Boys Basketball

Here’s a look at the Nashville Hornets and the rest of the Class 2A Final Four

Dunks, blocks and big shots by local boys and girls basketball teams

Take a look at some of the big shots and moments caught on video from high school boys and girls basketball teams in the metro-east.
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Take a look at some of the big shots and moments caught on video from high school boys and girls basketball teams in the metro-east.

The Nashville Hornets will make their first appearance in the Class 2A State Basketball Tournament since 2014 on Friday when they take on the Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley Falcons in a semifinal game at the Peoria Civic Center.

The top-ranked Class 2A team in the state for much of the season, Nashville (34-2) entters the game riding a 19-game winning streak and hasn’t lost since a 31-29 setback at River-to-River Conference rival Pinckneyville on Jan. 4. The appearance iin the state state finals is the 11th in school history for the Hornets who won the 1978 Class A title under coach Bob Bogle.

The Hornets lost in triple overtime to Bloomington Central Catholic (78-62) in the state final game in 2014. On Friday, Nashville returns to the Peoria Civic Center court to battle Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley team (32-2) which is making its first trip the state finals.

The Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley-Nashville is set for 7 :15 p.m. and will follow the first semifinal at 5:30 p.m. pitting two-itime defending Class 2A state champion Chicago Orr (23-11) against Chicago Corliss (20-8) The two semifinal winners will meet for the state championship at 7:15 p.m. Saturday. The third place game is set for 5:30 p.m.

Following are individual capsules on the four teams competing for the Class 2A state crown.


Coach: Harvey Jones (3rd year, 49-15)

Classification Enrollment: 304

Nickname: Trojans

Colors: Black/Gold

Conference: Chicago Public

Last Year’s Advancement: Lost to Winnebago 58-55 in super-sectional

State Tournament history: This is the Trojans first state tournament appearance

Starting 5: Guard: Dhashon Dyson, jr. 6-1 (19.3 ppg,, 102 rebounds, 88 assists); G-F: LaMondre Townsen, sr. 6-6, (14.6 ppg., 109 rebounds, 103 assists) Center: Joe Doyle , sr. 6-10 (6.4 ppg., 248 rebounds, 201 assists); Forward: Jadon Williams, jr. (6.2 ppg., 129 rebounds, 63 assists); Guard: Mark Lewis sr. 5-10; (6.2 ppg, 78 rebounds, 53 assi ts)


Coach: Louis Adams (8th season, 180-48)

Classification Enrollment: 275

Nickname: Spartans

Colors: Black/Gold

Conference: Chicago Public

Last Year’s Advancement: Defeated Winnebago 76-49 in state title game)

State Tournament history This is Orr’s fifth state tournament apperance. The Spartans are the two-time defending Class 2A state champions.

Starting 5: Guard: Michael Taylor, sr. 6-1, (5.6 ppg.,, 124 rebounds, 53 assists); Forward: Sherif Kenney, sr. 6-5 (12.3 ppg, 93 rebounds, 66 assists) Guard: Terry Williams, sr. 6-1: (11.3 ppg., 73 rebounds, 38 assists); Center: Tujantee Williams, sr. 6-6 (13.6 ppg, 258 rebounds, 138 assists); Guard: Greg Outlaw, sr, 6-4 (13 ppg., 126 rebound, 61 assists)


Coach: Ryan Tompkins (17th season, 253-238)

Classification Enrollment: 312

Nickname: Falcons

Colors: Red/Black

Conference: Heart of Illinois

Last Season’s Advancment: Lost to Monticello 45-43 in regional final

State Tournament History: This is the Falcons first state tournament

Starting 5: Guard: Caleb Bleich, 5-10sr. (6.1 ppg, 150 rebounds, 53 assists); Forward: Ryland Holt, sr. 6-5, (14.4 ppg., 296 rebounds, 83 assists); Guard: Ben Freehill, sr. 6-1, (5.2 ppg., 85 rebounds, 86 assists); Forward: Bryce Barnes, sr., 6-1, (14.1 ppg, 218 rebounds, 128 assists); GuardL Connor Birky, sr. 6-2 (12.6 ppg., 138 rebounds, 34 assists)


Coach: Wayne Harre (2nd season, 57-10)

Classification Enrollment: 399

Nickname: Hornets

Colors: Royal Blue/White/Red

Conference: Southern Ill. River-to-River

Last Season’s Advancement: Lost to Pinckneyville 55-33 in sectional semifinal

State Tournament history: This is the Hornets 11th trip to the state finals

Starting 5: Guard: Tristen Hercules, 5-10, jr. (4.5, ppg., 105 rebounds, 20 assists); Guard: Kelton Harre, 5-10, sr. (4.5 ppg., 68 rebounds, 19 assists); sr. Forward:: Bryson Bultman, 6-5, sr. (14.6 ppg., 268 rebounds, 85 assists); Guard: Carson Parker, jr. 6-5 (14.6 ppg., 218 rebounds, 47 assists); Center: Tanner Bergmann , 6-6 sr (3.3 ppg., (50 rebounds, 8 assists)

Dean Criddle has worked at the Belleville News-Democrat for 32 years as a sports writer. Dean graduated from SIUE with a double major in journalism and English, is married and lives in Belleville.