GLEN CARBON – McGivney Catholic found a way to pull out a winner in a close game Monday night, getting a three-point shot from Anna McKee with 1:44 to go that proved to be the game winner as the Griffins got past East Alton-Wood River 33-28 at McGivney's gym. The win put McGIvney at 8-8 on the year, while the Oilers fell to 6-11.

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“They went on a little bit of a downward spiral there in the third quarter (when the Oilers had a five-point burst that tied the game), but they were able to respond in the fourth,” said Griffin coach Jeff Oller.

“That was huge,” Oller said of McKee's game-winner. “It was neck-and-neck up to that points, not that really separated us, but it changed the game.

“Defensively, we played pretty well – holding a team to that many points (28) is pretty solid – but offensively, we were a little impatient; we were forcing some things plus turnovers. We were able to figure out a way to win.”

“We didn't play very well the first half,” said Oiler coach Joe Parmentier said, “but we competed the second half; we're a very young ball club (the Oiler roster has no seniors on it this year) – the last two or three minutes of the game, our youth showed. We were down three for such a long time and we forced some shots and turnovers, but that's what happens when you have a young ball club.

“That's the way it goes; I'm very proud of how they played, they played hard, they did the best to their abilities and the ball didn't go in the hole for us.”

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The Oilers came into Monday's game after defeating backyard rival Roxana. “We just got done beating Roxana and coming here – it's a tough place to play,” Parmentier said. “The crowd's loud and it's very exciting here – the crowd got into it – and it was a well-called game; I've got no complaints.”

The game got off to a very slow start – McGivney held a 2-0 lead through most of the opening quarter before the Oilers got their first score with under a minute left in the period to go into the first break even. Things picked up in the second quarter as the Griffins got out to a lead, only to see the Oilers pull close before the period ended with McGivney holding a 17-14 lead.

McGivney built a bit of a lead in the opening stages of the third, using scores from Madison Webb and McKee to get out to a 22-17 lead; a pair of Kayla Brantley free throws cut the Griffin led to 22-19 with 4:22 left in the period, and it stayed that way until the closing stages of the third before a Brantley three-ball pulled EAWR even with 33.6 seconds left; moments later, LeighAnn Nottke then stole the ball from a McGivney player and drove in for a lay-up that put the Oilers ahead 24-22 going into the final quarter.

Things stayed close in the entire final period, neither team able to open up a lead before McKee drained what proved to be the game-winner with 1:44 to go; a pair of Macy Hoppes free throws with 11.7 seconds left clinched the game for the Griffins.

McKee led the Griffins with a 12-point night, with Webb adding nine points and Caitlyn Pendall adding five on the night; Brantley led the Oilers with nine points, with Taylor Parmentier adding six points and Kate Baskin three.

Next up for the Griffins is a Thursday road trip to Staunton for a 6 p.m. game with the Bulldogs; the Oilers next meet up with Carlinville at 6 p.m. Thursday at Memorial Gym before a 1 p.m. Saturday home date with Nokomis.

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