Gillespie fans are preparing for a unique experience tonight, February 10, as three of the district’s basketball teams have momentous games scheduled this evening and fans are split between which event to attend.
MIDDLE SCHOOL BOYS BASKETBALL
In the opening night of the IESA Class 8-3A Sectionals, the eighth grade Gillespie Middle School boys’ basketball team (19-4) will continue to defend last year’s state title as they face off against Greenville (19-2) at Auburn Junior High School at Divernon with play starting at 6:30 p.m.
After receiving a bye to start their regional run last week, the team defeated Auburn Junior High 45-27 in the semifinals and then knocked down White Hall North Greene 52-33 in the regional championship last Thursday.
The winner of tonight’s battle will face the winner of the Sectional 5 contest between Farmington Central and Mossville in the opening round of the Class 3A State Tournament at Tolono Unity JHS that opens this Saturday, February 13.
HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS BASKETBALL
The no. 4 ranked Gillespie Lady Miners (17-9) face a rematch in the opening round of regionals with the Greenville Comets just 13 days after the regular season meeting. If the first battle was any indication how tonight’s game will be, it will be one you won’t want to miss.
Gillespie won that one 52-44 with the game being played on their home court. Tonight’s game will be played on neutral grounds in Piasa with a game time of 7:30 p.m. The winner of tonight’s game will advance to the regional championship tomorrow, Feb. 11, at 7 p.m.
The Lady Miners are playing their best basketball since 2002 with only one senior in the starting rotation – 5’9” senior Bailey Jarman. After placing third in the Macoupin County Tournament 18 days ago, the team is 3-1 with victories over Nokomis (47-40), Greenville and Carlinville (53-41) and a tough loss to Litchfield (42-47).
HIGH SCHOOL BOYS BASKETBALL
The closest game for Miners fans will be senior night for the high school boys’ basketball team. Gillespie (15-9) is hosting Calhoun in their last home game of the regular season and is coming off a 90-86 victory over Pana last Friday.
The Miners are saying goodbye to seven senior players on this year’s roster including Josh Balzraine, Sam Barylske, Eli Fox, Blake Hayes, Alex Myers, Evan Price and Colin Tieman. The team has two remaining games on the regular schedule next week, a match-up against Bunker Hill on Tuesday and a dual against Staunton on Friday, before starting regionals the following week.
Play will begin after a brief senior night ceremony, which starts immediately after the 6 o’clock junior varsity contest.
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