Cats head to Peoria
Panthers, Blackcats go North to represent the South

CARBONDALE – The Goreville Blackcats and head coach Todd Tripp have finally reached the Final Four.

After winning five regional titles in his 14 previous seasons running the program at his Alma mater without a single sectional victory, his senior led squad broke down the barrier that kept this franchise from reaching Peoria.

Tuesday night the Blackcats seniors kept the ball rolling by defensively forcing Central A&M into a bad night.

Goreville will make its first trip to Carver Arena this weekend following its 74-61 victory as they will make the program's first boy's basketball state finals appearance.

In front of an announced crowd of over 7,000 at the 1A Carbondale Supersectional, Goreville advanced.

The veteran Blackcats delivered the goods on Tuesday night as they won all of the important statistical battles to hold off the young Central A&M squad.

With the victory Coach Tripp saw his club improve to a battle tested 23-11 on the season.

Senior team leader Braden Webb again shined for the Blackcats.

This 5-foot-11 senior not only scored 14-points in the win, but he grabbed a team-high 11-rebounds while dishing out three assists.

The school's all-time leading scorer was also credited with four steals in the contest.

“He (Webb) is an all-stater. He is a first team all-stater, I don't care what anybody says. He is good. He has done this since his freshman year. When he is on the floor, they (opponents) have to watch him,” said Coach Tripp.

Two other seniors helped pave the way north to Peoria with “super” performances at the supersectional.

Five-foot-eleven senior guard Peyton Massey led Goreville in points with 19 while senior classmate Tanner Dunn scored 16.

Another of the senior crew; 6-foot Morgan Bishop, added to the totals with seven-points in the triumph.

Six-foot-three senior forward Cole Tosh added six-points in the balanced attack for Coach Tripp.

However the defensive end of the floor, that at one time this season was a liability for the club, continued to keep teams in check.

“I think every coach in America talks about doing the 'little things' and we did that tonight. You have to take care of the basketball, you have to rebound, you have to play defense. No matter who you play, you have to do those things,” said Coach Tripp. “If we do those things, we have a chance to stay in a ballgame.”

Moweaqua Central A&M, coached by former Teutopolis assistant coach Rob Smith, never truly got on track offensively.

After blistering foes in the postseason on their way to SIU Arena, the Raiders offensively struggled on night in the supersectional as their season concluded at 22-9.

The mostly young, and talented, crew hit just 20-of-59 shots overall while connecting on just 2-of-15 shots from the 3-point arc.

In victories over Dieterich and Nokomis, Central A&M scorched both teams from the outside but they struggled in the arena setting.

But more importantly for Goreville, they withstood an early Raiders' run in the first quarter and took control for good with a first quarter closing run that got them a lead they never relinquished.

Central A&M was led by sophomore guard Jacob Paradee with 23-points while sophomore forward Connor Heaton chipped in 19.

Unfortunately for the Raiders, who scored a lot of points in this postseason with two games over 80, didn't put another player in double-figures on this night.

Central's best move offensively on the night was in the first quarter as they took their only lead of the game with a 7-2 run.

Six-foot-five sophomore Griffin Andricks, one of three sophomore starters, scored in the lane on an assist from Heaton and then Paradee scored on a drive in the lane for a five-point advantage with 5:34 left in the opening quarter.

However the Blackcats put together a 14-0 run to take back the lead.

Webb drove the lane for his first points of the night and Massey finished a transition possession with a lay in.

Webb added another score on a fast break and Bishop pumped in a 3-pointer.

Reserves Logyn Frassato and Landon Albright got in on the fun with scores.

Albright closed the run with 1-of-2 foul shots with 1:40 left for a 16-7 Blackcats' lead.

“Our guys (bench) came in and did what they were supposed to do. I can't say enough about this team, I'm so proud of them right now,” said Coach Tripp.

Coach Tripp's troupe got to a double-digit lead at halftime as they continued to attack on the offensive end.

The Blackcats also got the Raiders into foul trouble in the second quarter.

Getting to the foul line in the second, Goreville hit 9-of-11 from the stripe.

A tip in by Dunn, on his own missed shot in the paint, gave the Blackcats a 27-14 spread.

A Massey 3-pointer and a pair of free throws by Webb with just :00.5 on the clock sent the teams to the locker room at 36-26 'Cats.

Buckets to start the third quarter by Dunn and Albright and a 3-pointer from Massey pushed Goreville's advantage to 43-29.

“I yelled at him (Massey) when he shot that one (made 3-pointer in the third quarter) and he looked at me and went 'what'?,” laughed Coach Tripp. “He is my nephew and I'm proud of him. It was a little bit deep but he has the green light.”

Paradee scored twice in the quarter for the Raiders as they still trailed 45-33 heading to the final frame.

Central A&M got to within nine-points three different times in the fourth quarter only to have Goreville respond.

Mainly from the free throw line as Coach Tripp saw his club excel at the line to close out the game.

Dunn hit four tosses while Massey hit a pair as the Blackcats took a 63-50 lead with just 3:08 remaining.

Goreville nailed down the win with a 15-of-19 foul line effort in the fourth quarter.

Fittingly Webb closed the most important win of the program's history with two free throws with :48.0 left.

The coaches emptied the benches in the final moments of the Blackcats' supersectional victory.

Goreville finished up 21-of-47 overall and just 3-of-10 from the arc.

But they out rebounded Central 44-35 and they survived 15-turnovers.

The Blackcats' opposition Friday afternoon is Okawville, a 65-64 double-overtime winner over Peoria Quest Charter at the 1A Jacksonville Supersectional.

“This feels great. I can't wait to travel to Peoria,” said Coach Tripp. “We did the little things tonight. I'm so proud of my guys.”

1A Supersectional
Central A&M
Central A&M (61) – Smith 0 1 0-0 3, T. Paradee 2 1 0-0 7, Hubner 0 0 0-2 0, J. Paradee 8 0 7-8 23, Heaton 6 0 7-11 19, Burgener 0 0 0-0 0, Sloan 0 0 3-4 3, Hutchins 1 0 1-2 3, Andrices 1 0 0-0 2, Tyler 0 0 0-0 0, Simmons 0 0 0-0 0, Fenton 0 0 1-2 1.
2FG-18, 3FG-2, FT-19-29, PF-30.

Goreville (74) – Geyman 1 0 0-1 2, Massey 3 2 7-9 19, B. Webb 4 0 6-13 14, Bishop 1 1 2-2 7, K. Webb 0 0 0-0 0, Frassato 1 0 0-0 2, Tosh 2 0 2-2 6, Dunn 4 0 8-8 16, Hankins 0 0 0-0 0, Johnson 0 0 0-0 0, Schuetz 0 0 0-0 0, Albright 2 0 4-6 8.
2FG-20, 3FG-3, FT-25-41, PF-22.

Fouled Out – Smith, T. Paradee, Hutchins, Andrices - Central A&M; Albright, Tosh - Goreville.
Technical Fouls – None.

The Panthers were clearly in trouble in the contest against defending supersectional champion Mount Carmel in the second contest on Tuesday night at SIU Arena.

Trailing 40-36 with just 1:15 remaining in regulation, the ABV top-ranked 2A team needed someone to make a big play.

Senior J.C. Moll delivered the play that should be talked about for years to come.

The 5-foot-11 guard found himself open at the top of the 3-point arc.

He let fly a shot from 20-feet that found the bottom of the net while he was fouled by Mount Carmel's Brett Doan.

Moll hit his free throw to tie the game.

After Mount Carmel's Jackson Marcotte, last season's 2A ABV “Player of the Year”, hit a pair of free throws to give the Aces back control at 42-40, Moll again came up with a huge basket.

He drove the middle of the lane for a lay in to tie things up to force overtime.

“He (Moll) has been through the wars. He is a four-year player. He might be little out there but there is a college out there somewhere that is missing out,” said Coach Waggoner. “I've said it over and over. He is a big time player.”

In the extra session, it was all Pinckneyville as they advanced to the Final Four with the win.

Coach Bob Waggoner saw his Panthers sputter offensively but when they had to have points, Moll carried the team as they improved to 31-3 overall as they head back to Peoria for the first time since 2007-08, the first year of four-classes.

With the depth of the Pinckneyville reserve unit on display at SIU, the Panthers wore down the Aces during the triumph.

Seven players wearing blue played at least 13 minutes.

This helped wear out Coach Tyler Buss' Aces on this night.

Mount Carmel closed its campaign at 20-12, after entering the game having won 9-of-10 with Marcotte back on the floor after the 6-foot-7 senior forward missed most of the season rehabbing his torn ACL he suffered to his right knee last spring.

The D-I Wyoming football signee finished with 12-points and nine-rebounds for the Aces, while senior Brayden Stipp closed out his prep basketball career with 17-points.

Junior forward Austin Rager added eight-points for Coach Buss.

“They (Pinckneyville) made some big plays late. We are up four-points and feeling pretty good. We need one rebound and hit our free throws to go back to Peoria,” said Coach Buss. “We didn't get a guy checked out and the ball bounces their way and they make the shot (Moll) and the free throw. They have great players and we've got great players and but they made a couple of more plays down the stretch to win it.”

Moll led all scorers with 24-points, with four made 3-pointers pacing his Panthers.

He hit 7-of-11 field goals overall and canned 4-of-6 from the arc while adding 6-of-7 from the foul line.

Sophomore guard Dawson Yates cashed in with 11-point while senior Kyle Luke posted nine-points.

Six-foot-six senior forward Tanner Spihlmann added 10-points before fouling out in overtime.

The Aces weren't out rebounded very often during the season but Pinckneyville turned the trick with a 32-24 edge with 6-foot-1 senior forward Tyler Rice grabbing seven rebounds to go with just on made field goal for two-points.

Coach Waggoner's club hit just 19-of-49 from the field (38.7 percent) but they were absolutely “money in the bank” when it came to the foul line.

Pinckneyville ended the contest at 17-of-20 from the stripe, included in the performance the overtime where they cashed in 11-consecutive made foul shot attempts.

After Marcotte gave Mount Carmel a brief lead in the OT with two made free throws, Moll gave the Panthers the lead with a 3-pointer from the right wing.

On the next possession, Marcotte missed a pair of free throws at the 3:34 mark of the overtime.

The Aces wouldn't score another point until :31 remained.

By that time, Moll, Luke, Yates and senior guard Grant Jausel combined to go 13-of-14 from the line, with Moll finally missing a free throw with :51.4 left as the Panthers had put the game on ice at 58-44.

Two more tosses by Luke and a window dressing 3-pointer from Mount Carmel reserve Brayden Peterson in the final seconds closed yet another Pinckneyville state tournament chapter.

The game featured 10 tie scores and 11 lead changes as the two teams waged a physical war on both ends of the floor.

The Aces ended their season by hitting just 16-of-36 overall from the floor.

The Panthers will play Winnebago at Carver Arena on Friday night at 5 pm.

The Indians topped Chicago Corliss to win the 2A DeKalb Supersectional on Tuesday night.

“This game was competitive and it just came down to players making plays. J.C. Moll hit a big three for us. Tanner Spihlmann maybe played his best game for us. We used two guys (Spihlmann, Rice) to try and wear on Marcotte. Number #3 (Stipp) is a load, what a competitor he is," said Coach Waggoner. “He beat us on the bounce in the first half but I thought Dawson Yates did an unbelievable job in the second half and held him to just one basket.”

2A Supersectional
Mount Carmel
Pinckneyville (60) – Moll 2 4 6-7 22, Yates 4 0 3-3 11, Luke 2 0 5-6 9, Rice 2 0 0-0 4, Jausel 1 0 2-2 4, Spihlmann 3 1 1-2 10, Kreger 0 0 0-0 0, Linze 0 0 0-0 0, Tanner 0 0 0-0 0, Bartnicki 0 0 0-0 0, Kitchen 0 0 0-0 0.
2FG-14, 3FG-5, FT-17-20, PF-20.

Mount Carmel (47) – Br. Stipp 5 1 4-5 17, Doan 0 1 0-0 3, Golden 1 0 0-0 2, Rager 4 0 0-1 8, Applebey 0 0 2-4 2, Marcotte 3 0 6-10 12, Durham 0 0 0-0 0, Brown 0 0 0-0 0, Be. Stipp 0 0 0-0 0, Peterson 0 0 0-0 0, Gould 0 0 0-0 0, Merritt 0 0 0-0 0, Harrington 0 0 0-0 0.
2FG-13, 3FG-3, FT-12-20, PF-17.

Fouled Out – Rice, Spihlmann - Pinckneyville; Marcotte, Rager - Mount Carmel.
Technical Fouls – None.