Kaitlynn Henning scored 14 points and a tenacious pressure defense was very effective as the Charlestown girls’ basketball team defeated visiting Eastern Pekin 49-36 Tuesday night.
Charlestown (14-2) applied full-court pressure from the start and it led to a 21-8 advantage from which Eastern Pekin (11-5) couldn’t recover.
“We kind of planned to make things a little difficult for them with pressure and we didn’t know if it would work or not,” said Charlestown head coach Michael Prichard. ”If it didn’t work we would have got out of it really quickly, but we stayed with it the entire game and although we got beat a few times with it, mostly it was effective.”
Eastern Pekin scored, and Charlestown went on an 8-0 run keyed by steals and easy baskets inside. Eastern pulled within 11-8 late in the first period but a 10-0 run gave the Pirates a 13-point lead. Eastern Pekin pulled within six thanks to a 7-0 run of its own, but Henning answered with two drives and a free throw to extend it back to 11. At halftime, Charlestown led 30-21.
Whenever Charlestown needed a basket it seemed Henning responded, but she was hardly the only scoring threat. Four players scored at least nine points for the Lady Pirates.
“That always helps because it makes it hard for people to key in on any one player,” Prichard said. “They always go after Kaitlynn and Justice, but with other players stepping up it really makes it hard on the other team.”
So did the pressure defense. Eastern struggled to score in the third period as Charlestown extended the lead to 35-21, and the Musketeers could answer. It was Taylor Drury, who led all scorers with 15 points, who ended the drought.
Two times the Pirates extended the lead to 15 before settling on the 13-point victory.
“We’re in a rough stretch,” Prichard said. “We play Jeff, Brownstown, and Eastern was playing about as good as anybody. I like where we are, but hopefully we keep striving to do better.
Eastern Pekin (11-5) – Taylor Drury 15, Bailey England 9, Rachel Stewart 4, Kaitlyn Stewart 4, Emily Eisenback 2, Rebekah Fiest 2.
Charlestown (14-2) – Kaitlynn Henning 14, Justice Burdin 10, Lexi Logsdon 9, Bethany Hall 9, Shelby Goedecker 7.
3-point goals – England 1, Goedecker 1.