Maddy Cash was named to the all-tournament team.

Molly Flannigan was one of the top rebounders in the tournament even though she's only 5-foot-5.

Young players made major contributions.

It was a productive three days at the 25th annual Charleston Holiday Tournament for the Pekin girls basketball team even though the Dragons (7-9) won just two of five games.

"We did some good things, and there are things we need to improve on," said Pekin coach Becky Fulkerson.

The Dragons went 2-2 in the Red Pool, finishing third among five teams. Then they lost 72-43 to Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin, which placed third in the five-team Gold Pool, in the fifth-place game.

Cash was Pekin's leading scorer in three of the Dragons' five tournament games.

"Maddy is consistent offensively, and she's also is our best defender," Fulkerson said.
Flannigan's rebounding was remarkable at Charleston. She had 31 boards in five games, averaging 6.2 per game.

"Molly is usually one of the smallest players in the court, but she's always one of the smartest," Fulkerson said. "She does a great job getting herself in position for a rebound. She's having a breakthrough season in her senior year."

Pekin opened tournament play Wednesday with a 51-36 win over Rantoul. Cash poured in 25 points. She was 6-for-6 at the free throw line.

"I didn't realize Maddy had 25 points until I saw the box score," Fulkerson said. "She was finishing her drives and shooting 3's well, but she also was looking to dish the ball. She wasn't being selfish."

Taylor Goss had eight points for the Dragons and Flannigan had six rebounds.
That night, Pekin fell 71-42 to Charleston. Cash led the way with 11 points and Flannigan had eight points along with six rebounds.

The Dragons rebounded from the loss with a 44-42 win Thursday over Urbana.
Cash, who had a team-high dozen points, made a critical free throw on an Urbana technical foul late in the game.

Goss had 10 points, Flannigan had eight points and five rebounds and Tess Cascia had eight points for Pekin.

"Our defensive rebounding was huge against Urbana," Fulkerson said.

Pekin played twice Friday, losing 65-60 in overtime to Paris in pool play, then to Sacred Heart-Griffin.

Down 31-19 to Paris at halftime, the Dragons rallied to cut the lead to 44-41 after three quarters and sent the game into overtime at 54-54.
Pekin scored the first two baskets in OT, but three straight turnovers hurt and the Dragons couldn't recover.

Flannigan led Pekin with 16 points and Cash had 12. Jenna Taphorn and Goss each had nine points for the Dragons. Flannigan had seven rebounds and was 10-for-10 on free throws, all in the second half.

Fulkerson said the Dragons' second-half rally was fueled by strong play by Natalie Righi and Taphorn.

Pekin stuck with Sacred Heart-Griffin for a half, trailing only 27-25 at the break, before fatigue set in.

"Our girls gave a great effort against Sacred Heart-Griffin even though they were tired," Fulkerson said.

Goss led Pekin with 13 points and Flannigan had 12 points along with seven rebounds.

Cash and Flannigan are seniors. Goss, Cascia and Righi are freshmen and Taphorn is a sophomore.

Steve Stein can be reached at stevestein21@yahoo.com. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.