BETHANY — The Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond Knights will play for the overall Little Okaw Valley Conference Championship on Saturday after a 50-39 win against Arcola to win the title at the LOVC Northwest Tournament on Thursday.
"Kevin (Hohlbauch), Arcola's head coach, and I go way back," said Mac Condill, ALAH's head coach. "You always know what you are going to get with a Purple Rider team. They are going to be hard-nosed, play good fundamentals and you are in for a battle."
ALAH led by only two points, 11-9, at the first break, but managed to get some second quarter scoring out of Marissa Herschberger and Marcy Petersheim to improve their lead to 11 points by halftime. Petersheim drilled a 3-pointer within the first two minutes of the second quarter.
Later in the quarter, Herschberger scored all six points in 6-0 run to put ALAH up by 11, 34-23, at halftime.
The Purple Riders cut the lead to six points, 36-30, on a pair of free throws by Gaby Beccera with 4:35 to play in the third quarter, but could get no closer.
"We started to work more as a team, after they cut the lead to six," said Herschberger. "We were a little more conservative with the ball and tried to hang on to it. It is great to win this, we wanted it last year, but it is nice to have it now."
Herschberger finished the evening with 22 points and was the only player in the game in double figures. KayLee Hohlbauch led the Riders with nine points. ALAH is 14-8 overall, while Arcola slipped to 11-10.
"Marissa really put this team on her back and carried us tonight," said Condill. "The third quarter was not pretty on our end, but we turned it around in the fourth quarter. We gained some valuable experience on how to play when you get in foul trouble."
Sullivan 51, Central A&M 46
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SULLIVAN — Sullivan kept its hold on a share of first place in the Central Illinois Conference behind Lilly Null, who had 16 points, nine rebounds and three assists.
"She played her best game of the season," Sullivan coach Sheri McCain said. "I am so proud of how she stepped up tonight."
Central A&M (14-7, 3-2 CIC) led 13-9 after the first quarter, but Sullivan outscored A&M 20-8 in the second quarter. The Redskins (20-1, 5-0 CIC) shot 20-of-37 from the free-throw line.
"We did not shoot the ball well again from the free-throw line, but that is something each girl has to dedicate their own personal time to as well," McCain said. "It wasn't pretty, but we found a way to win."
Teutopolis 62, Centralia 48
SALEM — Teutopolis advanced to the championship game of the Salem Tournament behind Clint Weber's 21 points and Dawson Smith's 20.
“I thought we started real slow on the defensive end," T-Town coach Chet Reeder said. "Once we established our offense on the inside and picked up our intensity on the defensive end, we really started to separate ourselves. We did an excellent job rebounding as a team. Quality win against a quality opponent.”
Teutopolis (16-2) will face Thornton Fractional North in the championship game at 8 p.m. on Friday.