NCOE advances past Bearcats
Cardinals out gun Galatia, 66-56; Wayne City wallops Grayville, 89-29

NORRIS CITY – Survive and advance is the battle cry for all of the teams entered in the state tournament, as it has been since the very first IHSA state tournament back in 1908.

If you lose you go home and get ready for spring sports.

Hosting the 1A Regional this week Norris City-Omaha-Enfield didn't want to see its season come to an end on the first night of its own regional.

They made sure of it by dispatching Greater Egyptian Conference rival Galatia, 66-56, in the regional opener.

Head coach Evan Wyllie runs the sort of offense that, like all offensive strategies, looks much better when players are making shots.

The Fighting Cardinals got the long range attempts to fall and they made more close range shots than the Bearcats did as they pulled away in the middle two quarters for the eventual victory.

Each team bombed away from the outside, combining to hit 18-of-45 3-point attempts (nine each) on the night where it was “no three-point shot left behind.”

The difference maker for the hosts was the other field goal attempts.

Coach Wyllie got a six more two-point shots to fall than Galatia and while the two teams struggled at the foul line on the night, the Bearcats only made two more charities than the Cards.

It added up to a 10-point victory for NCOE, to even the score with Galatia in the season series at 2-2.

The Fighting Cardinals won the two most recent scrums and now they get a shot at top-seed Christopher on Tuesday night.

“They (Galatia) like to extend man-to-man and we knew that if we got some dribble penetration that we could get some kick outs to get some open looks. We were looking to get some back door cuts and we were able to get a few of those,” said Coach Wyllie. “For the most part we were pretty efficient offensively.”

NCOE improved to 9-16 overall with the triumph.

The Fighting Cardinals placed four players in double-figures in the victory, led by 6-foot-1 senior Jeb Baumgart with 15-points.

Five-foot-nine senior guard Evan Healy added 12-points while freshman guard Jack Riggs and 6-foot-2 junior Brandon Skaggs each netted 10-points.

All three players had a hand in the 21-11 second quarter that got NCOE separation at halftime.

They carried that success into the second half as they built an 18-point cushion before the Bearcats rallied in the fourth quarter.

Coach Rod Wallace's 'Cats saw their season come to a halt at 11-17.

Six-foot senior guard Austin Steven closed out his basketball prep career with 17-points to lead all scorers while senior classmate 6-foot-3 Ben Mitchell and 6-foot sophomore A.J. Hankins added nine-points for the Bearcats in the loss.

The Cardinals never trailed in the game, using a 9-2 run to being the contest, while they managed to fend off every Galatia run.

Skaggs scored four of the points in the opening run and Healy added the first of his three 3-point shots.

Galatia stayed close, thanks to three 3-point bombs by Hankins and a three-point play by junior Dominic Ammon as they trailed just 17-14 at the first horn.

Seven-consecutive points by NCOE gave the Cards their first double-digit spread.

Healy netted a pair of scores on drives to the basket and Skaggs netted the first of his two 3-pointers in the second quarter.

Riggs added a second quarter bucket while Healy and freshman reserve C.J. Richerson nailed 3-point shots for a 38-23 lead.

Most off the points in the first half came as a result of nine first half turnovers by Galatia (13 overall), six of which came during the second quarter as the Bearcats trailed by 15 at intermission.

Galatia had many chances in the second half to get back into contention, but they failed to convert from the foul line opportunities they were given.

After hitting just 5-of-10 FT's in the first half, they were just 1-of-3 in the third quarter (7-of-16 overall).

NCOE got its largest advantage on the night in the third quarter.

Riggs' second trifecta pushed the lead to 56-38.

Sophomore guard Braxton Lane hit consecutive 3-pointers for Galatia, to finish with six-points on the night, as the ended the quarter at 56-41 Cardinals.

After scoring six-points in the first quarter, Baumgart closed his night with nine fourth quarter points to help his Cards hold off Galatia.

He scored three times in the lane and added 3-of-4 free throws.

His third field goal in the run gave NCOE a 64-48 lead with 2:49 left.

Galatia managed to outscore the Cardinals 8-2 in the final two minutes to make the score appear closer than the game actually was.

NCOE coughed up six of its 15 turnovers in the final frame but they held on to its lead to get to the second round.

The Cardinals held a 29-22 rebounding edge, with 10 of the boards coming on the offensive end.

“Defensively we wanted to pack it inside because they have some quick guards and Stevens is tough for us to defend,” said Coach Wyllie. “We were trying to keep them from getting to the rim easily.”

Norris City-Omaha-Enfield
Norris City-Omaha-Enfield (66) – Brown 0 0 0-0 0, Healy 4 3 1-2 12, Riggs 2 2 0-1 10, Skaggs 2 2 0-0 10, T. Money 0 0 1-2 1, Richardson 0 2 0-0 6, Barton 1 0 0-0 2, Simmons 1 0 0-2 2, O'Neal 1 0 0-2 2, H. Money 0 0 0-0 0, Richerson 0 0 0-0 0, Travelstead 0 0 0-0 0, Baumgart 6 0 3-4 15.
2FG-17, 3FG-9, FT-5-13, PF-14.

Galatia (56) – Stevens 4 3 0-2 17, Mitchell 4 0 1-2 9, Pulliam 1 0 2-6 4, Lane 0 2 0-0 6, Hankins 0 3 0-0 9, Glenn 1 0 0-0 3, Beers 0 0 1-3 1, Triplett 0 0 0-0 0, Ammon 2 0 3-3 7.
2FG-11, 3FG-9, FT-7-16, PF-17.

Fouled Out – None.
Technical Fouls – None.
The Indians had zero trouble with the Bison as they blew out their Midland Trail Conference rival by outscoring them 58-11 in the first two quarters.

Everyone wearing a uniform got into action for Coach Jeff Morris as his Tribe improved to 22-5 on the season with the triumph.

Twelve different Wayne City players scored in the drilling.

Sophomore Travis Dickey scored 14-points with four 3-pointers in the first quarter alone and he added another two-point bucket in the second frame.

Junior Cole Clark chipped in 12-points as he, like Dickey, hit a quartet of 3-point shots.

Three Wayne City players; Jayzale O'Neal, Dalton Smith and Enrico Carbonetti added eight-points each while senior Jaxon King tossed in seven.

Grayville saw its season come to a close at 2-17 with 6-foot-4 senior Marcus Risley scoring 14 for Coach Brian Hucker's club.

Wayne City
Grayville (29) – Funkhouser 1 0 0-0 2, Stockton 0 1 0-0 3, Risley 6 0 2-5 14, Hatcher 0 2 0-0 6, Armstrong 0 0 0-0 0, Cowling 0 0 2-3 2, Finch 0 0 0-0 0, Worley 0 0 0-0 0, Arthur 0 0 0-0 0, Andrini 0 0 0-0 0, Foster 1 0 0-0 2.
2FG-8, 3FG-3, FT-4-8, PF-7.

Wayne City (89) – Barbee 2 1 0-0 7, White 0 1 0-0 3, O'Neal 4 0 0-0 8, Smith 1 2 0-0 8, King 2 1 0-0 7, Horton 2 0 0-0 4, Carbonetti 2 1 1-2 8, Clark 0 4 0-0 12, Sledge 2 1 2-2 9, Miller 1 0 0-0 2, Durham 0 0 0-0 0, Henson 2 0 3-4 7, Dickey 1 4 0-0 14.
2FG-19, 3FG-15, FT-6-8, PF-6.

Fouled Out – None.
Technical Fouls – None.