Gillespie surges past Litchfield, Staunton upset by Greenville
By JACKSON WILSON
Enquirer Democrat Reporter
The Carlinville girls’ basketball team gave its treasured teacher, athletic director and head coach Darrin DeNeve a historic warm welcome back to school Jan. 4.
On their first official day of the spring semester, the Cavaliers came out on top in a tight road tussle against North Mac and, in doing so, gave DeNeve his 300th career win at CHS.
DeNeve was obviously honored by the individual accolade but even happier with the end result, more importantly, helping his Cavaliers keep pace in a tight race for the South Central Conference crown.
Carlinville currently sits tied for second place with Staunton, Greenville and Gillespie at 3-1 in the league behind 4-0 Hillsboro, which defeated the Cavaliers earlier this season.
Isabella Tiburzi had 16 points to lead Carlinville, with Hannah Gibson, Jordyn Loveless and Ruthie Reels providing key support. Gibson reached double figures with 10 points and Loveless and Reels contributed six tallies apiece.
With the game tied at 34 after three quarters, Reels scored all six of her points in the final minutes to spark a decisive CHS stretch. The Cavaliers defeated the Panthers, 49-47, and improved to 13-4 overall.
North Mac, which got a 23-point effort from senior captain Abby Hendricks, dropped to 12-5 on the season and 2-2 against the SCC. Taylor Kiers added 12 tallies in the loss.
Gillespie surges past Litchfield
Gillespie opened 2024 with a dominant 63-19 road conference victory at Litchfield Jan. 8.
Three Miners logged double figures, including Amari Vickery (14 points), Delaney Taylor (11 points) and Mia Brawner (10 points). Lauren Bertagnolli added nine tallies and Cheyenne Sarti scored a career-high six points off the bench.
Gillespie grasped immediate control with a 25-4 run in the first quarter and improved to 15-5 overall (3-1 SCC).
Staunton upset by Greenville
Staunton pulled ahead of Greenville 17-7 in the first quarter but let a pivotal home conference victory slip away, losing to the Comets, 50-44, Jan. 4.
Greenville erased the early deficit quickly and went into halftime ahead of the Bulldogs, 25-22.
Staunton remained within three points at 36-33 at the start of the fourth but was unable to avoid the upset despite inconsistent free throw shooting from Greenville. The Comets missed nine foul shots in just the final eight minutes alone and went 10 for 24 in that department.
Lilly Bandy led the Bulldogs with four threes and 18 points.
Staunton has dropped two of its last three contests since starting the season 14-0. The Bulldogs’ winning streak ended over the holiday break with a humbling 45-33 loss to Father McGivney at the Christ Our Rock Tournament, in which they finished third.
Staunton is 15-2 overall (3-1 SCC).
In other action, Southwestern and Bunker Hill continued mid-season struggles.
The Piasa Birds dropped an SCC contest at Pana, 49-21, and the Minutemaids were overpowered by Carrollton, 66-22.
Southwestern is 6-10.
Bunker Hill is 2-15.