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IHSA Class A girls basketball regional
Lady Salukis see season end with OT loss
BRIDGEPORT - After playing to win for 32 minutes Tuesday evening, Red Hill High School's girls basketball team hit the skids in overtime and was eliminated.

Second-seeded Palestine knocked out the third-seeded Salukis (7-11), 47-38, in the semifinals of the Illinois High School Association Class A regional tournament.

"I think we played a little bit tight at the end," Red Hill coach Traci Gray said. "I think we were playing not to lose instead of being aggressive. That came back to bite us. But you have to give our kids credit. They battled."

It was the third time in as many games for the Lady Pioneers (17-6) to defeat Red Hill. Palestine will now play top-seeded Louisvillle-North Clay in the championship game at 7 p.m. Thursday.

The game was close from start to finish, with nine ties and 10 lead changes. The Lady Salukis managed a pair of three-point leads in the first half, while Palestine's biggest lead in regulation play was a four-point advantage in the fourth quarter.

Sophomore Macee Weiss topped the Lady Salukis with 13 points, including eight after halftime. Jamesha Western added nine points before fouling out with 4:17 remaining, while Heather Perry closed out her RHHS career with six points and a team-high 10 rebounds.

Palestine junior Calee Fulling topped all players with 27 points on nine field goals and a 9-of-13 showing at the foul stripe. Fulling scored eight points in both the first and their periods and five of her team's 11 points in the OT.

Palestine junior Kiley Rariden scored 20 seconds into the extra period for a 38-36 lead, and the Lady Pioneers pulled away from there. Fulling scored five straight points for a 46-36 advantage.

The Lady Salukis didn't score until the waning seconds of overtime, when Perry connected for a basket.

The opening quarter was tight with three ties and a pair of lead changes. Western's basket started a 5-0 Red Hill run and tied the game at 11 at the end of the period.

Western missed much of the second period with three fouls but four different Red Hill players scored, which led to an 18-17 lead at halftime.

The third quarter saw three more lead changes and as many ties, Maran Tennis hit one of two from the stripe for a 27-26 RHHS lead with 17 second remaining. However Fulling's lay-up at the buzzer put Palestine on top at the break, 28-27.

Red Hill looked to be in dire straits when Western fouled out with 4:17 remaining, and Palestine holding a 34-32 edge.

The Lady Salukis rallied to take a 36-34 lead with 1:46 remaining, thanks to baskets by Perry and Weiss. Fulling scored inside with 49 seconds to play, knotting the game for the final time at 36.

A Red Hill turnover gave Palestine the final shot at victory, but the Lady Pioneers missed twice from close range before horn sounded with players from both teams scrambling to recover a loose ball.

"We missed too many easy shots," Gray said. "We probably missed 10 to 12 two-foot shots and you can't miss those kind of shots and win a regional. I thought we reaped what we sowed a little bit."

In Monday's opening semifinal, Louisville-North Clay whipped Farina-South Central, 66-42.



Palestine 47,

Red Hill 38 (OT)

PALESTINE (47)

Fulling 9 9-15 27, Rariden 5 0-0 10, Churchwell 1 4-4 6, Williams 1 0-0 2, Nehls 0 1-3 1,Elder 0 1-2 1, Newlin 0 0-2 0. Totals 16 15-24 47.

RED HILL (36)

Weiss 4 5-6 13, Western 4 1-2 9, Moan 2 2-2 6, Perry 3 0-0 6, Tennis 0 4-6 4, Powden 0 0-0 0, Heath 0 0-0 0, Ramsaran 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 12-16 38.

Rebounds: Palestine 28, Red Hill 28 (Perry 10). Turnovers: Palestine 13, Red Hill 20. Fouls: Palestine 13, Red Hill 21. Fouled out: Western (4:17, 4th qtr.), Moan (:46, OT).

Palestine 11 6 11 8 11 - 47

Red Hill 11 7 9 9 2 - 38

Officials: Bill McClane, Kris Mustain, Keith VanSycoc.



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