The HDC Conference's annual basketball tournament is underway, with four girls games and four boys games played on Saturday at North Mercer High School, with the Gilman City girls and boys each coming out victorious in their first games of the tournament.
In the first game of the day, the Grundy R-5 girls advanced with a 44-20 win over the Tri-County Lady Mustangs. Elizabeth Novak led Grundy County with 12 points while Briana Hixson had 14 points for Tri-County. After taking a 13-8 after one quarter, Grundy County put the game away in the second quarter, outscoring the Lady Mustangs 16-6. The win pushes Grundy R-5 into a girl's quarterfinal game on Monday night at 7:30 against the top-seeded North Mercer Lady Cardinals, while Tri-County drops into Thursday night's ninth place game at 4:30 against the Ridgeway Lady Owls.
In Saturday's second game, the Gilman City boys downed Tri-County by a score of 50-34. For the Hawks, Dylan Sievering had 16 points, Zach Cox 15, and Ryan Burrows 13. The Mustangs were led by Dillon Cook and Tyler Lane with eight points each. The win pushes the 7th seeded Hawks into a 6 o'clock quarterfinal on MONDAY night against the #2 seed North Harrison Shamrocks, while Tri-County falls into the ninth-place game against Cainsville, Thursday night at 6 o'clock.
Saturday's third game was the first quarterfinal to be played, with the Gilman City girls pulling off a mild upset of North Harrison, 45-39. The Lady Hawks, seeded #6, advance to the SEMIFINAL round on Wednesday night at 7:30, to play the winner of Monday night's quarterfinal between Winston and Newtown-Harris. North Harrison falls into the consolation semifinals, where the Lady Shamrocks will play at 7:30 Tuesday night against the Winston/Newtown-Harris loser.
The Ridgeway boys beat Grundy County in the fourth game of the day, 60-57 in a tightly-contested boy's quarterfinal game. Ben Rinehart scored 28 points for the Owls, with Joe Longo adding 13. For the Panthers, Brody Hatcher had 22 points and Destin Gann 14. Ridgeway advances into the boy's semifinal round, and a Wednesday date at 6 o'clock with the winner of Monday night's North Harrison/Gilman City game. Grundy R-5 plays the North Harrison/Gilman City loser in a consolation semifinal on Tuesday night at 9 o'clock.
In Saturday's FIFTH game, the Newtown-Harris girls won a first-round game against Ridgeway by a final score of 36-34, advancing the Lady Tigers into Monday's quarterfinals, and a 4:30 meeting with the #2 seed Winston.
The Winston boys, in quarterfinal action, won a thriller over Newtown-Harris by a score of 62-61, pushing the Redbirds into the semifinals on Wednesday night at 9 o'clock against the winner of Monday night's North Mercer/Pattonsburg game. Newtown-Harris, in the consolation semifinals, will play the Mercer/Pattonsburg loser at 6 o'clock on Tuesday night.
The Pattonsburg girls advanced into the semifinal round with a 50-44 quarterfinal win on Saturday over Cainsville. The Lady Panthers will likely see #1 seeded Mercer in the semifinals, with Mercer set to host Grundy R-5 in the quarterfinals on Monday night at 7:30.
In the final game of the day at Mercer, the Pattonsburg boys upended Cainsville in a first round game by a final score of 50-42, pushing the Panthers into Monday night's quarterfinal with Mercer (at 9 o'clock).