PEKIN — The Pekin Panthers saved some of their best defense of the season for the final quarter of what had been a tense postseason battle between Southeast Iowa Superconference north division rivals.
Pekin shutout Mediapolis in the fourth quarter, turning what had been a tightly-contested Class 2A district semifinal into a decisive win. The Panthers scored the final 20 points of the game, winning 57-36 as Pekin continues to seek the program's first trip to the Iowa High School state basketball tournament.
Brady Millikin led the Panthers with a double-double, scoring a team-leading 20 points while hauling in 10 rebounds. The senior guard added four assists and three steals in the postseason win.
Brayden Sobaski scored 10 points and grabbed six rebounds for Pekin. Chandler Stull finished with eight points as the Panthers bounced back after closing out the regular season one week earlier with a 71-54 loss to New London in the Southeast Iowa Superconference Shootout's battle of division champions.
Pekin (18-2) will face the runner-up in the SEISC south for a 2A district championship on Tuesday. The Panthers will take on West Burlington (15-6) with the winner facing either Camanche (16-6) or Mid-Prairie (15-7) on Saturday, Feb. 27, in the substate finals with a state tournament berth on the line.