Cavaliers lose to Bulldogs again, split first two
By Jackson Wilson
The Carlinville Cavaliers basketball team is improving, but it is still a work in progress.
On Friday, the Cavies had a chance at redemption against the Staunton Bulldogs in a road conference contest. Unfortunately, Carlinville was unable to overcome an early 15-point first quarter outburst from Cylis Cox. The 6’1” sophomore finished with 23 points and six three-pointers, fueling the Dogs to their second win in as many games against their rivals, 55-47.
The next day, Carlinville traveled to Morrisonville to face Edinburg in the opening round of the 2019 Mohawk Classic. The Cavies came out of the gates firing and cruised to their fourth win of the season, 64-33. Jarrett Easterday led the Carlinville charge with 15 points. Will Walton also contributed to the cause with 10. As an added bonus, Drew Jackson made his season debut and scored his first basket of the year in the fourth quarter.
The next round against Vandalia presented a red hot offense that proved to be way too much for the Cavalier defense to handle on that particular day. Blake Morrison (21), Blake Barth (16), Nathan Wells (11) and Mitchell Casey (11) all chalked up double figures for the Vandals in what ended up being a relatively lopsided 71-54 victory. The Cavaliers pulled to within two points near the close of the third, but were outscored 21-6 since. Michael Byots put up 21 points on eight field goals and five free throws in the losing effort. Carlinville falls to 4-11 on the year.
“We made runs. The problem is that we allowed them to make runs as well. Every time we made a run back at them, they closed it,” said Carlinville head coach Alan Cooper.
With very little time to rest up between games this week, Cooper is remaining very optimistic about the future of the basketball program and this year’s Cavalier squad in general.
“We’re starting to look more competitive. We just need to find a way to finish shots and free throws and keep at it. We need to stay together as a team. We just have to come out and battle like we did tonight and knock down a few more shots more consistently,” he added.
The Mohawk Classic will be in session for the remainder of the week. Carlinville will square off against Nokomis at 6:45 p.m. on Friday, followed by Mulberry Grove on Saturday at 5 p.m. Both contests will be held at Morrisonville High School. Next Tuesday, the Cavies will travel to Mt. Olive High School for the first round of the Macoupin County Tournament against Gillespie. Game time is 8 p.m.
Junior Briley Roper (#23) goes up to shoot a basket during the Cavies’ first game in the Morrisonville Tournament on Saturday. Photo by Cory Walton.