JUNCTION — In front of a sold-out crowd in Junction, Sesser-Valier punched their ticket to SIU Arena. Amidst chants of "S-I-U" from their fans as the final minute ran out, Sesser-Valier claimed the Gallatin County Sectional crown winning over Woodlawn, 55-39, on Friday evening.
While Woodlawn scored the first basket of the game, Sesser-Valier immediately answered with a 10-0 run and never looked back after. The Red Devils were led by two big offensive performances from senior leaders. Seth Boles blazed the trail in the first half, scoring 17 of his 23 points in the first half, including 3 three-point baskets. Tyler Winchester was held in check for most of the first half, before coming alive in the second to score 11 points and help secure the victory.
After the game, it was the defensive performance that Sesser-Valier coach Shane Garner applauded. Woodlawn’s Blake McKay was held scoreless in the first half and finished the game with 11 points, and Garner chalked that up to his team’s effort and called it a special performance on the defensive end by his whole team.
Garner also was enthused by his seniors’ offensive performance, saying that he loved seeing his kids “...just come out and play, because that had absolutely nothing to do with me, and absolutely nothing to do with what we were doing. It was just dudes going out and being dudes and making plays and hitting big shots.”
By claiming victory, Sesser-Valier advances to Tuesday’s Super-Sectional at SIU’s Arena to face off against Moweagua’s Central A & M . This is the farthest the Red Devils have reached since their 4th place finish in 2014, Garner’s first year as head coach at Sesser-Valier.