East Alton-Wood River's girls in a previous game against Southwestern.

WOOD RIVER – The East Alton-Wood River Lady Oilers hope to change their recent fortune tonight in a basketball contest at Metro East Lutheran.

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January has been difficult for the East Alton-Wood River Lady Oilers.

After winning nine of their first 13 games, EA-WR hasn’t won since the middle of December, dropping their fifth straight game Monday night 40-37 to Red Bud in overtime.

“We just need a win,” EA-WR coach Joe Parmentier said. “We just need come out and make some shots and find a way to finish a game and get a win.”

The Oilers last win was December 17 against Roxana. Since then, the Oilers have lost big to Collinsville and by single digits to Father McGivney, Carlinville and Springfield Lutheran. EA-WR has been in striking range in most of the last five games. But the Oilers have not been able to finish.

“I really didn’t expect all the wins early in the season,” Parmentier said. “I knew we’d win some ballgames, but now it seems like we’ve slacked off in our enthusiasm or the love of the game has gone away.”

Perhaps the Oilers were too charitable Monday. EA-WR turned the ball over 32 times, missed multiple layups and shot only 50 percent from the free-throw line.

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“We had 32 turnovers,” Parmentier said. “I don’t know where our heads were at tonight. We’d make a steal then we’d throw the ball away. We’d go in for a layup and we’d miss the layup. We just made a lot of mental mistakes. And we only had one girl in double figures. The scoring really needs to pick up.”

Jayden Ulrich led the Oilers with 13 points. Kayle Brantley added five and Taylor Parmentier and Aubrey Robinson each had four.

“What really irritates me is that we had a lot of steals tonight, and then we’d throw the ball away – right back away; and at crucial times,” Parmentier said. “We got a four-point lead and we couldn’t take care of the basketball, and for no good reason at all. It just seemed like we were playing completely out of control.

“We were not patient,” he said. “Tonight, when we needed to be patient, we couldn’t do it. We were going at one speed and that was too fast.”

Red Bud was almost as generous. The Musketeers committed 28 turnovers and were only 9 of 23 from the foul line, including 2-for-11 in the fourth quarter and overtime. They squandered a six-point halftime lead as the Oilers defensive pressure intensified in the second half.

“I think we did really well on defense,” Parmentier said. “We had a couple of breakdowns, but our girls are trying. We hadn’t practiced or played since Thursday. I don’t know if the layoff hurt us or what. What can I say? The girls gave it their all. It just wasn’t our night. The ball wouldn’t fall in.”

EA-WR travels to Metro East Lutheran tonight, then returns home to play Litchfield Thursday night.

“We’re going to give you 32 minutes of basketball,” Parmentier said. “You better be ready to play us. When we learn to finish, we’re going to be pretty tough again. We’ve got three or four weeks to mentally prepare and get ourselves ready for the regional. I really think a win is going to change everything for us.”

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