2017 Game 22 Recap:  Illini Bluffs vs. West Hancock

Box Score

Illini Bluffs Team Info
West Hancock Team Info


The West Hancock Titans advanced to their first-ever Macomb-Western Holiday Tournament title game, pulling away from the Illini Bluffs Tigers in the fourth quarter for a 69-49 victory. The top-seeded Titans also remained the unbeaten on the season, running their record to a perfect 14-0.

The opening frame boiled down to an old fashioned duel between Illini Bluffs’ Cam Scott and West Hancock’s Drake Hammel. Scott scored 12 points in the first quarter, helping IB to a quick 11-6 lead. Hammel was on fire as well, draining his first five field goal attempts en route to 11 first quarter points. Fittingly, the quarter ended in a draw at 13-13.

West Hancock would score the next six points and led the rest of the way. After a quiet start, Logan Dorethy tallied eight points in the second quarter to provide a boost in the interior for the Titans. West Hancock build a lead as high as nine before settling for a 26-20 edge at intermission.

Dorethy scored six points in the opening two minutes of the second half during a 10-3 West Hancock run to push the lead up to 36-23. Scott would fire back for Illini Bluffs (8-4), recording 11 points in the quarter to get the Tigers within six at the four minute mark of the third quarter.

But the Titans were not going to be denied as they shot 59 percent in the second half and 57 percent for the game. West Hancock scored 43 points after halftime, and posted the highest point total by a team in 22 games played so far in the tournament this year.

Scott exploded for 33 points in the game, the most by a player in the tournament this year. He was 4-for-11 from long range, but the rest of the Tigers misfired on all 10 attempts from long distance. Braden Cox grabbed 11 rebounds in addition to his eight points and five steals. Illini Bluffs will play Central in the third place game at 8:00 pm.

Logan Dorethy led the Titans with 26 points and 13 rebounds. Hammel finished with 17 points and four assists. Riley Langford (11) and Peyton Dooley (10) also reached double figures in points. West Hancock played the game without head coach Reno Pinkston, who is away at his son’s wedding.

The championship game will be a re-match of sorts. Warsaw, which is part of the Hamilton/Warsaw/Nauvoo-Colusa co-op now called West Hancock, topped Abingdon, now a part of the Abingdon-Avon consolidation, 66-47 that year in the title game. It was the last of two tournament titles for Warsaw. Hamilton last made the championship game in 1992, losing to Metamora 84-73.

Brian Sullivan
December 30, 2017
The bracket:
Keep up-to-date on the ever-changing bracket during the tournament by visiting this page.