PEKIN – For the second time in 15 days, Moline defeated rival United Township. This time, though, a championship trophy and MVP hardware came with it on Saturday night.
The Maroons (12-2) saved its best game for last at the Pekin Insurance Holiday Classic, strolling to a 51-37 victory in the title game. They connected on 7-of-13 3-pointers, all of the treys coming in the first half to set the tone for the rematch.
The two played a WB6 game on Friday, Dec. 15, at Wharton Field House. Moline won that one 67-56.
“This one was huge,” said Moline senior Drew Wiemers. “We were the No. 1 seed and we wanted to show we deserved it. When the stage is bigger, we want to step up and play our best game.”
Deonte Billups won the tournament’s Most Valuable Player trophy, getting a double-double of 20 points and 14 rebounds in the championship game and averaging one for the tournament, with 90 points and 47 rebounds in four games.
Lena-Winslow 51, Alleman 48 (OT): Closing out their debut Warkins Classic appearance, the Alleman Pioneers almost found a way to end on a winning note after rallying from an eight-point, fourth-quarter deficit to force overtime when Sam Mattecheck's floater in the final seconds forced a 42-42 tie.
After falling behind by four in the extra session, Alleman mounted another comeback capped, again capped by Mattecheck (16 points on 7 of 12 shooting), who scored with 14.1 seconds on the clock to make it a 49-48 game. However, his bid to tie the game in the closing seconds was denied as the Pioneers finished 3-2 at their first Warkins.
Sterling Newman beat Erie-Prophetstown 50-37 in the title game.
Wethersfield 62, Orion 57: Led by the trio of Isaac Frank (17 points), all-tournament honoree Coltin Quagliano (16 points) and Tyler Nichols (16 points), the Wethersfield Flying Geese rallied in the fourth quarter to earn their 12th win in 14 games.
Led by 15 points from their own all-tournament standout, Josh Johnson, the Chargers (8-7) worked their way to a 41-38 lead entering the final period, with a pair of Cade Weiss 3-pointers fueling that rally.
Peoria Heights 59, Riverdale 45: Riverdale senior guard Carter Wainwright capped an all-tournament run with a game-high 16 points, but the Rams (8-11) could not overtake Peoria Heights as the Patriots opened up a 42-30 lead after three quarters and secured the victory.
Stockton 52, Mercer County 39: Led by a game-high 25 points from all-tournament standout Alex Staver, the Stockton Blackhawks grabbed a 30-17 halftime lead and never looked back as they rolled past Mercer County (5-10). Cade Sharp (12 points on four 3-pointers) and Trey Essig (11 points) paced the Golden Eagles as all-tournament pick Rashaun King was held to just six points.
Stark County 52, Morrison 49: Ryan Murphy (20 points) and Kane Newton (19 points) paved the way for Stark County. The Mustangs (6-11) were paced by 18 points from T.C. Ottens.
Peoria Manual Tournament
Moline 58, Lanphier 30: Moline went into the Peoria Manual Academy Holiday girls’ basketball tournament with its eyes on the grand prize, which eluded the Maroons last season. But the energy that they brought to the game on Saturday sealed the deal and the Maroons took home gold with a 58-30 win over Springfield Lanphier.
This was Moline’s first Manual tournament championship since 2009, and it was a place that head coach Tracy SantAmour wanted to get to again.
“It feels awesome to win this tournament,” SantAmour said. “There are a lot of talented teams, and we’re happy to come out on top. This team has come a long way over the course of the season and we’re really starting to show great team chemistry.”
Moline dominated the scoring column with three players scoring in double-digits. Junior Cierra McNamee led the team with 15 points and an incredible 17 rebounds, followed by senior Megan Pittington with 12 points and nine rebounds and Bralee Trice with 11 points and nine rebounds.
Litton surpasses 2,000 points: Wethersfield senior guard Brittney Litton continued to add to her already-impressive list of accolades. A day after becoming the Lady Geese's all-time leading scorer, Litton poured in 30 points in a 61-37 win over Morrison to become the first Lady Geese player to reach the 2,000-point plateau.
“It's a huge honor,” said Litton. “Sarah (Hansen) and Shelby (Steger) were both awesome players, and to know I can compete at that level, it's pretty cool. It's a proud moment both for my program and for myself.”
Wethersfield finished the tournament 3-2, as did Orion. Stockton won the title game for the second straight year.
Mercer County finishes strong: After losing 10 of their first 13 games, including last weekend's Warkins opener, the Mercer County Golden Eagles finished their tournament run with a flourish, reeling off four straight victories.
The last of those came Saturday evening, as Mercer County held off a fourth-quarter charge by Erie-Prophetstown to earn a 49-45 victory over the Panthers behind a game-high 22 points from junior standout Karli Stineman.