Southeastern Illinois College Athletics


Falcons roll to third straight win on Vienna Night


Staff | 2/1/2024

PHOTO CREDIT: Gail Johnson

HARRISBURG — The Southeastern Illinois College Falcons men’s basketball team rolled past Brescia, 109-69, Wednesday night in front of a packed Deaton Gymnasium on Vienna Night.
The Falcons scored the game’s first eight points in the opening minute and opened up a 16-2 lead by the 17-minute mark. SIC’s lead was 61-30 at halftime and the Falcons kept rolling in the second half to pick up their third win in a row.
“We are playing our best basketball of the season at the right time of the year,” SIC Coach Sam Swinford said. “I love coaching this group. It’s a great group of guys who make it fun to come to work each and everyday to try and get better.”
SIC’s players fed off the energy of an enthusiastic crowd of over 700 fans, who turned out in support of the Falcons. SIC was coming off a two-game weekend winning streak and it was also “Vienna Night,” in support of freshman forward Charlie King, a 2023 Vienna High School graduate. Vienna brought hundreds of community members, high schoolers and elementary school students to the game.
“Tonight was special,” Swinford said. “In my three years coaching and two years playing at SIC, this was the best home atmosphere we’ve had. A big credit for that goes to Vienna. They really came out tonight. I want to thank everyone from Vienna who made that possible. They came to support Charlie but also cheered for all our guys. You don’t find that kind of atmosphere in junior college basketball. Our guys will remember tonight for a long time.”
King fed off the energy in front of his supporters as he scored a new career high of 17 points in the win. Sophomore Amari Wales of Owensboro, Kentucky continued his strong recent play with a triple-double including 23 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds. Sophomore guard Jadyn McHugh (Evansville) also added 23 points, while sophomore guard Eli Mackey (Morganfield, Kentucky) added 14 points and sophomore forward Jordan Mertens (DeSoto, Missouri) chipped in 11 points.
All the Falcons who played in the game scored with Maurice Washington-Williams (Du Quoin) adding six, Ray Horry (St. Louis) scoring six, Joel Hortin (Norris City) tallying four, Rylie Rushing (Gallatin County) totaling three and Wadang Wel (Owensboro) contributing a huge two-hand slam dunk.
SIC was coming off an outstanding weekend road trip, which included stops at Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey and Harper Community College in Palatine. SIC swept the trip, winning Saturday over the rival Trailblazers 97-86 and Sunday over the Chicagoland-based Hawks 93-65.
Wales led the way Saturday with 37 points, while McHugh (17), Horry (16) and Mackey (12) joined him in double figures. King and Wel both had six and Washington-Williams added three to round out the scoring.
Sunday, the Falcons avenged an earlier season overtime home loss to the Hawks in big fashion as they led 40-30 at halftime and then outscored the Hawks 53-35 after the intermission. The game featured balanced scoring from the Falcons as six players reached double figures — Wales (18), McHugh (14), Mackey (12), Washington-Williams (12), Horry (11) and King (10). Wel was right behind with nine, while Mertens had four, Rushing had two and Hortin chipped in one. The Falcons had an impressive 21 assists on 35 field goals, led by Horry’s 12.
The Falcons, who have now won 11 games this season, will hit the road Saturday for a 2 p.m. matinee at West Kentucky Tech in Paducah. They will return home to host Lewis and Clark Monday night at 6 p.m.