Lady Panthers build early lead, hang on to beat Sesser-Valier at WF Tourney

Bella Pasquino represented PCHS on the All-Tournament Team at West Frankfort. (Doug Daniels Photos)

By Doug Daniels

1351sports.com / pinckneyvillesports.com

January 17, 2018

  (West Frankfort, Ill.) - Pinckneyville held on for a 57-51 win over Sesser-Valier on Thursday to finish the West Frankfort Mid-Winter Classic with a 2-1 record, and Lady Panther Bella Pasquino earned an All-Tournament Team nod for her performance during the week.
  PCHS came out hot and built a 16-5 lead through one period of action and never trailed after that. Sesser-Valier was able to close the gap to a single point late in the ball game, but the Lady Panthers got scores when they needed them and hit some late free throws to stay in front.
  "We played really well for three quarters tonight, carrying a 13-point lead into the fourth," said Pinckneyville head coach Alan Engelhardt. "We struggled with some pressure there, and at one point let the lead slip to one, but a couple of big baskets by Kenzie Rushing and Bella Pasquino and free throws by Megan Breslin and Kiya Hagene helped to seal the deal."
  "We really defended well early on tonight, making it really difficult on Sesser. I thought Kenzie did a great job of finishing around the rim tonight in route to her 19 points. Bella capped off a nice tournament with 10 points on her way to an all-tournament selection. Hopefully we can build on a nice win tonight."
  Rushing's 19 points led four Lady Panthers in double figures for the game. Pasquino, Hagene and M. Breslin each finished with 10 points. Sarah Breslin added 5 points, Haleigh Kling had 2, and Aubrey Bruns 1.
  PCHS shot 47% from the field for the game and had 8 steals (4 by Hagene) and 5 blocks (4 by M. Breslin) on defense.
  The Lady Panthers host Du Quoin as conference play resumes on Tuesday night at Thomas Gymnasium in Pinckneyville.

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