Metamora basketball beats Pekin in overtime

Justin Miller

Metamora's boys' basketball team needed five quarters to beat Pekin but the Redbirds grabbed a 58-54 Mid-Illini Conference win Saturday at home.

Pekin started strong, outscoring Metamora 13-7 in the opening quarter thanks to strong drives to the hoop.

Metamora's offense did not surge in the second quarter but managed to outscore Pekin by taking its time and setting up smart shots.

At halftime, the Dragons led, 23-18.

The third quarter saw both teams match each other shot for shot. Try as each side did, neither team could outdo the other side.

Metamora racked up points thanks to Jackson Grieves sending in shot after shot over the Dragon defenders to keep the Redbirds close.

Grieves led the team with 18 points.

Heading into the final frame, Metamora was trailing 37-32.

The Redbirds surged in the final quarter, putting up the best eight minutes of the game down the stretch.

Tianen Chen and David Gualandri consistently found the open man, and the open hoop, to regain the lead.

With 15 seconds left, Pekin tied the game on a tough shot to force overtime.

The final frame was the same as the other four, with neither team able to crack the other side's defense and the game on the line until the final seconds.

With 3.6 seconds left, the Redbirds took the lead and never looked back when Gualandri popped a three pointer and followed it with the free-throw to rack up a win.

The Redbirds will next play at 7 p.m. Friday at Morton.

The team will then take a short break for the holidays before resuming play in the Macomb Tournament.

The annual holiday tournament will begin Dec. 27 and last through Dec. 29.