BIRDS PUSH TIGERS — Alton gave it a valiant effort Thursday but lost to Edwardsville, 49-37, in a Southwestern Conference game at Lucco-Jackson Gym. It was the 83rd consecutive conference win for the unbeaten Tigers.
They improved to 16-0 overall and 8-0 in the SWC. The Redbirds fell to 3-12 and 2-6, yet coach Bobby Rickman lauded their performance.
“I’m very proud of the intensity we played with tonight,” Rickman said Thursday. “I knew our girls would be excited about this game. We had our chances against the No. 5 team in the state and the No. 1 one in the St. Louis area.”
Edwardsville forged ahead 29-16 by halftime, but the Redbirds outscored the Tigers 21-20 the remainder of the way.
Junior LaJarvia Brown paced them with 17 points on 8-for-14 shooting. She had one trey. Teammate Megan Paulda pitched in with seven points. A total of 24 turnovers hampered the Redbirds.
Rachel Pranger guided Edwardsville with 17 points. Makenzie Silvey added 11 points and Criste’on Waters had eight points.
“We are improving every game and I really feel that we are getting close to being able to cut out some of these little mistakes that kill us,” Rickman said. “The two things that have hurt us the most this season — defense and unforced turnovers — did the same thing tonight.
“We have to slow down and be under control.”
Edwardsville, which has six league games remaining, leads Belleville West by 1.5 games in the SWC standings. The Maroons are 6-1.
Alton is playing this weekend in the midstate Washington Team Works Tournament. Action starts Saturday and concludes Monday.
WILDCATS TOP EXPLORERS – An improved Mount Olive squad beat visiting Marquette Catholic 64-48 in a Prairie State Conference contest.
Andria Pace scored 19 points for the Explorers, now 4-14. Marquette is scheduled to welcome Jersey in a 1 p.m. nonconference game Saturday.
HILLSBORO TOPS SHELLS – Maddy Sheraka hit for 25 points, but it couldn’t save Roxana, which lost to Hillsboro, 76-50, in a South Central Conference game. The Shells, who had won three of their last four games, dropped to 11-9 overall.
Roxana is scheduled to play Monday at East Alton-Wood River and Thursday at Marquette Catholic.
Sheraka, a senior, has scored 1,185 points during her career. She needs 102 to surpass the school record established by Angela Payne in 1996. Cindy Scroggins added eight points against Hillsboro, which led 39-29 at half. The Hiltoppers then used a 30-point third quarter to stretch their advantage and put the finishing touches on their victory.
CAVS DEFEAT OILERS – Carlinville won again, besting visiting EA-WR 54-31 in a nonconference game. The 3-12 Oilers will play host to Roxana on Monday night. Carlinville is 17-4.