By THE HERALD-WHIG
WARSAW, Ill. -- An aggressive Keokuk boys basketball team fended off West Hancock 40-38 Saturday night to claim the championship of the 93rd annual Hancock County Tournament.
"They turned up their defensive pressure and we didn't handle it very well," West Hancock coach Reno Pinkston said. "It caused problems for us offensively.
"We weren't able to create much space and that made it difficult on Paxton (Harmon)."
Harmon, who averages about 20 points per game, was limited to 15 points, with eight coming in the second quarter.
Trailing by two late, Harmon took a 3-pointer that didn't fall.
It is the first time Keokuk (11-2) has won the tournament and was the Chiefs' ninth straight win. West Hancock fell to 15-4. Both teams entered Saturday's game 3-0 in pool play.
"Defensively, they stepped it up," Pinkston said.
West Hancock was up by as many as 10 in the second half, and eight at the end of the third quarter, but Keokuk used a fourth-quarter surge to sink the Titans. The Chiefs outscored the Titans 18-8 in the fourth.
"From that point, they were able to defensively shut us down," Pinkston said.
Trevor Knipe and Austin Hardy added nine points apiece for West Hancock.
In the other game, Unity picked up its only win of the tournament by dispatching Southeastern 56-52.
Unity (11-8) trailed 28-24 at halftime, but outscored the Suns 19-7 in the third quarter to take a 43-35 lead into the fourth quarter.
Will Klusmeyer and Alex Blickhan led Unity with 13 points apiece.
Matthew Ramsey scored 20 points to lead Southeastern (9-10) and Shea Flesner added 15.