ALTON - After a low-scoring first half, the Marquette Explorers and Christ Our Rock Silver Stallions were tied up at 10-10 Monday night in a Gateway Metro Conference clash at Marquette Catholic High School.

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After scoring just two points in the first half, sophomore Allie Weiner stepped up in a big way down the stretch for Marquette.

After the game was briefly tied at 14-14, the Explorers managed to gain a bit of separation and led 24-21 after three quarters.

The Silver Stallions only scored three points in the fourth, while Weiner alone scored nine. She scored five straight baskets during an 11-point run in the final frame as the Explorers won by a score of 37-25.

Weiner finished the night with 23 points, a career high. Laila Davis added seven points, Addison Pranger had three points, Izzy Hough had two points, and the team's lone senior Meredith Zigrang had a single point.

For Christ Our Rock, Chloe Carter led with 10 points while Reagan Pingsterhaus added nine points.

During the first half, Marquette's low scoring wasn't for a lack of trying.

"Really, I felt like offensively we were getting shots we wanted," Explorers' head coach Whitney Sykes-Rogers said, "we just couldn't make a thing."

"I felt like our defense was backing up a little bit, almost too much, and we were letting [Christ Our Rock] throw the ball where they wanted to. In the second half I feel we played more of a faster pace which was a struggle for them with a limited amount of kids. So, we started to pick it up a bit with a faster game, which is what they don't want to do. I felt like we made a great adjustment for the second half."

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The Silver Stallions, who had to make the hour and a half trek from Centralia, brought less than a handful of substitutions, and the Explorers, led by Allie Weiner, made them pay.

"She turned it on," Sykes-Rogers said, "and we have to have her score. If she doesn't score, we kind of struggle."

Regardless, a conference win is an important one and it brings Marquette to 3-2 in the GMC and 3-6 on the young season.

"With those conference games, against Althoff [Catholic] and [Father] McGivney, those are going to be tough, so we've got to win any game outside of that," Sykes-Rogers said.

"Christ Our Rock gave Father McGivney everything they had when they played them, and we understood why during that first half. Now I get why that game was so low scoring. [Christ Our Rock] do a good job of making you play the way they want you to play," Sykes-Rogers added.

Father McGivney just barely hung on for a 28-27 win over Christ Our Rock back on Nov. 30. Althoff beat McGivney 46-41 Monday night in Belleville to take sole possession of first place in the GMC at 5-0.

The win is a step in the right direction for another young Marquette girl basketball team.

"I'm really happy our girls started to make some shots," Sykes-Rogers said. "Their confidence was dinged a little bit for a while and it was nice to see shots go in."

Marquette's next game is on the road at Carrollton (8-4) on Dec. 21. The Explorers return home to host Granite City (1-7) on Jan. 4. Both games are slated to start at 7:30 p.m.

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