Pekin, Cardinal boys combine for 187 points Thursday
ELDON — Pekin couldn’t miss from the field Thursday. Neither could Cardinal.
In the end, though, it came down to who hit their free throws.
Pekin junior Petie Clubb hit four straight free throws in the closing minutes Thursday, lifting the Panthers to a wild 97-90 double-overtime victory in front of a raucous crowd in Eldon.
Clubb was 13 of 16 from the charity stripe with 21 points, and Pekin came back from deficits in both overtime periods for the win. The Panthers made 30 free throw attempts as a team.
“Petie did a good job stepping up and making free throws, and he was there a ton. It was nice to see him so consistent,” said Pekin head coach Ken Hutchinson.
The visitors shot 32 of 71 from the field (45 percent) while Cardinal shot a season-best 28 of 54 (52 percent) and 11 of 20 from beyond the 3-point arc. The Comets made 23 attempts from the free throw line compared to Pekin’s 30.
The Panthers led for most of the game and went into halftime holding a 44-35 lead. They then started the third quarter on a roll and turned four straight steals into points to build a double-digit lead.
Down by nine at the start of the fourth, Cardinal rallied with a 25-point quarter to knot it up at 75-all and force overtime. Cardinal then took an early lead in the first overtime, but Pekin stayed close and sent the game into double-overtime.
“I was pleased we didn’t just panic and throw up shots when we got down,” said Hutchinson. “We showed good poise and took it possession by possession.”
In the second overtime, Cardinal led by one before Pekin’s Graham Wittrock hit a momentum-swinging 3 at the start of the period. The Panthers never trailed again.
“We were able to get that momentum back when Wittrock hit that 3,” said Hutchinson. “For us to come out with a bunch of new guys in a situation like that and get the win is huge.”
Wittrock hit three treys in the game and scored 21 points. He also had four assists and was 6 of 8 from the charity stripe. Cade Millikin led the Panthers with 25 points as well as six steals and five assists, and Seth Jensen scored 16 points and pulled down 13 boards. Clubb also tallied six steals and five assists.
For Cardinal, Dakota Showman scored 32 points on 13 of 16 shooting from the field. Both Showman and Charlie Rachford, who netted 19 points, knocked down four 3s apiece. Jonathan Pedersen scored 18 points, and Brandon Potts and Cody Carter finished with six and five points, respectively. Kaleb Durflinger hauled in seven rebounds.
Pekin will be back on the road at Highland tonight. Cardinal is set to host Harmony.
Cardinal vs. Pekin
PEKIN — 23 21 15 16 8 14 — 97
CARDINAL — 17 18 15 25 8 7 — 90
CARDINAL — Showman 32, Rachford 19, Pedersen 18, Potts 6, Carter 5, Durflinger 5, Urtado 3, Yeager 2, Total 90
3-point goals — Showman 4, Rachford 4, Carter 1, Potts 1, Pedersen 1. Rebounds — Durflinger 7, Rachford 5, Carter 5, Potts 5. Assists — Showman 5, Rachford 5. Steals — Showman 4, Carter 2, Yeager 2. Blocks — Rachford 2, Potts 2
PEKIN — Millikin 25, Wittrock 21, Clubb 21, Jensen 16
3-point goals — Wittrock 3, Millikin 2. Rebounds — Jensen 13. Assists — Clubb 5, Millikin 5, Wittrock 4. Steals — Clubb 6, Millikin 6.