Girls Basketball

Highland, Civic Memorial advance to 3A sectional championship

It was a rough night for the Carbondale and Benton girls basketball teams Monday in the Class 3A Sectional semifinals.

Highland jumped on Carbondale immediately and picked up a 63-44 win. In the nightcap, Bethalto Civic Memorial earned a 64-48 victory over Benton.

Civic Memorial plays Highland for the sectional championship at 7 p.m. Thursday.

The Terriers fell behind 11-2 early in the game after an 8-0 run from Highland’s Madison Wellen.

“We just ran into a buzz saw; that’s a very good basketball team,” said Carbondale coach Marialice Jenkins. “We had some kids in positions they weren’t familiar with. Then they started hitting the threes. I can see them continuing to play quite a few games.”

After Amanda Ponce drained a 3-pointer for a 14-3 advantage, Skylar Miller sank a jump shot for Carbondale.

Alex LaPorta gave the Bulldogs an 18-5 lead after one quarter, and continued to pile on the Terriors in the second.

Wellen buried back-to-back 3-pointers for a 24-5 lead. She led all scorers with 21 points.

Civic Memorial 64, Benton 48

In the second game, Benton had its chances and sliced Civic Memorial’s lead to single digits early in the fourth quarter. But the Rangerettes (28-4) didn’t have quite enough.

Makayla Abney’s rebound and basket pulled Benton to within 49-42 with five minutes to play. Benton was only able to score six points the rest of the way.

Allie Troeckler, Civic Memorial’s leading scorer, was held to just three points in the first half. But the junior racked up 21 points in the second half.

Abney scored down low, and Benton still trailed by just eight with 1:50 to play, but Troeckler responded immediately with a basket.

Benton played the postseason without its defensive stopper, Marcy Mendez, who was injured.