GHS girls start season 5-1
Piasa Birds in
By: JACKSON WILSON
Coal Country Times Reporter
The Gillespie High School girls’ varsity basketball team is off to a red hot start in 2019-20.
With a road statement against a heavyweight South Central Conference opponent included, the Miners have hit the ground running with a 5-1 record in their first six games.
Season opener vs. Carrollton
In a game that was evenly-matched from start to finish, Gillespie used a 12-8 second quarter advantage to overtake Carrollton 43-38 in the Nov. 18 season opener.
Shelby Taylor led the Miners in scoring with 14 points.
MacKenzy Mix (10) reached double figures for Gillespie as well.
The junior varsity Miners only shot 25 percent from the field, but still managed a 21-18 win.
The Miners rallied late with a 23-12 fourth quarter surge, but the Explorers made a 19-point lead stick and held on for a 57-49 win Nov. 26.
Marquette Catholic of Alton outscored Gillespie 32-16 in the first half.
Keaton Link chalked up 18 points on eight made field goals for the Miners in defeat.
Taylor added 11 points.
The GHS junior varsity team suffered its first loss of the season, 50-33.
A road tour to remember
To tip off December, Gillespie had to play four consecutive games on the road. The Miners responded to the challenge and walked away victorious in all of them.
GHS came out of the gate on an offensive rampage and put 25 points on the board en route to an 80-68 drubbing of Alton.
Link led the charge for the Miners with 20 points and was backed by the double-figure scoring efforts of Taylor (14), Mix (12) and Grace Bertilino (12).
The junior varsity Miners additionally got back to their winning ways with a 46-36 triumph.
Against all odds, Gillespie rolled into Piasa three days later and opened the South Central Conference campaign by stunning its undefeated rival Southwestern, 51-47.
The Miners fell behind early, but went into halftime with a 21-16 lead after putting together a string of 11 unanswered points.
Gillespie kept its foot on the gas pedal in the third quarter, widening the gap to 36-22 following 3-pointers from leading scorer Mix (12) and Bertilino.
The Piasa Birds gave the Miners a scare down the stretch by cutting a 49-40 deficit to 49-47 in the final minute, but Taylor came through in the clutch and sunk a pair of free throws in the closing seconds to seal the upset.
The junior varsity Miners earned a 36-28 win at Southwestern Dec. 5.
Those scoring for Gillespie included Emily Schoen with 10 points, Regan Bussman nine, Addie Hayes seven, Emmery Pau six and Madison Niemeyer with four.
Gillespie led 16-10 at halftime and 29-21 after three quarters.
At Raymond, Dec. 6, 12 Miners – Taylor (10), Mikala Hayes (nine), Link (eight), Madison Niemeyer (six), Regan Bussmann (five), Bertilino (five), Hannah Barrett (four), Mix (four), Lanie Doty (four), Emily Schoen (two), Emily Schmidt (two) and Sydney Bires (two) – etched their names into the scoring column and boosted GHS to a 61-6 win over Lincolnwood.
The junior varsity Miners defeated Raymond Lincolnwood 32-5 Dec. 6.
At Gateway Academy
The Miner trio of Schmidt (15), Bertilino (13) and Mix (10) combined for 38 points, which was already enough to outscore Gateway Academy in the midst of a 53-27 triumph Dec. 9.
The junior varsity Miners also walked away victorious, 36-32.
GHS will host 5-3 Roxana Dec. 16. Game time is 7 p.m.