It was a long, cold weekend for the Pekin girls basketball team.

The Dragons lost 49-39 at Washington on Friday night in a Mid-Illini Conference game, then fell 65-44 to Davenport (Iowa) North on Saturday afternoon in the Iowa-Illinois Shootout at Wharton Field House in Moline.

Losing twice in less than 24 hours wasn't fun. Neither was a two-hour Saturday morning bus ride from Pekin to Rock Island, where the Dragons junior varsity team played before the varsity game vs. Davenport North.

After yet another night of below-zero temperatures, it was cold inside the bus all the way to Rock Island.

How cold?

"You could see your breath and the passenger windows had a thick layer of frost," said Pekin coach Becky Fulkerson.

The bus was a little warmer for the 10-minute drive from Rock Island to Moline, but the damage was done.

"I didn't play in the game (against Davenport North) and I was physically exhausted afterwards," Fulkerson said. "When you're shivering like we were, your body works hard to keep you warm."

Fulkerson said the bus driver tried everything to warm up the bus and another bus was sent, but it wasn't needed after getting as far as Galesburg. The scheduled bus was warmer for the ride home and several players went back with parents.

"Our girls gave the best effort they could against Davenport North, considering they played a hard game the previous night against Washington," Fulkerson said. "If they had more energy, the Davenport North game might have gone a different way."

Pekin (7-11, 1-5) trailed Davenport North only 29-27 at halftime. Davenport North (6-4) outscored the Dragons 36-17 in the second half.

"We played a great first half," Fulkerson said.

Molly Flannigan led Pekin with 15 points. Taylor Goss had 13 and Maddy Cash had 10.
Davenport North star Paige Bradford had 19 points. The 6-foot-1 senior was the Mississippi

Athletic Conference's player of the year last season along with its leading scorer and rebounder at 19.9 points and 9.6 rebounds per game.

Fulkerson said her team's game against Washington was closer than the final score. Pekin had to foul late and the Panthers made several free throws down the stretch.

Washington's offensive rebounding and 17 turnovers hurt the Dragons. Goss and Cash each had 11 points for Pekin.

Steve Stein can be reached at stevestein21@yahoo.com. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.