The Belleville West Maroons took a huge step forward on Tuesday at the Highland Scott Credit Union Girls Basketball Tournament.
Senior guard Randi Goodwin connected on four 3-point field goals and junior center Shaniah Nunn added 12 points as the Maroons stunned Hillsboro 49-44 in a quarterfinal round game at Highland High School..
Holding high-scoring Sammi Matoush to just eight points, the Maroons (10-10) led by as many as 14 points in the first half and carried a 21-13 lead into halftime.
Matoush, a Class 2A first team all-state selection a year ago, helped the Hilltoppers draw even early in the fourth quarter, but an offensive rebound by Nunn and Goodwin’s fourth 3-point field goal of the game sparked a 12-3 run as the the Maroons quickly regained control.
“It’s a big win for our girls and our basketball program,’’ West coach Clayton Fisher said. “They (Hillsboro) I believe came into the game (19-3) and had gotten votes in the Class 2A state poll. I had seen them play on film and we knew that they were a very good basketball team.
“But we also knew that they were a team that we could play with if we came out and executed. I was very proud of these girls. They tied the game on us, but we didn’t panic. We responded with I believe a 9-2 run to take the lead. That was great to see. We’re continuing to get better.’’
Matoush, averaging 24.9 points per game, led Hillsboro with 19 points.
West will take on host Highland in a quarterfinal round game at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday.
Belleville East 51, Central 36
Senior Bryce Dowell ignited a quick second half start with six points in the first 70 seconds of the third quarter as the Lancers defeated the pesky Cougars in a first round game.
Central (11-10) stayed with the more athletic Lancers for three quarters. With sophomore Miah Weems connecting on all four of her 3-poitn shots in the opening two quarters, Central held a 23-21 lead at halftime.
But Dowell, held to just two poitns in the first half, scored on a pair of running jumpers and added a layup as East (12-9) opened the third quarter on an 8-1 scoring run to take control of the game.
“I thought we were settling in the first half. I told the girls at halftime that I thought we had the quickness to get around them and take the ball to the basket. In the second half we did a much better job of taking the ball inside,’’ Lancers coach Amanda Kemezys said.
“(Miah) Weems is a great player and she really hurt us in the first half. The second half we had Nyah (Ford) face guard her and we were able to do a much better job of containing her.’’
Weems led all scorers with 21 points. B’Aunce Carter, dominating the backboards along with sophomore Tyler Butler, led East with 16 points, while Dowell added 14. Butler, in one of her most impressive efforts of the season, added 12.
“I told the girls after the game that I was very pleased at how we played in the second half. But that that was the way we should have been playing all night. We have to be able to play a complete four quarters in order to beat the really good teams in big games.’’
Kemezys said that senior guard Kaylah Rainey, out all season after undergoing open heart surgery in November, went through a final stress test on Tuesday and could be back as early as Thursday when the Lancers take on Mater Dei in a quarterfinal round game at 7 p.m.
Highland 67, Carlyle 46
The host Bulldogs (17-3) fought off a red-hot start from the Indians for a 21-point win in the first game of the night.
Carlyle (5-16), getting 20 first half points from junior Molly Diekemper, led by as many as nine points midway through the second quarter. But Highland used a 35-14 run in thes econd half to win going away.
Junior Elle Brown led Highland with 20 points while senior Mae Riffel added 15. Emmy Nyqust and sophomore Bella LaPorta chipped in with 12 points each.
Diekemper led all scorers with 23 points.
Mater Dei 55, Triad 43
Senior Kierra Winkeler led the Knights with 20 points as they eased by an improving Triad squad in the final first round game.
Junior Shannon Lampe chipped in with 16 points for Mater Dei (17-3).