Wednesday's highlights: Centennial boys, girls win tourney openers
In boys’ basketball
State Farm Classic
Centennial 62, Plainfield South 22. Michael Finke scored 22 points and Dedric Byrd added 11 as the Chargers (11-2) overpowered Plainfield South in a first-round game in the Large School Division at Normal West. Centennial, which has a seven-game winning streak, received two three-pointers from Finke and one from Jeffrey Lavin.
“We played pretty well defensively and controlled the boards,” Centennial coach Tim Lavin said.
Finke, Kasey Elam-Carter and Luke Vaughn all had six rebounds for the Chargers. Elam-Carter, a 6-foot-6 junior who has earned more playing time in recent games, also had eight points and two blocked shots.
Hononegah 53, Mahomet-Seymour 37. The Bulldogs were outscored in every quarter and dropped into the consolation bracket of the Large School Division. Sam Hohlfelder led M-S (3-8) with 13 points. Connor Diedrich added 10 points. They combined to make all five of the team’s three-pointers. Diedrich had a team-high four rebounds. M-S is without scoring leader Brad Herrmann, a senior who is likely sidelined for the season with a broken ankle suffered in a recent practice.
Prairie Central 60, St. Joseph-Ogden 53. Addison Bounds led the Hawks with 20 points as they ended St. Joseph-Ogden’s seasonlong winning streak at nine games. PC, which had four double-digit scorers, is 7-3. Brent Schluter led the Spartans (9-1) with a game-high 21 points. He was 7 of 7 from the free throw line. Teammate Nate Michael had 12 points and two of SJ-O’s four three-pointers.
Tri-Valley 45, St. Thomas More 41. The Sabers (6-3) were unable to hold onto a lead they held after each of the first three quarters at the Shirk Center and dropped into the consolation bracket of the Small School Division. Kyler Jones led St. Thomas More with nine points. Joshua Koerner added seven, including his team’s only three-pointer. Tri-Valley outscored STM 16-11 in the final quarter.
St. Mel 62, Cissna Park 37. Alex Rabe scored 14 points and Cole Hasselbring had 13 for the Timberwolves (6-3), who scored 14 of their points in the Small School Division game from the free throw line. Rabe and Hasselbring teamed up to make 12 of 17 free throw attempts. Beau Anderson hit two three-pointers for Cissna Park.
Taylorville 76, Rantoul 35. Talon Hardin scored 10 points and Waylin Williams grabbed five rebounds for Rantoul, which allowed the Tornadoes (6-2) to score at least 20 points in each of the first three quarters. Greg Morrow added seven points for Rantoul. The Eagles (4-7) had four players hit three-pointers. Hardin had two. Rantoul was 4 of 11 from the free throw line.
Tremont 76, LeRoy 66. The Panthers hit 10 three-point shots in regulation but were outscored 12-2 in overtime of a first-round game against the Turks. Cole Pliura hit four treys and scored a team-high 18 points for LeRoy (5-7). Nick Aupperle (two treys) and Dalton Stewart (two treys) scored 15 and 14 points, respectively.
Heyworth 63, Sullivan 47. Andy Brown scored 10 points and Nick Frerichs added nine for Sullivan (3-6), which trailed by four points at halftime in a first-round loss to the Hornets.
PORTA 60, Clinton 24. The Maroons (3-9) dropped into the consolation bracket following a first-round loss.
In girls’ basketball
State Farm Classic
Centennial 65, Metamora 42. Chelsea Cross scored 15 points, Stacia Simmons had 14 and Katelynn Martinez 11 as the second-seeded Chargers (11-2) topped Metamora at U.S. Cellular Coliseum.
Centennial put up 19 first-quarter points. “Zsayla Brummett came off the bench to score eight points and help us get off to a nice start,” said Centennial coach Susan Thomas, whose team is seeded second in the Large School Division.
Simmons scored eight of her points in the third quarter as the Chargers expanded their lead.
“We weren’t as sharp or as quick as we need to be,” Thomas said, “but we didn’t make many sloppy mistakes, and we were able to force them into some turnovers.”
Cross led the Chargers with eight rebounds. Martinez had four assists and three steals.
St. Thomas More 63, Camp Point Central/Southeastern 23. Randa Harshbarger scored a game-high 20 points and also had nine steals and seven assists as the top-seeded Sabers scored enough points in the first half at Normal Community to win their first-round game in the Small School Division and extend their winning streak to nine. Jade Brinkoetter and Lexi Wallen each added 10 points for STM (12-1), which forced 27 turnovers. Freshman Tori McCoy led St. Thomas More with eight rebounds.
Brimfield 55, St. Joseph-Ogden 44. Bailey Trimble hit three three-point shots and joined Ashley Beals as 13-point scorers for the Spartans (10-2), who led after each of the first three quarters.
Teammate Ashley Landis added 10 points and nailed two three-pointers. Beals had nine rebounds and six blocked shots.
Pana 57, Prairie Central 55. Gabby Weber scored 19 points and Laura Crane added 15, but Prairie Central (6-5) could not overcome an eight-point halftime deficit and fell into the consolation bracket of the Small School Division with a loss to the Panthers.