The 2023 Carmi-White County Invitational Tournament will go down as one of the greatest ever played.
Harrisburg, Fairfield, Evansville Day, Mt. Vernon (IN) and Carmi-White County battled back and forth all week long, and the Bulldogs were the ones who came out as champions.
After an overtime win over Harrisburg on Monday night (53-49), another nail-biting win on Thursday against Mt. Vernon (61-50) and a 4th quarter comeback against Fairfield (46-38), the Bulldogs put themselves in the position to claim the title with a win against Evansville Day on Saturday.
Both teams started off sluggish on offense. Carmi kept Day’s leading scorer, and the tournament leading scorer, Tyler Myers, in check for most of the first half. However, the Eagles were able to keep Carmi’s offensive threats in check as well.
The Bulldogs never looked 100% on the offensive end in the first half. That very well could’ve been caused by fatigue, as Carmi was playing their 3rd game in as many days. It also had to do with the defense that Day School was in. A 2-2-1 zone that didn’t allow Carmi to feed the ball inside.
With both teams struggling on offense, Carmi led 25-22 at halftime.
Whatever the issues were for the Bulldogs in the first half, flew out the window in the 3rd quarter.
Carmi outscored the Eagles 25-10 in the 3rd quarter, thanks in-part to a monster quarter by junior Landon Driscoll.
Driscoll hit back-to-back threes to begin the 3rd, but as the quarter went on, he began to find open areas in the Evansville Day zone defense.
Driscoll and the Bulldogs carried that offensive momentum into the 4th quarter, where they outscored the Eagles 20-11 to win by a final of 70-43.
Driscoll finished with a team-high 24 points, scoring 18 in the 2nd half.
“They (Evansville Day) did a few things defensively that junked up our offense. We knew what they were doing, but we needed some time to talk it over. We were able to do that at halftime, and we started the get the ball in the middle and score,” said CWC head coach Kevin Wolff.
“It was just a tremendous effort in the 2nd half by our guys on both ends of the floor, and I couldn’t be more proud of how they played this week.”
The Bulldogs win their first CWCIT crown in 24 years, and it definitely wasn’t easy. Carmi proved that they were the best team in the tournament, but they want this to be the first of many possible trophies that they hoist this season.
“Time to get back to work,” said CWC senior Tyler Goemaat.
The Bulldogs are riding an 8-game winning streak, and they are getting hot at the right time. There is no question, if Carmi can keep things moving in the right direction, more trophies are potentially in their future.
Carmi will have a few days off this week, their next game will be Friday night at Grayville.
2023 CWCIT Results:
Fairfield 61, Evansville Day 57
CWC 53, Harrisburg 49 (OT)
Harrisburg 56, Fairfield 55 (OT)
Mt. Vernon 79, Evansville Day 69
Harrisburg 82, Evansville Day 72
Carmi-White Co. 61, Mt. Vernon 50
Mt. Vernon 63, Harrisburg 49
Carmi-White Co. 46, Fairfield 38
Mt. Vernon 55, Fairfield 49
Carmi-White Co. 70, Evansville Day 43
Eric Rodgers (Fairfield)
Cameron Ande (Harrisburg)
Nicot Burnett (Mt. Vernon)
Tyler Myers (Evansville Day)
Mitchel Edwards (Carmi)
Bryce Conner (Carmi) – MVP
*stats courtesy of Toby Brown & Roger Hortin*
Tournament Leading Scorers:
Tyler Myers (Evansville Day) – 118
Eric Rodgers (Fairfield) – 96
Camron Ande (Harrisburg) – 90
Nicot Burnett (Mt. Vernon) – 81
Bryce Conner (CWC) – 74
Jackson Clowers (Mt. Vernon) – 71
Mitchel Edwards (CWC) – 52
Kane Wilsey (Day School) – 46
Landon Driscoll (CWC) – 42
Charlie Fehrenbacher (Harrisburg) – 40