Lady Redskins Compete at ISU Indoor Meet

March 11, 2015

The Sullivan-Okaw Valley girls’ track team competed in their first meet of the season Saturday at the Illinois State University high school Indoor Invitational in Normal. Competing against several strong 2A and 3A schools, SOV had many top performances including Amanda McClain, who finished first in the long jump with a leap of 17 feet, 6 inches and first in the 200 in 26.23 seconds. Emily Neuhauser finished second in the 60 meter dash with a time of 8.12 and second in the 200 in 27.11. Read More

Okaw Valley Falls to Regional Host Raiders 65-61 in Second Round

March 4, 2015

A&M’s perimeter shooting proves problematic for Timberwolves
By Matthew Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

The Timberwolves came up just short in the second round of the ISHA Class 1A regional falling to Central A&M despite a 26 point performance by senior Devin Still.
Okaw Valley erased an 11 point second half deficit tying the game at 60-60 with two minutes remaining. However, the Raiders were able to hold on and advance, ending a gritty Timberwolves squad’s season.
After the game head coach Tony Sparks addressed his team’s calling card.
“Effort has been one of the signatures of this team all year long,” he said. “To lose a top scorer and leader going into the tournament, the team responded great. They just kept battling and never backed down. That is what we did all year. One thing this team did was play hard, and that is the one thing you want out of your team.”
Senior TJ Pieszchalski was the only Okaw Valley player with an offensive rhythm in the first half. Pieszchalsi, who finished with 10 points, scored eight of the first 19 for the Timberwolves and kept the team afloat. Coach Sparks was quick to compliment his player who has really grown down the stretch.
“TJ has been a good player for us for four years, and he’s played really well for us these last four or five weeks. He is another senior realizing that it was getting down to the end. So we have seen his effort go through the roof the last few weeks just playing harder and smarter.” Read More

Knights Four-Peat as Regional Champions

Photo by Keith Stewart Colton Yeakley looks to get inside the paint Friday night against Arcola. Yeakley finished the night with nine points and four rebounds.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Colton Yeakley looks to get inside the paint Friday night against Arcola. Yeakley finished the night with nine points and four rebounds.

March 4, 2015

Defeat Arcola second-year in a row for title
by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

In his four years as a Knight, Jeremy Plank says the feeling doesn’t get old.
The feeling of winning regional championships that is.
“It’s something that every year you want to do, and the feeling is the same every year,” said the senior. “You can’t put it into words.”
Friday’s 67-57 win over Arcola provided the Knights their fourth straight regional championship title, though the first under the newly consolidated Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond High School.
“It does not get old,” agreed head coach Dale Schuring. “They are so precious, and we’ve been very, very fortunate to get to these finals and win four in a row. But it certainly is not something easy to do. Just look at the flip side. Arcola has been here the last two years and hasn’t been able to come out on top, unfortunately for them, but it’s certainly something you cherish, because they are not things that come along very often.” Read More

Okaw Valley Advances Past Windsor 73-53 in Regional

February 25, 2015

Will take on host A&M Wednesday evening

By Matthew Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

While the Timberwolves lost one of their best players for the rest of the season on Tuesday in Peyton Hagerman, fans found a star for the future that same night in Dylan Park.
Park, a junior, put 20 points on the Windsor Blue Devils making four spot-up 3s and setting the tone scoring the game’s first six points.
“Dylan shot the ball well,” said head coach Tony Sparks. “He has been our second best shooter all year. They came out and ran some box-and-1 stuff on Devon Still, which left Dylan wide open in the corner, and he took advantage.”
The Timberwolves led 8-0 when Joe Jeffers knocked down a base line jumper at the five minute mark. Windsor quickly battled back to within two at 10-8. Out of a timeout Park hit his third three in the first four minutes of the contest sparking a 10-2 run with Drew Fruchtl adding a key trey leaving the score at 20-10 with 25 seconds left in the first quarter. Windsor nailed its first of two buzzer-beaters from NBA range to close the period with the score 20-13. Read More

Collective Effort Ensures Win on OV Senior Night

Photo by Jeni Yantis The Okaw Valley boys’ basketball team celebrated its seniors (pictured) last Friday evening with a win over Cerro Gordo-Bement. From left to right: Devon Still, TJ Pieszchalski, Peyton Hagerman, Greg Walker, Joe Jeffers, Justin Vander Burgh, and Logan Tipsword.

Photo by Jeni Yantis
The Okaw Valley boys’ basketball team celebrated its seniors (pictured) last Friday evening with a win over Cerro Gordo-Bement. From left to right: Devon Still, TJ Pieszchalski, Peyton Hagerman, Greg Walker, Joe Jeffers, Justin Vander Burgh, and Logan Tipsword.

February 25, 2015

Despite Lovekamp’s 35 points, T-Wolves prevail

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Nathan Lovekamp and the rest of the Cerro Gordo-Bement Broncos may have tried containing OV’s Peyton Hagerman Friday evening, but they couldn’t control the nine other Timberwolves who put points on the board en route to Okaw Valley’s 76-70 senior night win.
“I thought everybody contributed,” said head coach Tony Sparks. “We were able to get to the rim and to the free throw line in the second half.”
The Broncos emerged from tip-off in a box-and-1 zone with Frankie Foran face-guarding Hagerman, which in turn helped in holding the typically fervent point guard to just four opening period points.
But in his place there was always someone else, whether it be Greg Walker fighting for a rebound and put-back, Dylan Park striking from the arc, or Justin Johnson coming off the bench scoring back-to-back baskets.
“Coach Bacon threw everything but the kitchen sink at us tonight,” said Sparks. “They definitely gave us a lot of different looks. Started out with a box and one on Peyton, which kind of neutralized him, but Dylan hit some shots in the first quarter. We did a good job of switching it up, and when you have good guards like we do in Dylan and Peyton, you should be able to recognize that stuff, and we did.”
The Broncos, meanwhile, relied heavily on their senior star guard Lovekamp, who still finished the evening with 35 points. Read More

Sullivan Streaks Past CGB, But Falls Again to St. T

Photo by Keith Stewart St. Teresa’s Christian Williams drives past Layne McMahon Tuesday evening. Williams finished with 24 points, 10 of which came in the final period.

Photo by Keith Stewart
St. Teresa’s Christian Williams drives past Layne McMahon Tuesday evening. Williams finished with 24 points, 10 of which came in the final period.

February 25, 2015

Poor third quarter along with Williams’ 24 points hands Redskins season-ender

By Matt Kracht
& Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

It was all Redskins Monday night in the first game of the ISHA class 2A regional at St Teresa, but the same performance could not be repeated Tuesday as Sullivan fell to no. 1 seed and host 51-32 in the regional semifinal.
The night before, Sullivan had their best shooting performance of the season with Zach Hrvol knocking down five three pointers tallying 24 points including three money balls in the first quarter. Nick Frerichs and Alec Ballinger added three deep treys apiece and both finished with 11 points. Head coach Chester Reeder has watched his team go from struggling to score early on in the season to filling up the bucket on a seven game win streak.
“It was by far our best shooting effort. We were 11-17 from three-point; the most we had in a game before this was five. The second quarter was where we won the game, especially defensively holding them to five points and really put it on them.” Read More

Knights Net 20th Win, Finish Conference Perfect 6-0

February 25, 2015

Earn LOVC Regular Season Title

By Matt Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

Not even the polar vortex could stop the red hot Knights from rolling to a 57-33 victory over Sangamon Valley Friday night in Niantic.
The Knights’ defense held the Storm to just two points in the first quarter and six points in the second cruising to a 34-8 halftime lead. With the win the Knights salted away the conference championship, and head coach Dale Schuring was quick to give all the credit to his players.
“We have won the conference before–I don’t know that we had done it undefeated, but this is the first time since I have been coaching the boys that we have won the tournament and the conference itself. So it was a great accomplishment by this group, and it has been a long time since we had done that.” Read More

Knights Hang Tough Against Arcola Friday

February 18, 2015

2-pt third quarter nearly upends ALAH senior night

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

While the Knights may have had a dismal two-point third quarter, at least they chose to score at the buzzer to help swing a bit of the momentum back to their bench heading into the final period where they would hold off the Purple Riders to win 46-40.
“I think the bucket at the end of the third was a huge one,” said Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond head coach Dale Schuring. “It toned them down just a little bit. I think big picture we just didn’t shoot the ball all that well tonight. Tyler [Schuring} was reasonable I think, but everyone seemed to struggle quite a bit.”

Photo by Keith Stewart Pictured are the Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond boys’ basketball team seniors who were celebrated Friday night before their game against Arcola. From left to right: Cole Garmon, Chris Davis, Jeremy Plank, Avery Schrock, Tanner Brewer, Tyler Schuring, Kyle Feagin, Ross Ryan, Dylan Black, Hunter Kamm, and Jon Bialeschki.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Pictured are the Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond boys’ basketball team seniors who were celebrated Friday night before their game against Arcola. From left to right: Cole Garmon, Chris Davis, Jeremy Plank, Avery Schrock, Tanner Brewer, Tyler Schuring, Kyle Feagin, Ross Ryan, Dylan Black, Hunter Kamm, and Jon Bialeschki.

Read More

Sullivan Seniors Send Stew-Stras Packing

Photo by Keith Stewart The Sullivan boys’ basketball team celebrated their four seniors Tuesday against Stew-Stras. Pictured, left to right: Jacob Piper, Brody Elder, Layne McMahon, and Nick Frerichs.

Photo by Keith Stewart
The Sullivan boys’ basketball team celebrated their four seniors Tuesday against Stew-Stras. Pictured, left to right: Jacob Piper, Brody Elder, Layne McMahon, and Nick Frerichs.

February 18, 2015

Defense the key in final home game victory

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Sullivan’s offense may have been a bit ugly Tuesday night, but their defense was downright nasty–and in a good way.
The Redskins ran a tough man defense against the Comets, forcing many of their 19 turnovers thanks in large part to 15 steals, six coming from senior Nick Frerichs, and which helped them to a 52-38 victory.
“We played pretty well defensively,” said head coach Chester Reeder. “It just wasn’t a very good shooting night for us. We had really good looks and they just weren’t falling, but it didn’t affect our defense, and we kept rebounding, kept trying to do things right.” Read More