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By Mike Scott
The Clark County Lady Indians made the 157-mile drive to Duschene High School in St. Charles, to face the host Pioneers in the Class 3 sectional contest on Wednesday evening. Around 150 Red and Gray fans joined them.
Darian Harper controlled the opening tipoff for the Lady Indians. A quick layup by Kiara Brunk put Clark County up 2-0 just seconds into the contest.
The Lady Indian defense was solid all night, keeping the Pioneers outside the three-point arc most of the time.
“I was very proud of our defensive effort for the entire 32 minutes,” said Lady Indian Head Coach John Weaver.
Pioneer Nydia Tate managed to hit a three pointer to put Duschene up 3-2, less than two minutes into the game.
It was Duschene’s only lead.
Brooklyn Howe poured in six quick points, and Alexis Ellison stole the ball and scored twice within thirty seconds late in the first quarter. Clark County built a 14-4 first quarter lead.
Howe scored five more points in the second period, joined by buckets from Brunk and Bre Chamley, and a pair of Ellison free throws. At the half, the Lady Indians led 25-11.
“I thought our offense played very well in the first half to take control of the game,” commented Weaver.
Clark County struggled offensively in the third quarter, adding only seven points to the scoreboard.
“We lost our focus and our legs a little bit in the third quarter,” said Weaver. Ellison scored on a Brunk breakaway, taking a last-second pass to the hoop. She also nailed a three-pointer, as the Lady Indians held onto their 14-point lead, 32-18.
Clark County used the clock wisely in the final eight minutes, and rotated in reserve players late in the game. With less than a minute remaining, Duschene was called for interference, sending Delana Hess to the line, where she hit one of the two penalty shots. At the end, Clark County advanced in the state bracket with a 42-22 win.
“Brooklyn Howe stepped up big with 17 points and 12 rebounds,” Weaver said, adding, “Our defense won it for us.”
Besides Howe’s 17 points, Ellison scored 13 points. Brunk and Chamley added four points each. Hess scored three, and Harper hit one free throw.
Clark County advances to face Tipton for the chance to return to Springfield.
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