It was a perfect senior night Friday for the Pekin boys basketball team.


It was a perfect senior night Friday for the Pekin boys basketball team.

All five healthy seniors got plenty of playing time and the Dragons pummeled Mid-Illini Conference rival Dunlap 50-29 at Dawson Hawkins Gym in their regular-season finale.

“We couldn’t have scripted it any better,” said Pekin coach Dave Mott. “I can’t heap enough praise on our seniors. They’ve stuck it out for four years through some tough times.”

The only downer for the Dragons (16-9, 9-5) was senior Josh Tilstra sat out with an ankle injury suffered Thursday in practice.

His status for Pekin’s Class 4A Moline Regional opener Tuesday against Rock Island is uncertain.

The other five Pekin seniors — J.T. Ramsey, Jake Flannigan, Nate Bennett, Brendon Buff and Trent McClain — started for the Dragons and they all scored.

Nathan Taphorn led Pekin with 18 points and six rebounds, and Ramsey had 10 points. He had eight of the Dragons’ first 10 points, including a 3-point shot and an old-fashioned three-point play.

Pekin committed just five turnovers and shot 46 percent from the field including 5-for-9 from 3-point range.

Max Graham led the Eagles (6-20, 3-11) with nine points. He also had a game-high seven rebounds. Nathan Gosnell and Samuel VanDenAvond each had six points.

Dunlap stayed close early. The Eagles trailed 15-12 after the first quarter and climbed within 15-14 on a mid-range bucket by Nathan Gosnell with 4:58 left in the second quarter.

But Pekin scored the final 10 points of the quarter and led 25-14 at halftime. Dunlap missed several shots from close range while going 1-for-7 from the field in the quarter.

“They finished their shots in the second quarter, and we didn’t,” said Dunlap coach Jeff Barker. “It could have been a whole different game at halftime if it was 25-20, 25-22, or even 25-24. Pekin’s confidence grew because they made their shots, and our confidence shrunk.”

Mott liked his team’s defense in the second quarter.

“We did a better job of getting into position,” he said. “We were out of position too much in the first quarter.”

Pekin led 34-22 after three quarters and after Taphorn and Trey Scotti sank back-to-back 3-pointers to start the fourth quarter, it was 40-22.

The Dragons made their first four shots from the field in the fourth quarter, including the triples by Taphorn and Scotti, a three-point play by Taphorn and a steal and layup by Ramsey.

After shooting 5-for-11 in the first quarter, Dunlap was 7-for-27 the rest of the way.