ARGOS — Kayla Prochno and Libby Moyer supplied a one-two punch, and Argos rallied from a 29-28 deficit in the fourth quarter to win its Winter Classic opener against West Central 44-38 at home at Phil Weybright Gymnasium Tuesday.
The Lady Dragons (8-3) went 8 of 12 from the line to outscore West Central (6-4) 16-9 in the decisive final frame for their second straight win. Argos advances to play Rochester, which beat Kankakee Valley 54-49 Tuesday, in the championship game of the Winter Classic in the auxiliary gym at West Central Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
“Half of those were free throws,” said Argos head coach Nick Medich of his team’s fourth quarter production Tuesday. “We haven’t been doing that lately; we’ve been struggling with free throws. Tonight in the end we hit the ones we needed, and that helped.”
While Karlee VanDerWeele went 4 for 6 from the line in the fourth, fellow junior forward Prochno knocked down 3 of 5 freebies and put up seven of her game-high 16 points in the stanza. The 5-11 post player — who recorded a double-double with 12 rebounds in addition to her game-leading scoring — was held silent in the third quarter as West Central rallied back from an 18-16 halftime deficit, but 5-10 Argos sophomore Libby Moyer poured in six of her nine points for the night in the penultimate period to keep the Dragons alive.
“We think with Moyer and Prochno we have the advantage down low with most teams we play, especially in this area,” said Medich. “It’s just a matter of if they’re going to play well together that night or not. The good thing is when one’s doing well it’s OK for the other sometimes to not have such a good game. But it always seems like one of them is going to have the good game. We’re hoping at some point both of them have the great game at the same time. It’s going to be hard to stop.”
Prochno also grabbed a pair of steals in the win, as did sophomore guard Shelby Sanders, who finished with a team-high five assists Tuesday. Jami Patterson and Karlee VanDerWeele scored six points each, while Carly McCay chipped in five in a balanced effort for Argos.
The win represented the Lady Dragons’ first back-to-back victory since Culver Girls Academy snapped a four-game win streak extending to mid-November on Dec. 13.
“Our girls still think that we are better than what we are playing. Which is, I guess, exciting that the girls think that way,” said Medich. “But we need to start recognizing individually what they need to be working on in practice versus me needing to tell them. They’re getting better at doing that…. there are things that they’re all trying to do specifically. They’ve been talking about it more, and now if we can get them working on it we’ll be OK.”
West Central was led by Marissa Hamilton’s 11 points, while Justin Kruger finished with 10 points and eight rebounds before fouling out in the fourth quarter.
Argos improves to 8-3 and will try to stop the Lady Zebras tonight at West Central.
“We have not played Rochester,” Medich said. “They have a good guard from what I hear. We need to stop her and try to limit her points and play as a total team. We are not good enough for one girl to beat everybody. We need to play five girls, six girls, seven girls, everybody needs to play and hopefully hold Rochester to as few points as possible. From what I hear they’re scoring in the 50s. We’ve kept teams down to around the 30s, so it should be interesting.”
• ARGOS 44, WEST CENTRAL 38
Score by quarters
Argos: 10 18 28 44
W. Central: 6 16 29 38
WEST CENTRAL (38): Justine Kruger 4 2-3 10, Lexi Gudeman 2 0-0 6, Alisha Tanner 1 0-0 2, Alivia Kruger 0 0-0 0, Marissa Hamilton 2 7-14 11, Cortney Feuguay 4 1-2 9, Ashton Barkho 0 0-0 0, Samantha Lincoln 0 0-0 0; Totals: 13 10-19 38.
ARGOS (44): Jami Patterson 3 0-0 6, Karlee VanDerWeele 1 4-6 6, Allison Flower 0 0-0 0, Shelby Sanders 0 0-0 0, Carly McCay 2 1-2 5, Libby Moyer 4 1-3 9, Kayla Prochno 6 4-7 16, Dani Fishburn 1 0-0 2; Totals: 17 10-18 44.
3-point goals: West Central 2 (Gudeman 2), Argos 0; Turnovers: Argos 27; Rebounds: West Central 33 (J. Kruger 8), Argos 27 (Prochno 12); Assists: Argos 10 (Sanders 5); Steals: Argos 7 (Sanders 2, Prochno 2); Fouls (fouled out): West Central 15 (J. Kruger), Argos 14 (Moyer).
Records: West Central 6-4, Argos 8-3