DECATUR -- Eisenhower won its first Central State 8 game on Tuesday, bouncing back from a fourth-quarter deficit for a 58-53 win against Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin.
It was an up-and-down game for the Panthers (4-8, 1-4 CS8), who led 15-10 after a quarter but trailed 40-33 after three quarters.
The fourth quarter, though, belonged to Eisenhower, which outscored SHG 25-13 in the fourth.
"It was an ugly game but the boys did what they needed to in the end to pull it off," Eisenhower coach Rodney Walker said. "When all else fails, we have to lean on our defense. We hung in there and fought on defense, and that's what won the game."
Eisenhower sealed the win with a three-point play by Stefon Bobbitt and two clutch free throws by Braxton Woodland. Keith Byars led Eisenhower wtih 13 and Stephon Jarrett added 12.
Arcola 56, Arthur Okaw Christian 48
ARTHUR -- Okaw Christian has been hot, but Arcola played well enough in the fourth quarter to hold off the Conquering Riders.
Arcola (8-3) went on an 11-2 run during the fourth quarter to take control.
"We settled for too many threes in the first half, but I thought we took better shots and got better ball movement in the second half," Arcola coach Chad Graves said. "We got to the free-throw line and got a few stops."
Okaw Christian (12-3), which had won five straight, was just 3-of-20 from 3-point range.
"I think Arcola did a lot of things that made us uncomfortable," Okaw Christian coach Greg Mast said. "We never got into a good rhythm. Our legs were tired late."
Graves said Arcola's man-to-man defense was the key to slowing Okaw Christian's shooters.
"We struck with man the entire night and tried not to give them as many rhythm jump shots as we could," Graves said.
The Purple Riders were led by Chase Strader with a season-high 18 points and Wyatt Fishel with 14.
"Those guys performed well offensively," Graves said. "Wyatt did a nice job of getting us into our offensive sets. And Chase did a good job of getting to the middle of the floor against their defense."
Spencer Binion led Okaw Christian with 14 points, while Jack Messmore had 11 and Drew Beachy 10.
Mattoon 67, Pana 49
PANA – Braden Smith is not claiming his Mattoon team is in perfect form this week after nine days without a game.
“We had a rough practice (Monday) night,” the Green Wave junior forward said. “It didn't go very well.
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“I don't know about the other guys but I wasn't worried.”
Smith backed up his confidence with 29 points and nine rebounds at Pana.
Building a 15-point lead in the game's first 8:10 and enjoying 20-point leads in both the second and third periods, the Green Wave (6-7) still had to answer Pana comeback bids.
“We were able to hang on,” Wave coach Josh Forsythe said. “They made three or four runs on us. We thought we could put it in cruise control. We can't do that. We have to keep up the intensity for 32 minutes.”
The early minutes were good enough this time. Mattoon scored 14 straight points and owned a 20-5 lead 10 seconds into the second quarter.
“Our press was doing a good job,” Forsythe said. “I thought (Nick) Poorman came in and did a good job and made some good plays for us.”
The sophomore Poorman picked off two passes to cash in layups in the first quarter when Mattoon also limited Pana to 2-for-14 field goal shooting for an 18-5 lead.
Adam Miller had 13 points and Nick Copley 11 for Pana (6-8).
“The effort was good and we maintained intensity,” Panthers coach Gary Bowker said. “The run at the end of the first half and then one in the fourth quarter, we haven't had that. We were still fighting. Our biggest trouble is our self-inflicted wounds. Those turnovers weren't by the defense.”
Olney 60, Charleston 51
CHARLESTON -- Olney shot 59 percent from 3-point range to sink the Trojans.
Olney (7-6) made 10 of its 17 3-pointers. Guard play led Olney as Tate Nohren had 21 points, while Hunter Wyatt added 16 points, and Ethan Eagleson pitched in 14 points. Those three combined for all 10 3-point baskets.
“We knew they had shooters,” said coach Jim Wood. "Defensively, we were kind of lethargic too much of the game. Then, when we got going in the second half, we played harder and were able to come back.”
Maroa-Forsyth 33, Cerro Gordo-Bement 26
MACON -- Maroa advanced to the semifinals of the Macon County Tournament by outscoring the Broncos 13-2 in the fourth quarter to take the come-from-behind win.
The Trojans (5-8) scored just eight points in the first half and trailed by as many as 10 in the third quarter.
"We worked hard to overcome that deficit," Maroa coach Selina Finck said. "We finally started putting the ball in the basket the second half."
The Trojans were led by Brenna Finck and Caroline Beckman with 10 points each.