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The La Salle-Peru girls basketball team struggled to get its offense going against Dixon on Tuesday and the result was a 36-31 loss in Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference West Division action in La Salle.
The Lady Cavaliers shot just 9-of-51 from the field and committed 18 turnovers in the defeat.
“They outplayed us. They outplayed us, they out-coached us and we weren’t ready to play. When you’re not ready to play, shots don’t fall,” said L-P coach Hollis Vickrey. “We needed to execute plays, make good passes and play good defense. If your offense isn’t working, you have to play that much better defense and our energy level wasn’t good at all today.”
The Lady Cavalier defense did hold strong early, limiting Dixon to just 10 first-half points, but L-P only managed 11 points in the first two quarters itself.
The two teams combined to shoot just 6-of-35 in the first half, and combined for 20 turnovers.
The Duchesses outscored L-P 26-20 over the final two stanzas — including 15-11 in the final period — led by 14 points after intermission from junior Brooke Bailey. Bailey led all scorers with 21 points, including a 12-for-14 showing from the foul stripe.
A banked-in 3-pointer from Dixon senior Kacie Dillow tied things up at 23-23 with six minutes left in the fourth.
Bailey followed with a basket in the lane and a pair of free throws to put Dixon up 30-23 with 3:03 left and the Duchesses (5-7 2-1) held off L-P down the stretch to take the league win.
“It wasn’t pretty but I was really proud of the way the kids defended and the way they rebounded. We talked at halftime about really needing to finish plays with rebounds and we did that. So I was happy with the effort.” said Dixon coach Luke Ravlin.
“We didn’t light the place on fire in the first half. In the end it just came down to the kids working hard, believing in what we were running and we got the ball to bounce our way a couple times,” Ravlin added.
Senior guard Mia Porter led the Lady Cavaliers with nine points, while senior forward Brianna Argubright and senior guard Brittany Zawacki added seven apiece for L-P (3-7, 1-2). Argubright added a team-best six rebounds.
“We’re still learning as we go, but there’s no excuse. These are games we need to win. Granted, Dixon is not a bad ballclub at all. They handled the ball well and got good shots,” Vickrey said. “We didn’t defed the out-of-bounds play well at all and that really killed us and we’ve got to make some shots. We missed some easy shots (due to) focus or energy or whatever it is.
“They got two (3s) to bank in and we couldn’t get layups to fall in. But that’s basketball, you’ve got to have poise and you’ve just got to keep playing.”
Note: La Salle-Peru won the sophomore contest 41-27.
Chris Yucus can be reached at 220-6995 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsChris.
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