Dante Henley scored seven of his total 14 points in the third quarter Thursday to help slow-starting Evanston trim Washington 60-54 in the opening round of the Pekin Insurance Holiday Tournament.
Henley’s heroics helped Evanston, now 8-3 overall, after the Wildkits only led 29-26 at the halftime intermission. The No. 3 seeded Kits will play Mount Carmel, a team they lost to in the season opener, in the second round Friday at 10:30 a.m. Win or lose, ETHS will also play another game Friday at 6:30 p.m. The tournament concludes Saturday with the championship contest set for 6:30 p.m.
Henley scored a pair of free throws, then added a 3-point basket from the corner and a fast-break bucket as Evanston outscored the Panthers 18-13 in the third stanza. Washington (1-7) never got closer than a five-point difference in the final period as the Wildkits turned to their “Four To Score” offense and spread the floor, converting 7-of-13 free throws to keep the Panthers at bay.
Henley added 3 rebounds and 2 assists to lead ETHS. Freshman Nojel Eastern notched 12 points and 3 assists, C.J. Singletary scored 10 points, and Will Jones notched 8 points and 5 assists for the winners.