The Belleville East will advance to the championship game of the Mascoutah Invitational. The Lancers defeated the Highland Bulldogs 65-55 to move on in the 40th annual girls holiday tournament.
The Lancers used full-court pressure to force Highland into several first quarter turnovers and ran out to an 18-7 lead at the end of the first period.
Highland would battle back though, closing the deficit to just 30-27 at halftime. The Bulldogs pulled to within one point, 42-41, with 2:37 left in the third period, but were never able to overtake the tournament’s No. 1-seeded team.
B’Aunce Carter led the Lancers with 24 points. Kaylah Rainey had 18, and Jailyn McClenny had 11 for East.
Emmy Nyquist was the top scorer for Highland, with 18, including a couple key 3-pointers to keep the Bulldogs in the game early.
Mae Riffel had 13 points for Highland, and Ellie Brown chipped in nine.