WASHINGTON — The Alleman Pioneers girls' basketball team never wanted to lose; they'd rather get beat.|
Limestone obliged Monday night in the IHSA 3A Washington Sectional, ending the Pioneers' season with a 49-33 win.
As lopsided as the score ended up, the Pioneers were leading until the third quarter when they couldn't get the lid off the basket.
Alleman went more than nine minutes between baskets and didn't score a point in the final 5:48 of the third quarter as Limestone put together an 11-0 run to jump ahead by 12 just a minute into the fourth.
After shooting 42 percent from the floor in the opening quarter, the Pioneers went downhill from there, 33 percent in the second and 17 percent in the second half. They had just 3 baskets in the second half. Alleman had four shots rattle every which way but down in the fourth quarter
"They seemed tired," Limestone coach Kevin Metzger said. "Their strength is inside, and we tried to take that away in the second half."
Pioneer junior center Erin Morrisey ended with a team-high 10 points, but she was one of just two Pioneers to make more than one basket. Maddie McGuire had a pair of first-quarter hoops.
"I thought we had some good shots, a lot were just going in and out," Alleman coach Jay Hatch said. "Limestone just outplayed us. Once we missed some shots, we got tentative."
Limestone relied on its two horses, Morgan Schwindenhammer and Reilly Dunne. Schwindenhammer scored a game-high 12 points despite not scoring in the fourth, and Dunne filled the stat sheet with a monster game — nine points, eight assists, seven rebounds and five steals.
The Rockets (20-8) now wait to see who they will play for the sectional crown — the survivor of tonight's other semifinal between Morton and Ottawa.
Alleman (17-15) heads home still winless at sectionals since winning the state championship in 2004-05.
The Pioneers did manage to win a regional title and make yet another sectional appearance despite finishing in the bottom of the Western Big 6 Conference race, and the character of the team played a big part in that.
"No one dislikes anyone on this team, and that's pretty special," Alleman senior Anne Bohnert said. "We've grown a lot and become really close, and we've had a lot of fun."
That's something that doesn't come around all the time.
"It's disappointing for the season to end because we won't get to practice together anymore and won't be around each other, and that's the fun part," Hatch said. "This was one of my more rewarding years as a coach."
Playing in their last game as Pioneers, Zoe Kelso had three points and four rebounds, Bohnert had four points and five rebounds, McGuire had four points and Abbey Johnson pulled down a rebound.
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