Savages stop Panthers

Sigourney senior Joselyn Abell (right) looks to make a pass while being guarded by Pekin junior Sarah Eubanks (left) during high school girls basketball action in Sigourney on Saturday.

SIGOURNEY – The Sigourney girls basketball team didn't a score a point over the final 11 minutes of Saturday night's Backyard Brawl with Pekin.

Ultimately, the Savages had just enough points to still come out on top.

Kaylee Weber scored 10 of her game-high 19 points in the paint on Saturday while adding seven made free throws for the Savages. Sigourney built a 40-20 lead late in the third quarter, then held on to bitter end surviving a last-second 3-point attempt by Erika Coleman to edge the Panthers 40-37 in one of the more unusual games with Pekin suffering the loss despite pitching a fourth-quarter shutout

"We got off to a poor start, and our defense killed us in the first half, but the girls finished well," Pekin head girls basketball coach Davis Eidahl said.

Despite Sigourney jumping out to a seven-point lead during the first three minutes of play, Pekin would surge back to take a 10-7 lead after one in part thanks to a pair of 3-point goals by senior Sophie Wittrock. With eight seconds remaining in the period, Coleman hit a lay-up and things looked to be going in the right direction for the Panthers.

The second quarter was a script for a disaster movie from the Panther perspective. While the offense was fizzling, the Sigourney offense was sizzling. The Panthers managed only a single field goal and two free throws in the final eight minutes of the first half.

Meanwhile, the Savages put up 20 points in the frame. Weber took command of the inside game, notching 12 of her 14 first-half points in the paint or from the free throw line, helping Sigourney head to the locker room leading 27-14.

"At half time we made an adjustment and dropped a guard down to help defend the post area," said Eidahl.

Most of the damage on the Savage side during the third quarter came from senior Joselyn Abell, who scored eight of her 10 points during the period. Kerrigan Pope put four points on the scoreboard for the Panthers, but they trailed the Savages 40-24 heading into the final period.

With 1:06 to play, Pope hit two critical free-throws to close the gap to 40-34 as momentum had gradually swung back to Pekin thanks in large part to a pressing defense that forced several turnovers. Sigourney also failed to connect on the front end of three consecutive one-on-one free throw attempts, giving Pekin an opportunity to steal the game late.

Mackenzie Dahlstrom drained a 3-pointer to keep Pekin alive, cutting Sigourney's six-point lead in half. After a foul with 4.7 seconds left, sophomore Rain Barthelman failed to clinch the game by converting a one-and-one free throw.

Pekin had one final possession to extend the game. Coleman got the ball through traffic over mid court and fired just before the buzzer with a desperation shot that hit only the backboard.

Pope and Wittrock with nine points each. Pope added nine rebounds while battling Abell and Weber inside in a physical contest.

Pekin began a busy week on Tuesday falling 52-37 to unbeaten, 11th-ranked (1A) Winfield-Mount Union despite an 18-point night from Pope and a 10-point effort from Coleman. Sigourney, meanwhile, held off another SEISC opponent on Monday edging WACO, 51-49, behind 17 points and eight rebounds from Weber.

After hosting Mediapolis on Friday, the Panthers (5-7) will host Cardinal in an SEISC crossover contest on Saturday. After beating winless BGM 61-23 on Tuesday, Sigourney (11-3) continues SICL play on Friday at Lynnville-Sully.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Scoring

Teams 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final

Pekin 10 4 10 13 37

Sigourney 7 20 13 0 40

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