CARROLLTON — The rematch proved to be a repeat for the Calhoun High Warriors.
And the Civic Memorial Eagles weren’t fond of the rerun.
Calhoun bopped CM, 63-46, on Saturday night to win the 42nd annual Carrollton Girls' Basketball Invitational and successfully defend its title. The Warriors also beat the Eagles in last year’s championship game. In 2014, CM defeated Calhoun in the finals.
“We played a good game and I’m extremely happy about it,” Calhoun coach Aaron Baalman said. “Tonight was a good representation of what we can do. It was a great game.”
The Warriors improved to 22-2 in defeating the Eagles for the second time this season. CM fell to 16-9.
“Their role players stepped up in the first quarter and we couldn’t hit our shots,” CM coach Jonathan Denney said. “It seemed like the basket had a lid on it.”
Elsewhere, Winchester West Central beat Lebanon, 57-49, for third place and 19-6 Brussels defeated North Greene, 48-43, for fifth place.
Emma Baalman of Calhoun earned the tournament MVP award. She scored 18 points and snagged 12 rebounds in the championship game. Teammates Grace Baalman (18 points and 13 rounds) and Kassidy Klocke (11 points) also were named to the all-tourney team.
So were CM’s Allie Troeckler and Katelyn Turbyfill, Baylee Kiel of Brussels, Addaya Moore of Granite City, Krista Bass of Lebanon, Mackenzie Thurston of Jersey, plus Annika Kaufmann and Sydney Rock of West Central.
A full house of nearly 1,200 fans saw Calhoun start quickly against CM and maintain its advantage while building on it. Guard Madison Lehr scored all 8 of her points in the first quarter as the Warriors shot in front, 16-11.
“We told her before the game to let it fly,” Baalman said, “and she set the tone for the game. We also played pretty good defense.”
Troeckler’s 21 points paced CM, but the Eagles, seeing their five-game winning streak end, didn’t possess their best shooting touch. They made 14 of 49 shots — or 29 percent — and that included 6 of 27 shooting the first half when they trailed 31-22. Journey Coffman’s 9 points, resulting from a trio of treys, complemented Troeckler’s scoring. Calhoun, meanwhile, connected on 27 of 51 shots, or 53 percent.
“We didn’t do a lot of the little things correctly,” Denney said. “And big things won’t happen for you if you don’t do the little things. I thought we did a great job on Klocke, but the Baalamn girls abused us.
“For some reason, we didn’t box enough and they got all of the rebounds. Our weak-side rebounding was pitiful.”
Despite their inconsistent shooting, the Eagles closed to within 31-25 on a Coffman 3-pointer early in the third quarter. Yet they never could narrow that deficit.
Calhoun extended its lead to 37-28 and then went on a 13-0 spree to grab a 22-point lead. CM couldn’t counter that binge. The Warriors also enjoyed a 13-0 spurt in the second quarter to offset a 7-0 Eagle run.
“We got it down to 9 points and then 6 points, but then they (Warriors) ran free after that,” Denney said. “Give Calhoun credit. They really played well and they played to their strengths. What we have to do is forget about tonight and move forward.”
The Eagles resume Mississippi Valley Conference play Monday when they entertain Waterloo. They also go to Triad on Thursday in another Valley game.
“We made it to the championship game here and we have to take what we did well in the tournament and build on it,” Denney said. “We did a lot of good things.”
However, Calhoun did more in going 4-0 and outscoring its opponents by 136 points. The Warriors appear poised to make a spirited bid for the Class 1A IHSA title after they finished second to Moweaqua Central A&M last season.
“It’s a great win for our program and I talked to the players about going out and having fun,” Baalman said. “We had fun tonight. But we are just taking things one game at a time.”
Denney noted, “That’s probably the best game they have played against us. I hope they go and win the state championship.”
CALHOUN 63, CM 46
CM 11 11 8 16 — 46
Calhoun 16 15 19 13 — 63
CM (16-9) — Allie Troeckler 21, Journey Coffman 9, Kaylee Eaton 5, Katelyn Turbyfill 4, Alaira Tyus 4, Annika Ochs 3. 2FG-8 3FG-6 FT-12 PF-15
Calhoun (22-2) — Grace Baalman 18, Kassidy Klocke 11, Emma Baalman 18, Sydney White 4, Madison Lehr 8, Junie Zirkelbach 2, Jordan Holland 2. 2FG-23 3FG-3 FT-6 PF-16