What a weekend it was for the Pekin boys basketball team.
After the Dragons surprised Morton 64-40 on Friday night at the Potterdome, they clobbered Canton 55-29 Saturday night at Ingersoll Gym in a pair of Mid-Illini Conference road games.
When the dust had settled, Pekin (11-11, 7-3) found itself right back in the race for the conference title.
Saturday’s win was especially satisfying for Dragons coach Jeff Walraven.
Pekin’s victory over Morton was huge, and not just because of the final score. The Potters came into the game with a perfect Mid-Illini record and the Dragons rarely win at the Potterdome.
Canton (3-15, 2-7) isn’t an upper echelon team in the conference.
“To be honest, I was nervous all day,” Walraven said after Saturday’s game. “Every time you win in our conference, it’s special. Tonight, our kids showed a lot of mental toughness. Had we lost to Canton, people would have remembered us losing that game, not beating Morton.”
The Dragons led Canton 21-13 at halftime, but the Little Giants bounced back after trailing 14-3 at the end of the first quarter.
The second half was a different story. Pekin outscored Canton 34-16 after intermission.
“We defended and rebounded well and got easier shots in the second half, and we played with good energy,” Walraven said.
Adam Cash was the lone Pekin player who scored in double figures. He had 12 points.
Patrick Torrey (eight points, eight rebounds), Justin Taphorn (eight points, seven rebounds) and Brady Grashoff (eight points, four assists) also contributed to the Dragons’ balanced attack.
Pekin shot 46 percent from the field (20-for-43) including 7-for-14 on triples and it was 8-for-9 at the free throw line.
Trey Passmore matched Cash’s 12 points for Canton.
The Little Giants shot only 28 percent from the field (11-for-39) and they were 7-for-26 on three-pointers. Morton was 4-for-28 from behind the arc against Pekin.
Steve Stein can be reached at (248) 224-2616 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.