Goreville, Cairo advance
Blackcats roll past Crab Orchard; Pilots ease past Pharaohs

- In the first semifinal game on Wednesday night at the 1A Goreville Regional, the Crab Orchard Trojans were making a game of it in the first half against the top-seeded hosts.

After a bucket by sophomore forward Keegan Peek off of a rebound of his own missed shot at the four minute mark of the second quarter, Coach Jon Brown's club trailed Goreville just 34-31.

From that point on, the game became a nightmare for the Trojans.

Coach Todd Tripp's Blackcats turned a close game into a rout with an avalanche of points for a resounding victory.

For the next eight minutes of action, the Blackcats outscored Crab Orchard 25-0.

That turned what was a competitive contest into a runaway romp, as they led 61-31 with 4:33 left in the third quarter.

Goreville got the ball to 6-foot-2 junior Landon Albright and 6-foot-3 junior Trent Glidewell as they punished the Trojans inside in an 88-61 decision.

Albright ended his night with 28-points, nearly all in the paint, while Glidewell added 20.

A total of 11 Blackcats “darkened” the scorebook as they improved to 18-14 on the season.

Junior guard Luke Brown added eight-points along with six-points each from junior Logan Hankins and freshman Briley Dunn.

To begin the third quarter explosion of points by Goreville, they connected on seven consecutive field goals attempts.

During the same time, Crab Orchard missed eight-straight attempts and coughed up three turnovers.

By the time the Trojans knew what had happened, the Blackcats held a 30-point advantage.

“We have been talking about and stressing the third quarter to the kids and how important it is to get off to a good start,” said Coach Tripp. “We did a really good job the first three minutes of the third quarter. We have to remember that every time we step out on the court.”

Coach Brown saw his club end its season at 20-13 after the defeat.

Junior forward Hunter Throgmorton scored 21-points for Crab Orchard while sophomore Keegan Peek chipped in 18.

Goreville outscored the Trojans 45-14 in a 12 minute stretch.

“We got off to a bad start in the third quarter and they got their transition game going on us,” said Coach Brown. “No doubt about it their strength and size inside bothered us. We struggled guarding their inside game.”

By the time the fourth quarter arrived the 'Cats' victory was “in the bag” as they advanced to Friday night's regional title game.

The Blackcats will face Cairo, a 69-59 winner over Egyptian in Wednesday night's other semifinal.

Most of Goreville's early problems came defensively as they failed to stop Throgmorton and Peek from getting to the rim.

The two scored 14 and 11 in the first half.

Coach Tripp and his club made the proper adjustments at halftime, which propelled Goreville back to a regional title game.

Crab Orchard had an early lead at 4-2 and also managed a couple of tie scores early.

Throgmorton hit a shot on a drive to the basket to even things at 16-16 with just a few seconds left in the first.

But a quick outlet pass got to junior guard Logan Hankins who nailed a buzzer-beating shot from the left wing for the Blackcats.

His trey gave Goreville back the lead at 19-16.

Albright had already flexed his scoring muscles with 10 of his points down low in the opening eight minutes.

Glidewell got in on the inside game, scoring four times in the lane in the early going of the second quarter.

His fourth bucket turned into a conventional three-point play while being fouled in the lane.

The conversion free throw pushed the Blackcats to a 30-25 spread.

The Trojans got 3-pointers from freshman Ian Dawes, junior Tony Lakotich and Throgmorton in the second quarter before Peek put in back-to-back scores to get them to within three with exactly 4:00 remaining in the half.

In fairy tale terms, this is when the “clock struck midnight” on the Trojans' season.

Albright led the initial offensive assault, closing out the half with eight-consecutive points.

Scoring twice in the paint on his own and then grabbing a rebound for bucket to begin his personal run.

It was one of eight offensive rebounds grabbed by the Blackcats in the second quarter.

Albright closed the book on the half with two free throws for a 42-31 halftime lead.

“We thought that they (Crab Orchard) would have trouble matching up with us inside and we got the ball where we needed to,” said Coach Tripp. “Early when we didn't score on the outlet (passes) we took some bad shots in the halfcourt. There was no need for us to do that. If we work the ball and make two or three passes we feel like we are going to get good shots. And we finally did that.”

The junior forward opened the second half with another offensive rebound put back and then his defensive rebound and outlet pass turned into a fast break score by junior guard Luke Brown.

Brown converted his free throw as he was fouled on the play.

Another bucket by Glidewell forced a Crab Orchard timeout at 49-31 with just under a minute gone in the third quarter.

Dunn got in on the fun with a score and then Brown returned the favor as he fed Albright on a cut to the goal for yet another bucket.

A 3-point bomb by Hankins closed the 25-point run with Goreville up 61-31 at the 4:20 mark of the third quarter.

“I thought Throgmorton and Peek both played well, especially in the first half, but things kind of snowballed on us in the second half,” said Coach Brown. “We were hoping that we could hang around but we couldn't afford to let them get a run like that.”

Glidewell, Brown and sophomore Kanon Webb all canned 3-pointers in the third quarter with Brown closing the frame with a bomb from the right corner for a 79-45 lead.

Sophomore Chase Quigley scored on a lay in early in the fourth quarter for the largest advantage for Goreville at 81-46.

Coach Tripp then “called off the dogs” as the Blackcats and Trojans used reserves for the rest of the contest.

The tale of the tape ended up no prettier than the scoreboard for Crab Orchard.

The Trojans were just 23-of-63 from the floor on the night (36.5 percent) but weren't too bad at 8-of-20 (40 percent) from the arc.

Goreville, on the other hand, netted 39-of-73 overall (53.4 percent) but they did the real damage inside the paint as inside the 3-point circle is where they thrived (33-of-58 for 56.8 percent).

The overall totals are also misleading as the Blackcats' reserves were just 5-of-16 overall in the final six minutes, 0-of-5 from the arc.

Meaning the Top Cats were 34-of-57 (59.6 percent) for three quarters.

The rebounding battle was no contest as Goreville dominated 40-26 and they only allowed four offensive boards for the Trojans through three quarters with seven others coming late in the game after the decision was rendered.

For a game that was fast paced with a lot of scoring, there were few turnovers with Goreville committing just four while Crab Orchard had just eight.

Coach Brown had no seniors on the roster so the future looks bright as he will have a veteran team in place for 2019-20.

“We were young and we have everyone coming back next year. We had a lot of question marks coming into this year,” said Coach Brown. “We need to work on getting stronger and build towards next year.”

The future for the Blackcats is now as they look for their second consecutive regional championship on Friday night and the seventh under Coach Tripp.

Goreville, the defending 1A Carbondale Supersectional champs, graduated the bulk of their players from a year ago but this crew has earned their way into another regional title game.

The winner of Friday night's contest will head to the 1A Gallatin County Sectional next week to take on the winner of the Wayne City Regional, either Woodlawn or Thompsonville.

Crab Orchard
Crab Orchard (61) – Throgmorton 7 2 1-2 21, I. Dawes 0 1 0-0 3, Peek 5 2 2-3 18, Lakotich 0 2 0-0 6, Powell 0 0 1-4 1, Ray 3 0 2-4 8, N. Dawes 0 0 0-0 0, Tippy 0 0 0-0 0, Herring 0 0 0-0 0, Duty 0 0 0-0 0, Bailey 0 0 0-0 0, Webb 0 0 0-0 0.
2FG-15, 3FG-8, FT-7-15, PF-14.

Goreville (88) – Brown 2 1 1-2 8, Lewis 1 0 0-0 2, McCree 0 0 0-0 0, Glidewell 8 1 1-2 20, Webb 1 1 0-0 5, Frassato 1 0 0-0 2, Quigley 2 0 0-2 4, Dunn 3 0 0-0 6, Hankins 0 2 0-0 6, Thompson 0 0 0-0 0, Schuetz 2 0 0-1 4, Davidson 0 0 0-0 0, Lenon 0 1 0-0 3, Albright 13 0 2-5 28.
2FG-33, 3FG-6, FT-4-12, PF-17.

Fouled Out – Peek - Crab Orchard.
Technical Fouls – None.
The Pilots are looking for their second consecutive regional title as they took a step closer with a win over the Pharaohs in Wednesday night's second semifinal game at Goreville.

Coach Larry Wood saw his club improve to 14-16 overall with the victory with three Pilots hitting double-figures in the contest.

Six-foot-four sophomore forward Alton Hervey led the way with 17-points while Daurice Morse added 14.

Five-foot-seven junior Terrell Jones tossed home 12 for Cairo.

The Pharaohs closed an outstanding season at 21-12 with the defeat.

Coach Allen Pearman got 19-points from junior guard Christian Trexler and 14-points from senior Brandon Beasley.

Egyptian also got 13-points from 6-foot-3 freshman Devion Blake.

Egyptian (59) – Essex 0 0 0-0 0, Trexler 6 2 1-2 19, Beasley 3 1 5-8 14, VanDommelon 0 0 0-0 0, Reeves 2 0 0-0 4, LaGrone 2 0 5-8 9, Blake 5 0 3-7 13
2FG-18, 3FG-3, FT-14-25, PF-17.

Cairo (69) – Davis 1 0 1-1 3, Jones 5 0 2-6 12, Howard 0 0 0-0 0, Brown 1 0 3-6 5, Wilkerson 1 0 0-0 2, Nelson 1 1 2-2 7, Miles 0 0 0-0 0, Morse 5 0 4-4 14, Harvey 8 0 1-3 17, Williams 3 1 0-0 9.
2FG-25, 3FG-2, FT-13-22, PF-21.

Fouled Out – Reeves, LaGrone - Egyptian.
Technical Fouls – None.