By JACKSON WILSON
Enquirer Democrat Reporter
On a basketball docket of boys’ rivalry matchups, Gillespie and North Mac came away with wins in the past week.
The Miners dropped the hammer on Carlinville in the Big House and North Mac picked up a home win in a tight joust with Southwestern.
Gillespie 56, Carlinville 33
Carlinville was hoping to generate momentum off of a come-from-behind victory at Carrollton, but came hurdling back down to Earth against Gillespie at home Dec. 16.
Bryce Buhs quieted the CHS fans with a trio of three-pointers in the first quarter and helped the Miners set the tone early with a 15-6 lead.
Gillespie kept its foot on the gas pedal and extended the advantage to double digits heading into the locker room, 29-16.
The Miners continued to apply massive pressure in the third while the offense continued to click. Gillespie held Carlinville to a pair of field goals during that eight-minute stretch and poured in 19 more points on the other end, making a 13-5 fourth quarter run by CHS completely irrelevant.
Three Miners finished in double figures. Buhs led the charge with 14 points. Bryan Jubelt added 13 tallies and Jack Kaylor contributed 12 points.
Tate Duckels and Matt Dunn scored seven points apiece for the Cavaliers.
With the conference win, Gillespie improved to 2-5 on the season and 1-1 in South Central league play.
Carlinville was back in action the next night and fell to 2-6 with a 54-19 loss to South County. The Cavaliers are 0-2 in the SCC.
North Mac 39, Southwestern 37
North Mac’s offensive woes continued Dec. 16, but the Panthers still found a way to win for their home fans in a rematch of last year’s Macoupin County tournament championship game.
North Mac went into halftime with just 11 tallies against Southwestern, but the defense kept the game within reach. The Panthers only trailed by four at that point and whittled the Piasa Birds’ lead to 27-25 heading into the fourth.
Devin Hickman nailed a clutch three to tie the game down the stretch and the Panthers came out on top, 39-37.
North Mac, which lost to Southwestern in overtime last season, improved to 6-4 and 2-0 in the SCC.
Southwestern, 1-1 in league play, rebounded with a 52-24 victoy over Lincolnwood Dec. 17. The Piasa Birds are 5-6 on the year.
In other boys’ basketball action, Greenfield-Northwestern, Staunton and Bunker Hill also came away with wins while Mt. Olive’s losing streak grew to 10 games.
Greenfield-Northwestern continued to set a consistent pace, beating South County 44-39 Dec. 13 and Calhoun 61-46 Dec. 16. The Tigers have won seven of their first eight games.
Staunton took a pair of 55-38 losses to Jerseyville Dec. 13 and SCC opponent Greenville Dec. 16, but finished the 2022 portion of the regular season strong by roughing up Lebanon, 60-18, over the weekend. The Bulldogs head into the Carlinville Holiday Tournament with a 4-5 record (0-2 SCC).
Bunker Hill stopped a five-game skid with a 63-58 home win against Calhoun Dec. 19. The Minutemen, who are also competing in the Holiday Tournament, are 2-5 overall.
Mt. Olive was faced with a major mismatch against local powerhouse Nokomis Dec. 16. The Redskins came into MOHS and dominated, 68-28, dropping the Wildcats to 0-10.