By MARK JURGENA
ADVOCATE SPORTS STAFF
The mid-winter basketball tourney season is finished and the race for conference crowns is upon us. Let’s look at the week that was in tourney play.
At Litchfield, Triad beat conference rival Bethalto (Civic Memorial) 58-40 for the crown.
The 71st Salem Invitational saw East St. Louis beat Mt. Vernon 49-44 in the championship. That game came one night after Mt. Vernon became the 10th US boys basketball team to win 2,000 basketball games with a 50-40 win over Carbondale.
At West Frankfort, Centralia moved to 17-4 after beating Herrin 41-37 to win the title. Herrin is now 19-2.
Nashville won their own 40th Invitational 44-38 over Breese Central while Freeburg won the 58th annual Sparta Mid-Winter Classic 66-45 over Steeleville.
At the 104th Macoupin County Tournament in Bunker Hill, Piasa Southwestern beat Virden (North Mac) 38-36 after a three-quarter court shot by the Panthers was waved off.
Columbia won the Okawville Tournament 59-48 over Trenton (Wesclin).
Pinckneyville beat the host school to win the Benton Tourney 51-46.
Belleville East beat Belleville West to take the title at their own Chick-Fil-A Classic by a 57-52 count. SIUE recruit Jordan Pickett had 37 points.
Mascoutah won the Vandalia tournament 50-39 over Effingham.
At Highland, Alton beat Okawville 54-38. The Redbirds are undefeated at 23-0 and have a huge Southwestern Conference matchup Thursday night at 21-4 O’Fallon.
The Macoupin County tourney saw Staunton beat Gillespie 62-55.