After closing the Lincoln Trail Conference Tournament with a pair of double-digit losses, Galva head coach Chance Jones was searching for words outside the locker room at United High School’s Fieldhouse.

After closing the Lincoln Trail Conference Tournament with a pair of double-digit losses, Galva head coach Chance Jones was searching for words outside the locker room at United High School’s Fieldhouse.

“Last two days have been rough. I don’t know what else to say,” Jones said following his team’s 93-68 loss to Mercer County in the tourney’s third-place game Saturday. “I think there was some good in the stuff we did, but I’m kind of at a loss right now.”

The Wildcats dropped their pool play finale Friday night — 65-47 to top-seeded Annawan — to land in Saturday’s third-place game. The result wasn’t any better against the Golden Eagles as the Wildcats fell to 18-7 with the 25-point loss.

“One think I will say about today (Saturday), our guys ignored the scoreboard and played hard to the very end,” Jones said in applauding his team’s effort against the Golden Eagles.

Mercer County scored the game’s first eight points and led 26-18 at the quarter. The Wildcats trimmed the deficit to 32-30 in the second quarter, but MerCo took over with a 20-7 run to close the half.

Cooper Hoxworth topped the Wildcats with 26 points, followed by Mason Kaiser with 16.

The Wildcats were dispatched to the third-place game Friday night by the state-ranked Braves.

Annawan built a 33-24 lead at the half, and put the Wildcats away with a 20-13 surge in the third quarter.

Annawan’s Owen Landwehr led all scorers with 29 points. Hoxworth topped Galva with 13 points and Kaiser chipped in with 11.

“I thought we did some good things but matching their athleticism is very difficult. Even when we made good plays their athleticism got the best of us,” Jones said.

“He’s a one-of-a-kind player in terms of finishing at the rim,” Annawan head coach Alex Coppejans said of Landwehr. “I was really impressed with the way he was able to command the floor and not let anybody fluster him. He just had a tremendous game.”

On the other end of the floor ,Annawan’s length hounded Galva’s perimeter shooting throughout the contest and the Wildcats finished just 8-for-33 from 3-point range.

“We had a feeling they would surround the perimeter but we didn’t make them pay,” Jones added. “We didn’t go to the rim enough and when we did we went up weak or threw the ball away.”

The Wildcats exit the tourney with four LTC dates remaining, including a grueling final week that features Wethersfield at home for Senior Night Tuesday (Feb. 13) and at Annawan Friday (Feb. 16) to close the regular season.

“We’ll put these two behind us and try to get to work on the end of the conference season,” Jones said. “We’re still sitting okay (4-1 at the time) and we have four big games left.”

“We were really bad with the ball the last two days,” added Jones. “It really wasn’t one mistake — it was one right after another. We have to toughen up mentally a little bit.”


R-W closes tourney with win

ROWVA-Williamsfield closed the Lincoln Trail Conference Tournament with a 58-53 win over United in the seventh-place game Saturday.

R-W built a 14-10 lead at the quarter, paced by nine points from Austin Batterson. The Cougars extended the margin to 26-21 at the half and 46-39 after three quarters.

Tucker Sams led three Cougars in double figures with 16 points, followed by Bret Woodside 13 and Batterson 11.


Ridgewood drops finale

Ridgewood struggled offensively in its tourney finale as the Spartans fell to Princeville 52-37 in the fifth-place game Saturday.

Riley Nelson and Max Nuckles topped the Spartans with 10 points apiece.

The Spartans finished 2-2 in pool play with a 78-72 overtime win against West Central Friday night.

The Heat outscored Ridgewood 23-19 in the fourth quarter to tie the game 70-all at the end of regulation. West Central managed just two free throws in the extra session as the Spartans avoided the upset bid.

Briar Greenman led the Spartans with 20 points, and became Ridgewood’s career scoring leader. Riley Nelson added 13 points, followed by Jordan Francis and Max Nuckles with 12 apiece, and Travis Kane with 10.


Annawan repeat champs

Owen Landwehr scored a game-high 20 points as Annawan repeated as LTC tourney champs with a 54-37 win over Wethersfield Saturday night.


(Jackson White, WCI Sports, contributed to this story.)