The improving Alton High girls basketball team likely registered its most impressive victory of the season Monday.
The Redbirds upset Belleville West, 61-54, in a Southwestern Conference game at the West Gym. The Maroons were battling Edwardsville for the league lead and forced the Tigers into an overtime game before bowing last week.
“It’s a big win for us, and the confidence our girls are getting,” first-year AHS coach Bobby Rickman said. “We had a great first three quarters defensively. Belleville West’s fourth quarter pressure and our foul trouble got to us. But I’m proud of how our girls held on.”
LaJarvia Brown hit for 25 points and Megan Paulda contributed 13 points for the 12-10 Redbirds, now 5-5 in the SWC. Alton led 33-21 at half and 52-36 after three quarters.
Jordann Wilson (nine points) and Jewel Wagner (eight points) added to Alton’s win.
Rickman said, “They are getting it and defensively I like the things they are doing. They get all the credit for how they have adapted to our system.”
Shay Fluker, a 5-foot-10 junior, scored 25 points to pace West, now 15-7 and 5-4. The Redbirds are scheduled to play at Collinsville tonight. They are scheduled to play again at Belleville West on Feb. 11.
Alton won 13 games during the 2008-09 season, but hasn’t won more than that since the mid-1980s.
Southwestern 70, Roxana 51 - The Piasa Birds clinched a share of the South Central Conference championship by prevailing in Milazzo Gym. Southwestern is now 23-2 overall and has won eight of its last nine games. The Piasa Birds are 8-0 in the SCC and have one league game remaining.
Maddy Greeling's 23 points spurred Southwestern while Ashlyn Ringhausen added 12 points.
"We have been consistent for the season as a whole, but we are looking for an extra push going into the regional at Hillsboro," Piasa Birds' coach Steve Wooley said.
Maddy Sheraka poured in 29 points in a losing cause for the 11-14 Shells. Teammate Anna Whitaker had 14 points.
Centralia 59, Jersey 52 – The host Panthers made a strong comeback at Havens Gym, but couldn’t knock off the highly regarded Orphans, champs of their own Christmas tournament.
Centralia led 37-21 at half and 50-31 after three quarters before the Panthers outscored the Orphans 21-9 in the fourth quarter. Jake Varble (13 points) and Billy Ritchey (10 points) led Jersey, now 12-8 overall. The Panthers welcome Civic Memorial on Friday in a key Mississippi Valley Conference game.
Jake Wood’s 20 points were best for Centralia.