Despite all of their accomplishments in the last four years, the Carrollton Hawks had not gotten past the quarterfinals in the Winchester Invitational Tournament in that time span. On Tuesday night the Hawks finally did as they defeated the North Greene Spartans 64-44.
“That was the focus, to try to get to the semifinals,” Carrollton head coach Jeff Krumwiede said.
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Luke Gillingham once again spearheaded the Hawks’ (12-2) attack. He piled up 21 points and rained in five three-pointers. For the Spartans (8-4) their main man was Elijah Barber, who tallied 15 points.
“We started the game off very well,” North Greene head coach Brett Barry said. “We really prepped about defining roles.”
North Greene raced out to a 13-8 lead midway through the first quarter, but at the 4:21 mark Carrollton called a timeout and the tide turned. The Hawks went on an 18-4 run over an eight-minute period while the Spartans knocked down only two field goals during that time.
It was 31-23 Carrollton going into halftime and they wouldn’t slow down. They got out to a 13-point lead within the first three minutes of the third quarter, but North Greene’s shooting came back on line. Along with Barber, Andrew Davis and Nathan Randall peppered away at Carrollton’s defense when the game was at a high tempo.
“North Greene gave us everything that we could handle and hit a lot of jump-shots,” Krumwiede said.
The Spartans got to within six points late in the third stanza, but the Hawks remained composed and had a 50-41 lead going into the fourth quarter.
“They had answered so many times. Carrollton is an outstanding team,” Barry said. They do great things with the ball.”
Yet again, at the 4:21 mark, there was another turning point. North Greene’s Logan Ross picked up a technical foul for disagreeing with the referee who whistled him for a shooting foul on Luke Palan. The Hawks shot four foul shots and retained possession. They made two of the four shots and the game was now in control for Carrollton at that point, up 57-43.
“We made a lot of plays in tough situations. What was really nice was at the end when we needed to put it away and protect the ball,” Krumwiede said. “We did a good job with that.”
A disadvantage to the Spartans going into this game was they didn’t have senior leading scorer Connor Vincent who wasn’t available because of an injured left wrist. He sustained the injury in North Greene’s win over Rushville-Industry last Saturday. The status of his wrist is not good.
“He goes to the doctor on Thursday. The ER told him there are two broken bones in the wrist,” Barry said.
North Greene will take on the loser of the Calhoun vs. Griggville-Perry game in the semifinals of the fifth-place bracket of the Winchester Tournament at 7 p.m. on Friday.
Carrollton will play the winner of that game in the semifinals of the winners bracket at 8:30 p.m. on Friday. The Hawks are 1-1 against Griggsville this season and beat Calhoun 60-43 a little over two weeks ago.
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