A weekend of basketball was hosted at the Metamora Township High School for the 4th annual Roundball Classic.
Participating boys basketball teams were Peoria High School, Chicago Uplift, Limestone and Metamora.
Limestone won the tournament going 3-0 over its opponents and won in overtime over Uplift, 74-73.
MTHS went 1-2 in the tourney with its win over Central, 69-44.
The first-place Limestone Rockets Friday.
Limestone is ranked No. 1 over Metamora in M-I standings and the Rockets took a 66-54 win over MTHS.
“It was a hard fought game. We’re a work in progress and we just didn’t make enough smart plays tonight,” said coach Danny Grieves.
Metamora led after the first quarter, 17-6. Nate Kennell opened the scoring for the game with a drive up the paint and a layup.
Limestone’s John Ortman answered back with a layup before Metamora went on a 13-0 run.
“They’re a team that, a lot of times, come right out of the box and are just really good early. They kind of blitz you,” said Grieves. “We wanted to make sure we jumped on them sooner than they jumped on us.”
The run ended with a 3-pointer by Josh Dixon in the right corner to make it 15-2 at about the 3 minute mark.
The Rockets came back with four more points in the first and went into the second behind 17-6.
Limestone came out in the second with a quick six points in the first minute.
Joe Kennell put in a 3 with an assist by Nate to make it 20-11.
Limestone’s Calvin Peacock closed the deficit to 24-22 with a jumper at 3:30.
Dixon nailed a 3 and Michael Adams put up two points with two minutes to go to make it 29-26.
A 3 by Grant Billimack and a shot under the net from Nate with an assist by Joe gave the Redbirds an eight-point lead before Limestone put up two points to finish the scoring in the second.
Going into the third ahead, 34-28, Nate was leading in scoring with 13 points for both teams.
Limestone opened at the third with five points until Metamora’s first points by Nate at about the five minute mark to make it a one-point lead at 36-33 for MTHS.
Merritt Stott closed out the third with a 3 at the buzzer from an assist by Joe to, again, be ahead by 3 at 46-43.
The fourth quarter was all in favor of Limestone from shots at the free-throw line to add 23 points to its score over Metamora’s eight.
Limestone’s Terence Shelby of Limestone made six of his eight free throw attempts in the fourth with two additional field goals.
Page 2 of 3 - Chirs Dixon-Willams put in five of his six attempts to contribute to Limestone’s winning score.
Nate led the Redbirds in scoring with 21 points and Joe was next with 9.
The next game of the tourney was against Chicago Uplift Saturday for a 54-53 loss.
Metamora led the first half but fell behind in scoring in the second.
“We had the lead most of the game and they’re very athletic and their athleticism hurt us a little bit late but we had plenty of good shots to try and stay with them,” Grieves said.
Uplift’s Deshon Fluckes opened the scoring with a 3 from the top left but Metamora came back with a jumper by Billimack and a 3 by Nate to lead 5-3 at the five minute mark.
After a shot under the net by Adams and another two points by Uplift, both teams went on a 3-pointer run to close the first.
Nate, Dixon and Stott put in 3’s before the buzzer of the first to get the Redbirds a 16-13 lead.
Metamora was outscored in the second, 12-9, for Uplift to tie the game at 25.
Adams and Stott both had layups in the beginning of the second to make it a five-point lead at 20-15.
After a Redbird timeout at 4:31, Uplift went on a 9-0 run to take a 24-20 lead.
A 3 by Nate and a layup off a drive by Dixon was able to even the score going into intermission.
The Redbirds opened the start of the second half with two 3’s by Dixon and Nate from the right corners.
Uplift called a timeout at 5:29 and came out to put in a 3.
Another 3 by Uplift’s Augustin Tronou gave his team the game-long lead at 37-35.
In the final eight minutes, Metamora was outscored by one point, 13-12
Nate put in a jumper with an assist by Joe at about the one minute mark to close the deficit to 55-53. Nate was sent to the with 32 seconds left to make one of his two attempts to make it a one-point difference.
With five seconds left, Uplift was at the free-throw line and made both the shots to finish the scoring for the game and to take the win.
Nate led both teams in scoring with 25 points. Dixon contributed 10 and Billimack had seven.
The third and last game for Metamora was against Central for a 69-44 win Saturday.
“Central is athletic as you can be and they do some good things defensively that makes the course of what you’re doing but I thought our guys did a nice job of staying on point and trying to play our style,” Grieves said.
Page 3 of 3 - Central kept toe-to-toe with the Redbirds in the first four minutes of the game to trail behind 11-9 before Metamora went on a 11-point run for the rest of the first.
Going into the second leading 22-9, Metamora put up 11 more points before Central’s first points from a shot at the free-throw line to make it a 33-10 game.
Billimack closed out the scoring in the second from making two free throws with 31 seconds left to make it a 43-18 game.
Joe started the scoring after intermission with a shot at the line 15 seconds into the third.
Six points from Billimack and Nate brought the score to 50-21.
At the one minute mark, Nate hit his last 3 of the game from the left side.
Central outscored Metamora in the fourth, 18-11, but it wasn’t enough to come back for a win over the Redbirds.
Jon Herr, Dixon and Adams put up the points for MTHS in the final quarter.
“We were so unselfish tonight on our passing. We made the extra pass almost every time and our kids were fun to watch tonight,” said Grieves.
After the tourney, Metamora has a record of 15-4 and 5-2 in the M-I.