Sometimes numbers don’t add up.
They certainly didn’t Saturday night. The Pekin boys basketball team struggled mightily at the free throw line, but scored all six of its points in overtime on foul shots and beat visiting East Peoria 47-46 in a Mid-Illini Conference game in Hawkins Gym.
How bad were the Dragons (13-12, 9-4) at the not-so-charitable charity stripe? They were 13-for-26. That’s 50 percent. Normally Pekin is successful at the foul line in the 65- to 70-percent range.
“It’s a win on Senior Night. We’ll take it,” said a relieved Pekin coach Jeff Walraven.
Neither Pekin nor East Peoria will put the game in its season highlight reel.
A ton of layups and put-backs were missed. East Peoria (15-11, 7-6) scored 16 points and had 11 turnovers in the first half. The teams combined for eight points in the second quarter.
Each team threw a pass out of bounds to its bench. Pekin’s errant toss went right to Walraven.
Shooting was an issue. East Peoria shot 35 percent (14-for-40) from the field to Pekin’s 32 percent (14-for-43).
There was a fatigue factor for both teams, physical and mental. Each team lost a tough game the previous night on the road. Pekin fell to Metamora in a showdown for first place in the Mid-Illini. East Peoria lost in overtime to Morton.
“There were two tired teams out there (Saturday) and Pekin outlasted us,” said East Peoria coach Jon Grzanich. “You needed to be mentally tough, and Pekin was the more mentally tough team. We had some people who weren’t ready to play, and that hurt us.
“We didn’t shoot well and we missed some assignments on defense. But as badly as we played, as we going into overtime, I told the guys we still had a chance to win the game.”
East Peoria was better than Pekin at the free throw line for the game, going 12-for-18. That didn’t make Grzanich happy, though.
“We had an inability to get to the line. But let’s just say we didn’t get the benefit of the officials’ calls,” he said.
The Dragons won the game -- their fifth win in six games in the second half of the Mid-Illini schedule -- without the services of star Patrick Torrey in overtime.
The 6-foot-7 senior fouled out for the first time all season, on Senior Night of all nights, picking up foul No. 5 on the first possession of OT.
Torrey did find time to score 10 points. Adam Cash led Pekin with 13 points and Max Jones had 11. Each made three triples. Ryan Collier had six points for the Dragons.
Pekin’s Tyler Durr didn’t have eye-popping stats, but twice he rebounded the second of two missed free throws by a teammate and kept the Dragons’ possession alive. One rebound led to a triple by Jones late in the third quarter.
Jahlin Parker scored a game-high 16 points for East Peoria including 10 in the fourth quarter.
The 5-10 senior’s two pressure-packed free throws with 3.8 seconds left in regulation time -- interrupted by a Pekin timeout after the first free throw -- sent the game into overtime at 41-41. Parker was 5-for-7 at the foul line for the game.
Jack Skaggs had nine points for East Peoria (all on triples), Anas Abdallah had seven points and Ross Smith had six points.
Pekin was 6-for-10 at the free throw line in overtime. East Peoria was 2-for-5.
It took nearly two minutes for the tie after regulation time to be broken. The Dragons grabbed the lead for good when Jones and Cash each made a pair of free throws to give the Dragons a 45-41 advantage with 1:16 to go.
Skaggs scored the lone basket of OT, a three-pointer at the buzzer, with Pekin’s players standing in the lane, not coming anywhere close to him.
East Peoria led 16-14 at halftime. Pekin moved in front 31-24 after three quarters, but the Raiders rallied in the fourth quarter.
Metamora (20-8, 10-2) leads the Mid-Illini, followed by Morton (18-10, 10-3), Pekin and East Peoria heading into the season’s final week.
Metamora’s last two Mid-Illini games are against Canton (4-18, 3-9). Morton will face Dunlap (6-20, 2-11), Pekin will play Limestone (8-20, 6-7) and East Peoria will take on Washington (8-19, 4-9) in conference finales.
East Peoria had won 12 of 15 before its back-to-back losses this past weekend.
The Raiders shot 50 percent at the free throw line (10-for-20) in their 55-49 overtime loss to Morton. Parker scored 16 points, but he was 4-for-11 at the foul line.
Steve Stein can be reached at (248) 224-2616 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.