Goreville Junior High’s boys basketball team defeated Cairo, 59-54, Friday night in the SIJHSAA Class M state tournament’s championship game at Rend Lake College’s Waugh Gymnasium.
It is the first SIJHSAA title in basketball in the school’s history.
Braden Webb led the Blackcats with 24 points. Tanner Dunn added 12, Peyton Massy had nine, while Logyn Frassato added five, Peyton Geyman had four, Cole Tosh had three and Morgan Bishop chipped in two.
The team also includes Raymond Lewis, Caleb Murley, Chance Duringer, Trent Glidewell, Logan Verble, Gabe Snell, Jacob Calhoon and Tanner Dunn.
The team was coached by Eric Messmer and J.R. Russell.
“We played an excellent defensive game led by Peyton Geyman, Morgan Bishop and Logyn Frassato,” Messmer said. “Scoring was led by our team leader, Braden.”
Goreville finished the season with a 26-1 record.
The Blackcats defeated Sesser-Valier, 29-27, in the quarterfinals and advanced to the championship with a 44-36 win over Fairfield.
Goreville’s lone loss came against Meridian, 76-59, on Dec. 3. The Blackcats avenged that defeat with a 76-74 overtime win over Meridian in the championship game of the Southern Illini Conference Tournament.
Webb had a school-record 50 points in that game to help the Blackcats win their third straight conference title and fifth in the past six years.