Rock Island defeats Manual in overtime

PEORIA – Kamron Causey and Idius Robertson saw their time as teammates come to an end on Wednesday.

“But we’re still brothers, we always will be,” Robertson said. “His mom is like an extra mom to me, and mine is like an extra mom to him. We’re best friends, we’re like family.

“We didn’t want it to end like this.”

But he did, as Manual nearly won the Peoria Class 3A Division semifinal on a last-second layup attempted by Causey, then fell in overtime, 67-62, to Rock Island.

Rock Island (22-9) will face Metamora for the Peoria Division title at 7 p.m. Friday.

“They didn’t beat us, they outlived us,” Manuel coach Willie Coleman said. “We had a chance to win it. We gave it the best we had.”

Manual defeated Rock Island in a Divisional semifinal in 2020. But the playoffs were halted due to the pandemic before the Rams had a chance to play Notre Dame for the Peoria Divisional title .

Causey and Robertson were then in second grade. Wednesday, it was the seniors who came to the end of the road at the same time with 14-14 Manuel.

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Manual's Kamron Causey, right, attempts to block a shot by Rock Island's Marieon Anderson in the second half of the Class 3A Peoria Section Semifinals on Wednesday, March 2, 2022 at Renaissance Coliseum on the campus of Bradley University in Peoria.  The Rams fell to the Rocks 67-62.

“We were 10 when we started playing basketball together,” Causey said. “We played at the Proctor Center. We just watched each other on the field tonight and reminisced.”

The 6-foot-7, 250-pound Robertson said: “I looked at Kam and said, ‘This could be the last night, Kam, we have to go all the way, make this a great game to remember. “

In this they succeeded.

Manuel, playing at sectional level for the 40th time in program history, got six first-quarter points and five first-half rebounds from Robertson. He helped Manuel get off to a quick start with a drop of his own rebound, a right wing jump and a rim drive to account for six of the Rams’ first eight points.

Manual extended his lead to eight points in the second quarter when Causey hit a 3 from right wing, then a jumper into the lane and split free throws.

But Rock Island, held to just three points in the opening 5:43 of the second quarter, went to the press and forced three turnovers that led to a six-point run in the final 2:07 of the half for reduce Manual’s lead to 26-24 at the break.

“We were shocked,” Coleman said. “We acted like we had never been rushed before. That’s when the momentum changed.”

Rock Island took a 33-30 lead in the third quarter, but Robertson brought Manual back with a 3 from the right corner with 3:42 remaining for a 35-34 lead.

Manual's Idius Robertson, right, shoots Rock Island's Baker Beal in the first half of the Class 3A Peoria Division Semifinals on Wednesday, March 2, 2022 at the Renaissance Coliseum on the campus of Bradley University in Peoria.  The Rams fell to the Rocks 67-62.

Then, manual guard Devonte Burse followed with a 3 on the next possession for a 38-37 lead at 3:05.

Rock Island guard Amerion Nimmers responded, however, with two driving layups and a free throw between the two for 42-38 with 1:44 left.

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The Rocks then opened up a nine-point lead midway through the fourth quarter.

But that all changed when 6-foot-5, 235-pound Rock Island forward Baker Beal tried to dive, sloppy it, grabbed the rim, wrestled the ball and ended up asking a technique.

Justin Page made both free throws. Then Causey burst over the edge for a faceoff at 2:48, and Burse hit a jumper with 2:10 to go and Manual trailed just 55-54.

Marieon Anderson put in a layup to give Rock Island a 57-54 lead, but Page came down from the floor and nailed a 3 with 62 seconds left and it was 57-57 and the place was on. to switch.

When Anderson missed a layup, Causey grabbed the rebound and Manual called the timeout with 8.8 seconds left.

Causey made his drive to the rim, but Anderson blocked him on the glass and the buzzer sent them into overtime.

Robertson delivered a LeBron-like chasing block of a layup attempted by Anderson, play turned the other way and Page hit a layup for a 61-60 lead with 1:50 to go in OT.

The Rams were tied 62-62 and had the ball with less than a minute left, but they rushed for possession and came back empty, and Rock Island shut it down at the free throw line.

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“I am heartbroken,” Robertson said.

“Keep your head, keep playing,” Causey told his teammates.

In the end, Page had 15 points, including a trio of 3s. Robertson had 13 points and seven rebounds. Causey had 15 points and committed a foul.

Rock Island’s Anderson had 17 and Nimmers had 19.

Manual's Gerron Trapps (3) and Devonte Burse (1) walk off the field as Rock Island's Marieon Anderson bids farewell to Manual fans following the Rocks' 67-62 victory over the Rams in the Peoria Division Semi-Finals class 3A on Wednesday, March 2.  2022 at the Renaissance Coliseum on the campus of Bradley University in Peoria.

“Robertson and Causey, they were jerks, it drove me crazy sometimes,” Coleman joked. “But really, they’re both really good guys. They’ve been with us for four years, been through it all and given us their all.

“They have nothing to regret.”

Dave Eminian is the Journal Star’s sports columnist and covers men’s basketball for Bradley, the Rivermen and the Chiefs. He writes the sports column Cleve In The Eve for pjstar.com. Contact him at 686-3206 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @icetimecleve.

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