The Goreville Blackcats are another of the 1A programs that understands that to get better you have to play against better.

It is apparent in the fact that they have gotten the most out of their non-conference schedule in the past few seasons.

They open the season each year hosting a tournament that has plenty of competition to get the season off to a bang.

Coach Todd Tripp has been at the helm of his alma mater for the past 14 seasons and his 260-127 mark is pretty salty considering the level of opposition.

These Blackcats are looking at taking the next step on the hardwood, like what the baseball diamond 'Cats have done recently.

The boy's baseball team has made four trips to the state finals since the state split into four classes and these cagers are not that far from being able to pack up the bags from a weekend stay in Peoria.

Returning from the 21-10 squad that fell to Mounds Meridian in the regional title game last season are several cogs.

Five-foot-eleven senior guard Braden Webb was a team leader on that Blackcats' squad in his three previous prep campaigns.

Peyton Massey, a 5-foot-11 senior, is also returning with experience.

Add the names Peyton Geyman, a 6-foot-1 senior guard, 6-foot senior guard Morgan Bishop and 5-foot-9 senior guard Raymond Lewis to a deep backcourt corps.

Coach Tripp mentioned senior forward Tanner Dunn, a 6-foot-3 starter from a year ago.

Cole Tosh, a 6-foot-3 senior forward, will help add some size to the squad.

One junior, 5-foot-11 guard, Logyn Frassato, was mentioned by this coach.

Coach Tripp has led this program to five regional titles in his tenure and the school is approaching a basketball milestone this season.

According to the IHSA website that tracks wins and losses, the Blackcats can reach 1,000 total boy's basketball victories with 13 wins this year.

This will be a dogfight this year for the conference title. I believe five different teams have a chance to get a share title this year. We better win our home games,” said Coach Tripp. “We are Senior loaded and have kids that have played a lot of Varsity Minutes. We will be lacking some size in the middle but hope to make up with our athleticism and depth. Hope to stay healthy and will need to everyone to contribute.”

OUTLOOK – The Blackcats have the tools in place for a big job this season. They did lose an important player (Brant Glidewell) and a slew of points and rebounds. But not unlike other seasons, life will go on and Goreville will win a lot of basketball games. The schedule, as mentioned will be a challenge. However it will also make them much stronger in the end. They are another of the teams with a legitimate shot of playing meaningful games in March.

N27-D2 Goreville Invitational Tournament J27 @ Woodlawn


@ West Frankfort J30 @ Chester
D19 Cobden F2 Christopher
D26-29 Sesser-Valier Holiday Tournament F3 Benton "Rich Herrin Shootout"
J5 @ Campbell Hill Trico F6 Zeigler-Royalton
J6 Vienna F9 Sesser-Valier
J9 @ Sesser-Valier F10 @ Vienna
J12 @ Christopher F13 Chester
J15-20 Metropolis "Superman Classic" F16 Campbell Hill Trico
J26 @ Zeigler-Royalton F19-23 IHSA Regional TBD