Pioneers carry Big 6 banner to sectional


Share
Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2013, 7:34 pm
Comment on this story | Print this story | Email this story
By Dan Tomlin, dtomlin@qconline.com
The Alleman Pioneers are the only Western Big 6 Conference girls' basketball team left standing.

The Pioneers (17-14) play in tonight's Class 3A Washington Sectional semifinal against Bartonville Limestone (19-8), and it will be like looking in the mirror.

Both Alleman and Limestone were searching for their identity and hovering around .500 heading into Christmas. The Rockets have gone 10-3 since the Manual Holiday Tournament, while the Pioneers have gone 9-6, losing to four state-ranked teams during that stretch.

The Pioneers have done it by growing confidence throughout the bench, and while adding Zoe Kelso back into the lineup helps, the Pioneers were on the right track when she returned near the end of the season. Sophomore point guard Izzy Anderson is playing well beyond her age, while junior Erin Morrisey and senior Anne Bohnert both garnered all-WB6 honors.

Anna Wetherell fills the stat sheet, doing all the little things while also finding a way to score. The bench, as always it seems for the Pioneers, makes significant contributions, with Abbey Johnson, Maddie McGuire, Billie Franks, Daria Guzzo, Raven Wyatt and Karli Anderson all a big piece for why they are still playing.

"We've build confidence in ourselves," longtime Pioneer coach Jay Hatch said. "I hope we're confident. Not knowing much about Limestone, I don't know if that's good or bad. We just have to focus on ourselves and what we do best."

The Rockets are led by their senior stars Reilly Dunne and Morgan Schwindenhammer. They tend to do a lot of damage rebounding and getting second-chance points. It will be up to the Alleman bigs to keep them off the boards.

Limestone, like Alleman, didn't have to upset the No. 1 seed in their regional. Peoria Notre Dame knocked off Canton, and the Rockets slipped past the Little Giants in the regional title game.

Unlike the other side of the bracket where Morton and Ottawa will meet in Tuesday's other semifinal, Alleman and Limestone have had a drought when it comes to winning regionals.

The Pioneers last won a regional crown in 2010. This is their fourth since winning the state championship during the 2004-05 season. That was also the last time Alleman won a sectional title.

The Rockets hadn't won a regional title since the 2000-01 season and haven't captured a sectional crown since playing in the state championship game and losing in 1992.

"By seeds and stuff weren't supposed to be around now," Hatch said. "The kids are enjoying the process. It's been a while since we've won a regional."



3A Washington Sectional

Washington Sectional
Monday: Alleman vs. Limestone, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday: Morton vs. Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday: Championship, 7:30 p.m.
Pontiac Super-Sectional (Elite 8)
Monday, Feb. 25
State Semifinals
Friday, Mar. 1
State 3rd Place
Saturday, Mar. 2
State Championship
Saturday, Mar. 2














 



Local events heading








  Today is Tuesday, Oct. 21, the 294th day of 2014. There are 71 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: The weather is discouraging for our great Democratic rally tomorrow, but never mind that. Let our Rock Island people show they can make a big procession themselves, rain or shine.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Apparatus arrived for drilling an artesian well on the premises of George Warner's Atlantic Brewery.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The German army continued its attacks on the allies line near the Belgian coast.
1939 -- 75 years ago: The farm home of Mr. and Mrs. Gus Zachert northwest of Buffalo Prairie, burned to the ground.
1964 -- 50 years ago: WVIK-FM, noncommercial educational radio station at Augustana College, will return to the air tomorrow. The station operates at a power of 10 watts at 90.9 megacycles on the frequency modulation band. The station is operated with a staff of 92 students.
1989 -- 25 years ago: An avenue of lights, 13 Christmas trees strung with more than 44,000 sparkling lights, will expand the Festival of Trees beyond the walls of RiverCenter in downtown Davenport in mid-November.


(More History)