REDBIRDS CRUISE AT CENTRALIA — A quick getaway propelled the Alton Redbirds to an easy victory in their opening game Monday of the 73th annual Centralia Holiday Tournament.
The Redbirds scored the game’s first 16 points en route to a 76-40 victory over the Raleigh-Egypt Pharoahs of Memphis, Tenn. Alton improved to 7-2 and will face another Tennessee team — Arlington — in a quarterfinal affair at 12:30 this afternoon.
Arlington defeated Cahokia, 59-45 in its tourney debut and lifted its record to 11-2. The Alton-Arlington winner advances to Wednesday’s semifinals at 12:30 p.m. The championship game is slated for 9 p.m. Wednesday. Centralia is the two-time defending champion.
It was a tough game for Raleigh-Egypt, which sank to 1-9. The Pharoahs forgot to bring their uniforms with them to Centralia and had to wear the Orphans’ junior varsity ones.
That didn’t help the visitors. Alton led 26-5 after the first quarter and 40-5 at one point. The Redbirds made 20 of their first 29 shots and were 30-for-52 from the field overall.
Jordan Golley and Tre Smith both scored 12 points to pace the winners. Maurice Edwards and Marcus Latham pitched in 11 points apiece. Chris Joyner’s 22 points led the Pharoahs.
Germantown, Tenn., Mount Vernon, Christian County, Ky., Champaign Central, Chicago Marist and Centralia also posted first-round victories.
EAGLES, EXPLORERS WIN AT COLUMBIA — Civic Memorial and Marquette Catholic both recorded lopsided victories in the 59th annual Columbia-Freeburg Holiday Tournament.
The 9-2 Eagles overpowered Lebanon, 75-34, in a Pool B game, while the 7-3 Explorers clouted Lovejoy, 71-26, in a Pool C contest.
David Lane scored 12 points for CM, which improved to 2-0 in the 12-team tournament. The Eagles meet Triad at 5:30 p.m. today for the pool championship. Triad is also 2-0 in Pool B.
Brett Lane chipped in with 9 points and Justin Willliams added 8 points for the Eagles, who collected 14 steals and 15 offensive rebounds. All 13 players scored.
Marquette, rebounding from a 20-point tourney loss to Triad on Saturday, used Shandon Boone’s 29 points to sting Lovejoy. The Explorers are scheduled to tangle with Sparta at 2 p.m. Tuesday. Both teams are 1-1 in pool play.
Columbia is 2-0 in Pool A, while Freeburg has a 2-0 record in Pool D.
SHELLS SPLIT AT PINCKNEYVILLE — Roxana defeated Red Bud, 58-44, but lost to host Pinckneyville, 62-37, in action at the Duster Thomas Classic. The Shells, who pushed their record to 8-4, are slated to play two tourney games today, including a morning one with DuQuoin.
In the game with Pinckneyville, the Shells trailed 27-15 at half and couldn’t catch the Panthers.
They used a solid effort for their win over Red Bud. The Shells led 18-8 at the end of the first quarter and 32-12 at half. Trace Gentry (17 points), Zach Golenor (13 points) and Chance Foss (12 points) showed the way for Roxana in its win over Red Bud. Gentry hit a trio of treys as the Shells hit 7 of them. They also made 11 of 12 free throws.
SHELLS SNARE PAIR OF WINS — Roxana registered two victories in opening-day play at the Buffalo Tri-City Tournament.
The Shells beat Ramsey, 53-43 and Springfield Lutheran, 40-10, to lift their record to 8-6.
Sara Kruetztrager scored 17 points and Hannah Rexford added 13 for Roxana against Ramsey. The Shells survived Megan Kimberlin’s 33 points. They also overcame a 21-19 halftime deficit by outscoring Ramsey 19-7 in the decisive third quarter.
Roxana led Springfield Lutheran 23-3 at half and never looked back in its second game. Abby Palen’s 11 points were best for the Shells. Rexford and Kruetztrager both contributed 9 points.
Next up for the Shells is a 7 p.m. game Tuesday against Flanagan, which also won two tourney games Monday.
REDBIRDS BOW IN STATE FARM CLASSIC — Alton started slowly and couldn’t get going in suffering a 37-24 loss to Jefferson City Helias. It was the Redbirds’ opener at the State Farm Classic in Jefferson City, Mo. They will play Eureka, Mo. at 2:30 p.m. today in a consolation semifinal game of the eight-team affair.
The Birds fell behind Helias, 12-0, by the end of the first quarter and trailed 14-8 at half. Jefferson City increased its lead to 28-14 after three quarters.
“For whatever reason, we came out not ready to play in the first quarter,” AHS coach Bob Rickman said. “We dug a huge hole and then just played even with them the last three quarters.”
LaJarvia Brown’s 13 points boosted the Redbirds, who have dropped eight consecutive games. She made 5 of 7 free throws as the Redbirds converted 8 of 20 foul shots.
Megan Foster (12 points) and Caitlin Anderson (11 points) led 8-2 Jeff City.
“We made a few good runs, had a solid second quarter, but when you have to play from behind, the pressure stays on you,” Rickman said. “And when you miss as many free throws as we did and get behind like that, it’s hard to win against really good teams.”
EAGLES DEFEAT COLUMBIA — The Bethalto Eagles pulled out a big win on Monday, defeating the Columbia Eagles 3-2 in MVCHA action at the East Alton Ice Arena.
Bethalto led 2-1 after one period and after a scoreless second, matched Columbia with a goal in the third to hold on for the win.
Bethalto improved to 6-8 overall, while Columbia slipped to 11-2-1 with the loss.
Bethalto and East Alton-Wood River are set to meet at 7:15 p.m. tonight at the Ice Arena.