The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

January 31, 2014

Prophets edge closer

By Jon Gremmels Herald Sports Editor
The Clinton Herald

---- — FULTON, Ill. — Corrie Reiley doesn’t need to score to have a great impact on the game.

The Prophetstown guard wound up with 10 points Thursday night, but she did so much more to help the Prophets improve to 24-2 and move within a game of locking up the Three Rivers Conference girls basketball title.

Reiley fueled another strong start for the Prophets as they improved to 12-0 in conference play with a 64-26 win against Fulton on Thursday night at Stan Borgman Court.

“Corrie does a real good job,” Prophetstown coach Don Robinson said. “To her, it’s not about points. It’s about playing defense and distributing the ball.”

Reiley did plenty of that early.

The first of her three steals in the opening quarter led to Prophetstown’s first basket, a transition layup by Heather Strike (12 points). Next, she added a steal and layup that led to a three-point play and a 5-0 lead. Her passes led to the next two scores, an inside basket by Clare Kramer (12 points) and a pair of Karlie Stafford free throws. Baskets by Kramer and Shelby Adams pushed the lead to 13-0 with 2:50 left, and Prophetstown was well on its way to victory.

For good measure, though, Reiley capped the first-quarter scoring with a steal and layup for a 19-4 advantage.

“Our defense was very good tonight,” she said. “We’ve been practicing our full-court defense in practice. We switched to a trap and 2-2-1 press because they had a plan to stop our man press.

“The team was real hot tonight. We had a lot of fast breaks.”

Partially because of Reiley’s play, Fulton’s Averi Leitzen got in foul trouble early and headed to a place she rarely sees — the bench.

“That disrupts things,” Fulton coach Mike Menchaca said. “She’s always got the ball in her hands.”

With Leitzen watching from the sideline, an all-too familiar problem arose for the Steamers.

“We’re looking for that identity,” Menchaca said. “The next man up. We’ve got to have that mentality.”

Menchaca also would like to see more confidence from his players on the offensive end.

“When you look at it and think about how many opportunities we had in the paint; we were panicking,” he said. “They weren’t as comfortable playing here as they were on (Prophetstown’s) court last Saturday.”

Of course, the Prophets have a knack for making all of their opponents uncomfortable.

Strike and Reiley each scored five points in the second quarter as Prophetstown pushed its lead to 37-12. Strike added five more in the third period, when Prophetstown outscored Fulton 16-6. It was all reserves for the Prophets in the fourth quarter, and again they outscored the Steamers 11-8.

“They’re pretty talented,” Robinson said of his bench players. “There’s not much drop off.”

Still, he sees area “we have to fine-tune” before regionals begin in less than two weeks. The Prophets learned Thursday they are the top seeds in the Class 2A Peru St. Bede Regional.

Fulton will have little time to work on those areas. Because of weather postponements, they have five games before regionals begin the week of Feb. 10. They are seeded fourth in the Class 2A Oregon Regional and will find out their first-round information today.

PROPHETSTOWN 64, FULTON 26

PROPHETSTOWN (24-2, 12-0) — Kassi Henrekin 1 2-3 4, Kaeli Kovarik 1 0-0 2, Corrie Reiley 4 1-3 10, Heather Strike 4 3-4 12, Celya Crane 0 0-0 0, Karlie Stafford 2 3-5 7, Shelby Adams 1 0-0 2, Cydney Westen 3 3-3 9, Brooke Remley 1 0-0 2, Mikayla Bolton 2 0-0 4, Clare Kramer 5 2-3 12. Totals 24 14-21 64.

FULTON — Averi Leitzen 3 0-1 7, Autumn Hutton 0 0-2 0, Camerin Huizenga 0 0-0 0, Jordan Price 1 4-4 6, Rachael Beiermann 3 0-0 6, Kim Holland 1 0-0 2, Kerrigan Enloe 1 1-4 3, Brianna McDaniel 0 0-0 0, Whitney Wynkoop 0 0-0 0, Faith Kennedy 1 0-1 2. Totals 10 5-12 26.

Prophetstown 19 18 16 11 — 64

Fulton 4 8 6 8 — 26

3-point goals — Prophetstown 2 (Reiley, Strike); Fulton 1 (Leitzen). Total fouls — Prophetstown 13, Fulton 20. Fouled out — None.