PRINCETON, Ill. — Prophetstown held off a fourth-quarter rally by the host school for a 59-56 victory Tuesday in the first round of the Illinois Class 2A Princeton Regional boys basketball tournament.
The Prophets will face top-seeded Seneca in tonight’s 6 o’clock semifinal.
Four players combined for all of the Prophets’ points, with Ethan Howard (23 points) and Grant Ames (15) leading the way. J.J. Vaccaro scored 18 for Princeton, while Garrett Duffin added 16.
Vaccaro fueled a fourth-quarter comeback as the Tigers tried to erase a 44-35 deficit at the end of three quarters. He scored 12 of his points during the final eight minutes, including a pair of 3-pointers.
Duffin scored nine in the opening period, leading Princeton to a 12-11 lead, and the Tigers increased the edge to 30-25 at the half.
But, Prophetstown came back with a big third quarter. Chris Bauer and Howard scored six points apiece, and Ames added five, as the Prophets outscored Princeton 19-5 to go ahead.
Howard also had nine rebounds and four steals to lead the Prophets.
Comets top Thunder
MORRISON, Ill. — Third-ranked Sterling Newman revved up its offense early and defeated West Carroll 77-62 on Tuesday in the semifinals of the Class 2A Morrison Regional.
Newman (26-2) scored 30 points in the first quarter and held a 49-35 lead at halftime. AJ Sharp led the Comets with 27 points.
The Comets found 6-foot-7 sophomore Noah McCarty often early, as he scored nine of his 11 points in the opening period. Nate Terveer scored all seven of his points in the first eight minutes, and John Payan (12 points) had half his total in the first quarter.
The Thunder (5-23) came out bombing to try to keep up with Newman. Jordan Bracero, Travis Hartman, Brandon Sturtevant and Devon Hartley each had a 3-point basket in the opening frame.
Senior center Trevor Jones led West Carroll with 14 points, scoring eight of them in the second quarter. Bracero, Hartman and Sturtevant each finished with 12.