Sullivan Boys to Play Central A&M for Consolation Championship Wednesday

February 4, 2015

After taking a tough 52-23 opening loss to host St. Teresa this past Saturday, the Sullivan boys’ basketball team rebounded against Meridian on Monday evening, winning 67-44, earning the Redskins a Wednesday matchup against Central A&M in the consolation championship of the CIC tournament.
In their opening loss to St. Teresa Saturday, Sullivan was kept to single digit scoring in all four quarters. Christian Williams led the Bulldogs with 20 points followed by Rashan Smith’s 12.
Sullivan was led by Zach Hrvol who was the only double digit scorer with 11. Read More

Okaw Valley Stays Unbeaten in Conference with Win Against Knights

Photo by RR Best Mycaela Miller tries to dribble inside against Okaw Valley’s Jessica Robinson Thursday.

Photo by RR Best
Mycaela Miller tries to dribble inside against Okaw Valley’s Jessica Robinson Thursday.

February 4, 2015

Lady T-Wolves avenge opening tournament loss

By Matt Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

The Lady Timberwolves bounced back from a less than stellar conference tournament performance to beat Arthur-Lovington/Atwood Hammond Thursday night in Bethany 66-49.
Okaw Valley jumped out to a 21-5 lead in the first quarter. and head coach Don Gardener praised his girls’ effort from the first whistle.
“They dominated from the opening tip off,” he said. “This is how I expect us to play every game. When we’re firing on all cylinders, we are tough to beat, and everyone on the team contributed so it was a good team win.”
Paige Harlin opened up the scoring for Okaw Valley knocking down two free throws and adding a step-back 3-pointer putting the score at 5-0 with 6:51 left in the first. Harlin who went 6-of-6 from the foul line would finish with 13 points. Amanda McClain then scored to make it 7-0 before Elyse Harris got the Kinghts on the scoreboard with 3:40 left in opening quarter. Read More

Lady Red Earn Tournament Championship Berth

Photo by Keith Stewart Sullivan head coach Sheri McCain speaks to her players during a timeout Tuesday evening. McCain's halftime talk helped inspire the Lady Redskins' 26-point third quarter, which proved pivotal in their semi-final victory over Tuscola.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Sullivan head coach Sheri McCain speaks to her players during a timeout Tuesday evening. McCain’s halftime talk helped inspire the Lady Redskins’ 26-point third quarter, which proved pivotal in their semi-final victory over Tuscola.

January 28, 2015

Will now face state ranked A&M squad Thursday

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

After a sluggish first half, Sullivan poured it on in the third quarter Tuesday evening, scoring 26 points, while holding Tuscola to just six en route to their 52-36 victory in the Central Illinois Conference tournament semifinal in Warrensburg.
“I challenged the seniors at halftime. I told them as long as I’ve been here we’ve never been to the conference tournament championship,” said Sullivan head coach Sheri McCain. “They’ve had three shots at it, and this is their fourth one. They needed to step up and lead, and they had 16 minutes to get it done.”
It took Sullivan no time at all to take McCain’s message to heart.
The Lady Red opened the second half with an 8-0 run, and for some spectators, they no doubt missed it as Sullivan stormed ahead in less than a minute and a half to a 30-16 lead.
Tuscola’s Halle McCrory would get the Warriors first basket following three offensive rebounds, but on the trip back down court, Brittin Boyer found Emily Neuhauser down low for the reply. Read More

Hagerman Headed to Olney Central on Scholarship

Photo by Keith Stewart Okaw Valley senior Peyton Hagerman (middle) prepares to sign his letter of intent to play baseball at Olney Central College last Thursday. To the left is his father and OV head baseball coach Andrew, and to the right is his mother Brooke.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Okaw Valley senior Peyton Hagerman (middle) prepares to sign his letter of intent to play baseball at Olney Central College last Thursday. To the left is his father and OV head baseball coach Andrew, and to the right is his mother Brooke.

January 28, 2015

OV senior slated to pitch for Blue Knights

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

For Okaw Valley senior Peyton Hagerman, when the time came to choose a college to go to play baseball, there was one adjective he wished to avoid in describing his decision: Crazy.
“I wanted to play for Dennis Conley, first and foremost. I’ve heard nothing but great things about him. I’ve had people tell me that if I passed him up I’d be crazy. I don’t want to be crazy.”
So the OV senior signed off on his, say, logical choice, last Thursday to go and become a Blue Knight at Olney Central College.
“Really, what it came down to was Olney and Parkland,” said Hagerman. “Parkland also has a really good program up there, but Olney offered me more money. That’s part of it.” Read More

ALAH’s LOVC Tourney Capped Off with Win

Photo by RR Best Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond’s Payton Wellbaum tries to hold on to the ball Saturday evening. Wellbaum contributed eight points and pulled down several crucial rebounds in the Lady Knights’ third place victory over Tri-County.

Photo by RR Best
Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond’s Payton Wellbaum tries to hold on to the ball Saturday evening. Wellbaum contributed eight points and pulled down several crucial rebounds in the Lady Knights’ third place victory over Tri-County.

January 28, 2015

Lady Knights take third place

By Matt Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

After falling to tournament champion Arcola 52-38 in the LOVC Northwest championship game, the Lady Knights bounced back to claim third place by defeating the Tri-County Titans 56-43.  Kimberly Davis led all scorers with 15 points going 10-of-11 from the foul line, and Meagan Fifer put forth her best shooting performance of the tourney hitting 3-4 from the field including two crucial 3-pointers. “For three quarters we definitely did a good job bouncing back,” said head coach Craig Moffett. “It showed a lot about a young team that’s got a really good senior leader. Assistant coach Mac Condill used the term resilient, and I think that was spot on.”
The Knights were all over the Titans from the first whistle jumping out to a 6-0 lead with baskets by Davis and Fifer. The Knights extended the margin to 9-3 with 3:30 remaining in the first utilizing crisp passing, but the Titans would claw back to within one at 10-9 at the end of the first quarter. The Titans actually took a short-lived lead at 11-10 on the first points of the second period, but Mycaela Miller answered right back with a big time three. Hannah Wallen then found Payton Wellbaum under the basket to push Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond’s lead back to four at 15-11 with 6:40 remaining in the half. Read More

Timberwolves Have One Slip Away in Loss to Arcola Monday Night

January 28, 2015

Makes two tournament losses in a row

By Matt Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

After falling to Decatur LSA Saturday in the opening round of the LOVC tournament 78-62, Okaw Valley was next paired with no. two seeded Arcola, who fought back from a 30-25 halftime deficit to defeat OV 66-55 in a physical contest. Peyton Hagerman lit up the scoreboard with 20 first half points finishing with a game high 28.
Arcola opened up the game with a six point run forcing a quick OV timeout at the five minute mark. Hagerman scored the first points of the night for Okaw Valley, and Devon Still added a layup to cut the lead to 8-4 at the four minute mark. Still would finish with 10 points on the night, but Arcola answered with a run pushing the lead to 17-9 in the blink of an eye with 2:30 remaining in the first. Hagerman then found Logan Tipsword under the basket to stop the bleeding and added a layup on the next possession to cut the lead to 19-13 with under a minute remaining. Read More

Lady Timberwolves Fall 54-48 in Disappointing Tourney Loss to Cerro Gordo Bement

January 28, 2015

By Matt Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

Coming off a tough defeat in the first round of the LOVC conference tourney Okaw Valley’s struggles continued Thursday, falling in what was a back and forth contest. Okaw Valley built up a nine point lead with just two minutes left in the first half but were unable to hold on. Paige Robinson had 11 points to go along with five steals. However, Cerro Gordo was able to hold offensive threat Amanda McClain to just four points.
After the loss head coach Don Gardner was looking forward to playing on their home court for a change. “This was our third trip up here. We had to come up here twice, and we had to play Argenta before the tournament. So we are ready to get back home I think. We get to play Cerro Gordo Monday at our place so that will be a nice rematch.” Read More

Molzen’s Monster Performance Not Enough as Redskins Lose 48-35 to Bulldogs

January 28, 2015

Williams, St. T outpace Sullivan

By Matt Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

Ty Molzen scored 18 points to go with eight rebounds in a competitive defeat versus the St Teresa Bulldogs Friday Night. Head coach Chester Reeder praised Molzen’s growth as a player after the game. “He keeps getting better and better. I challenged him early in the year, and he has definitely raised his level. He is rebounding like crazy for us; he is finishing at the rim and knocking down open shots. I can’t ask for any more out of Ty Molzen.”
It looked like the contest might get out of hand early as St Teresa rode the return of starter Christian Williams to a 7-2 lead with five minutes to play in the first quarter. Nick Frerichs stopped the bleeding with a 3-pointer from the top of the key to cut into the lead to 7-5, but the Bulldogs got two quick buckets extending the lead to 11-6 with three minutes remaining in the first. Molzen then went on a rebounding spree to close out the quarter, and the Redskins were able to cut the lead to 15-10. Read More

Findlay Boys’ Cinderella Season Remembered

Photo by Brandi Denton Pictured are members of the 93’ Findlay eight grade boys’ basketball team. Back row, left to right: Coach Herb Bricker, Anthony Scott, Zac Atkinson, Travis Park, and Nick Berry; Front row: Curtis Shinn, Brock Nichols, cheerleaders Robin Perry and Jamie Martinski, and Michael Williams.

Photo by Brandi Denton
Pictured are members of the 93’ Findlay eight grade boys’ basketball team. Back row, left to right: Coach Herb Bricker, Anthony Scott, Zac Atkinson, Travis Park, and Nick Berry; Front row: Curtis Shinn, Brock Nichols, cheerleaders Robin Perry and Jamie Martinski, and Michael Williams.

January 21, 2015

‘93 team remembered for Elite 8 run

By Matt Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

Herb Bricker has been coaching basketball in the area for more than 15 years. But there’s one game in particular that still sticks out to him–one where he enjoyed having a pair of scissors in one hand and a net in the other.
And last Thursday night that game, in part, along with the 1993 Findlay 8th grade boys’ basketball team was recognized almost 20 years after their Elite 8 run in the state tournament. That year the team coached by Bricker went 18-4 with Bricker winning IESA coach of the year.
“After our win, the president of the IESA stayed in our hotel, and he made a point to tell me the defense we played was the most impressive he had since Andy Kaufmann in the mid 80s,” recalled Bricker.
Travis Parks confirmed just how important defense was to that team.
“Herb coached us from fourth grade that defense wins games,” he said. “That is just what it takes to win games.”
Bricker noted the team would try to hold opponents to 15 shot attempts per game and actually held a team to just four shot attempts in one contest. Read More