The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
by Mike Rodeffer
Last Thursday night, the Illini West Charger girls basketball team traveled to Cuba, Illinois to take on the North Fulton girls team.
The game was close the first half with Illini West holding a 12-8 lead after 1 quarter and a 20-15 lead at half-time. Karli Artman poured in 11 of her 13 points in the first half.
The 3rd quarter proved to be the turning point as the pressure defense by Illini West held North Fulton scoreless while putting up 22 points for their side. Caydee Kirkham, Kailee Artman and Halee Wood each had 4 points in the quarter and 5 other girls had two points for a balanced attack. The Illini West girls went on to post a 55-22 win.
Karli Artman led the way with 13 points, followed by Kailee Artman and Megan Harrell with 9 points, Caydee Kirkham-8 points, Alexis Smith and Halee Wood with 4 points each, Kendra Johnson and Brooklyn Krueger with 3 points each, and Gracie McDowell with 2 points.
North Fulton was led by Ellie Quick with 6 points and Sloan Miller and Grace Bridson with 4 each.
Illini West improved to an 8-3 record. There was no JV game.
On Monday, December 17th, the Illini West girls traveled to Aledo to play Mercer County and came away with a 64-46 win to up their record to 9-3. The game was a lot closer than the final score indicated.
The game was tied at 9 all. IW scored the last 6 points of the 1st quarter to go up 15-9. In the second quarter, the Mercer County squad scored the first 8 points for a 17-15 lead. The game see-sawed back and forth until late in the 2nd quarter, with Mercer County leading 20-18, Megan Harrell hit a 3-pointer for an IW lead at 21-20. Mercer County followed with a bucket to retake the lead at 22-21. Harrell hit another 3-pointer to retake the lead at 24-22. Harrell again on IW 3rd straight possession hit a 2-point basket. Hannah Wood drained 2 free throws and Kailee Artman hit another bucket to put IW up 30-22 at half. The 3rd quarter was pretty even with IW holding a 39-32 lead after 3 quarters.
The Mercer County girls pulled to within 4 at 42-38, and again at 47-43 with 4 minutes left, but IW put on a frantic run and their pressure defense came away with several steals and scored the next 15 points and a 62-43 lead. Final was 64-46.
IW's Kailee Artman led all scorers with 23 points. Also for IW, Karli Artman had 17 points, Megan Harrell-8 points, Hannah Wood-6 points, Caydee Kirkham-5 points, Gracie McDowell-3 points, and Kendra Johnson with 2 points.
Mercer County was led by Karli Stineman with 18 points, Maggie Harrison with 9 points, Dani Hagens with 8 points, Ericka Sedam with 6 points, Lillian Hucke with 4 points, and Karley DeFrieze with 1 point.
The Illini West JV girls squad also defeated the Mercer County JVs by a 43-35 score.
Caydee Kirkham powered in 18 points, followed by Madi Cole and Halee Wood with 6 points each, Hallie Ray with 5 points, Megan Harrell with 4 points, and Abbie Johnson and Alisza LeMaire with 2 points each.
Compliments go out to the Mercer County Pep Band which played between games and at half time of the varsity game.