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HS girls’ hoops: Staunton and North Mac still breathing in 2A regionals

Braley Wiser, pictured playing defense during the Carlinville High School girls’ basketball team’s final game of the regular season against Litchfield Feb. 9, scored 13 points for the Cavaliers in the first round of regionals at Waverly Feb. 11. Wiser was the only CHS player to crack double figures in a season-ending 42-35 loss. Carlinville, which beat Litchfield in overtime, finished 14-15 overall. Photo contributed by Julie Gibson.


Bunker Hill beats Mt. Olive, Greenfield-Northwestern advances in 1A

Enquirer Democrat Reporter

The Illinois High School Association girls’ basketball postseason is in full swing and there are three county teams still alive heading into the upper tier of regionals.

Five were still active at the conclusion of the play-in quarterfinals, but Bunker Hill and Gillespie each saw their season end in the following game.

Staunton, Gillespie and North Mac

A quarterfinal layoff stalled Staunton’s offense against No. 11 Roxana at East Alton-Wood River, but the Bulldogs lived up to their expectations as a No. 1 seed and survived the underdog Shells, 33-22.

Staunton was 25-6 heading into the regional championship game against No. 6 Alton Marquette, who upset the Dogs’ arch-rival Gillespie in a 48-45 thriller.

Gillespie, a No. 4 seed, made one last appearance in ‘The Pit’ and defeated No. 13 Southwestern, 50-31, Feb. 11. The Miners finished the year 17-15. In defeat, the Piasa Birds are putting a rough 4-23 season behind them.

In the opposing quadrant of the Pleasant Plains sub-sectional, the No. 9 North Mac Panthers stunned former Sangamo nemesis Auburn, 59-51. In triumph, the Panthers earned a date with third seed and regional host Pittsfield on Valentine’s Day.

North Mac is 15-18 as of Feb. 13.

Greenfield-Northwestern, Bunker Hill and Mt. Olive

Greenfield-Northwestern is the lone county team left standing in the IHSA Class 1A brackets.

The Tigers ensured that they would get to play on their home hardwood at least one more time as a regional host as they picked up a dominant 45-16 win over Springfield Lutheran in the quarterfinal.

Greenfield-Northwestern’s next opponent was Routt Catholic – a familiar foe. The clash between fourth and fifth seeds took place earlier in the week . The winner draws either Carrollton or South Fork in the final Fri., Feb. 17.

The Tigers were 21-11 as of Feb. 13.

Down South, Mt. Olive and Bunker Hill dueled for a spot in the Metro-East Lutheran regional semifinal.

The Minutemaids came into Mt. Olive and ended the Wildcats’ season before getting overpowered by private school heavyweight Father McGivney, 82-19, in Edwardsville.

The win at Mt. Olive, a 47-36 final score, was Bunker Hill’s fourth of the year. The Minutemaids ended their campaign 4-22 overall.

Mt. Olive went 6-16 and beat Bunker Hill twice in the regular season.

Carlinville falls at Waverly

Cinderella will not be dancing for the Carlinville Cavaliers this time around.

Once again a regional underdog, CHS couldn’t conjure the same magic it found during its memorable run to sectionals a year ago.

The Cavaliers’ title reign only lasted one game and a slow start proved costly against Waverly.

Carlinville won the second half but a 20-13 vault during that stretch wasn’t enough to get the Cavaliers to Pittsfield, where former regional championship foe Hillsboro was waiting.

Carlinville only made one basket from the floor in the entire first quarter and trailed 12-4 after eight minutes.
The CHS offense finally started producing in the second quarter, but Waverly’s Vipers countered and extended the lead. Heading into the break, Waverly was in command, 29-15.

The Vipers defeated the Cavaliers, 42-35.

Braley Wiser led all CHS scorers with 13 points. Isabella Tiburzi added eight tallies and Hannah Gibson grabbed eight rebounds.

Carlinville, which beat Litchfield in overtime to end the regular season, finished 14-15 overall.

All of the Cavalier players from this season could return for at least two more years. The 2022-23 Carlinville varsity squad was entirely made up of freshmen and sophomores.