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HS girls’ basketball: Gillespie surges to second place finish at Pana tourney, downs Mt. Olive

Lilly Bandy and Lilly Troeckler execute a double team trap for the Staunton Bulldogs against Greenfield-Northwestern Nov. 13. Staunton’s defense locked down East Alton-Wood River en route to a recent 63-21 road victory Nov. 25. The Bulldogs are off to a 4-0 start and ranked 11th in the IHSA Class 2A poll. Photo contributed.


Carlinville and Staunton stay hot

Enquirer Democrat Reporter

The Gillespie High School girls’ basketball team made an early statement as the Miners picked up four victories at the Pana tournament last week.
After getting overpowered by tourney champion Mattoon, 74-50, in the opening round of pool play, Gillespie won out against Pana (53-38), Okaw Valley (59-29), Christ Our Rock (55-26) and Olney (53-37) to take second place overall.

Gillespie, which previously lost to Carrollton 58-52 Nov. 13 and Calhoun 63-49 Nov. 21 in regular season action, improved to 5-3 overall with a dominant 76-45 victory at Mt. Olive Nov. 27.

The Miners overpowered the Wildcats with a 25-9 surge in the first quarter and had a comfortable 43-18 lead heading into halftime. Mia Brawner buried a trio of threes and ended the evening with 22 points. Delaney Taylor (13 points) and Lauren Bertagnolli (12 points) also contributed double scoring figures for the Miners. Gillespie dropped Mt. Olive to 0-2 on the season.

Carlinville and Staunton stay hot

Fueled by Kaitlyn Reels’ double-double of 11 points and 14 rebounds, Carlinville quickly recovered from a tough 53-22 loss to Pleasant Plains and buried Greenfield-Northwestern, 45-23, at the Big House Nov. 22. The Cavaliers seized complete control of the game with a daunting 17-2 run in the second quarter and led the winless Tigers (0-3) 27-7 at the half.

Carlinville improved to 4-1 on the season with a 48-43 comeback victory at Carrollton Nov. 27. Reels was once again a catalyst of Darrin DeNeve’s offense, along with Hannah Gibson, Isabella Tiburzi and Braley Wiser. Tiburzi (11), Reels (10) and Gibson (10) all scored in double figures. Wiser helped the Cavaliers jump out to a 15-6 first quarter lead with two tone-setting threes and hit another clutch shot from long range with Carlinville needing a rally in the fourth. The Cavaliers outscored the Hawks, 17-6, in the final eight minutes en route to the win.

Staunton remained unbeaten by dismantling East Alton-Wood River, 63-21, at Wood River Nov. 25. In addition to being 4-0 to start the year, the Bulldogs moved up to 11th in this week’s Illinois High School Association Class 2A state rankings

Other action

In other action, North Mac (3-2) outlasted Triopia, 43-41, Nov. 22 and Bunker Hill (1-2) defeated Dupo, 38-28, for its first win of the season Nov. 27.