The varsity boy’s basketball teams at Carrier Mills-Stonefort and Galatia have certainly seen better days, but when the two get together one can always expect a showdown.
Both Saline County Schools have an enrollment of a little over one hundred students and each share a friendly rivalry within the Greater Egyptian Conference. This was certainly evident Friday night as the two faced for the first time this season in a match that saw the Wildcats walk away with a 67-37 victory.
The Wildcat’s senior duo of Cameron Taborn and Josh Bailey topped all scorers with 19 and 15 points each, while sophomore Slayden Figg pitched in ten.
“We struggled with our motion offense throughout the game and have had a lot of trouble boxing out and getting rebounds throughout the season,” Galatia head coach Kendall Hankins said.
After beating Grayville in November, the senior-less Bearcats have maintained only a single victory thus far into the season.
With a bit of veteran leadership in their favor, the Wildcats are 4-1 in conference play with an overall record of 5-10. With their lone loss within the conference coming from 1A powerhouse Gallatin County, the Wildcats have yet to go up against Norris City-Omaha-Enfield and Crab Orchard.
The Wildcats began the first quarter with a 12-0 lead before Bearcat junior Tyler Slone scored the team’s first points with less than a minute left.
Galatia was behind 16-2 going into the second quarter, with Bearcat junior’s Bodie Beckman and Adam Brothers, along with freshman Austin Stricklin, giving their team a ten point boost going into the second half.
The Wildcats were up 12-29 after half time, however, a cavalcade of missed shots from the Wildcat’s leading scorers and a slow-moving defense allowed the Bearcat’s to gain twelve points in the third quarter.
But a dozen points weren’t enough to keep the Bearcat’s afloat going into the game’s final quarter and the Wildcats were able to keep a 30 point spread between themselves and the host team.
“We got a little lazier on both sides of the court as the game progressed,” Carrier Mills-Stonefort head coach Mark Motsinger said. “That’s something we definitely can’t afford to do going into to our next game.”
Coach Motsinger said his team’s upcoming home game against Crab Orchard Tuesday night is an important one as far as seeding goes for the upcoming GEC Tournament at Southeastern Illinois College January 21-26.
“Crab Orchard has beat Galatia and NCOE and looks to be our main competition for the second seed in the Conference Tournament,” he said. “We may have the home court advantage Tuesday night but it looks to be a tough, decisive game regardless.”
Page 2 of 2 - The Bearcat’s will also be back in action Tuesday night as they venture down to Hardin County Tuesday to take on the Cougars for the second time this season.
Caleb Motsinger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Carrier Mills 16 13 18 20— 67
Galatia 2 10 12 13— 37
Carrier Mills-Stonefort (67): Taborn 8 3-4 19, Bailey 6 2-3 15, Summers 2 0-0 5, Figg 3 3-6 10, Betz 2 1-2 7, Whiting 2 3-3 7, Gabbard 0 1-2 1, Binkley 1 0-0 3. Totals: 24 13-20 67.
Galatia (37): Beckman 1 0-2 2, Mondino 2 3-4 7, Sloan 2 0-0 4, Brothers 3 0-2 6, Manning 2 4-4 9, Stricklin 4 1-2 9. Totals: 14 8-14 37.
3-Pointers: Carrier Mills 6 (Bailey, Summers, Figg, Betz 2, Binkley); Galatia 1 (Manning). Team Fouls: Carrier Mills 17, Galatia 16. Fouled Out: Beckman.