After losing to Carterville, the No. 2 team in the state, for their third loss in a row, the Du Quoin Lady Indians finished last week with wins over Benton at home and Trico in the annual Du Quoin/Trico girls/boys basketball doubleheader Saturday.
"Two big wins this week," said Du Quoin coach Shawn File. "It would have been easy to come out Thursday really down, but they came out fired up and had a great first half against Benton."
"Today from the get-go we did a good job of handling Trico. It was a big win because they are in our subsectional, so it always nice to get that resume builder there."
Du Quoin improved to 12-10 for the season and will get a bit of a breather this week -- their only game will be when Murphysboro comes to call on Thursday.
"Great week with two wins against two nice teams," File said. "We're getting better. We're not there, but we're getting pretty close. We're going to be there come regional time. This was our seventh game in 15 days and now we're going to get a couple days off."
Against the Rangerettes, who came into the game with a 14-7 record, Du Quoin jumped out to an 18-9 lead in the first six minutes and extended its lead to 35-12 at the half.
"This may have been our best first half so far this year," File said. "We shot very, very well. Really well. Actually I think our first half against Carterville was also very good."
Delaynie Dearmond opened the second half with a basket to extend the lead to 25 points. That would be the only points the Lady Indians would score in the third quarter as the dangerous Rangerettes cut the lead to 14 points heading into the fourth.
But the Lady Indians finished strong with 18 points, which included 15-of-21 from the line, to win 55-45. Lauren Heape and Bailey Harsy led Du Quoin with 13 points each with Abbi Mocaby adding nine.
Du Quoin 51; Trico 32
On Saturday, the Lady Indians fell behind 4-0, but rallied to close out the first quarter on a 17-6 run. During the run Dearmond scored six points, Heape four points and Mocaby finished with three points on 3-for-4 from the line.
"We've been working on shooting all year long," File said. "We did a good job moving the ball around against their zone and found the open person."
After the Lady Pioneers opened the second quarter with a 3-pointer, Grace Alongi and Heape took over with five steals between them of the six in the quarter to start an 11-2 run to take a 13-point lead with 2:11 left in the half.
Harsy opened the third quarter with a 3-pointer and then Du Quoin extended its lead to 18 with 4:22 remaining in the third and to 21 points with 1:50 left in the game.
Dearmond led the game with 16 points. The junior also finished with three rebounds, two steals and one blocked shot. Heape finished with 11 points, seven rebounds and four steals while Mocaby added 10 points, four rebounds and one blocked shot.
"This was the first time Dearmond has been in double digits in a couple weeks," File said. "Everything that we do we have to play together and be ready when our number is called and tonight we had three in double figures and Ayanna Dunklin with six.
"I think what makes it a challenge to guard us is we've got five kids who could score in double digits every time."