The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Prep Hoops: Company At The Top

  • Harrisburg, Eldorado & West Frankfort all share Harrisburg Preview Tournament title
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  • It was the marquee matchup of the Harrisburg Girls Basketball Preview Tournament and it more than lived up to its billing Saturday night, playing as the finale at Davenport Gymnasium.
    Harrisburg and Eldorado played through five ties and eight lead changes in a game that ultimately went Harrisburg's way as the Bulldogs pulled off the 56-48 victory.
    The Bulldogs repeated as champions, but shared the honors with Eldorado and West Frankfort as all three only lost one-game during the course of the week.
    Harrisburg was led by three players in double figures as Ashley Ferrell took home top honors with a game-high 19 points. Alexa Burtis came off the bench to score 14, including a 4-of-4 clip from long range for the Bulldogs and Lindsey Murray tacked on 10 points.
    Eldorado also put three players in double figures as Abby Steed put in 13 points and Erica Graczyk had the game's only double-double as the senior forward grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds and scored 12 points. Taylor Goodley got 10 points for the Eagles.
    Eldorado entered the finale having won four straight, including three at the Preview Tournament. Head coach Josh Bradley's club shows resilience in a comeback effort.
    "I thought we got off to a slow start," Bradley said. "We battled back and fought real hard, I think there towards the end we just ran out of gas."
    Harrisburg just about coasted to the finish line on fumes as well.
    The Bulldogs built a 30-19 lead after a Hanna Jones jumper with 2:12 to play in the first half and led 34-26 at halftime.
    Eldorado stormed back to to start the third quarter with Steed knocking down a jumper to pull to within six, 34-28 and back-to-back buckets by Graczyk gave Eldorado a 36-35 lead with 5:03 to play in the third.
    From that point on, there were four ties and four lead all changes, all going Harrisburg's way.
    Harrisburg head coach Jake Stewart breathed a sigh of relief, knowing his club had to scratch and claw to get the win.
    "All week our shooting hasn't really been where we need it to be," Stewart said. "I thought we took way too many three's and tonight we go 6-for-16 and I think getting our inside-out game going tonight was crucial. Our girls wanted this one bad and went out and got it."
    Stewart made note of the win over Carmi-White County, where Harrisburg shot 30 3-pointers and put up 28 in the loss to West Frankfort. He was happy to see that number dwindle Saturday.
    "We told the girls before the game that Harrisburg is going to chuck 3's and they're going to make some of them," Bradley said. "If you can box out and rebound and limit them to one shot and don't let them get second chance opportunities, you win the basketball game. We weren't able to do that."
    Page 2 of 2 - Hanna Jones had eight points and a team-high 11 rebounds for Harrisburg, while Devan Jones tacked on three points and Kesley Hobbs finished with two points.
    Jacqlyn Artman scored six for Eldorado, while Caitlyn Stafford finished with four points and Dresdyn Bramlet put in two points. Kourtney Phillips had a free throw for Eldorado.
    Eldorado 08 18 12 10 — 48
    Harrisburg 14 20 06 16 — 56
    ELDORADO (4-1): Steed 5-10 2-2 13, Phillips 0-3 1-2 1, Graczyk 6-13 0-1 12, Goodley 3-9 4-8 10, Artman 2-3 2-2 6, Stafford 0-1 4-4 4, Bramlet 1-4 0-0 2, Duckworth 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 16-43 13-19 48.
    HARRISBURG (4-1): Ferrell 4-11 9-11 19, Douglas 0-1 0-0 0, H. Jones 3-6 2-5 8, Murray 2-6 6-8 10, D. Jones 1-4 1-2 3, Burtis 4-6 0-0 14, Younger 0-1 0-0 0, Hobbs 1-5 2-2 2. Totals: 14-40 22-31 56.
    3-pointers: Eldorado 1-5 (Steed 1-3, Phillips 0-1, Goodley 0-1), Harrisburg 6-16 (Ferrell 2-7, Douglas 0-1, Murray 0-2, Burtis 4-4, Hobbs 0-3). Rebounds: Eldorado 26, Harrisburg 30. Turnovers: Eldorado 11, Harrisburg 12.
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