TCT girls take regional

Titans take important first step on the road to Normal; Open sectional play Monday

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ARCOLA — The Tri-County girls basketball team took the important first step on the road to Normal with a lopsided 70-31 victory to take the IHSA Class 1A girls regional.

The victory moves the Titan girls into the IHSA Class 1A sectional tourney at Central A & M in Moweaqua. TCT will face Effingham St. Anthony Monday in the semi-final.

The mission for the Titan girls basketball post-season has been clear for the Tri-County Titans.

The Titans have been on the cusp of greatness the past two seasons making the Sweet 16 before being knocked out on the road to Normal. 

Those two seasons left a bad taste in team members’ mouths. The message from the off-season to the first tip off has been clear — this season would be different.

After securing a spot in the regional championship with an easy win against Martinsville, the Lady Titans were more then ready for the Thursday night, Feb. 7, Arcola regional title against the host Arcola Purple Riders.

The Titans jumped out to a quick 15-0 lead in the first five minutes of the game and never looked back, taking a 70-31 win.

Tri-County used a full court pressure defense from the opening tip, causing the Riders to make unnecessary passes, in turn leading to quick transition points early. They took a 23-4 lead after the first quarter.

The Titans finished going 26 of 64 for 37.7 percent and 15 of 24 from the line for 62.5 percent. Four Titan players reached double figures with Kiersten Price-Wilson leading the way with a game-high 18 points. Tayler Barry added 15 points while Harley Barry had a double-double with 12 points and 12 assists while adding six steals and six rebounds. Maiya Eskew had 10 points in the win.

The Riders were 10 of 41 overall for 24.4 percent and 9 of 17 from the line for 52.9 percent. Turnovers were a huge factor as Arcola coughed up the ball 38 times. Gaby Becerra led the way with seven points while Ella Hopkins added five points in the loss.

The Titans (26-4) will head to Moweaqua on Monday night to face the Effingham St. Anthony Bulldogs in the first sectional semi-final. St. Anthony advanced with a 56-37 win over Oblong in the Palestine Regional final. Tip off is set for 6:00 p.m. at Central A&M High School.

Tri-County 79, Martinsville 10

The Lady Titans entered their Class 1A Tournament Arcola Regional semi-final game against Martinsville looking to dominate their way to the championship game. This was the third meeting of the season between the two teams with the Titans easily defeating the Streaks in both games.

The game was decided within minutes as the Titans raced off to a 17-0 lead just moments into the contest. The Lady Titans managed a 29-6 lead going into the second quarter and kept their foot on the gas as they won 79-10. Tayler Barry led the way with 17 points while Bella Dudley added 14 points and five rebounds off the bench. Maiya Eskew had 12 points, eight steals and five assists while Kiersten Price-Wilson finished with 10 points.

Before Thursday night’s Arcola Regional title game, the regional round of the Country Financial Three Point Showdown took place at Arcola High School. The five teams that were represented in the regional were given the opportunity to send up to four players each to participate in this annual event. The Tri-County Titans had four players take part in the regional round where the top four scores advanced on to the Moweaqua Sectional round.

Senior center Kiersten Price-Wilson amazed the crowd, hitting her first four shots en route to making 10 of 15 shots in the forty-five second time frame to take top honors and advance on to the sectional round. Maiya Eskew came up one shot short of making it to the shootout round draining seven, while Grace Burnside had five and Meredith Smith finished with two.