The boys high school basketball season is nearly three weeks old. So it's about time for Pekin to finally play at home.
Back-to-back home games in Hawkins Gym are on the Dragons' schedule this weekend after they started the season playing six games on the road.
Pekin (2-4, 1-0) will play host to Morton (6-1, 1-0) on Friday and Canton (0-3, 0-2) on Saturday in a pair of Mid-Illini Conference games. Tipoff will be about 7 p.m. Friday and 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
Morton will be a formidable foe.
The Potters' six wins include impressive victories over Peoria High and Champaign Central. Morton's lone loss was a 58-54 defeat in overtime to Chatham Glenwood.
Jarrett Crider and Barik Olden give Morton a potent one-two punch inside and outside.
Unfortunately for the Dragons, they're coming off a forgettable game. They lost 51-32 Tuesday night at Normal Community.
"It's OK to have a bad game. That happens," said Pekin coach Jeff Walraven. "What's important is how you respond to it."
How Pekin responds this weekend will depend mostly upon cleaning up some problems offensively.
"Our offense is out of sorts," Walraven said. "We're going left when we should be going right, we're passing when we should be shooting.
Guys need to get open, and we need to find guys who are open. We also need to get aggressive at the right times."
Turnovers also are hurting the Dragons. They survived 18 of them in a win over Dunlap on Nov. 28 in a conference opener and they had nine in the first half against Normal Community (4-2).
"You're not going to beat many teams scoring 32 points," Walraven said, referring to the Dragons' offensive output Tuesday against the Ironmen.
On a positive note, Walraven said, Pekin held a strong Normal Community team to 51 points. The Ironmen had only 29 points after three quarters, leading 29-21.
"Our defense did a good job against them for the most part," Walraven said.
"Normal Community made 10 3-point shots. Four of them came from a 6-foot-7 guy (C.J. Wilbourn, who scored a game-high 19 points).Normally you don't mind a 6-7 guy putting up 3-pointers instead of taking the ball inside."
Nobody from Pekin scored in double figures. Adam Cash had nine points, Max Jones had seven, and Justin Taphorn and Patrick Torrey each had five. The Dragons made four three-pointers.