It wasn’t perfect, but it was a perfectly good victory for the Pekin boys basketball team.
The Dragons defeated Dunlap 62-47 Thursday night on the road in a Mid-Illini Conference opener behind a huge 23-point, 17-rebound effort by Patrick Torrey.
“It’s a conference win and it’s a road win. Those are big,” said Pekin coach Jeff Walraven.
Torrey, a 6-foot-7 senior center, had quite a night. He was 9-for-12 from the field and 5-for-7 at the free throw line. Eight of his 17 rebounds were on the offensive end.
“Patrick was fighting for rebounds,” Walraven said. “I’m real proud of him.”
Brady Grashoff contributed 16 points and Adam Cash 13 points to Pekin’s win. Max Jones scored only five points, but he had six assists.
The Dragons (2-3, 1-0) led 29-18 at halftime and 48-36 after three quarters, but the victory wasn’t as easy as it looks.
They had 18 turnovers, many caused by Dunlap’s harassing full-court press.
“There wasn’t just one culprit on our turnovers,” Walraven said. “We got loose with the ball and we needed to make better decisions. We’ll work on that.”
Walraven wants his team to improve each game.
“Take away the 18 turnovers and I’d say we did improve from last Saturday (a win over Winchester West Central in the Washington Tournament of Champions),” he said. “We had a good team effort against Dunlap and more hustle plays than in any other game this season.”
Cody Baer and Brock Card each had a dozen points for Dunlap (1-3, 0-1). Baer is 6-8.
The Eagles had a better night shooting than Pekin (20-for-44 for 45 percent to 19-for-48 for 39 percent), but the Dragons were 16-for-21 at the free throw line to Dunlap’s 2-for-6.
Thanks in large part to Torrey, Pekin dominated Dunlap on the boards 33-14.
It was the first home Mid-Illini game for new Dunlap coach Raymond “Corky” Card, who was the coach at Crystal Lake Prairie Ridge the past 16 seasons and compiled a 260-201 record with seven regional championships and one sectional title.
Card replaced former Dunlap coach Tony Thomason, who resigned in March after going 14-48 in two seasons including 9-19 in the Mid-Illini.
Steve Stein can be reached at (248) 224-2616 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.