Regionals begin this weekend
By JACKSON WILSON
Enquirer Democrat Reporter
In high school girls’ basketball action, Staunton seized a heated rivalry and Carlinville took care of business against Southwestern.
Regionals are additionally set in stone and postseason play begins this weekend.
Staunton leaves no doubt in Gillespie rematch
After letting a 16-point lead slip away leading to a heartbreaking loss in the Macoupin County Tournament championship game two weeks ago, the Gillespie Miners went to Staunton looking for some redemption with conference supremacy on the line Feb. 2.
At the end of the first quarter, it was 18-0 in favor of the Bulldogs. A game which was predicted by many to be another toe-to-toe battle was ultimately decided after just eight minutes.
Staunton went into halftime up 26-9 and refused to let up coming out of the locker room. By the end of the third quarter, all doubt had vanished with the Bulldogs in complete control, 47-16. 55-25 was the final score.
Sophomore Grace Bekeske set the tone for SHS with 16 points and was backed by her lone senior teammate Haris Legendre, who posted 12 tallies on the night. Ele Feldman, another sophomore, added 10 points.
Mia Brawner scored 10 points for the Miners. Becca Crays contributed six tallies off the bench.
Staunton and Gillespie were both back in action Feb. 6. The Bulldogs beat Carlinville on the road, 48-38, and set a new school record for wins in a single season. The Miners returned home to ‘The Pit’ and defeated North Mac, 45-41.
Staunton is 23-6 overall and 6-2 in the South Central Conference.
With Monday’s triumph, Gillespie guaranteed itself a winning season. The Miners are 16-14 overall and 4-4 in league play.
Carlinville beats Southwestern
Carlinville traveled to Piasa and picked up a 52-27 road victory Feb. 2.
The Cavaliers outscored the Piasa Birds 14-6 in the first quarter and took a 20-10 lead into the locker room.
Carlinville rekindled its offense and posted 19 points in the third. Heading into the fourth, it was all Cavaliers, 39-21.
Kailtyn Reels added another double-digit scoring performance to her impressive freshman resume with a team-high 13 points.
Braley Wiser backed Reels with 12 points on four threes.
Jordyn Loveless added eight tallies.
The Cavaliers are 13-14 on the year and 3-4 in conference action. The Birds are 4-21 (0-8 SCC).
Regionals begin this weekend
The vast majority of Macoupin County teams have been assigned to the Illinois High School Association Class 2A Pleasant Plains sub-sectional.
Carlinville, an eight seed, battles No. 7 Waverly in a play-in game at Waverly Sat., Feb. 11 at 1 p.m. If the Cavaliers win, they face No. 2 Hillsboro in a postseason rematch at Pittsfield Tues., Feb. 14 at 6 p.m. Carlinville upset Hillsboro to win a regional championship last season.
No. 9 North Mac meets a former Sangamo opponent in No. 5 Auburn at Auburn Sat., Feb. 11 at 4 p.m. The winner of that contest will take on No. 3 Pittsfield at 7:30 p.m. Tues., Feb. 14 in Pittsfield.
Staunton has been assigned to the bottom sector of the Pleasant Plains bracket as the top overall seed in the East Alton Wood River regional. The Bulldogs have received a first round bye and will take on either No. 11 Roxana or No. 10 Litchfield Mon., Feb. 13 at 6 p.m.
No. 4 Gillespie hosts No. 13 Southwestern in ‘The Pit’ Sat., Feb. 11. The winner advances to play against either No. 6 Marquette or No. 12 EAWR down in Wood River Mon., Feb. 13 at 7:30 p.m.
Greenfield-Northwestern, Bunker Hill and Mt. Olive are amongst the Class 1A pairings in the Routt Catholic sub-sectional.
No. 4 Greenfield-Northwestern has a first round matchup with No. 12 Springfield Lutheran Sat., Feb. 11. The Tigers, also a regional host, will fight for the right to play again on their home floor against either No. 5 Routt or No. 9 Pawnee Sat., Feb. 14 at 7:30 p.m.
In the opposing quadrant, it’s a ‘do or die’ head-to-head between No. 9 Mt. Olive and No. 10 Bunker Hill. Game time is 1 p.m. Sat., Feb. 11 at Mt. Olive. The victor advances to the semifinal of the Metro-East Lutheran regional against No. 2 Father McGivney Mon., Feb. 13 at 6 p.m.