The Crestwood Eagles seventh-grade girls basketball team is soaring to the state tournament after a hard-fought sectional victory against Kinmundy South Central on Wednesday, Nov. 29. Crestwood (16-6) plays Mt. Pulaski today, Dec. 2, at 11:30 a.m. in the Riverton High School gymnasium to see if they can punch their ticket to the IESA 2A state finals.
Crestwood’s eighth-grade contingent takes on Altamont in its sectional championship on Wednesday, Dec. 6 at St. Anthony Grade School in Effingham. Tip-off for that contest is set for 6:30 p.m.
Crestwood 21, Kinmundy SC 16
The Crestwood Lady Eagles faced two options on Nov. 29: win or go home. After trailing in the first quarter, the Eagles settled on the former. A late surge led by postseason prodigy Lexi Crippes sealed a 21-16 win and a state playoff berth.
In the opening act of the sectional title game, Crestwood struggled to convert on offense. The Eagles trailed 8-4 to Kinmundy, with the Eagles’ lone buckets coming from Crippes.
After a quick break, Crestwood’s fortunes changed. The Eagles played scrappy defense, holding their opponents to two points for the entire period. On offense, some of Crippes’ teammates found their way into the scorebook.
Carsten Haddix converted one of two free throws from the charity stripe, while Ashi Hansel found the bottom of the net inside. Crippes knocked down a three to tie the game at 10-10 entering the locker room.
After the break, both teams continued to play smothering defense. The Eagles scored four courtesy of Hansel and Crippes, seizing the lead.
Kinmundy returned to life in the fourth quarter, netting six points in a desperate attempt to claw their way to the lead, but missed free throws proved fatal.
Crestwood scored seven of their own, five of which came from Crippes. Late free throws iced the competition and secured the victory for an ecstatic Eagles squad.
Crippes led all scorers with 13 points on the day. Crippes stayed busy on the defensive end as well, netting four steals. Hansel tallied five to accompany a team-high nine rebounds.
Bayah Good and Haddix notched two and one points, respectively. Good also contributed six boards, while Haddix snatched three steals and two rebounds of her own.