WEST FRANKFORT -- Senior Grace Haney paved the way for the Indians in their first win over the Redbirds of Frankfort Community High School in five years.
Haney put up 30 points in the Indians' 66-61 road victory Monday night, though she sat for most of the second quarter.
"It felt really good," Haney said of the win. "With the help of my teammates, I put those points up for all of them. There was some pressure, but I knew we could pull through it."
"She had a great game and she kept getting opportunities," said Indians' coach Shawn File of Haney. "Our post players all across the board did a really good job tonight.
"They (West Frankfort) knocked us out of the regional last year so this one feels good. And it's hard to get a road win so it's huge for us."
In the first, Haney tallied six of her total points while teammate Elizabeth Bird (15 points) put up four points and Bailey Harsy (five points) added a field goal of her own.
The Redbirds took the lead early, however, and the Indians fought back into the lead with a late 3-point basket from Chloe Hill (six points). The visitors took a 13-9 lead after one quarter.
They held onto that lead through three minutes into the second quarter until the Redbirds' Megan Beery tossed up a pair of free throws to take the lead for the home team.
They continued to pad their lead while Bird tossed up five more points and teammate Morgan Bullar (10 points) added two field goals. However, a last second trey from Madison Carpenter gave the Redbirds a 6-point lead (30-24) going into halftime.
Back in the action, Haney returned to the court and added 10 points to her total while Bullar tallied six and Harsy drained a 3-pointer to reclaim the lead for the Indians (37-36).
The Redbirds fought back both on offense and defense. While putting the Indians under a full-court press, the Redbirds tallied two 3-point buckets (from Carpenter and Cali Wright), but ended the third quarter two points behind the Indians (43-41).
The home team knotted the score at 43 thanks to a field goal from Lexi McLaren, but the Indians responded with two field goals by Haney.
Midway through the final quarter, Hill drained her second trey of the night to help the Indians pull away from their opponents. In the last four minutes of the game, Haney added nine more points, the final one coming at the free throw line.
"There were a couple times we made some mistakes, but overall I think we did a really good job of handling things," File said of his team's performance.
With this win, the Indians improve to a 3-4 record and host their Perry County rivals, the Pinckneyville Panthers, on Tuesday night.