Panthers rise up to win Backyard Brawl

Pekin senior Brayden Sobaski (30) rises up looking for a basket while being defended by Sigourney teammates Gunner Goff (12) and Brock Halleran (40) during high school boys basketball action in Sigourney on Saturday night.

SIGOURNEY – Bo Schmidt hit a 3-pointer to give the Sigourney a lead right out of the blocks.

Before the Savages knew it, the lead was 5-1 against the Pekin boys basketball team, making an early bid for an upset in the Backyard Brawl.

From there, it was all Panthers. One night removed from a 71-20 Southeast Iowa Superconference north division win at Lone Tree, Pekin scored the final 19 points of the first quarter and never looked back winning 73-36 on Saturday at Sigourney.

The first quarter signaled the dominance of the contest. Six Panthers contributed to the scoring in the first quarter.

"Eight of our nine main players scored during the contest," quipped Panther skipper John Swanson. "I was happy to see nine of our players get quality time."

Pekin senior Brayden Sobaski chipped in with eight points during the second frame and senior Cael Lyle added six, all within the final six minutes of the first half. The Panthers held a commanding 39-12 lead over the Savages after the first half of play.

"It's challenging to avoid getting into an uncontrolled offense and one-on-one play when two teams are mismatched," reflected Swanson, "I felt like we kept our composure and played in a consistent manner."

Panther guard Brady Millikin hit a pair of 3-pointers early in the third quarter as the Panthers kept their focus. Sobaski would also add nine points during the third frame as the visitors put 24 points on the board during the period, as they raced to a 63-22 lead heading into the final quarter of play.

Sigourney would manage to outscore the Panthers in the final quarter of play 14-10 on the shoulder of four 3-point goals, including three by junior Ethan Shifflet.

Sobaski led the Panthers is scoring with 19 points, followed by Cael Lyle with 17, Chandler Stull with 11 and Millikin with 10 points. Brock Long led the Panthers with five rebounds, while Lyle and Benjamin Ehret added four.

Levi Crawford led the Sigourney club in scoring with 11 points on the night. Sobaski added eight rebounds and five assists.

Brock Long led Pekin in Friday's win at Lone Tree with 19 points and five steals. Stull added 18 points while Lyle and Millkin each scored 12 with Lyle grabbing eight rebounds and Millikin dishing out eight assts.

Pekin (10-1, 8-1 SEI north) earned a 59-40 win at Winfield-Mount Union on Tuesday, paced by a 25-point night by Millikin and a 17-point effort from Long. Sigourney, meanwhile, used a 14-0 close to the first half on Monday to bounce back with a 49-35 win at WACO before edging BGM 45-39 clinched by a pair of late free throws from Crawford in a winning return to South Iowa Cedar League on Tuesday.

Sigourney (5-6, 4-5 SICL) heads to Lynnville-Sully on Friday. Pekin hosts Mediapolis as the continue their quest to win a second straight outright Southeast Iowa Superconference north division title.

"We need to win to stay in contention for a conference title," Swanson said.



Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final

Pekin 20 19 24 10 73

Sigourney 5 7 10 14 36


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