The Dunlap girls basketball team couldn’t have asked for a better night.

The Dunlap girls basketball team couldn’t have asked for a better night.


After recognizing the six seniors on the team, the girls used a strong second and third quarter to coast to a 54-29 win against Pekin on Saturday.


“I’m very pleased with their efforts (on Saturday),” coach Pat Garst said. “With it being senior night, I didn’t know how focused we were going to be here tonight.”


As the game went on, the fouls were flying. Dunlap (19-9, 10-4) put Pekin in the bonus in both the first and second half.


After halftime, Kedryn Orrison got two quick fouls back to back that put her with four, and the team had seven fouls before the fourth started.


“We like to play physical,” Garst said. “In our couple of losses against good quality teams we sort of backed away. The last week and a half we focused on that we want to be physical. If we get in foul trouble big deal, but we have to be more physical.”
In the second half, Haley Meeks helped the Eagles extend their lead with three 3-pointers that were uncontested. Garst attributed this to their new offense.


“We’re running this new motion offense and the girls are executing it really well,” he said. “If they run it right, we’re going to get open looks. We’ll either get a layup or we’ll get an open three. She was three out of four from the three-point line, she just shot exceptionally well. She was the key the other night at Limestone too. She came out and popped threes to help us in that game as well.”


He added that the offense is a work in progress, but that the girls are getting more comfortable with it.


With about four minutes left to go in the game, and Dunlap having a commanding lead, the seniors were pulled to a round of applause by the fans.


Garst pulled the seniors so that the team didn’t run the score up, which he hates to do, and to get them the recognition they deserved.


“We just want to get them all what they deserve,” he said. “They’ve played so hard this year.”


Both Alissa Recker and Meeks led the team with nine points each.


One player who had a hard time with scoring, though, was Brianna Flinn, who just could not get going all night. She finished 0-for-8 from the floor.


“The thing is, she makes a lot of things happen for us, and sometimes her shooting isn’t there,” Garst said. “It’ll come. She’s usually key to us like in that Morton game. We were down 5-0 and she comes down and drains a three to put us right back in the game. When she’s on, she really helps us, but when she’s not she plays good defense, handles the ball and does other things for us as well.”


However, Flinn still had something to be excited about in the fourth quarter.


“Hey, it’s only my first,” she said about her foul before the seniors were taken out.


On Thursday, the Eagles had a chance from keeping Morton from clinching a share of the Mid-Illini Conference. However, Morton’s strong free throw shooting kept Dunlap at bay, beating them 44-31.


“It was a two-point game with 4:30 left in the game,” Garst said. “We had a couple bad breaks where they pushed to six and then pulled it out. Morton is a phenomenal free throw shooting team. They pulled it out against us and they have such good guards that they penetrated to the basket and we fouled them. A two point game at 4:30 ended up 14 by the time it was over. Our girls never gave up. We fouled, put them at the line, and they just made their free throws.”


Orrison had nine points for the Eagles, while Recker had seven.


Dunlap also beat Limestone on Feb. 8, 38-36.


Dunlap’s season ended on Monday with a 53-46 loss against No. 4 Manual in  regional action.