Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
PACKWOOD — With just over two minutes to go in Pekin and Hillcrest Academy’s Southeast Iowa Super Conference North clash on Tuesday, it was looking as if the Ravens were going to pull away, but the Panthers had other ideas.
When the final whistle finally sounded, Pekin had won it 52-49.
With just over two minutes to go in the game, Hillcrest Academy held a six-point lead, 46-40, which marked the largest advantage of either team up until that points.
Prior, the largest lead was held by Pekin at five points, 35-25, back in the third.
Pekin delivered with some big shots down the stretch.
With the game at 43-40, Hillcrest Academy’s Grant Bender hit four straight free throws to make it 46-10.
Pekin’s Ben Ehret answered back with a deep ball to cut it to three, 46-43. Bender hit another pair of free throws with just over 1:30 on the clock, but another three ball by Ehret cut it to two, 48-46.
With 1:21 to go, Hillcrest found themselves at the line once again, but this time they missed both and the Panthers took advantage.
With 57 tics on the clock, Will Adam buried a three from the corner to give Pekin the lead, 49-48.
Hillcrest couldn’t capitalize on the next possession and Pekin found its self with a one and one with 34 seconds left in the game.
Cade Bemis split at the line, making it 50-48.
While looking not to foul, the Panther fouled Hillcrest Academy’s Seth Ours with two attempts and a shot to tie it.
Ours only hit one of two, but Bender fought for the offensive board and the Ravens were able to get the timeout off with 15.7 remaining.
Hillcrest got the ball into Benders hands with a chance to win it, but he was called for traveling and Pekin was sent to the line with 1.8 left.
This time, Bemis drilled both to make it a three point game, 52-49, and Bender’s full court heave was too strong.
Through three quarters of action, neither team never held an advantage greater than five as the two traded lead after lead.
Pekin never trailed through the majority of the first quarter until Bender put two through with six seconds remaining, making it a 14-13 ballgame.
The Ravens held their lead through much of the second quarter until the final minute.
Ehret buried a three to give Pekin back the lead at 25-23 and then Bender scored two more to tie it at 25-25 heading into the half.
In the third, Pekin built up their largest lead of the game at 30-25, but Hillcrest cut it back down to one, 32-31 on a Bryce Bailey two.
A converted and-1 by Bemis made is 35-31, but Bender hit the final shot of the quarter once again to make it a two point game, 35-33.
In the fourth, Hillcrest grabbed the lead back before the Panthers completed the comeback.
Pekin improves to 9-8 with the win. Hillcrest Academy moves to 9-8 as well.