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Salem, IL- Fresh off a come-from-behind win over Civic-Memorial earlier Saturday afternoon, the Lady Wildcats carry over their aggressive and suffocating defense into their win over Centralia, 44-29. 

The Orphan Annies were limited to only 4 points in the first quarter, 14 for the half. Foul trouble early on led to many free throw opportunities for both teams, but the Lady Wildcats took advantage knocking down 10 of 14 to help them to a 12 point halftime lead.

At the end of the first half, Salem junior guard Emily Baer led all scorers with 9 points. Junior forwards Dearria Watson and Kelly Sager each had 6, and guard Maddi Hood had 3. Centralia's leading scorer after the first half was Reanna Hutton with 5 points.
The third quarter saw the Lady Wildcats continue their smothering defense on their way to extending the lead at the end of the quarter to 18 points, 39-21. The perimeter pressure was there all night and it created a lot of turnovers by Centralia, which led to many fast break opportunities and easy points for Salem. 

At the start of the fourth quarter, Salem really slowed down the tempo offensively and kept that form till the end of the game. With about a minute and half left and a sizeable lead, Coach Janet Holst pulled all five starters from the game and let some of the sophomores dribble out the clock.

Watson finished the game with 10 points, Emily Baer, 9, Kelly Sager, 8, Kailey Beer, 6, Shelby Holst and Maddi Hood, 5, and Sydney Holst had 1.

After the game, when asked about the team's play on offense and defense, Coach Holst said she was pleased. "I'm very impressed with all of them in all different aspects."  

Coach Holst also talked about the play of junior forward Dearria Watson and the confidence her teammates have in her abilities. "I thought we did a better job of moving her up away from the basket, cause she plays well facing the basket, giving her a better look to get to the basket. She did have a height advantage and made her presence." 

Holst then added, "When Shelby or one of the guards throws the ball up to her, you pretty much know she's going to haul it in."

Looking ahead to next weekend for the conclusion of the Thanksgiving tournament, out of the winners bracket, the Salem Lady Wildcats (3-0) will take on the Teutopolis Lady Wooden Shoes (2-1) at 1:30 Saturday afternoon. 

Coach Holst briefly discussed the Shoes' strengths and weaknesses. "They will be fundamentally sound. I know that they're going to shoot the ball well if we give them open looks. I think our pressure cn give them some trouble. They do things really well against a zone because they can get set and they can look," said Holst. "I think we have a little advantage quickness-wise and a little bit of a height advantage inside. I feel confident in our kids."

The other game out of the winners bracket will be Highland and Civic-Memorial Saturday as well. Highland finished pool play a perfect 3-0 while the Lady Eagles finished 2-1.

The final scores of the weekend for the Salem Lady Wildcats:
vs Olney W 53-42 
vs Civic Memorial W 48-39
vs Centralia W 44-29


In other high school girls basketball action:

Alton Tournament
     Breese Mater Dei 35, Jerseyville Jersey 18
     Calhoun 69, Alton 35
     Springfield Lanphier 42, Cahokia 38
 Columbia High School Tournament
 Fifth Place
     Lebanon 54, Alton Marquette 36
 Third Place
     Greenville 44, Waterloo 42
 Litchfield Tournament
     Litchfield 51, Mount Olive 34
     Nokomis 55, Vandalia 43
 Marion Tournament
     Benton 57, Marion 38
     Carterville 58, Vienna 35
 O'Fallon Tournament
     Breese Central 55, O'Fallon 18
 Salem Tournament
     Centralia 54, Olney 50
 Taylorville Tournament
     Auburn 54, Jacksonville 48
     Effingham St. Anthony 36, Mt. Zion 32
     Effingham St. Anthony 60, Eisenhower 39
     Hillsboro 43, Mt. Zion 38
     Hillsboro 53, Eisenhower 39
     Lincoln 57, Jacksonville 50
     Taylorville 52, Auburn 21
     Taylorville 45, Lincoln 39

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - Backup quarterback Reilly O'Toole led Illinois on a late drive that set up a game-winning David Reisner field goal, delivering a 16-14 win over Penn State when Reisner hit from 36 yards with eight seconds left on the clock. Minutes earlier he missed a 50-yarder that would have put Illinois on top.

     O'Toole relieved an ineffective Wes Lunt late in the first half. O'Toole finished 18 of 25 for 157 yards and a touchdown for Illinois (5-6, 2-5 Big Ten).

Christian Hackenberg threw for an 18-yard touchdown pass to Chris Godwin to put Penn State (6-5, 2-5) up early. But struggled the rest of the day. He finished 8-16 for 93 yards and the touchdown.

Mike Dudek had 11 catches for 115 yards for Illinois.

Penn State running back Akeel Lynch carried the ball 28 times for 137 yards and a 47-yard touchdown.

NORMAL, Ill. (AP) - Tre Roberson passed for three touchdowns, Marshaun Coprich rushed for more than 100 yards for the 11th time this season, scoring twice, and Illinois State defeated Southern Illinois 44-29 on Saturday to win 10 games for the first time in school history while earning a share of the Missouri Valley Conference championship.

The Redbirds (10-1, 7-1), whose only other title came in 1999, started quickly with Robertson hitting Cameron Meredith for a 30-yard touchdown and Lechein Neblett for a 70-yarder before the Redbirds adding a safety in the first quarter.

Roberson finished 14 of 23 for a career-high 319 yards. Meredith had a career high of 182 yards on eight catches, his third-straight 100-yard game, and Neblett had four catches for 125.

Coprich's two touchdowns gave him a school record 21 this season.

Southern Illinois (6-6, 3-5) got three touchdown passes from Mark Iannotti.

Illinois State had 602 total yards.

CHARLESTON, Ill. (AP) - Dylan Favre threw for 110 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 46 more to help Tennessee-Martin to a 37-16 win over Eastern Illinois on Saturday.

Eastern Illinois scored on the game's second play from scrimmage on Shepard Little's 70-yard run, and Nick Bruno's 21-yard field goal gave the Panthers a 9-7 lead. 

UT-Martin scored the next 30 points.

Favre's 13-yard TD to Rod Wright and 44-yarder to Ben Axline gave UT-Martin a 24-9 halftime lead. 

Abou Toure paced UT-Martin (6-6, 5-3 Ohio Valley Conference) with 158 yards on 28 carries. Jarod Neal had a 45-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and Ladevin Fair had a 3-yard TD in the third quarter.

Andrew Manley was 26 of 50 for 290 yards and a score for Eastern Illinois (5-7, 5-3). Little finished with 137 yards on 13 carries and Adam Drake caught 11 balls for 146 yards and a 3-yard fourth quarter TD.

SALEM - The Salem Lady Wildcats showed their coach they could win leading for most of the way in their 53-42 win over Olney to open the 14th annual Salem Thanksgiving Tournament.  On Saturday afternoon, they proved they could come from behind.

Trailing by double digits through most of the middle two quarters, the Lady Wildcats (2-0) used a 29-10 second half to upend Civic Memorial 48-39.

Shelby Holst had struggled throughout the first 6 quarters of the season from behind the arc, but picked a good time to get hot.  The senior guard drilled a deep three to tie the game at 34-34 to end the third quarter.

Holst then added another three to start the fourth quarter and helped build Salem's lead to double digits of their own in the final quarter.

Salem's defense again was solid forcing 19 turnovers.

Kailey Beer led the way for Salem with 16 points.  Holst poured in 9 points, Dearria Watson added 8, Emily Baer 5 and Kelly Sager also hit a big three as well.

Allie Troeckler led all scorers with 17 for Civic Memorial who falls to 1-1.  Salem will be back in action again tonight at 8:30 when they take on the Centralia Annies and try to wrap up the Pool B title.

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