The Pekin girls basketball team’s trip Tuesday night to Metamora can be summed up in one word.
“It was an extremely physical game. We took a lot of hits,” Pekin coach Becky Fulkerson said following the Dragons’ 68-41 loss to the Redbirds in a Mid-Illini Conference game.
Pekin star Maddy Cash rolled her ankle in the second quarter and sat out the rest of the game. She finished with only four points.
Metamora led 38-20 at halftime, making the decision of whether to put Cash back in the game an easy one.
“Could Maddy have played if the game was closer? That would have been up to her,” Fulkerson said.
Pekin’s Lauren Juergens scored nine points, “and she took a beating,” Fulkerson said. “She was tough.”
Molly Flannigan matched Juergens’ nine points for the Dragons (10-17, 2-11) and Taylor Goss and Natalie Righi each scored seven points.
Physical play aside, it wasn’t a good night for Pekin.
“We had trouble executing our offense and on defense, it seemed we were always a step behind,” Fulkerson said.
It was a significant victory for Metamora (13-12, 6-7). The Redbirds haven’t won 13 games in a season since they were 19-12 in 2009-10.
Metamora started this season 3-7. The Redbirds are 10-5 since then.
“Only a couple of our kids got significant playing time last year, so it took us awhile to get going,” said Metamora coach Brianna Morrow. “When we move the ball, attack the basket and go inside-out, we can be really good.”
The Redbirds’ Reagan Begole scored 18 points against Pekin. Washington transfer Anne Peters had 17 and Alivia West had 15. Begone is averaging 12.8 points per game and Peters is averaging 10.5.
Pekin will wrap up its regular season Friday night when it hosts Limestone in a Mid-Illini game at Hawkins Gym.
It will be Senior Night. Cash and Flannigan will be honored. Tipoff will be about 7 p.m.
Peoria Journal Star contributed to this report. Steve Stein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.