Central A&M came up just a bit short against Goreville on Tuesday at the IHSA SIU Class A Super-Sectional championship. A&M was up by 10, but once Goreville took the lead, they held it for the win, 71-64.
Goreville had a longer bench with more scorers and shot more free throws to tip the scales and advance to the State tournament for the 2nd time in 3 years. Goreville beat A&M two years ago at super-sectional to advance and finish 4th.
A&M reached the super-sectional 3 years running, lost to Goreville twice and finished 3rd at State last year.
A&M built a 10-point lead in the 2nd quarter, but then Goreville defense stiffened and they chipped away pretty fast at the lead. The game was tied at the half, 31-31.
Goreville went up by 10 in the 3rd and settled for a 5-point lead heading to the 4th. Once A&M had to foul, the Blackcats stretched their lead back to 10 points. Goreville withstood an A&M challenge in the final minutes. A&M could smell a comeback, but couldn’t complete it. Free throws made it a 7-point Blackcat win.
Goreville had more scorers to turn to and were a example of balanced scoring. They had four players in double figure 2, two with 12 and two with 10 points. They had three more players with 8 points. Seven players shared 68 of their 71 points.
A&M relied on their usual 3 musketeers for the bulk of their scoring, totaling 54 points.
Connor Heaton had to take over the game for A&M once Griffin Andricks got into foul trouble in the 2nd quarter. The Blackcat defense had the advantage as A&M found it harder to score.
Heaton finished with a game-high 29 points. Heaton had 9 of A&M’s 16 points in the 1st quarter, 8 of their 15 in the 2nd, and 9 of their 18 in the 4th. He scored 9 times from the floor with one 3 and was 12-of-15 at the line.
Andricks finished with 15 points and had just made two 3s when he had to sit. He finished with a trio of 2’s and a triply of 3s. Jacob Paradee scored 10 points on 4 buckets (1-3) and just 1-of-2 at the line.
After a few empty trips to start the game, Andricks grabbed a rebound and fed Heaton, who went the distance to score, 2-0. Goreville had a steal and transition for 2. Heaton teed up a 3-pointer, but the Cats answered with a two, 5-4.
Paradee stole a ball and took it to other end, 7-4. Andricks scored on a put back for the 5-point A&M lead, 9-4. Goreville scored and Heaton made a reverse lay-up after Goreville blocked a shot, 11-6.
Andricks knocked a ball loose and Heaton was fouled taking it to the basket. He made 1-of-2 shots. Almost a minute went by and the cats scored, then Heaton drove for two.
With time winding down in the 1st, the Cats blocked a shot out of bounds. With 1.8 seconds the Raiders inbound the ball and Paradee went up to shoot and made it, beating the buzzer, 16-10.
The Raiders kept the momentum in the 2nd. Andricks opened the 2nd with a 3-pointer. Goreville scored a deuce, but Andricks came right back with another 3-pointer for a 10-point lead, 22-12.
Andricks committed his second foul and had to go to the bench. Goreville went on a 19 to 9 run to finish the half.
They made a foul shot and then a 3. Heaton made two free throws. Connor Hutchins blocked a shot and Paradee got the ball to Heaton for a transition two and a 10-point lead again, 26-16.
The Cats then finished their blitz on a 15-5 run. They scored twice and A&M called time-out still up by 6, 26-20. Goreville nailed a 3 and Heaton made two foul shots.
Goreville had an and-1 opportunity but missed the free throw. It was a 3-point game, 28-25, when the Cats hit from downtown, 28-28, with a minute left in the half.
Brycen Burgener made a free throw, Paradee stole the ball and Heaton was fouled, making both free throws, 31-28. The Cats ran clock and then canned another 3-pointer for the tie with 21 seconds left in the half. A&M tried a 3, but missed to end the half even.
Goreville clearly had the momentum at the half. They opened the 3rd with a 3 and laid claim to momentum once again, 34-31. A&M missed a shot and Goreville was fouled making two free throws for a 5-point lead, 36-31.
Heaton slipped and lost the ball, Goreville scored for a 7-point lead, 38-31. A&M needed a time-out after the 7-0 run to start the 3rd. Out of the pause Andricks found Paradee for 2 to get A&M on the board in the 2nd half.
Goreville scored and was fouled. They missed the conversion, but after another Raider fell, Goreville had another possible 3-point play. This one they converted as they went up by 10 points, 43-33.
A&M needed to respond and they did. Andricks sank a base line jumper. Paradee snared a rebound. Chris Enge drove, scored and was fouled. He made the throw to finish the 5-point run and make it a 5-point game, 43-38.
Heaton was fouled and made one throw. The Cats made a deuce. Enge stole the ball and found Heaton for 2, 45-41. With 2:39 left in the 3rd, A&M had the ball for 45 seconds and couldn’t score.
After a miss they were fouled and got the ball out. They were fouled again and go the ball out. On successive drives there were loose balls and a tie up. A&M got the ball back on alternating possession, but then lost the ball again and on the tie up lost the ball on alternating possession.
Andricks picked up his 3rd foul and Goreville made two foul shots. Andricks made a turn-around shot. Goreville scored for a 6-point lead. Enge came through with a triple, 49-46.
The Cats played for one shot. They missed a 3, but got the board and scored for a 5-point lead after 3, 51-46.
Andricks struck again, with a 3-pointer to open the 4th quarter and make it a 2-point game, 51-49. Goreville came right back and scored. A&M missed a 3, Andricks had a great save, but they missed another 3, then Goreville scored.
Ross Sloan made a free throw, but with a 5-point lead and 5:50 to play Goreville slowed it down, 55-50.
A&M drove and missed. They missed another lay-up. Down 58-50, they missed their third lay up. After a near steal, then a near turnover, Goreville got a foul out of bounds. They were fouled again and made both ends of a 1-and-1 for a 10-point lead with 2:43 to play, 60-50.
A&M was in the soup. Burgener made a basket, but the Cats made two free throws. A&M missed a 3, but Heaton got a steal and finished the 3-point play at the line, 62-55 with 2:00 left.
Goreville missed the front end of a 1-and-1 and Heaton go the board. He drove and scored, but did not get the foul call. Goreville turned the ball over and A&M missed a 3. Goreville missed two foul shots to leave the door open.
Heaton drove and got the foul, making both shots for a one-possession game inside a minute to play, 62-59.
A&M had to foul. Goreville made both shots. A&M missed and had to foul. Goreville made both shots, 65-59. Heaton was foolishly fouled and made both free throws, 66-61. Goreville was fouled and made 1-of-2.
A&M missed another lay-up and had to foul with 23 seconds left. The Cats made both shots, 69-61. Paradee made the final A&M basket of the year and his career, a 3-pointer.
A&M called time-out with 15 seconds left down by 5, 69-64. Hutchins grabbed a Goreville miss, but A&M missed a shot and fouled with 2 seconds remaining. Goreville made both free throws to cap the score, 71-64.
Central A&M (30-4) finished the season in the Elite 8, as CIC Regular Season Champs (7-0), CIC Tourney Champs, the Macon 1A Regional Champs, the Casey 1A Sectional Champs, and as SIU 1A Super-Sectional Finalists.
Tuesday SIU 1A Super-Sectional Goreville 71, Central A&M 64
C A&M 16-15-15-18--64
CAM stats: Heaton 29 (7-2s, 1-3 pt FGs, 12/15 FTs), Andricks 15 (3-2s, 3-3 pt FGs), Paradee 10 (3-2s, 1-3 pt FGs, 1/2 FTs), Enge 6 (1-2, 1-3 pt FG, 1/1 FTs), Burgener 3 (FG, 1/2 FTs), Sloan 1 (1/2 FTs). Team FGs, 21. 3-Pointers: 6 (Andricks 3, Paradee, Heaton, Enge). Team FTs 16-of-24.
Gville stats: N Compton 12 (3 FGs, 6/7 FTs), Dunn 12 (5 FGs, 2/4 FTs), Hines 10 (2-2s, 1-3 pt FGs, 3/5 FTs), Albright 10 (4 FGs, 2/2 FTs), Webb 8 (-3 pt FG, 5/6 FTs), Glidewell 8 (4 FGs, 0/1 FTs), Brown 8 (2-3 pt FGs, 2/5 FTs), Bishop 3 (FG). Team FGs 23. 3-Pointers: 5 (Brown 2, Hines, Bishop, Webb). Team FTs 20-of-30.