2017 Game 12 Recap:  Pittsfield vs. Illini West

Box Score

Pittsfield Team Info
Illini West Team Info


Illini West sent the defending Macomb-Western Holiday Tournament champion Pittsfield Saukees packing with a 44-37 triumph Friday afternoon. It is the first time since 2008 that the previous year’s champ was eliminated with an 0-2 record (Monmouth-Roseville).

The Chargers (6-6) breezed past the Saukees (4-7) in the Pittsfield Thanksgiving tournament by 30 points. The Christmas edition of this matchup was a much different story, but with the same victor.

The first half featured controlled play, with both teams giving up only two turnovers each. Pittsfield enjoyed a 9-0 in the opening frame to build a six point lead, but Illini West fought back to quickly to take a 12-11 lead early in the second quarter. Unfortunately for the Chargers, they had trouble containing the efforts of Ethan Scott, who scored seven of his team-high 13 points in the second quarter to give Pittsfield a slim 20-19 halftime edge.

It would be the free throw line that ultimately was the Saukees’ undoing. Illini West converted 16-of-18 (89 percent) freebies after halftime, while Pittsfield misfired on all five free throw attempts on the day. Overall, IW had a 19-0 advantage at the line.

Illini West held Pittsfield scoreless for nearly seven minutes to begin the second half, while slowly building a 25-20 lead. The Saukees did not go out quietly. On three occasions in the fourth quarter, Pittsfield got within one point.

Twice Jon Moore converted lay ins in the final two minutes to cut the Illini West lead to a single point. The drama reached a crescendo with 23 seconds to go when Moore was whistled for a push-off offensive foul, his fifth, handing the possession to IW. Jackson Porter was fouled moments later and he pushed the lead to five points with two free throws.

Illini West connected on an impressive 15-for-16 at the line in the fourth quarter, including eight in a row in the final 1:12. The Chargers had only three turnovers on the day. Porter led all players with 16 points. Carter Boyer added 12.

Scott scored 13 points on 6-for-9 shooting, while Moore had nine points, five rebounds, and four assists to lead Pittsfield.

Illini West will play Canton at 10:30 am Saturday in Brophy Hall in the consolation semifinals. It will be a rematch of a quarterfinal contest played last year, won by Canton 55-52.

Brian Sullivan
December 29, 2017
The bracket:
Keep up-to-date on the ever-changing bracket during the tournament by visiting this page.