Girls hoops teams heading into home stretch

Columbia’s Kaylee Bastien drives through the lane against Waterloo on Jan. 14. (Alan Dooley photo)

The girls high school basketball season is winding down, with all local teams looking to finish strong and carry some positive momentum into regionals.

The Columbia Eagles are having a decent season after losing several key players from last year’s squad.

They had a big win to close out 2013 on Dec. 28. The Eagles were down by 4 points with 10 seconds to go against Red Bud, and with just one second on the clock, pulled out the win, 71-70.

Columbia kept up its winning ways with a 54-41 win at Waterloo on Jan. 14. The Eagles led 18-5 after the first quarter and never looked back. Katie Barton, Kaylee Bastien and Kalli Farmer led a balanced Eagles scoring attack with 8 points each.

They have won five of their last eight games and are coming off a 69-40 loss Thursday to conference leader, undefeated Breese Central, but head coach Scott Germain likes where his team is at this point of the season.

Waterloo’s Kathryn Finnerty goes to the basket in their game against Jerseyville Thursday.

“We have a lot of young kids who are improving and getting better every game. They are getting a lot of experience, which makes me excited for the future,” Germain said.

Bastien leads the Eagles in scoring with 9.2 points per game. Farmer is netting 8.3 per game and Danielle Sellers is averaging 6.5 per game.

Columbia is 2-4 in the conference and 9-7 overall with seven games to play.

The Waterloo Bulldogs (4-10) pulled off a huge win Thursday night, coming from behind to beat Jerseyville in overtime, 60-54. It was Waterloo’s first conference win of the year and snapped a four-game losing streak that saw them drop a couple of close games.

Trailing Triad on Monday night by 12 points after three periods, the ‘Dogs would fight back to make a game of it before falling to the Knights, 50-48.

Last Tuesday, Waterloo fell to rival Columbia in the “Pack the Place” game.

The season has not gone as planned for the team, head coach Matt Lucash said. They have had to battle through injuries to key players.

“Our theme for the year so far is to get healthy. We have not yet played one game with the five people on the floor that I would consider to be our starting five,” he said. “Malone Wall came back in early January and we looked like we would be completely healthy, but then Kaitlyn Storm has had a knee issue the last few games.”

Still, Lucash remains optimistic.

“We have a stretch of games coming up we feel we can be competitive in. Our goal is to be the best we can at the end of the season, so that we can compete in the regional,” he said. “We are close to being healthy and I believe we have played harder the last few games. We hope that we can put a run together and get our record up to .500 by season’s end.”

Freshman Taylor Augustine, who stepped in when Storm went down, is leading the team in scoring with 9.9 points per game. Hope Elliott is averaging 9.1 points per game and almost 30 minutes played.

Waterloo is currently 1-5 in the conference and 4-10 overall with nine games to play.

The Gibault Hawks (5-9) started off the season winning just two of their first 11 games but are riding a three-game winning streak at the moment.

Valmeyer’s Morgan Redohl looks to pass against Red Bud on Saturday. (John Spytek photo)

Gibault defeated Valmeyer on Jan. 13, 50-29. The Pirates kept the game close for a period, but the Hawks poured it on in the second period to pull away and take the victory.

Gibault ran the winning streak to three with an easy win against Sparta on Thursday night, 52-17.

Kendra Davis leads the Hawks in scoring this season at 18.1 points per game. Lauren Prader averages 8 points per game and Brittany Laurent is chipping in with 5.6 a game.

Much like Waterloo, the Valmeyer Pirates (4-10) have had to deal with the injury bug this season, which has led to the team having to start their young freshman players often.

Valmeyer snapped a four-game losing streak last Tuesday, beating Collinsville Christian, 43-29. Morgan Redohl led Valmeyer with 17 points.

Saturday, the Pirates lost to Red Bud by the score of 61-27.

“This season hasn’t gone as we expected. We do still have only one senior (Paige Bangle), but we expected to have a more productive season. We have had some continuing nagging injuries throughout the season that have derailed us, causing other players (mostly freshmen) to step up,” head coach Neil Siburt told the Republic-Times. “It is great that freshmen are getting opportunities and playing experience, but it is not ideal for two or three to be on the court at the same time.”

Redohl leads the Pirates in scoring with 10.9 points per game. Grace Nappier is averaging 6.6 points per game, and Bangle is chipping in with 5.6 per game.

Valmeyer is currently 2-2 in conference play and 4-10 overall with eight games to play.

The Dupo Tigers won their first game of the season, and it was a huge win. It snapped  a 94-game losing streak dating back to 2009.

Following some rough patches after that win, the Tigers have won three of their last five games to improve to 5-11 on the season.

After beating St. Louis Christian last Monday night, 64-22, the Tigers had their winning streak snapped Thursday to conference leader New Athens, 63-23.

Dupo played at Marissa on Saturday, falling to the Meteors, 44-17.

“These girls are starting to figure it out. Megan Brown, Rachael Donald and Leia Campbell have really stepped up their game as of late,” head coach Josh Lemond said. “These girls have worked hard for me. I couldn’t ask for a better group of young ladies with hard work and determination to become a family and a team and to strive for excellence. I’m one lucky coach.”

Brown leads the Tigers with 11.5 points per game. Donald is averaging 8.8 per game and Campbell is adding 8.2 per game.

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