SHELBYVILLE — The Pana boys basketball team's unlikely run to its first regional title since 2012 took a thrilling turn on Friday.
In the finals of the Class 2A Shelbyville Regional, the Panthers battled from 16 points down in the second half to force overtime, then held off Marshall in overtime to win 72-71.
Jonah Lauff led the Panthers with 22 points.
"Our guys battled," said third-year Pana coach Adam Metzger. "We preach every day about not backing down. They showed a lot of resilience and teamwork, and a lot of love for each other, enjoying the process out on the court."
Pana (17-17) was seeded fifth in the six-team regional, then knocked off No. 4 seed Vandalia, No. 1 seed Casey-Westfield and No. 3 seed Marshall. The Panthers will play Fairfield at the Vandalia Sectional at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
"We’re just happy to still be practicing on Saturday," Metzger said. "It’s a testament to the guys’ hard work and their resilience.”
Central A&M 70, Buffalo Tri-City 43
EDINBURG — The Raiders cruised to their second straight regional title behind a familiar duo — 25 points from Griffin Andricks and 20 from Connor Heaton.
A&M (29-3) led 21-12 after the first quarter. The win was their 18th straight.
“I thought we came ready to play against a really well-coached Tri-City team," A&M coach Rob Smith said. "They were ready to go, and we matched every turn in the first half. We just kind of plugged away."
The Raiders will play Odin at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Class 1A Altamont Sectional.
Bloomington Central Catholic 98, Meridian 60
STANFORD — The top-seeded and No. 6-ranked Saints weren't content with a 27-point intermission lead over Meridian in the Class 2A Olympia Regional championship game. Central went on a 25-2 tear in the first five minutes of the third quarter.
“They went on a run at the end of the first half,” said Saints senior point guard Luke Yoder, if you can call 12-8 a run. “We came in at halftime and focused on getting stops. We were just making everything (in the third quarter). It was really fun.”
Senior forward Tommy Nelson led the way for the Saints (24-7) with 26 points and 11 rebounds in less than three quarters of work.
Fourth-seeded Meridian (21-11) was unable to slow the Saints offensively.
“They came out and are tough to contain in all phases,” said Meridian coach Jay Driscoll. “Yoder really makes them go offensively. He's not just a scorer. He can really distribute. He's a nice point guard. When they're hitting their outside shots they're a difficult cover.”
Freshman Graham Meisenhelter paced Meridian with 20 points while his brother, senior Garrett Meisenhelter, added 17 points and junior Jacob Jones scored 12.
Teutopolis 58, Effingham St. Anthony 33
EFFINGHAM — The Wooden Shoes won their 10th straight regional title behind 22 points from Dawson Smith and 15 from Clint Weber.
The game was close early — T-Town led 24-16 at half — but the Shoes put it away with a 34-17 second-half advantage.
"I thought we did a really good job defensively," Teutopolis coach Chet Reeder said. "To hold them to 33 points is testament to our kids and their dedication to that end of the floor."
T-Town (27-5) advanced to play at 7 p.m. Wednesday vs. Mount Carmel at the Vandalia Sectional.
Nokomis 60, Neoga 31
NEOGA — A 17-0 run in the second quarter punctuated by a Mason Stewart 3-pointer at the buzzer to close the half broke open the game for Nokomis.
The Redskins (27-6) will play St. Elmo/Brownstown, a 56-53 winner over Altamont, in the Altamont Sectional semifinals Tuesday at 7 p.m.
"It was kind of a repeat from Tuesday night (when Nokomis beat Arcola 53-33) when we hit a 3 at the end of the first half to put us back up into a double-digit lead," said Nokomis coach Steve Kimbro. "In the first three or four minutes of the second half, we stretched the lead our and then we get to a point where we can use the clock. When we started standing in our offense when they got close we started running some of our man offense against their match-up zone, and we got a little more movement through it and that opened some people up."
MacArthur 75, Jacksonville 61
DECATUR — Keon Jones (18 points) and KJ Taliferro led a balanced Generals offense in a win heading into next week's regional play.
MacArthur (17-13, 11-7 Central State 8) took control early with an 18-10 lead after the first quarter and put it away with a 26-18 advantage in the third quarter.
"They put together a nice game and 17-13 is something I'm very proud of when a lot of people told me to my face that we'd only win 5, 6, 7 games," MacArthur coach Ron Ingram said. "Our boys took that personally."
The Generals will face Eisenhower in the Class 3A Rantoul Regional quarterfinals at 7:30 p.m. Monday.
Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 86, Eisenhower 57
SPRINGFIELD — Eisenhower hung close early, but the Cyclones outscored the Panthers 48-22 in the second half.
“It was a great, great first half of basketball — we were sticking to our principles," Eisenhower coach Rodney Walker said. "Second half, we just went away from what we were doing defensively and offensively. The game got a little out of control.
"Hopefully, we can straighten it out by Monday, or else we’ll have a long summer to work on it."