The Pekin girls basketball team won only six games during the regular season. Two victories came in the final week. Both were on the road against a Mid-Illini Conference opponent.
The Dragons defeated Limestone 43-36 Friday, putting a damper on the Rockets’ Senior Night festivities. Pekin beat East Peoria 51-37 on Tuesday.
“This was a big win. At the beginning of the season, even a couple weeks ago, I don’t know if we would have won this game. It was refreshing to see,” Pekin coach Brett McGinnis said about the victory over Limestone.
The young Dragons have had problems holding a lead down the stretch in games. But they were successful against the Rockets (9-18, 3-11), who start four seniors.
Down 20-13 at halftime, Pekin (6-23, 3-11) outscored Limestone 17-4 in the third quarter and moved in front 30-24.
Pekin’s Taylor Goss made four game-clinching free throws late in the fourth quarter, putting the finishing touches on a 23-point night. The sophomore ended up 10-for-12 at the foul line.
Goss had 24 points against East Peoria.
Pekin won twice last week without second-leading scorer Jenna Taphorn, who suffered a sprained ankle in the first quarter against East Peoria.
“Jenna is doing everything she can to get herself healthy for the postseason,” McGinnis said. “She’s dying to play.”
Natalie Righi, who started in Taphorn’s place against Limestone, scored six points against the Rockets. Lauren Juergens had five points for Pekin.
“Natalie (Righi) earned the start against Limestone off her solid performance against East Peoria,” McGinnis said.
Next for Pekin is a Class 4A Rock Island Regional opener at 7 p.m. Monday against East Moline United Township (8-15). United Township beat Pekin 64-51 on Feb. 3.
Steve Stein can be reached at (248) 224-2616 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.