The Vandalia Junior High seventh-grade girls basketball team came within a point of sharing the Mid-State Conference championship with Hillsboro after falling to the Dragons last week, 27-26.
“It was a high-competition game,” said coach Dana Kirk. “I think everyone who was there would agree that if you looked out there and didn’t know they were seventh-graders, you wouldn’t think they were seventh-graders.”
Hillsboro won the title outright after beating the Vandals for the second time this season, having already secured a 24-15 win on Oct. 21.
Karlie Bright led the Vandals with 12 points and was followed by Makayla Tinker with 10 and Madelyn Hosick with four.
“We really played well,” Kirk said. “I told the girls to keep their heads up, because they really fought hard and didn’t give up.”
Vandalia will finish the regular season on Thursday at Pana St. Patrick’s before moving on to the regional tournament in Greenville as a No. 2 seed.
On Monday, the Vandals will face either Greenville or Brownstown, two teams Vandalia has beaten this season. That game will tip at 7 p.m.
The No. 1 team in the bracket is Central A&M, which Kirk said would pose a tough challenge if the Vandals are to face them.
Monday, Nov. 15
Scoring – Bright, 8; Hosick, 8; Tinker, 7; Jalea Paslay, 4; Haley Bigelow, 4; Leah Francis, 2; Emily Hedgpeth, 2.
Record – 17-2
Friday, Nov. 12
Scoring – Tinker, 17; Bright, 13; Hosick, 9; Francis, 4.
Record – 16-2
Tuesday, Nov. 9
Scoring – Bright, 12; Tinker, 10; Hosick, 4
Record – 15-2
Season scoring leaders
Bright, 211 points (11.10 ppg)
Tinker, 201 points (10.58 ppg)
Hosick, 148 points (7.80 ppg)
Francis, 38 points (2 ppg)
Paslay, 34 points (1.80 ppg)
Bigelow, 13 points (0.68 ppg)
Hedgpeth, 6 points (0.32 ppg)