Carlinville rallies past Gillespie in OT
If one prefers turnovers and stingy defense, Monday’s night’s girls championship game in the Carlinville Holiday Tournament delivered.
Carlinville High School’s girls team outscored Gillespie High 5-0 in the overtime session earn a 37-32 victory and repeat as tournament champions.
The victory gave CHS its third straight holiday championship title and seventh overall.
The girls’ largest lead was the final score. CHS didn’t hold a lead until a 3-pointer midway through the third quarter gave it a 25-22 advantage.
Carlinville’s Corin Stewart led all scorers with 11 points, with Eryn Seal adding 10. Jill Stayton and Gracie Reels each had six. Elise Baker and Sarah DeNeve both scored two.
Gillespie led 11-5 after the opening quarter and 19-14 at halftime.
The Miners took a 28-25 lead into the final quarter and led 32-29 with 3:49 remaining. Later, Gillespie was in front 32-30 in the closing minute but the Cavaliers forced a turnover. Carlinville got a pair of free throws by Seal with 38 seconds to tie the contest. Gillespie attempted to play for the last shot, taking it down to seven seconds and retaining possession on a jump ball situation. However, with 4.2 seconds left, the Cavaliers forced another tie-up, and had to go the length of the court with little time left. DeNeve got a shot away in time from halfcourt which was off the mark.
In overtime, the Miners began with possession but Seal’s steal gave possession to CHS. Carlinville missed a shot but an offensive rebound gave it new life. Stayton took advantage, sinking a 3-pointer to put the Cavaliers up 35-32 with 3:14 left. Free throws accounted for the CHS scoring the rest of the way.
Madison Niemayer collected eight points to pace the Miners. MacKenzy Mix and Emily Schmidt each had seven. Keaton Link and Shelby Taylor scored four. Hannah Barrett scored two.
Carlinville, which is now 13-2 overall, was 12-for-28 from the line. The Miners (11-3) finished 8-for-18 at the charity stripe.
The three straight championships by Carlinville at the Carlinville Holiday Tournament is their best stretch ever. Previously, CHS won back-to-back titles in 1993 and 1994. Litchfield, which has won the event 14 times, has streaks of seven straight (2010-16 and five straight (1982-86). Hillsboro (1995-97 and Nokomis (2003-05) have both won three straight.
Gillespie was looking for its first championship at the holiday tournament.