Hillsman delivers again as Sabers earn title shot
\MONTICELLO — When he sits back and thinks about it, St. Thomas More coach James Kinney realizes he shouldn't be counting on Jaycee Hillsman to come through in the clutch as often as he does.
But Hillsman is so good, the Sabers coach can't help but turn to his sophomore.
Hillsman, a 6-foot-4 guard, scored 25 points in St. Thomas More's 65-44 win against Tuscola to start the day at the Sages Holiday Hoopla then scored 24 more in a 62-52 win against Ridgeview that moved the Sabers (8-2) to 3-0 in the tournament. St. Thomas More will play Mount Zion in today's championship game.
"The thing I see from Jaycee is he just keeps getting better," Kinney said. "I think some of us are starting to become dependent on him. When we really need big shots, I'm just as guilty of it as the rest of us, we look to Jaycee to get those open looks and knock them down. He came through. He's really worked hard on his shot."
Hillsman has scored 62 points in three tournament games, tied for second best in the field.
"That just shows his upside is just tremendous, just being a 15-year-old kid out there playing with 17- and 18-year-olds," Kinney said.
"It just says a lot about what the future has to hold for this young man."
Cortez King added 15 points and 10 rebounds for St. Thomas More against Ridgeview. Kevin Carroll added eight points, five assists and three steals.
Host Monticello beat Blue Ridge 72-46 and will play Sangamon Valley for third place. Ryan Donohue scored 19 points, Isaac Bales added 14 and Daly O'Brien dished out seven asissts to lead the Sages.
Blue Ridge was led by Will Duggins' 16 points. The Knights will play Ridgeview for fifth place.
Tuscola, which will play for seventh place against Neoga, got 21 points from Philip Meyer and 20 from Dustin Haake in two games Wednesday.