GOREVILLE – As he walked out of the visitors’ locker room, S-V-W girls coach Rick Metcalf remembered the last time his team lost a Black Diamond Conference game.
“It was (six) years ago right here,” he said of a 60-46 defeat to Goreville. “The big girl had a big fourth quarter.”
Fortunately for the Red Devils, Alison Webb used up her eligibility well before Monday night. S-V-W survived a poor shooting performance and stretched its BDC winning streak to a whopping 62 games with a 49-42 decision over the shorthanded Blackcats.
Paige Tucker scored 15 points for S-V-W (23-2, 11-0), which can clinch a fifth straight perfect season in the conference by beating Zeigler-Royalton on Thursday night.
Even with Goreville (12-10, 7-3) missing two starters and a key reserve with illness, the Red Devils never put it away. The Blackcats used a box-and-one on S-V-W point guard Sami McCowen, and it worked in part because the guests were just 17-of-49 from the field, including 7-of-22 from 3-point land.
“Just couldn’t make a dang shot if our life depended on it,” Metcalf sighed. “We wanted to get the tempo faster, but they handled our pressure and we couldn’t hit enough shots to use pressure more often. We had to grind this one out, and I’m proud of the girls for doing it.”
Goreville trailed 40-38 midway through the fourth quarter and had the ball with a chance to tie or take the lead. But it failed to convert and Peyton Wilderman canned a corner 3 with 3:50 remaining for a five-point lead.
Tucker converted Jada Hale’s feed into a layup with just over two minutes left for a 45-38 advantage. The Red Devils did just enough at the line at that point to nurse the game across the finish line.
Junior forward Lexi King tallied a game-high 17 points for the Blackcats, but S-V-W was able to keep her in check after the half. King shot 10 free throws in the first 10 minutes of the game and none after that. Goreville’s other starters combined for nine points.
The Blackcats got nice play off the bench from sophomores Hallie Martin and Adrianna Licka, who hit for eight points each.
“We were really thin, so under the circumstances, I thought our girls did a great job of sucking it up and fighting,” Goreville coach Mike Helton said. “We were missing 16, 17 points, some rebounds, and just the ability to give a kid a rest at times. Overall, we did a nice job.”
But not nice enough to dump the queens of the BDC West.