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A tradition of hoops at 56th Carlinville Holiday Tournament

The 2022 Carlinville Holiday Tournament boys’ All-Tournament team features, from left, Will Christian (Hillsboro), Keenan Powell (Litchfield), A.J. Odle (Litchfield), Grant Burch (Bunker Hill), Braden Buffington (Staunton), Bryan Jubelt (Gillespie), Seth Slayden (EAWR) and Devon Green (EAWR). Enquirer~Democrat photo by Jackson Wilson.


The 2022 Carlinville Holiday Tournament girls’ All-Tournament team features, from left, Kate Zippirich (Calhoun), Audrey Gilman (Calhoun), Jaelyn Hill (Calhoun), Mia Brawner (Gillespie), Isabella Tiburzi (Carlinville), Kylie Kinser (GF-NW), Addison Dangbar (Nokomis) and Audrey Sabol (Nokomis). Enquirer~Democrat photo by Jackson Wilson.


Enquirer Democrat Reporter

During the holiday break, sports fans were treated to a tradition of hoops at the 56th annual Carlinville basketball tournament.

Eight boys and girls varsity teams took to the hardwood Dec. 26 and duked it out until Dec. 29.

The first three days of the tournament featured pool play contests, which decided the place game and championship pairings.

As in the past, a large turnout was expected, especially now that COVID-19 restrictions were in the rearview mirror. Those expectations were met and the crowds gradually increased throughout the week.

On the final night, fans and players from multiple schools packed the stands to enjoy some action courtesy of the tourney’s frontrunners.

In the boys’ tournament, Litchfield was predicted as the favorite and lived up to the hype despite missing its best player due to injury. The Purple Panthers brought home their first title in a decade.

On the girls side, a young but dangerous Calhoun squad that featured two All-Tournament sophomores humbled top-seeded Nokomis to win its program’s first championship.

As for Macoupin County squads, the Carlinville girls won three out of four games to place third, despite being without a single upper-classman on their roster. The Cavaliers upended higher-ranked South County and Greenfield-Northwestern in pool play, then avenged a conference loss to Gillespie by beating their rival Miners.

Gillespie came out of the gates hot with two wins over Williamsville and Lincolnwood, but couldn’t figure out Nokomis with a championship berth on the line. Thus, the Miners had to settle for fourth place and a 2-2 split.

Greenfield-Northwestern’s girls were faced with a downfall in comparison to a runner-up finish from last year. Nevertheless, the Tigers exceeded expectations. GF-NW was seeded at the bottom of its respective pool, but salvaged a win over South County before defeating defending champion Williamsville in the fifth place match.
Staunton was the leader amongst four local rivals in the boys tournament. The Bulldogs, like the GHS girls, came out of the chute at 2-0 but went flat against Litchfield and Hillsboro down the stretch. Staunton finished fourth place overall.

The Bunker Hill boys ranked sixth and Carlinville came in last. The Gillespie Miners made easy work of the Cavaliers for seventh place.

Grant Burch (Bunker Hill), Bryan Jubelt (Gillespie), Braden Buffington (Staunton), Will Christian (Hillsboro), A.J. Odle (Litchfield), Keenan Powell (Litchfield), Seth Slayden (East Alton-Wood River) and Devon Green (East Alton-Wood River) were named to the boys’ All-Tourament team.

The girls’ All-Tournament team featured Kylie Kinser (Greenfield-Northwestern), Mia Brawner (Gillespie), Isabella Tiburzi (Carlinville), Audrey Sabol (Nokomis), Addison Dangbar (Nokomis), Jaelyn Hill (Calhoun), Audrey Gilman (Calhoun) and Kate Zipprich (Calhoun).

A complete run-down of all tournament results can be found below.

Dec. 26 – Pool play
Gillespie 52, Williamsville 41
Carlinville 44, South County 30
Calhoun 39, Greenfield-Northwestern 26
Nokomis 52, Lincolnwood 27
Dec. 27 – Pool play
Nokomis 45, Williamsville 14
Greenfield-Northwestern 39, South County 20
Gillespie 67, Lincolnwood 46
Calhoun 45, Carlinville 31
Dec. 28 – Pool play
Calhoun 44, South County 42 (OT)
Nokomis 57, Gillespie 28
Williamsville 40, Lincolnwood 22
Carlinville 36, Greenfield-Northwestern 29
Dec. 29 – Place games
Calhoun 41, Nokomis 34 (1st)
Carlinville 40, Gillespie 30 (3rd)
Greenfield-Northwestern 28, Williamsville 26 (5th)
South County 44, Lincolnwood 30 (7th)

Dec. 26 – Pool play
Litchfield 60, Carlinville 39
Hillsboro 57, Bunker Hill 50
East Alton-Wood River 75, Gillespie 52
Staunton 55, Calhoun 39
Dec. 27 – Pool play
Hillsboro 70, Gillespie 60
Staunton 52, Carlinville 39
East Alton-Wood River 64, Bunker Hill 46
Litchfield 77, Calhoun 73 (OT)
Dec. 28 – Pool play
Bunker Hill 72, Gillespie 64
Calhoun 57, Carlinville 35
Litchfield 58, Staunton 42
East Alton-Wood River 75, Hillsboro 71
Dec. 29 – Place games
Litchfield 62, East Alton-Wood River 54 (1st)
Hillsboro 66, Staunton 41 (3rd)
Calhoun 55, Bunker Hill 50 (5th)
Gillespie 52, Carlinville 39 (7th)