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Bulldogs go back-to-back to win Lady Eagle Mid-Winter Classic Championship

  • Members of the Harrisburg girls' basketball team pose with the championship trophy of the Lady Eagle Mid-Winter Classic after knocking off Mt. Carmel in the title game Saturday night.

    Members of the Harrisburg girls' basketball team pose with the championship trophy of the Lady Eagle Mid-Winter Classic after knocking off Mt. Carmel in the title game Saturday night.

 
 
updated: 1/22/2018 5:08 PM

Harrisburg returned to the site that has been the start of something special -- as far as tournaments are concerned -- for the Bulldog girls' basketball team.

Winners of the Lady Eagle Mid-Winter Classic in 2017 after a 62-47 victory of Gallatin County, Harrisburg turned the trick for a second time, knocking off Mt. Carmel 47-34 in this year's title game.

It's the third straight year the Bulldogs have played for the championship and it's also the fourth straight tournament Harrisburg has won dating back to last season.

Minus the postseason regional win, Harrisburg, who is 23-0 and ranked No. 1 in the state of Illinois in Class 2A girls basketball, has now won two straight Lady Eagle Mid-Winter Classic titles, along with this year's Harrisburg Invitational and the Benton Christmas Tournament.

The impressive run hasn't been lost on Bulldog head coach Jake Stewart.

"It's hard to win tournaments and we don't even talk about winning tournaments," Stewart said. We do talk about getting to championship games. We always play in pool play tournaments and you have to win three or four games to get to the championship, so that's usually our main focus. Once you get here, you have a chance to win it all."

Harrisburg did win it all, thanks in part to the tournament's Most Valuable Player Matty Hawkins, who averaged around 19.3 points per game in the tournament. She was one of three other Bulldogs to be named to the All-Tournament Team.

Hawkins reached the 1,000th point plateau -- along with teammate and All-Tournament Team member -- Lotte Miller as both hit a free throw in the fourth quarter to put them over 1K.

Hawkins however was responsible for holding off the Aces in the fourth quarter, putting together a run of four straight points to keep Mt. Carmel at arms length.

Miller got her 1,000th point on a free throw with 49.8 to play, giving Harrisburg a 45-34 lead. Hawkins' milestone came with three seconds to play as she stepped to the line to hit a free throw.

Miller had a team-high 13 points, while Hawkins finished with a double-double, tacking on 10 points and pulling down 13 rebounds. The senior forward also blocked seven shots.

Karsyn Davis and Jessica Hopson, the other two members of the All-Tournament Team scored nine and eight points, respectively.

Brooke Meylor finished with five points off the bench in the win, while Madeline Rider tossed in two points.

Kylie Applebey had a game-high 22 points for Mt. Carmel and was also named to the All-Tournament Team.

Gallatin County 72, Eldorado 53

Earlier in the day, Gallatin County picked up the fourth place trophy with a 72-53 win over Eldorado.

Hailey Chubb had a team-high 44 points, going 18-for-20 at the free throw line and averaged 32 points per game in four games, while also making the All-Tournament Team.

Audrey Jackson scored 19 points for the Hawkins, while Gracie Sauls finished with four points. Molly Newton and Amy Bourland each tacked on two points, while Emma Brockett tossed in a free throw.

Eldorado was led by 16 points from Lexie Mitchell, while Paige Munds netted nine and Rachel Stafford added eight points.

Madison Newton scored six points, while Jade Hise finished with five and Takiya Britton flipped in four points. Derian Corn and Emma Wargel each had two points, while Zakiya Britton had a free throw.

Eldorado 62, Goreville 47

On Friday, Eldorado knocked off Goreville 62-47, where the Eagles put three players in double figures.

Takiya Britton had a team-high 19 points, while Stafford scored 16 points and Munds finished with 15 points.

Hise and Mitchell both finished with four points, while Newton and Corn both had two points.

 
 
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