A new era of Pekin volleyball began Thursday with a season-opening win over Peoria Richwoods.
With four-year star Hannah Thompson now playing for Bradley, the host Dragons beat Richwoods 25-21, 25-15 at Hawkins Gym.
Emma Clark had seven kills for Pekin. Brooke Sherwood dished out 11 assists and Logan Finneran had 10 assists. Olivia Evans had a dozen digs.
Lauren Juergens had two blocks for the Dragons and Finneran had two aces.
CREDIT CARDS: There’s no doubt about it. The Morton boys golf team earned its 150-165 win Thursday over Pekin at Pine Lakes in a Mid-Illini Conference match.
“Give Morton credit. They played well,” said Pekin coach Jeremy Crouch. “It seemed like they were in control the entire day. Playing on their home course helped, but they would have played well anywhere.”
Morton coach Jamie King -- like Crouch, a former Pekin basketball star -- agreed his team was on top of its game Thursday, especially after a disappointing loss Tuesday to Canton in a Mid-Illini opener.
“Our team has four returnees from last year, but they all have a different, larger role than they previously did,” King said. “These guys are still getting used to their roles and the responsibilities that come with them, but they’re continuing to get better.”
The new roles are the result of Tommy Kuhl’s graduation. The four-year star has started his collegiate career at Illinois.
Medalist Conner Vicary led Morton (2-3, 1-1) past Pekin (5-3, 1-1) with a 2-under-par 33.
Cade Coon (38), Colin Roche (39) and Andrew Osing (40) also scored for the Potters. Bailey Strode (42) and Chase Greene (52) rounded out Morton’s lineup.
Justin Taphorn (40) and Cooper Theleritis (40) led Pekin. Mason Minkel (42), Brady Hilst (43) and Ethan Sullivan (43) also scored for the Dragons. Jon Kuethe (44) was Pekin’s other golfer.
“We played OK. I’m sure our guys wish they had some shots back,” Crouch said. “Morton rose to the occasion. They knew how important the match was for them. They didn’t want to go 0-2 in the conference.”
Canton (4-0, 2-0) stayed undefeated Thursday with a razor-thin 180-181 win over host East Peoria at Quail Meadows.
LICK CREEK RULES: And the winner is ... Lick Creek.
The home course for the Pekin girls golf team was the big winner Thursday in Morton’s 215-244 victory over the Dragons in a Mid-Illini Conference match.
“Lick Creek played about as tough as it could,” said Pekin coach Chris Neville. “Long rough and tough pin positions gave us a lot of trouble. We putted poorly and couldn’t hit consecutive good shots to get to the green.”
Summer Dick led Pekin (2-2, 1-1) with 52, “but while she played pretty well from tee to green, her 23 putts was about four more than her average,” Neville said. “The rest of the girls on our team had only one or two good holes.”
Madison Raines, Sarah Butler and Jaden Rogers all shot 64 for Pekin.
Medalist Katy Troyer led Morton with 45. Allison Smith (54), Maddy Becker (57), Olivia Remmert (59) and Peyton Brown (59). also scored for the Potters. Kayla Scheck had 62.
Neville said he was hoping for a good practice Friday before the Dragons compete Saturday in the Central Catholic Invitational at Prairie Vista in Bloomington. It will be Pekin’s first 18-hole competition of the season.
Morton opened its Mid-Illini season Tuesday with a 186-244 win over Canton at Pine Lakes.
Troyer (37), Brown (47), Remmert (48) and Becker (54) scored for Morton. Smith (56) and Scheck (64) also competed for the Potters. Sloan Shawgo (55) led Canton.
TWO OF FIVE: The Illini Bluffs boys golf team finished second among five teams Thursday in the ICAC tournament at WeeMaTuk.
Williamsfield won with 350 and the Tigers were 12 strokes back at 362. IB’s Braden Bruninga placed third in the individual standings with 83.
TWO RAIDERS: Midwest Central boys golfers Caleb Stewart and Braden Garman each shot 54 in a three-team match Thursday at Country Hills hosted by Illini Central.
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