Gallatin County will represent southern Illinois in the Class 1A Super Sectional Tuesday night thanks in part to a 75-58 win over Meridian Friday night in the Hardin County Sectional Championship.
The Hawks will take on Nokomis in a 6 p.m. matchup at the SIU Arena.
Andrew Drone had 28 points, 13 of which came in a pivotal fourth quarter in which the Hawks outscored Meridian 31-22.
Prior to that fourth quarter, with 11 seconds left in the third quarter, Meridian was whistled for two technical fouls. Gallatin County’s Mitchell Ramsey made the most of the Hawks’ chances at the free throw line, hitting all four and setting up a Patrick Lowe bucket, which pushed a 39-36 Gallatin County lead to a 44-36 lead for the Hawks.
The hot shooting from the foul stripe continued in the game’s final eight minutes where the Hawks hit 13-of-17 to keep the Bobcats at bay.
Lowe added 17 points for Gallatin County, while Daine Hish netted nine points. Wes McGuire added eight points, while Anthony Storto scored six points. Ramsey chipped in with seven and Russell had two points.
Gallatin County has played once in the SIU Arena this year, taking on Goreville in the SIU Shoot out.
Gallatin County improves to 27-3, while Meridian closes out its season at 25-7.