Wesclin Ends Hiltoppers Season

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When basketball shots don't fall, offensive schemes look shabby while those executing the offense become disheartened. That happened to Hillsboro Wednesday night, Feb. 20, in the semi-finals of the Carlyle Regional. Conversely, when the first few shots fall, the offensive schemes and execution lead to confidence. That happened to the Trenton Wesclin Warriors as they raced to a convincing 60-38 victory. Their reward, besides a win number sixteen, was a confrontation with the number one ranked team in the state, Nashville, on Friday night, Feb. 22.

The Warriors had three big men starting, 6'4" sophomore Cameron Brandmeyer; 6'7" senior Nate Brede, the coach's son; and 6'5" sophomore Cole Macke. A fourth starter was 6'3" junior Kyle Elmore -- but all played like guards offensively, shooting treys and running the floor well.

Brandmeyer had four treys among his 22 points, Macke had four treys and 14 points, and Bede had one trey and 16 points plus three blocked shots. Their mobility and marksmanship made them hard to guard. With Elmore contributing six, the four tall men contributed all but two of the Warriors' points.

The Topper shooting woes that doomed them against Litchfield last Friday continued in Carlyle; their first possessions resulted in four missed shots and a turnover as Wesclin jumped to a 7-0 lead in the first three minutes. Topper sophomore Jude Bertolino's trey stopped the Warrior's run, but only he scored for Hillsboro in the first quarter when the lead was whittled to 12-8 before Brede concluded the scoring.

A Landon Carroll drive made it 14-10 as the second period began; Brandmeyer's free throws put Trenton ahead by six. Jordan Gregg, though, had the next two baskets. Ahead 16-14, the Warriors scored the last 12 points of the half and the first five of the third quarter before Gregg snapped that 17-0, game deciding run.

The Toppers used threes by Drake Vogel and Keaton Pruett to score eight points in the third period. Trenton, a member of the strong Mississippi Division of the Cahokia Conference, scored 18,

Both benches were emptied for the last four minutes of the game; the Toppers had four freshmen (Vogel, Gavin Matoush, Dillon Smail, and Ian Malloy) on the floor as the season expired.

For the contest the Toppers made 38% (11 of 28) shots from inside the arc, 29% (4 of 14) from beyond. The turnover total was respectable (13) but ten came in the decisive middle quarters. Trenton had no first quarter turnovers, and only six overall,as those Warriors who didn't score handled the ball and defended well.

The Toppers graduate four seniors, Kaden Lemon, Carroll, Pruett, and Gregg, from their 17-14 2018-19 season. Season statistics will be available soon.

February 20 at Carlyle
Class 2A Carlyle Regional
Wesclin 14 14 18 14 - 60
Hillsboro 8 6 8 16 - 38
Wesclin (60) - Cameron Brandmeyer 22, Nate Brede 16, Cole Macke 14, Kyle Elmore 6, Grant Heier 2.
Hillsboro (38) - Jude Bertolino 10, Jordan Gregg 9, Landon Carroll 7, Drake Vogel 5, Gavin Matoush 4, Keaton Pruett 3.
Three-point field goals: Wesclin 9 (Brandmeyer 4, Macke 4, Brede 1); Hillsboro 4 (Bertolino 2, Pruett 1, Vogel 1).
Records: Wesclin (16-15); Hillsboro (17-14).

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