DU QUOIN — Harrisburg held Du Quoin to one point in the third quarter and five points in the second half to beat the Lady Indians, 55-25, to remain undefeated in a cross River-to-River Conference girls basketball game Thursday.
"It’s hard to win ballgames with only five points in the second half, but my girls played super, super hard tonight against a really good team," said Du Quoin coach Shawn File. "We’re really close to hitting shots. We getting good looks and weren’t missing shots bad. We were aggressive in the first half, getting Miller in foul trouble, and did a decent job on their post players."
Harrisburg improved to 7-0 to tie the 1989 team for the most wins to start a season in school history, while Du Quoin dropped its third game in a row to fall to 2-4.
"Saturday night we go to Union County, a very tough environment to play, to see if we can have the best start in school history, and that’s something the kids want," said Harrisburg coach Jake Stewart. "They want to have a big year."
Lotte Miller and Karysn Davis led the Lady Bulldogs with 15 points each. Miller also had eight rebounds and five steals while Davis finished with six rebounds. Matty Hawkins was the leading rebounder with nine.
"The game plan was to execute what we practiced over the whole week we’ve been studying them," Miller said. "Coach Stewart said not every game is going to be easy, and tonight was a hard one despite the score."
Harrisburg jumped out to a 5-0 lead on a 3-pointer by Jessica Hopson and a layup by Miller. Katie Smith got the Lady Indians on the board with jumper from the left corner, but Harrisburg rallied back to take a seven-point lead on two baskets by Miller and a layup by Davis, wrapped around a 3-pointer by Meryn Gross for the Lady Indians.
"Coach File always has their kids play hard," Stewart said. "We got into some foul trouble in the first half and missed some shots while they made some good plays."
Du Quoin cut the lead to three on a fast break layup by Grace Haney, but a layup by Matty Hawkins gave the Lady Bulldogs a 15-10 lead going into the second quarter.
Harrisburg extended the lead to 13 with 5:12 left in the first half, helped by three baskets by Davis, but the Lady Indians rallied back, cutting the lead to six with 1:55 remaining on basket and two free throws by Elizabeth Bird, a putback by Bailey Harsy and a 3-pointer by Gross.
With 0.9 seconds left, Brooke Meylor hit a jumper for the left corner to give Harrisburg a 28-20 lead at the half.
Harrisburg took control of the game in the third quarter, scoring the first 11 points to extend its lead to 39-20 with 1:43 remaining. Du Quoin finally snapped its scoreless streak that lasted nine minutes and 25 seconds when Harsy was fouled with 19.9 seconds left in the third and made her second free throw after missing her first.
"At the half we talked about how we hang our hat on defense, because we we should be able to score enough points to win," Stewart said. "So in the second half, we just locked them up defensively."
Harsy’s point didn’t slow down Harrisburg in the fourth, as the Lady Bulldogs scored the first seven points on a 3-pointer by Hopson followed by jumpers by Hawkins and Miller.
Bird snapped the run with a bucket from under the net off the in-bounds pass, but the Lady Bulldogs ended the game on a 9-2 run.