PINCKNEYVILLE, ILL. – Mount Carmel basketball coach Tyler Buss admits he didn’t like what he was seeing in the third quarter of Saturday’s game against Alton Marquette.

“I didn’t like our body language. It looked like it was going to go south in a hurry,” said Buss, with his team trailing the Explorers, 24-15, with 4:22 left in the period, their largest deficit of the game.

Then, “they did a good job of regrouping, got some stops, got out in transition a little bit, and got some mojo back.”

Indeed, they did.

Mount Carmel went on a 9-0 run to tie the game at 24-24.  From there, the Aces forced overtime, before hanging on for a 34-32 win in a battle of Class 2A Top Ten teams at the Panther Basketball Showcase here.


INA, ILL – The Mount Carmel Middle School Junior Lady Aces will play for third place in the SIJHSAA Class L state tournament following a 44-30 loss to Herrin in the semifinals on Tuesday.

MCMS will play Centralia at 9:30 a.m. at Waugh Gymnasium on the campus of Rend Lake College. Centralia lost to Massac County, 50-31, in the other semifinal.


CARMI, Ill. – After winning the Carmi White County Invitational basketball tournament only once in their first 29 years, suddenly Mount Carmel can’t do anything but win there. The Golden Aces wrapped up their fourth consecutive title – either won or shared – Saturday night with a 58-42 victory over Carmi.

The Aces may be known for offense, but this year’s championship came because of defense. After leading 21-19 at halftime, they scored the first 10 points of the third quarter to put the contest away.


INA, Ill. – A couple of adjustments made way back in the second quarter may have been enough in the end for Mount Carmel, and for that reason the Junior Lady Aces are moving on at the SIJHSAA Class L state tournament.

MCMS took out defending state champion Highland, 39-31, on Saturday to advance to the semifinals, where the Junior Lady Aces will meet Herrin, a 35-30 winner over Belleville West, on Tuesday at 7:15 p.m.


CARMI, Ill. – Mount Carmel just took a crash course in playing without one of its twin towers.

Justin Carpenter suffered what appeared to be an ankle sprain early in the third quarter of Friday night’s game at the Carmi White County Invitational. The 6-foot-8 senior spent the rest of the night seated at the far end of the Golden Aces bench, his left ankle wrapped in ice.

After an initial scare, in which Mount Vernon, Indiana quickly sliced the deficit from 20 points to nine, the Aces regrouped, end eventually rebuilt the margin while easing away to a 67-52 victory.