CARLINVILLE — The East Alton-Wood River Oilers improved to 1-1 on Saturday at the 35th annual Carlinville Holiday Tournament, besting Staunton 50-36.
The victory elevated EA-WR's season mark to 4-10, while the struggling Bulldogs plummeted to 1-12 with the loss.
"We didn't play our best yesterday, so it was nice starting off with a good first quarter today," EA-WR head coach Mark Maendele said. "Staunton stayed right with us, but it always helps if we can start off with 12 or more points in that first quarter."
The Oilers took off to a five point lead in the first quarter, but the Bulldogs would scratch back to even the score by the end of the first quarter. Keeping neck and neck throughout the second quarter, the Oilers found themselves tied with Staunton at 17-17 with 3:34 remaining in the half.
Staunton rallied to take a four-point lead over EA-WR at 23-19 entering the break, but the Oilers wouldn't be held down for long.
Oiler senior Kari Westbrook surged with 10 points to help her team regain the lead after Bulldogs' head coach Kyle McBrain was charged with a technical foul with 5:26 remaining in the third period. The Oilers led 36-29 entering the do-or-die fourth quarter.
"The fouls were out of control from the very start," McBrain said. "I think both coaches saw that, but it's just the way it goes sometimes. Sometimes all you can do is chalk it up to high school basketball. We did a nice job keeping the ball out of the post, we've switched to a zone since the last time we played EA-WR. We didn't do a very good job closing out on the Westbrook girl. Westbrook and (Brandi) Lacey both hit some 3s."
The Bulldogs hoped to battle back in the fourth, but EA-WR sophomore Carly Campbell added five points while Westbrook contributed seven points to help the Oiler offense. After a short lesson in clock management from coach Maendele, the Oilers held on to take the win.
Westbrook finished with a game-high 23 points, while going a perfect 10 of 10 from the free throw line.
"There's no doubt about it, we've been struggling offensively," Maendele said. "I know I can always count on Kari Westbrook giving 110 percent and making things happen. She connected with Carly a couple of times to help her score some points too. Brandi (Lacey) has struggled with her jump shot, but she's been stronger and brings a lot of energy on defense and did a great job today. Senior Mardelia Bolden stepped up and did a great job today on the defensive boards, that's key to the game. This leaves us right in the middle for the tournament."
Staunton senior Karissa Pesavento led the Bulldogs with 14 points, a career best for her.
The Oilers will now face the Litchfield Purple Panthers at 2 p.m. Monday.
CARLINVILLE HOLIDAY TOURNAMENT
EA-WR 50, STAUNTON 36
EA-WR 11 8 17 14 — 50
Staunton 10 13 6 7 — 36
EAWR (4-10) — Kari Westbrook, Brandi Lacey 7, Carly Campbell 14, Courtney Beneke 5, Mardelia Bolden 1. 2FG — 7 3FG — 6 FT — 18
Staunton (1-12) — Karissa Pesavento 14, Emily Gonterman 5, Devin Barrett 7, Jenna Parmentier 2, Emily Redecker 3, Annamarie Shearlock 5. 2FG — 7 3FG — 5 FT — 8