The Metamora boys varsity basketball team came up short of grabbing another championship title at the Macomb-Western Holiday Tournament Dec. 28. The Redbirds surpassed Illini West, Camp Point Central and Monmouth Roseville to get to the title game to face Rockridge but could not overcome the Rockets and were stuck with a 49-43 loss. Metamora 38, Camp Point 22 After defeating Illini West, 50-21, in the first round, Metamora advanced to face Camp Point Central Dec. 27 in the quarterfinals, which resulted in a 38-22 win. Both teams went back and forth with the lead in the first quarter, leaving Metamora to lead by only one when the buzzer sounded. Merritt Stott ended the scoring in the first with a 3-pointer to make it 7-6. About 90 seconds into the second, Joe Kennell was fouled by Cole Phillips and the Redbirds were put into bonus. Joe made both free throw attempts given to him to open the scoring. Half way through the second, Grant Billimack put up a layup to span the gap to 17-10 in favor of Metamora. Camp Point came back with a couple of 2-point field goals to make it 18-14 before entering the half. At 6:29 in the third, Camp Point put up two points before the Redbirds went on a scoring run for the rest of the period. Kennell started the run with two layups, a jump shot and a 3 to make it 30-16. Billimack closed the third with a layup after an assist by Stott under the 10 second marker. Kennell opened up the final eight minutes with a layup assisted by Joe to make the game-high lead of 34-16. Camp Point was able to get six more points on the board before the final buzzer but could not close in on Metamora for the win. Kennell led the scoring with 14 points and Billimack was behind with 10. Metamora 49, M-R 39 In the semifinal game against Monmouth-Roseville, the Redbirds edged out a 10-point win Dec. 28, 49-39. Both teams went head to head in the opening minutes, but Metamora grabbed the game-long lead after breaking a 4-4 tie from a layup by Kennell with an assist by Joe. Metamora added seven more points to the board to make it 13-7 going into the second quarter. At about two minutes into the second, Stott put in a layup to open the scoring for the Redbirds. A 3 by Josh Dixon widened the gap with the Titans and another one by Joe at 1:22 brought it to 23-13. Billimack was able to get a layup in after an assist by Joe with just one second left to make it 26-15. In the third quarter, Kennell opened the scoring with a layup 30 seconds in. Metamora kept the gap between the Titans steady for the remainder of the third and finished it out with a 11-point lead, 37-26. Kennell was sent to the free-throw line in the first 30 seconds of the final quarter and made both of his attempts to start the scoring in the fourth. Five layups later and at the 3:15 marker, Joe put up another two points after a steal by Josh Dixon to give the Redbirds the game-high lead of 18 at 49-31. M-R finished the scoring of the game with a 3, two layups and a free throw to close the gap to a 10 point spread before the final buzzer. Joe led the scoring at 15 points and Kennell followed at 14. Stott contributed with four points and six rebounds from three on offense and defense. Rockridge 49, Metamora 43 The battle for the championship title was in favor for the Redbirds in the first three quarters but eight points in the last two minutes of the game by the Rockets gave Rockridge the victory. Metamora and Rockridge went back and forth with scoring in the first minutes of the game but at two and a half minutes left in the first, Joe put in a 3 to grab an 11-9 lead. A jump shot in the second by Ethan Happ of Rockridge tied up the game at 15 at 5:26. The Rockets then grabbed a five-point lead after a free throw by Bryan Heath. Kennell was able to put in a 3 after an assist by Joe at 1:45 to narrow the deficit to two. Billimack sank a 3 of his own to grab the lead and a layup by Joe after a fast break brought the score to 27-24 before entering the half. Kennell started the scoring in the third with a layup and a free throw in the first 20 seconds. A layup by Dixon brought a game-high lead of 11 at 35-24 about a minute later. The Redbirds held onto the lead for the remainder of the quarter to finish at 37-28. In the fourth, Metamora was able to hold the Rockets through the first six minutes until Happ tied up the score at 41 with a layup. A free throw and a layup later by Happ gave the Rockets a 44-41 lead and held onto it for the last minute of play. Five free throws went in for Rockridge while the Redbirds had two and the game was set for a Rocket win. Kennell led the scoring at 13 points, Joe had 11 and Dixon finished with 10.