The Gillespie High School boys’ basketball team edged Staunton 70-52 last night to advance to the title game in the Macoupin County Tournament that will take place in Gillespie tonight at 8 p.m. The young Miner team is familiar with the championship atmosphere after winning the Carlinville Holiday Tournament less than a month ago.
The Miners (#2) will face number 1 seed Southwestern in the championship game who are undefeated in tournament after posting victories over North Mac (55-41) and Carlinville (79-50). The Birds are led by Tyler Rose and Andrew Fry who have combined to score 59 of the team’s 134 points in the tournament.
The young Miner team is familiar with the championship atmosphere after winning the Carlinville Holiday Tournament less than a month ago.
Gillespie 70, Staunton 52
The Miners proved their second half strength once again after outscoring Staunton 24-12 in the fourth quarter to punch their ticket to the championship game. Gillespie trailed Staunton 19-20 at halftime before taking a 6-point lead by the end of the third quarter thanks to a 3-point play by Evan Price as the game clock expired.
Evan finished with 12 while Nick Price led the team with 22 points. Quentin Zenner posted 14 in the matchup. Gillespie shot 87% from the free throw line making 13 of 15 attempts to seal the victory.
Gillespie 57, Bunker Hill 53
Number two seated Gillespie was nearly upset by the number six seed Monday evening after the Miners trailed Bunker Hill 30-34 at halftime. The team overcame the deficit in the third quarter outscoring the Minutemen 13-8 to lead 43-42 heading into the final quarter.
The Miners carried the one-point lead into the fourth quarter and extended their lead to 47-44 with 3:50 left in the game. Gillespie jumped ahead 52-44 nearly 20 seconds later after making 5 of 6 free throw attempts from a Bunker Hill foul and then a double-technical on Bunker Hill. Gillespie’s 76% shooting percentage from the charity line sealed the victory, 57-53.
Gillespie is 13-5 on the season and 9-0 since losing to Greenville back on December 19, 2014.
Gillespie 80, Mt. Olive 38
The host Miners knocked off Mt. Olive on the opening day of the tournament last Saturday, 80-38. The Wildcats posted little fight as Gillespie led 22-9 after the first quarter and later 46-28 at halftime. The Miners grew their lead in the third quarter outscoring Mt. Olive 29-8 to lead 75-36 heading into the fourth quarter.
Gillespie rotated nearly every player in the game against Mt. Olive with 10 of their 13 players posting at least one point. With a continuous clock in the fourth quarter, Gillespie slowed play down and finished with only five points in the quarter.
Nick Price led the team with 18 points, 12 of those points coming from his four three-pointers. Evan Price followed closely with 17 and Quentin Zenner and Blake Hayes each posted 10.
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