CENTRALIA — For a second straight year, the Belleville West Maroons and Cahokia Comanches will meet for a spot in the championship game of the Centralia Holiday Tournament.
Seeded fourth, the Maroons got a game-high 27 points from Nick Van Osdale, and Markkies Goodwin posted a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead West to a 74-62 win over Oak Lawn Richards in the first of two winner's bracket games played Friday afternoon at the CHS Arena.
In that second contest, the top-seeded and reigning champion Comanches got all they wanted and more from upset-minded Effingham, but Cahokia was able to fight through to get a 42-38 victory over the Flaming Hearts.
Cahokia, which beat West 65-59 last year to reach the title game, will face the Maroons at 12:30 p.m. today.
The other semifinal will send Jacksonville against Chicago Marist.
Belleville West 74, Richards 62
The Maroons shook off some early sluggishness after finding themselves down 14-8 to the Bulldogs in the early going.
"They didn't come out with much intensity and we knew how good Oak Lawn was," said West coach Joe Muniz. "They're pretty athletic and they've got size. Early on, we went up to the basket very weak and that's what made me mad."
Muniz took a timeout after falling down by that six-point margin and Maroons responded with a 19-4 run following the timeout. The Bulldogs (5-5) got as close as three on a pair of occasions in the third quarter and were down by just 53-47 margin early in the fourth, before West ran away with a 9-0 scoring run.
Goodwin accounted for five of the points in the run while the other four came from Donnie Foster, who also landed in double figures with 14 points.
"We all made adjustments as the game went on, especially in the second half," Muniz said. "We were able to move the ball around and get some open shots.
"Donnie was huge. They were sending his man to double (Van Osdale) and Donnie is a guy who can make those shots. He's a guy who makes winning plays."
The Maroons were able to withstand a monster performance from Richards center Josh Meier. A 6-foot-6 junior, Meier went for 19 points and also had a tournament-best 18 rebounds in a losing cause.
Van Osdale played the game with a taped right wrist, an injury that has nagged West's leading scorer for a while, according to Muniz.
"He's playing through it," Muniz said. "He's practiced once in the last week, but he made some shots and he shared the basketball really well. He made some really nice passes."
Cahokia 42, Effingham 38
The Flaming Hearts held a 36-35 lead 18 seconds into the fourth quarter, but Cahokia (10-2) was able to hold the Flaming Hearts without a point over the next 5 minutes and 54 seconds to sneak away with the victory.
"Their style makes it tough on us," said Comanches coach Darian Nash. "Our kids were in the locker room with their heads down, but a win is a win and we're moving on.
"We have to get past this. We have to move on because it's going to be a battle [against West]."
Keenan Minor, last year's tournament MVP, had 16 points for the Comanches and it was his basket with 6:14 left to play that put Cahokia back into the lead for good. Darius Austin had 11 points to go with nine rebounds and Vincent Jackson had 10 points for Cahokia.
Jake Stombaugh's 11 points paced the Hearts (7-3). Effingham plays Richards at 8:30 a.m. in the CHS Annex in a fifth-place bracket semifinal.
"We hit six 3s and they (Effingham) had a tough time making shots consistently," Nash said. "That was the difference in the game."
O'Fallon 62, Raleigh Egypt 57
In the final game of Friday's afternoon session, the Panthers remained alive in the tournament, rallying from being 11 points down in the third quarter while snapping a seven-game losing streak.
"The first half, we weren't playing hard," said O'Fallon coach Rick Gibson. "We were playing like a team that had lost seven in a row and like the game didn't mean anything.
"When you've lost seven in a row, I don't care if the game is the in park, it better mean something. At halftime we reminded them of that and I thought we came out and were a different team in the second half."
Sophomore Parker Roustio had 20 points and eight rebounds for the Panthers (4-8), who also got 16 points out of sophomore guard Donovan Franklin.
Out of Memphis, the Pharaohs were paced by 20 points from Keondra Howard. O'Fallon plays at 10 a.m. Saturday against either Blue Island Eisenhower or Burbank St. Laurence.
Alton 64, Champaign Central 57
The Redbirds fell behind late in the third quarter after once holding a 22-9 lead, but Alton pulled away in the fourth quarter to eliminate the Maroons in the second game of the day.
Sophomore Carlos Anderson had 19 points to lead three Alton players into double figures. A'Basa Brown had 18 points and Tyrome Parker 12 for the Redbirds.
The Redbirds (6-5) plays Mount Vernon, a 74-38 winner on Friday over Salem, today at 10 a.m. at the CHS Annex in a consolation semifinal. Champaign Central exits the tournament with a 3-8 record.