Washington survives vs. energetic Dunlap

Bryan Veginski
Monster effort: Washington junior Ryan Grebner maneuvers in the lane Friday and scores two of his team-leading 24 points. The Panthers needed overtime to dispatch the Dunlap boys basketball team, 61-56, in a Mid-Illini Conference game at Torry Gymnasium.

The Washington boys basketball team picked up a second straight road victory Dec. 15.

Mark Roth topped the Panthers with 14 points in a 55-36 non-conference triumph over Normal U-High.

Washington trailed by seven points in the second quarter, but dominated the Pioneers the rest of the way to stay unblemished in December.

Ryan Grebner contributed 11 points for the Panthers and Ben Ryan 10.

U-High was led by Connor Brown, who also tallied 14 points.

WCHS 61, Dunlap 56 (OT)

The Panthers emerged with a home triumph Friday against a foe looking to find the winning formula.

Washington (6-2, 4-0) stayed in a first-place Mid-Illini Conference tie with Morton after escaping at Torry Gymnasium.

The Eagles still are winless on the season, but they did not play that way.

“Dunlap always plays hard and especially against us,” WCHS head coach Kevin Brown said. “We’ve been able to wear some teams out a little bit and that didn’t work on them. They just kept fighting.”

Thanks to a season-high 24 points from Grebner, the Panthers concluded their pre-Christmas schedule with four consecutive victories.

“We all played hard,” Grebner said. “It was a battle. We did what we could to get

the ‘W’.”

Said Brown of Grebner, “He just was incredible. He just decided he was going to will it done and get it done for us.”

Ben Ryan, Robert Izaguirre, Cameron Sharp and Connor Underwood all had between six and nine points for Washington.

Underwood’s effort on the interior was noteworthy.

“I thought Connor gave us some great minutes,” Brown said. “He was really inspirational for us out there.”

After Underwood fouled out, his brother, Colton Underwood, came in and got five rebounds in two minutes.

In a rare occurrence, Washington prevailed despite only one three-pointer.

“I like the fact ... we still found a way to win,” said Brown.

DeSean Holman led three Dunlap players in double figures with 12 points.

Steve Daggs contributed to this story

Holiday hoops: Washington greets Geneseo for the second straight year in the opening round of the Pekin Insurance Holiday Tournament.

The teams, who formerly met in a regular-season series as well, square off at 8 p.m. Dec. 28.

A contest with either No. 2 seed Chicago Mt. Carmel or Dolton Thornridge follows at 2:15 p.m. the next day.

The 45th annual tournament wraps up Dec. 30.

Washington is 78-63 at Pekin, including a couple championships.