Predictions for Fisher, A-P tournaments

Sports Editor Zack Carpenter predicts winners and scores for the winner’s bracket games of the McLean County/Heart of Illinois Conference tournament and the Vermilion County tournament, in addition to predicting outcomes for the Fisher and Armstrong-Potomac basketball teams.

Boys

McLean County/HOIC

First round (Jan. 13, El Paso-Gridley High School)

No. 9 Fisher 54, No. 8 Fieldcrest 49 (11:30 a.m.)

No. 4 Deer Creek-Mackinaw 58, No. 13 Lexington 35 (1:00 p.m.)

No. 5 Tremont 69, No. 12 Flanagan-Cornell 51 (2:30 p.m.)

No. 10 Heyworth 62, LeRoy 61 (4 p.m.)

No. 3 Ridgeview 78, No. 14 Blue Ridge 40 (5:30 p.m.)

No. 6 Tri-Valley 55, Eureka 44 (7 p.m.)

Quarterfinals (Jan. 15-16, Shirk Center, Illinois Wesleyan)

Jan. 15

No. 1 Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 60, No. 9 Fisher 55 (6:30 p.m.)

No. 5 Tremont 59, No. 4 Dee-Mack 56 (8 p.m.)

Jan. 16

No. 2 El Paso-Gridley 66, No. 10 Heyworth 53 (6:30 p.m.)

No. 3 Ridgeview 58, No. 6 Tri-Valley 42 (8 p.m.)

Semifinals (Jan. 19, Shirk Center)

No. 1 GCMS 64, No. 5 Tremont 55 (6:30 p.m.)

No. 3 Ridgeview 54, No. 2 EPG 52 (8 p.m.)

Third-place game (2:30 p.m., Jan. 20, Shirk Center)

No. 2 EPG 70, No. 5 Tremont 69

Championship game (8 p.m., Jan. 20, Shirk Center)

No. 1 GCMS 55, No. 3 Ridgeview 54

Fifth-place bracket

Jan. 18

No. 4 Dee-Mack 78, No. 9 Fisher 74

History has an agonizing way of repeating itself, and that’s what I think happens for the Bunnies this season. Fisher went 1-2 in last year’s tournament, defeating Eureka before getting knocked off by GCMS in a thriller at the Shirk Center and falling to LeRoy in the fifth-place bracket in one of the best games of the year. I think it will be a similar run this time around. Now that I've seen GCMS, EPG and Ridgeview in person, the Falcons are still the best team in the HOIC in my eyes. They will keep their sizzling hot streak rolling with a tournament championship.

Vermilion County (Games played at David S. Palmer Arena in Danville)

Pool play

Pool A

1) Bismarck-Henning/Rossville-Alvin

4) Oakwood

5) Westville

Pool B

2) Hoopeston Area

3) Salt Fork

6) Armstrong-Potomac

7) Georgetown-Ridge Farm

Jan. 13

No. 4 Oakwood 58, No. 5 Westville 48 (3:45 p.m.)

No. 3 Salt Fork 62, No. 6 A-P 54 (5:15 p.m.)

No. 2 Hoopeston Area 61, No. 7 GRF 38 (6:45 p.m.)

Jan. 16

No. 3 Salt Fork 58, No. 7 GRF 34 (5 p.m.)

No. 2 Hoopeston Area 63, No. 6 A-P 50 (6:30 p.m.)

No. 1 BHRA 60, No. 5 Westville 50 (8 p.m.)

Jan. 18

No. 6 A-P 74, No. 7 GRF 65 (5 p.m.)

No. 4 Oakwood 60, No. 1 BHRA 58 (6:30 p.m.)

No. 2 Hoopeston Area 55, No. 3 Salt Fork 54 (8 p.m.)

Final day, Jan. 20

Fifth-place game

No. 6 A-P 68, No. 5 Westville 60 (5 p.m.)

Third-place game

No. 3 Salt Fork 70, No. 1 BHRA 69 (6:30 p.m.)

Championship game

No. 2 Hoopeston Area 61, No. 4 Oakwood 50 (8 p.m.)

The boys county tournament will be all chalk, outside of Oakwood pulling off the tourney’s lone upset in a win over the Blue Devils. But the Ryan Drayer-led Cornjerkers will be too much for the Comets in the title game. As for the Trojans, they have had another rough season so far, but bank on them getting revenge over Westville for the fifth-place title after falling to the Tigers in the St. Joseph-Ogden Leader Classic Dec. 20.

Girls

McLean County/HOIC

First round (Jan. 13, El Paso-Gridley High School)

No. 8 Fieldcrest 39, No. 9 Lexington 31 (11:30 a.m.)

No. 4 EPG 54, No. 13 Flanagan-Cornell/Woodland 28 (1 p.m.)

No. 5 Tremont 48, No. 12 Tri-Valley 29 (2:30 p.m.)

No. 7 GCMS 36, No. 10 Dee-Mack 35 (4 p.m.)

No. 3 Ridgeview 52, No. 14 Blue Ridge 25 (5:30 p.m.)

No. 6 Fisher 44, No. 11 LeRoy 36 (7 p.m.)

Quarterfinals (Jan. 15, Eureka College)

No. 1 Heyworth 57, No. 8 Fieldcrest 42 (1 p.m.)

No. 4 EPG 56, No. 5 Tremont 50 (2:30 p.m.)

No. 2 Eureka 62, No. 7 GCMS 45 (4 p.m.)

No. 3 Ridgeview 48, No. 6 Fisher 39 (5:30 p.m.)

Semifinals (Jan. 18, Shirk Center)

No. 1 Heyworth 52, No. 4 EPG 46 (6:30 p.m.)

No. 2 Eureka 58, No. 3 Ridgeview 53 (8 p.m.)

Third-place game (Jan. 20, Shirk Center)

No. 4 EPG 44, No. 3 Ridgeview 43 (1 p.m.)

Championship game (Jan. 20, Shirk Center)

No. 2 Eureka 55, No. 1 Heyworth 53 (6:30 p.m.)

Fifth-place bracket

Jan. 17 (EPG High School)

No. 8 Fieldcrest 38, No. 5 Tremont 34 (5:30 p.m.)

No. 6 Fisher 40, No. 7 GCMS 37 (7 p.m.)

Jan. 20 (EPG High School)

No. 6 Fisher 41, No. 8 Fieldcrest 35 (11:30 a.m.)

The number 40 is typically a magical one for Fisher. If the Bunnies score that many, they’ve got a good shot at winning, and when they hold their opponents below that figure, it usually bodes well. I think that is how their conference tournament games will be decided, and most of those contests will be close. Fisher coach Ken Ingold said he hopes not to see GCMS until next season following his team’s 31-30 win over the Falcons Dec. 13, but I’m predicting we see Round 2 in El Paso.

Vermilion County (Games played at David S. Palmer Arena in Danville)

Pool play

Pool A

No. 1 Oakwood

No. 4 Westville

No. 5 Armstrong-Potomac

Pool B

No. 2 BHRA

No. 3 Salt Fork

No. 6 Hoopeston Area

No. 7 GRF

Jan. 13

No. 5 A-P 39, No. 4 Westville 34 (11:30 a.m.)

No. 3 Salt Fork 44, No. 6 Hoopeston Area 28 (Noon)

No. 3 BHRA 45, No. 7 GRF 18 (1:30 p.m.)

Jan. 15

No. 3 Salt Fork 48, No. 7 GRF 20 (5 p.m.)

No. 2 BHRA 42, No. 6 Hoopeston Area 23 (6:30 p.m.)

No. 1 Oakwood 59, No. 5 A-P 50 (8 p.m.

Jan. 17

No. 6 Hoopeston Area 37, No. 7 GRF 24 (5 p.m.)

No. 1 Oakwood 60, No. 4 Westville 42 (6:30 p.m.)

No. 2 BHRA 54, No. 3 Salt Fork 40 (8 p.m.)

Final day, Jan. 19

Fifth-place game (5 p.m.)

No. 4 Wesville 58, No. 6 Hoopeston Area 44

Third-place game (6:30 p.m.)

No. 5 A-P 55, No. 3 Salt Fork 50

Championship game (8 p.m.)

No. 1 Oakwood 52, No. 2 BHRA 48

It will be interesting dynamic to see how Armstrong-Potomac and Westville adjust between their matchup Monday and a tournament rematch just five days later. But the Trojans will outlast the Tigers in a low-scoring affair. Oakwood will be too much for A-P in the second game, but the Trojans will take home a third-place title for the second straight win by holding off Madison Kirby and the Storm.

Contact Zack Carpenter at zcarpenter@rantoulpress.com and on Twitter @ZackCarpenter11.

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