EXPLORERS ADVANCE TO STATE — It’s on to state for the Marquette Catholic Explorers.
They shot a 322 score to take third Tuesday in the West Frankfort Class 2A Golf Sectional and qualify for this weekend’s IHSA finals at the Weibring Golf Club on the Illinois State University Course in Normal.
Belleville Althoff carded a 313 score to finish first and Centralia recorded a 318 total to take second. The top three teams in the 12-school event qualified for the two-day state finals that start Friday.
Civic Memorial senior Alec Hilliard also earned an individual state berth by shooting a 75. It marks the first time he will be playing in the Illinois finals.
East Alton-Wood River’s Drew Sobol and Brendon Allen, Roxana’s Zach Carlisle, along with CM’s Parker Calvin, didn’t make the cut at 77 to advance to state.
Junior Michael Holtz paced the Explorers by shooting a 2-over par 74. Nick Messinger was next at 76, followed by Kolten Bauer with an 85 and Duncan McLain at 87. Teammates Jack Patterson had a 90 and Sam Cogan a 93.
"Holtz and Messinger really came through in the clutch for us," Marquette coach Pat Moore said. "They truly are the leaders of our team and set the tone for the other guys to do the best they can."
Moore said the Explorers had solid performances overall and did what they needed to do in making the state finals field.
"Qualifying for state has been our goal since the end of last season," Moore said. "We have much more of a deeper team this season and we have played with more consistency."
That consistency has paid off with a 17-0 record in dual matches and a Prairie State Conference championship, among multiple tournament titles.
It’ll be the Explorers fifth appearance at state. They finished fourth in the Class 1A finals three years ago. Last week, Marquette won its fifth regional championship on its home course at Rolling Hills in Godfrey.
"Our new goals are set to win and bring home some hardware from state," Moore said. "The kids are very excited and are poised to get up there and get after it. We are excited to make a big impression at the state tournament.
"I'm very proud of the boys and can't wait to see what they do at state."
Jacob Eklund of Carterville posted a 3-under par 69 for sectional medalist honors. He finished one stroke ahead of Mount Vernon’s Zach Williams. Matthew McCarthy’s 73 was tops for Althoff.
OILERS ADVANCE IN OT — EA-WR outlasted Metro East Lutheran of Edwardsville, 3-2, in double overtime during the Oilers’ regional semifinal at Greenville.
Their victory in the Class 1A competition propels the defending champion Oilers into the 6 p.m. regional championship contest Friday against Belleville Althoff. The Crusaders eliminated host Greenville, 4-0.
Zac Lafferty’s goal with five minutes remaining in the second OT provided EA-WR with its win. Dave Barrett got the assist on the winner.
The Oilers, who improved to 16-4-1, had to come from behind twice to oust the pesky Knights. And starting EA-WR keeper Nick Barrett sustained a broken wrist with 25 minutes to play in the second half following a collision in the goal area. D.J. Redden replaced Barrett in goal and finished the match.
Metro East Lutheran, which closed with a 14-6 record, led 1-0 and 2-1, but the Oilers battled back both times. Dave Barrett, assisted by Luke Sims and Cameron Faust, punched in the first EA-WR goal late in the first half. Then Barrett, assisted by Josh Turner, tied things in the 60-minute mark. Kedric Norwood scored both goals for MELHS.
EXPLORERS BLANK EAGLES — Jacob File and Adam Hammond notched goals as host Marquette shut out Civic Memorial, 2-0, in a regular season, nonconference match.
Collin Dunn and Chris Hartrich registered the assists and goalie Brandon Sanfilippo recorded the shutout as the Explorers improved to 11-5-3. He had eight saves. The Explorers welcome Columbia on Thursday.
The Eagles dropped to 2-16 and lost their fifth consecutive match. They will play Taylorville at 11 a.m. Saturday in Jacksonville as part of the Class 2A Columbia Sectional.
REDBIRDS BOW AT O’FALLON — Alton suffered its sixth successive setback by falling at the Panther Dome, 25-7 and 25-13.
The Redbirds, who dropped to 21-10-1 overall, fell to 2-3 in the Southwestern Conference. Alton entertains Edwardsville on Thursday and then closes its SWC slate on Oct. 22 at Belleville West.
EXPLORERS FALL IN WATERLOO — Host Gibault defeated Marquette, 25-19, 25-22 in a nonconference match. The Explorers saw their record sink to 14-10.
Anna Daugherty (six kills, six service points, with two aces) paced the Explorers. Marissa Nosco (12 assists), Laura Hamilton (14 digs), Michelle Cameron (five blocks) and Brittany Pace (four blocks) added to the cause.
The Explorers welcome Prairie State Conference rival Nokomis on Thursday.
CAVS WIN OWN INVITE — Carlinville’s boys scored 35 points to help the Cavaliers finish first in their own invitational. Cory Landon of Carlinville won the 3.0-mile race in 15 minutes, 27.40 seconds.
The Cavies scored 35 points to outdistance Freeburg, second with 61 points. Breese Mater Dei was third with 99 points. Rochester placed fourth with 120 points and EA-WR came in fifth with 162 points. Roxana was eighth at 262.
Brenden Springman led the Oilers by finishing 15th. Teammate Matthew Shea was 30th. Brandon Isom was tops for Roxana by placing 32nd.
Rochester scored 31 points for the girls’ title. Carlinville was second with 94 points. Roxana finished eighth with 190 points. Marquette was 11th with a 325 score.
Claudia Magnussen of Pana won the race in 17:57.37. Kryston Scifres of Roxana finished 16th.