By Colin Arthalony
In the third grade division, the A-C Central Knights took first place. In the championship game, the Knights faced off against the Shamrocks from Our Saviour School in Jacksonville.
The Shamrocks exploded to a 13-2 lead to start the game, however, A-C Central stepped up their defense and was able to cut the deficit to 13-8 at the half. The tough defense continued as the Knights held the Shamrocks to just three points in the second half. Gavin Arthalony scored 12 of his game-high 16 points in the second half to lead the Knights. Other A-C Central players to score were Colin Owens with four points, Will Boston added two, and Will Merwin with two points.
In the third place game, Triopia was defeated by the Athens Warriors, 20-11. Triopia kept it close trailing only 8-7 at halftime, but the Warriors were able to pull away late in the game. The Trojans were led by Aiden Neathery and Trevin Littleton with four points each.
The consolation championship went to the Athens Warriors’ second team over the Virginia Redbirds. The Warriors led from the start. They outscored the Redbirds 15-5 in the first half on their way to a 27-7 victory. Ryan Snow led the Redbirds with five points.
The Beardstown Tigers defeated the PORTA Blue Jays in the seventh place game. The Tigers held on in a low scoring game, 10-8. Beardstown was led in scoring by Derek Lopez and Micah Wink with four points each.
In the fourth grade division, the Triopia Trojans took home first place playing the Athens Warriors in a very close championship game, winning by the score of 26-21. The game was tied 9-9 at halftime, however, the Trojans pulled away in the second half and were led by their outstanding two guard attack of Cordell Walker and Caden Moore. Moore finished with a game-high 13 points, including some clutch free throws to seal the game. Walker added nine points for Triopia.
In the third place game, the A-C Central Knights came back to defeat the West Central Cougars 22-19 in another exciting game. The Knights trailed 11-7 at the half. The second half belonged to the Knights though as the inside-outside duo of Jake Shannon and Gavin Arthalony proved to be too tough for the Cougars to overcome. Arthalony scored 11 of his game-high 17 points in the second half and Shannon added four of his five points in the second half.
The consolation championship featured the Beardstown Tigers and the Our Saviour Shamrocks. The Tigers were in control from the beginning bursting out to 15-4 halftime lead. The Shamrocks weren’t able to make a comeback in the second half as the Tigers won 29-16. The Tigers were led by Denzel McWilliams with 11 points and Jacob Pate added nine for the winners.
The Virginia Redbirds faced off with the Pl. Plains Cardinals in the seventh place game. The game was close throughout with the Cardinals eventually pulling it out 17-16. Hailey Reynolds and Tanner Henson led the Redbirds in scoring with four points each.