SPRINGFIELD -- Out is the individualized basketball MacArthur ran itself into at the beginning of the season.

In is a five-man synchronized act that has the Generals on a nine-game win streak after an 87-66 Central State 8 Conference win against Sprinfield.

Fourteen MacArthur (16-7) players played, and 14 scored.

“The way we've been playing as a team and everybody who played tonight scored a point," MacArthur coach Ron Ingram said. "Its unbelievable how well they are sharing the ball.

If 14 players play, 14 will score. If six players play, six will score. They're buying into sharing the ball, playing team offense and defense. At the beginning of the season we really didn't. It’s 5 on 5 now."

Armon Brummett scored 14 points, and Amir Brummett and T.J. Gaines each had 13 points.

"T.J. He shot the ball well tonight," Ingram said. "He didn't turn the ball over, he rebounded the ball well for him. Thirteen points may be the highest all season. He shot the ball well. He stepped up big."

Eisenhower 56, Chatham Glenwood 47

CHATHAM -- All season long Rodney Walker was looking for his team to string together four quarters of quality basketball on both ends.

On Friday, the Panthers did it in a Central State 8 Conference road win against Chatham Glenwood.

"We finally came out and played four quarters on the offensive and defensive end," Eisenhower coach Rodney Walker said. "We need to keep building momentum and building confidence going forward."

R.J. Walker drilled five triples for the Panthers to lead the team with 15 points. Yansyn Taylor added 10 and Keon Jones scored 14.

But, what Rodney Walker was happiest about was his team's 13 of 18 from the free-throw line.

"What is most impressive is that we hit a lot of free throws down the stretch to seal the deal. It was a good win for us."

Monticello 56, Bloomington Central Catholic 53

MONTICELLO — The first attempt at a tying 3-pointer in the final minute Friday didn't fall for Central Catholic High School.

Neither did the second with less than 10 seconds left, or the third at the buzzer.

The misses prevented the Saints from forcing overtime and possibly overcoming cold shooting and first-half foul trouble. The result became a 56-53 loss to the Sages in a tense showdown of state-ranked squads battling atop the standings in the inaugural year of the Illini Prairie Conference.

"We had a couple good looks and the ball just didn't go in and on the road you've got to do better," said Central coach Jason Welch. "Tonight we weren't good enough and ultimately you tip your hat to the Sages."

In a playoff-type matchup where something had to give before a raucous packed house at the Sages' cozy Miller Gym, the No. 8 Saints saw a 12-game winning streak end while falling to 18-6 overall and 7-1 in league play. No. 6 Monticello (19-1, 7-0) pushed its run of victories to 12.

"They're an awfully good basketball team and we had an opportunity at the end but just couldn't overcome things that you normally go through on the road," said Welch, who got 22 points from senior Jack Gilmore to counter a 24-point performance by the Sages' Calvin Fisher.

Fisher matched Gilmore with four 3-pointers, including a step-back dagger that widened the Sages' lead to 46-41 in the fourth quarter. After a Luke Yoder layup, Fisher banged home another trey.

"Absolutely huge, and he's been able to do that all year," said Monticello coach Kevin Roy. "He's able to get just a little bit of daylight to get that shot off and he was able to knock them down."

Mattoon 70, Mount Zion 68

MATTOON — Mattoon snapped a six-game losing streak and avenged a 70-38 loss from Dec. 8 Friday as they topped Mount Zion by a basket. 

Mattoon's junior Jadyn Princko hit a 3-pointer with a minute left to give Mattoon a 68-66 lead. Throughout the season, he had been averaging 11.9 points per game, Mattoon’s leading scorer, but he scored well-above his season average with 21 points.

The rest of Mattoon’s backcourt, juniors Jaydon Noe and Jacob Spitz, combined for 33 points, 17 and 16 respectively.

“They took care of the basketball tonight,” Mattoon coach Ryan Ghere said. “And then they knocked down shots, which they’ve struggled with lately."

Mattoon's game plan centered around limiting Mount Zion's Jonah Smith. 

“We wanted to contain Smith, he had 28 points, so I guess that’s containing him,” Ghere said.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Tri-City/Sangamon Valley 41, Barry Western 26

BUFFALO -- Tri-City/Sangmon Valley repeated as regional champion Friday when it defeated Barry Western in the Class 2A Buffalo Regional title game. 

The game was dominated by defense at times with both teams combining for five points in the second quarter. 

"All I can say is, 'Wow.' At first it was a defensive struggle and both teams came out to battle," TCSV coach Tony Nika said. "Our girls came out hot and did what they needed to do. We controlled the flow of the ball well and got it where it needed to go."

Aubrey Hunt led all scorers with 18 points and Ashlyn Sturdy added 14. 

Riley Epperson led Barry Western with nine points. 

"It was an awesome effort by everyone on all fronts. It was a true team effort," Nika said.  

Monticello 48, Fithian Oakwood 46 (OT)

GEORGETOWN -- Monticello took a 10-point lead into overtime before Fithian Oakwood stormed back.

The Sages relinquished the lead, but tied the game with six seconds left to force overtime.

In the overtime, Monticello did just enough to win the Class 2A Georgetown Regional championship.

"We let them back in the game in the fourth quarter," Monticello coach Dave Beery said. "We had a ten-point lead with four minutes to go. We ran our offense too well. We got some wide open shot. They were outside shots that we didn't need to take, but we took them and missed."

Zanna Myers led the Sages with 18 points and Tatum McCall added seven.

"We were able to pull it out," Beery said. "One of the biggest things, I told the girls after the game that no matter what, I'm proud they didn't lose their composure. We could have made some better decisions, but that wasn't because we were losing our composure. Us taking those wide open shots was not us losing our composure. That comes from experience of understanding the situation. I'm really proud that we have won our fifth regional title in a row."

Monticello plays Wateska at 7:30 p.m. Monday in the Class 2A Gilman Iroquois West sectional semifinal.

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Sports Writer

Sports writer for the Herald & Review.

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