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Du Quoin girls are playing their best basketball, Coach File says

By Geary Deniston
Contributing writer
updated: 1/24/2020 11:28 AM

With five games left in the regular season before the Class 2A girls basketball regionals start on Feb. 10, the Du Quoin Lady Indians are on a two-game winning streak heading into a nonconference home game against Murphysboro on Thursday.

"I believe that we are playing some of our best basketball at the moment and are gearing up for a postseason run," said Du Quoin Shawn File.

The results of that game were too late for the Call's deadline. But Du Quoin went into that game with a 12-10 record, which already is the best win record since 2011-12 when the Lady Indians finished 23-8. In the seven seasons since the best Du Quoin has done was 11 wins (11-15) in 2016-17 and 10 wins the previous two seasons.

"This is definitely been a successful year," File said. "We have eclipsed the number of wins from the last couple of seasons (9). Our goal is to finish the season above .500 which is something we haven't done in eight years."

What the Lady Indians have accomplished so far is amazing considering File has three sophomores in the starting lineup with a sophomore and freshman coming off the bench.

The starting unit is senior guard Bailey Harsy, junior guard Delaynie Dearmond, sophomore guard Lauren Heape, sophomore guard Abbi Mocaby and sophomore forward Ayanna Dunklin with sophomore guard Grace Alongi and freshman forward Loveleen Dunklin the first off the bench.

"We are a very young basketball team," File said. "I am proud of the adjustments that our younger kids have made from the beginning of the season to now. We are improving as a group every time out."

Du Quoin has played in two tournaments finishing 3-1 in their own opening season Lady Indians Tipoff Classic and 1-3 at the Benton Christmas Classic. The Lady Indians are 4-3 at home and 4-3 on the road.

Du Quoin began the new year with a 7-7 record and opened with wins over Sesser-Valier/Waltonville, 52-40, and Christopher, 49-18, before running into three of the best teams in the region where they lost to Nashville, 44-33, Hamilton County, 52-39, and the No. 2 team in the state Carterville, 57-30.

The Lady Indians then beat another good team Benton at home, 55-45, and Trico on the road, 51-32, heading into Murphysboro.

"Everything for us starts with our defense." File said. "If we keep teams to 40 points or less, we have a pretty good record."

Out of the 22 games the Lady Indians have played they have held the opposing teams to 40 points or less 13 times and have won 11. The win over Benton was the first time Du Quoin has won a game giving up more than 40 points. The only losses came when the Du Quoin scored less than 30 points against Woodlawn at the Tip-Off Classic and against Herrin at the Benton Christmas Classic.

Du Quoin is currently tied with Anna-Jonesboro for fourth in the SIRR Mississippi Division with a 2-4 record behind Carterville (6-0), Nashville (5-1) and Pinckneyville (3-3) and ahead of Sparta (0-6). Last year the Lady Indians finished fifth with a 2-8 record.

The last four games of the regular season will be conference games against Pinckneyville (Jan. 28) on the road, Sparta (Jan. 30) at home, Anna-Jonesboro (Feb. 4) at home and Nashville (Feb. 6) at home.