By THE HERALD-WHIG
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.