Ironmen slay Dragons in Regional Semis

Community control early, never let go on the way to a 35-point win over Pekin


Inkspot Staff

Normal Community tipped off postseason play versus Pekin High School Wednesday night. The Ironmen defeated the Dragons 60-25 at home.

The top-seeded Community boys basketball team defeated the Pekin Dragons 60-25 in the IHSA State Series opening round at home Wednesday night, advancing to Friday’s Regional Final.
Community jumped out to an early 4-0 lead against the seven-seed Dragons. After a breakaway one-handed dunk from Community forward Zach Cleveland put the Ironmen up 11-2 with 3:46 to play in the first quarter, the Iron never looked back.
“​​[It] was really important to come out strong on all cylinders…,” Cleveland (’22) said.

Famious French (’22) surveys the floor versus Pekin. French and the Ironmen will face Bradley-Bourbonnais at home Friday in the Regional Final. (Inkspot Staff)

The Iron built on their 23-2 first-quarter lead, keeping the pressure on throughout the first half outscoring Pekin 38-7.
In the third quarter, Community’s role players saw extended playing time and maintained a 30-point advantage going into the fourth period. “Everyone was ready to play,” Cleveland said.
A running clock was instituted as the Ironmen eliminated Pekin from the postseason, scoring 17 more points than their regular season bout with the Dragons.
Despite a strong performance, Cleveland said the team will look to “straighten out” some issues before Friday’s game.
“[There were] a couple of careless turnovers,” Cleveland said.
Friday, the Ironmen host three-seed Bradley-Bourbonnais, tipping-off at 7 p.m., with the winner advancing to the Sectional Semifinals to face Moline (2) or Minooka (4).