DECATUR — Bolingbrook grabbed its second straight Team Soy Capital Decatur Turkey Tournament Saturday, defeating Eisenhower 72-49 in the championship game.
The Raiders made it look easy, never allowing Eisenhower to take the lead.
The Panthers fell behind quickly but fought back to a 16-16 tie on an R.J. Walker 3-pointer to end the first quarter.
From there it was all Bolingbrook. The Raiders built up a 37-26 lead at half and never looked back.
The Raiders (3-0) were led by Joseph Yesufu's 17 points. Yesufu was named tournament MVP and sees the Turkey Tournament title as something to build on in making it back to the Class 4A state tournament, where Bolingbrook finished third last season.
"It feels good winning the MVP and my team helped me a lot. They built up my confidence, so I give credit to my team," he said. "It feels great being back-to-back champs. We fell short getting to the state championship last year so we are trying to get a good run this year."
The Panthers (2-1) had three players in double figures — Quylan Young scored 13, K.J. Taliferro scored 12 and Yansyn Taylor added 11. Young and Taylor were also named to the all-tournament team.
Accolades aside, Eisenhower coach Rodney Walker said he saw nothing to be happy with in his team's performance in the title game.
"There wasn’t anything positive about that last game. The guys went totally against the grain on what we discussed," he said. "Honestly, we suck as individuals but we are awesome as a group. Today we played a lot of individual basketball and that’s the result you get from that.
"There’s a reason why we do the things we do as a group and as a unit and we are successful at that. But we had to play catch-up ball from the get-go and we did not stick to our prinicples on defense or offense and here is the outcome you have. I appreciate Bolingbrook for letting my guys know that lesson."
Champaign Central 70, MacArthur 57
MacArthur was without leading scorer Amir Brummett in its third-place game with Champaign Central. The Generals took a 33-26 lead into halftime, but were unable to keep scoring going through four quarters.
MacArthur was also without starting forward T.J. Gaines, putting Ray Neal and Majaleus Thomas-Bond in the starting lineup.
The altered lineup fared well in the first half, grabbing a one-point lead at the end of the first quarter and extending it to seven at halftime.
Armon Brummett led MacArthur with nine in the first half, followed by Zach Briggs seven points. Briggs finished with 12 points.
"Zach had a great game," MacArthur coach Ron Ingram said. "We had a meeting today about Zach and in our meeting we focused on letting the team know that he is more than just a two-shot guy. He had two shots in the first two games. He can gets us 10 to 12 points per game like he did tonight."
The Generals struggled offensively in the third quarter, scoring only five points as Central broke out with 25 of its own.
Even in defeat, Ingram said he saw some positive signs for his team.
"I was really happy with the game. I liked their energy out there today. They went out there and they played hard," he said. "We were down a couple of players but that didn’t stop those guys from stepping up and doing what they had to do out there tonight. We didn’t win the basketball game but I loved that effort tonight.
"I liked the way Jakien Mathews played tonight, the guys who never score but always go out there and play hard and play defense for me. Jakien is that guy who does the dirty work, he guards the best player all the time. Jakien’s the kind of guy who deserves some credit."
Brummett was in street clothes on the Generals' bench after tweeting out that he was leaving the team after MacArthur's loss to Bolingbrook on Friday. The tweet was deleted on Saturday.
When asked about Amir Brummett's status with the team, Ingram said is was a "day to day decision."