Crab Orchard, Galatia post wins
Trojans hold off CM-S; Bearcats rallies past NCOE
– The Crab Orchard Trojans used a couple of big scoring runs, one each in the second and third quarters, and held off a furious rally by Carrier Mills-Stonefort in the fourth quarter, to earn a spot in the consolation championship game with a 67-59 win Thursday night.

Coach Jon Brown got 23-points from junior Hunter Throgmorton along with 19-points from junior Tony Lakotich as the Trojans improved to 14-9 on the season.

Carrier Mills-Stonefort fell to 2-16 on the season but this young group of Wildcats never gave up and cut a 20-point second half deficit down to nine at the final horn.

Coach Keil Peebles got a game best scoring performance from freshman guard Caden VanMeter led all scorers with 26-points in the contest, including 17 in the final quarter as he led the rally that fell short at the end.

“He (VanMeter) gave us fits the first time we played them,” said Coach Brown. “He is a special player, no doubt.”

Freshman Aidan Rollins added 16-points for CM-S in the loss.

“I'm really proud of our kids. We got down 20 and we cut it down to eight but we ran out of gas at the end,” said Coach Peebles. “We are a work in progress and I have no beef with their effort tonight. They played hard and they kept playing.”

Crab Orchard will meet Galatia on Saturday as the Bearcats advanced to the consolation title game with an overtime win over NCOE, 70-66.

Trailing 14-13 at the end of the first quarter, Throgmorton got his team rolling with three consecutive scores, all near the basket.

A pair of drives in the lane followed by a rebound of his own missed shot gave the Trojans a 19-14 lead.

Lakotich canned a 3-pointer before Peek and Throgmorton each scored on drives to the goal as Crab Orchard took a 26-18 lead into halftime.

The second scoring surge opened the second half to give the Trojans what turned out to be an insurmountable advantage.

Back-to-back scores by Peek and Throgmorton, with the latter turning into a three-point play, opened the second half run.

Peek added another quick score before freshman guard Ian Dawes canned the first of two 3-point bombs in the quarter for Crab Orchard.

Two more buckets by Peek and the second trifecta from Dawes gave the Trojans their largest lead at 46-26 with 2:01 left in the third quarter.

The Wildcats managed to cut into the lead before the end of the third quarter.

Rollins scored eight of his points in the third quarter with two of his baskets coming in transition, to help close the gap to 48-33 heading into the fourth.

Consecutive baskets by Rollins and VanMeter, with the second one a 3-pointer, got the Wildcats within 10.

But the Trojans went on a 10-1 run with two 3-pointers, one each from Lakotich and Throgmorton, a back door cut to the basket by junior guard Grady Powell and a transition score from Lakotich pushed the spread to 58-42.

Crab Orchard left the door slightly open for the Wildcats late as they missed four consecutive free throws.

But the Wildcats ran out of time late.

Throgmorton and Peek hit free throws in the final :32 to give the Trojans the win.

When the Trojans were getting to the basket, they produced their best.

Coach Brown saw his squad connect on 18-of-28 shots (64.2 percent) while going just 7-of-23 from the 3-point line.

Overall the 25-of-51 (49 percent) was good enough to get the Trojans to the final night of the tournament.

“We talked about that (driving to the basket) at halftime. We didn't feel like we were getting to the rim enough. I though we did a better job reading (their defense) in the second half,” said Coach Brown. “I thought our timing and spacing was better. Peek and especially Throgmorton. I thought he really stepped up his game in the second half.”

Carrier Mills-Stonefort hit 24-of-58 (41.3 percent) overall with just 3-of-12 from 19'9”.

Crab Orchard held a substantial edge in rebounding, 35-23 and they survived 18-turnovers in the contest.

The Wildcats will play Norris City-Omaha-Enfield in the Friday night seventh place game at 5:30 pm.

“We played well tonight in spurts but we let up a few times and we didn't take very good care of the basketball,” said Coach Brown. “We had too many of what I would call unforced turnovers. We just had a lack of focus sometimes, just too careless with the ball.”

Game #6
Crab Orchard
Carrier Mills
Crab Orchard (67) – Throgmorton 7 1 6-7 23, Dawes 0 2 0-1 6, Peek 5 0 3-4 13, Lakotich 3 4 1-1 19, Powell 3 0 0-2 6, Ray 0 0 0-0 0, Killman 0 0 0-0 0, Herring 0 0 0-0 0.
2FG-18, 3FG-4, FT-10-15, PF-12.

Carrier Mills (59) – Mitchell 1 0 0-0 2, Choat 1 0 0-0 2, Z. Rollins 2 0 1-2 5, Reed 0 1 0-0 3, Betz 1 0 1-2 3, A. Rollins 8 0 0-0 16, Collins 1 0 0-0 2, VanMeter 7 2 6-8 26.
2FG-21, 3FG-3, FT-8-12, PF-14.

Fouled Out – Z. Rollins - Carrier Mills-Stonefort.
Technical Fouls – None.
The Bearcats were down by nine late in the fourth quarter but rallied to stun NCOE in overtime to advance to the consolation championship game to be played on Saturday.

Coach Rod Wallace's club nailed 12 3-point shots in the win, getting 22-points each from junior guards AJ Hankins and Braxton Lane, as they each hit five 3-pointers in the contest.

Trailing 62-53 late in regulation, the Bearcats rallied to force overtime, getting a drive to the basket by Dominic Ammon with :01.3 left.

Galatia (5-15) never trailed in the overtime as they got a basket from Hankins in transition off of a Lane steal and they they finished off the Cardinals with four late free throws by Hankins and senior Cole Curry.

Game #5
Norris City-Omaha-Enfield
Norris City-Omaha-Enfield (66) – Riggs 1 2 5-5 13, Skaggs 6 0 0-0 12, T. Money 3 0 4-7 10, Simmons 1 1 1-2 6, O'Neal 3 0 0-0 6, Richardson 1 0 1-2 3, Barton 1 0 2-3 4, Melton 3 0 4-4 10, Brown 0 0 0-0 0, H. Money 1 0 0-0 2.
2FG-20, 3FG-2, FT-14-23, PF-14.

Galatia (70) – Ammon 5 0 4-5 14, Lane 3 5 1-3 22, Hankins 2 5 3-6 22, Hale 0 2 2-3 9, Carlile 1 0 0-2 2, Marvel 0 0 0-0 0, Curry 0 0 1-2 1.
2FG-11, 3FG-12, FT-11-22, PF-18

Fouled Out – Riggs - NCOE; Ammon - Galatia.
Technical Fouls – None.
Editor's Note: A big thank you goes out to Paula Allen of Galatia for doing a great job on the hospitality room for the GEC Tournament. She made sure to ask officials, media and other guest if they needed anything. She deserves high praise for her work this week. Thanks Paula.