Highland senior Madison Wellen scored 11 straight points midway in the second quarter to help the Bulldogs to a 65-33 win over Althoff on Tuesday in a quarterfinal round game at the 31st annual Scott Credit Union Highland Tournament.
Fresh off an first round upset win over Hillsboro on Monday, Althoff (16-8) had a two-point lead early in the second quarter when Wellen connected on a 3-point shot to put Highland (17-3) ahead to stay. She followed with eight more points in a 13-3 run as Highland took a 39-29 lead at halftime.
The second half was dominated by the Highland defense, as it allowed just four points in a 26-4 scoring run as the Bulldogs breezed into the semifinals, where they will take on O’Fallon. The Panthers (14-5) defeated Mater Dei 81-75 in Tuesday’s other quarterfinal.
The win was the ninth in a row for Highland, which is ranked third in the latest Class 3A state poll.
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“Obviously we are playing very well right now,” Highland coach Mike Arbuthnot said. “But these kids have bought into what we’re trying to do. It’s a special group of girls in that it doesn’t matter who is scoring the points. All that matters is that we’re winning basketball games.”
Wellen led Highland with 21 points, while senior forward Alex LaPorta added 15. Althoff was led by senior Maggie Reimer, who had 12 points, while senior guard Kyleigh Vaught scored 20.
O’Fallon 81, Mater Dei 75
Senior Marta Durk scored 28 points and made three of four free throws in the final 12 seconds as the Panthers held off the Knights.
O’Fallon led 43-32 at halftime before Mater Dei rallied to tie the game on three occasions in the third quarter. Logan Braundmeier led Mater Dei with 23 points, while Myah Beckmann added 21.
Hillsboro 61, Carlyle 29
Ranked seventh in the Class 2A state poll, the Hiltoppers rebounded from a loss to Althoff to roll past the winless Indians. Sophomore Sammi Matoush led Hillsboro (18-4) with 22 points, while senior Denzelle Moore added 20.
Junior Kali Michael led Carlyle (0-21) with six points.
Salem 46, Taylorville 45
Senior Haley Gregg scored 13 points as the Wildcats sent the Tornado home with a one-point loss. Taylorville senior Peyton Jackson led her team with with 14 points.