Lady Rockets Finish Second in Highland Tournament


Jordyn Heckert, Staff Writer

The Okawville Lady Rockets Basketball Team had a great showing in the annual Highland Tournament (January 14-21). The Lady Rockets went into the tournament with an impressive 17-3 record, ready to compete against tough competition.

Okawville started off strong by beating Belleville West 59-34 in the first round. The Lady Rockets came out strong and led 31-16 at the half. They continued to succeed in the second half as well. Alyana Kraus led in scoring with 22 points. Madisyn Wienstroer had 10 points followed by Briley Rhodes with 9, Megan Rennegarbe had 8, Ellie Frederking provided 4, and Raelyn Obermeier and Camryn Wiedwilt had 3 apiece.

Their second game was against Breese Central, where they beat them 39-28. Central put up an aggressive fight for the Lady Rockets, but Okawville pushed through to earn the win. Kraus led the Lady Rockets with 16 points, Rhodes contributed 8, Rennegarbe had 6, Obermeier finished with 5, and Caroline Tepe and Wienstroer both chipped in 2. 

From there they advanced to the championship semi-finals where they put up a tough fight for the O’Fallon Panthers. Our 1A Lady Rockets knew they would have to play some of their best basketball to pull out the win against a talented 4A school, and they did so with a win of 55-50. Okawville took the early 15-11 lead at the end of the first quarter, but the Panthers kept within 4 at halftime. The second half was intense and back-and-forth, but the Lady Rockets held onto their lead to come out on top. Kraus led once again with 20. Obermeier was on fire at the 3-point line going 4-5 with 12 points. Rhodes also scored 12 points, Rennegarbe had 5, Wienstroer finished with 4, followed by Tepe chipping in 2.

With this momentum, they met up with Alton in the championship game. Okawville and Alton met up previously in the season at the Mascoutah tournament, where Alton came out on top. The first quarter was neck-and-neck and ended with a tied score of 13-13. Alton headed to the locker room at the half with a 4-point lead of 29-25. After a close third-quarter score of 41-36, Alton pulled away in the fourth quarter to win the championship 54-38. Although this was a tough loss for the Lady Rockets, they still put up an aggressive fight against a very talented 4A team, who was undefeated at the time. Kraus led the Lady Rockets with 13 points, followed by Rennegarbe with 8, Obermeier and Rhodes each had 5, Wienstroer ended with 4 points, and Tepe with 3.

Briley Rhodes and Alayna Kraus were awarded 1st All-Tournament Team as well. Both athletes contributed a lot to the team the whole tournament on both offense and defense, as well as being leaders on the court.

Good luck to the Lady Rockets as the postseason is approaching.