HS boys’ hoops: Carlinville stuns Southwestern, North Mac and Staunton take it to Hillsboro
Regional pairings released, postseason tips off this weekend
By JACKSON WILSON
Enquirer Democrat Reporter
With the postseason just around the corner, several Macoupin County teams are tuning up in the world of boys’ high school hoops.
Carlinville pulled off a key upset at home, North Mac and Staunton exposed a crumbling Hillsboro squad and Gillespie earned a pair of victories.
Carlinville stuns Southwestern
The Big House on West Main was rocking and the ‘Blue Crew’ swarmed the floor following Carlinville’s 42-39 upset over Southwestern Feb. 10.
Trenton Clevenger banked in two free throws to break a 39-39 tie with eight seconds left. Southwestern was able to create an open look from the corner on the ensuing possession, but Ryan Lowis missed a three for the win. The Cavaliers rebounded the ball and Ryenn Hart tacked on some insurance at the charity stripe after being intentionally fouled. The CHS senior split two tosses and left the door open for an equalizing miracle, but the Piasa Birds’ heave from 65 feet fell well short.
Dominic Alepra poured in 11 points to lead the Cavaliers. Lane Gage chalked up 13 tallies for the Birds.
After entering last week without a conference win, Carlinville now has two. The Cavaliers are 7-18 overall and 2-5 in South Central action.
Southwestern, who was coming in off of a 57-50 conference win over Vandalia a couple of days prior, fell to 15-14. The Piasa Birds are 3-4 in the SCC.
North Mac and Staunton take it to Hillsboro
The Hillsboro boys’ basketball team, which once was living in the glory days of contending for and winning the SCC, has fallen out of the race following losses to Staunton and North Mac.
Staunton, which entered Feb. 7 as the lone winless team in the SCC, broke through with a 61-51 victory over the Hiltoppers at home.
Three days later, North Mac left Hillsboro with a 79-71 win despite surrendering 32 points to Will Christian.
Staunton is 12-15 on the season and 1-6 in the SCC.
North Mac is on a five-game winning streak and has risen back near the top of the league standings. The Panthers are currently in the runner-up position at 14-14 overall and 5-2 in the SCC.
In other action, Gillespie defeated Litchfield in conference action, 69-64, Feb. 7 and Pawnee, 79-50, Feb. 10.
The Miners are 6-16 on the season and 2-4 in SCC play.
Regional pairings released, postseson tips off this weekend
The postseason pairings for the Illinois High School Association boys’ basketball bracket was released last Friday.
Southwestern, Staunton, North Mac, Carlinville and Gillespie have been assigned to Class 2A.
Greenfield-Northwestern, Bunker Hill and Mt. Olive are Class 1A.
No. 10 Staunton faces No. 9 Salem Sat., Feb. 18 at Salem. Game time is 6 p.m. If the Bulldogs win, they draw No. 1 Greenville in the semifinals of the East Alton-Wood River regional Wed., Feb. 22.
No. 4 Southwestern has already clinched a spot in the East Alton-Wood River bracket and will meet either No. 7 EAWR or No. 11 Roxana Wed., Feb. 22 at 7:30 p.m.
Carlinville and Gillespie join Staunton and Southwestern in the Newton sub-sectional, but the Cavaliers and Miners are penciled into the opposing quadrant. No. 13
Carlinville plays at No. 3 Pana and No. 12 Gillespie travels to face No. 5 Hillsboro Sat., Feb. 18. Both games tip off at 1 p.m. The winners advance to the Litchfield regional, where they will meet head-to-head Wed., Feb. 22 at 7:30 p.m.
North Mac is seeded ninth in the Pleasant Plains sub-sectional. If the Panthers can get a road win at No. 8 Athens Sat., Feb. 18, they face top-seeded Pleasant Plains in the semifinals of the Auburn regional Wed., Feb. 22. Both games get underway at 6 p.m.
Greenfield-Northwestern, Bunker Hill and Mt. Olive are in the 1A Calhoun sub-sectional. All three teams take to the hardwood Sat., Feb. 18. No. 6 GF-NW hosts No. 8 Franklin at 1 p.m. No. 8 Bunker Hill also has a home game against No. 9 Carrollton at 7 p.m. No. 15 Mt. Olive takes on No. 3 Madison in hostile territory at 5 p.m. GF-NW advances to Jacksonville Wed., Feb. 22 with a win. Bunker Hill and Mt. Olive are trying to punch a ticket to Raymond.