Sports

Metamora nips West Hancock in overtime at Macomb tourney

Metamora’s David Gualandri, left, scrambles with West Hancock’s Jordan White, center, and Parker Gibbs for a loose ball during the Macomb-Western Holiday Tournament on Thursday night at Macomb High School. (H-W Photo/Steve Bohnstedt)
Posted: Dec. 27, 2012 10:59 pm Updated: Jan. 18, 2013 12:15 am

By THE HERALD-WHIG
STAFF

MACOMB, Ill. -- The West Hancock boys basketball team's game against Metamora on Thursday came down to the free-throw line. There, the Redbirds shined.

Fourth-seeded Metamora forced overtime after Tianen Chen made a free throw with eight seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 43, and the Redbirds used three free throws near the end of overtime to escape with a 50-46 victory over the Titans in the quarterfinals of the Macomb-Western Holiday Tournament at Macomb High School.

Metamora scored the first points of overtime six seconds in on a jumper by Jackson Grieves to pull ahead.

Parker Gibbs made one of two free throws with 3:13 to play to cut West Hancock's deficit to 45-44. The Titans' Jordan White added another free throw almost a minute later to tie the game at 45.

Neither team scored again until 1:34 remaining, when Metamora's Nate Kennell scored on a layup to give the Redbirds a 47-45 advantage.

Gibbs cut Metamora's lead to 48-46, on a free throw with 30 seconds left, but West Hancock's Paxton Harmon missed a jumper with four seconds to play and fouled Grant Billimack two seconds later. Billimack made both free throws to seal the win for Metamora (11-1).

Harmon had a game-high 21 points and six rebounds to lead the Titans (11-2). Austin Hardy added 12 points.

The Titans shot 44 percent from the field (7 of 16) in the first half and were 6 of 16 (38 percent) in the second half.

With 52 seconds left in regulation, Harmon made a jumper to put the Titans ahead 43-42. The teams traded possessions before Harmon fouled Chen with eight seconds left. Chen missed the first throw but made the second to send the game into overtime.

-- sports@whig.com/221-3366

In Case You Missed It

Therapy dog knows just what Baldwin students need
Cooper heads down the hallway in Baldwin West for another day of school. He's focused. He's friendly. He's furry. Cooper, a golden doodle, is teacher Erin Armbruster's trained therapy dog, and his pawprints reach beyond just her classroom. "He helps out the students. He's a very good dog," fifth-grader Myles Cain said.