• Dave McKenzie

What A Weekend For The Carterville Lions

It was an incredibly busy weekend for Carterville High School, but what a great weekend it was.

Starting on Thursday night with girls basketball winning the conference title to the boys basketball team winning back to back overtime games and everything in between I feel like I need to give you an update.

Girls Basketball Wins SIRR Conference Title

On Thursday night, Coach Matt Crain took his Lady Lions on the road to Pinckneyville to play the Panthers and try and win the SIRR Conference title.

It was a close game and the game came down to free throws to win it.

On Tuesday night the Lions honored their three seniors Summer Rains, McKenzie Rogman and Lexi Swalls. After the game I talked to Matt Crain about his seniors and he emphasides how important this group of girls were in helping to get the Lions team where they are.

Flash ahead to Thursday night when senior Lexi Swalls stepped to the free throw line with a chance to win the game for her team. Lexi hit both free throws and the Carterville Lady Lions win the Mississippi Division conference title outright.

On Saturday the Lions beat Massac County in an afternoon game 58-32.

The Lions finish the regualr season with a 26-3 record. They will open play in the Carbondale Regional on February 12th, when they will face the winner of the Carbondale/Murphysboro game.

Carterville Lions Cheerleaders Finish 5th in State

Last weekend at the Edwardsville Sectional the CHS Cheerleaders finished third to advance to the IHSA State finals in Bloomington.

On Friday, the Lions were competing against twenty four other teams with their eye on a state title. The top ten teams would move on to the finals on Saturday.

The girls put on a great performance and wind up in third place in the finals preliminary.

On Saturday the Lions pit on another impressive performance and finish in fifth place in the state.

Congratulations to Coaches Linda and Amy Drust and Bonnie Howerton and this fantastic team on a great cheer season.

Keep in mind that this team competed in these competitions AND continued to help support the basketball teams as well.

Wrestling Team Sends Four To Sectionals

On Saturday the Carterville Wrestling team competed in regionals and have four advance on to Sectionals next weekend.

Matt Jones took top honors in the 138 lb division. Kaleb Ward finished in second place in the 145 lb weight class.

Zeke Hernandez placed third in the 152 lb division and Bailey Hicks finished in first in the 160 lb division.

Also both Josh Foster and Jamal Wilkerson finished in four place in their weight classes.

CHS will host the sectionals next Friday and Saturday.

Congratulations to Coach Ruiz and the Lion wrestling team on a fantastic season.

Carterville Jr High Lions Advance to State

On Saturday, Coach Cory Clouser and the junior high Lions won their regional with a 48-36 win over Carbondale to win the regional for the first time since 2003.

The Lions are currently 19-3 overall and have won twelve games in a row.

The Jr Lions will play this Saturday at 10:45 am when they face Massac County.

CHS Pep Band Selected to Perform At State

Band Director Nic Williams and his high school pep band have been selected to play at the IHSA Class 1A and 2A girls backetball championship games.

This is a great accomplishment and we are fortunate to have such a great band program at CHS. They perform at all of the home basketball games and do a great job in helping to set the tone for games.

Congratulations and have a great time performing at state.

Lions Basketball Earns Back-to-Back Overtime Wins

Last Friday night, the Lions took on the Benton Rangers at home and wound up going to overtime.

The Lions had several chances to put the game away at the line, but were not able to hit the free throws to get the win.

None the less, the Lions had a two point lead with seconds left in overtime. The Rangers had the ball and needed a last socond shot to avoid a loss to the Lions.

Wtih time running out, the Rangers got the win as Reid Baumgarte hit a three pointer from the corner to break the hearts of Lions fans.

On Friday, the Lions hit the road to Anna-Jonesboro to take on the Wildcats in a SIR Confernce game.

It was a one point game at the end of three quarters as the Lions held a 37-36 lead heading to the fourth quarter.

The game was tied at 50-50 and the Wildcats had the ball and the chance to win at the end of overtime, but Sophomore Eli Downen did not let that happen as he blocked the last second shot to force the game to go to overtime.

With just seconds left in overtime, the Lions had the ball and Coach Shane Hawkins all a time out to set the final play for the Lions.

Bryce Anderson got the inbound pass to Eli who took the ball just off the right elbow and got the shot to fall and give the Lions a 58-56 overtime win over AJ.

On Saturday, the Lions played host to the Massac County Patriots.

The game was close all night long as the score was tied 12-12 after the first quarter and 25-25 at the half.

At the end of the third quarter the Lions had built a five point lead heading to the final quarter,however ten fourth quarter turnovers allowed the Patriots to stay in the game. The score was tied at 62-62 at the end of regulation time.

Head to the end of overtime and with just over ten seconds left on the clock, the Lions faced the same situation they were in just twenty four hours before at AJ.

Bryace Anderson triggered the inbound pass, and just like the night before Eli Downen took the pass and took the ball into the front court.. Bryce got the ball back and fed a pass to Dylan Moore who took the ball into the paint.

With three seconds he lifted a little floater toward the rim and hit the eventual game winner. Massac County was unable to get a shot off at the buzzer and the Carterville Lions pick up their second overtime win in a row.

Here is a game recap of the win over the Patriots.


So, you can see it was a good week to be a Carterville Lion.

I can’t wait to see what this week holds.

As always...Roar Lions Roar!