ELDORADO — Isaiah Saulsberry scored 27 points as No. 2 seed Harrisburg advanced into the semifinals of the 53rd Eldorado Holiday Tournament with a 53-46 victory over Massac County on Friday afternoon.
"I'm really, really happy," said Harrisburg coach Randy Smithpeters. "I talked to the guys about how important this game is because this is the game that gets you to the Final Four that provides you with experiences that you're only going to get once in a lifetime. We've got a lot of seniors sitting in the locker room and that's a factor. I think it's a factor when we go out there and play that we've got that leadership."
The Bulldogs (10-2) raced out to an 11-0 lead at the 4:45 mark in the first quarter only to see the Patriots pull to within 34-33 entering the final quarter.
Massac County (3-8) was held without a field goal for over five minutes to begin the fourth period which helped the Bulldogs extend their lead.
"We got in some foul trouble, and it's always written on our board about don't foul, and we did get in some foul trouble," said Smithpeters. "We had to make some rotations. We got off to the great start which we shot the ball well. Those are all things that tend to kind of turn around. I thought we defended well all day. I thought they had to work for their shots, and I thought we rebounded well."
Senior Carson Burtis finished with 14 points and nailed three triples for Harrisburg. Teammate Dalton Lambert scored seven points.
"They've got some shooters," said Massac County coach Joe Hosman. "Burtis hit some big shots and Saulsberry just had a tremendous, tremendous game. He's really a good player."
Massac County senior Isaiah Thompson paced his club with a dozen points.
Harrisburg had won a meeting two weeks ago by 12 points in Metropolis.
The two clubs will matchup again on Feb. 2 in SIRR Ohio action at Harrisburg.
Harrisburg will play Anna-Jonesboro at noon today at Duff-Kingston Gym after reaching the semifinals for the 10th time in the past 12 years. Massac County will meet Union County, Kentucky in a fifth place semifinal at 8:30 a.m.