Junior Madisyn Sheraka drives to the basket in the fourth quarter against Marquette junior Claire Snider.
Senior Anna Whitaker’s 17 points helped the Shells hold on to beat the Marquette Explorers 49-48 at the girls’ class 2A regional tonight at East Alton-Wood River High School.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game.” Roxana coach Tammy Talbert said. “They had beaten us earlier in the year, so we had been talking as a team and doing things differently since we last met to prepare us for tonight.”
Abby Porter’s 16 points and Samantha Darr’s 14 points for the Explorers put both teams neck and neck the entire contest. However, the two Marquette seniors' impressive stats just weren’t enough for a win.
Roxana Senior Taylor Stratton paced her team early on with two three-pointers in the first quarter, giving the Shells a five-point lead going into the second.
But the Explorers answered back, with senior Abby Porter netting six second-quarter points and a three from senior Emily Repking and Claire Snider helping to put Marquette up 26-24 at halftime.
The Explorers connected on all three of their free throws in the third quarter and were up 37-39 going into the fourth.
But it was all Whitaker from that point on; she scored eight of her 17 points in the final quarter.
“We played a really good first quarter but we started to lag near halftime,” Talbert said. “But the fourth quarter was crunch time and I think Anna Whitaker did everything she could to get us into the next game; she’s a competitor and a real asset to our team.”
The Explorers end their season at 12-9.
"We played hard but we just couldn't grind out a win." Marquette coach Larry Lowis said. "It's not easy to beat a good team twice, but I'm proud of the girls' effort tonight, as well their entire season."