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HS boys’ basketball: Brantley goes off again, Southwestern outworks Gillespie

Staunton torches Pana behind Laux and Dillon

Enquirer Democrat Reporter

Southwestern High School junior Ian Brantley came into 2024 as one of the hottest players in the local area, averaging 22 points and nearly eight rebounds. He went off again Jan. 5 and continued to help the Piasa Birds set a torrid pace in the South Central Conference.

Brantley scored 28 points while posting a double-double of 10 rebounds and Southwestern stayed hot with a dominant 79-61 home victory against Gillespie.

Southwestern, the top seed and back-to-back defending champion of next week’s Macoupin County Tournament, led 19-14 at the end of the first quarter and 39-26 at the half.

Ryan Lowis and Rocky Darr backed Brantley with double-digit scoring efforts of their own. Lowis added 19 points and Darr scored 15.

While the Miners were able to put forth one of their best offensive performances of the season, their inability to get stops and control the glass ultimately doomed them. Logan Keith and Lowis beat Gillespie players to the ball consistently all night long, posting nine and eight rebounds, respectively. Darr added three boards as well.

The Piasa Birds improved to 12-6 overall and 3-0 in the SCC and dropped the Miners to 4-14. Gillespie remains without a league victory at 0-3.

Staunton torches Pana behind Laux and Dillon

Freshman Isiah Laux drained five threes for 15 points and Staunton pulled away from Pana in SCC action, 50-37, last week.

The Bulldogs, backed by an 11-point effort from Lucas Dillon, started the game on a 13-6 run and never surrendered the advantage.

Staunton improved to 9-8 on the season and 2-1 in league play.

Other action

In other action, Carlinville had opportunties to steal a conference victory on the road at Hillsboro but barely fell short, 50-47, Jan. 5.

Dominic Alepra dropped a career-best 26 points on the Hiltoppers in the loss.

The Cavaliers are 7-9 overall and 1-2 in the SCC.