Lady Ghosts lose Sectional game

Justin Miller
To the hoop: Senior Jessica Strong tries for a layup in the Sectional game against Liberty on Feb. 16.

After a thrilling season in which they dominated their way to a Regional championship, the Lady Ghosts fell to Liberty, 82-59, in the opening round of the Sectional Feb. 16.

The game quickly got out of hand for the Ghosts, who started off letting Liberty run all over them.

Offensively, Illinois Valley Central was not able to overcome its constant turnovers and found itself in a 24-8 hole.

“We had a rough start by turning the ball over too many times,” coach Paul Mercer said.

Already trailing, the Lady Ghosts did not give up and put forth a valiant effort in the second quarter.

Led by junior Laci Peterson’s game-high 16 points and eight rebounds, the Ghost offense outscored Liberty.

Although its offense had awoken, the IVC defense was still not able to totally stop Liberty’s shooting.

The Ghosts trailed at halftime, 40-27.

Although they were trailing to start the third, the Ghosts were still very much in the game due to their ability to explode offensively.

However, the Liberty defense would not allow the Ghosts to overtake them and continued to capitalize on IVC turnovers.

The Ghosts entered the final quarter trailing, 62-41.

Although they did not give up, the Ghosts could not overtake a Liberty team that had not slowed down all night, despite freshman Emma Hoerr’s impressive 15 points.

The Ghosts lost the game, 82-59.

“We never gave up,” Mercer said. “When you score 59 points in a girls basketball game, that’s quite a bit. Unfortunately, our defense gave up 82 points.”

The Ghosts end the season with an 18-10 record.

“As a whole, we got more out of the girls than their talent at this point,” Mercer said. “We got more out of this team than some people thought that we would.”

Peterson made first team All-Conference.

Senior Chelsy Stumbaugh and junior Kelsey Brooke made second team All-Conference.

Senior Mikayla Vail was an All-Conference honorable mention.