SESSER — The Sesser-Valier/Waltonville girls basketball team used a huge fourth quarter to pull away from Goreville for a 62-48 win on Wednesday in Black Diamond Conference West action.
The Red Devils, who are ranked ninth in the state in Class 2A, remained undefeated and improved to 18-0 and 9-0.
The game was much closer than the final score indicates, and Goreville (8-5, 5-2) actually led by one point at halftime. But S-V-W was a little too much for the Blackcats in the end. The Red Devils produced 27 points in the fourth quarter.
“In the first half, we were kind of back on our heels a little bit, and we didn’t play as aggressively as we wanted to,” said S-V-W coach Rick Metcalf. “We came out in the second half and played a gimmick defense against them and guarded the ball real hard on (Lexi King). We denied them the ball.”
King scored 15 of her 21 points for Goreville in the first half. She knocked down four straight free throws to give the Blackcats a 26-23 edge early in the third quarter.
But the Red Devils locked her down after that and held her to just two points the rest of the way.
Meanwhile, Sami McCowen racked up 16 of her game-high 28 points in the fourth quarter for the Red Devils.
“Sami came in and did a really good job for us,” Metcalf said. “She made a ton of free throws.”
Goreville’s Kelsey Ray made a basket in the paint to slice the S-V-W lead to just 46-43 with 2:25 left in the game. But Sami McCowen responded with a basket of her own and made 6 of 8 from the charity stripe down the stretch to put the game away.
Four technical fouls were called, all on Goreville, including three in the final minutes. Goreville coach Mike Helton was hit with his second technical foul, which meant he was ejected. Two Goreville players were called for technical fouls, and a total of three people, including a fan, were ejected.
The contest was well in hand by that point, though, and it was a really good ball game.
“We did a really nice job, and that was probably the best we’ve played in quite a while,” Helton said. “We didn’t really prep for them, and we mainly focused on us in the last few days. I was happy with how we played, but we can improve. We got great participation from every kid, and overall, we’re pretty happy.”
Brooke Wilderman and Jada Hale added seven points apiece for S-V-W, and Jaice McCowen tallied six. Breanna Stout contributed 11 points for Goreville, and Payton Sopczak had six.