Lady Panthers stay unbeaten in conference
By Doug Daniels
(Pinckneyville, Ill.) - Pinckneyville remained unbeaten in Southern Illinois River-to-River Conference Mississippi Division play last Tuesday with a 50-40 home win over Anna-Jonesboro, getting double-digit scoring performances from four different Lady Panthers.
"I thought we did a much better job of putting pressure on the basketball most of the night tonight, which led to most of our successes," said PCHS head coach Alan Engelhardt. "Our defense turned into offense which always makes scoring the the ball easier."
Pinckneyville won despite 16 turnovers and a lackluster 9-for-23 showing at the free throw line for 39%. Overall, PCHS shot the ball well, making 19-of-40 field goals.
Kenzie Rushing led the scoring with 14 points, Sarah Breslin and Haleigh Kling each had 12, Megan Breslin 11 and Bella Pasquino 1.
"I thought Sarah Breslin and Haliegh Kling really stepped up on offense looking for their shots, which made us more balanced," said Engelhardt. "We were much harder to guard with four players in double figures. We played well in spurts again. We just have to make sure our good spurts get longer and our dry spells shorten up."
On Saturday, Pinckneyville hosted the No. 4 ranked team in Class 1A, Okawville, and couldn't find enough offense to threaten the Rockets' unbeaten record, falling 34-23.
"Okawville is a good team, and I thought we guarded them pretty well. We just couldn't get anything going offensively," Engelhardt said. "When you play a team like them, you have to be exceptional at keeping your spacing because they do such a good job of protecting the paint. We are getting better, but it is a process, and our schedule doesn't get very easy at any point. We just have to keep working."
PCHS managed only 9 first half points and trailed 20-9 at the break. They finished the game 9-for-27 shooting from the field and 4-for-8 at the line. Rushing and M. Breslin each had 8 points, Kiya Hagene had 3, Taylor Witges and Elaine Shaneyfelt each had 2.
Pinckneyville (6-5, 3-0) travels to Nashville on Thursday, then is off until Wednesday, December 27 when they begin play in the Benton holiday tournament.