The Century Centurions finished the final week of the regular season at 3-2, leaving them at 18-6 for the season.
Century started the season on a hot streak but has had a couple rough games in the past few weeks.
This week Century picked up wins against Carrier Mills, Crab Orchard, and Ziegler-Royalton and had losses against Shawnee and Herrin.
The Shawnee loss was tough for the Centurions because if they would have won, then the SEC Conference Championship would have been theirs.
Despite taking the loss against Shawnee, Brandon Jackson had six hits at the plate and added a home-run last week. He also picked up the win against Ziegler-Royalton.
Zach Sauerbrunn and Brad Wilson each had 4 hits in the 5 games.
The main goal for Century in preparing for regionals is getting players healthy and getting them in the right state of mind. Century is one of the younger teams around with Brandon Jackson and Cordon Hight as the lone starting seniors.
Century’s regional kicks off on May. 16 against Pope County at Pope County. Game-time is at 4:30 p.m.
The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department has arrested and charged 11 adults and 1 juvenile in their involvement in the brawl at Meridian High School Feb. 20.
Those arrested were: Bruce Woodson, of Cairo, Cameron Robinson of Cairo, Cordell Johnson, of Cairo, Darian Engram of Mound City, Darmez Nelson of Ullin, Darryl Jackson, of Cairo, Dejhanane Washington of Cairo, Jemond Pilgram, of Mounds, Kathryn Nesby, of Mounds, Richard Steele, of Mounds and Wilmont Gibson of Cairo. A juvenile was also arrested.
All 12 suspects were charged with reckless conduct. In the state of Illinois, reckless conduct can either be a class 1 misdemeanor or a class 4 felony.
The Illinois Compiled Statutes, defines reckless conduct as: (a) A person commits reckless conduct when he or she, by any means lawful or unlawful, recklessly performs an act or act that: (1) cause bodily harm to or endanger the safety of another person; or (2) cause great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement to another person.
Pulaski County Sheriff Randy Kern and his officers worked with Meridian High School principal Terrance Gaddy to review video footage and come up with a list of suspects.
Kern said while there have been fights at previous Cairo vs. Meridian basketball games, this even was unique.
“We’ve never had any fights like this before,” Kern said. He added that the number of participants this year was larger than any year he could remember.
“I think there’s probably more that could have been arrested but we didn’t have any information or any I.D.’s on any of them,”he said.
Pulaski County State’s Attorney Grayson Gile could not be reached for comment in this report.
The incident took place after the Cairo vs. Meridian Regional semi-final game at Meridian High School in Mounds. Century and Egyptian were on the court warming up for the final semi-final game when the brawl started and both teams were directed to their locker rooms as county and state police tried to separate the offenders. Police dogs were brought in to help control the crowd. The final game of the night was cancelled and fans were split up based on what side of the gym they were seated and directed to leave from two separate exits.
Feb. 20 was my first Cairo and Meridian basketball game. Since coming to Cairo and covering sports, I was told that this was a not a game to miss. Everyone that said this was right.
The competition was spirited that night. The calls were fair, the action quick, the fans passionate and perhaps this is where things went wrong. Based on all the reports I had heard in the weeks leading up to the game about previous conflicts between fans, I had anticipated a scuffle or two, but not almost ten fights in as many minutes. How swiftly the situation escalated was surprising and disheartening.
Both teams are talented and many of the players are friends. It is a shame these two teams, which are less than ten miles apart, cannot regularly play one another because of years fan misconduct. The rivalry between Cairo and Meridian is as old as the hills and sadly so are the fights.
The Cairo Citizen favors neither the Cairo Pilots nor the Meridian Bobcats: We favor a solution to the violence. We don’t have the right answer but we know there is one and we hope someone will find it.
The Meridian Bobcats toppled the Cairo Pilots in post-season play, but this was not the news of the day Feb. 20.
The story that developed came after the historic rivalry between Cairo and Meridian fans boiled over. Fights between after the game caused the second competition of the night between Century and Egyptian to be postponed for two days.
Pulaski County Sheriff Randy Kern said the violence came as a surprise. He was in the hallway when the first fight broke out.
“I grabbed a hold of one of them and the next thing I know they are jumping on me, on my back and I’m on the floor,” he said. Kern said he quickly realized he and his 11 officers were outnumbered.
“We were going fight to fight to fight. We were totally out numbered,” Kern said. Kern said no ballplayers were involved in the incidents.
School officials from both Meridian and Cairo decided to take steps to help prevent any other disruptions to the tournament. Kern attended a meeting Feb. 21 with school officials, the lieutenant of the State Police, his chief deputy and the principal of Meridian High School to draw up the game plan to be implemented at all high priority sporting events at the high school. At the rescheduled semi-final game and the Regional Championship Kern and 14 other officers covered all the doors and separated fans as they left the gym in hopes to prevent any more fights, a solution that Meridian School District Superintendent Terry Moreland said was sufficient. Athletic Director for Cairo Jr. / Sr. High School Ronnie Woods was also at both games to make sure no one from Cairo involved in the incident Feb. 20 was let in to the game.
Woods said while these kinds of measures are necessary, he it is sad and these kinds of incidents do more than just disrupt a night of basketball.
“It hurts the kids that participate. It hurts the community that wants to come together to see a good competition,” Woods said. Headcoach for the Bobcats Jeff Mandrell said while the schools can’t be blamed it defiantly hurts public perception.
“I think it makes the schools look bad,” he said. Mandrell said he wishes those who come to games to start trouble would simply stay home.
“You wish people would either go to the games to watch or just not go,” he said.
Cairo School District Superintendent Andrea Evers said she was emotional leaving the Feb. 20 game.
“My heart is really heavy,” Evers said. She said to have this incident be the bookend to a very good season is disheartening.
“To have a negative shadow cast over their season because of the choices of an adult is just saddening,” she said.
Kern said no arrests were made Feb. 20 in regards to the fights at the basketball game, though investigations are being conducted and arrests are pending.
Woods said the two schools are primarily looking to get beyond this season, after that they will look at how to make sure next year runs smoother. He said several options have been proposed including having no fans attend future Cairo, Meridian games or having a student only game, though, Woods is not a fan of any of these ideas.
“All those options … are sad. It says a statement about your community,” Woods said. While he sees how dire things may seem now, Woods is hopeful they will get better.
“I think it’s something that can be solved,” he said.
For an editorial regarding the Feb. 20 regional game, please visit:
The Meridian Bobcats won their 5th straight regional championship Feb. 23 against the Egyptian Pharaohs at Meridian High School.
Despite a slow start, Meridian held a 15-8 after the 1st. Josh Jones was called for his 2nd foul with 2 minutes left in the 1st and didn’t play the rest of the half. The Bobcat bench held up the slack and help score 17 in the 2nd.
Devantae Price and Justin Prewitt scored all 14 points for the Pharaohs in the 2nd where they trailed 32-22 at the end of the half.
The 3rd quarter was the Jones and Prewitt showcase. Jones scored 10 for his team’s 22 points for the quarter while Prewitt had 11 of the Pharaohs’ 19. Egyptian still trailed 54-41 going into the 4th.
The Pharaohs tried to make a run in the 4th but fell short and lost 68-61 to the Regional Champion Meridian Bobcats.
Egyptian’s player of the game was Prewitt. He scored 30 for the Pharaohs. Despite Josh Jones and Michael Schoffner scoring 18 for the Bobcats, their standout performer was sophomore wing David Davis. Davis had 16 points with 13 assists and also added 5 steals.
Meridian head coach Jeff Mandrell said his team, “Lived up to the hype.” With Meridian’s track record, they normally go far in postseason play. Josh Jones said being part of a team that regularly wins the Regional Tournament is a rare opportunity.
“Most people don’t have this chance,” he said. Jones also said he has to focus and get ready for the Bobcat’s Sectional game against Goreville.
Egyptian senior guard Devantae Price was disappointed in the loss but knowing this wasn’t his last time playing competitive basketball softened the blow. Price said he hopes to go on to play college ball. Price holds the Egyptian single game scoring record. Pharaoh Head coach Matt Mandrell said his team went above and expectations.
“We exceeded what anybody thought,” he said.
-Egyptian 8 14 19 20 61
-Meridian 15 17 22 14 68
Davis 2, Turner 6, Price 23, Prewitt 30
Powell 9, Schoffner 18, Parker 2, Davis 16, Jones 18, Moore 8