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The Milan Wildcats were matched up against the Marceline tigers, the Number 3 seed, and winners over the Number 2 seed Carrollton Trojans on Saturday, February 26, 2022. Milan, the Number 3 seed in the Milan Tournament defeated the Number 1 seed Marceline Tigers to win the Milan Championship Tournament. The Wildcats handled the Tigers at that point of the season, but both teams have seen each other, and anything can occur. However, the Wildcats have improved with each contest and are knocking on the door for 20 wins. This would be twenty.
This game turned out to be a knock down drag out game with both teams playing at their hardest level. A true Championship battle with multiple lead changes, both teams capitalizing on opponents’ miscues. Milan had less turnovers. Marceline won the rebound portion and battle of the boards. Thus, the game came down to the final shot. The result was that tenacious defense that forced a turnover preventing a final desperation attempt. Milan Champions, 47-44. Both boys and girls from Milan became District Champions in the same basketball season for the first time in history of Milan.
The boys will play Mid-Buchanan on March 2, 2022 at 7:45 p.m. in Kirksville at the Truman State gymnasium in Sectional Competition.
Milan won the tip, Chekh scored the first 4 points on steals for layups. The Wildcat pressure was grueling and persistent early. However, the Tigers calmed down, made some adjustments and grabbed their first lead, 8-7. The quarter ended with the Tigers clinging to a 12-11 lead.
Both squads battled evenly the second quarter and the halftime score had Marceline maintaining their 1 point advantage, 25-24. For Milan Chekh had 7 points, Michael hit a trey as did Ahmet. Brady Sayre came off the bench with some valuable minutes, getting a steal, a rebound, and 2 assists.
Each squad was tentative in the third stanza, as each team produced 6 points apiece. Marceline remained in front by 1 at the end of 3 quarters, 31-30.
The lead changed hands in a see-saw quarter. Milan went ahead to stay with 3:30 left in the game, 41-39 on a 3-pointer by Michael Pipes and an assist from Jeremy. The Wildcats went 6 for 8 from the free throw line down the stretch to preserve the historic victory. Marceline hit a long 3-pointer with 9 seconds remaining to close within 1 point, 45-44, but Ahmet calmly converted 2 free throws for a 47-44 lead. The Wildcat pressure forced Marceline into a turnover before a final shot could be made.
The final was Milan 47 and Marceline 44.
Chekh led Milan with 19 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals; Ahmet 14 points, 2 rebounds, 1 steal; Michael 8 points, 4 rebounds, 4 steals; Jeremy 6 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals; Brady Sayre 1 rebound, 2 assists, 1 steal; Jared 2 assists, 1 steal.