Deion Lavender put his signature on Marquette Catholic’s thrilling boys basketball win Wednesday night.
The 6-foot-4 senior hit two free throws in the closing moments to give the 19-6 Explorers a 39-38 victory at Waterloo Gibault.
Lavender scored 29 points and shouldered the load in front of a big crowd, including Southern Illinois University Carbondale coach Barry Hinson. The Salukis are interested in recruiting Lavender, who is averaging 25.5 points per game.
Marquette, which walloped Kincaid South Fork on Tuesday in a Prairie State Conference game, welcomes rugged 19-6 Breese Central on Friday. Then it’s on to postseason play in the five-team Triad Class 3A Regional. Highland, Jersey, Civic Memorial and the host Knights are also cast in it.
The winner advances to the Highland Sectional.
Carrollton 64, Greenfield 52 – The Hawks clinched the Western Illinois Valley Conference championship with a win over visiting Greenfield.
Luke Palan (19 points) and Cody Leonard (17 points) led Carrollton, which shot ahead 28-16 by halftime and never looked back.
The Hawks are seeded second behind Madison in next week’s Bunker Hill Class 1A Regional. Greenfield is the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Jacksonville Routt Regional. Both of those regional winners feed into the Okawville Sectional.
Oilers, Cavs hold regionals – East Alton-Wood River and Carlinville will play host to Class 2A regionals next week. It’ll be Roxana, Vandalia, Staunton, top-seeded Greenville and the Oilers playing in Memorial Gym. Action begins Monday with EA-WR facing Staunton.
The Oilers are scheduled to welcome Greenville (Friday) and go to Valmeyer (Saturday) to complete their regular-season schedule.
At Carlinville, it’ll be Southwestern, Hillsboro, Gillespie, top-rated Litchfield and the host Cavaliers cast in the mix of things. Hillsboro battles Gillespie at 7 p.m. Monday in the opener.