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DECATUR — The blistering speed of Bolingbrook's guards was just too much for the Generals.

The MacArthur boys basketball team tried to keep pace but by the middle of the first quarter in its Team Soy Capital Decatur Turkey Tournament championship semifinal, Bolingbrook had built a comfortable lead on their way to a 93-65 victory.

"Their speed is unbelievable and it is something we can't really emulate in practice," MacArthur coach Ron Ingram said. "We tried to work on it the other day in trying to get back on defense and I noticed our guys in the first four or five minutes trying to get back and they got tired after that and (Bolingbrook) wasn't tired at all. That's why I had to sub in so much because we were just not in shape to actually play that type of basketball with those guys."

MacArthur will face Peoria in the third-place game Saturday at 6 p.m. at Stephen Decatur Middle School. Springfield Southeast defeated Peoria in Friday's second semifinal match 71-53 and will face Bolingbrook in the tournament championship Saturday at 7:30 p.m.  

Senior Kari Taliferro led the Generals with 15 points and Keon Jones added 13 points while grabbing eight rebounds.

Jones led the Generals (1-1) in scoring in Wednesday's game against Peoria and Ingram expects the pair to continue to put points on the board. 

"I think Kari is going to wake up and continue scoring," Ingram said. "I think Keon tonight got caught up in getting other people involved and being a facilitator but he has to realize his role is to score. We will have to work on that in practice."

Bolingbrook was led by junior guard Darius Burford with 22 points, seven rebounds and five steals. 

The battle between Bolingbrook's Kameron Leonard and MacArthur's Kaeden Lawary, both 6-8 centers, was won by Leonard, who had 20 points and six rebounds. Lawary finished with seven points, four rebounds and two steals. 

Ingram will focus on improving his team's effort.

"We let a lot of loose balls go and didn't go after enough of them," Ingram said. "They got a lot of rebounds and we stood and watched it. We let them go down the lane and the list goes on. We let them do a lot of things that they wanted to do. (Bolingbrook) is a good basketball team and even if we had played our greatest you never know if we would have won." 

Eisenhower 57, Mount Zion 34

Led by hot 3-point shooting from Braden Highley, Mount Zion had an 11-9 lead at the end of the first quarter. Eisenhower fought back to take the lead by halftime, 23-19, and then exploded for 24 points in the third quarter to pull away from the Braves for good. 

The strong early play for the Braves was a positive sign after losing to Springfield Southeast 88-16 on Wednesday. 

"I was really proud with the way we came out because of how bad we were beaten on Wednesday and we could have folded and not even wanted to be here," Mount Zion coach Bryon Graven said. "I told them how proud I was of them for how hard they played in the first half."

Mount Zion was led by Highley with 13 points and four rebounds. He was 3-for-3 from 3-point range. 

The Eisenhower defense picked up in the second half and resulted in 22 Braves turnovers in the game. 

"You never know how your team will respond on the day after Thanksgiving. We are notorious for coming out the day after and stinking it up sometimes," Eisenhower coach Rodney Walker said. "The energy picked up and everything we do is based around energy and if we don't have that it is going to be a long season. We finally clicked in and played the defense that we are used to."

R. J. Walker led the Panthers with a double-double of 15 points, 10 rebounds and three steals.

"At halftime, (the coaches) told us we had to wake up and we were playing sluggish at the beginning," R.J. said. "Our defense really wasn't that good on Wednesday (against Peoria), and if we had our better defensive principles like we did in this game we might have been able to come out with the win."

Freshman point guard Brylan Phillips had eight points and five rebounds, and showed his skills at running the fast break. 

"Brylan did a good job of pushing the ball tonight. We like to advance the ball and use that speed and he did a good job of doing that and receiving the ball and finishing," Rodney Walker said. "He also did a good job fighting with the bigs down there as a freshman." 

Eisenhower's Cameron Rowe added 12 points and Lunden Cook had 10 points.

Mount Zion (0-2) will play Dunlap in the consolation third-place game Saturday at 1 p.m. Eisenhower (1-1) advanced to the consolation title game Saturday at 2:30 p.m. against Harvey Thornton. 

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Contact Matthew Flaten at (217) 421-6968. Follow him on Twitter: @MattFlaten



Reporter for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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