Macomb tourney roundup: Illini West takes fifth after West Hancock star injures ankle

Posted: Dec. 28, 2012 10:59 pm Updated: Jan. 18, 2013 11:15 pm


MACOMB, Ill. -- The adage goes that one's loss is another's gain.

For the Illini West boys basketball team, the loss was West Hancock senior Paxton Harmon.

Harmon, a 6-foot-5 all-stater, left late in the first quarter of the Titans' game against Illini West Friday in the fifth-place game of the Macomb-Western Holiday Tournament.

"He tweaked his ankle pretty good," Illini West coach John Hughs said. "It's an unfortunate thing for a good kid."

The Chargers took advantage of Harmon's absence en route to a 51-38 victory in the fifth-place game. It was the fourth straight trophy game for Illini West, which placed second in 2010 and 2011 and third in 2009.

"Our kids really stepped up the pressure when (Harmon) went down with the ankle injury," Hughs said. "It was a big key for us. We were very disciplined in our approach and made it difficult for them."

West Hancock held a 10-6 lead after the first quarter but trailed 22-21 at halftime.

Illini West took the lead for good midway through the third quarter on a layup by Levi Kirby.

Kirby led the Chargers (6-4) with 18 points. Brody Gronewold added 12 points.

"We took steps in the right direction and had growth as a team and as individual players," Hughs said.

Parker Gibbs led West Hancock (12-3) with 12 points and 15 rebounds. The Titans outrebounded the Chargers 33-27.

Pittsfield 55, Abingdon 37: With a trophy on the line, the Saukees once again found success.

Playing in its fourth consecutive trophy game, Pittsfield (9-5) rolled past Abingdon for the consolation title.

All-time at the Macomb tournament, the Saukess are 22-2 (92 percent) in trophy games. The last team to beat Pittsfield in a trophy game was Abingdon, which beat the Saukees 49-44 in the 2000 championship game.

Wayde Smith led Pittsfield with 30 points on 12-of-17 shooting.

West Hancock 61, Rockridge 53: Trevor Knipe's 3-pointer with three minutes remaining in the game gave the Titans a lead they didn't relinquish in a fifth-place bracket semifinal win.

Gibbs led West Hancock with 21 points, while Harmon added 14.

Illini West 55, Canton 53: Gronewold connected on 10 of 19 shots from the field to lead the Chargers past third-seeded Canton in a fifth-place bracket semifinal win.

Canton tied the game at 50 on a layup by Hunter Rhodes with 2:13 left in the game.

Illini West iced the victory by making 3 of 4 free throws down the stretch.

Ethan Neally added 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Chargers.

Pittsfield 29, Central 28: The Panthers' Douglas Weese's potential game-winner rimmed out at the buzzer, securing the Saukees' spot in the consolation championship.

Weese, who finished with a game-high 15 points, nailed a 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter to put Central ahead 24-23.

Smith led Pittsfield with nine points.


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