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Okaw Valley

The Okaw Valley girls basketball team won its first regional title since the Bethany and Findlay schools consolidated before the 2001-02 season. 

CHRISMAN — Three Okaw Valley seniors, Paige Robinson, Natalie Jeffers and Hope Ruppert finally lifted the Class 1A regional championship plaque Thursday.

The Timberwolves beat Central A&M 52-38 at the Chrisman Regional and will play Altamont at 6 p.m. Monday in the Louisville (North Clay) Sectional.

It was Okaw Valley's first regional title since the Bethany and Findlay schools consolidated before the 2001-02 season. 

Okaw Valley (26-5) never trailed in the game which was the teams' third meeting. The Raiders beat the Timberwolves 42-33 Nov. 18 in the Pana Thanksgiving Tournament and a week later Okaw Valley earned third place in the same tournament with a 45-35 victory.

"Central A&M is a team that is known throughout the state," Jeffers said. "They always have a great program and great coaches and you know I just feel like it shows how much discipline we have. We didn't get too big of a head from our win earlier and played the way we know how. I think it is a testament to our coaches keeping us focused in practice and all of the younger girls pushing us in drills. It was a great win."

Robinson's happy this group of players got to capture the regional title. 

"I just think it is about time we finally got one," said Robinson, who was the first to cut down a strand of the net followed by all of the players and coaches. "This group of girls have been working our tails off for four years now."

Altamont beat Okaw Valley 49-45 earlier this season on Dec. 7.

Teutopolis 52, Pana 40

VANDALIA -- Marianna Hemmen scored a game-high 20 points for Teutopolis as they pulled away from Pana in the second half to capture the Class 2A Vandalia Regional title.

It's the ninth straight regional championship for Teutopolis.

The Shoes took a one-point lead, 23-22, into halftime but outscored the Panthers 29-18 in the second half. 

"A loss is a loss and losing stinks, but I'm very proud of our girls tonight," Pana coach Jason Storm. "We played a really good game against a really good team. The first half was tremendous for us."

Aubrey Funneman led Pana with 12 points and Shania Schoonover added 10. 

Macy Michels put in 12 points for Teutopolis. 

"Even though we lost tonight, this game really summed up our season," Storm said. "Our girls fight harder than any team I know. I can't say enough of how proud I am of these girls for our season."

Altamont 56, Louisville North Clay 51

ALTAMONT -- A big third quarter helped Altamont ward off a late rally by Louisville North Clay.

The Indians outscored North Clay 14-5 in the third, giving them a 40-31 lead entering the final quarter.

North Clay outscored Altamont 20-16 in the fourth, but it wasn't enough to stop Altamont from getting its second consecutive regional championship in the Class 1A Altamont Regional.

Leah Mayhaus, a 5-foot-8 junior, led the Indians with 17 points and Mary Guse added 11 points.

Sullivan 40, Tuscola 34

ARTHUR -- Seven straight times over the course of the last three years, Sullivan lost to Tuscola.

The Redskins flipped that script Thursday night at the perfect time. Sullivan beat Tuscola 40-34 in the championship of the Class 2A Arthur Regional to win the championship.

"It was such a huge win for these girls tonight," Sullivan coach Sheri McCain said. "My hat goes off to Tuscola because those girls played so hard and I truly respect (Tuscola coach) Tim (Kohlbecker). I told the team before the game that Tuscola has beaten us seven straight times in the past three years, but nothing mattered except this game. The seniors were determined that they were not going down without a fight and they simply played together and left their hearts on the floor."

Elizabeth Green led Sullivan with 10 points and Esther Miller added nine of her own.

It's been a big week for Sullivan (14-12), which beat No. 3-seeded Greenville before upsetting No. 2-seeded Tuscola.

"Everyone did their role tonight and even when their backs were against the wall, they never quit," McCain said. "Nothing was going to stand in their way of winning a regional championship."

Cassie Russo led Tuscola with 10 points.

MacArthur 59, Eisenhower 43

DECATUR -- MacArthur came out on fire in the first quarter, taking a 24-9 lead after the frame.

The Generals parlayed the start into a Central State 8 Conference win in the final game of the city series this year.

Courtnee Riley led the Generals with 16 points and Jayda Dees added 15.

"It was good to see Dees come out and hit some shots," MacArthur coach Michael Williams said. "She really shined from the free-throw line (7 of 9). We usually don't do too well on free throws, but we had a good night (12 of 18).""

The same pair was also aggressive on defense. Taya Davis added 10 points off the bench and Kyyawna Johnson had six  points and no turnovers.

"She has been our glue all season," Williams said. "It might not always show in the box scores, but she always goes 200 miles per hour and holds us together."

Jurnee Flournoy had 11 points and Jovawnie Hendrix had 10 points.



Reporter for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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