Robinson High School's boys' basketball team came away with a second-place finish at the Little Illini Conference Tournament in Lawrenceville after losing the championship game to top-seeded and Class 2A No. 5-ranked Lawrenceville in overtime, 67-60. (Josh Brown photo)
Another regular season of basketball is beginning to wind down, which means it's time to start looking ahead to the postseason.
That starts with girls' basketball, as regionals across the state are set to begin Monday. A pair of Crawford County schools will head west to play each other in one regional, while a third will make a short trip south to begin postseason play.
Winning on the road in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference is never easy, especially when you are taking on a team as hot as the one Lincoln Trail College's men's basketball team faced Wednesday night.
The Statesmen saw their three-game winning streak snapped with a 77-70 loss to a streaking Southwestern Illinois team that has now won 13 straight games. SWIC has now gone two months without a loss, as their last defeat was an 81-75 loss at LTC Dec. 2. With the loss, LTC also fell out of first place and into a tie with SWIC for second place in the league.
It is never pretty for Robinson High School's boys' basketball team, but the end result has been exactly what they want most of the time.
The Maroons, coming off a second-place effort at the Little Illini Conference Tournament last week, struggled a bit offensively, but were able to lock down defensively on their way to picking up a 43-37 win over Salem in non-conference action.
"It has to come down to defense and rebounding for us and that is what won us the game tonight," RHS head coach Mack Thompson said.
For the second time in less than a week, Hutsonville-Palestine and Martinsville's boys' basketball teams squared off in Martinsville.
And for the fourth time this season, the Tigers picked up a win over the Bluestreaks.
The latest came Tuesday, as Hutsonville-Palestine ran away from Martinsville for a 70-41 win in Little Okaw Valley Conference Southeast Division play. It was the fourth win this season for the Tigers, as they previously defeated the Bluestreaks in a non-conference contest, at the Tri-County Holiday Tournament and in LOVC Southeast Division play.
One bad quarter proved to be the difference for Oblong High School's girls's basketball team Tuesday.
In a game played at Oblong Elementary School due to the boys also having a home game, the Lady Panthers hung with visiting Lawrenceville for a half, but fell apart in the third quarter, resulting in a 63-39 loss in the non-conference contest.
"The girls played pretty good for one half," OHS head coach Mike Johnson said. "We live and die by the three-point shot and it kept us in the game. In the second half, Lawrenceville extended that defense out and shut our shooting down on the outside. We kept trying to hit from the perimeter instead of driving in and it killed us. They had two big girls that finally just wore us down."
Opportunities were there for Oblong High School's girls' basketball team Monday night, but they struggled to cash in.
The Lady Panthers fought and scrapped to stay in Monday night's non-conference game against visiting Red Hill, but came up just short in a 39-36 loss, spoiling Senior Night at OHS.
"We've come a long way since the beginning of the season, but some of the little things we're not doing are costing us," OHS head coach Mike Johnson said. "We were close tonight, but just couldn't get over that hump."