Timberwolves Finish Strong Against Hilltoppers

•November 30, 2016•

Kirk Whitaker
NP Sports

What in the first half looked as though it would be a close game Nov. 28 got blown out of the water in the second half by host Okaw Valley’s two biggest scorers.

It all started with the Timberwolves down 12-8 in the final seconds of the first quarter. It ended with a 45-27 Okaw Valley win.

Mt. Pulaski had scored with just over six seconds left, looking to take the momentum into the second, but Paige Robinson didn’t get the memo.

Robinson took the inbounds pass and calmly took the rock just over half court before pulling a “Steph Curry” and swishing a shot just inside the half court stripe to cut the deficit to one. Read More

Strong Second Half Gives Braves Win over Sullivan

•November 30, 2016•

Sullivan’s Lady Redskin’s strong first half wasn’t enough to keep Mt. Zion from a 49-45 win November 28.

Sullivan outscored the visiting Lady Braves 13-4 in the first quarter and had a 23-14 lead at the half. A third quarter 16-9 effort brought Mt. Zion’s team back as a 19-13 fourth quarter tipped the scales against Sullivan.

“We started the game off well and played great defense the first half, only giving up 14 points,” Sullivan coach Sheri McCain said.

“We were not mentally tough in the second half and had too many unforced turnovers,” she continued, pointing out 47% free throw percentage and hitting two for seven in the fourth quarter cost the game.

Mt. Zion was 10-12 from the free stripe in the fourth quarter. Read More

Rupert Signs Letter with Parkland

Photo by Mike Brothers Signs Letter with Parkland Sullivan Redskin softball stand out Makenzie Ruppert signed a letter of intent to play catcher in Parkland Community College softball program next season. Ruppert’s high school softball teammates attended the Nov. 22 signing ceremony at Sullivan High School gym. Pictured seated from left: sister Ema, mother Kari, Makenzie, father Shane, and brother Tristan. Standing are Sullivan coach Troy Waggoner and Parkland head coach Chuck Clutts.

Photo by Mike Brothers
Signs Letter with Parkland
Sullivan Redskin softball stand out Makenzie Ruppert signed a letter of intent to play catcher in Parkland Community College softball program next season. Ruppert’s high school softball teammates attended the Nov. 22 signing ceremony at Sullivan High School gym. Pictured seated from left: sister Ema, mother Kari, Makenzie, father Shane, and brother Tristan. Standing are Sullivan coach Troy Waggoner and Parkland head coach Chuck Clutts.

Okaw Valley Falls Hard Against St. Anthony

•November 23, 2016•

In seasons past the Okaw Valley baseball team has beaten teams 18-0.

The same could be said for the softball team and SOV football.

But to start the 2016-17 boys’ basketball tenure, the ‘Wolves were on the wrong end of that margin after a quarter.

The first bucket of the season came with 5:09 to go in the first half when Garrett Fritz took to the lane and lifted up a floater that wasn’t sent back by one of the St. Anthony post players. Read More

Game Winning Knights Long Shot Downs Sages

•November 23, 2016•

Kirk Whitaker
NP Sports

The 10 point lead with 4:39 to go was long forgotten.

Monticello closed the gap on their home court Nov. 18 with 43 seconds to go. They took the first Sage lead of the game 41-40.

Things looked even more dire after Mychaela Miller missed an open layup attempt with five seconds to go.

The Knights fouled, and Monticello made the back end of the two offerings. Then the magic the Knights enjoyed in volleyball rolled over to basketball.

Kim Davis inbounded the ball to Hannah Wallen with 3.9 seconds to go.

Wallen got past half-court and heaved up a prayer from the volleyball line which banked in to give the Knights the 43-42 win. Read More

Wooden Shoes Drop Redskins to Open Season

•November 16, 2016•

Kirk Whitaker
NP Sports

After last season’s 91-15 dismantling at the hands of Teutopolis, the Redskins’ season opening victory over the Shoes just the season before felt like an eternity ago.

This season, the result was the same, only not near as much of a beating.

The Wooden Shoes took a 10-1 lead out of the gate, a 25-5 advantage after a quarter, and ultimately take the season opener 78-35.

Sullivan still had several bright spots while taking on the defending second place team in the state tournament from a season ago who is returning three of its starters.

Esther Miller was responsible for all five of the Redskins’ first quarter points and would finish with nine on the night, sinking a free throw, and two layups--one off a steal going coast-to-coast and the other off an inbounds play--but it was Addison Darush who took the rest of the night.  Read More

Knights Get Slammed Out of Sectionals

•November 9, 2016•

Kirk Whitaker
NP Sports

There were no magical three-set triumphs this time around.

In a sectional also comprised of powerhouses St. Thomas More and St. Joseph-Ogden, Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond drew Tri-Valley, a team with two losses on the season, one of which came at the hands of SJO.

The Vikings sported arguably the most menacing hitter of the whole sectional in 6’2” junior Hannah Clayton, along with a couple other players taller than anyone on the Knights’ roster, but the Knights made things interesting.

It looked as if beating would have been a more descriptive word in the beginning.

Clayton gave the Vikings their first point after Abby Foreman downed a kill, and the match was even up until the five point mark.

After that, things got a little carried away.  Read More

Knights Volleyball Rides to Regional Crown

•November 2, 2016•

Kirk Whitaker
NP Sports

Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond’s first regional as a school--and five years to the day of their last volleyball regional crown--came by the skin of their teeth.

Both Tuesday and Thursday the Knights went up against teams with tall, powerful hitters, needing sets with more than 25 points to decide them, but behind the strength of familiar faces, the Knights  topped both Oakwood Fithian (25-14, 27-25, 31-29) and Tri-County(19-25, 26-24, 25-23)--in the fifth meeting of the year between the schools--move on to the Argenta Sectional to take on top-ranked Tri-Valley, who beat Maroa-Forsyth in the Decatur St. Teresa Regional.

The Knights’ first set drubbing of Oakwood (25-14) Tuesday was more than their other three margins of victory combined (11 compared to six).

The last two sets in both games were hectic in an electric home atmosphere to say the least.  Read More

Tuscola Tears Apart SOV to end Season

Photo by Mike Brothers Redskins running back Luke Bowman turns the corner and gains a few yards in SOV’s season ending game with Tuscola Oct. 21.

Photo by Mike Brothers
Redskins running back Luke Bowman turns the corner and gains a few yards in SOV’s season ending game with Tuscola Oct. 21.

•October 26, 2016•

By Kirk Whitaker
NP Sports

Tuscola entered Friday night’s game as the second ranked team in Class 1A and showed it well against SOV.

The Warriors scored the first 28 points in 8:55 thanks to two interceptions that bounced off the hands of Luke Bowman and Keith Bone respectively, leading to a 52-7 drubbing.

“You can’t spot a lead like that to a good team and expect to win,” head coach Gerald Temples said. “After the first quarter, we played better, but we just couldn’t come back from that deficit.”

Tuscola took the lead with short touchdown runs after the two interceptions and a 34 yard score, but the Redskins’ defense held the rest of the quarter to prevent further damage.

The Warriors started out the second quarter with a 40 yard field goal followed by a 14 yard touchdown run from quarterback Kaleb Williams before the Redskins scored their lone touchdown of the night. Read More