Wayne City romps into MTC semifinals
Indians lead gate-to-wire, 56-29 over Waltonville; improve to 12-2 overall
WAYNE CITY – For head coach Jeff Morris and his Wayne City Indians, Wednesday night's makeup game in the Midland Trail Conference Tournament couldn't come soon enough.

After not playing in what seemed like and eternity, the Tribe finally got off of the practice court and into an actually game.

With the wintry weather blanketing southern Illinois postponing nearly all school activities, Wayne City and Waltonville finally did battle.

The Indians made quick work of the Spartans, jumping out to an early lead before cruising into the tournament semifinals with a 56-29 win that wasn't nearly as close as the final score would signal.

Forcing nine first quarter turnovers and leading early by double-figures, Wayne City improved its mark to 12-2 overall with the victory over Waltonville in front of a pretty good sized crowd who braved the frigid temperatures and partially slick roads to root on the Tribe.

Coach Morris got all 12 of the Indians in uniform on the floor for minutes and eight of them posted points in the rout on Wednesday night.

The scoring was balanced, led by junior guard Nate Barbee with 11-points and senior Enrico Carbonetti with 10-points and five-rebounds.

Six-foot-three senior Remington Henson added nine-points and added six-rebounds to the damage as Wayne City led 11-0 before Waltonville could get on board.

Jayzale O'Neal, a 6-foot junior guard, added six-points in the victory.

“I thought our defense did a really good job rotating tonight with our zone,” said Coach Morris. “We haven't been able to practice a whole lot and we haven't played since last Tuesday. I thought we were active with our hands and we closed out with our feet.”

The young Waltonville club, coached by Anthony Lowery, got eight-points each from junior McKendal Malone and sophomore Jaxon Haley in the loss as they saw their record fall to 2-13.

Senior Cody Shelton and junior Jacob Tucker each added six-points in defeat.

Waltonville finished with 26-turnovers and the Spartans were held to just six first half points

Junior guard Dalton Smith and senior Jaxon King each added seven-points for Wayne City.

King, a 6-foot-1 guard, started and finished a 13-2 first quarter run with a pair of steals and fast break lay ups.

Barbee, a 5-foot-10 guard, nailed a 3-pointer in the run and O'Neal added a rebound for a bucket and an 11-0 lead with 2:20 left in the quarter.

Malone finally broke the scoring drought for the Spartans as the 5-foot-11 guard drove the lane for a score.

The second quarter, unfortunately for the visitors, wasn't much better as they went another three minutes without points.

Carbonetti got loose near the basket for a pair of field goals and O'Neal converted a fast break drive to the goal as the Indians led 19-2.

Shelton and Tucker added points for the Spartans in the stanza but a Henson three-point play, a Smith transition score and a Carbonetti drive for points gave Wayne City a 29-6 halftime lead.

Nine-consecutive points by the Indians to open the third quarter closed whatever doubt there would be about the outcome and it gave Wayne City its largest spread.

Horton added a score in the lane on a pass from King and Smith canned a 3-pointer from the right corner.

Henson added a drive to the basket and Smith converted yet another fast break for points as the Indians led 38-6 with 3:29 left.

For the Spartans, Malone did give his team a brief spark, nailing consecutive 3-pointers, and Tucker scored twice in the final minutes of the third period to make it 45-17 at the end of the third.

Reserves played out the final minutes as Wayne City advanced to play Webber Township with a time yet to be set because of the weather.

Waltonville falls into the consolation side where they will face Cisne, also TBD.

The Indians ended up 23-of-53 overall from the field but they missed 10 of their shots (5-of-15) in the for quarter with reserves on the floor.

“Our offense was sluggish at times and they were in a box-and-one and it was a little tough to adjust to,” said Coach Morris. “We started getting the ball in the gaps and to our shooters. We are also playing a bit differently without Travis Dickey (foot injury) on the floor for us but we are adjusting on the fly.”

As Coach Morris eluded to, they were a bit sluggish with the ball at times as they committed 12-turnovers.

Waltonville ended up 12-of-37 from the field (32.4 percent) but they did manage to be even with Wayne City on the boards at 22-each.

Wayne City
Waltonville (29) – Newell 0 0 0-0 0, Berkemeier 0 0 0-0 0, Malone 1 2 0-0 8, Banach 0 0 1-4 1, Webb 0 0 0-0 0, Pennington 0 0 0-0 0, Haley 01 2 0-0 8, Tucker 3 0 0-0 6, Shelton 3 0 0-0 6.
2FG-6, 3FG-4, FT-1-4, PF-12.

Wayne City (56) – Barbee 1 3 0-0 11, White 0 0 0-0 0, O'Neal 3 0 0-0 6, Smith 2 1 0-0 7, King 2 0 3-4 7, Horton 2 0 0-0 4, Carbonetti 5 0 0-0 10, Clark 0 0 0-0 0, Sledge 0 0 0-0 0, Miller 0 0 0-0 0, Durham 3 0 3-3 9. 2FG-19, 3FG-4, FT-6-7, PF-9.
Fouled Out – None.
Technical Fouls – None.