Metamora basketball falls to Pekin

Justin Miller
Tianen Chen rises for the Redbirds in a recent game for the Metamora Redbirds.

Metamora's basketball team has not lost many games this year. Saturday was just the team's third loss of the season as the Dragons won a 40-35 game in Pekin.

Both teams were locked in a defensive battle throughout the opening eight minutes as neither side could crack the code of the other one's defense.

Each team forced bad shots to start the game and turnovers kept the Dragons and Redbirds from finding any offensive consistency.

After the opening frame, the teams were tied at six.

Metamora's offense turned on the gas a little in the second quarter and established a slim lead.

Jackson Grieves, who led the team with 16 points for the game, helped to kickstart the Redbird offense with smart shot selection and the timely passing efforts of his teammates.

At halftime, Metamora led 18-12.

The Pekin offense emerged from halftime and began to click.

Whether it was shots from the perimeter or scoring near the hoop, the Redbirds had no answer for the Dragons in the game's final 16 minutes.

Metamora, for its part, kept the points adding up after halftime and, thanks to Tianen Chen's shooting skills, held a 29-26 lead heading into the final frame.

Down the stretch, the Metamora offense collapsed under strong defensive pressure from Pekin and only mustered six points in the fourth quarter.

Pekin, however, had no problem scoring and overtook the Redbirds for the win.

The team next plays at 7 p.m. Friday at home against Morton.