Eastern girls holds off Silver Creek to finish MSC with eight wins Print

By Dennis Dunn

Special Correspondent

This season the Eastern (Pekin) Lady Musketeers have been solid in the Mid-Southern Conference this season as they claimed their eighth conference win of the year on Saturday night, Jan. 21 with a 61-50 victory over Silver Creek.


The Musketeers finished their MSC schedule at 8-1 with their lone loss to North Harrison back on Nov. 11. North Harrison is currently 8-0 in the MSC as they have to travel to Brownstown Central on Thursday, Jan. 26. If the Lady Cats win they will claim the conference crown outright, but if they lose they will finish as co-champs.

“We are hoping it might be first,” Eastern Coach Michael McBride said after the win. “North Harrison still has to go to Brownstown, although the way NH has been playing and being the No. 1 team in 3A, the chances are high. We are very happy to be 8-1 in the MSC. We just done the best we could to get to 8-1 and that is the best we have done since 2012 in the conference.

“We are happy and we done a good job the last two games and for our girls to finish strong and make our free throws to make things a little easier for us. We need to quit having those moments with turnovers.”

In the first quarter, both teams struggled handling the ball and scoring points. The Lady Dragons had four turnovers and the Musketeers had seven turnovers, but it was the home team who won the first quarter 9-7.

Both teams would go back-and-forth in the second quarter and Eastern would take a 14-9 lead when Isabell Claywell hit a 3-pointer. Abby May knocked down a 3-pointer and Lauren Polston converted an old fashioned 3-point play at the 6:15 mark to give Silver Creek the 15-14 lead.

The Dragons led again at 17-16, until the Musketeers went on an 8-0 run that was started by Rachel Stewart’s two free throws and ended when Taylor Drury hit a jump shot. The Dragons then scored the final five points of the quarter as Polston drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer to cut the lead to 24-22.

“I thought we played really hard,” SC Coach Scott Schoen said. “Eastern has a good team. Drury is one of the top two players in the conference, I believe. I love the way she plays. She is a warrior and Stewart is another and Isabell, another point guard handles the pressure.

“We thought we had a shot and had a chance to win until the end. We had a couple of missed opportunities and a couple of defensive breakdowns. We gave up a couple of and-ones and we didn’t move our feet.”

Once again, action went back-and-forth in the third quarter as the Dragons attempted their rally and got to within two points when May had a 3-point play. Late in the quarter, Holly Purlee hit her first basket of the game and Veronica Judson had a basket and-one to make it 42-34 after three quarters.

The Dragons didn’t go away as they used an 8-0 to start the fourth quarter to force a 42-42 tie. May began and ended the run with two free throws and a basket. Drury then scored four straight points to give the Musketeers a 46-42 lead. The Dragons once again tied it up with a 4-0 run.

The Musketeers then went up seven point and never trailed the rest of the way to secure the win.

“We just have to continue to get better,” Schoen said. “We are playing some good basketball and Eastern is a good team, so otherwise I am happy with it. We could never get that lead so it seemed we were always on the attack. Their defense is really good. I am happy with the effort but not happy with the outcome.”

Drury, who didn’t score a point in the first quarter, still led the Musketeers with 20. Stewart and Claywell each added 10.

“Always having a close game where you have to sweat one out can always help you understand late game situations,” McBride said. “Since before the holiday tournament, that has been our main goal. Now we get to a point where we finish the game and put them away.

“Also, our free throws we are starting to make and with that confidence. She (Claywell) has been the one we have been waiting on and encouraging and challenging every day. At Corydon at couple of weeks ago she came off of the screen and hit a 3-pointer and we were down two to put us up one, so she put us in position to win that game.”

Polston led all scorers with 24 points. May added 13 for the Dragons.

Eastern won the junior varsity game 33-21 as Olivia Pickerill led the winners with eight points. Kylie Wilkinson and Jordan Leddon each had six for Silver Creek.

Eastern will close out the regular season on Thursday, Jan. 26 with a home game with Henryville, while Silver Creek hosted South Central on Wednesday, Jan. 25 for their final game.

Saturday, Jan. 21, at Pekin

SC       7    15    12    16 – 50

EHS    9     15    18   18 – 61

SC (8-13, 2-7): Lauren Polston 24, Abby May 13, Haley Baxter 8, Emily Steele 2, Abby Whitlock 2, Alyssa Wright 1.

EHS (14-7, 8-1): Taylor Drury 20, Rachel Stewart 10, Isabell Claywell 10, Veronica Judson 8, Savannah Emmert 7, Caylee Graves 4, Holly Purlee 2.

Junior Varsity

Eastern def. Silver Creek, 33-21

SC: Kylie Wilkinson 6, Jordan Leddon 6, Taylor Scott 3, Katie Emly 2, Camillia Houchen 2, Vic Hutchings 2.

EHS: Olivia Pickerill 8, Gracie Gibson 7, Claywell 6, Graves 5, Brookelynn Casey 3, Cora Jones 2, Erin Feller 2.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 January 2017 15:03