The Macomb boys basketball team played a back-to-back series over the weekend, taking on Monmouth-Roseville on Friday, January 10 and then Canton on Saturday, January 11. The Bombers played a defensive-minded game against the Titans in which Sam Allen and the offense struggled, falling to Monmouth 37-24 on Friday, but Macomb bounced back in a big way on Saturday. Allen and Sean Winters had big performances as the Bombers looked more fluid offensively in a tight 56-54 victory over Canton.
It truly was a tale of two games for Macomb, as Allen went from 6 points on a wild shooting night Friday, to a much more efficient 12 points on Saturday in which he sought to involve his teammates more often. The performance of the weekend, however, was Winters’ 18 point night on Saturday that included a red-hot 13-point first half. He was able to stretch the floor for Macomb, ultimately opening up the lane for big men Adam Farr and Atoa Stone. The better shooting performance was a key to the bounce-back win, but for me the biggest difference was in the energy on the floor. For long stretches in Saturday's game it seemed like there was not one single loose ball or rebound the Bombers were not fighting for or getting their hands on, they contested shots well, and for the majority of the game made life difficult for the Little Giants. You might’ve thought it was a different team had you watched both Friday and Saturday’s games.
Canton did make a very strong fourth quarter push, with the bulk of the comeback coming from guard Trey Passmore. He ended with a 10-point second half on the back of a 4-point play and a wild sequence where he hit two straight threes to cut the lead to 4 late in the fourth quarter. His and Jake Smith’s shooting kept Canton in the game as they did a great job finding space off of ball screens and solid ball movement. Leighton Holthaus, however, was the man for the moment for Macomb, as he hit a pair of free throws and a big layup late to keep Macomb in the lead, while on the other end it came down to the Little Giants' ability to match that crunch-time ability. Passmore carried the ball back up the floor with the LittleGiants trailing 56-54, and took a three that clanked off the rim and Connor Wilcoxen was unable to get the rebound up in time. It was a wild finish but ultimately a very good win for the Bombers as a winless weekend would’ve left them feeling like they could have had more. It should also be noted that Canton’s Turner Plumer ended Saturday’s game with 16 points in a very solid performance down low.
All three of these teams will play their next games on Tuesday, January 14, with Macomb playing host to Geneseo at 7:30 PM and both Canton and Monmouth-Roseville heading to Peoria. Monmouth-Roseville will face Peoria Heights at 7 PM, while Canton takes on Peoria Christian at 7:30 PM.