The Pekin girls basketball team has its first victory of 2018.

The Dragons (8-13) raced to a 26-2 halftime lead Wednesday night and defeated host Chillicothe IVC 40-22 in a non-conference game.

The win followed Pekin losses to Washington, Davenport (Iowa) North, Limestone and Dunlap to begin the year and ended a six-game losing streak that started at the Charleston Holiday Tournament.

Pekin's last win was a 44-42 victory over Urbana on Dec. 28 at Charleston.

"We did a great job defensively against IVC and our rebounding was good," said Pekin coach Becky Fulkerson.

All 10 Pekin players got substantial playing time vs. the Grey Ghosts (2-16) including sophomore Braelyn Oberle, who made her varsity debut.

"Braelyn has been working hard on our sophomore team. She earned the call-up," Fulkerson said. "We need to start thinking about the postseason, when we'll have more players on our bench."

Eight Pekin players scored against IVC, led by Maddy Cash with 10 points. Jenna Taphorn had seven and Tess Cascia had six.

The Grey Ghosts did not score in the first quarter. It was 14-0 at the end of the quarter.

"IVC has a very young team, but a hard-working team. They played hard even after being down 26-2 at halftime," Fulkerson said. "They have a nice foundation. They're only going to get better."

Pekin will be home Friday night to face Mid-Illini Conference rival Washington (15-6, 5-3) in a rematch from a Jan. 5 game won 49-39 by the Panthers on their home court. Tipoff will be about 7 p.m.
The Dragons are 1-7 in conference play.

Steve Stein can be reached at stevestein21@yahoo.com. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.