though we got a little sloppy in the third quarter. My starters played about three or four minutes into the third quarter and since Webber Township doesn't have a JV team we got to play a lot of girls."
Offensively Abbi Mocaby and Lauren Heape led the team with 13 and 12 points, respectively. Starting center Sophie Hill added seven points as did Kallie Oestreicher off the bench.
"Kallie played a ton of minutes," File said. "We're preparing her for the next two years. She is a special young lady."
The Lady Indians took a 20-6 lead into the second quarter. In the first quarter Mocaby scored nine of her 13 points, including the team's lone three-pointer, and Heape scored six.
"Abbi did a good job of getting to the rim and had one three -- an overall senior leader," File said. "Lauren was 4-for-4 from the free-throw line, which was something that stands out to me. As a team we were 8-of-12, so we did some good things there."
Du Quoin scored 14 points in the second quarter and held Webber to just three points to lead at the half 34-9. Oestreicher and Heape had four points each.
Abby Hill and Ashlyn Waters finished with three points each with Olivia Phillips and Loveleen Dunklin adding two points apiece.
Heading into the tournament Heape is the leading scorer with 10.5 points a game, including a season-high 17 points against Sesser-Valier.
Mocaby is averaging 9.4 points a game, who also had a season-high 17 points against Sesser-Valier. The senior leads the team with 14 three-pointers and started the season with at least one from beyond the arc in the first seven games with her season-high being three against Sesser-Valier.
Hill has been consistent all season averaging 5.6 points a game with her season high being eight points against both Harrisburg and Anna-Jonesboro.
Grace Alongi has a 5.1 scoring average with her season high being 14 points and two three-pointers against Pinckneyville.
Emma Fischer comes in averaging 3.6 points over the last seven games with her season-highs being 12 points and three from beyond the arc against Carterville.
Off the bench Oestreicher is averaging 5.9 points with a season-high 14 against Johnston City. Since joining the lineup in game five against Harrisburg Dunklin is averaging 5.2 points a game with her season-high being 12 points against Carterville.
"I'm real happy with the way everybody is really gelling right now," File said. "We keep taking steps in the right direction and we've had really good practices to get ready for the tournament."