Game Night Guide: Bombers look to dodge Bullets in Class 2A super-sectional


Macomb senior forward Ian Case, left, and the Bombers face Williamsville at 6 p.m. Monday in the Class 2A super-sectional at the Bank of Springfield Center in Springfield, Ill. | Photo courtesy Andrea Ratermann

Class 2A Springfield Super-Sectional

Macomb (28-5) vs. Williamsville (25-9)

When: 6 p.m. Monday

Where: Bank of Springfield Center

Livestreams: Bomber Sports Network on YouTube

Central Illinois Sports on NFHS Network

Scouting the Bombers: Macomb is playing in a super-sectional for the first time since 2006 and is in search of the first state trophy in program history. The Bombers positioned themselves for this by upending title favorite Peoria Manual 41-40 in the sectional semifinal and then overcoming a 7-0 deficit out of the game in the sectional title game against Rockridge, earning a 54-38 victory as they made 9 of 12 3-pointers and avenged a three-point loss in the Macomb-Western Holiday Tournament title game.

“I was really impressed with their ability to stick together,” Macomb coach Jeremy Anderson said. “Anytime you fall behind 7-0 after a huge emotional game, you can see pieces start to unravel, and we really didn’t do that. We had to make a couple of defensive adjustments, but the guys stuck together and never let down. They never lost faith in each other.”

The Bombers’ ability to throw the ball to either of their twin towers — 6-foot-6 senior forward Dion Doyle and 6-foot-7 senior forward Ian Case — and run the offense inside-out is critical. The two big men are averaging a combined 26 points and 12 rebounds per game. Their presence frees up junior guard Braden Holthaus and sophomore guard Drew Watson to be snipers.

Defensively, the Bombers have been dynamic, allowing 39.5 points per game in the postseason and less than 40 points per game overall.

Scouting the Bullets: Williamsville entered the postseason as the fifth seed in its sub-sectional, but the Bullets’ 1-3-1 zone defense has caused havoc. They haven’t allowed an opponent to score more than 47 points this postseason and are giving up 34.6 points in that stretch. That includes allowing just four points in the first half of the regional semifinal victory against Quincy Notre Dame.

“We’re really going to have to work against that 1-3-1 zone,” Anderson said. “It looks like it’s really aggressive, and they do a good job of pressuring out of it, which we haven’t seen. We obviously have seen pressure with Manual, and I don’t think there pressure will be any tougher than Manual’s, but it’s going to be in a different style.”

The Bullets’ balance offensively is challenging as well. Senior guard Brayden Saling is the only player averaging in double figures, scoring 13.6 points per game. Brecken Thomas and senior forward Carson Kohler averaged 8.8 and 8.4 points per game respectively, while Kohler pulls down nine rebounds per game.

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