Thompsonville ends Falcons' season with strong second half

Avery Caraker, the Falcons' lone senior, checks out of Monday's game in the fourth quarter. (Doug Daniels Photo)

By Doug Daniels /

February 14, 2018

  (Zeigler, Ill.) - Elverado kept a tight ball game for a little more than a half, but Thompsonville dominated the second half of Monday's IHSA Regional quarterfinal in Zeigler and sent the Falcons home for the season, 58-38.
  The Tigers used a noticeable size advantage to dominate the glass, holding the Falcons to one shot almost every trip down the floor while getting several second-chance opportunities on the offensive end.
  "We haven't rebounded well all year," said EHS head coach Jacob Emling. "We talked about their size coming in, that's probably the hardest thing for us to simulate in practice. We knew a lot of their plays that were coming, but their pure size, and getting in the way of our shots, things like that were really hard to simulate."
  The Falcons got a pair of threes from Aquntez Penn in the opening quarter of play and led 15-12 heading to the second. After Thompsonville crept ahead by two, Dawson White restored a one-point lead for the Falcons with a three ball with 4:45 to go in the first half. The two teams then traded buckets before the Tigers closed out the first half on a 7-1 run to take a 28-23 lead into the break.
  Thompsonville scored the first two buckets of the second half, then Sam Alstat hit a three for EHS to keep it close at 32-26, but that's as close as Elverado would get in the second half.

  White's second three of the night with 7:27 left in the game made 43-34 in favor of Thompsonville. From that point on, the Tigers outscored the Falcons 15-4 including 10-for-14 at the free throw line in the final six minutes.
  "They run a really good offense, they run some of the best offense we've seen all year, screening and moving," Emling said. "Defending them there for that minute-plus, we didn't want to foul that early, we were hoping to get a miss out of it. They knocked down shots when they needed to, I think that was the difference. They hit more shots than we did tonight."
  Penn led Elverado with 16 points, White had 10, Alstat 6, Isaac Floyd 4, and Trey Bernardini and Avery Caraker each had 2.
  The Falcons finish their season 18-12 overall and tied for second place in the South Egyptian Conference. They'll return every player on their roster except for their lone senior, Caraker, next season.
  "Their future is bright with what they've done the last two years for our program, and what we expect to do the next few years," Emling said. "We're only losing Avery (Caraker), got some shoes to fill there defensively and rebounding-wise, but we've got some guys to step in. To have all our guards back and everything like that, we think our future is pretty bright."

Elverado 56, Joppa 50 (02/16/18):
  The Falcons wrapped up their regular season last Friday night with a 56-50 road win over Joppa. A 23-13 third quarter by Elverado made the difference in the game, with Penn scoring 13 of his game-high 26 points in the period.
  "We played much better offensively in the second half, shots didn’t fall in the first half, and we talk a lot about being patient and they will eventually fall, that’s what happened tonight," said Emling. "Defensively we were pretty poor, way too many points in the paint. That’s part my fault though, I was adamant to stay in a man the whole time no matter what. We probably could have went zone some and got a few more stops, but knowing that we have regionals coming up, I wanted us too see where we have to get better man to man."
  White added 13 points for EHS, Alstat, Floyd and Kobe Manson each had 4, Caraker 3 and Bernardini 2.

(Game photos by Doug Daniels/


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