Game 9 Recap: Illini Bluffs 44, Canton 43 (OT)

In the tournament’s first overtime game, the Tigers of Illini Bluffs nipped the Little Giants of Canton by a score of 44-43. Day 2’s early game featured a pair of teams that had something to prove. Illini Bluffs wanted to prove they were more competitive than their lopsided Liberty loss, and Canton wanted to prove they were better than their record against larger schools would indicate. What ensued was a scrappy defensive back-and-forth game filled with blocks, steals and points off of turnovers.

While the TIgers won the points in the paint battle 30-20, the Little Giants bench outscored its opponent’s bench 23-2. In fact, Canton’s bench outscored its own starters by a count of 23-20. This game might’ve come down to rebounds, as Bluffs won that tally 30-26. None more important than a defensive rebound made by the Tigers’ Hank Alvey with 4 seconds left in overtime after a missed 3-point shot by Canton’s Jace Weaver.

Bluffs was led in scoring and rebounding by the aforementioned Hank Alvey, who finished with a double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds. Alvey also added three assists and three blocks, capping off his all-around performance. Ben Kaczmarek also had a great game with 13 points and nine rebounds of his own…shooting an impressive 6-of-7 from the floor. Another mentionable effort belonged to Brandon Coats, who had four points, four rebounds, four blocks, four steals, and three assists.

The Little Giants were led by Turner Plumer, who came off the bench to score a solid 16 points. Plumer also led his team with six rebounds.

Bluffs advances to play the 9:00am Game 17 at WIU’s Brophy Hall vs the winner of Illini West/Brown County. Canton has been eliminated.

Box Score

Canton Info
Illini Bluffs Info

Chris Derry
December 28, 2021

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