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Coal City routs Peotone to claim I-8 tourney title

Published: Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT
(Craig Lincoln for Shaw Media)
Coal City’s Emily Halliday goes up for a shot Thursday against Peotone in the Interstate Eight Conference girls basketball tournament. The Coalers came out on top, claiming the title for the third time in their eight-year history.

BRAIDWOOD – Facing a team that kept it to an eight-point game earlier this season, Coal City defeated Peotone, 60-22, on Thursday in the Interstate Eight Conference girls basketball tournament championship.

“I thought tonight we actually played 32 minutes. That’s something I was searching for a while,” Coal City coach Brad Schmitt said. “I thought we all stepped up, hit some big shots, played great defense and I thought we beat a very good team on a big night.”

Although the Coalers led the first quarter 11-6, getting five points from Emily Halliday and four from Britta Spelde, they essentially decided the game in the second. They outscored Peotone, 22-4, during the quarter, shooting 9 for 14 overall and 4 for 6 from 3-point land to Peotone’s 1 for 6 and 0 for 2.

Nicole Borgetti hit a pair of 3-pointers for Coal City during the second quarter, with Halliday and Brittany Jezik each adding one. Spelde made three regular field goals.

“It was just crazy. I mean, we pushed the ball. We were hitting shots. We played awesome ‘D,’ ” Halliday said. “Schmitt always says we always have like two minutes where we ease through the game, but this time, we played 32 minutes of basketball.”

Carly Pavlis connected three times from the 3-point arc during the third quarter as the Coalers extended their lead to 50-18. Borgetti added two more 3s in the fourth, completing an 11 for 16 night on 3-pointers for the team.

As it has been throughout the season, the Coalers scoring was balanced. Halliday, who was the leading vote-getter for the All-Tournament team, shared the team lead in points at 14 with both Borgetti and Spelde. Pavlis had nine points and Jezik had five to go with five assists, three steals and two rebounds.

It is the third time the Coalers have won the tournament in its eight-year history and the first since 2010.

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