Cardinals clinch Mid-South tie
Luke Rollie leads Woodlawn attack with 20 points in 62-52 win over Thompsonville

WOODLAWN - Thompsonville head coach John Thompson thought that for his Tigers to have a shot of beating Woodlawn Thursday his team would have to limit the 'touches' of Doug Junkins and Derek Burns, the Cardinals two top scorers.

And for the most part Thompsonville managed to keep those two in check.

However Luke Rollie, a 6-0 senior, poured home a game-high 20 points as Woodlawn improved to 19-3 overall and 9-0 in the Mid-South Conference with a 62-52 triumph.

The win clinched at least a tie for the league title.

Thompsonville, with the loss, drops to 11-11 overall and 4-4 in the conference race.

Rollie got the Cardinals 'rolling' in the first few minutes of the contest.

His first two attempts of the night found the mark for a 4-3 Woodlawn lead.

Rollie's third bucket of the quarter, a 3-pointer from the left corner on an out-of-bounds play; triggered 7-0 run to push the Woodlawn lead to 17-7.

Junkins scored the other four points with a pair of free throws and later on a fast-break dunk after a steal by Burns.

But Thompsonville responded with 5-6 sophomore Miles Vaughn hitting a 3-pointer from the left side of the arc.

Mike Marvel, the lone senior starter for the Tigers, scored the last two baskets of the quarter.

His rebound put back just beat the first quarter horn to cut the lead down to 19-14.

"I thought we did a pretty good job on Burns and Junkins, but then Rollie stepped up and hit some big shots for them early." said Robinson, who is in his first season as head coach for the Tigers.

Woodlawn took command of the game and seemingly put Thompsonville away with a huge second frame.

Nick Knapp got the Cards off and running in the second quarter with a pair of baskets, one on a tip in of a Rollie miss and the next one on a back door cut on a pass from Junkins.

After a Thompsonville miss, Mike Pool got into the scoring act as he canned a 3-pointer to push the lead to 26-14 and forced a Thompsonville timeout with 5:10 left before halftime.

Marvell scored in the paint while being fouled by Knapp on Thompsonville's first possession after the timeout and his free throw cut the Woodlawn lead to 26-17.

However Rollie scored the next five points on a short jumper in the lane after a great pump fake, and then a long 3-pointer. His long-range bomb made it 31-17 with 3:56 left.

Thompsonville's Cody Murphy hit a pair of free throws to slow the Woodlawn run momentarily.

But the Cardinals scored the next seven points, with Jeremy Clinton coming off the bench to score four points during the scoring run.

His basket in the paint on a feed from Junkins and a pair of free throws were sandwiched around a Burns 'trifecta' and the Cardinals had their biggest bulge of the night at 38-19.

Murphy scored on a lay in just before the half for Thompsonville as Woodlawn took a 38-21 lead into intermission.

"I told the kids I wanted them to come out in the second half with the same intensity as they did to open the game." said Woodlawn mentor Shane Witzel. "But that didn't happen and we let them back into the game."

Like Rollie was to Thompsonville in the first quarter, Vaughn was to Woodlawn in the third.

Thompsonville decided to dial long-distance to get back into the game and Vaughn was the main operator.

After Aaron Ruzich hit a three from the left corner to cut the Woodlawn advantage to 40-24, Vaughn drilled one home from the top of the arc to cut the lead to 13 and swayed Witzel to burn a timeout.

Junkins and Rollie scored on back-to-back trips to push the Woodlawn lead to 44-27.

But Vaughn would hit two more 3-pointers. His second one cut the lead down to 11 at 44-33 with 2:27 remaining in the third quarter.

Woodlawn took a 49-35 advantage into the fourth quarter as Pool scored in the paint and Junkins hit a pair of charities to finish off the third quarter scoring.

Then Marvel asserted himself on the offensive glass as Thompsonville scored the first six points of the final stanza.

His put back basket on a Vaughn miss got the Tigers within 49-41.

But Burns and Junkins scored a pair of baskets to start a 8-3 run to push the lead back to 57-46 with 1:59 to go.

A pair of Brandon Chaplin free throws cut the lead to 59-49 with 1:12 left. But a Rollie lay in and Junkins free throw closed out the scoring and Thompsonville.

"I was glad to see that the kids didn't celebrate this win because this was not a good performance.

If we are going to beat the good teams we might face later on, we will have to play better than we did tonight." added Witzel.

Rollie's 20 points lead all scorers and his teammates chipped in. Knapp added 14 points while Junkins pitched in 11.

Thompsonville's Marvel and Vaughn lead the Tigers with 15 and 13.

Woodlawn plays Cobden at the DuQuoin Shootout on Saturday.