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Watch now: No. 10 MacArthur girls overpower Springfield Lanphier behind 26 points, 17 rebounds from Quincenia Jackson
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HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL

Watch now: No. 10 MacArthur girls overpower Springfield Lanphier behind 26 points, 17 rebounds from Quincenia Jackson

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DECATUR — The last time the MacArthur girls basketball team faced Springfield Lanphier, its season ended in the sectional semifinals with a 69-61 loss.  

With the graduation of senior standout Martrice Brooks, the Lions are a different team from the one that finished fourth at the Class 3A state tournament last season and the Generals, the No. 10-ranked team in 3A currently, took advantage and exact some revenge Tuesday in a 49-29 win. 

Both teams started off slow. The Generals led 6-5 after the first quarter, but found their rhythm and went on a 17-0 run in the second to lead 21-7 at halftime. 

"We haven't been cold all year and usually we come out and knock down a few 3s and it opens up the defense and that opens up our game for (Quincenia Jackson)," MacArthur head coach Sean Flaherty said. "Both teams were struggling but fortunately our athleticism took over and we didn't panic in the first quarter. We came out and had a solid second quarter and made a nice little run. We were out of sync all day. We didn't hit a three and usually we quite a few 3s."

Jackson finished with a double-double — 26 points and 17 rebounds — and was honored before the game for becoming the program's all-time leading scorer. Taya Davis scored 18 points and is six away from 1,000 career points.  

"Every time Q plays, you don't realize how good her stats are until after the game," Flaherty said. "She is a quiet assassin with a double-double every single game and you don't realize it."

MacArthur led 36-15 after three quarters, but a more active Lions team outscored the Generals 14-13 in the final period. 

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"We were kind of forcing things and we weren't finishing like we should. We had some uncharacteristic defensive lapses in the second half," Flaherty said. "It might be a good thing to see these problems as we have a big two games coming up. We know what we have to fix."

The Generals (4-0, 4-0 CS8) have two difficult games remaining this week — Springfield High (6-1, 4-0 CS8) on Friday on the road at 7 p.m. and then at Sacred Heart-Griffin (9-0, 5-0 CS8) on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. 

Jackson could see the team's first quarter struggles on Tuesday were a bit of a hangover existing from last year's playoff loss.

"I feel like we started exactly like how we started against them at sectionals. They were overwhelmed by the game and I told them all the time that we need to calm down," Jackson said. "When we play teams from Springfield, for some reason, everyone just gets overhyped and we try to do too much. 

Jackson's own stat line was a surprise to her following the game. 

"I didn't realize that. I did OK, but I think I could have done better," she said. "My rebounding was better but I missed a couple bunny shots that I should have made. All around, I think I didn't do too bad tonight." 

The Generals have been dominating in their first four games and have won each by 14 or more points. Jackson is concerned that they haven't been challenged yet. 

"SHG is going to be harder than Lanphier and Springfield High is, too. After playing easier teams, you start to get used to it and you don't have a feel for what the next game will be like. We have to know when a team is coming in hard at you," Jackson said.


Contact Matthew Flaten at (217) 421-6968. Follow him on Twitter: @MattFlaten

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