CLASS 3A REGIONAL GAMES
➜ Centennial 18, Urbana 3. The third-seeded Chargers wasted little time asserting themselves en route to a four-inning regional semifinal win on their home field. Max Singer went 3 for 4 with five RBI as Centennial (13-13) led 11-0 after two innings. Danny Lack (3 for 3, three RBI, four runs scored), Tyler McClure (1 for 1, two RBI, three runs scored, three stolen bases) and Seth Gossett (2 for 3, three runs scored, four stolen bases, RBI) all caused problems for the sixth-seeded Tigers (3-17). Brody Stonecipher struck out six in picking up the win and helping Centennial advance to a 5 p.m. regional championship game at No. 2 Mahomet-Seymour on Monday. Hayden Hartley went 2 for 2 with two RBI to lead Urbana.
➜ Mahomet-Seymour 16, Decatur Eisenhower 0. The second-seeded Bulldogs used opportunistic offense and strong pitching to ease into hosting a regional championship game at 5 p.m. on Monday against Centennial with a four-inning win in a regional semifinal game. M-S (14-10) took an 8-0 lead in the first inning thanks to a three-run home run by Nate McFall and a two-run home run by Mateo Casillas before Blake Wolters closed the opening inning with an RBI triple. Wolters and Will Sampson each finished 2 for 3 with two RBI and two runs scored, while Casillas wound up with three RBI. M-S recorded 10 of its 12 outs on strikeouts as Zach Courson struck out seven in 2 2/3 innings pitched and Brayden Houchin struck out three in 1 1/3 innings of relief. The duo combined on a one-hitter.
➜ Rantoul 10, Danville 0. The fourth-seeded Eagles ended an 11-game losing streak in convincing fashion, advancing to Monday’s 6 p.m. regional championship game against top-seeded Champaign Central (21-9) at Spalding Park in the process. Rantoul (3-14) scored six runs in the bottom of the fifth to end the regional semifinal game via the 10-run rule against the fifth-seeded Vikings (1-15). Colin Wilkerson went 2 for 2 with an RBI and two runs scored to pace the Eagles, while Bryce Sjoken went 2 for 3 with an RBI out of the leadoff spot. Jaxson Freeman added two RBI as Drew Duden, Caden Evans and Andrew Tatar also chipped in with an RBI. Freeman threw a two-hit shutout, striking out seven, with Dylan Brown and Zack Simmons only managing singles for Danville.
CLASS 2A REGIONAL GAMES
➜ Monticello 12, Unity 2. Fourth-seeded Unity struck first, but fifth-seeded Monticello steadily pulled away until a big seventh inning sealed the regional semifinal win for the Sages in Tolono. The Sages (14-5) scored six runs in the top of the seventh to secure their 10th consecutive win and a spot in Monday’s regional title game at 4:30 p.m. at top-seeded Maroa-Forsyth. Joey Sprinkle hit two home runs for Monticello and finished 3 for 5 with three RBI. Triston Foran added a capable bat out of the No. 1 spot in the lineup, going 2 for 4 with a double and four RBI. Hunter Williams (2 for 2, two RBI, two runs scored), Jacob Trusner (2 for 3) and Jack Buckalew (2 for 5) added to the 15-hit collection by the Sages. Buckalew tossed a complete game for Monticello, only allowing two hits and striking out 11. Unity (13-8) scored two runs in the bottom of the first on aggressive base-running from Dillon Rutledge and Damian Knoll, but that’s all the offense the Rockets could muster as Tyler Hensch went 2 for 3 to account for both of Unity’s hits.
➜ Oakwood 14, Westville 13. A high-scoring regional semifinal game in Oakwood saw the fourth-seeded Comets pull out a dramatic victory. With one out in the bottom of the seventh inning and the game tied at 13, Oakwood’s Brady Howard was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to bring in Jacob Spear for the game-winning run in a walk-off win. Westville (6-9) had a 12-6 lead after 4 1/2 innings before Oakwood rattled off seven runs in the bottom of the fifth to take a 13-12 lead after a two-out, two-run single from Dalton Hobick. Hobick finished 3 for 5 with two runs scored and two stolen bases out of the leadoff spot for the Comets (14-9), who advance to play at top-seeded St. Joseph-Ogden (30-2) at 4:30 p.m. on Monday in the regional championship game. Aside from Hobick, Koby Fletcher (3 for 4, two RBI), Isaiah Ruch (3 for 3, three runs scored), Josh Young (2 for 5, two RBI) and Spear (2 for 3, three runs scored) all had multi-hit games for Oakwood. Drew Wichtowski led the Tigers by going 3 for 3 with three RBI, while teammates Landen Haurez (2 for 4, two RBI), Bryce Burnett (1 for 4, three RBI), Cade Schaumburg (1 for 5, two RBI) and Luke Johnson (2 for 3, two runs scored) all had timely hits.
➜ St. Joseph-Ogden 9, Marshall 1. Two athletes with ties to the University of Illinois helped pitch the top-seeded Spartans into a regional title game on Monday. SJ-O (30-2) extended its win streak to 18 games with a regional semifinal triumph in St. Joseph. Crayton Burnett, signed to pitch next season for Dan Hartleb’s Illinois baseball team, and Ty Pence, who received an offer to play basketball for Brad Underwood’s Illinois men’s basketball team this week, combined on a one-hitter. Burnett started and struck out seven in four innings, while Pence struck out six in three innings of relief. Isaiah Immke led the offense for the Spartans — who host Oakwood (14-9) at 4:30 p.m. on Monday in the regional championship game — by going 3 for 3 with an RBI, while Burnett hit a two-home run, Pence tripled and Andrew Beyers went 2 for 4 with an RBI.
➜ Shelbyville 2, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 1. The seventh-seeded Falcons nearly pulled an upset on the road against the second-seeded Rams, but had to head home with their season finished. Braden Roesch threw a gem for GCMS (8-10), striking out nine and giving up only one earned run on four hits in six innings as Shelbyville broke a scoreless tie with two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Hunter Brewer hit a solo home run with two outs in the top of the sixth to account for the only run by the Falcons as Kellan Fanson had the other hit for GCMS.
➜ Tuscola 14, Bismarck-Henning/Rossville-Alvin 6. The sixth-seeded and visiting Warriors picked an opportune time to post their second-highest run total of the season. Tuscola (11-7) overcame five errors by rattling off 18 hits in earning a regional semifinal triumph that saw the Warriors score at least one run in six of the seven innings, including a six-run outburst in the top of the fourth that changed a 4-4 game into a 10-4 lead for the visitors. Colton Musgrave led the offensive output for Tuscola by going 5 for 5 with two RBI, two runs scored and a stolen base. Five of his teammates had at least two hits, with Easton Cunningham (2 for 5, three RBI), Caden Baer (2 for 4, two RBI), Patrick Pierce (2 for 4, two RBI), Dalton Addis (2 for 6, two RBI) and Ben Tiezzi (2 for 6) all joining in on the fun. Peyton Armstrong also chipped in two RBI as the Warriors advanced to play at No. 2 Paris at 4:30 p.m. on Monday in a regional title game. The third-seeded Blue Devils (14-7) received two RBI apiece from Dawson Dodd (2 for 3) and Weston Strawser (1 for 3, three runs scored), but it wasn’t enough.
CLASS 1A REGIONAL GAMES
➜ Armstrong-Potomac 6, Cissna Park 2. Facing a 1-0 deficit after three innings, the host Trojans pushed across two runs in the fourth and three more in the fifth, supplying all the offense they’d need in securing a regional semifinal win in Potomac. Gavin Parkerson started and went five innings for A-P (8-11), only allowing two hits and overcoming six walks to record all 15 of hits outs via strikeouts. Gary Jones and Nathan Rogers each went 2 for 4 with an RBI hitting out of the top two spots in the Trojans’ lineup as fourth-seeded A-P moves on to play top-seeded Milford at 4:30 p.m. on Monday in a regional championship game. Mason Blanck went 2 for 2 with an RBI and a double for the fifth-seeded Timberwolves (8-11), while Ian Rogers also drove in a run.
➜ LeRoy 10, Heyworth 0. The second-seeded Panthers advanced to a regional championship game for the seventh straight season with a six-inning home win in regional semifinal action. Logan Petersen struck out 16 in throwing a two-hit shutout for LeRoy (20-6), which will host third-seeded Warrensburg-Latham at 4:30 p.m. on Monday. Mason Buckles hit two home runs and finished with four RBI to lead LeRoy’s offense as Jaron Pinkerton added a three-run home run and Porter Conn had a solo home run.
➜ St. Thomas More 11, Donovan 4. The third-seeded Sabers’ bats woke up under the lights on their home field, with STM (9-12) scoring at least one run in every inning but one and collecting 17 hits during its regional semifinal victory. Patrick Quarnstrom went 2 for 4 with two RBI, Matt DeLorenzo went 3 for 4 with two doubles, Cooper Hannagan went 3 for 5 with an RBI, Noah Eyman went 2 for 3 with a triple and an RBI, while Ryan Hendrickson (2 for 4, RBI) and Blake Staab (2 for 3) all added multi-hit games. The Sabers, who will host seventh-seeded Salt Fork for a regional championship on Monday, also received two RBI from Adam Price.
➜ Salt Fork 13, Iroquois West 7. The seventh-seeded Storm (4-11) posted its second double-digit run total in as many postseason games and came away with a regional semifinal win against the second-seeded Raiders (8-6) on their home field. Blake Norton struck out nine in five innings and went 3 for 5 with a home run and four RBI to spark Salt Fork, which will play at No. 3 St. Thomas More (9-12) at 4:30 p.m. on Monday in a regional championship game. Matthew Crawford (2 for 4, two RBI), Aaron Dean (2 for 4, two RBI) and Derek Richards (2 for 4) complemented Norton’s breakout game.
CLASS 1A REGIONAL GAMES
➜ Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond 9, Salt Fork 0. Top-seeded Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond relied on another superb pitching performance from Tulsa signee Makenzie Brown to collect its 14th straight win and a regional title in the process. Brown struck out 18 in throwing a two-hit shutout and also went 2 for 3 at the plate for the Knights (18-3), who advanced to host Meridian at 4:30 p.m. next Tuesday in a sectional semifinal game. Alisha Frederick drove in three runs for ALAH, while Regann Bowles (2 for 3, RBI) and Cheyenne Chupp (2 for 4, RBI) also contributed. Kendyl Hurt and Mackenzie Russell each had a hit for fifth-seeded Salt Fork (9-11).
➜ Meridian 17, Blue Ridge 0. The sixth-seeded Blue Knights (13-5) could not keep their season going and also saw their three-game win streak end with a lopsided loss in the regional title game in Macon.
In girls’ soccer
CLASS 2A SECTIONAL MATCH
➜ Mahomet-Seymour 12, Danville 0. The host and top-seeded Bulldogs cruised to a home win, setting up a sectional semifinal match at 5 p.m. next Tuesday against Rochester. Cayla Koerner established a new single-season record for goals by connecting on her 44th during the match for the Bulldogs (15-2).
CLASS 1A SECTIONAL MATCH
➜ St. Thomas More 2, Uni High 1. Second-seeded St. Thomas More needed overtime, but the host Sabers came away with a sectional quarterfinal triumph thanks to a late overtime goal by Marybeth Franey. Franey scored the game-winner for STM (7-4-2) with 50 seconds left in the second overtime period against the third-seeded Illineks (8-6-1). Tatum DeVriese assisted on Franey’s game-winner, with Bridget DeLorenzo scoring STM’s first goal. The Sabers advance to play at Herscher next Tuesday in a sectional semifinal match. Olivia Taylor scored the lone goal for Uni High and Raneem Saadah made 13 saves.
In boys’ track and field
➜ At Watseka. Paxton-Buckley-Loda won the six-team Last Chance Relays, with the Panthers compiling five first-place finishes en route to 88 points, six more than runner-up Prairie Central. Mason Medlock won the long jump for PBL with a leap of 20 feet, 4 1/2 inches, while Ryder James took the 1,600-meter run in 4 minutes, 44.90 seconds and teammate Ashton Goss won the 3,200 in 11:38.53. The Panthers also won the 400 relay in 46.66, with Landon Daniels, Benjamin Schmidt, Tyler Smith and Zac Jayne teamming up for the victory, and the same quartet also won the 800 relay in 1:37.22. Prairie Central received a win from Dylan Bazzell in the high jump (6-2 3/4), while Wateska, which tied for third with Bismarck-Henning/Rossville-Alvin after both schools finished with 62 points, won three field events. Tylor Durflinger took first in the shot put (43-5) and the discus (115-7), while Jordan Schroeder won the triple jump (38-4 3/4). BHRA won the 1,600 relay with a combination of Eli Mojonnier, Emerson Thorlton, Murphy McCool and Isiah Tidwell crossing the finish line in 3:37.09, and Mojonnier also won the 800 in 1:56.44.
In girls’ track and field
CLASS 1A TUSCOLA SECTIONAL
➜ Williams thrives. Alyssa Williams finished first in three different events and ran on a state-qualifying relay, leading Tuscola to a runner-up finish at its owns 15-team sectional. Williams will compete at the state meet in Charleston next Thursday in the 100-meter dash, 200 and long jump after she won all three. She took first in the 100 in 12.14 seconds and first in the 200 in 25.78 while soaring to a leap of 18 feet, 33/4 inches in the long jump. Tuscola will also have its 800 relay run at state after Williams, Mia Hausmann, Brynn Tabeling and Laney Cummings placed second in 1:50.21. Argenta-Oreana’s Heidi Heldt qualified for state in two running events by winning the 800 (2:25.22) and the 1,600 (5:41.43). Madie Burwell of Villa Grove won the discus with a toss of 113-10, and Villa Grove’s 3,200 relay team of Emma Buessing, Kyleigh Price, Madison Logan and Hailey Stutz will join Burwell in Charleston after they finished second in 11:45.01. Zoe Walton of Sullivan won a sectional title in the high jump (5-1 3/4).
In boys’ tennis
CLASS 1A DANVILLE SECTIONAL
➜ Brauns pace Chargers. Centennial has the team lead after the first day of play at Danville Tennis Center, with Max Braun and James Braun leading the Chargers. Max Braun advanced to the semifinals in singles play by posting consecutive 6-0, 6-0 wins against Trenton King of Charleston and Aryan Sachdev of Uni High. He’ll face Urbana’s Bill Layton in the semifinals on Saturday after Layton defeated Dalton Hagley of Bismarck-Henning/Rossville-Alvin 6-1, 6-0 and John Pelafos of Champaign Central 6-2, 6-0. Two other area individuals will meet in the other semifinal after Uni High’s Lucas Wood defeated Urbana’s Lucas Reel 6-0, 6-1 and Centennial’s Chris Sarol 7-5, 6-0. Wood will square off against Charles Ludwig of Scharlman. Ludwig beat Champaign Central’s Lalilt Gurrapu 6-2, 6-2 and Charleston’s Ashton Fifield 6-2, 6-2 to reach the semifinals. In doubles play, James Braun and Lino Jo of Centennial are into the semifinals after completing two straight 6-0, 6-0 wins in their first two matches against teams from Paris and Uni High. They’ll take on the Charleston duo of Vince DiNaso and Adam Rudibaugh in the semifinals. The other doubles semifinal will feature two area teams against one another, with Champaign Central’s Brayden Helfer and Ezra Bernhard, along with Uni High’s Zachary Donnini and Arav Jagroop reaching this stage. Helfer and Bernhard only dropped one game in their two wins, while Donnini and Jagroop won their first two matches 6-0, 6-0 against pairings from St. Thomas More and Schlarman.
➜ At St. Joseph. St. Joseph-Ogden defeated Clinton 24-23, but lost 42-18 to Cumberland in a home triangular. Conrad Miller at 170 pounds recorded a pin in only 36 seconds for the Spartans against Clinton, while Bryson Helfrich also came through with a pin at 182 against the Maroons. Helfrich had the lone pin for SJ-O in its loss to Cumberland, coming through with one in only 38 seconds at 182. SJ-O’s Dakota Pinaire at 126 and Owen Birt at 195 also had wins against Cumberland.