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Girls basketball Lady Indians streak into holidays with decisive wins at JC and AJ

By Geary Deniston
Contributing writer
updated: 12/21/2021 10:07 AM

The Du Quoin Lady Indians are coming off a very successful week, winning twice on the road to extend their winning streak to three games as they head into the holidays.

Du Quoin improved to 7-2 with their fifth win in their last six games and upped their SIRR Mississippi Division record to 2-1. The Lady Indians have just one game left before Christmas with a road game at Webber Tuesday.

"Webber is a new face for us," said Du Quoin Coach Shawn File. "They have a couple kids who can put the ball in the basket and we'll do our best to stop them."

After beating Pinckneyville, 54-44, the previous Thursday at home the Lady Indians hit the road for only their second road game of the season. At Johnston City, they came away with a dominating 53-26 win.

"Anytime you can go on the road and get a win is always good," File said. "We won both the JV and varsity games against Johnston City and Anna this week."

The Du Quoin defense was stifling against JC, holding the East of I-57 Lady Indians to single digits over the first three quarters. Du Quoin led 10-6 after the first quarter, 22-13 at the half and 36-16 at the end of the third quarter.

"If we can get doubles and we can hold them to singles it's usually a pretty good recipe for a win," File said. "We just wanted to have our defensive presence set the tone for the game and we were pretty good.

"Offensively we were sluggish and it was a still a single digit ballgame at halftime. We turned things up pressure wise in the second half and Johnston City turned the ball over a little and we took advantage of it for some easy points."

Lauren Heape led the West of I-57 Lady Indians with 15 points, including her second three-pointer of the season, missing her season high by just two points.

"Lauren is consistent," File said. "She just goes about her business and takes pretty good shots."

Kallie Oestreicher came off the bench to score a season-high 14 points. The sophomore's previous high was eight points against Pinckneyville and against Murphysboro in the season opener. After scoring just two points in the first quarter Oestreicher took control scoring eight points in the second.

"Kallie helped us defend and got some run outs," File said. "Our bench is huge for us."

Loveleen Dunklin also had a great game off the bench with nine points. After scoring two points in the first half Dunklin scored seven points in the third quarter.

"Loveleen had a really good night overall," File said. "She had a really big game in the junior varsity game where she had three or four 3's. (The JC) coach said their gym is a hard place to shoot in and then she goes and shoots the ball like that. We all looked at each other and said, 'I guess it wasn't too hard for her'. She and Kallie bring some spark and energy for us off the bench."

Sophie Hill scored seven points and has hit her offensive stride. After starting the season averaging four points a game during the first four games, including being shut out by Sesser-Valier, the junior has averaged 6.6 points a game over the last five.

On Thursday the Du Quoin Lady Indians went back on the road to play Anna-Jonesboro at Union Hall Gymnasium, coming away with another strong performance and a 38-26 win.

The game was a battle with the Lady Indians holding an 11-10 lead after the first, a 20-18 lead at the half and led 26-25 after the third quarter. The Lady Indian defense then put the hammer down and held the Lady Wildcats to just three points in the fourth quarter while scoring 12 points, including 5-of-7 from the free-throw line.

"We were finally able to break through in the fourth quarter," File said. "We finally were able to make a little bit of a run and make free throws at the end to hold them off."

Abbi Mocaby had a strong fourth quarter with seven points, making 3-of-4 from the line. After scoring less than 10 in each of the previous four games, including just four against Johnston City, the senior broke out with 11 points, including an all-important 7-of-10 at the charity stripe.

Heape canned another three-pointer to finish with nine points and Hill finished with eight points. Emma Fischer came off the bench to sink two three-pointers to score six points. For the senior guard they were her fifth and sixth from beyond the arc for the season.

Du Quoin had a third game scheduled for Saturday at Cobden, but the game was canceled when the Lady Appleknockers were down to just five players.

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