It may not have been the prettiest game, but IMS got the big win over the always pesky Pekin Panthers 44-39 Tuesday in Hlllcrest Union. Pekin led 10-9 after one quarter before IMS got untracked to take a 22-17 lead at the half. In the first game back after break following an interrupted practice schedule due to weather, the game looked the part, as play was at times marred by turnovers.
Pekin edged IMS in the third period 11-10 to trim the IMS lead to 32-28. While the execution lacked at times, the effort was there, as the IMS pressure defense created offensive opportunites to keep the Panthers at bay, and IMS sealed it with just enough free throws down the stretch for the win.
Reggie Borntrager had a career night with 20 points, eight rebounds and four steals to lead the way for IMS. Cole Ours, Mitchell Schmieder and Caleb Gingerich tallied five points apiece. Schmieder had a team-high nine rebounds and Gingerich and Schmieder had a team-high three assists apiece. Eli Ours scored three points, and Blake Bontrager, Trevor Leyden and Isaiah Swantz added two points apiece to complete the scoring. Leyden picked up three steals.
Coach Dwight Gingerich said “given the lack of flow, and given the number of turnovers, I’m just happy we could hustle and compete well enough to get the victory. I thought we showed heart when things got dicey, and our veterans came through for us. Reggie was everywhere for us tonight, and it was good to see each of our guys step up and make plays to help our team.
IMS goes to 7-1 overall, 6-1 in conference play, and next plays at Mediapolis Friday, which will complete the first round of conference play.