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MAROA -- St. Teresa escaped with a three-point victory over Argenta-Oreana Tuesday, 58-55, in first round action at the Macon County Tournament. 

The Bulldogs and Bombers played an even first half, 30-30, and it was the Bulldogs's strong fourth quarter that made the difference. 

“I was pleased with how our guys competed tonight. It was nice seeing Mike Less and Tyler Phillips back on the floor after missing some games due to injury. Mike and Tyler gave us a big lift," St. Teresa coach Tom Noonan said. 

St. Teresa's Austin Fitzpatrick led the team with 21 points and he grabbed eight rebounds. Mike Less added 11 points. 

“Austin Fitzpatrick was great rebounding the ball tonight. He did a great job of asserting himself," Noonan said. "We also did a really good job of getting to the foul line tonight. We need to do a better job of knocking them down. We are still getting our legs under us and developing our chemistry. We grew up a little bit tonight.”

The Bombers' Cole Henson led all scorers with 22 points and Romello Peeples had nine points.

The Bulldogs will face Meridian in the semifinals Thursday at 7 p.m. in Maroa.

Meridian 69, Maroa-Forsyth 38

MAROA -- In day two of first round action at the Macon County Tournament, Meridian got off to a fast start thanks to Jacob Jones and never let Maroa-Forsyth back into the game. 

Jones had a double-double with 32 points, 12 rebounds and six assists for the Hawks.

"We came out strong in the first half and built a 16-point lead. Jacob Jones really did a good job and he had a big first half," Meridian coach Jay Driscoll said. "He played in all phases, rebounding the ball, pushing it on the break and finishing. He really played a great game and led us to the victory tonight."

Other leading scorers for Meridian (7-2) included Graham Meisenhelter who had 12 points and eight rebounds. Garrett Meisenhelter added 10 points.

Aaron Agee led the Trojans with 12 points and Kolby Wilber put in 10. 

Eisenhower 70, Rochester 41

DECATUR -- Eisenhower saved their best game of the season for Rochester and each Panther was playing their best in the Central State 8 meeting. 

“It was our best game. The boys came out playing hard-nosed defense the way we like to play. We caused them quite a few turnovers. We finally got to play some Panther basketball up and down the court," Eisenhower coach Rodney Walker said.

The Panthers took a 27-4 lead in the first quarter and never slowed down. Lunden Cook and Brylan Phillips led all scorers with 16 points and Cameron Rowe added 12 points. 

"It was a collective effort. Everybody was going on offense and defense," Walker said. "Cook was a flamethrower tonight. He had four 3-pointers in the second quarter. Rowe had his best game tonight. Phillips had a breakout game tonight with 16 points. He also did a great job of rebounding."

The Panthers (2-3) also got a great game from junior guard Malachi Carson. 

"Our x-factor was Malachi, with 10 points. He kind of went in and did it all for us. He’s the glue for us," Walker said. 

Henry Patterson led the Rockets with eight points. 

Clinton 71, Mount Pulaski 65

CLINTON -- Mount Pulaski wouldn't give up in its non-conference game with Clinton but the Maroons were able to keep the Hilltoppers at bay 

“We had 9-10 point leads three different times in the fourth quarter alone and every time we'd get that margin and it looked like we might put them away we'd get careless with the ball and let them back in the game," Clinton coach Clay Haurberg said. "We really have to work at that composure and pacing when we have the other team on the ropes."

Clinton lead by four, 20-16, at the end of the first quarter and extended it to 35-26 at halftime. Mount Pulaski narrowed the advantage to 50-44 after three and both teams played an even fourth quarter with each scoring 21 points. 

"We scored the ball consistently all night, and Cal Case hit some big shots in the fourth quarter to stave off Mt. Pulaski's continued runs at us." Haurberg said. 

Case led all scorers with 22 points, including five 3-pointers. Matthew Overton added 18 points and Ben Nelson put in 17. 

Mount Pulaski was led by Lane Murphy's 21 points. Grant Davis connected on four 3-pointers for the Hilltoppers and finished with 14 points. 

"The consistency of effort on defense has got to continue to improve as we move forward, but I did feel that we rebounded well on both ends of the floor tonight. It wasn't a pretty win, but it beats the alternative," Haurberg said. 

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Reporter for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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