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Saturday's prep highlights: O'Neill's big game helps Unity to another win

Feb. 4—Illini Prairie-Sangamo Challenge

➜ Monticello 49, Athens 42. Monticello overcame a slow start to post a nonconference win on its home court at the Sievers Center and end a two-game losing streak. Trey Welter scored a game-high 15 points and hauled in six rebounds for the Sages, who trailed 11-5 at the end of the first quarter but led 18-14 going into halftime. Jack Weidner also hit double figures with 10 points for the Sages (12-11). Ike Young (six points, eight rebounds, three steals) and Tyler Blythe (six points) also pitched in for Monticello.

➜ Olympia 66, Paxton-Buckley-Loda 63. Paxton-Buckley-Loda held a 49-46 lead entering the fourth quarter, but the Spartans were able to overcome the slim deficit and pull out a win at Miller Gym in Monticello. Tyler Cole scored a team-high 18 points for the Panthers (5-19), with 16 of those in the second half. Noah Steiner joined Cole in double figures with 15 points, while Robert Boyd-Meents and Bryar Cosgrove each chipped in seven points.

➜ Prairie Central 71, Williamsville 52. Four players in double figures led the Hawks to a nonconference win at Miller Gym in Monticello. Tyler Curl and Levi Goad both dropped in 20 points for Prairie Central (15-10) in its second straight victory. Avery Eldar tallied 14 points and Talen Steidinger finished with 10 points to help the Hawks keep the Bullets at bay.

➜ Rantoul 51, Petersburg PORTA 40. Rantoul built upon its 28-25 halftime lead in the second half, fending off the Bluejays for a win at the Sievers Center in Monticello. DJ Davis scored a team-high 17 points for the Eagles (5-15), making a trio of three-pointers. Ross Gawenda finished with nine points and eight rebounds in the win, while Holden Cargo added eight points off the bench for Rantoul.

➜ St. Joseph-Ogden 74, Riverton 49. St. Joseph-Ogden led for nearly the entire game, cruising to a nonconference win at the Sievers Center in Monticello. Tanner Siems scored a team-high 15 points for SJ-O (21-6) in its third straight win, while Logan Smith finished off a double-double by scoring 11 points and handing out 12 assists. Coy Taylor (14 points), Tanner Jacob (10 points) and Logan Lackey (eight points) also played a key role for the Spartans in the win.

➜ St. Thomas More 48, Maroa-Forsyth 45. A three-pointer by Andrew Tay late in the fourth quarter broke a tie and gave St. Thomas More the lead for good in a win at the Sievers Center in Monticello. Tay, who finished with 12 points and six rebounds, connected on a three-pointer with fewer than two minutes left to break a 43-43 tie and give STM a 46-43 lead. The Sabers never trailed again. Peace Bumba compiled a double-double with a game-high 16 points and 10 rebounds to go along with five assists for the Sabers (17-8). Owen Yeager joined Bumba and Tay in double figures with 11 points.

➜ Unity 72, Auburn 57. Dalton O'Neill found his sweet spot beyond the three-point line, leading Unity to a nonconference win at the Sievers Center in Monticello. O'Neill scored a game-high 24 points for the Rockets (22-2) in their third consecutive win and finished 6 of 11 from three-point range. Dane Eisenmenger (11 points), Henry Thomas (10 points, four assists, six steals), Andrew Thomas (nine points) and Coleton Langendorf (nine points) complemented O'Neill as Unity overcame a 31-30 halftime deficit.

Nontournament

➜ Cerro Gordo/Bement 62, Judah Christian 49. Cerro Gordo/Bement pulled away in the fourth quarter to earn a nonconference home win, the Broncos' second victory in as many days. Will Fuson scored a game-high 19 points for Cerro Gordo/Bement (10-15), with Tyson Moore adding 18 points and Brenden Puckett supplying 15 points. Judah Christian, which only trailed 41-38 after the third quarter and saw its four-game win streak snapped, received 13 points apiece from Braydon Mora and Cameron Carson. Judah Ruhlig added 10 points for the Tribe (9-14).

➜ Mahomet-Seymour 80, Effingham 46. Mahomet-Seymour used a dominating third quarter to take control of the Apollo Conference game and cruise to a road win against the Flaming Hearts. Leading 29-25 at halftime, the Bulldogs outscored Effingham 36-13 in the third quarter en route to its highest scoring game of the season. Jackson Bohm scored a game-high 20 points, pulled down nine rebounds and made three steals to spark M-S (10-13). Miles Woolsey (14 points), Cade Starrick (12 points), Landyn Hannah (10 points) and Luke Dyer (eight points, nine rebounds, five assists) all had key roles in the win by the Bulldogs.

In girls' basketball

➜ Chillicothe IVC 52, Paxton-Buckley-Loda 20. Chillicothe IVC took a 35-11 lead into halftime in an Illini Prairie Conference win against the visiting Panthers. Bailey Luebchow paced Paxton-Buckley-Loda (4-23) with a team-high nine points.

➜ Cissna Park 36, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 23. The host Timberwolves relied on superb defense and solid offensive production from Addison Lucht to earn the nonconference win, Cissna Park's sixth straight victory. Lucht scored 19 points and made three steals, while Lauryn Hamrick finished with eight points for the Timberwolves (20-7) against the Falcons (17-8).

➜ Clinton 55, Riverton 35. Clinton took an early lead against the Hawks and didn't let up in a home nonconference win. Clara Dempsey led a balanced scoring effort by the Maroons (16-11) with 12 points. Heidi Humble (10 points), Regan Filkin (nine points) and Carly Anderson (eight points) also got in on the offensive fun for Clinton, which led 25-10 at halftime.

➜ Fisher 65, Uni High 35. Morgan Estes scored a team-high 16 points and pulled down seven rebounds, leading the Bunnies to a win against the Illineks in an early preview of a Class 1A regional quarterfinal game next Saturday between the two teams. Melina Luyando and Paige Hott joined Estes in double figures with 11 points apiece as Fisher (11-17) ended a nine-game losing skid with a home nonconference victory. Jenna Clemmons contributed nine points, while Avery Carleton (six points, four assists) and Paige Ferguson (six points) also chipped in. Chizara Onyemere scored a game-high 18 points for Uni High (3-17), while Jane McCumber (eight points) and Eve Anderson (six points) factored into the offense for the Illineks.

➜ Mattoon 58, Sullivan 54. Sullivan trailed by double digits entering the fourth quarter before putting together a comeback to send the game into overtime, but the host Green Wave prevailed for a nonconference victory. The Redskins (16-10) received a game-high 22 points from Addison Minor, rallying from a 46-36 deficit after three quarters to tie the game at 50 at the end of regulation. Addison Stollard added eight points, with Kiley Dyer and Brooklyn Booker both contributing six points.

➜ Hoopeston Area 62, Heritage 25. The duo of Maddie Barnes and Claire Dixon powered the host Cornjerkers to a nonconference win. Barnes and Dixon each sank six three-pointers for Hoopeston Area (16-13) against the Hawks, with Barnes dropping in a game-high 25 points and Dixon scoring 22 points.

➜ Peoria Richwoods 70, Danville 23. Danville trailed early and couldn't catch up in a Big 12 road loss. Jada Bell had a team-high 10 points for the Vikings (10-17) and teammate Anna Houpt added six points.

➜ Tri-Valley 69, St. Thomas More 51. St. Thomas More kept pace with Tri-Valley in the first quarter, but the Vikings were too much in earning a nonconference win in Champaign. Ruari Quarnstrom scored a team-high 23 points for STM (12-14), which only trailed 21-17 at the end of the first quarter but went into halftime down 40-23. Grace Dimoke and Marleo Mondebele both finished with nine points for the Sabers.