Cavaliers go ‘one and done’ in regionals, bid farewell to seven seniors

Cavaliers go ‘one and done’ in regionals, bid

Michael Byots scores 30 points against Athens


Enquirer Democrat Sports Reporter

The book has officially been closed on the 2018-19 Carlinville basketball season.

After showing signs of life at the start of February, the Cavaliers went into another all-too-familiar coldspell and were never able to revive their offense for a storybook postseason push in Sherman. The only bright spot in Monday’s season-ending regional loss was a 30-point outburst by Michael Byots. Aside from the junior forward’s effort, Carlinville was only held to 27 points, with Logan Rosentreter contributing to 11 of those tallies. The Cavies managed to stay competitive at the start, but Athens transformed a slim 23-20 halftime advantage into a 68-57 statement behind 20-point performances by Nic Laird and Jack Richards.

On Feb. 12, Carlinville hosted its Senior Night basketball game at the Big House on West Main. 14 seniors – seven basketball players, four cheerleaders and three Cavalettes – were recognized prior to the tip-off. They are Finn Bowman, Andrew DeNeve, Jarret Easterday, Collin Gibbel, Austin Hemken, Rosentreter, Will Walton,  Lexie Casey, Elyse Lewis, Molly McEuen,  MacKenzie Moyer, Cora Gray, Lauren Harris and Devin Whitworth.

The Cavies were hoping to send their seniors off with a conference win, but a first half offensive struggle dropped them into a 22-15 halftime pit. This gave a young Roxana squad all the support it would need. The Shells crashed the party with a 53-41 road conquest. Easterday (11) and Walton (9) combined for 20 points in the loss. Bowman finished his home career by throwing down a fast-break slam dunk in the closing seconds.

The regular season finale turned out to be a nightmare for Carlinville. The team looked to spoil Southwestern’s senior night and avoid a winless conference campaign. The Piasa Birds’ defense got right down to business and completely stripped the Cavaliers of all hope from the opening tip. Southwestern went into halftime with a 31-11 advantage and held Carlinville under 10 points in all four frames. The final score was 48-24.

Carlinville finishes the season at 7-24 overall and winless in the South Central Conference (0-9). Despite ending the year on a seven-game skid, Carlinville head coach Alan Cooper was still very proud of his senior group.

“Five of those seniors have been with us  all four years and they’ve always come and worked hard. Things haven’t always went the way they wanted but they were still a fun bunch of kids to be around,” praised Cooper.

Pictured are, from left, Will Walton, son of Adrian and Amy Walton, Logan Rosentreter, son of Rick and Amy Rosentreter, Austin Hemken, son of Jennifer Stewart, Collin Gibbel, son of Chris and Erica Gibbel, Jarret Easterday, son of Chad and Tammy Easterday, Andrew DeNeve, son of Darrin and Heather DeNeve, Finn Bowman, son of Clare and August Adams and Larry Bowman. Enquirer-Democrat photo by Cory Walton.

Pictured are, from left, MacKenzie Royer, daughter of Ronald and Angela Clarkson, Molly McEuen, daughter of Jennifer Robinson, Elyse Lewis, daughter of Ronald and Susan Lewis, Lexie Casey, granddaughter of Father John Henry. Enquirer-Democrat photo by Cory Walton.

Pictured are, from left, Devin Whitworth, daughter Bill and Ginger Withworth, Lauren Harris, daughter of Scott and Carrie Harris, Cora Gray, daughter of Keith and Linda Gray. Enquirer-Democrat photo by Cory Walton.

Senior Finn Bowman dunks on Senior Night. Enquirer-Democrat photo by Cory Walton.