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
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
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
December 29, 2017