By Steve Robinson | December 2, 2008 - 10:42 pm
Posted in Category: Normal West HS, Pekin Daily Times, Pekin HS

BasketballNORMAL – When her team’s game against Normal West High School was over Tuesday night, Pekin Community High Girls’ Basketball Coach Becky Fulkerson tried looking at her team’s first loss of the season in a positive light.

“We got the loss out of the way,” she said, trying to put a brave face on her team’s 59-39 non-conference loss to the Wildcats.

Lady Dragons head coach Becky Fulkerson admitted after the contest that her team “came out flat” when the game began. But as the first half of the game continued, to the disappointment of the roughly 30 PCHS fans who came out for the game, stayed that way through the first half of play.

From the opening tip, Normal West (4-1) jumped out to a 7-0 lead on the strength of baskets by sophomore post player Lauren Berry and a bucket plus a free throw from junior guard Ashley Reeves.

Pekin DragonsPCHS junior guard Lauren Cash stopped the onslaught with a three-pointer of her own with 6:15 in the first quarter, cutting West’s lead, 7-3. But another bucket by Reeves, added to a trey by junior guard Anne Brown would give West a 20-10 lead after one quarter. Brown led West in double-figures with 10 points. Three other Wildcats players finished the night with nine points each.

West owned a 34-19 halftime lead, but Wildcat fouls sent four Lady Dragons players to the free throw line, gaining just three points, but allowing PCHS to get settled as the half approached, trailing 34-19.

Fulkerson said that after that start, her team “got outhustled the entire first half.”

“It was hard to kind of come back from that big deficit that we had built in the first half,” said Fulkerson.

“The tempo (of the game) was a little faster from the beginning than I think we were ready for,” Fulkerson continued.

Normal WestAlthough PCHS managed to settle down at the start of the third quarter, West outscored them, 17-11, with the help of a trey by senior guard Katherine Riggins and free throws by junior guard Erin McGinnis, Berry, and Riggins, giving West a 51-30 lead going into the fourth quarter.

The fourth quarter was the only quarter PCHS managed to outscore West in – barely, — by a 9-8 count, on the strength of a trey at 3:12 by Cash, who led PCHS with 10 points.

“The second half, obviously, was a much-better half,” Fulkerson said, adding that her team tried changing defenses on the Wildcats in the second half.

West’s junior varsity squad came from behind to defeat PCHS, 41-39.

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