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WOOD RIVER - In the East Alton-Wood River IHSA Class 2A Regional Championship, Staunton won over Marquette Catholic 44-31 to take the title. The regional championship was historic and the first for the girls' basketball squad and coach Corrie Allan in Staunton.

The Bulldogs are now 26-8 and meet Camp Point Central, who won the Petersburg Porta Regional over the hosts 31-28, in the second semifinal of the Pleasant Plains Sectional at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. The Explorers were eliminated with a 17-15 mark.

Allie Wiener led Marquette Catholic with a season-high 17 points and Nia Ballinger added nine points and Meredith Zigrang had three points. Staunton was led by Haris Legendre with 17 points and Lilly Bandy with 11 points and Ele Feldman added five points.

In the other two regional finals that feed into Pleasant Plains, Quincy Notre Dame Catholic won their own regional over Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin Catholic 54-43.

Marquette Catholic girls coach Whitney Sykes-Rogers said her team didn't hit enough shots overall to post the win.

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"We played in the first half the way we should have the entire game," she explained. "I think if we hit two or three shots in the second half, it was a different ballgame. They hit their first shot in the second half and things fell apart. We let a missed shot affect us too much."

Marquette's team has five seniors who are as a group "extremely hard workers" and just "great people," the coach said.

"We will be young next year, but we have a good core of freshmen coming up," the coach said.

Wiener, the leading scorer on Thursday for the Explorers, is only a freshman and has three more years with the team. Several St. Mary's Catholic eighth-grade girls plan to be members of Marquette's team next year and had outstanding seasons this past year with a regional championship of their own.

Staunton Coach Corrie Allan was excited to bring home a regional crown.

"We will be able to put the date up on our banner at school," she said. "I am thankful for the opportunity to work with these girls on a daily basis."

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