Southwestern cuts down Metro East Lutheran, Carlinville falls to Carrollton at Winchester
By JACKSON WILSON
Enquirer Democrat Reporter
When it rains, it pours in Bunker Hill.
Prior to their victory over Gillespie in the seventh place game of the Carlinville Holiday Tournament, the Minutemen high school boys’ basketball team had waited an entire month to win a game. Bunker Hill has flipped the script since and is undefeated in 2024.
The Minutemen opened the spring semester with a solid 55-26 home conference win over Mt. Olive Jan. 4, then ventured into “The Pit” at Gillespie and beat the Miners again, 65-59, Jan. 8. Bunker Hill returned to action at Hlafka Hall Jan. 10 and buried Dupo, 51-22.
Bunker Hill enters the county tournament on a four-game winning streak. The Minutemen are 6-14 overall and 1-2 in the MSM Conference.
Southwestern cuts down Metro East Lutheran
Ian Brantley compiled 21 points while grabbing nine rebounds to lead Southwestern to a 49-39 victory against Metro East Lutheran in Edwardsville. Rocky Darr (14 points) and Ryan Lowis (12 points) also contributed double figures in the scoring column to back the scorching junior.
The Piasa Birds grabbed a 27-17 lead in the first half, then extended the margin to 17 tallies at the end of the third prior to holding off the Knights.
Southwestern, seeking its third consecutive Macoupin County Tournament title on home hardwood this week, is 13-7 overall.
Carlinville falls to Carrollton at Winchester
Carlinville, the county’s second seed behind Piasa, tuned up for action at the prestigious Winchester Tournament.
After dropping their first game against heavily-favored Triopia, 52-39, the Cavaliers remained in consolation play with a 44-33 victory over Brown County.
Carlinville stalled out of the gate in the seventh place game and fell into a 20-2 first quarter hole versus Carrollton. However, the Cavaliers wouldn’t go down easy.
Carlinville countered with a rampage of its own in the next eight minutes and reduced the gap to 28-23 heading into halftime, but the Hawks protected the lead in the second half and beat the Cavaliers, 57-50.
Sawyer Smith orchestrated the comeback effort with 16 points and 16 rebounds for the Cavaliers. Dominic Alepra added seven points. Triston Thompson and Matt Dunn contributed six tallies apiece.
Carlinville is 8-10 overall.
In other action, Staunton collected a pair of home victories over Pana (50-37) Jan. 5 and Civic Memorial (49-44) Jan. 10.
The Bulldogs are 10-8 overall (2-1 SCC).
The Macoupin County Tournament, hosted by Southwestern High School, tipped off on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 15. Coverage will be featured in next week’s issue.