A victory and a loss on the same night.
It’s been that kind of a season for the Pekin girls basketball team.
The Dragons defeated host East Peoria 51-37 Tuesday in a Mid-Illini Conference game in Allison Gym, but lost starter Jenna Taphorn to an ankle injury.
“Jenna rolled her ankle in the first quarter going for a rebound and missed the rest of the game,” said Pekin coach Brett McGinnis. “You just can’t plan for those types of things.”
Especially when those things happen more than once.
The Dragons (5-23, 2-11) lost Tess Cascia (knee) and Remi Wagemann (arm) earlier to season-ending injuries. That might be Taphorn’s fate, too, with Pekin’s regular season coming to a close.
Ironically, Taphorn’s twin brother Justin Taphorn, who plays for the Pekin boys basketball team, suffered an ankle injury earlier this season and missed a few games.
There was plenty of good news to report from Pekin’s win over East Peoria (2-24, 0-13), its second over the Raiders in two conference games.
Taylor Goss poured 24 points for the Dragons and Gracie Kizer added 11. Each had three triples. Goss is a sophomore and Kizer is a freshman.
Goss had 15 points in the first half, helping the Dragons take a 28-13 lead at the intermission.
“East Peoria went to a box-and-one defense in the third quarter to stop Taylor, and she didn’t score in that quarter. We scored only eight points as a team,” McGinnis said.
Goss and the Dragons finished strong. Goss had nine points in the fourth quarter.
“Taylor was aggressive offensively and got good shots,” McGinnis said. “Several of our girls shot well. It was a good confidence boost for them.”
Natalie Righi and Ariel Chism each had six points for Pekin.
“Natalie does a lot of things that don’t show up in the statistics,” McGinnis. “She always seems to be in the right place at the right time.”
Sarah LaHood led East Peoria with 14 points. She had four triples.
Next for Pekin is its regular-season finale at 7 p.m. Friday at Mid-Illini opponent Limestone (9-18, 3-10). It will be Senior Night for the Rockets.
Steve Stein can be reached at (248) 224-2616 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.