The Community R-VI varsity girls basketball team didn’t know what to expect coming into the squad’s first match-up against Prairie Home in the opening round of the Class 1, District 9 tournament.
But a late spark fueled by Amelia Knipfel’s second half scoring drive helped the Lady Trojans to a 42-38 victory.
Prairie Home edged Community R-VI in the first quarter 7-5 and won the second 14-9 for a 21-14 lead at the half.
“The first half we were very tight and nervous only making six field goals at the break,” Community R-VI head coach Bob Curtis said.
“Once we made a few adjustments, we had cut the lead to one going into the final frame.”
The Lady Trojans rallied in the third quarter to win it 13-7 and finshed the game on a 15-10 run for the victory.
Knipfel led the Lady Trojans with a game-high 15 points, two 3-pointers, and three steals; Emmalee McCoskey followed with nine points; Paige Curtis tallied eight points; Paige Harris chipped in five points; Ashley Steele and Danielle Brooks each had two points; and Julie Hale had one point.
“The contest would not have been close if we didn’t shoot a dismal 14-for-33 from the free throw line Monday night,” Curtis said.
Falls to Chamois
Two nights later, the Lady Trojans matched up against Chamois, who had won their district one year ago with nearly the same group and an all-state forward moving on to play Division 1 ball for Southern Illinois.
Community R-VI fell 43-11 to end the season in round two of the Class 1, District 9 tournament.
Chamois took an early 8-5 lead and finished the half with a 17-9 edge.
“I told the girls at half that we were in a very good place with such a low score and only down eight after struggling from the field” Curtis said.
“Defense has been a strong point for this team all year and it was giving the Pirates fits throughout the first half. Unfortunately, we could not penetrate and get to the foul line as we only shot six free throws in the contest.”
The Lady Pirates held Community R-VI scoreless in the third quarter and finished the contest on a 10-2 run.
“I credit Chamois with a great defensive effort and wish them good luck for the rest of their postseason,” Curtis said.
“Senior leaders Curtis and Harris have been amazing for us this season and great role models for younger players. Their toughness and will to win really stick out as I look at their impressive four-year career. It was never a question of whether they were going to play when the had an injury. Simply put, they were going to play through the pain to get a win for their hometown. I am proud to have been their coach and know they will have success in whatever they do in the future.”
The Lady Trojans finished 16-10 on the season and 6-3 in conference play.