MURPHYSBORO – It was a record night at Memorial Gymnasium Monday as Murphysboro scored a team-record 93 points and senior Arie Ciganovich made a team-record eight 3-pointers and scored a personal record of 30 points to lead the Red Devils to a 93-38 win over Sparta in a River-to-River cross-conference girls basketball game.
"I was just hoping to play hard and get a win," said Murphysboro coach Keith Jones. "Arie is capable of that and when they sit back in a zone we’re going to let her fire away."
Murphysboro improved to 13-6 winning its second game in a row for the first time since December 12 and 14. The 93 points broke one of the longest standing records in the record book surpassing the 91 points scored against Harrisburg on January 23, 1982.
Ciganovich’s record night came after she didn’t take a single shot or score a point against Anna-Jonesboro Saturday.
"They were face-guarding me pretty good Saturday, so I tried to get my teammates shots," Ciganovich said.
Ciganovich broke her own record of seven 3-pointers set on November 13, 2017 against Woodlawn. The senior’s previous single game scoring record was 27 points.
"Usually when teams play zone against us we do better because we can swing the ball and get the defense rocking," Ciganovich said.
The game didn’t start out Murphysboro’s way with Sparta jumping out to 5-0 on a 3-pointer followed by a steal and a layup by Amyia Henry in the first 44 seconds. The rest of the first quarter went back-and-forth with the scored tied 17-17 with 3:11 left in the quarter. Henry led the Lady Bulldogs with 23 points.
Deairra Harris then scored on a layup and Kayla Walker followed with a putback of own missed shot to give Murphysboro a four-point lead with 59 seconds left. Then Alacyia Williams was fouled and made her first free throw, but missed her second to cut the lead to three.
Walker got that point back when she went to line with 34 seconds remaining and missed her first, but made her second to give Murphysboro a 22-18 lead heading into the second quarter. Walker finished with 27 points.
"We’ve had several games where we’ve been up the first quarter or played with a really good team, so we have to figure out how to go the whole game," said Sparta coach Grace Hernandez.
The Red Devils blew the game open with a 17-0 run to open the second quarter. During the run Walker scored six points and Murphysboro coverted four steals into seven points.
"We made some defensive adjustments," Jones said. "Amyia Henry is a really good player, so we had to start face-guarding her and run a couple players at her denying her the ball and that turned everything around."
Sparta (1-18) finally scored its first basket of the quarter midway through on a steal by Za’Mya Binford. In the final minute Ciganovich sank back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Red Devils a 27-point point lead, but Binford scored on a putback and then hit a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer to cut the lead to 22 at the half.
Erianna Henry opened the third quarter with a 3-pointer to finish a 8-0 run and cut the lead to 19, but Ciganovich got the Red Devils going with her fifth 3-pointer and 1:39 later hit her sixth. She scored her seventh with 2:31 remaining in the third and made the record-breaker with 2:42 remaining in the game.
"Coach Jones wanted to keep me in to try to get the eighth one to try to reset the record and to be honest I also wanted to try," Ciganovich said.