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Essner honored after Kelly beats Oran on Senior Night

Friday, February 28, 2003

(Photo)
Dana Essner
BENTON -- Kelly's girls basketball team celebrated Senior Night with a convincing 57-35 victory over Oran on Thursday, clinching their fourth consecutive 20-win season.

"We were just very excited about the girls coming out and playing as well as they did," said Kelly head coach Rod McQuerter. "Especially with all the emotions of Senior Night running around in their heads. They gave a great effort and worked together, just like they've done every other night of the season."

The Lady Hawks were led by standout Dana Essner, who poured in a game-high 20 points. After the win, Essner was honored for setting school records in career assists (449) and career steals (428).

"I was really surprised, I honestly had no idea," said Essner. "Coach Rod and Coach Tim didn't tell me anything before tonight. I'm really happy. My teammates helped out a lot."

In her four seasons at Kelly, Essner had over 100 steals and 100 assists each year.

The first quarter of Thursday's game ended in a 9-9 tie, but the Lady Hawks blew the door wide open in the second period with a 20-6 run.

Kelly never looked back from that point, outscoring Oran 14-12 in the third quarter and 14-8 in the fourth.

Behind Essner, Christy Kluesner scored 16 points and Cara Scherer added nine. Oran was led by Teresa Hodges who scored 16.

Kelly (20-5) has been seeded first in the upcoming Class 3, District 2 Tournament at Bloomfield. The Lady Hawks will face the winner of a Scott City-St. Vincent game on Monday at 6 p.m.

DELTA -- Delta's girls basketball team wrapped up the Scott-Mississippi Conference title on Thursday night with a 63-33 win over Scott Central.

It's the first time the Lady Bobcats have won the conference outright.

"We shot the ball pretty well," said Delta head coach Randy White. "We were able to get the ball inside, and we had a pretty good defensive effort also. We've been playing well defensively."

Rebecca Below led Delta with 26 points, followed by Rebecca Cook and Sarah M. Cook with 14 each. For Scott Central, Christina Valenzuela, Jackie Monroe and Jennifer Hoots each scored eight.

"They won't be so easy come district time," said White.