EAST PEORIA — Fans on both sides held their breath as Prairieview-Ogden’s seventh-grade boys basketball team raced down the court.
A few seconds remained.
The 1A IESA state championship hung in the balance.
One point separated the two teams with West Lincoln-Broadwell holding the lead.
PVO’s Logan Lackey launched a 20-foot shot at the buzzer that appeared to have a chance. But the ball bounced off the rim, and Broadwell players celebrated.
Down by 11 early, PVO likely wondered if their team would be in a position to win it at the end. More likely, they wondered if it would be a long night for their team.
The Mustangs, however, bulled their way back and did their school proud in a 36-35 losing effort.
The Mustangs fell behind 11-0 to start the game in the first three minutes of the contest. The Wolverines were on top 14-4 after the first six minutes.
West Lincoln-Broadwell looked like it would run away with the game, but PVO was not going anywhere.
“Not so fast,” the Mustangs seemed to say as they opened the second quarter on a 10-0 run in the first 2:45 thanks to two threes from Lackey.
The Wolverines ended the run with a jump shot, but Coy Taylor came down and hit a layup and got fouled. Taylor would make the free throw and give the Mustangs a 17-16 lead with 2:30 to go until half.
PVO fans were feeling better about their team’s chances.
The two squads would trade baskets the rest of the quarter and WLB led 21-20 at the break.
The second half was a fast-paced whirlwind of emotion inside the gym at East Peoria Central Junior high. Both schools brought big fan bases, and the crowd was into the game from the tip.
The teams continued the back-and-forth style of play. PVO grabbed a 30-27 lead going into the fourth quarter.
West Lincoln-Broadwell took a lead with under a minute to go, and Prairieview-Ogden’s Taylor got fouled with 10 seconds to go to the free throw the line. PVO was trailing 36-35 but Taylor missed the front end of the one-and-one.
The Wolverines got fouled with 8.5 seconds to go and missed the first free throw as well.
The Mustangs got the rebound and came flying down the court. And that is when Lackey just missed the shot at the buzzer from the left corner hoping to add to his game-high 14 points.
Taylor chipped in 10 points for the Mustangs. Parker Fitch and Huisinga had four points each. The PVO scoring was rounded out by Kodey McKinney with three points.
Jude Toft led the Wolverines with 20 points. Brady Miller had eight while Blake Horn had six. West Lincoln-Broadwell’s scoring was wrapped up by Brayden Hagerman who had two points.
Eighth-graders lose in sectional
Prairieview-Ogden lost 42-36 in the 8th grade sectional to Armstrong-Potomac. The score at half time was A-P 22 to PVO 12. The leading scorer was Coy Taylor with 16 followed by Colin Wayland with 8, Talan Miller 6, Mitchell Wright 4, and Caleb Ochs 2
You can contact Ryan Birch at Rbirch@RantoulPress.com or on twitter @RBirchRP