Bulldogs edge Woodlawn, advance
Drew Gibson scores 32-points, St. Anthony rallies for 52-50 victory
Mount Carmel hammers Alton Marquette to win the 2A Supersectional
Okawville advances at 1A Jacksonville Supersectional
CARBONDALE – Effingham St. Anthony senior forward Drew Gibson didn't want Tuesday night's supersectional game against Woodlawn to be his last.

For the first three quarters of the contest, it appeared that Gibson and his state-ranked club were going home with a loss and his prep career would come to a screeching halt.

Un-ranked Woodlawn, who had won five-consecutive postseason games after entering the state tournament with a sub .500 mark, led by as many as 14-points and had the Bulldogs in big time trouble.

Nothing went right for the Nokomis Sectional champs in the first half while the Cardinals used two different double-digit scoring runs to take a 28-15 halftime lead.

However Coach Cody Rincker's Bulldogs gradually clawed their way back into the game by forcing the Cardinals into mistakes.

Woodlawn committed seven-turnovers in the third quarter which gave the Bulldogs the opening that they needed.

Behind Gibson's 32-points and some late free throws in the fourth quarter (15-17) the Bulldogs are in the Final Four for the first time since 1978 with a 52-50 victory Tuesday night at SIU Arena.

St. Anthony advanced to play Chicago Hope Academy at 11 am on Friday at Carver Arena.

Hope beat East DuQuque, 50-33, to win the DeKalb 1A Supersectional on Tuesday night.

“We are thrilled, we are thrilled for the community and the kids. This is my fourth year here and I am really proud of the progression,” said Coach Rincker.

Gibson carried the Bulldogs on his broad shoulders on this night, as he was the only St. Anthony player with a field goal in the first half that ended at 28-15.

The 6-foot-3 senior hit 9-of-15 shots from the floor, including all three of his 3-point attempts.

He also was 11-of-13 from the free throw line as St. Anthony closed out the game hitting 21-of-28 from the line overall.

Woodlawn, who has made more state tournament appearances than any other school in the ten seasons of four-class basketball, was on the verge of its fifth trip to the Final Four.

Coach Brian Gamber's team controlled the tempo, controlled the boards early and seemed poised for a second-consecutive trip to Peoria and the programs' fifth in ten seasons.

While St. Anthony was struggling in the first half, Woodlawn played at its own pace while getting contributions from everyone.

Senior guard Blake Wollerman finished up his prep career with 15-points for Woodlawn while two other teammates; senior Jordan Hoppa and freshman Blake McKay, ended up with 12 and 10-points respectively.

The Cardinals jumped out to a 10-0 lead as St. Anthony appeared a bit “star-struck” by the moment in the first quarter.

Hoppa scored twice on shots just inside the 3-point arc while senior Zach Ashby made a steal and scored on a fast break.

Junior Trey Isaac scored his only bucket of the game to begin the contest in the opening run that gave Woodlawn control early.

St. Anthony got a basket from Gibson, their first points, with just 1:45 left in the first frame.

In fact, Gibson was the only Bulldog to hit a field goal in the first half as they limped into intermission down 28-15.

Behind seven-points from Gibson, the Bulldogs whittled the lead down to just 17-15 with with 5:24 left in the second.

But St. Anthony didn't score again the rest of the second quarter as Woodlawn closed the half on an 11-0 sprint.

McKay nailed his second of three 3-pointers and teammates Wollerman and Hoppa both got loose on cuts to the basket.

Holding the ball for a final shot, Ashby found himself open for a 3-point attempt from the left wing in the closing seconds.

His 20-footer beat the buzzer as Woodlawn had all the momentum going its way with a double-digit lead.

Effingham St. Anthony was in dire straights, having converted just 4-of-16 shots in the first half.

Ashby opened the second half with a free throw for Woodlawn as they took their largest advantage at 29-15.

Unfortunately for the Cardinals, the turnover bug that they managed to avoid in the first half, reared its ugly head in the third quarter as St. Anthony dialed up the pressure on defense.

Coach Rincker's club forced Woodlawn into seven turnovers in the third as they got back into contention.

Being a bit more deliberate with the basketball in the third quarter proved costly as the Cardinals came up empty on 10 offensive trips.

Although they still held a 29-24 lead heading into the final quarter, Woodlawn saw most of its lead evaporate.

“They (Woodlawn) are a very good ballclub and they have been here before. We knew if they got a lead that it would be difficult to get it back from them,” said Coach Rincker. “They know what it takes to win on this stage. We were finally able to speed them up late in the game, we got our legs back under us and I thought that (third quarter) was a huge turning point for us.”

Two important things happened in the second half which allowed St. Anthony to escape SIU Arena with a victory.

The Bulldogs got to the foul line, taking advantage of some foul issues by the Cardinals.

And someone besides Gibson got going on offense.

Six-foot-two junior forward Adam Levitt finished with five-points and he scored his only field goal in the third quarter.

Then in the fourth Alex Deters, also a 6-foot-2 junior, nailed his only 3-pointer of the night, which tied the score at 29-all with less than a minute gone in the fourth.

This came after a steal and fast break lay in by Gibson.

When Gibson nailed his third 3-pointer of the contest, St. Anthony had its first lead 32-31 with 6:36 remaining.

“That pressure that we were able to put on them (Woodlawn) we felt coming in could be a huge factor,” said Coach Rincker. “Over the course of time we were able to make enough plays. We are a team that is capable of getting on runs. Putting the ball in the hole in spurts. Our backs were against the wall and we didn't have a choice. We had to keep attacking.”

Woodlawn got the lead back quickly, with McKay again spotting up for a trey from the right corner to give the Cardinals the lead for one final time.

Jack Nuxoll hit his only field goal attempt of the game, as it is proved to be a big basket.

His 3-pointer from the right corner broke a 34-34 tie.

Gibson scored the Bulldogs next eight-points, on a drive down the baseline and six-consecutive made free throws.

When he converted his final two of the run, St. Anthony looked the part of supersectional champion with a 45-38 lead with 1:01 left.

Nevertheless Woodlawn rallied with Wollerman hitting a 3-pointer and then, in what turned out to be an important play, drove the lane for a lay in while being fouled by Gibson.

This was Gibson's fifth foul as he went to the bench with a lot of time (:45.6) remaining.

After a pair of free throws by St. Anthony junior Cade Walsh, Woodlawn's Hoppa scored on a spin move in the lane just seconds later.

After a timeout, the Cardinals set up their fullcourt pressure.

Junior reserve Blake Fewkes made a steal underneath the Woodlawn basket and was fouled with :28.8 left.

Fewkes made 1-of-2 from the line.

Deters grabbed the rebound on the second miss.

St. Anthony, with Gibson on the bench, needed someone else to cash in at the foul line.

Deters calmly nailed both attempts.

Woodlawn had two open looks for 3-point attempts that would have tied the game on its next possession.

McKay took both shots with neither finding the mark.

Six-foot-four junior forward Alex Beesley got the rebound on the second miss and was fouled.

Beesley shut the door on the bus heading for Peoria by making both foul shots with just :05.1.

Wollerman closed out his prep career with a 3-pointer from the top of the arc to close the final margin to 52-50.

After a good start to the game, Woodlawn cooled off in the second half.

The Cardinals finished up 15-of-38 (39.5 percent) from the field overall and 6-of-19 from the 3-point arc.

Effingham St. Anthony ended up 13-of-33 (39.4 percent) and 5-of-12 from downtown.

The Bulldogs held a slight 23-22 rebounding edge and they were a bit better handling the ball as they committed just nine turnovers compared to 13 by Woodlawn.

But the real story on the night was Gibson, who carried the load for this team as they head to the state finals for the first time since 1991 and will get their first trophy since the 1978 team finished fourth.

The loss was just the second one for a Woodlawn program that has thrived in the postseason since the 2007-08 season when the state switched to four-class basketball.

“This team, they never get too high or too low. They have a poise about them. Even though were were down 13 at the half, we knew we could play better than that,” said Coach Rincker. “It was just a matter of time and we were fortunate enough we were able to get it done.”

Effingham St. Anthony
Woodlawn (50) – Isaac 1 0 0-0 2, Wollerman 2 2 5-7 15, Bennett 0 0 1-2 1, Hoppa 5 0 2-2 12, Ashby 1 1 4-6 9, McKay 0 3 1-2 10, Devore 0 0 0-0 0, Fewkes 0 0 0-0 0.
2FG-9, 3FG-6, FT-14-21, PF-23.

Effingham St. Anthony (52) – Walsh 0 0 3-4 3, Deters 1 1 2-3 7, Levitt 1 0 3-6 5, Nuxoll 0 1 0-0 3, Beesley 0 0 2-2 2, Ludwig 0 0 0-0 0, Gibson 6 3 11-13 32, Runge 0 0 0-0 0.
2FG-8, 3FG-5, FT-21-28, PF-16.

Fouled Out – Isaac, Bennett - Woodlawn; Gibson - Effingham St. Anthony.
Technical Fouls – None.
The Golden Aces are now Final Four bound as they crushed the Explorers on Tuesday night, as they jumped out to a double-digit advantage and never looked back in improving to 28-4 on the season.

Six-foot-eight junior forward Jackson Marcotte scored 17-points and grabbed eight-rebounds to lead the Aces attack as they led 17-6 early and never let up.

Six-foot-eight senior Justin Carpenter tossed in 14-points while grabbing nine-boards for Coach Tyler Buss' club who now make their second ever trip to the state finals, their first since 1935 when they won the single class tournament.

Sophomore guard Brett Doan tossed in 10-points for the Aces, who were a deadly 21-of-33 from the field in the game (63.6 percent) while Marcotte was 6-of-7 from the floor himself.

Mount Carmel hit 15-of-19 free throws (78.9 percent) and held a 29-20 rebound spread over the smaller Explorers.

Head coach Steve Medford saw his club end its season at 30-4 overall despite 11-points each from Isaiah Ervin and Reagan Snider.

Alton Marquette was held to 15-of-48 field goal shooting, including just 6-of-25 from the arc.

Mount Carmel will now face Kankakee McNamara on Friday night at 5:30 pm at Carver Arena.

Mount Carmel
Alton Marquette
Mount Carmell (61) – Stipp 3 0 1-2 7, Doan 2 2 0-0 10, Carpenter 5 0 4-6 14, Rager 2 0 3-3 7, Marcotte 4 2 3-4 17, Golden 0 0 4-4 4, Brown 1 0 0-0 2, Figueroa 0 0 0-0 0, Bearberich 0 0 0-0 0.
2FG-17, 3FG-4, FT-15-19, PF-6.

Alton Marquette (40) – Pettiford 1 0 0-0 2, Green 1 0 4-4 6, Ervin 1 3 0-0 11, Snider 1 3 0-1 11, Hall 3 0 0-0 6, Hartrich 0 0 0-0 0, Messigner 0 0 0-0 0, Hemann 2 0 0-2 4.
2FG-9, 3FG-6, FT-4-7, PF-17.

Fouled Out – None.
Technical Fouls – Alton Marquette Bench.
The Rockets are finally Final Four bound as Okawville rallied from a seven-point halftime deficit to advance to Peoria with the six-point win over the Mustangs at the 1A Jacksonville Supersectional.

Coach Jon Kraus' club got 16-points from all-stater Noah Frederking and 10-points from senior Shane Ganz as the Rockets improved to 31-3 on the season.

Frederking scored eight of his points in the third quarter and Ganz closed out the game with six-points in the fourth quarter as Okawville will now face Newark in the second semifinal game on Friday at Carver Arena.

Trailing 30-23 at the half, Okawville outscored Mendon Unity 23-10 in the second half.

Mendon Unity
Mendon Unity (40) – Kelly 0 0 0-0 0, Klugmeyer 1 1 0-0 5, Voth 0 0 0-0 0, Miller 8 0 5-6 21, Degeman 2 0 0-0 4, Thompson 1 0 6-6 8, Walker 1 0 0-0 2.
2FG-13, 3FG-1, FT-11-12, PF-14.

Okawville (46) – Harre 0 2 2-2 8, Madrid 1 0 2-2 4, C. Frederking 0 0 0-0 0, Hensler 1 2 0-0 8, N. Frederking 6 1 1-4 16.
2FG-12, 3FG-5, FT-9-12 PF-10.

Fouled Out – None.
Technical Fouls – None.