HANDS UP: Southwestern’s Debbie Hardy (left) and Morgan Mahoney (23) get their hands up to defend Eastern’s Krista Roberts Saturday night in Hanover. (Staff photo by David Hill)
HANDS UP: Southwestern’s Debbie Hardy (left) and Morgan Mahoney (23) get their hands up to defend Eastern’s Krista Roberts Saturday night in Hanover. (Staff photo by David Hill)
Eastern (Pekin) used its size to dominated Southwestern in a 58-48 girls basketball win in the Rebels' home opener on Saturday.

Donnelle Rogers, a 5-foot-9 guard, Krista Roberts, a 5-foot-11 forward, and Brooke Rodewig, a 5-foot-9 forward, combined for 48 of Eastern's 58 points. Roberts scored eight of her points in the final period to thwart a Southwestern rally.

Southwestern got a game-high 25 points from guard Sydnie McKinley, who was the only Rebel player to reach double digits in scoring.

According to first-year coach Kenny Garrett, his Rebels are going to be overmatched on size most of the season.

"Size definitely went against us tonight with (Roberts)," Garrett said. "She's a three-year varsity starter and we had trouble with her all night.

"I'm proud of the way we played tonight, though. We played hard and we need to keep believing in ourselves."

Austin Courtney, who scored five of her eight points in the opening period, got the Rebels off to an early 2-0 lead. The two teams traded leads several times before Roberts hit a shot to put the Musketeers up 11-10 lead around the 3:30 mark - a lead the visitor's would never relinquish.

Eastern held a 16-11 lead at the end of the first period and then outscored the Rebels 9-6 in the second to lead 25-17 at halftime.

Sydnie McKinley knocked down a pair of 3-pointers during the third period but the Rebels were still outscored 15-12 as Eastern opened up a 40-29 advantage.

"Sydnie had a good game tonight," Garrett said.

Eastern got some quick baskets to open the fourth quarter to take a 46-29 lead and that turned out to be a big key in the Musketeers' win when Southwestern mounted a late comeback.

The Rebels trimmed the deficit to single digits in the latter part of the fourth quarter when a free throw by Courtney cut it to eight points (52-44) with 1:04 remaining.

"We showed some spunk toward the end of the game," Garrett said.

Even though Garrett said his team struggled inside, he thought Southwestern turned in a better performance than in a season-opening loss to Charlestown.

"We did OK shooting tonight but we were nervous and gun-shy and that went against us," he said.

The Rebels swing back into action Tuesday when they travel to Salem.

SATURDAY'S SOUTHWESTERN BOX

at Hanover

EASTERN 58, SOUTHWESTERN 48



EASTERN 16 9 15 18 - 58

SOUTHWESTERN 11 6 12 19 - 48



EASTERN (1-1) - (f)Roberts 18, (g)Rogers 18, (f)Rodewig 12, (g)Ernstberger 7, Simpson 3, (g)Feist 0, Hamilton 0.

SOUTHWESTERN (0-2) - (g)S. McKinley 25, (f)Courtney 8, Hardy 6, (f)C. McKinley 4, (c)Mahoney 2, Hubbard 2, (g)Lawson 1, Brawner 0, Ison 0.



3-Point Goals - Eastern 5 (Rodewig 2, Rogers 2, Ernstberger 1), Southwestern 2 (S. McKinley 2). Total Fouls - Eastern 19, Southwestern 20. Free Throws - Eastern 15-22 (68%), Southwestern 14-21 (66%). Fouled Out - Eastern: Rogers. Next Game - Eastern hosts Borden Saturday. Southwestern visits Salem Tuesday.