Championship Game: Edwardsville 38, Centralia 31
Edwardsville is the champion of the 64th Annual Salem Invitational as they outlasted the Centralia Orphans in the Championship game 38 to 31. It's the fourth year in a row Edwardsville has won the tournament.
The closely fought game saw Edwardsville leading by a single point at half-time 19 to 18. The Orphans fell as many as eight points behind in the third quarter before going up by three and eventually ending the quarter up by one. But Edwardsville jumped ahead early in the fourth quarter as the Orphans had trouble getting their shots to fall. The Orphans came back to within a point with 5:39 remaining before cold 1 for 10 shooting to close out the game gave Edwardsville the win.
Edwardsville was led by tournament most valuable player A.J. Epenesa with ten points. Centralia was led by D'Aaron Owens with 14 points. Owens and the Orphans Ryan Obermeier were both selected to the All Tournament team.
The Orphans return to action on Friday when they meet South Seven foe Cahokia.
Others making the all conference team were Gilwan Nelson and Braden Fitzjerrells of Mt. Vernon, and Braydon Bone of Effingham. Second team members included Nic Helm of Salem, Grant Wolfe of Effingham, Mark Smith and Oliver Stephen of Edwardsville and Robby Dosier of Marion.
Consolation Championship: Marion 51, Salem 31
Salem fell to Marion in the Consolation Final 51 to 31. Salem fell behind early and trailed 18-9 at halftime. Marion continued to dominate in the third quarter and put the game away when they were outscored by Marion 19 to 9 to trail 37 to 18.
Salem had only one player in double figures, Nathan Williams with 10 points. Marion was led by Robbey Doiser with 17.
Salem is idle until Friday, when they are on the road at Taylorville.
Third Place Game: Mt. Vernon 58, Effingham 47
Mt. Vernon won the third place game 58 to 47 over Effingham. After falling behind 6-2 early in the first quarter, the Rams went on a 10-0 run and were up 27-21 at half. Effingham closed the gap to one point early in the fourth quarter before Mt. Vernon went on a 9-0 run to put the game away.
Two of the Rams combined for all but six of the teams points, as Braden Fitzjerrells scored 33 points and Gilwan Nelson had 22.
Consolation Semi-Final: Salem 64, Mattoon 40
The Salem Wildcats played probably their best game of the season as they topped Mattoon 64 to 40 to advance to the consolation title game.
Salem's senior forward Nathan Williams came out hot for the Wildcats putting in 5 points in the first quarter. His sharp shooting from the field helped to disrupt the long 2-3 zone of Mattoon. At the end of 1 Salem led 9 to 7.
In the 2nd quarter Salem's offense came alive. Brendan Boles came off the bench pouring in 9 points, Nathan Williams and Nic Helm each chipped in 6 in the 26 point quarter for Salem. Salem was finding quality shots through quick ball movement, often times not allowing Mattoon to set up their zone. Heading into the half Salem led 35 to 19.
Coming out of the half Mattoon decided to press Salem in hopes of disrupting their offense. The plan back fired as Salem's run and gun attack shredded the Mattoon press for 22 points in the quarter. Nic Helm poured in 9 points in the quarter and heading in the final quarter Mattoon had lost all hope.
Mattoon benched their starters for the final quarter and Salem just tired to control the clock and seal the victory. The game ended with a final score of 64 to 40. Salem was led in scoring by Nic Helm with 17 points and Sophomore Brendan Boles with 13. The Mattoon Green Wave were paced by Jack Roboin with 7 points and Sawyer Scott with 6.
Consolation Semi-Final: Marion 80, Lovejoy 26
Marion crushed Lovejoy 80 to 26 Saturday afternoon to earn their birth in the consolation championship game against Salem.