Goreville heads back to Peoria
Blackcats top Central A&M, 71-64, improve to 35-2
CARBONDALE – Too many weapons.

That was what turned out to be the difference in Tuesday night's 1A Carbondale Supersectional game between Goreville and Central A&M.

The deep and talented Blackcats eventually got the best of the reigning supersectional champs, taking the lead at the beginning of the second half and never giving it up in a 71-64 victory.

Coach Todd Tripp's club, who played 11 players in a deep rotation, wore down the Raiders as they advanced to the Final Four for the second time in the program's history.

Eight of the 11 players scored for Goreville, with four of them hitting for double-digits.

Senior Nick Compton and sophomore Briley Dunn scored 12 points apiece while seniors Landon Albright and Cam Hines tossed in 10 points each.

Three other Blackcats; senior Luke Brown, senior Trent Glidewell and junior Kanon Webb ended up with eight points each.

Hines, a 6-foot senior transfer from West Virginia who was ruled eligible by the IHSA on March 1, has been a difference maker in the three postseason games that he has played.

The guard has scored exactly 10 points in each of his three games, all wins by Goreville.

Head coach Rob Smith and his Central A&M Raiders; and its senior core of players who were looking for a return trip to Peoria, saw their season close at 30-5.

The crew played in their third consecutive supersectional and were led by the senior who helped guide them to an 85-18 mark in three seasons.

Six-foot-four Conner Heaton scored a game-best 29 points for the Raiders as he closed out his 2,000 + scoring career.

Seniors Griffin Andricks (15) and Jacob Paradee (10) have also been a big part of the recent success and they, too, played their final prep basketball game on Tuesday night.

"It just seemed like key shots didn't fall or they got key rebounds or key turnovers," said Coach Smith said. "It just had a weird feel to it. You can't really attribute it to one thing. It was a culmination of multiple things."

Despite some foul trouble in the first half, the Raiders looked like they were going to pack the bags for another trip to Peoria in the first quarter and a half of the contest.

Behind the three seniors, Central A&M jumped out to an early lead.

Heaton scored nine of his points in the opening quarter while Paradee and Andricks also produced early.

A transition bucket by Paradee and a rebound by Andricks gave the Raiders a 9-4 lead.

Central A&M reached its largest bulge of the game early in the second quarter.

Two 3-point bombs by Andricks gave the Raiders a 22-12 advantage with 7:08 left in the half.

However the 6-foot-6 senior forward went to the bench with his second personal foul at the 6:17 mark.

As it turned out, the rest of the quarter belonged to the Blackcats as they rallied to even the score at halftime.

Six different Goreville players scored in the second quarter, including five points off of the bench from Hines.

Brown nailed a pair of 3-pointers and Hines added another in the run.

Reserve Carter Bishop, a 5-foot-9 junior guard, nailed a trey from the right corner to tie the game at 31-31.

Goreville took its first lead of the game with a 12-2 run to open the second half.

Webb got open for a 3-pointer from the left wing and Compton scored five points in the scoring spree.

His drive to the basket while being fouled turned into a three-point play and a 43-33 lead with 5:43 left in the third quarter.

Central A&M got to within three points late in the third quarter.

Heaton scored on a fast break and Andricks added another basket to go with a 3-pointer from reserve junior guard Chris Enge, which closed the gap to 49-46.

But as they had done earlier, the Blackcats responded.

Albright grabbed a rebound off of a missed shot and his put back closed the scoring at 51-46 heading to the fourth.

Andricks scored the final points of his career with a 3-pointer to open the final quarter, getting the Raiders as close as they would get at 51-49.

Glidewell, Albright and Dunn all scored in a quick run with Dunn scoring twice.

The sophomore's second bucket and two free throws by Webb made it 62-52.

Heaton scored six more points on a drive to the goal and 4-of-4 free throws.

But Goreville, in the final quarter, got to the foul line and hit 14-of-19.

Compton hit 5-of-6 from the line in the fourth while Hines was 3-of-4 as Goreville will return to Carver Arena for the second time in three years.

The 2017-18 Blackcats finished fourth.

Goreville ended up 23-of-40 overall from the floor, and 5-of-11 from the 3-point arc.

After some early free throw missed opportunities, the Blackcats settled in and ended up 20-of-30.

Coach Tripp saw his club out-rebound the Raiders 29-23 as each team committed nine turnovers.

Central A&M ended up 21-of-44 from the field and just 6-of-20 from the 3-point line.

Heaton closed out his career with an 8-of-16 showing and 12-of-15 from the foul line.

Goreville will face Roanoke-Benson in the semifinals on Friday afternoon.

The Rockets bested Chicago Fenger, 45-43 to win the 1A ISU Supersectional on Tuesday night.

"It's hard to put into words what they meant for this program," said Coach Smith about his senior group. "I could talk forever about it. Whenever you can put together a run like that, it's pretty special. We'd rather be us, win or lose. We talked beyond basketball and wished the seniors luck and said they were going to be successful in whatever they do."

1A Carbondale Supersectional
Goreville (35-2)
Moweaqua Central A&M (30-4)

Goreville (71)
– Brown 0 2 2-5 8, Hines 2 1 3-5 10, Bishop 0 1 0-0 3, Glidewell 4 0 0-1 8, Webb 0 1 5-6 8, Dunn 5 0 2-4 12, Compton 3 0 6-7 12, Albright 4 0 2-2 10, Hankins 0 0 0-0 0, Schuetz 0 0 0-0 0.
2FG-18, 3FG-5, FT-20-30, PF-18.

Moweaqua Central A&M (64) – Sloan 0 0 1-2 1, Andricks 3 3 0-0 15, Paradee 3 1 1-2 10, Heaton 7 1 12-15 29, Burgener 1 0 1-2 4, Hutchins 0 0 0-2 0, Enge 1 1 1-1 6.
2FG-15, 3FG-6, FT-16-24, PF-20.

Fouled Out – Glidewell - Goreville.
Technical Fouls
– None.