OILERS BLANK PANTHERS — First game, first win.
The East Alton-Wood River Oilers enjoyed a successful start in the MVCHA 1A West Division playoffs Tuesday at the East Alton Ice Arena.
They shut down Jerseyville, 4-0, in the opener of their best-of-three postseason series. Game 2 is set for 7:15 p.m. Thursday. If the Oilers prevail they will move on to the next round against Bethalto, which eliminated Marquette in two games. EA-WR is the regular-season West champion.
Goalie Blake Stone recorded the shutout — his fourth of the season — and the Oilers scored three time in the third period to secure their victory. They outshot the Panthers 44-17.
Alec Revelle tallied his 11th goal of the season in the first period to put the Oilers in front 1-0. Then they had to wait until the third period to score again. Brandon Bailey, Tyler McHatton and Cole Ford punched in goals during the final period. Ford notched an empty-netter with 1:27 remaining.
STIMAC SETS RECORD — Senior Mike Stimac made it a record-setting night in EA-WR's 77-47 pounding of Mount Olive in Prairie State Conference play.
He poured in a school-record 44 points to break the previous mark of 41, set by Kyle Duncan against Lovejoy in the 2003 Carrollton Tournament.
Duncan, the third-year Oilers’ coach, said: “It’s great to be able to watch and coach such a hard-working player break a record. He deserves to be on top after the effort he’s put in over the last four years.
“I couldn’t be prouder of him.”
Stimac hit 14 shots, including a trey, and sank all 15 of his free throws. He also grabbed 13 rebounds and had three blocks. Teammate Blake Marks contributed 19 points as the Oilers improved to 10-15.
Duncan’s 41 points 12 years ago busted the previous school record of 37 points held by four individuals: Jerry Messick (1958), Dan Coddington (1981), Dale Liley (1983) and Mike Pryor (1995). Coddington is the school’s career scoring leader.
EXPLORERS RALLY FOR WIN – Shandon Boone erupted for 28 points and host Marquette Catholic edged Highland, 55-52, in a nonconference game. The Explorers outscored the Bulldogs 15-8 in the fourth quarter to secure their victory.
Boone, a junior guard, tallied eight of his points in the decisive fourth quarter. He made all four of his free throws to seal the victory. Overall, he sank five treys.
Marquette lifted its record to 16-9, while Highland, the Mississippi Valley Conference leader, dipped to 11-14. Luke Theis led the Bulldogs with 24 points.
Highland led 30-20 at one point before Marquette went on a 19-7 spree to forge in front 39-37 late in the third quarter.
Jacob Fischer collected nine points and 13 rebounds for the Explorers, who play again Friday at Roxana. Max Goepel and Ben Sebacher both added nine points.
SHELLS BOW TO PIASA BIRDS – Host Southwestern scored a 66-55 win over Roxana in a nonconference game. The Piasa Birds built a 29-17 halftime lead and never looked back.
Trace Gentry strung together 23 points to lead Roxana, which dropped to 12-14. Randy Skiff pitched in 12 points.
The Shells welcome Marquette in a nonconference game Friday.
EAGLES FALL AT MASCOUTAH – Host Mascoutah put a big dent in Civic Memorial’s league title hopes by outscoring them 89-69. It was the most points CM has allowed this season.
The Eagles dropped to 16-9 overall and 4-3 in the Valley. They trail MVC leader Highland by two games on the loss side. Mascoutah getting a 32-point fourth quarter, improved to 7-18 and 3-4.
Senior Jakob Lowrance scored 30 points and snared 13 rebounds to spur the Eagles. Brett Lane punched in 13 points, while Jaquan Adams contributed 11 points.
Mascoutah led 37-30 at half and 57-50 after three quarters.
REDBIRDS LOSE TO WEST – Alton suffered a 60-45 defeat at home to Belleville West and dropped to 5-20 overall. The Redbirds, who are 3-10 in the Southwestern Conference, close their league schedule Thursday at home against 25-0 Edwardsville.
The Tigers, champions of the SWC, scored a 40-26 victory over O’Fallon on Tuesday night. Belleville West, which led 33-17 at half, improved to 22-5 overall and 10-2 in the conference with its win over Alton. Imani Berry (23 points) and Shay Fluker (21 points) paced West.
Jewel Wagner scored 16 points, best for the Redbirds. The Maroons limited high-scoring AHS junior LaJarvia Brown to six points. Alton committed 25 turnovers, 16 in the first half.
“We have to focus on handling pressure and making better decisions not only for the season, but as we move forward,” Redbirds’ coach Bobby Rickman said.
Next week, the Redbirds will play host to a five-team Class 4A regional. Quincy meets Granite City at 7 p.m. Monday in the tourney opener. That survivor takes on top-seeded Edwardsville at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Alton then plays second-seeded Pekin at 7:30. The title game is slated for 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 19.