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Carlinville seventh graders rally, win Auburn regional

The Carlinville Middle School seventh grade boys’ basketball team hoists the trophy after winning the IESA Class 3A Auburn regional. Photo contributed.


Bunker Hill victorious at Kinderhook

Enquirer Democrat Reporter

A pair of middle school boys’ basketball teams recently brought home championship hardware at their respective regionals over the course of last week.

Carlinville seventh graders rally, win Auburn regional

For three quarters, the top seeded Carlinville seventh grade Cavaliers appeared to be on the ropes against Litchfield in the IESA Class 3A Regional Tournament at Auburn Junior High at Divernon.

The Panthers led 5-2 after one quarter, 9-8 at halftime and 15-12 after three quarters. The Cavaliers committed 16 turnovers over that stretch and couldn’t get any shots to fall consistently.

But, Carlinville regrouped and came storming back in the fourth quarter, outscoring Litchfield 16-5 to take a 28-20 victory.

Callum Duckels spurred the comeback as he scored on a baseline drive to cut the lead to 15-14. Duckels then dished the ball to Zander Bellm, who hit a 10-footer to put Carlinville up 16-15.

Litchfield answered with a three to re-take the lead 18-16, but the Cavaliers answered with a 10-0 run. Bellm and Duckels both converted clutch baskets, along with Colby Viseur, who only had a total of two points heading into the fourth.

Viseur delivered on a field goal with 1:40 to go and then made four free throws in the final 43 seconds to seal the win. J.C. Wilbourn also came up with a huge bucket in the paint while absorbing contact of a shooting foul at the 1:15 mark.

Viseur finished with eight points, two assists and a steal while blocking a shot in the fourth quarter. Duckels also had eight points to go along with four steals, an assist and a blocked shot.

Bellm ended with seven points, a triple and a steal. Wilbourn added five points with an assist.

Carlinville carried that momentum into the regional championship game and held off Hillsboro, 27-21, to win the trophy. The Cavaliers entered sectionals on an eight-game winning streak and with a record of 14-6 on the season.

Carlinville advanced to the Vandalia sectional against East St. Louis, who defeated Staunton in a classic 47-43 title dual at Lincoln.

Bunker Hill victorious at Kinderhook

Bunker Hill joined Carlinville amongst the field of regional champions as the top-seeded Minutemen handled business at the 1A level.

Bunker Hill took down Carrollton, 27-16, in the semifinal, then outlasted Jerseyville, 36-32 in the championship game of the Kinderhook Western bracket.

The Minutemen’s next test would be against Augusta Southeastern with a state berth on the line.

Bunker Hill is 14-6 overall.

The Bunker Hill Wolf Ridge Middle School seventh grade boys’ basketball team defeated Carrollton and Jerseyville to win the IESA Class 1A Kinderhook Western regional championship last week. Photo contributed.


Carlinville and Bunker Hill continued their season at sectionals Jan. 29.

Coverage will be featured in next week’s issue.