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Du Quoin knocks Chester out of Regional.


DU QUOIN - The Lady Indians made it through the first round of their own IHSA Class 2A Regional with a solid 66-54 win over the Chester Yellow Jackets.

"We would've liked to be a little stronger in the first half tonight," said Indians' coach Shawn File. "We got a little careless at times, but we ran some good sets and they had a hard time guarding us. We got some big shots when we needed to so we did a good job."

Lone senior Grace Haney kicked things off early, but Chester responded and took the lead with field goals from Reese Chandler and point leader Destiny Williams.

The Yellow Jackets stretched their lead with a 3-pointer from Chandler and the Indians responded with their own trey by Chloe Hill.

Late in the first, sophomore Elizabeth Bird posted six points to bring her team to within one point (15-14) before teammate Bailey Harsy launched a 3-pointer to give Du Quoin a 17-15 lead.

Haney added a last-second field goal to stretch the lead before the second.

Coming from behind, Chester knotted the score at 19 points and then at 22 points. Eventually, a field goal from Williams put the Yellow Jackets ahead again until Katie Smith tallied a pair of free throws to knot the score at 26 points.

Bird quickly broke the tie and the Indians again took the lead.

They would not give it up again for the rest of the game.

The Tribe went into the second half with a seven-point lead (35-28) where they stretched further ahead with help from Meryn Gross who tallied the first of three treys scored by the Indians in the third quarter. Hill and Harsy nailed the other two.

Into the final quarter, Bird added six more points to put her team up 60-41 early in the period. Chester would not score until midway through from Williams.

Williams tallied 10 points in the fourth and teammate Katie Shinabargar added a 3-pointer, but the Yellow Jackets did not have enough time and the Indians advanced to the semi-final round of the tournament.

"Williams is special for them," File said after the game. "We had Chloe on her and Williams earned everything she got. We saw her on film, but in person is total different. She does a lot of things very well."

Bird finished with 19 points on the night to lead the Tribe.

Following her was Haney (12 points), Hill (10 points), Harsy (eight points), Delaynie Dearmond (six points), Gross (five points), and Morgan Bullar and Smith (three points each).

"Grace is our only senior and she didn't want to stop tonight," File said. "Elizabeth brings so much energy off the bench. She's long and she is hard to guard."

At the line, the Indians finished 11-for-19 (58 percent).

Leading the Yellow Jackets was Williams with 29 points. Following her was Chandler (12 points), Kendall Williams (five points), Shinabargar (three points) and Abby Myers (two points).

The Indians compete tonight at 6 against Hamilton County. The winner will play in the championship game on Thursday.

"We feel like we have a couple more games in us," File said. "We played Hamilton County in January. They're a great team and we'll have our work cut out for us."

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Publication:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Date:Feb 6, 2018
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