RANTOUL — St. Malachy’s eighth-grade boys cagers punched their ticket to an Elite Eight date in the 8-1A state playoffs this weekend, dominating Chrisman Scottland 48-36 Wednesday night in the sectional championship game at St. Mal.

The Tigers, who improved to 25-1, will take on Ashland A-C at 1 p.m. Saturday at Meridian High School in Macon. A-C enters the game with an identical record to St. Mal.

The St. Mal-Ashland winner takes on the winner of Stewardson-Strasburg versus Ottawa Marquette at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

Alex Warner canned four three-pointers — all in the first half — to tie for top scoring honors with Caleb Neitzel, each with 12 points, versus Chrisman Scotland.

Teammates Jacksen Adkins and Eli Wilhelm hooped 8 apiece.

Cabbott Craft (6 points) and Adam Price (2 points) rounded out the scoring for the Tigers.

After a tight first quarter, St. Malachy pulled away to a 29-16 halftime lead in front of a packed house. The Tigers were never threatened in the second half.

St. Mal is coached by Steve Neitzel. Steve Bermingham and Shannon Duran serve as assistant coaches.

dhinton@rantoulpress.com