Pekin coaches and players weren't happy Friday night after the Lady Dragons were outplayed by Washington in a Mid-Illini Conference girls basketball game at Dawson Hawkins Gym.


So they talked about the 56-43 defeat. There was a players' only discussion after a team meeting.

"It was a frustrating loss," said Pekin coach Becky Fulkerson. "That was Washington's first win in the conference (after four losses). They'd lost to some teams we had beaten."

The Lady Dragons' frustration didn't last long. Pekin defeated Davenport (Iowa) Central 63-40 Saturday afternoon at Augustana University's Carver Center in the ninth annual Illinois-Iowa Shootout.

Davenport Central (1-9) isn't a powerhouse. In fact, the Blue Devils' lone win this season, which came just before the holiday break, snapped a 45-game losing streak.

How Pekin (12-6) won in Rock Island was more important than the team it beat.

"It was an all-around better game for us than Friday," Fulkerson said. "Our ball-handling, rebounding, offensive execution and defense were much better. We played our style of game."

Fulkerson was especially happy to see the game statistics list Pekin with 10 assists against Davenport Central.

"That showed we were looking for each other on offense and sharing the ball," she said.

Sydney Diekhoff led Pekin to the win with 20 points. She also had seven rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks.

Natalie Johnson contributed 14 points, Maddy Cash had nine points and Abbie Olsen had seven points.

"We got off to a good start, which really helped," Fulkerson said. "We got the opening tip and Maddy (Cash) made a 3-pointer after rebounding a missed three. Anytime you hit an early shot, that gives everyone confidence."

Diekhoff and Johnson each scored eight points in the second quarter, when Pekin outscored Davenport Central 21-12 to take a 39-23 halftime lead. Diekhoff had 10 points in the third quarter.

Davenport Central's Karlie Westmoreland scored 13 points. Ania Jackson had 10 points for second-year coach Rita Jett's team.

Pekin will return to action Tuesday at Limestone. It will be the final game of the first round of conference action. The Dragons are 3-3 in the Mid-Illini.