MOUNT CARMEL, Ill. -- On the same night (Thursday) that Mount Carmel hosted their girls Senior Night, the Mount Carmel boys basketball eighth-graders celebrated their Eighth Grade Night, as the boys took a step toward the beginning of their high school careers.
The Junior Aces hosted Olney on the celebratory night and defeated Olney 53-36 to end their regular season.
Prior to the game, the Eighth Grade Night ceremony honored eighth-graders Gage Kennard, Shain Weir, Eli Bertram, Owen Dougherty, Cole Broster, Ethan Wilson, Garrett Hodge, Gavin Smith, and Hunter Hopper. The boys were joined by their parents on the court during the emotional ceremony.
Upon the conclusion of the festivities it was tip-off time for the Junior Aces and they didn't disappoint.
Broster, Smith and Bertram highlighted the first half for Mount Carmel. The trio scored 20 of Mount Carmel's 31 points in the first half, including nine by Broster in the second quarter. Their strong play allowed the Junior Aces to take a commanding 31-11 halftime lead which they'd never look back from.
Mount Carmel cruised in the second half with the 20-point cushion. The Junior Aces allowed Olney to outscore them 25-22 in the second half, but the damage was already done.
Smith and Broster scored 14 a piece to lead the Junior Aces in their final home game as eighth-graders. Other notable scorers included Gage Kennard's nine points, Blayne Sisson scoring six points, and Eli Bertram's five points.
The Mount Carmel seventh-graders also win in their game, defeating Olney 47-37. Sisson led all Junior Aces with 15 points in that game. Joining Sisson in double-digits, Zeke Swason with 11 points and Andrew Gillihan with 10 points.
The eighth grade Junior Aces end their season with an impressive 17-1 record and will enter postseason play starting on Feb. 2 with their regional.
MC -- 14 17 12 10 -- 53
O -- 2 9 10 15 -- 36
Mount Carmel scoring: Broster 6 1 14, Smith 7 0 14, Kennard 3 3 9, Sisson 3 0 6, Bertram 2 0 5, Dougherty 1 0 3, Gillihan 1 0 2.