CARBONDALE - Regulation wasn’t enough Tuesday night at the Class 2A Super-Sectional in Carbondale as overtime was needed to decide who would advance to Peoria and compete for a state championship.
The Aces led first in overtime, but it was an 18-0 run by the Panthers that helped Pinckneyville punch its ticket to Peoria with a 60-47 victory over Mount Carmel.
“It was a scenario where they have great players, we have great players, and they made a couple more plays down the stretch,” said Mount Carmel coach Tyler Buss.
Brayden Stipp led Mount Carmel with 17 points on 6-for-15 shooting. Jackson Marcotte added 12 on 3-for-7 shooting from the field.
Leading the game in scoring was JC Moll of Pinckneyville who finished with 24 points on 7-for-11 shooting and 4-for-6 from behind the 3-point line.
Marcotte hit a pair of free throws with 32 seconds to give the Golden Aces a 42-40 lead in regulation. However, Moll managed to send the game to overtime as he scored at the rim with 12 seconds to tie the score.
In overtime, Marcotte’s two free throws at the 3:45 mark helped give the Golden Aces a 44-42 lead. The lead would be short as Moll hit a 3 with 3:34 left to give the Panthers the lead for good.
“When it got to overtime you knew a team that was playing basically six guys going against a team playing 10 or 11 like Pinckneyville, you knew that wasn’t in our favor,” said Buss. “We needed to take care of that thing in regulation.
“We just couldn’t quite get it done, but I couldn’t be prouder of this group of guys with what they’ve been through this year losing their senior leader [Marcotte, from a knee injury] and battle back and accomplish the things they did this year. It says a lot about them as a group.
Pinckneyville’s 18-0 run was ended by Brayden Peterson, who hit a 3 with under 30 seconds to play coming off the bench. Peterson will represent the Golden Aces of Mount Carmel this weekend in Peoria as he competes in the 3-point shootout.
The game was back and forth throughout. The Panthers led 15-10 at the end of the first quarter and even 17-0 early in the second.
That’s when Mount Carmel used a 13-0 run to erase a seven points deficit early in the second quarter and take a 22-17 lead with 4:08 left in the first half.
Brayden Stipp started the run with a basket at the rim. He later forced a turnover and scored followed by Blake Golden rewarding Austin Rager with an assist on a basket inside as the Golden Aces trailed, 17-15 with 5:57 left in the first half.
At the 5:03 mark, Rager tied it up while scoring inside then another steal and score from Stipp gave Mount Carmel its first lead, 19-17, with 4:39 to play in the second.
The Golden Aces stretched the lead to 22-17 on a 3 from Stipp, who scored nine of his 13 first-half points in the second quarter.
Pinckneyville fought back to tie it before the half on a Tanner Spihlmann basket as both teams hit the locker room with the score tied, 22-22.
The Aces led at the end of the third quarter, 30-27, but a 15-12 edge in the fourth and 18-5 in overtime helped Pinckneyville advance as Mount Carmel ends the season at 20-12.
Contact Register Sports Editor Paul Wilcoxen at (618) 263-1004 ext 1025, firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @paulwilcoxen