Originally Posted Online: Dec. 27, 2012, 11:24 am
Last Updated: Dec. 28, 2012, 10:54 am

Pioneers turn up the heat, move on at State Farm

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By Dan Tomlin, dtomlin@qconline.com

BLOOMINGTON -- The Alleman girls' basketball team really wanted the rest of the day off.

Playing in the first game of the day at the State Farm Holiday Classic, the Pioneers made sure they would only play one on Thursday, beating Camp Point Central-Southeastern 41-19 at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum.

The win puts the ninth-seeded Pioneers into the consolation semifinals, and a guarantee of two games Friday.

Alleman beat up on the Panthers with suffocating defense forcing Central-Southeastern into 25 turnovers and cashing in with easy layups.

The guard tandem of Isabelle Anderson and Anna Wetherell were the keys to the press, getting five steals each. Anderson ended with a game-high 10 points, while Wetherell finished with five points and five rebounds to go along with her steals.

"We watched them Wednesday, and they didn't handle pressure very well, so we just wanted to take them out of their game," Anderson said. "Then it was really important to make the easy ones, because it gave us a cushion when our jumpers weren't going down."

The Pioneers kept Central-Southeastern at bay all day, and if it weren't the guards, it was the Pioneer forwards. Erin Morrisey, Maddie McGuire and Daria Guzzo combined for 15 rebounds, nearly out rebounding the Panthers (18) by themselves.

"We see kids do things in practices that don't always carry over to games, but today we saw some of those things," Alleman coach Jay Hatch said. "Izzy and Anna really set a good tone defensively, though, and that got us rolling."

For Wetherell, the heartbreak of falling in the opening game, a game the Pioneers led most of the first half, was enough to motivate her.

"We just really wanted to get after it after losing," Wetherell said. "It kind of felt like we just wanted it more. We definitely wanted the rest of the day off."

The Pioneers got their prize and will have a chance to play for a trophy today. Allman still holds the record for most tournament wins at 41, although they never have won the consolation championship.

Alleman plays 11 a.m. Friday at Normal West.

Annawan 55, Pana 48: For the first time this season, the Bravettes did not win by double figures. However, they reached the State Farm Holiday Classic semifinals for the second time in three years with a complete performance.

Annawan (13-0) scored the first 11 points of the game and held off a third-quarter rally attempt to keep its perfect record.

"We played very well," Annawan coach Jason Burkiewicz said. "We've been taking it to heart that we can't take anyone lightly. We know if we don't bring it, someone can knock us off. It was great seeing a young team respond."

Pana did get within four points in the third quarter, but the Bravettes countered with a run that increased their lead back to 17.

Celina VanHyfte scored a game-high 31 points, pushing her two-game tournament total to 59.

"She was our main option tonight," said Burkiewicz, who received nine points from Megan Foes.

 With the win, Annawan advances to the semifinals against top-seeded Champaign St. Thomas More. Tip-off is 4 p.m. today at Normal Community H.S.
"The girls are in a good place," Burkiewicz said. "They don't fear anybody."