EXPLORERS GRAB SHARE OF TITLE — Marquette Catholic ensured itself of a share of the Prairie State Conference championship by winning 43-31 Tuesday at Bunker Hill.
The Explorers, who shot to 11-3 overall and won their fifth consecutive game, improved to 4-0 in the Prairie State. They can clinch the outright title with a win Jan. 29 at East Alton-Wood River.
Shandon Boone scored 21 points and Ben Sebacher punched in 12 more to stir the Marquette attack against 7-8 Bunker Hill.
Yet it was the Explorers’ defense that shined in Hlafka Hall.
“We guarded them pretty well,” Marquette coach Steve Medford said. “They shot a lot of 3-pointers. I think only 5 of their shots were 2-point field-goal attempts.”
Marquette welcomes Brussels on Friday and then plays in the Jersey High Tournament starting Saturday. The Explorers meet the host Panthers at 7 p.m. in Havens Gym.
They will also face Quincy Notre Dame, Pittsfield, Collinsville and Cahokia in the tourney that runs through Jan. 23.
“There’s tough competition in that tournament, so we will find out a lot about our team,” Medford said.
OILERS FALL AT LITCHFIELD — Host Litchfield coasted to a 69-49 win over EA-WR in a nonconference game.
A quick start fueled the 10-5 Purple Panthers. They led 19-2 by the end of the first quarter and 32-19 by halftime.
Christian Hunter (13 points), Blake Marks (12 points) and Zach Wells (11 points) paced the Oilers. Conner Simmons (23 points) and Zach Skinner (22 points) guided Litchfield.
The Oilers fell to 4-12 and suffered their sixth successive defeat. They welcome Dupo on Friday in another nonconference game. EA-WR meets rival Roxana at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in the Oilers’ opener at the Litchfield Tournament.
REDBIRDS SUSTAIN FIRST LOSS — The Alton High girls’ team absorbed its initial defeat of the season by bowing to Collinsville at Camelot Bowl. The Kahoks prevailed by 37 points. Collinsville shot a 2,974 score, while Alton, now 10-1 overall and 8-1 in the Southwestern Conference, had a 2,937 total.
Eryka Graham boosted the Redbirds with a 696 series, including games of 266, 226 and 204. Teammate Ashley Heistand shot a 627 series, including a 236 game.
Zoe Howell (626 series), Madi Juenger (608) and Katelynn Wirfel (604) were best for Collinsville.
The Kahoks also won the boys’ match. Collinsville compiled a 3,133 score, while Alton had a 2,898 total. Tyler Stevenson (629), Jacob Donahue (613) and Matt Fritz (606) led the 5-8 Redbirds, who slipped to 4-7 in the SWC. Donahue had a 247 game.
Clay Hartman (674) and Bryce Ray (658) propelled the Kahoks.
REDBIRDS BEAT WARRIORS — Alton recorded a 4-2 victory over Granite City in MVCHA play at the East Alton Ice Arena. The Redbirds led 2-1 after the first period and 3-2 following the second one. They improved to 9-8.
Scott Waldrup netted three goals for the Redbirds and Tyler St. Peters scored the other one.
KAHOKS TOP OILERS — Collinsville registered an 8-3 win over EA-WR in MVCHA action at the Ice Arena. The Kahoks, getting five goals in the second period, lifted their record to 4-12-1. The Oilers slipped to 4-13.
Cole Ford scored twice and Tyler McHatton added another goal for the Oilers. Jacob Vassos assisted on EA-WR’s score, while Ford notched a pair of unassisted goals.
The Oilers battle Alton in a 7:15 p.m. game Thursday.