Pekin boys roll Columbus for third straight victory
COLUMBUS JUNCTION — Coming off two straight overtime victories last week, the Pekin boys’ basketball team finally ran away with one Tuesday at Columbus.
Down two points headed into the second period, the Panthers gave up just nine points in the second period and another eight in the third on their way to a 66-54 victory over Columbus.
Junior Cade Millikin scored 15 points to pace the Panthers, who now have won six of the past seven games. Senior Seth Jensen totaled 14 points and nine rebounds.
“The second and third quarters were the best quarters for us because we actually played defense, which in turn spurred our offense,” said Pekin head coach Ken Hutchinson.
Pekin led the host Wildcats 32-23 after the second quarter and 47-31 after three en route to its third straight victory.
Also for Pekin, Brody Long barreled his way to 13 rebounds and six points, Petie Clubb tallied 10 points and six assists, and Graham Wittrock supplied seven points.
Hutchinson said his focus right now is on making the Panthers a more well-rounded team.
“We’re improving subtly in areas. The frustrating thing is that when we see improvements in one area, we see some regression in another area,” Hutchinson said. “If we’re executing well offensively, we’re not doing well defensively. Last night, we did a little better on defense and struggled on offense.”
The Panthers (9-4, 8-4 SEISC north) return home for a matchup with Louisa-Muscatine Friday before heading to Mediapolis Saturday.
Hutchinson added, “We usually play well at home, and we’re looking for them to have a good, short day on Friday so we have a lot of confidence going into Saturday’s game.”
Girls come up short
COLUMBUS JUNCTION — Another close loss hit the Pekin girls’ basketball team Tuesday as it fell to Columbus 34-32 on the road.
The loss was the Panthers’ third straight by five points or less. They have dropped six of the past seven games.
Pekin struggled to find the scoreboard for the first seven minutes of Tuesday’s contest and fell behind 7-3 by the end of the first quarter. Columbus was only able to score one point in the second quarter, however, as Pekin took a 13-8 lead into halftime.
The away team upped its advantage to 26-18 by the end of the third period, but Columbus nearly doubled its point total in the final period to earn the come-from-behind win.
Junior Samantha Wright led the Panthers with 10 points, and she nailed 2 of 3 shots from beyond the 3-point arc. Gwynne Wright scored nine points and had three steals, and Jessica Horras tacked on eight points.
Tiana Slaney grabbed 12 rebounds, including four on the offensive glass. Madelyn Baker pulled down seven rebounds and Beth Atwood handed out two assists.
The Panthers (6-9, 6-8 SEISC north) host Louisa-Muscatine Friday.