Crab Orchard out-guns host Indians
Trojans go the distance in 83-69 win over Wayne City
North Clay, Gallatin County, Cisne also post opening wins
While the first three games of the 66th annual Conrad Allen Wayne City Holiday Tournament were defensive minded, low scoring contests, the match up between Crab Orchard and the hosts was anything but.

The Trojans and Wayne City combined for an NBA like 124 field goal attempts in a 32 minute game nearly identical results.

What turned out to be the difference in the outcome was the free throw line.

While Coach Jim Corona's Indians were just 4-of-10 from the stripe, Coach Jon Brown's veteran Crab Orchard team was 15-of-20.

The now 10-1 Trojans took command of the game with an 20-2 first quarter run and they never allowed Wayne City to get closer than nine points the remainder of the track meet of a game.

Crab Orchard moved to 1-0 in Pool A with an 83-69 victory in the finale of the opening day of the long standing tournament staple in southern Illinois.

The Trojans were led in scoring by Hunter Throgmorton with 22 points.

The 6-foot-1 senior surpassed the career 1,000 point total in the first quarter and he didn't slow down a bit the rest of the way.

Six-foot junior Kegan Peek tossed in 21 points while senior Tony Lakotich added 15.

Coach Brown also got scoring contributions from the inside by 6-foot-2 junior Quentin Meyers, who notched 11 points.

Ian Dawes, a sophomore guard, scored nine points off of the bench which included four consecutive free throws in the final quarter as the Trojans squashed the Wayne City rally.

Crab Orchard hit 11-of-16 from the charity stripe in the final 6:27, including 8-of-10 late to put the outcome to rest.

“It was a big win for us. Our kids played well. We were aggressive today,” said Coach Brown. “I thought we valued the basketball much better in the second half. We got different people that can get to the hole and we got kids that can shoot the ball. Getting off to a good start was a big confidence boost for us. A lot of things went right for us today.”

Wayne City saw its overall record slip to 6-2 and they are now 0-1 in Pool A.

Coach Corona got four players in double-figures in scoring with sophomore guard Taj McKinney leading the Tribe with 19 points.

Senior guard Travis Dickey ended up with 14 points, while seniors Kaiden Taylor and Kent Miller chipped home 12 points apiece.

On most nights those figures would have resulted in the victory but the Trojans had other ideas.

Crab Orchard erased an early Wayne City lead with 4-of-8 made 3-pointers in the opening frame.

Trailing 7-3, the Trojans netted the next 12 points.

Throgmorton scored seven of the points in the run, and his bucket on a drive in the lane with 3:30 to go pushed him to the 1K mark for his career.

Wayne City finally answered with a score inside from Taylor.

A 3-pointer by Peek, a conventional three-point play inside by Meyers and a steal and fast break lay in by Lakotich pushed the Trojans to a 23-9 lead.

“He (Meyers) gives us more balance and more of a presence inside that we didn't have last year,” said Coach Brown. “Throgmorton and Peek can score and Lakotich hit some big shots for us.”

McKinney scored five points in the quarter for WC and closed the frame at 23-11 with a driving lay in.

Dickey scored 10 of his points in the second quarter.

But Wayne City didn't get enough defensive stands in the quarter.

When the Indians scored, Crab Orchard answered.

“It seemed like every time they (Wayne City) tried to make a run we answered it,” said Coach Brown. “We would get a stops, big rebounds and we would hit shots. We hit our free throws, too.”

A 9-2 run and the end of the quarter put the Trojans up by 41-27 at intermission.

Hoping to regroup and comeback out with a rally in the third quarter, the Indians felt the sting of a 10-2 run by Crab Orchard.

Throgmorton and Peek each scored five of the points, each hit a 3-pointer.

Throgmorton took a long rebound and went the coast-to-coast for a score in the run while Peek added a rebound basket.

The Peek 3-pointer made it 51-29 with 5:59 left.

The final push by Wayne City came at the end of the third quarter.

A 9-2 run closed the quarter with senior guard Andrew White triggering the run with a 3-pointer.

McKinney, Miller and Dickey all added baskets with the Dickey score closing the frame by beating the buzzer.

The Trojans lead was down to 60-47.

After a Taylor basket for the Indians opened the final quarter, Crab Orchard closed the book on the win with yet another scoring burst.

An 11-2 run, including 7-of-8 free throws, pushed the lead to 73-53 with 4:39 left.

McKinney closed his night with two consecutive 3-pointers and Taylor got a rebound stick back to cut the margin down to 79-69 with under a minute remaining.

Two more drives to the basket by senior Grady Powell and Peek closed the door shut on a big win for a veteran team at an important tournament.

As for the stats as mentioned earlier both teams ended up 29-of-62 from the floor.

Wayne City was 7-of-21 from the 3-point line while Crab Orchard ended up 10-of-27 from long distance.

The Trojans owned a 33-29 rebounding edge while being a bit more careful with the ball.

Crab Orchard committed 13 turnovers compared to 15 by the hosts.

If the Trojans can defeat Webber Township on Monday and Gallatin County on Wednesday, they will reach their first WCHT title game since 2014.

Three more wins in the tournament will give Coach Brown and the program their third championship (2009, 2011).

Wayne City will next play Wednesday night against Webber Township and Gallatin County on Friday.

“They (Crab Orchard) didn't really get anything inside but they hit the 3's and they continued to hit them,” said Coach Corona.

Game #4
Crab Orchard
Wayne City

Crab Orchard (83) – Throgmorton 6 2 4-7 22, Powell 1 1 0-0 5, Meyers 5 0 1-3 11, Lakotich 2 3 2-2 15, Peek 4 3 4-4 21, Davis 1 1 4-4 9, Norris 0 0 0-0 0, Ray 0 0 0-0 0.
2FG-19, 3FG-10, FT-15-20, PF-12.

Wayne City (69) – White 0 1 0-0 3, McKinney 4 3 2-4 19, Dewey 1 0 0-0 2, Clark 0 0 0-0 0, Miller 5 0 2-4 12, Lewis 0 1 0-0 3, Durham 1 0 0-0 2, Dickey 4 2 0-0 14, Taylor 6 0 0-0 12, Cooper 1 0 0-2 2.
2FG-22, 3FG-7, FT-4-10, PF-21.

Fouled Out – None.
Technical Fouls – None.

In most high school basketball games if a team shoots just 31 percent from the floor and turns the ball over 11 times, they are unlikely to leave the floor with a win.

However on Saturday afternoon at the Conrad Allen Wayne City Holiday Tournament the North Clay Cardinals did just that.

Coach Josh Zink's squad went through a horrible stretch in the second quarter but they put things back on course in the second half as they rallied past Red Hill in Game Three of the first day of the 66th annual event.

Six-foot-two senior Tyson Jones paced North Clay with 15 points while senior guard Lane Holkenbrink added 10.

Jones nailed down three of the team's seven 3-pointers and hit 6-of-7 free throws, 5-of-6 in the fourth quarter.

Senior Luke Fleener added nine points for the Cardinals, who are now over .500 at 4-3 and are 1-0 in Pool B.

The Cardinals coughed up an 11 point advantage in the first quarter by laying an egg in quarter number two.

Coach Zink saw his team go over eight minutes without a point as Red Hill took a five point halftime lead.

“This game was a grind and a battle throughout. We were able to take care of the ball in the fourth and had some success in turning them over a couple of times to sustain our lead late. Proud of our guys tonight for their perseverance. We were down and out for a moment, but they continued to battle. Red Hill is always well coached and we are happy to get this one." Coach Zink.

Red Hill and head coach Bryan Havill put together a great defensive effort in the second quarter by turning the Cardinals over five times and forcing five consecutive missed shots.

Added to the second quarter misery North Clay was 0-of-4 from the foul line.

The Salukis had a chance to really get some distance but they only led by five at the break.

The chances they had to extend the lead diminished in the third quarter as the Cardinals got hot from the outside.

Red Hill was led by junior guard Cameron Ray with 18 points while junior Drake Allen added 12.

After the Salukis took a quick 2-0 lead on a drive by Ray, they missed their six field goal attempts and added three turnovers in the quarter.

The next 13 points came from North Clay as Fleener and Jones each connected from the arc as did Holkenbrink.

Junior guard Ethan Bible also tossed in a shot in the 13-0 run.

Red Hill finally got points from Ray and Allen to close out the quarter at 14-9 Cardinals.

Unfortunately for Coach Zink from the end of the first quarter into almost halftime, North Clay were held scoreless by the Salukis.

It was eight minutes and 46 seconds to be exact.

An Allen free throw, a shot from the baseline by 6-foot-7 senior Nathan Wirth and a 3-point bomb by Ray gave Red Hill back the lead at 15-14 with 5:35 to go.

Despite a pair of timeouts, North Clay was still in trouble.

The Salukis reached their largest lead in the game when senior Josh Henry, Allen and junior Drake Volkman all scored to make it 21-14.

Fleener finally broke the drought by North Clay as the two teams headed to halftime at 21-16.

After a Volkman free throw to begin the second half for Red Hill, the scoreless drought that had plagued the Cardinals became an issue with Coach Havill's team.

North Clay went on a 14-2 scoring run, highlighter by three 3-pointers.

Jones nailed two of the shots and Holkenbrink added the other long range bucket.

A fourth 3-pointer in the quarter, this time by Fleener, gave the Cardinals a 33-26 lead heading to the fourth quarter.

During the quarter, Red Hill was just 2-of-7 from the floor and added six turnovers to the woes.

“We really just didn't shoot the ball well enough to win as well as make free throws. Wirth getting in foul trouble really hurt for the minutes he was out also,” said Coach Havill.

North Clay looked like they were going to blow the game open in the first part of the final frame.

Fleener converted a conventional three-point play, senior Ian Bailey added a pair of free throws and Bible scored on a rebound basket for a 40-28 advantage with 5:39 remaining.

Red Hill's last run feature consecutive 3-point bombs by Allen and Ray.

Then Ray added what turned out to be a very unconventional three-point play.

The junior guard drove the lane for a score while being fouled by Fleener.

However when he missed the free throw, he managed to get into position to grab the rebound.

Less than a minute later, he was again fouled by Fleener, which was the North Clay forward's fifth foul.

Ray hit 1-of-2 which made it 42-39 North Clay with 2:31 left.

That was the final point for Red Hill.

Sophomore Dakota Weidner scored for North Clay on a drive to the basket and Bible made a steal which led to a fast break score by Holkenbrink.

Red Hill misfired on its final four shot attempts and Jones closed the book on the important win with 3-of-4 free throws in the final minute.

The final stats weren't record breaking.

North Clay was just 15-of-48 overall and 7-of-24 from the 3-point line.

Red Hill ended up 14-of-39 overall and 3-of-12 outside of the arc.

The Cardinals held a slight 32-29 rebounding edge while the two teams (Red Hill 14, North Clay 11) combined for 25 turnovers.

North Clay will face its next test on Monday night against Grayville at 8:30 pm while Red Hill will battle rematch with Cisne the same night at 5:30 pm.

"This was really a games of runs. We really struggled scoring in that second quarter and they were able to hit shots. It put us in a tough position and trailing at the half. I think the big difference in the game was when we played well defensively in the third and were able to speed up the game and retake the lead. It was a big swing in momentum,” said Coach Zink.

Game #3
Red Hill
North Clay

Red Hill (39) – Henry 1 0 0-1 2, Volkman 1 0 1-4 3, Wirth 1 0 0-0 2, Allen 2 1 5-7 12, Ray 5 2 2-5 18, Jerrell 1 0 0-0 2. 2FG-11, 3FG-3, FT-8-17, PF-15.
North Clay (49) – Fleener 2 1 2-3 9, Holkenbrink 2 2 0-2 10, Jones 0 3 6-7 15, Bible 3 0 0-2 6, Bailey 1 1 2-2 7, Ballard 0 0 0-0 0, Weidner 1 0 0-0 2.
2FG-8, 3FG-7, FT-8-16, PF-17.

Fouled Out – Fleener - North Clay.
Technical Fouls – None.

For the Hawks and head coach Craig Utterback it has been a tough campaign so far as they entered the tournament with just one win.

However they got off to a good start in the tournament on Saturday in picking up their second victory.

Dawson Hish led all scorers with 17 points as Gallatin County improved to 2-5 overall and 1-0 in Pool A with a victory in the second game of the day.

Hish, a 6-foot-3 senior guard, scored 10 of his points in the second half as they held off the Trojans.

Five-foot-nine junior Gunner Wilson added 15 points for Gallatin County in the victory.

Wilson grabbed eight rebounds as well, leading his team on the boards.

Senior Will Henson added six points to go along with a team high nine rebounds.

Five-foot-ten senior Brock Seely added five points while 5-foot-9 junior Case Rister scored four.

Garrett Crane scored an early basket for the Hawks, who took a 13-8 first quarter lead with five different players scoring in the first eight minutes.

Head coach Brad Beaty saw his Trojans slip to 3-6 on the season with the defeat.

Webber Township got 13 points and four rebounds from junior Ayden Buchannan and 10 points and four rebounds from senior Dalton Adcock in defeat.

Freshman guard Elijah Marlow scored six points while three other players, senior Peyton Hill, senior Walker Heinrich and junior Hayden Landreth, scored four points each.

Sophomore guard Seth Hamerski added an early 3-pointer and three rebounds for the Trojans who dropped to 0-1 in Pool A.

Gallatin County managed to keep Webber at bey in the second half by hitting 10-of-13 free throws in the final two quarters.

Webber Township will play again on Monday night as they face Crab Orchard at 7 pm.

The Hawks won't play again until Wednesday when the will also play Crab Orchard at 7 pm.

Game #2
Gallatin County
Webber Township

Gallatin County (49) – Hish 6 1 2-3 17, Seely 1 1 0-0 5, Henson 1 0 4-6 6, Wilson 2 2 5-6 15, Rister 2 0 0-2 4, Scherrer 0 0 0-0 0, Crane 0 0 0-0 0.
2FG-11, 3FG-4, FT-11-17, PF-13.

Webber Township (44) – Adcock 2 2 0-0 10, Hill 2 0 0-2 4, Heinrich 2 0 0-0 4, Hamerski 0 1 0-0 3, Buchannan 4 0 5-5 13, Marlow 1 1 1-2 6, Landreth 2 0 0-0 4, Hails 0 0 0-0 0.
2FG-13, 3FG-4, FT-6-7, PF-15.

Fouled Out – None.
Technical Fouls – None.

With each team coming off of a long road trip on Friday night to pick up victories, both the Lions and Bison were looking to extend their winning streaks when they opened up the 66th annual Conrad Allen Wayne City Holiday Tournament.

Kevin Bowen's Runnin' Lionsgot the job done in the fourth quarter to hold off their Midland Trail Conference rivals to earn a 45-40 win.

Conner Brach, a 6-foot-4 junior forward, paced the Lions with 18 points while 6-foot-3 sophomore Gavin Fethering tossed in 15 while snagging eight rebounds.

Fetherling hit 6-of-8 shots from the foul line, with 3-of-4 coming in the fourth quarter.

Brach added 10 rebounds to give himself a double-double in the contest that was close all the way until the end.

Cisne also got 10 points and four rebounds from junior guard Chase Hatcher in the win as the team improved to 3-5 on the season and 1-0 in Pool B of the event.

Sophomore Jace Milner scored the other two points for Cisne, but he also provided four rebounds to the cause.

Grayville and first year head coach Torin Lee fell to 1-4 on the season and 0-1 in Pool B despite getting balanced scoring.

The Bison had six different players score four points or more.

Five-foot-nine junior guard Kameron Worley led the Bison with 10 points.

Sophomore guard Lance Collins netted nine points and topped the team with eight rebounds.

Six-foot-three junior forward Brayden Hatcher added eight points and four rebounds for Grayville.

Coach Lee also got five points from senior Cole Neeley along with four points and five rebounds from Kenneth Funkhouser.

Six-foot-two senior Valerio L'abbate rounded up the scoring for Grayville with four points and five boards.

Grayville got off to go start, with Hatcher scoring four of his points in the first quarter as the Bison led 10-9.

But Brach got the Runnin' Lions running in the second quarter as the junior poured in 12 of his points as Cisne took a 27-21 halftime lead.

Cisne's Hatcher added six of his points in the third quarter, keeping his club in front at 28-29 heading to the fourth.

The Bison had chances late but they missed their final four shots, all 3-pointers as Cisne held on for the win.

Both teams head back to action on Monday.

Cisne will face Red Hill at 5:30 pm while Grayville will tangle with North Clay at 8:30 pm.

Red Hill defeated Cisne, 50-42 back on November 25th in the opening game of the season for both teams.

Game #1

Cisne (45) – Milner 1 0 0-1 2, Hatcher 3 1 1-2 10, Roberts 0 0 0-0 0, Fetherling 3 1 6-8 15, Brach 7 0 4-6 18, Potter 0 0 0-0 0, Martinez 0 0 0-0 0.
2FG-14, 3FG-2, FT-11-17, PF-6.

Grayville (40) – Neeley 2 0 1-2 5, Funkhouser 2 0 0-0 4, Hatcher 4 0 0-0 8, L'abbate 2 0 0-0 4, Collins 3 0 3-4 9, Burton 0 0 0-0 0, Worley 2 2 0-0 10.
2FG-15, 3FG-2, FT-4-6, PF-15.

Fouled Out – None.
Technical Fouls – None.