Illinois Valley Central's girls' basketball team continued to struggle Nov. 27 with a 41-30 loss to Dixon in the home opener.
"We played well, but the Achilles' heel is still turnovers," coach Marc Lowe said. "We did a lot of good things in that game."
The Ghost defense started strong by pressuring Dixon into taking quick shots and built a 5-4 lead after the opening eight minutes.
The defense lapsed in the second quarter and allowed Dixon to go on a 14-7 run that put them up, 18-12 at halftime.
The Ghost offense continued to struggle in the final half but Hallie Shirley gave the team a spark by deftly knocking down shots over Dixon defenders.
Shirley led the team with 11 points.
Brooke Rudolph also helped the team stay close by sinking seven points for the game.
In the end, Dixon outscored IVC by five points in the second half to take the win.
The team picked up the first win of the season by beating Princeton, 54-43, on the road Thursday.
"It was good to get that win," Lowe said. "It was much needed for the kids to get that first win. They were really very excited about it. Now they understand the whole process of hard work really pays off."
The Ghosts started the game on fire and quickly built a 17-9 lead.
Rudolph knocked down shot after shot for the team and led the team with 12 points for the night.
In the second quarter, the Tigers battled back and took a 26-22 lead at halftime.
The third quarter saw the Ghosts claw their way back to cut the lead to 34-22 thanks to smart passing decisions from Candis Rudolph.
The final frame belonged to IVC as the girls put 22 points on the board to finish strong.
"We were really quick defensively in that game," Lowe said. "Our defense really lead to a lot of baskets. In the second half, we picked up the pressure and capitalized on turnovers."
Defensively, the team limited Princeton's shots to hold them to nine points.
The team then fell to Farmington, 56-49, on the road Saturday.
"That was a rough game for us," Lowe said. "I think the kids had a tough time adjusting to the way that the referees were calling the game but they played well. We shot free throws well in that one and I was pleased with our effort."
Both sides were deadlocked throughout the opening quarter, with Farmington pulling out a 12-10 lead after the opening quarter.
Larson's offensive play was outstanding for the game when she both got teammates open and took advantage of open looks she was set up with them.
Page 2 of 2 - Neither team had a spectacular second quarter offensively but Farmington was able to squeak to a 23-18 lead by halftime.
The teams again went back and forth with points in the third quarter with IVC's offense spurred on by Shirley who had 12 points for the game.
In the second half, IVC was outscored by two points but it proved enough for Farmington to take the night.
"Their strengths are that they are not going to give up," Lowe said. "They are going to fight until the final buzzer. The weakness still is turnovers."
The team next plays at 7 p.m. Thursday at home on St. Jude Night against Abingdon.
"There is going to be a bake sale going on that night for St. Jude," Lowe said. "We will have a family speak that night too.
"It's something the girls are doing to help raise money along with the St. Jude runners from Chillicothe, who will be there too."