Sometimes a close win can mean more than a blowout.
The Metamora Redbird basketball team beat Morton, 45-42, Friday at home.
The Potters proved to be the aggressor during the opening 16-minutes, racking up shot after shot as the Redbirds failed to find an answer for the Morton offense.
With the ball, the Redbirds played smart but could not match the Potters.
Tianen Chen racked up 16 points during the game thanks to smart shot selection and timely passes from his teammates.
Chen led the team in points.
At halftime, the Redbirds trailed, 21-17.
In the third quarter, the Redbird offense exploded, racking up 14 points as the Morton defense lapsed.
Whether it was Grant Billimack sinking shots from the perimeter over Potter defenders or Danny Grieves driving strong to the hoop, the Potters had no answer for the Metamora offense.
With one quarter left, Metamora led 31-30.
The final quarter saw both teams playing fast offensively and each side was in prime offensive form.
Morton and Metamora's defenses both lapsed in the final frame but, down the stretch, the Redbirds were able to take advantage of Morton's lapses to send in more shots.
The game was close throughout, but Metamora pulled off the win in the end.
The Redbirds came close to taking down Mid-Illini Conference leader Washington Saturday on the road but fell near the end.
Metamora could not have asked for a better start and built a 19-9 lead through the opening quarter thanks to sharp shooting from the perimeter and physical play below the hoop.
Grieves proved to be the main catalyst for the Redbird offense as he scored at will from anywhere on the court he chose to shoot.
Grieves led the team with 26 points for the game.
Before halftime, both teams clamped down on defense and, after the first two quarters, Metamora led 24-14.
As good as the Metamora offense was in the opening quarter of the first half, that was how good Washington's defense was in the opening quarter of the second half.
For eight minutes, nothing the Redbirds did seemed to work as the Panther defense had the answer for whatever offensive scheme Metamora threw at them.
With just eight minutes left, Metamora's lead was 26-21.
The Redbird offense found its rhythm again in the fourth quarter but so did Washington.
Near the end of the quarter, Alec Peters broke free of his defender and drove for a layup that broke a 37-all tie.
The Redbirds could not respond to the basket with very little time on the clock and fell.
Page 2 of 2 - The team next plays at 7 p.m. Friday at Limestone.