The Mercer County Golden Eagles held off the Macomb Bombers Tuesday night, Feb. 5 for a 47-46 victory.
"We needed a win like this," said Golden Eagle head coach Brian Hutton. "We played pretty well in the LTC Tournament. (The Golden Eagles placed third in the tournament and nearly knocked off top seeded Wethersfield). We played pretty solid defense. I'm happy for the kids. They did a nice job to secure the win."
The Golden Eagles have been in a lot of close games this season. "Five or our losses have been by less than double digits," said Hutton.
Hutton added, "I thought Tyson (Nylin) did a nice job. Zach Aldinger did a great job on their point guard. It was nice to see the defense push their offense. Brandon Butcher had some big plays for us. We just need to take a little better care with the ball and box out better and we'll be fine."
Macomb exploded out to a 12-7 lead in the first quarter but Mercer County bounced back in the second period outscoring the Bombers 15-8 to take a 22-20 lead into the locker room at half time.
Neither team led by more than four points in the second half. Nylin banged home a three pointer in the third period to give Mercer County a 30-26 advantage but that was as big as the Golden Eagles lead ever got. Macomb hit five of six free throw attempts in the final minutes of the third period and led 35-32 heading into the final quarter.
Nylin scored nine of his points in the final period to help the Golden Eagles stave off Macomb.
The Bombers had a chance in the final minute. Blake Lowerman sank a shot with 50 seconds left that tied the score at 45-45 but Nylin's basket seven seconds later gave teem the lead for good at 47-45.
Macomb had a chance to tie the score with 8.2 seconds left but Dontrex Williams-Kelly could hit only one of two free throws to narrow the score to one point, 47-46.
As time ran out Macomb junior Blake Lowderman had the ball and contact was made with a Golden Eagle but no foul was called.
Scoring for Mercer County were: Tyson Nylin, 17; Tanner Matlick, nine; Zach Aldinger, seven; Austin Hyett, five; Brandon Butcher, three and Brett Bieri, Trenton Higgins and Brad Sabel, two.
Mercer County improved to 15-9 with the victory while Macomb fell to 6-15 with the loss.