Central bounces back from last-second loss to defeat Southeastern for third place at Macomb


MACOMB, Ill. — The Central boys basketball team rebounded from a crushing last-second loss in Friday afternoon’s semifinals and defeated Southeastern 51-43 in the third-place game at the 76th annual Macomb-Western Holiday Tournament.

Breyhar Wiskirchen led the Panthers (10-3) with 18 points.  Isaac Genenbacher scored 12 for Central, and Drew Paben added 10. Danny Stephens scored 30 points for Southeastern (12-2).

The Suns led briefly in the first half, but Central scored the last nine points of the second quarter on 3-pointers by Genenbacher, Paben and Nick Moore to lead 30-22 at halftime. 

Southeastern got as close as four points on two occasions, the last time coming with 3:51 remaining in the game after a 3-pointer by Stephens.  However, the Suns made only one basket — another 3-popinter by Stephens — the rest of the way.

Central’s day started with the hope it would win its first Macomb-Western title in school history, but Illini Bluffs’ Hank Alvey made a driving layup to beat the buzzer in a 51-50 decision.

The score was tied at 46 with 3:54 remaining in the game. Central took the lead on a layup by Genenbacher, and another layup by Moore put the Panthers ahead 50-46 with 3:24 remaining.

Alvey scored to get Illini Bluffs within 50-48, and Brandon Coats made one of two free throws for the Tigers with 1:06 left. Illini Bluffs had to foul three times to put the Panthers in the bonus, and Paben was sent to the line with 12 seconds remaining.

Paben missed the front end of a one-and-one, and Illini Bluffs moved the ball upcourt before calling timeout with four seconds left. On the inbounds play, Alvey used a screen to pop out to the top of the key, then drove past Carter Eyler for the winning shot.

Alvey made 12 of 13 shots to finish with 27 points, and he also had 10 rebounds. Moore led the Panthers with 19 points.

Southeastern, the No. 1-ranked team in the Associated Press Class 1A state poll, lost its first game of the season in the semifinals by a 56-25 score to Eureka, the defending tournament champions. Stephens gave Southeastern its only lead with a layup on the game’s first possession.

The Suns made just two of 18 3-point field goal attempts in the game. Stephens finished with 20 points. Tyler Heffren scored 20 points for the Hornets, and Tyler Tate added 14.

In other games:

  • Illini West lost in the consolation championship game 56-44 to Monmouth-Roseville. The Chargers never led in the game and could get no closer than six points in the fourth quarter. Gannon Bergmann had 19 points and seven rebounds for Illini West (9-7). Drake Mudd had 12 points and Nolan Deitrich added 11. C.J. Johnson led the Titans with 15 points. Illini West reached the consolation title game with a 58-50 victory over Pittsfield in a game played Thursday morning in Brophy Hall.
  • West Hancock lost 45-42 to Rockridge in the semifinals of the fifth-place bracket. The Rockets led by nine points at halftime, but the Titans scored the first nine points of the third quarter to tie the score at 33. Rockridge led 42-38 with 5:44 left in the game, but layups by Luke Jacquot and Lewis Siegfried tied the score at 42 with 1:20 remaining. A steal by Jacquot wuth 16 seconds to play gave the Titans a chance to win the game, but Jacquot turned the ball over with an offensive foul with eight seconds left. A foul by Gage Scott, followed by a technical foul against Scott, led to three free throws by Jase Whiteman to give Rockridge the victory.

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