GLASFORD — Princeville feasted on some holiday turnovers from the host Illini Bluffs girls basketball team on Monday night.
The Princes (9-2) took advantage of nine fourth-quarter miscues by the Tigers (10-5), scoring the final 11 points of the game for a 46-38 decision.
IB had 26 turnovers for the game, but still had a 38-35 lead with 4:24 left in the game after a basket by sophomore Hannah Alvey.
After that, Princeville's press shut down the Tigers the rest of the way, and the Princes made just enough free throws to seal the win.
"Once we put the press on, that made the difference, and that's what won it for us," Princeville coach John Gross said. "When you don't sub any more than I do, and you've only got seven deep right now, it hurts.
"But we'll be all right. We've just got a lot of improvement to do. To know that we can come back and win the close ones against good teams has got to help."
Lucy Waid led Princeville with 18 points and nine rebounds, but was only 4-for-12 on free throws.
"She struggles in games, but makes them all in practice," Gross said of his 6-foot-1 senior. "But she got her thousandth rebound with her last one tonight."
The teams traded several leads in the early going, but Princeville closed out the first half with a 10-2 spurt to take a 25-21 lead at the break.
Waid scored 13 of her points in the first half, while the 6-foot Alvey spent the early part of the game on the bench.
Tigers coach Jim Robertson said that Alvey suffered a foot injury earlier in the season and is still on the comeback trail.
"She was in a boot for two weeks, and seems OK now," he said. "But this is only her second game back, and she's having trouble getting her balance and getting her feel back.
"But I thought as the game went on, she got better."
A 3-pointer by Hanna Hicks (19 points) with less than four seconds left in the third pulled the Tigers to within 34-32 going into the fourth period.
Illini Bluffs held the Princes to just a free throw by Brinlee Bauman for the first five minutes of the final quarter. Alvey, who finished with eight points and nine boards, scored back-to-back buckets for IB to give the Tigers the 38-35 lead with 4:24 left.
Then the Princes turned on the heat, which resulted in just eight shots in the fourth for the Tigers.
Waid tied the game on a put-back, and then Caitlin Pullen (13 points) made a steal and drove in for a layup with 1:21 left to give the Princes the lead for good.
"They didn't put a lot of pressure on us throughout the game, but give them credit," Robertson said. "They did what they needed to do to pull out a win. And having (Camryn) Stafford (two points, nine boards) in foul trouble killed is. She had been scoring 20-something a game."
Stafford picked up her fourth foul with 7:25 left in the game.
"But we made a lot of youth mistakes, and made a lot of ill-advised turnovers at the wrong time,"Robertson said.
Johnny Campos can be reached at 686-3214 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JohnnyCampos59.