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Titans Fall to Illini West

January 13, 2014
Warsaw High School

The West Hancock Titans couldn't get their offense on track against Illini West Thursday.

West Hancock missed 19 of its first 20 field goal attempts in the Titans' second game of the day at the Beardstown Lady Tigers Classic. Illini West took advantage by building a double-digit lead at the start of the second quarter, and the Chargers maintained their double-digit advantage most of the way for a 51-38 win.

"We really stress defense in practice, and I thought today our defensive pressure and our defensive mentality was there," said Illini West Head Coach Grant Surprenant. "When we were in our halfcourt defense, we did a good job of contesting their shots. We knew that West Hancock was going to shoot a lot of threes. As long as we contested their shots like we did, it did make it a little hard for them to make those shots. Overall, I'm happy with our defense, but we have to continue to get better."

West Hancock finished the game 12 of 45 from the field, but seven of those made field goals came in the final quarter.

"We had some good opportunities and some good looks," said West Hancock Head Coach Adam Brumbaugh. "It's not like we're not good opportunities. We're getting shots in the paint and open threes. We'll build off that and continue to get better and improve and play for that next game."

Keaghan Shacklett hit a short jumper to pull West Hancock to within 5-4, but Illini West scored the final eight points of the first quarter. Elyce Trout opened the second quarter with a jumper, and Aubrie Carlisle scored off an offensive rebound to extend the lead to 17-4.

Allison Dewald drove the lane and scored for West Hancock's first field goal in the second quarter with 3:49 remaining. Carly Runge added a three-pointer to cut the deficit to 19-9, but Illini West went into halftime with a 23-11 lead.

Runge converted a three-point early in the third quarter to pull the Titans to within 25-16, but a layup by Carlisle and a three-pointer by Josie Finch pushed the margin to 14 points. The Chargers ended the third quarter on a 12-2 run for a 37-18 lead.

Michaela Gronewold's three-point play gave Illini West its biggest lead at 41-18 with 6:59 remaining.

"You could tell in the second half, the rust was off of us," Surprenant said. "We did a good job of being patient and attacking and looking to score. We missed some easy bunnies, but those are the looks we're looking for. I know we'll make those shots down the road."

Alexis Dooley scored six points during a 13-2 run for West Hancock that cut the deficit to 43-31, but it was as close as the Titans would get.

"We got it down to nine in the third and we cut it down late again, but there are just stretches where they will score six points within 30 seconds and you don't know what hit you," Brumbaugh said. "We'll learn from it."

Runge scored 13 points to lead West Hancock. Dooley added eight points and 13 rebounds. Shelby Koehler had six points. Dewald and Shacklett each tossed in four points, and Haleigh Hammel finished with three points.

Gronewold scored 15 points to pace Illini West, 10-2 on the season. Carlisle added 13 points. Finch netted eight points. Jenna Bryan chipped in six points. Trout tallied four points. Shelbi White had three points, and Graci Bastert finished with two points.

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