Momentum was not on the side of Oblong High School's girls' basketball team Wednesday night.
Coming off a win over county rival Palestine-Hutsonville Monday, the Lady Panthers could keep that momentum going, as they scuffled to a 36-21 defeat against Red Hill in the opening round of the Little Illini Conference Tournament at Flora.
A slow start doomed the Lady Panthers, as they fell behind 15-7 after the first quarter and never recovered. Red Hill outscored OHS 10-5 in the second quarter for a 25-12 halftime lead, then each team scored three points in the third quarter to make the score 28-15. Red Hill then outscored Oblong 8-6 in the fourth quarter to seal the win.
Points were hard to come by for both teams, as there were just 21 baskets made in the game and only one player reached double figures. Red Hill also dominated Oblong on the boards, outrebounding the Lady Panthers 40-28.
Kailyn Pinkston led OHS with eight points, while Emily Lockhart scored six. Kira Meese tossed in five points and Cheyenne Wells added two.
Jamesha Western led Red Hill with 12 points, while Maran Tennis and Macee Weiss scored eight points apiece for the Lady Salukis.
Oblong (5-6) will play a consolation game in the LIC Tournament at 7 p.m. Monday against the loser of Saturday's game between second-seeded Flora and the Casey-Westfield-Edwards County winner from Thursday. If the Lady Panthers play Flora or Casey-Westfield, the game will be on the road, but if they play Edwards County, the game will be in Oblong.
Red Hill advances to Saturday's quarterfinals, where they will play top-seeded Marshall at 3 p.m. in Flora.
2014 Little Illini Conference Girls Basketball Tournament