Top Seeded OV Upset by Lady Knights in LOVC Tourney

January 21, 2015

Strong shooting propels ALAH

By Matt Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

Fourth seed Arthur Lovington Atwood-Hammond rallied from a seven point first quarter deficit to stun the top seeded Lady Timberwolves Monday night in the second round of the LOVC Conference tourney. The Lady Knights outscored Okaw Valley 22-7 in the second quarter and 18-5 in the third ultimately cruising to a 56-39 point victory.
With the Lady Knights trailing 13-7 early in the second quarter sophomore Mycalea Miller knocked down back to back threes to tie the game with six minutes to go before half. Miller scored a team high 15 points on the night. Okaw Valley fought back taking a 17-15 lead before Kimberly Davis nailed a dagger three to take it right back at 18-17. The floodgates then opened, and ALAH went on a 10 point run capped off by another clutch three from Kimberly Davis putting the score at 28-17 with under a minute to go before the half. Read More

Three 20-point Plus Performances Aid Sullivan Victory

SullivanGirls2January 21, 2015

St. T unable to stop Lady Red trio

by Aaron Dyer
Sullivan Reporter

Last Thursday night, Sullivan Lady Redskins jumped forward in the Central Illinois Conference at 4-0 after taking on the St. Teresa Lady Bulldogs and winning 80-32.
With a combination of Brittin Boyer, Emily Neuhauser, and Elissa Stewart, it has become clear the SHS Lady Redskins are a tough team to beat.
And though St. Teresa fought to keep up with Sullivan, the first quarter was all anybody had to see to know the game would be a blow out.
Boyer won the jump, and Sullivan took off scoring six points in the first 30 seconds of the game forcing St. T to call a time out. Read More

Cardinals Flex in Dominant Win Over Sullivan

Photo by R.R. Best Sullivan’s Zach Hrvol drives to the open basket last Friday.

Photo by R.R. Best
Sullivan’s Zach Hrvol drives to the open basket last Friday.

January 21, 2015

No. 5 ranked Warrensburg demonstrates abilities in win

by Aaron Dyer
Sullivan Reporter

While last week against Tuscola may have been a close contest, Sullivan couldn’t manage to pull it together on Friday against Warrensburg-Latham’s boys’ basketball team–a group that for the second week in a row in January was ranked no. 5 in class 2A.
Despite the 62-37 loss, Sullivan did earn a bit of experience and things to practice for when they approach their next competitor on the court.
“We ran into a really good team, and they took advantage of our mistakes,” said head coach Chester Reeder.
When the game began, Warrensburg-Latham Cardinals took off to an early lead, managing to steal the ball and shut down Sullivan before they could even get an attempt.
During the first quarter, Layne McMahon and Alec Ballinger both acquired a foul against Sullivan, though the Cardinals would convert on only one of their free throws.
After the fouls, Reeder called a time out in hopes of reforming his team and getting them back on the board, and that’s exactly what he did.
With the pep talk during the time out, the Redskins scored in a neck-and-neck pattern as both teams attacked the paint and ended the first with the Cardinals narrowly ahead 12-17.
But the second quarter was a change for the worse as the Redskins seemed to hesitate more.
“We weren’t attacking the paint throughout the whole game like we usually do,” said Reeder. “We started to in the first quarter, but the second and third quarter, we got away from it.” Read More

Lady Timberwolves Win First Conference Matchup

January 21, 2015

Enter LOVC tournament as no. 1 seed Monday

By Matt Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

Okaw Valley started their conference schedule Thursday night with a dominant 51-39 win over Argenta. Amanda McClain tallied another double double scoring 15 points with 15 rebounds, and Jessica Robinson turned in a performance to remember scoring the first 10 points of the game. Whatever pre game meal Robinson had before Thursday night’s game should definitely be on the menu Monday as she was on fire early in the game propelling Okaw Valley to a 9-2 lead with four minutes to go in the first period. Robinson would then add a free throw to score the first 10 for the Lady Timberwolves, a feat that did not go unnoticed by head coach Don Gardener.
“Jess had a phenomenal game tonight,” he said. “This is what we expect of her. She is solid on offense. She is solid on defense, and only being a sophomore her confidence is growing and growing.” Robinson ended the night with 13 points, seven rebounds and two assists. Read More

Knights Impress in 51-26 Victory over Tri-County

January 21, 2015

Suffocating defense key in win

By Matt Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

A deliberate looking Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond boys’ squad overwhelmed the Tri-County Titans Friday night by a 25-point margin. Tyler Schuring shredded the nylon early knocking four 3-pointers in the first half. Tanner Brewer added 15 points to go with four rebounds in one of the big man’s best games so far this season.
Tri-County entered the contest 15-3 on the season and promptly jumped out to a 6-0 lead on back to back threes. But Jeremy Plank responded for the Knights with a deep trey, and Brewer added a layup to take back the lead 7-6 with three minutes remaining in the first. Tyler Schuring caught fire, and it was contagious as the Knights outscored Tri-County 27-5 to close out the half. ALAH was also spectacular defensively showcasing a suffocating man defense that held Tri-County to one point in the second quarter. Read More

Bates Leads Tuscola to Win

Photo by Keith Stewart Sullivan’s Nick Frerichs (left) and Kaleb Shumard (right) grab onto Tommy Watson in desperation during the final minute of Friday’s matchup in Tuscola. Watson’s four free throws in the fourth quarter were part of Tuscola’s 7-of-7 from the line.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Sullivan’s Nick Frerichs (left) and Kaleb Shumard (right) grab onto Tommy Watson in desperation during the final minute of Friday’s matchup in Tuscola. Watson’s four free throws in the fourth quarter were part of Tuscola’s 7-of-7 from the line.

January 14, 2015

Warriors close out with free-throws

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

It was no secret to Chester Reeder or his Sullivan squad that coming into Friday’s conference opener, Tuscola’s Nick Bates was a scoring threat.

“Our game plan was not to not let him score,” said the Sullivan head coach. “He’s going to score. Our game plan was to contest everything, and we didn’t contest shots to start the fourth quarter, and that’s what killed us. That’s what ended it for us.”

That knowledge didn’t help Sullivan slow down the junior guard, who finished with 27 points and managed to keep his team in the running all night long, before then helping them to a lead they would not relinquish and that would end with a 51-44 Warrior victory. Read More

Timberwolves Fall to Pirates 60-45

Photo by RR Best Okaw Valley’s Joe Jeffers tries to fend off two Cumberland players for the rebound Friday night.

Photo by RR Best
Okaw Valley’s Joe Jeffers tries to fend off two Cumberland players for the rebound Friday night.

January 14, 2015

19-2 run gets Cumberland out in front for good

By Matt Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

The Okaw Valley men’s basketball stumbled on Friday night versus the Cumberland Pirates in a physical contest. But head coach Tony Sparks knew coming in it would be a tough contest.

“Being out of school the last couple days has kind of messed with our rhythm,” he said. “Coming into it we knew they were one of the most physical teams we have seen all year. They are all running over 200 pounds, even the guards. It was not a team we match up well with across the board. As a roster top to bottom that is not a good matchup for us.” Read More

All-around Effort Pushes Lady Timberwolves Past Decatur Christian

Photo by RR Best Natalie Jeffers (left) and Paige Harlin (right) double team a Decatur Christian player Monday evening. The Timberwolves’ defense locked down the stretch to ensure the 63-32 win.

Photo by RR Best
Natalie Jeffers (left) and Paige Harlin (right) double team a Decatur Christian player Monday evening. The Timberwolves’ defense locked down the stretch to ensure the 63-32 win.

January 7, 2015

OV closes out with defensive prowess

By Matt Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

In the Lady Timberwolves first game of the New Year Amanda McClain scored 14 points and added seven rebounds to lead her team to a 63-32 victory over the Lady Warriors from Decatur Christian.

Coming off a big holiday tournament championship the Lady Timberwolves jumped out to a 6-0 lead on 3-pointers by Paige Harlin and Amy Orrris. It looked as though the rout was on, but Decatur Christian decided they had come to play. Behind a strong performance from their center Danielle Popis no. 22, the Lady Warriors closed out the first period with a 10-3 run leaving Okaw Valley’s lead at 11-10. After the game head coach Don Gardener talked about the difficulty in handling Decatur Christian’s best player.

“We have not played in two weeks so we were a little rusty,” he admitted. “We did struggle with no. 22. She is a good ballplayer, and we realized pretty quickly we were going to have our hands full with her. We tried to just go man to man, then we tried the 1-2-2, and then a box-and-1 towards the end seemed to slow her down a little bit.” Popis would lead all scorers for the game with 23 of Decatur Christians 32 points. Read More

Sullivan Fends Off Mattoon in First Win of New Year

Photo by Keith Stewart Sullivan’s Brittin Boyer tries to make the block from behind on Mattoon’s Abrienne Lee Monday. Boyer was a juggernaut on offense scoring 32 points and bringing down 19 rebounds.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Sullivan’s Brittin Boyer tries to make the block from behind on Mattoon’s Abrienne Lee Monday. Boyer was a juggernaut on offense scoring 32 points and bringing down 19 rebounds.

January 7, 2015

Boyer’s 32 points and 19 rebounds crucial in victory

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

Up until halfway through the third quarter, the largest lead either team possessed was five points. And after four lead changes, the game was still either Sullivan or Mattoon’s.

But halfway through the third, the Lady Green Wave managed three 3-pointers in under three minutes, the last of which coming at the buzzer, to take a 41-37 lead into the final period.

“When Sam (Thompson) hit that half court shot you could see it was kind of like a dagger, but I was thankful that was at the end of the quarter and not the game,” said Sullivan head coach Sheri McCain. “They responded in the fourth quarter, and that’s good because in the [Mattoon Holiday] tournament, some times when our back was against the wall, we didn’t respond. Tonight we did. I was glad to see how we stepped up and took care of the ball in the fourth quarter.”

Sullivan started the fourth on a 7-0 run with Emily Neuhauser’s basket low getting things started. Brittin Boyer would then hit the front-end of her two free-throws, but then after Neuhauser’s block on Samantha Thompson, Boyer scored from beneath the basket, the ball rolling around the rim before falling. Boyer would score again before Neuhauser followed up to cap the run before Sierra Thompson’s bucket and-one pulled Mattoon within two with 2:54 remaining. Read More

Knights Celebrate New Year with Win

January 7, 2015

By Matt Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

For the second time in a week the Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond Knights dominated the Windsor Blue Devils, this time 71-33 improving to 9-3 on the season. The Knights kept momentum from their recent Tri-County holiday tournament championship appearance rolling with 12 players scoring in a game that would get out of hand early.

The Knights had one of their best shooting performances of the season jumping out to a 12-1 lead just four minutes into the game. Tyler Schuring knocked down a pair of 3-pointers pushing the lead to 21-5 with less than two minutes remaining in the first. To cap off the dominant period Cole Garmon nailed a dagger from beyond the arc just as time expired, hitting nothing but net. The clutch trey put the Knights’ lead at 29-5 after the first quarter of play. Read More