CARBONDALE -- New Madrid County Central knocked off the top seed in the Carbondale Holiday Tournament Friday, 85-59. The Eagles played DuQuoin in Saturday's Class A championship. Results will be in Monday's paper.
"We're very excited," said NMCC coach Joby Holland after Friday's game. "It was a big win for us, the kids really came to play."
Cairo came into the game with a 12-0 record, and was the top ranked small school in Southern Illinois. The Eagles, who were seeded fifth in the field of eight teams, improved to 7-0 with the victory.
"The guys have really been clicking and working well together," said Holland. "We had five kids today in double figures, so the wealth is being spread around. There are times when Dereke (Tipler) has to step up and do a little more, but other people are stepping up too. Everybody is contributing. To this point, this has been an awful good tournament for us."
Tipler led all scorers with 22 points, pulling down eight rebounds with nine assists. Center Derrell Minner also had a huge game, scoring 18 with 13 boards. Terrance Smith scored 15, Brian Murph added 14 and Ronland Ranson contributed 12. "I was really pleased with Derrell Minner today," said Holland. "He hit the boards extremely well. Brian Murph had another solid day for us, and is really coming into his own. A lot of the time, Dereke had three guys on him. He had to work hard to get the ball down the floor to enable us to do the things we needed to do."
NMCC had an exceptional first half, jumping out to a commanding 50-19 lead on their highly-touted adversaries. "We did a good job of blocking out in the first half and pretty much limited them to one shot per trip," explained Holland. "On the offensive end we attacked the basket, and fortunately, we hit a lot of our shots in the first half."
The Eagles shot 54 percent from the field and 81 percent from the foul line while Cairo hit just 34 percent from the floor and 39 percent from the charity stripe.
Roman Wright led the Pilots with 13 points and Anthony Williams contributed 12.
Six-foot-9 monster Brian Algee scored 30 points and Mike Gavic added 16 as Herrin eliminated Steeleville from the tournament with a 62-44 win in the Class A consolation bracket.
Herrin was in the zone, hitting 67 percent of their shots while their defense forced 25 turnovers.
Kory Reitz paced Steeleville with 12 points, followed by Jeff Mulholland with 11.
After a horrendous shooting performance in the first round, Obion County found its stroke again Friday against Salem in the Class AA consolation bracket.
Zach Underwood hit four 3-pointers for 12 points and Dwayne Ware added 14 as the Rebels rolled to a 61-49 victory. Devin Polanski led all Salem scorers with 17 points, followed by Donny Sager with 10.
Chicago's Kenwood Academy rebounded from their first round loss to beat Marion in the Class AA consolation bracket, 70-50.
Lorenzo Mitchel scored 17 points, Bryant Peoples added 16 and Kendal Patterson contributed 11 as Kenwood improved to 9-1 on the year.
Greg Behm paced Marion with nine points. The Wildcats hit just 32 percent of their shots in the loss.
Mt. Vernon knocked off the top seed in the AA bracket, beating Mandarin, of Jacksonville, Fla., 58-47.
Parker Creel, son of head coach Doug Creel, played a perfect game. He was 4-for-4 from the floor, 3-for-3 behind the 3-point line, and 5-for-5 from the free throw line to finish with 16 points.
As a team the Rams were scorching hot, hitting 77 percent of their shots, turning the ball over just five times all game. Dereas Moore led all Mt. Vernon scorers with 22 points and Jason Harrison contributed 10.
Joe Winters and Gibran Washington paced Mandarin with 13 each.
In the Class A bracket semifinals, DuQuoin defeated Pinckneyville 61-59.
Illinois' defending small school state champs had no answer for Nick Hill, who poured in a game-high 35 points. Ray Jones was also productive for DuQuoin, scoring 11.
Jason Houghland led Pinckneyville with 59, followed by Gideon Hutchraft with 11.
Carbondale defeated Murphysboro in the AA bracket semifinals, 62-48. Maurice Gibbs scored 19 points, followed by Justin Dentman with 15 and Jashun Spearman with 14.
Thomas House led all Murphysboro scorers with 20.