Big second half helps Perryville girls over Meadow Heights


The Perryville girls started slow, but continue to be on a roll.
The Pirates pulled together in the second half and edged Meadow Heights 52-39 on Feb. 7.
“Meadow Heights is a very physical team and we got into some foul trouble,” Perryville coach Jason Dreyer said. “We did a good job navigating that and then buckled down on the defense in the post. I think that was the turning point in the game.”
Dreyer is correct in his observation because in the first quarter Meadow Heights senior Rachael Hellebusch scored eight points, six from free throws in the first quarter, as the Panthers led 11-8 after the first quarter. Meadow Heights went 7-7 from the free throw line in the first quarter.
Perryville senior Brooklyn Moll made a three-pointer to tie the game at 11-11 on the first possession of the second quarter and then adversity struck the Pirates when Moll picked up her third foul with 4:15 left before the half after a foul on Hellebusch put Meadow Heights ahead 18-14.
The Pirates kept it close without Moll until the half with the Pirates trailing 22-19.
“In the past when Brooklyn gets in foul trouble that has really brought down our entire team,” Dreyer said. “I thought we handled it much better this game and it really helped us keep it close.”
Dreyer trusted his lone senior and put her back in at the beginning of the second half and it paid off as Perryville took off from there. Aby Amberger scored two baskets to kick off the quarter and Moll hit a three to put the Pirates up 27-24.
Meadow Heights struggled from the field in the third quarter, scoring just two points in the first six minutes. Meadow Heights started to get into foul trouble, picking up five in the first three minutes of the quarter and put Perryville in the bonus for the rest of the quarter.

The Panthers had two players foul out and another two with four fouls, as the fouls started to mount for a squad with just eight on the roster.
On the other hand, Moll did not have a foul in the third quarter, although she did end up fouling out late in the fourth when the game was decided. She finished with 22 points.
“I trusted her as a senior and she played really well,” Dreyer said. “There’s not many players I trust when it comes to that.”
After going perfect from the free throw line in the first quarter, Meadow Heights went 3-8 the rest of the game. Hellebusch had 17, but five in the second half.
Amberger did well in the fourth quarter, scoring eight of her 17 in the fourth. Most of them driving to the rim.
Aby and Brooklyn have been our one-two punch for much of the year,” Dreyer said.
Perryville (15-6) will host Hillsboro (18-2) Thursday in a defacto JCAA conference title game as the Hawks come in with an undefeated conference mark and Perryville is 5-1. If Perryville wins and beats Windsor in its final conference game later in the year, the two will tie with identical 7-1 records.
The two teams have split meetings this year with the Hawks winning 70-53 on Dec. 11 and Perryville returning the favor in the West County Tournament 41-37 on Dec. 29.
“It will be a big game for sure,” Dreyer said.