Sweet 16: Monticello, Tuscola still have boys’ basketball state dream intact | Sports

Sweet 16: Monticello, Tuscola still have boys' basketball state dream intact |  Sports


(1) Monticello (30-3)

vs. (1) El Paso-Gridley (28-2), 7 p.m.

How Monticello got here:

  • Defeated No. 8 Paxton-Buckley-Loda 53-30 in regional semifinal, No. 4 Prairie Central 55-51 in overtime in regional championship game and No. 5 Herscher 37-25 in semifinal of section.

How El Paso-Gridley got here:

  • Defeated No. 9 Reed-Custer 68-44 in regional semi-final, No. 7 Seneca 60-38 in regional championship game and No. 2 St. Joseph-Ogden 45-32 in sectional semi-final .

Who to watch on Monticello:

  • Tanner Buehnerkemper (Sr., G); Ben Cresap (Sr., G); Trevor Fox (Sr., G); Dylan Ginalick (Sr., G); Joey Sprinkle (Sr., F).

Who to watch on El Paso-Gridley:

  • Jake Funk (Sr., F); Luke Ihlenfeldt (Sr., G); Ben Klein (Sr., G); Micah Meiss (Fr., G); Asa Smith (Sr., G).

The truth :

  • This will mark the second game in a row in which the Sages will face a big team that can use their size to bottle up the opposing attack. The Titans do it even better than Herscher, though, and have allowed an average of 38 points in their past three playoff games. Monticello also hangs his hat on a solid defense, as evidenced by limiting PBL and Herscher during the playoffs. Whichever offense can get into any sort of consistent rhythm will likely guide their team to an Elite Eight berth.

The choice :

  • Monticello 45, El Paso-Gridley 42.

The winner gets access to:

  • Springfield Super-Sectional game at 6 p.m. Monday at the Bank of Springfield Center against No. 3 Quincy Notre Dame (21-11) or No. 3 Bloomington Central Catholic (19-15).


vs. (2) Meridian (27-7), 7 p.m.

How Tuscola got here:

  • Defeated No.16 Heritage 76-22 in regional quarter-final, No.10 La Salette 54-23 in regional semi-final, No.5 Arcola 56-33 in regional league match and No.2 Effingham St.Anthony 51-48 in the Cup semi-final match.

How Meridian got here:

  • Defeated No. 15 Central A&M 75-49 in Regional Quarter-Final, No. 7 Casey-Westfield 63-56 in Regional Semi-Final, No. 6 Neoga 73-67 in Regional Championship Game and No. 4 South Central 60-57 in Cup semi-final match.

Who to watch on Tuscola:

  • Preston Brown (Sr., F); Josiah Hortin (So., G); Colton Musgrave (Jr., G); Jalen Quinn (Sr., G); Jordan Quinn (So., G/F).

Who to watch on Meridian:

  • Riley Day (Sr., G); Drew Hurelbrink (Sr., F); Graham Meisenhelter (Sr., G); Grant Meisenhelter (Sr., G); Mekhi Phillips (Sr., G).

The Truth: Who doesn’t love a good rubber match? These Central Illinois Conference rivals have seen each other a lot lately, with the Hawks outlasting the Warriors 81-73 in double overtime on Feb. 11 before Tuscola returned the favor with a 49-47 victory over Meridian in the CIC tournament. of February 16. title game. The Warriors know they can rely on Jalen Quinn, who scored 45 points in his team’s loss and 27 points in their win, while Graham Meisenhelter

  • (32 points in his team’s win and 16 points in their loss) should be a go-to option for the Hawks.

The choice :

The winner moves on to Carbondale’s Super-Sectional game at 6 p.m. Monday at Banterra Center against No. 1 Steeleville (27-6) or No. 2 Christopher (24-8).

Colin Likas is the preparation coordinator at The News-Gazette. He can be contacted at [email protected] or on Twitter at @clikasNG.