Last year it may have come as bit of a surprise with Gallatin County winning the Greater Egyptian Conference over Crab Orchard, a team that included two of the south’s best players in Ben Kissing and Drew Johnson.
This season, it would have been a surprise if Gallatin County didn’t win the GEC Tournament.
Playing as Illinois’ No. 2 team in Class 1A with plenty of firepower of their own, the Hawks rolled to their second straight GEC title with a 68-24 win over Carrier Mills.
Led by Rice University signee Andrew Drone’s game-high 30 points, Gallatin County used all facets to put away Carrier Mills.
For Gallatin County head coach Robert Patton, his team’s point of emphasis was on the defensive end. The Hawks’ didn’t let down their head coach, holding the Wildcats to four first quarter points as Gallatin went up 20-4.
Gallatin County kept their foot on the throat of Carrier Mills as they built a 34-14 first half lead with Drone putting up 24 points.
“The effort for us was on the defensive end,“ Patton said. “We shut them down in the first half and really played well in the second half. I thought our help defense was outstanding and I’m just very proud of the effort.”
For good effort, Gallatin County’s Daine Hish scored 17 points, 11 of which came in third quarter when the senior knocked down three straight 3-pointers.
Cameron Taborn led Carrier Mills with 8 points as the Wildcats got into Saturday night’s title tilt by knocking off Norris City-Omaha-Enfield Friday night.
Darren Betz had six points for the Wildcats, while Slayden Figg finished with four. Loren Whiting tacked on three points and Josh Bailey had two in the loss.
“We’re bigger than they are, but give them credit,“ Patton added. “They are a nice ball club. They’re well coached and play hard, but we shot well tonight and just did a lot of things well.”
Michael Dann can be reached at hbgsports@dailyregister. com Follow Michael Dann on Twitter @spydieshooter.
Carrier Mills 04 11 03 06 - 24
Gallatin County 20 12 29 05 - 68
Carrier Mills (10-11): Bailey 2 0-2 2, Summers, Figg 0 4-6 4, Betz 1 4-5 6, Motsinger 0 1-4 1, Taborn 4 0-1 8, Whiting 1 0-0 3. Totals: 7 9-18 24.
Gallatin County (18-2): Lowe 2 3-4 7, Belford, Hish 6 0-0 17, McGuire 0 1-2 1, Drone 14 2-3 30, Ramsey 2 0-0 2, Jackson 1 0-0 2, Scates 1 1-2 3, Russell 2 0-0 4. Totals: 28 7-11 68.
3-pointers: Carrier Mills 1 (Whiting), Gallatin County 5 (Hish). Fouls: Carrier Mills 11, Gallatin County 15.