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East Peoria Times-Courier - East Peoria, IL
  • East Peoria picks up much-needed win

  • East Peoria's good stretches outnumbered the bad Friday.

    That positive ratio helped the Raider girls basketball team halt a six-game Mid-Illini Conference losing streak.
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  • East Peoria's good stretches outnumbered the bad Friday.
    That positive ratio helped the Raider girls basketball team halt a six-game Mid-Illini Conference losing streak.
    East Peoria (11-14, 4-8) saw a 15-point lead dissolve to zero, but it answered quickly for a 53-45 victory at last-place Metamora.
    "Every time we needed a little bit of a run, we responded," EPCHS head coach Jay Bowman said.
    Michaela Reedy posted a game co-leading 17 points and added eight rebounds for the Raiders.
    Kylie Giebelhausen of East Peoria had a double-double of 13 points and 12 boards, while teammate Sarah Kurth chipped in 12 points.
    In the first quarter, the Raiders shot 6-of-12 from the field and closed with a 10-1 run to lead 16-6 on the Redbirds' Senior Night.
    Giebelhausen had seven points in the period, and East Peoria shut out Metamora over the last 5:12.
    The lone Redbird highlight of the frame was a Carrie James four-point play. Besides that long-range basket, the hosts were 1-of-12 from the floor.
    Kurth drained her second 3-pointer at the 7:41 mark of the second quarter, and Courtney Potendyk followed with a bucket to give the Raiders their biggest lead of the night.
    Two hoops by Reedy and another by Potendyk, who tallied eight points, gave East Peoria a 13-point advantage.
    But Metamora trimmed its deficit to 28-20 before a Kurth trey with 1:20 until halftime.
    Reserve Kellie Steele gave the Redbirds a lift with six of her eight points in the second period. Her third basket made it 31-22 at intermission.
    East Peoria could have led by 18 or 20 points at the break, but misses from close range and Metamora corralling loose balls kept the gap from expanding.
    By reeling off the first nine points of the third quarter, Metamora created a deadlock with 5:34 left.
    Reedy stepped up and sank a 3, then Giebelhausen did the same thing the next time down the floor, restoring a 37-31 advantage.
    "That was huge," said Bowman. "Those are instant blood-pressure reducers."
    The Raider cushion stretched to 10 points on a 6-0 spurt as Potendyk and steady contributor Ally Watson hit shots surrounding a pair of free throws by Reedy.
    The Redbirds, trying to avoid their seventh straight M-I loss, crawled back within 43-40 with 5:37 to go in the game.
    Kurth scored on a drive to the goal, and Reedy followed with two foul shots, generated by a transition break, to up the margin to 47-40 with five minutes remaining.
    With the surplus still at a tenuous five points, Reedy completed her 17-point night at 1:53. Kurth split two free throws a minute later to make a comeback nearly impossible.
    Giebelhausen finished off Metamora with a 2-for-2 result at the charity stripe.
    Page 2 of 2 - East Peoria got the league victory it has sought for more than a month.
    "We had some games that were not bad, we just couldn't quite get over the hump," Bowman said.
    The team had another chance with a Tuesday game at seventh-place Pekin.
    The Raiders swept the season series from the Redbirds, who were paced by Cassidy Ioerger's 17 points.
    Senior Night: Potendyk and Nicole Montgomery will be recognized prior to East Peoria's tip-off Friday with conference champion Morton.
    Postseason: East Peoria begins play next week in its own Class 3A regional.
    The fourth-seeded Raiders meet No. 5 seed Notre Dame at 6 p.m. Monday.
    The winner returns to Allison Gymnasium at 6 p.m. the next night to square off against No. 1 seed Canton.
    In the other Tuesday semifinal, No. 2 seed Limestone awaits the winner of the Manual-Central quarterfinal, which also is set for Monday.
    The regional championship game will be played at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 14.
    "The regional is wide open. It's who is playing well at the end of the season," said Bowman. "It will be tough, but we're looking forward to it."
    One team not peaking is Canton, which will lug a three-game conference losing skid into this week's M-I finale vs. Washington.
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