Class 2A EPG Regional girls' basketball from Monday

Any coach whose team will be an underdog in later rounds is always happy to get that first game in while the favored sit. El Paso-Gridley and Flanagan-Cornell-Woodland were the fortunate ones on Monday and both came away with one-sided victories to move on at the Class 2A El Paso-Gridley Regional girls’ basketball tournament.
    EPG eliminated Dee-Mack 44-27 in the first game and FCW ended Henry-Senachwine’s campaign with a 52-17 win in the late game.
EPG 44, Dee-Mack 27
    There were two runs of significance for the Titans (16-13) that allowed them to move into tonight’s semifinal round against top-seed Fieldcrest. The first was in the second quarter when EPG created some breathing room in an otherwise tight contest.
    The eight-point surge began with a Breanna Kelly free throw to make it 9-7 and concluded with a Cheyenne Carr charity toss that pushed the score to 16-7. In between saw Ashlyn Stone score inside add two free throws and Gracie Feeney sink two tosses.
    Dee-Mack really did not pose much of a threat the rest of the way. But the Chiefs did stick around, trailing 20-14 at the half and 27-20 late in the third, before EPG went on its second run.
    “Basketball is a game of runs,” EPG head coach Kyle Bobbitt said. “I felt offensively, we moved the ball around and had a lot of shots early, they just didn’t go in. I told them at half to be confident.”
    The run, which really extended into the fourth period, began with a 3-pointer from Maegan Stone and was followed, after a Dee-Mack score, by Carr scoring on a break after taking a feed from Stone, who had gotten the ball from Lauren Hoselton.
    Carr added three more baskets and a free throw while Stone buried another 3-pointer as the Titans built a 39-20 advantage 36 seconds into the final frame.
    “I’m happy with the way we played, we had a couple of runs — one that gave us a cushion, one that out it away for us,” Bobbitt said. “We’ve been working on ball movement, player movement and getting dangerous. I felt that’s what we did.”
    Carr finished with 13 points and Feeney had 10 for the Titans. Maegan Stone collected 9 points and 9 rebounds while Ashlyn Stone scored 6 points. Hoselton and Kelly each had 3 points.
    Jessica Carrithers led Dee-Mack (8-17) with 10 points.
FCW 52, Henry 17
    Flanagan-Cornell-Woodland scored the first 26 points of the game and Henry-Senachwine was unable to pose any threat in falling by the wayside.
    With Peoria Christian head coach Frankie King scouting, Korbin Collins provided an interesting bit information by scoring FCW’s first eight points in a variety of ways. She scored inside, hit three free throws and nailed a 3-pointer as the Falcons took charge.
    Sam Lyons and Rachael Quaritsch each scored four points as FCW closed out the opening frame with a 16-0 lead.
    Lyons and Quaritsch added four more points apiece and Collins scored two as the lead grew to 26-0.
    Henry head coach Ruark Crawley used a timeout and set up a play with 3:20 left in the first half. It worked as Kylie LeQuia scored the Mallards’ first points of the game.
    Holding such a big lead early allowed FCW head coach Ron Spencer to use his entire bench for extensive periods of time.
    “I wanted to get two quarters out of my starters, it may have been a little less than that, so that was good; got everybody some playing time,” Spencer said. “Playing that first game, getting in (was good). Peoria (Christian) doesn’t have that. He was here scouting, not much to see so that’s a good thing, too.”
    Spencer is looking for vast improvement from his team. The popular term for a game like this going is calling it a “trap game.” There were no surprises, no traps sprung. But the Falcons were not up to the coach’s desired level.
    “We didn’t box out well, our execution wasn’t very good. We didn’t shoot particularly well,” Spencer said. “These games can be difficult.”
    The Mallards came to a life a bit in the second half, scoring 15 points.
    Collins led FCW (16-13) with 12 points while Quaritsch added 11 and Lyons threw in 10 points. Mckenna Roth added 6 points, Regan Reed and Jadyn Mitchell each scored 4 with Elise Kane and Emily Friese tossing in 2 points each. Hannah Jones had 1 point.
    Madison Darrow led Henry (2-23) with 9 points.
    Tonight’s schedule will begin with Fieldcrest, the second seed in the sub-sectional but top-seed at EPG, will take on the host school at 6 p.m. Peoria Christian, the third seed overall and second here, meets FCW in the second game.