By Kendra Hennis
Arcola – April 12
The East Prairie seventh grade girls basketball team came out victorious on April 12 against Arcola with a 14-8 win. Cailin Munson led the Hornets with four points, and Reese Davis, Lilly Kurtz, Phoebe Wilkins, Jazmine West and Tori McCollom each added two points.
Coach Beth Pugh said, “the seventh grade came out with a victory against a good Arcola team. They had a strong second quarter to help them pull away and were able to keep the lead for the win.”
On the eighth grade side, the girls fought through a very tough game, but ultimately lost 30-29 against Arcola. Lia Patteson and Taylor Gordon were high scorers in the game, each contributing eight points. Ava Boyer followed with five points, Emily Veach added four, and Carly Ochs and Olivia Wallace each had two points.
Coach Pugh said, “we did not come out ready to play and Arcola made some shots early. We got into some foul trouble that really stopped us from playing defense the way we are used to playing. We regained the lead before halftime, but got into more foul trouble in the third quarter. It was close the entire game. The girls never gave up. The girls played as a team. The girls off the bench did a great job. This is a challenging year. We have not had a practice with all the team members at practice for about three weeks. The girls and us as coaches are trying to play and coach basketball and run track at the same time. We may have lost to Arcola (which is difficult to take), but I keep reminding the girls at least we are getting to play. We knew this would be a challenge, but we will grow from this.”
Villa Grove – April 15
On April 15, the seventh grade East Prairie Hornets took on Villa Grove, winning 33-29. Chloe Fowler led the ladies with 11 points, Amaryiah Banta followed with eight, Phoebe Wilkins and Lilly Kurtz each contributed four, and Chloe Bowden, Cailin Munson, and Reese Davis each added two.
Coach Pugh said, “The seventh grade had a good game against Villa Grove. We were able to spread the scoring out, so a lot of the girls got to score. Amaryiah Banda and Chloe Fowler had really good games.”
The eighth grade Hornets had a stellar game against Villa Grove on April 15, winning 29-13. Ava Boyer led the squad with ten points, Allison Pettry followed with nine, Rylie Vanausdoll and Taylor Gordon each contributed four, and Emily Veach added two.
After the game, Coach Pugh said, “The eighth grade played well against Villa Grove also. We have had to limit Lia Patterson’s minutes due to illness. The team has adjusted well.”
ALAH – April 16
The Hornets took on ALAH on April 16, winning 30-24. Amaryiah Banta led the Hornets with 11 points, Chloe Fowler followed with seven, Phoebe Wilkins added six, Reese Davis contributed four and Cailin Munson added two.
Following the game, Coach Pugh said, “The seventh grade had a tough game against ALAH, they didn’t play as aggressive. It might have been because they had a game the night before. The seventh grade didn’t play as aggressive on defense and ALAH were able to get shots up that normally other teams don’t.”
The eighth grade girls saw equal success on April 16, winning 34-24 over ALAH. Ava Boyer had a stellar night for the Hornets, leading the team with 13 points, Taylor Gordon added eight, Lia Patterson contributed seven, Isabelle Sturts followed with four, and Carly Ochs added two points to round out the night.
Coach Pugh said, “The eighth grade knew that ALAH would be a tough opponent. I thought the girls were ready for them. We were confident and came out ready to play. We changed up our defense, which might have surprised ALAH a little. We didn’t rebound as well as we needed to, but that is something we can work on. Ava Boyer had a really good night. She shot and controlled the offense well. Lia Patterson played well for the limited minutes she played. I was really happy that Taylor Gordon played much more aggressive on defense and offense.”