Cavaliers cruise past Lancers
By Jackson Wilson
The Carlinville basketball Cavaliers weren’t expecting last Wednesday’s meeting against Lincolnwood to be their final game of the week. Yet, thanks to Mother Nature, Carlinville was granted a full weekend of rest due to snow postponement at the Morrisonville Mohawk Classic. The Cavies went into the break by dominating the Lancers and giving them a taste of their own medicine – dishing out the same 20-point thumping that Lincolnwood had given to Edinburg the previous night. With the 54-34 victory, Carlinville improves to 5-11 overall and 2-1 in the tournament.
The Cavaliers came out of the gates completely unfazed by the road environment. Will Walton and Finn Bowman became an unstoppable duo in the first quarter, combining for 10 total points that helped boost Carlinville to an early 15-9 advantage. The offense cooled off in the second quarter, but a strong defensive showing prevented Lincolnwood from putting a game-changing run together. The Cavaliers went into halftime with a 20-13 lead.
“I really felt like we did what we wanted to and forced them out of what they wanted to do,” praised Carlinville head coach Alan Cooper.
Carlinville re-ignited the offensive flame with a 19-point outburst in the third. Jarrett Easterday shook off the rust of a scoreless first half and added seven of those 19 points to his stat line. By the time the fourth quarter hit, the Cavies were all over the Lancers, 39-17. Lincolnwood showed signs of life on offense with 17 points in the final eight minutes, but the defense was unable to kill off Carlinville’s momentum. A 15-point counterattack proved to be more than enough as the Cavies put the cherry on top of the sundae.
With the exception of Shawn Goebel’s 18 tallies, the Lancers were held to just 16 total team points. Walton scored 16 of his own to lead a balanced Carlinville scoring attack. Michael Byots was solid for the Cavaliers as well. The junior guard continued his hot tournament pursuit by adding 10 points on five field goals. Byots previously scored 21 points in a 71-54 loss to Vandalia.
“Our guys are really starting to play like I know they can. Our energy level and teamwork has been so much better in the last nine games than the first seven. When we play with that energy and work together, we are going to have some very positive outcomes,” said a proud Cooper.
All of the remaining tournament games originally scheduled for last weekend were canceled. Carlinville will make up their remaining games on each of the next two Wednesdays. The Cavaliers will face Nokomis on Jan. 16 at 6:15 p.m. and Mulberry Grove at 5 p.m. on Jan. 23. Both contests will be played at Morrisonville High School.
Senior Will Walton goes up for a dunk. MCED photo by Cory Walton.