By Jackson Wilson
Enquirer Democrat reporter
In the back-to-back boys basketball docket, Gillespie and North Mack both won last week.
The Miners dropped the hammer on Carlinville in the Big House and North Mac earned a home win in a close battle with Southwestern.
Gillespie 56, Carlinville 33
Carlinville was hoping to build momentum after a win in Carrollton, but came back down to earth on Dec. 16 against Gillespie.
Bryce Buhs quieted the CHS crowd with a trio of three-pointers in the first quarter to help the Miners get off to an early 15-6 lead.
Gillespie put his foot on the gas pedal and extended the lead to double digits at 29-16 going into the locker room.
The Miners continued to apply massive pressure in the third, and the offense continued to click. During that eight-minute stretch, Gillespie held Carlinville to several field goals and scored another 19 points on the other end, making a 13-5 fourth quarter run by CHS completely irrelevant.
Three miners finished in double figures. Buhs led with 14 points. Brian Jubelt added 13 points and Jack Keillor scored 12 points.
Tate Duckels and Matt Dunn scored seven points for the Cavaliers.
With the conference win, Gillespie improved to 2-5 on the season and 1-1 in the South Central League.
Carlinville returned to action the following night and fell to 2-6 with a 54-19 loss to South County. The Cavaliers are 0-2 in the SCC.
North Mac 39, Southwestern 37
North Mack’s offensive woes continued on Dec. 16, but the Panthers still found a way to win over their fans in last year’s Macoupen County Tournament championship game.
North Mac went into halftime down just 11 on Southwestern, but the defense kept the game out of reach. The Panthers trailed by just four at that point, cutting the Piasa Birds’ lead to 27-25 heading into the fourth.
Devin Hickman hit a clutch three and the Panthers came out on top, 39-37.
North Mack, which lost to Southwestern in overtime last season, improved to 6-4 and 2-0 in the SCC.
Southwestern went 1-1 in league play on Dec. 17 with a 52-24 win over Lincolnwood. Piasa birds are 5-6 per year.
In other boys basketball, Greenfield-Northwestern, Staunton and Bunker Hill also won, while Mt. Olive’s losing streak extended to 10 games.
Greenfield-Northwestern continued to set a consistent pace, beating South County 44-39 on Dec. 13 and Calhoun 61-46 on Dec. 16. The Tigers won seven of their first eight games.
Staunton lost a pair of 55-38 losses to Jerseyville on Dec. 13 and to SCC foe Greenville on Dec. 16, but finished the 2022 portion of the regular season strong, handily defeating Lebanon, 60-18, over the weekend. The Bulldogs head into the Carlinville Holiday Tournament with a 4-5 record (0-2 SCC).
Bunker Hill snapped a five-game skid with a 63-58 home win over Calhoun on Dec. 19. The Minutemen, who are also participating in the holiday tournament, are 2-5 overall.
Mount Olive faced a big mismatch against local powerhouse Nokomi on Dec. 16. The Redskins came into MOHS and dominated, 68-28, dropping the Wildcats to 0-10.