After a week of stiff competition between the eight high school teams in the Big Spring Conference Tournament, Saturday, Jan. 26 play finalized the brackets and championships of the Varsity Girls, JV Boys and Varsity Boys at Alton High School.
Monday night started the JV boy's brackets with Alton's win over Van Buren. Eminence JV boys defeated Ellington, and Winona advanced over Summersville to set the bracket for Tuesday's semi-final match ups. Couch JV slipped past Alton, and Eminence won over Winona to set up a 3rd place JV game against Winona, Saturday morning. The Winona Wildcat JV took home the 3rd place plaque after that game.
The JV Eminence Redwings and the Couch JV Indians battled it out for the first place plaque, and the JV Redwings captued the Junior Varsity Championship.
In the varsity girls bracket games, the Couch Lady Indians got past Ellington in the first round on Tuesday night, and face up with the number one seeded Alton Lady Comets in the second round on Thursday. The number three seeded Bunker Lady Eagles eliminated Eminence in Tuesday's first round to advance to Thursday's semi-final game against number two seeded Van Buren Lady Dogs.
Alton's Lady Comets size and depth proved to be too much for the Couch Lady Indians. Thursday night's 54-35 Alton semi-final bracket win, advanced the Lady Comets to Saturday's championship game.
Van Buren's Lady Bulldogs out- shot Bunker 61-53 in the semi-final bracket to match up with Alton, for Saturday's championship game.
The Bunker Lady Eagles took on the Couch Lady Indians for the third place tournament plaque, with the Couch Lady Indians coming out on top.
The number one and number two teams, Alton Lady Comets and the Van Buren Lady Bulldogs, battled for four full quarters. The two teams were pretty evenly matched, but Alton's deeper bench helped wear down the Lady Dogs in the fourth quarter. The Lady Comets took advantage of high percentage shots and tough defense to take the Championship win, 57-46 over Van Buren.
Couch Lady Indian Taylor Beal, and Alton Lady Comets, Cierra Cawvey and Alex Mills, were named to the Girls All Tournament Team, along with Brittany Hager and Gavrille Cipponeri from Van Buren and Jacey Skaggs from Bunker.
In the varsity boys first round bracket (1) Alton eliminated (8) Couch, (4) Van Buren eliminated (5) Summersville, (2) Eminence eliminated (7) Bunker and (3) Winona eliminated (6) Ellington, setting up Thursday's semi-final brackets.
Thursday evening, the Alton Comets sent the Van Buren Bulldogs to a 3rd place match up with a 78-43 win, allowing Alton to advance to Saturday's championship game.
The Winona Wildcats and the Eminence Redwings are bitter rivals who finished out the semi-final bracket. With a six point, 74-68 margin, the Redwings moved on to the championship game, to face the Alton Comets.
Winona's varsity boys handled the Van Buren Dawgs and took home the third place plaque, for the 2013 Big Spring Tournament.
The championship game was a classic match up of number one and number two seeded teams, the Alton Comets and the Eminence Redwings. Alton held the upper hand during the regular season, winning two previous games over the Redwings. But when two teams are closely matched, it's difficult to win three times in a row -- and that was the case for Saturday's championship game.
Alton had the luxury of being able to keep fresher legs in the game by rotating nine players constantly, while Eminence played primarily five starters and two back up team members when necessary.
Alton held a second advantage, playing in the comfort of their own gymnasium before hometown fans.
It was a back and forth nail biter through the first and second quarter, although Eminence held a five point lead, 29-24, over Alton, when the halftime buzzer sounded.
Eminence was hot in the third frame, dropping in eighteen points, but and Alton who netted 20 to cut the Redwing lead to three points, 47-44 at the end of three periods.
With 5:21 remaining in the final frame, Quaid Turner hit two consecutive outside shots, giving the Comets their first lead of the game, 51-50.
Eminence continued to block shots, and picked high percentage shots. With two points at the charity stripe from Cole Keeling, the Redwings had their largest lead of the game, 61-51, with just over two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
Alton was not able to overcome the Eminence advantage in the last minute and a half, and the Eminence Redwings became 2013 Big Spring Tournament Champs with a 72-64 win over the Alton Comets.
All Tournament honors went to Kalon Honeycutt and Skylar Chronister from the Alton Comets, Cole Keeling, Jesse Lacey and Logan Dyer from Eminence. From the Winona Wildcats, Jacob Smith and Jeff Smith.