Cavies defense propels them to CHT girls' title

Cavies defense propels them to CHT girls’ title

CARLINVILLE (Jan. 4, 2018) – For the first time since 2008, the Carlinville Cavaliers girls’ basketball team have won their own tournament.

That’s following a hard-fought   27-22 victory over Nokomis Friday night in the championship game. It’s the fifth tournament championship for the Cavaliers.

“We guarded really well, not only tonight but last night,” said Carlinville coach Darrin DeNeve. “We’ve got Sydney Bates stopping the other team’s best player and everybody else just grinding it out. Our team defense has been great, our help in the post has been super. We seem to understand each player’s strengths and weaknesses and we’ve really been guarding well.”

Early on, the Cavaliers defense set the tone, with Nokomis unable to get any continuity on the offensive end.

Carlinville built a 10-3 lead behind five points from  Bates, who had a steal and layup to make it 10-3. The defense forced 10 Nokomis turnovers in the first eight minutes.

Nokomis got within 10-7 as the Cavaliers struggled in the second quarter with eight turnovers and missing their first six shots from the field.

Sydney Cania’s three-point hit late in the quarter gave the Cavies a 13-7 halftime lead.

Carlinville again struggled for offense in the third quarter, held without a field goal the entire eight minutes and getting just two free throws with a minute left by Rachel Olroyd.

Nokomis made just one shot in the third quarter themselves, and made three of six free throws, slowly creeping within 13-12 at one point, and setting for being down 15-12 after three quarters.

The offense finally returned for Carlinville in the fourth quarter, getting three-point hits from Cania and Olroyd in gaining a 22-14 lead with 4:26 remaining.

After Nokomis got within 22-18, Corin Stewart hit a rebound basket to make it 24-18, then added free throws with 1:41 left to make it 26-20.

Nokomis had their chances, but could not get critical shots to fall down the stretch. Bates came up with a steal with under 10 seconds left along the sideline, enabling Olroyd to make a late free throw to seal the tournament championship.

“We had 11 girls contribute,” DeNeve said. “All of them at one point did something good. Corin, a sophomore, gave us some really good minutes. She hasn’t played too many varsity minutes, but we always said when called upon, be ready. And tonight, it seemed like a good matchup for her. She’s good against the zone – able to find some openings against the zone and make some smart decisions.”

Olroyd had nine points; Cania six; Bates five; Stewart four and Emma Griffith three points for the Cavies, which made just eight of 27 shots from the field and seven of 15 free throws while committing 27 turnovers but getting the win thanks to the defensive effort.

Nokomis was led by Taylor Lohman with eight points. The Redskins made just seven of 41 from the field and eight of 13 free throws, with 22 turnovers.

Carlinville 32, Staunton 30

In order to play for the championship, the Cavies had to outlast their nemesis, Staunton, avenging a loss to the Bulldogs two weeks earlier.

The teams combined went three for 28 from the field to start the game, and once again the Cavies defense set the tone in leading 7-2 after one quarter after a Bates’ three-point basket.

It was a 9-4 game when Olroyd came up with six points during an 8-0 lead, which included a putback basket by Elise Baker. The 17-4 lead became a 19-7 lead by halftime as Stewart came up with a steal at midcourt and a layup.

Staunton fought their way back into the game, even taking the lead as the Cavaliers missed 16 of 17 shots in the third quarter.

Staunton shot into the lead 23-22 at the end of the third quarter behind hoops from Elizabeth Birdsell and Abby Scanzoni.

Cania opened the fourth quarter with a three-pointer to give them the lead at 25-23.

Hoops from Lexi Egelhoff on a breakaway made it 28-25 and  from Paityn Tieman with 2:23 left made it 30-27.

The game stayed 30-27 as the Cavies missed two free throws inside of a minute remaining. Then Ashleigh Painter was fouled while shooting a three-pointer with 8.5 seconds left. She calmly hit all three free throws to tie the game 30-30.

However, Carlinville’s Griffith would be fouled setting a screen as Olroyd shot a three-point shot as time wound down.

That sent Griffith to the line. She calmly sank both free throws with 2.8 remaining. Staunton could not get off a good shot as time expired. The Cavies prevailed, despite making just 12 of 58 from the field and six of 12 from the line with 19 turnovers.

Olroyd had 11 points; Bates and Tieman four each; Stewart, Cania and Griffith three each; Egelhoff and Baker two each.

Painter had 11 and Scanzoni 10 for Staunton, 12 of 48 from the field, four of 10 at the line with 19 turnovers.

Carlinville 48, EAWR 36

It was not an easy game for the Cavaliers despite what the final score might say. The Cavies struggled at times against the Oilers, but the defense again propelled CHS to victory.

Carlinville at one point in the first half was two of 20 from the field but ahead 12-3.

The Cavies scored the first seven points of the game despite two of 14 from the field and led 10-3 after a quarter.

EAWR did not make a field goal until a Kayla Brantley three-pointer cut the deficit to 12-9.

Carlinville finally got some offense late in the first half. Griffith had a pair of baskets and Natalie Kaganich hit a three-pointer. It would be a 25-13 halftime lead for the Cavies.

The Cavies hit some shots in the third quarter which helped push the lead to 40-25 entering the fourth quarter.

Kaganich hit a pair of shots and Olroyd hit a three-pointer to make it 48-28 in the fourth. EAWR scored the final eight points of the game to make it more respectable at 48-36.

The Cavies made 15 of 57 shots from the field, 14 of 25 free throws with 16 turnovers. Griffith had 13 points; Kaganich added 11; Olroyd eight; Bates seven; Tieman four; Stewart and Cania two each and Jordyn Houseman one point.

Brantley had 10 points for EAWR, which made 11 of 37 shots from the field, 12 of 24 at the foul line with 31 turnovers, 19 of which came in the first half, 11 in the first quarter.

The Carlinville girls basketball team, tournament champions of the Carlinville Holiday Touranment, front row, from left, are: Sydney Cania, Natalie Kaganich, Emma Griffith, Kayla Seal, Taylor Wills and Sydney Bates. Back row: Assistant coach Renee Young, Jordyn Houseman, Elise Baker, Corin Stewart, Lexi Egelhoff, Rachel Olroyd, Paityn Tieman, Sarah DeNeve and head coach Darrin DeNeve

Corin Stewart heads up floor against Nokomis in the second half Friday night.

Emma Griffith of Carlinville is fouled by Nokomis’ Alyssa Huber during a scrum in the second half Friday night.