The Metamora girls varsity basketball team had two Mid-Illini Conference challenges Jan. 4 and Saturday. The first match-up was against Washington Jan. 4 at home for a 58-24 loss. Traveling to East Peoria Friday, the Lady Redbirds put up a fight but could not get the win, falling 42-41. Washington 58, Metamora 24 Against the Panthers, Metamora was down 10-8 after the first quarter. Heather DeLuca and Peyton Roehnelt both made 3-pointers and Hailey Mueller contributed a field goal. Washington jumped ahead in the second, outscoring the Lady Redbirds 11-4. Metamora was held in the last two quarters to six points a piece while Washington racked up 37 in the two. Quinn Mathews, Kellie Steele, Hannah and Hailey Mueller all contributed four points in the game. East Peoria 42, Metamora 41 The Metamora girls varsity basketball team faced East Peoria for the second time this season away at Allison Gym Friday. The last meet up with the two, the Lady Redbirds had a 52-42 loss. This time the loss was just a one-point deficit for MTHS at 42-41. Metamora led in scoring in the first and last quarter and held onto a lead from the beginning of the game until the end of the third. “Overall it was a great game. (I’m) proud of them. They showed up and they played,” said coach Riley Gardner. The Lady Raiders opened up the game with a 4-0 lead until Hailey had a drive in the paint for a layup at the five minute mark. Mathews then had a shot under the net to tie it up at 4-4. MTHS grabbed its lengthy lead after Hannah Mueller made a field goal to make it 8-7. Heading into the second ahead 12-9, Kari Lalumandier had a jumper go in at about the six-minute mark to span the gap. East Peoria edged in with four points from Kylie Giebelhausen and then tied it up at 17-17 with a field goal by Brooke Jacobs. Three points were added to Metamora’s score from shots at the free-throw line in the final seconds before intermission to make it 20-17. In the third, EP outscored the Lady Redbirds 10-3. Metamora’s points came from a free throw by Hailey and Steele. EP jumped ahead to a 10-point lead in the first minutes of the final quarter to make it a 33-23 game. “We were waiting for it. We knew a run was coming somewhere,” Gardner said. “We still don’t respond great when another team makes a run but we bounced back a lot quicker today than we have in the past.” A timeout by the Lady Redbirds at 4:32 was the start of an eight-point run by MTHS to lessen the deficit to 35-31. DeLuca had a steal which resulted in a drive and a layup to make it 40-38 in favor of EP with :10.7 to go. Giebelhausen was sent to the line with nine seconds to go and made both her shots. DeLuca sank a 3-pointer at the buzzer, but the Lady Redbirds were just one point short to tie it up. Leading MTHS in scoring was DeLuca with 17.