Prep Notebook | Conference basketball races nearing the finish line
Shane Hawkins’ Carterville Lions claimed at least a share of the River-to-River Conference Mississippi Division crown with a 61-40 win at Anna-Jonesboro on Friday night.
RIVER TO RIVER CONFERENCE
The Orange and Blue are currently 19-5 overall, 7-0 in the league, with just one conference game left – Feb. 16 in Pinckneyville.
The Panthers are two league games down (4-1) and need to win a home game against Anna-Jonesboro this Friday; Victory in Nashville on February 10; and then beat the Lions in the regular season finals to earn a chunk of the title.
However, the Panthers have won nine straight games, including an impressive 50-41 win over state-ranked Teutopolis. The Perry County boys are now 22-3 overall and will be just as tough as the Lions in the Class 2A postseason.
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The defending champions Nashville Hornets (15-11 overall and 3-3 in league play) have to settle for the role of spoiler when it comes to conference standings. They can eliminate arch-rivals Pinckneyville from the February 10th league race.
Turning to the Ohio, it’s pretty much a two-team race between Herrin and Massac County, with Harrisburg still in the hunt. Herrin and Massac County are both 5-1 in the league.
The Tigers (22-2 overall) have three of their four remaining league games at home. They host Murphysboro on Fridays; play in West Frankfurt; host Massac County; and then host Harrisburg.
The Patriots (20-4 overall) will host Harrisburg on Friday and travel to Harrisburg; host Benton; and complete the regular season in West Frankfurt.
The Bulldogs (11-10 overall) play in Massac County; trip to Benton; host Murphysboro; and end with mistress.
SOUTH SEVEN CONFERENCE
The Mount Vernon Rams have the upper hand with three league games left. The Rams are perfect 7-0 in the conference and are 17-7 overall.
Centralia, with an overall record of 19-4, has a close shot. They are 5-2 in league play. They play at Marion on Friday, host Carbondale and finish with a match at Belleville Althoff.
Carbondale is mathematically living with a 4-3 record but needs to win all three of its remaining conference games against Althoff, Centralia and Mount Vernon and hope Mount Vernon loses all three of its remaining games.
Marion is out of the league race 3-4, as are Althoff and Cahokia (1-6 each).
BLACK DIAMOND CONFERENCE
The Vienna Eagles (23-3 overall) put themselves in a great position in the league to win the West Division 9-0. They have just three league games left and host Johnston City on Friday; Christopher on February 10th and trip to Goreville on February 11th.
Goreville (15-7 overall) has only played five league games and is 4-1 in the conference. You probably need to win to have a shot at first place. The Johnson County boys travel to Johnston City on Tuesday; host Christopher on Friday; hosts Zeigler-Royalton on February 7; play in Sesser-Valier on February 10; host Vienna on February 11; Host Johnston City on February 14th and trip to Trico on February 16th.
Johnston City (14-10 overall) are also in the middle of the conference at 6-1. They have one home and one road game left in Goreville; a street game in Vienna, a street game at Christopher’s; and street game at Sesser-Valier.
Carmi-White County (18-4 overall) leads the BDC East 5-0. The Bulldogs are scheduled to play in Edwards County on Tuesday; at Flora on Friday; next Tuesday in the Eldorado; host Hamilton County on February 10; and hosts Fairfield on February 17.
Flora (15-8 overall) is the best bet to push Carmi-White County to the title with a 5-1 league mark. Eldorado (14-8 overall) is trying to stay in the hunt at 4-2 in the league.
SOUTH EGYPTIAN CONFERENCE
It’s a two-team race in this league. Agape Christian (22-6 overall) is 7-0 in the league. Meridian (15-9 overall) is 5-0 in the conference. The two will go head-to-head on February 10th at Meridian. This game will likely determine the league champion.
GREAT EGYPTIAN CONFERENCE
The Crab Orchard Trojans are a perfect 5-0 in the league and are 16-2 overall. Norris City-Omaha-Enfield (16-9 agg) has a 6-1 loss in league play.
Crab Orchard defeated the Cardinals, 58-48, in last Saturday’s tournament game. and drove past them 60-39 in last November’s league game.
RIVER TO RIVER GIRL
Nashville (17-10 overall) is a perfect 6-0 in the Mississippi Division with two games left in the league. Pinckneyville (14-10 overall) still has a chance to tie them 5-1 in the league. The two were scheduled to play each other in Nashville on Tuesday.
In Ohio, Benton (20-8 overall) is trying to avoid that with an 8-0 mark in the league. Massac County (19-5 overall) is more than two games behind at 5-2. Harrisburg (20-6 overall) has a 4-3 mark in the conference.
SOUTH SEVEN CONFERENCE
Mount Vernon (21-5 overall) have a comfortable three-game lead in the battle for first place at 7-0. Marion (13-14 overall) follows at 5-3. The Rams would need to lose all three of their remaining league games and the Wildcats would need to win both to force a tie. Ditto for Belleville Althoff (16-7) as the Crusaders also suffer three league losses.
BLACK DIAMOND CONFERENCE
The Christopher Bearcats (23-1 overall) are a perfect 7-0 in the West Division with just one league game left. Vienna (15:10) and Goreville (21:6) each have two league losses.
In the East Division, Edwards County (24-3 agg) is 7-1 in the league and 5-3 a two-game lead over Hamilton County (20-6 agg). Eldorado (16-9 overall) is also 5-3 in the conference.
Meridian (14-9 overall) leads the South Egyptian Conference with a flawless 4-0 record and Pope County (18-6 overall) is a perfect 7-0 within the Greater Egyptian Conference.
THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS
Graham, the grandson of longtime Massac County High School boys’ basketball coach Joe Hosman, is battling a life-threatening illness, and Hosman reached out to people in southern Illinois via social media over the weekend to pray for the boy.
Several local schools donned blue shirts in support of Graham on Monday. Massac’s school colors are red, white, and blue.