By THE HERALD-WHIG STAFF
WINCHESTER, Ill. -- Even when the Central boys basketball team struggled offensively, Panthers coach Todd Plattner is learning he can rely on their defensive effort.
Such was the case Saturday.
The Panthers won for the fourth time in their last six games Saturday, upsetting second-seeeded Jacksonville Routt 41-36 in a first-round game at the Winchester Tournament.
"Defense," Plattner said. "That's what we did well. The team defense was good."
It started with the lock-down job Douglas Weese did on Routt sharp-shooter Ryan Lindsey, who had nine points on three 3-pointers. Lindsey attempted only one other trey.
"Douglas wouldn't let him out of his sights," Plattner said.
Taylor Heimann did an equally solid job on Routt's Brent Long, limiting the 6-foot-5 forward to only four points in the second and third quarters combined. Long finished with 13 points.
"Taylor did an excellent job keeping him off the boards," Plattner said.
Weese led the Panthers with 10 points, while Cole Phillips added nine, including two key baskets during the fourth quarter.
Central (7-10) will meet seventh-seeded Liberty in a quarterfinal game at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. The Eagles had little trouble in a 55-13 first-round victory over 15th-seeded Pleasant Hill.
Liberty (8-5) raced out to a 24-2 lead after the first quarter which it turned into a 37-6 halftime advantage.
Michael Mast came off the bench to lead the Eagles with 12 points. Wyatt Williams led the Wolves with six points.
Top-seeded Payson Seymour turned in a balanced effort in a 58-44 victory over No. 9 Greenfield-Northwestern.
Payson led 33-21 at halftime which they turned into a 43-28 lead after the third quarter.
Cody Hildebrand led the Indians (10-2) with 18 points, while Jake Voss scored 17 and Hunter Flesner added 10.
Griggsville-Perry, the No. 12 seed, threw a scare at fourth-seeded Winchester West Central before falling 53-48.
The Tornadoes trailed 26-18 at halftime before cutting the lead to 36-33 after the third quarter.
Dryden Craven led Griggsville with 17 points, followed by Matthew Kennedy with 14 and Levi King with 10.
Western, the No. 11 seed, trailed third-seeded Waverly by only four points at halftime before losing 56-44.
Izack Hively led the Wildcats with 16 points and Kyle Warning added 14.
Brown County, the No. 13 seed, had trouble scoring against North Greene's solid defense, losing 54-32. Jacob Shoopman led the Hornets, who trailed 27-15 at halftime, with eight points.