BETHALTO – Civic Memorial’s Eagles did Thursday what they do best in Mississippi Valley Conference girls’ basketball:
The Eagles flew past visiting Waterloo, 56-34 in their Valley opener. While the Bulldogs fell to 2-3 overall and 1-1 in the MVC, the Eagles improved to 4-2 and 1-0. They have won 29 of their last 31 league games, including three consecutive conference titles or co-championships.
“I like this team,” Eagles’ coach Jonathan Denney said. “How we grow this season will depend upon our consistency.”
CM has no seniors, and starts three juniors plus two sophomores. “It’s the first team I’ve had where we didn’t have a senior,” said Denny, beginning his ninth season.
Yet he does have 5-foot-11 sophomore Allie Troeckler and that’s a good way to resume things after CM went 31-3 last year. Troeckler, the top scorer on that sectional championship squad, has picked up where she left off last season.
She scored a game-high 22 points on 8-for-14 shooting, including a pair of treys against Waterloo. Troeckler punched home 15 second-half points as the Eagles steadily increased their 19-11 halftime lead.
“Allie is so strong and she does a great job,” Denney said. “She’s becoming a complete player.”
Waterloo coach Matt Lucash agreed. “She’s one of the top players in the conference,” he said. “She can score anywhere on the court to beat you.”
And Troeckler had plenty of second-half assistance. Reserve Alaira Tyus, a 5-10 freshman, pitched in 11 of her 13 points after the break. She made a trio of treys in the third quarter when the Eagles erupted for 22 points. Overall, Tyus made 4 of 7 shots.
“Alaira Tyus is a good shooter and so are Kaylee Eaton and Journey Coffman,” Denney said. “We were stagnant on offense the first half and then we started to hit some shots. It showed in the second half. We had four shooters in there with Allie
“If other teams try to take away Allie, we have some other kids that can score.”
In the first half, CM made only 8 of 22 shots. Then the Eagles sank 7 of 14 shots in the third quarter and connected on five more field goals in the fourth quarter. Journey Coffman had a pair of 3-pointers along the way as CM made eight treys. Overall, the Eagles were 20 of 50.
“They made 2 of 10 (3-pointers) in the first half, then made six in the second half,” Lucash said. “That made a difference. We have a young team, though we aren’t that deep.
“We felt good competing against them for two quarters, but they were able to speed us up and get us out of our game.”
Taylor Augustine, a 5-6 sophomore guard, hit a pair of 3-pointers and scored 10 points, best for the Bulldogs. Teammate Sydney Luedeman contributed nine points on 4-for-6 shooting. Waterloo had a wobbly beginning, making only 1 of 11 shots in a two-point first quarter.
“We started three sophomore and a freshman, so we have a young team, too,” Lucash said. He figures Highland is the team to beat in the six-team Valley.
“They are definitely the favorites,” he said. “After that, I think we are all competing with each other.”
CM returns to MVC competition Monday at Triad. Come Dec. 18, the Eagles will travel to Highland, a team that defeated them in the semifinals of the Salem Tournament. CM took third place.
CM 56, Waterloo 34
Waterloo 2 9 14 9 – 34
CM 9 10 22 15 – 56
Waterloo (2-3, 1-1) – Augustine 10, Finnerty 4, Elliott 2, Luedeman 9, Storm 6, Probst 3. 2FG-11 3FG-3 FT-3 PF-12
CM (4-2, 1-0) – Troeckler 22, Turbyfill 6, Troxell 4, Coffman 6, Kappler 2, Eaton 3, Tyus 13. 2FG-12 3FG-8 FT-8 PF-12