DUPO - Junior Jordan Ealey led with 14 points, while fellow junior Milla LeGette had eight steals and Mia Plumb and Lily Tretter combined for 25 rebounds as East Alton-Wood River's girls basketball team opened its season with a 44-15 win over the host Tigers in the Dupo Cat Classic Monday evening at the Dupo High gym.

The Oilers were able to set the pace for the game from the start and also got good defensive play from senior Ocean Bland and sophomore Kaylynn Buttry to get their season started on the right foot.

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"We were able to control the tempo of the game, which is something we had talked about in practice," said EAWR head coach Lyndsey Perez. "Our defensive efforts put a lot of pressure on Dupo's guards. Once we got our first game jitters out and settled in, we calmed down and offensively, became more structured and patient."

It was Ealey who helped set the pace for the Oilers, while both Bland and Buttry had big contributions defensively.

"Jordan was exceptional tonight," Perez said. "Her tenacity on defense led to several opportunities for her teammates. Ocean and Kaylynn are huge playmakers. If you are a spectator, your eyes can't help but be aware of them. Our bigs went to work on the boards, which is something we have struggled with in the past. I am so proud of their efforts as well."

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EAWR led all the way through, leading 8-2, 17-6 and 30-11 after the first three quarters, outscoring the Tigers 14-4 in the final quarter. Dupo was hit hard by graduation and are a very young team this season.

"Dupo is a young team that's working at gaining experience," Perez said. "They graduated 30-points-per-game at the end of last season in their four senior starters. They work hard, and unfortunately, are just in the trenches of being young. We've been there, and sometimes, we still are."

The Tigers had only three players who scored in the game, and were lead by Addison Mitchell, who had nine points. while Keara Prater added five points and Kaitlynn Townsend scored two points.

The Oilers start off 1-0 and next play Marissa- Coulterville, who won over Metro-East Lutheran 43-10 in the evening's second game, in the semifinals Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. The Tigers are 0-1 and meet the Knights in the consolation semifinals in the first game on Wednesday at 6 p.m.

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