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HS boys’ hoops: Southwestern knocks off Gillespie; Burch scores 21, grabs 12 boards as Bunker Hill routs Mt. Olive

Enquirer Democrat Reporter

Southwestern and Bunker Hill each used offensive flurries to power their way to county victories last week.

The Piasa Birds defeated Gillespie in ‘The Pit’ and Bunker Hill sent Mt. Olive to its 13th consecutive loss.

Southwestern knocks off Gillespie

Southwestern erased a 19-13 first quarter deficit and nabbed a 60-51 road victory at Gillespie Jan. 6.

Three Birds finished in double figures, with Ryan Lowis leading the charge with 14 points and a pair of threes.

Rocky Darr added 11 tallies and Collin Robinson scored 10 points.

The Birds weren’t efficient from the charity stripe, but continued to expose a flat-footed Miners’ defense throughout the evening. Southwestern barely surpassed the 50/50 mark from the line. Yet, Gillespie foul trouble gifted the Birds so many opportunities (40 to be exact) that a game-breaking total of 22 points was still generated from there.

Southwestern improved to 7-9 and sunk Gillespie to 3-10. The Piasa Birds are 2-1 in the South Central Conference. The Miners are 1-2.

Burch scores 21, grabs 12 boards as Bunker Hill routs Mt. Olive

Grant Burch once again made his mark in the Bunker Hill/Mt. Olive rivalry Jan. 5.

Against a reeling pack of Wildcats, the senior Minuteman was on his horse the entire game and picked the opposition apart with 21 points and 12 rebounds as a guard. Additionally, Burch knocked down four threes and dished out four assists.

Jaydon Hausman added 12 points for the Minutemen and Daniel Manar came one rebound shy of his own double-double with 10 points and nine boards.

Bunker Hill dominated on the road, 64-40, and picked up its fourth win of the season. The Minutemen are 4-10 overall.

As for Mt. Olive, a winless drought continues. The Wildcats are 0-13.

Conference losses for Carlinville, Staunton and North Mac

Carlinville, Staunton and North Mac all trended downward in the SCC standings.

The Cavaliers and Bulldogs hit rock bottom while the Panthers missed out on an opportunity to claim early league supremecy.

Carlinville was neck-in-neck with Hillsboro, until the Hiltoppers piled up 28 unanswered points in the second quarter while holding the Cavaliers scoreless.

CHS fell to 3-12 (0-3 SCC) on the season after getting doubled up at home, 62-31, Jan. 6. Dominic Alepra scored a career-high 21 points for the Cavaliers in defeat.

The second quarter was also Staunton’s Achilles’ heel. The Bulldogs trailed by three after eight minutes of play at Pana, then got blitzed during a 24-4 surge and the momentum remained in Pana’s favor following halftime. The Panthers outscored SHS 36-10 in the second and third quarters combined en route to a convincing 56-30 win. Staunton is 6-8 (0-3 SCC) on the year.

In a battle for sole possession of first place, North Mac couldn’t hang with Greenville during a highly-anticipated SCC draw in Bond County. The Comets soared ahead of the Panthers 15-5 at the start and never looked back on their way to a 60-39 victory. North Mac dropped out of the top spot and descended into a five-way tie with Pana, Hillsboro, Vandalia and Southwestern for second place. The Panthers are 2-1 in league play and 6-10 overall.