This group will be remembered for a long time by the local girls basketball community.

The 2013-14 East Peoria team went 19-9 to break by one the record for victories in a single season.

“It was a fun year. We had people step up that we weren't sure going in how they'd do,” EPCHS head coach Jay Bowman said. “For the most part, people did their jobs and did them well.”

This group will be remembered for a long time by the local girls basketball community.

The 2013-14 East Peoria team went 19-9 to break by one the record for victories in a single season.

“It was a fun year. We had people step up that we weren’t sure going in how they’d do,” EPCHS head coach Jay Bowman said. “For the most part, people did their jobs and did them well.”

The Raiders placed third in the Mid-Illini Conference, their highest standing since 2002-03.

The 10-4 record was the most M-I victories ever for the program, also one more than the group 11 years ago.

East Peoria came a long ways in a short time to be one of the area’s better teams.

The Raiders were 5-22 in ’11-12 in Bowman’s first season as head coach, then went 12-16 last season before adding another seven wins this winter.

“It was fun to see them have some success,” Bowman said. “They leave as the best team ever.”

East Peoria won six of its first seven games and kept it going all season long, never losing more than two in a row.

The Raiders were rewarded for their success after the core players came in daily in the summer to prepare for the season.

It was a big year across the board in girls basketball.

“Program-wide, it was the most successful season on all levels,” said Bowman.

The sophomores were 10-4 in the conference and the freshman team went 8-6.

East Peoria earned a statement win Feb. 14 at Morton.

The record-setting 51-45 triumph not only prevented the Potters from picking up a share of their fourth straight M-I championship, it also was believed to be the Raiders’ first win over a team ranked in the state’s top five.

“That really gave us confidence going into regionals,” Bowman said.

That victory was the squad’s first over Morton since the ’09-10 season.

East Peoria turned that effort into a strong first-half showing Feb. 18 against state No. 5 Washington in the Class 3A Metamora Regional semifinals.

“The first half defensively was as strong as I’ve seen us,” said Bowman of the fourth meeting between the rivals. “We were very competitive for most of it.”

The Lady Panthers, a super-sectional participant, turned a six-point deficit at the half into a 45-33 win.

Senior Kylie Giebelhausen generated a season that rivaled anyone in the area.

She led East Peoria with 17.4 points, 8.1 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 3.9 blocks and 1.2 steals per game.

“She kept all her strengths the same and increased the scoring,” said Bowman of the player who became the sixth Raider girl in the 1,000-point club Feb. 11.

An extremely versatile player, Giebelhausen is not defined by a position. She does everything well, which helped the Raiders take advantage of mismatches.

“She allowed us to be fluid in our game plan,” Bowman said of the player who can defend anyone. “I think she’s one of the top players in the state.”

Giebelhausen also topped East Peoria with 76 percent free-throw shooting.

Senior Michaela Reedy was the No. 2 scorer at 9.1 ppg and chipped in 3.0 rpg.

In addition to her offensive presence, Reedy was important at the other end of the floor as well.

“Her biggest contribution was defending the other team’s best guard,” said Bowman.

He pointed to Reedy’s work on Morton top scorer Chandler Ryan in the Raiders’ Valentine’s Day upset. “She did that to a number of guards,” he said.

Sarah Kurth, a senior, gave East Peoria an outside shooter every opponent had to monitor closely. She provided 7.1 ppg.

Junior Brooke Jacobs closed with a flurry after moving into the starting line-up.

“She has the size of a center, but moves like a guard,” said Bowman. “She has great hands.”

Jacobs averaged 5.0 ppg and 3.7 rpg, but those numbers were significantly higher when her role expanded. She shot a team-best 53 percent from the floor.

Jaycie Stealy, a senior, tallied 4.4 ppg and 2.4 rpg, while embracing her new role in the post.

“I’m proud of Jaycie’s season. She was so coachable and did a lot of the little things,” Bowman said.

Senior Turner MacPhee made half of her limited field-goal attempts.

“The girls got along and enjoyed being around each other. That makes it fun,” said Bowman.

Multiple East Peoria players can expect first- or-second-team all-conference accolades.

This was Bowman’s final year directing the girls program, due to family considerations. It was a decision made a couple years back.

The Raiders’ schedule next year will include the same tournaments at Galesburg and Manual and likely a new non-conference foe in place of Richwoods.