Lady Knights season ends at Streator Supersectional

Tom Batters
Richwoods sophomore Maggie Cunningham dives for a loose ball Monday night against Hillcrest in the Streator Supersectional. The Lady Knights lost 55-47 and finished the season with a 24-11 record.

Richwoods lost 55-47 to Hillcrest Monday night in the Streator Supersectional, ending its run for a second straight state championship and closing the careers of seniors Katie Murphy and Sarah Murray.

Hillcrest unleashed a relentless pressure defense to start the game and forced five Richwoods turnovers in the first minute on its way to a 6-0 start.

Richwoods rallied back, though, and Maggie Cunningham's three-pointer gave the Lady Knights a 9-8 lead with 1:20 left in the first quarter. Richwoods outscored Hillcrest, 16-13 in the secomd quarter and led 27-24 at halftime.

Hillcrest (27-3) went on a 10-0 run to start the third quarter. Most of those points came after the Hawks forced Richwoods to turn the ball over against the pressure defense.

Richwoods (24-11) went on a 6-0 run to close ut the third quarter, and chipped away in the fourth quarter, tying the game, 39-39, with 6:36 left on a jump shot by Murphy. Hillcrest went on a 7-0 run right after that, and Richwoods never regained the lead.

"Basketball is a series of runs," said Richwoods coach Todd Hursey. "They had theirs and we had purs. Unfortunately, we couldn't get another one at the end.

Mariah Smith led Richwoods with 13 points. Murphy had 12 points and 10 rebounds. Cunningham had 12 points.

See the March 10 edition of the Peoria Times-Observer for more coverage of this game, and a look back on the Lady Knights' season.