Season in review: Carlinville Lady Cavaliers basketball

Season in review: Carlinville Lady Cavaliers basketball

By JACKSON WILSON

Enquirer Democrat Sports Reporter

Heart and hustle are key ingredients when it comes to handling adversity.

Even though they were expected to be slightly undersized, the Carlinville Lady Cavaliers knew plenty of talent was still there and that plenty of unfinished work was to be done in 2018-19. Due to only two seniors returning, Carlinville was a relatively young squad. Furthermore, the Cavies were going to have to weather one of the toughest South Central conference seasons in history. Yet, the girls were determined to make Darrin DeNeve’s 13th head coaching season a lucky and memorable one.

Headlining the senior duo were Rachel Olroyd and Paityn Tieman. Olroyd came into the season as the CHS’ career record holder in 3-point field goals made, with 90. In 2017-18, she had been named second team all-conference. Tieman may not have been the biggest paint player, but she averaged over five rebounds per game during her junior year. Her signature display of intensity and firepower was a major catalyst in igniting several fastbreaks and scoring runs.

“We’re certainly going to miss Rachel and Paityn next year.  I’d like to thank them for their dedication, their energy, and their competitiveness,” said DeNeve.

Contributions also were expected from elite defender Corinne Stewart, 5’9” junior forward Sarah DeNeve, 5’7” sophomore guard Gracie Reels, 5’5” sophomore sharpshooter Eryn Seal, plus junior post players Haley Wills and Elise Baker. In addition, the Cavies were ecstatic to witness the potential and talent of freshman hopeful, Jill Stayton.

After winning four of their first five to open up the season, the Cavaliers were hit with their first major obstacle on Dec. 6 at Litchfield. In the opening minute of the contest, Reels suffered an ankle injury and was forced to sit the bench for three games. This gave Stayton the ultimate opportunity to showcase her rare ability of filling a varsity starter’s role at such a young age. Carlinville went 3-0 in Reels’ absence, with one of those wins coming on the road against powerhouse rival, Pana. Stayton scored 11 points in the victory. Olroyd came through in the clutch for the Cavies as well – tallying 50 total points over the three-game stretch without her sophomore teammate.

Upon Reels’ return, the Lady Cavaliers had momentum like no other. They extended their winning streak to 11 games while capturing their second consecutive Carlinville Holiday Tournament championship in the process. Olroyd, Stewart and Stayton each recieved all-tournament team honors. During the tournament, Olroyd drained her 100th career shot from beyond the arc.

As the calander flipped to 2019, the Lady Cavaliers went cold on the offensive end. They survived Southwestern 36-31 on Jan. 3, but had their streak snapped by Staunton-Mt. Olive 46-39 two nights later. This was only the second loss for Carlinville in 16 games – the first being a 58-57 loss to eventual conference champion Hillsboro on Nov. 29.

The shooting struggles carried over into next week, but Carlinville managed to muster the extra load on defense, holding off East-Alton Wood River and Roxana despite putting up  only 56 points in those two contests combined. About this time, several Cavies had the extra task of battling through ‘cold and flu’ season symptoms. Fortunately, the team was granted six days of rest to prepare for the highly-anticipated Macoupin County Tournament on Jan. 16.

Read the full story in the 2-21-19 edition of the Macoupin County Enquirer~Democrat.

Carlinville senior Paityn Tieman goes up for a jumpshot over a double team during Carlinville’s final game on Feb. 5. Tieman finished with 112 points, 145 rebounds, and 17 steals in her senior season. Enquirer Democrat photo by Jan Dona.

Rachel Olroyd battles her way to the basket during Carlinville’s regional semifinal loss to Southwestern on Feb. 5. Olroyd put up 332 points, assisted on 42 passes, blocked 38 shots and racked up 88 steals during her senior campaign. Enquirer Democrat photo by Jan Dona.