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DUPO - In an opening round game of the Dupo Cat Classic, East Alton-Wood River (EAWR) jumped out to an early lead and never looked back in defeating Madison.

The Oilers led at every turn, holding edges of 23-2, 31-4, and 46-4 at the end of the first three quarters, then outscored the Trojans 2-1 in the final quarter.

"We knew coming in that his game would be more about focus and energy and showing how we really can play," Oilers' head coach Lyndsey Perez said. "It's always a learning experience and an opportunity to get some of the younger kids in and get them their first looks at the floor."

She gave Madison credit though, calling them "scrappy" and saying that they never gave up.

Ocean Bland led EAWR with 13 points, while Lily Tretter scored nine points, Kaylynn Buttry came up with eight points, Makayla Quigley had seven points, Jordan Ealey had five points, Mia Plumb scored four points and Haley Handler had two points.

Octavia Hubbard scored all five points for Madison.

The Oilers open their season 1-0, while the Trojans fall to 0-2.

Heading into the rest of the season, Perez feels as if her team is the underdog going into most situations.

"It's all about proving people wrong and showing people that we can do it," she said.

"This group of girls is special. They're young, but that doesn't mean they lack skill or talent. They've got a couple of good senior leaders on the floor that can show that maturity for the younger kids. They're meshing really well."

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In the second game of the night, Roxana opened its season with a close win over the tournament hosts Dupo.

It was a close game all the way, with the Shells leading the Tigers after the first quarter 4-2, and led at halftime 10-4, only to see Dupo cut the lead to 19-16 after three quarters, but Roxana won the fourth quarter 10-9 to take the four-point win.

It was a game that came down to free-throw shooting in the end. After a lull from the Shells in the third quarter, they opened the door for the Tigers after getting themselves into trouble. Dupo was in the bonus relatively early into the second half.

"As they started to pick up the pressure on us, we didn't respond well," Shells' head coach Brian Diskin said. "I thought we had a lot of turnovers in that period and gave them a lot of possessions."

Regardless, his team weathered the storm and still grabbed the win in the season-opener.

"It's good to get the win though, especially for as many shots as we were getting. We were getting good, decent shots that we liked but nothing was going in the hole.

"First game of the year. It was good. We got a lead and kept the lead, even though it got close which is good for your confidence," he said.

Abby Gehrs led the Shells with 13 points, while Daisy Daugherty added six points, Kinsley Mouser had four points, Laynie Gehrs scored three points, Ava Strohmeier came up with two points and Ava Cherry scored a single point.

Alexia Lewis led the Tigers with 15 points, while T'Yonna Burris had four points and Steffany Stanch, Allison Taylor, and Kaylyn Woods all scored two points each.

Roxana opens its season 1-0, while Dupo starts off 0-1.

Colin Feeney also contributed to this story.

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