Stewart Reignites Sullivan for Conference-opening Win

Photo by Keith Stewart Sullivan's Elissa Stewart watches the loose ball after stripping it away from Tuscola Thursday night. Stewart's five steals were part of her team's 16 on a night where the Lady Red won the conference opener 61-40.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Sullivan’s Elissa Stewart watches the loose ball after stripping it away from Tuscola Thursday night. Stewart’s five steals were part of her team’s 16 on a night where the Lady Red won the conference opener 61-40.

December 5, 2014

Four Lady Red score double-digits, including Boyer’s 1000th career point

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

A little blood never hurt anyone.

In fact, for Elissa Stewart, it may have helped.

After getting hit in the face with the ball Thursday night and exiting the court with a bloodied nose early in the second quarter, the senior point-guard for Sullivan would re-emerge and become a juggernaut both offensively and defensively to help lift the Lady Red past Tuscola in a 61-40 conference opening win.

“I was happy to see her back on the floor,” said head coach Sheri McCain. “Elissa, as lighthearted as she is, she came right back in, and she just makes a difference. She’s the floor general. She is the true point guard for this team. She gets them fired up.”

Stewart’s offensive performance included three 3-pointers, all in the third quarter, part of her 17-point performance on the night. And her timing could not have been any better.

After her exit just 18 seconds into the second quarter, Sullivan went stale. The Lady Red didn’t post one point from the field and instead had just one lone free-throw from April Shuman, and even that didn’t come until over six minutes into the second period. Tuscola meanwhile, pulled within one and trailed Sullivan 19-18 heading into the locker room. Read More

Knights Shine in Home Opener Defeating Stew-Stras 65-35

Photo by Darian Hays ALAH's Colton Yeakley tries to box out a Stew-Stras player Tuesday night.

Photo by Darian Hays
ALAH’s Colton Yeakley tries to box out a Stew-Stras player Tuesday night.

December 3, 2014

By Matthew Kracht
NP Sport Reporter

The ALAH Knights won their first home game of the season Tuesday night with a dominate 30-point win over the Comets from Stew-Stras. The Knights jumped out to an early 11-2 lead pushing the margin to 32-16 by halftime.

A talented and deep Knights squad put on a man-to-man defensive exhibition for the capacity crowd endlessly harassing the Comets players and forcing 13 steals. After the win Head Coach Dale Schuring talked about the defensive intensity of which the Knights seem to feed off.

“I thought our effort was great, not sure we played defensively all that smartly. It is a fine line between pressuring and taking them out of what they want to do. At the same time avoid fouling them in a situation where there is no reason to be that aggressive. The hustle and the effort were great, but the intelligence of our defense has got to improve.”

Schuring also addressed the challenge of having so many good players on one team. Read More

Lady Knights Fall to Oakwood

December 3, 2014

Despite a third quarter surge, the Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond girls’ basketball team fell to Oakwood at home Monday night.

The Lady Knights, trailing 24-14 after the first half, doubled up Oakwood in the third, outscoring them 13-6 to pull within three.

But both teams sat at a scoring stalemate in the final period with nine points each, allowing Oakwood to hold on for a 39-36 win.

ALAH was led by Mycaela Miller with 14 points, while Hannah Wallen scored nine. Read More

Lady Timberwolves Dominate Home Opener 67-37

December 3, 2014

After shaky 1st quarter, OV Cruises to Win

By Matt Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

The Okaw Valley Lady Timberwolves improved their record to 4-1 with a 30-point victory over Decatur LSA on Monday night.

Okaw Valley trailed 11 to 9 after the first quarter but outscored the LSA Lions 22 to 10 in the second quarter en route to an impressive victory.

“This LSA team came to play, and I told them from the beginning that they are not going to roll over for anybody,” said OV head coach Don Gardner. “LSA outplayed us in the first half, and I give all the credit to their coaching staff and their players. We talked at halftime about coming out in the second half being ready to play, otherwise we were going to lose. It was a wake up call, so it was a good win.” Read More

Lady Knights Win Second Straight Overtime Thriller 64-61

Photo by Darian Hays ALAH's Kim Davis dribbles downcourt.

Photo by Darian Hays
ALAH’s Kim Davis dribbles downcourt.

November 26, 2014

Go on 22-5 run to complete comeback

by Matt Kracht
NP Sport Reporter

Four quarters were simply not enough time to decide the winner of Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond versus the Casey Westfield Warriors last Thursday night. Trailing 27-15 at the half, the Lady Knights stormed back with a 22-5 run in the fourth quarter and overtime to defend their home court, ultimately prevailing 64-61.
After the game, ALAH head coach Craig Moffett talked about what was said to the team during half time.
“I challenged them. I thought the first half we played soft, did a lot of silly things, getting in foul trouble. We talked fundamentals, and I told them to raise our physicality and intensity mostly.”
The Lady Knights were dominated for most of the first half but looked like a completely different team in the second. Moffett insisted that the defense keyed the turn around.
“We handled the ball better, and we turned up our defense without fouling. That is what got us in trouble in the first quarter was a lot of reaching and fouling. We played as a team. It looked like some individuals in the first half, but we came together as a team in the second half.”
The Lady Knights were led to victory from the play of their guards. Logan Kauffman, Mycaela Miller and Kimberly Davis took control in the second half leading their team back from what looked to be an insurmountable deficit.
In the first half the Lady Knights seemed content to settle for jump shots, and Moffett blamed himself for the lack of scoring in the lane. Read More

Knights Take Rivalry Win

Photo by Keith Stewart Sullivan’s Nick Frerichs tries to shoot over ALAH’s Tyler Schuring Tuesday night.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Sullivan’s Nick Frerichs tries to shoot over ALAH’s Tyler Schuring Tuesday night.

November 26, 2014

Schuring scores 25 as ALAH tops Sullivan on opening night

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

If Tyler Schuring’s first quarter performance was supposed to indicate how he would play the rest of the night Tuesday, he fooled everyone.
With just a modest five points after the opening period, the senior point guard took over in the second,  shooting a perfect 5-5 from the field including one dagger from the arc for 13 of his 25 points on the night. He would then help lift his team once again in the fourth going 2-2 from the perimeter and adding a basket from the line as he and his teammates held on for a 55-52 win over Sullivan.
“I thought he was patient the first quarter, but I think he took the game over in the second quarter offensively for us,” said Knights’ head coach Dale Schuring. “And there’s going to have to be times this year he’s going to have to do that. We just don’t have as many weapons, although some of the kids reality impressed me tonight with what they did do. But he’s supposed to be our best player, and at times he’s going to have to do that.” Read More

Okaw Valley Overpowered in Moultrie Matchup

Photo by Joe Wheeler Okaw Valley’s Amanda McClain (left) tries to box out Sullivan’s Emily Neuhauser (right).

Photo by Joe Wheeler
Okaw Valley’s Amanda McClain (left) tries to box out Sullivan’s Emily Neuhauser (right).

November 26, 2014

Lady Redskins rout Timberwolves in one-sided affair

By Joe Wheeler
Reporting in Sullivan

It was all Sullivan Thursday evening as the Okaw Valley Lady Timberwolves could not muster enough defense to stop Sullivan’s offensive attacks. On top of the defensive woes, OV struggled to get balls to fall and calls in their favor. Sullivan would grab the lead early and never trailed over the course of the competition that eventually ended 57-32.
“Our shots weren’t falling,” said Okaw Valley head coach Don Gardner. “Sullivan’s defense was pretty stout. They are a very quick team whose overall speed gave us some trouble getting open looks.”
The Lady Timberwolves played aggressively, but fouls hurt the ladies in blue, as Sullivan scored 16 points over the course of the game at the charity stripe. Read More

Lady Knights Bounce Back With Win over Rams 57-44

Photo by Darian Hays ALAH’s Elyse Harris (left) forces a jump ball during Monday night’s contest against Shelbyville.

Photo by Darian Hays
ALAH’s Elyse Harris (left) forces a jump ball during Monday night’s contest against Shelbyville.

November 26, 2014

High-intensity defense makes game difficult for Shelbyville

By Matt Kracht
NP Sport Reporter

The Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond Lady Knights put forth another strong performance on Monday night defeating the Shelbyville Rams by a 13-point margin pushing their record to 3-1 on the season. Led by the strong play of their guards, once again the Lady Knights jumped out to an early lead and used a 16-2 run to help seal the victory.
After the game head coach Craig Moffet spoke about a team defense that keyed the victory.
“I would love for our defense to be relentless consistently. I am not sure in the first quarter I would say that. But for the majority of the game the defense was solid, and that is something we are going to have to hang our hat on.” Read More

Marshall’s 17 Helps Sullivan to Win Over Arcola

Photo by Keith Stewart Sullivan's Alyssa Marshall prepares to strike from beyond the perimeter Monday night. The junior point guard scored 17 points off five 3-pointers to help her team to a 59-30 win over Arcola.

Photo by Keith Stewart
Sullivan’s Alyssa Marshall prepares to strike from beyond the perimeter Monday night. The junior point guard scored 17 points off five 3-pointers to help her team to a 59-30 win over Arcola.

November 24, 2014

Redskin victory falls on Stiff’s 1,000th career game

by Keith Stewart
keith@newsprogress.com

When you see the stat, “five 3-pointers” is attributed to the Sullivan girls’ basketball team, one might at first conclude it belongs to Emily Neuhauser or Elissa Stewart.

But Monday night, that stat, in fact, belonged to junior point guard Alyssa Marshall, who finished with 17 points, one of three lady Red to score double digits in their 59-30 win over Arcola.

“I didn’t expect Alyssa Marshall to have 17 points. I don’t know what happened this evening with her, but I told her, whatever she did, she needs to do it again,” said Sullivan head coach Sheri McCain. “I’m just so absolutely proud of her. For the last two years we’ve been challenging her to shoot the ball, shoot the ball. She made that first one and then she was just lights out from there. But what impresses me the most was her defense on [Rylee] Fishel. She made it very difficult for Fishel to touch that ball.” Read More

Local Preps Star Nets EIU Basketball Scholarship

Photo by RR Best Sullivan’s Brittin Boyer officially signed her letter of intent to play basketball at Eastern Illinois University last Thursday afternoon. Pictured, front row, left to right are: sister Kailyn Boyer, mother Sara Boyer, Brittin Boyer, and father Dave Boyer. Back row, left to right: Sullivan girls’ head coach Sheri McCain, and Central Illinois Storm head coach Barry Wolfe.

Photo by RR Best
Sullivan’s Brittin Boyer officially signed her letter of intent to play basketball at Eastern Illinois University last Thursday afternoon. Pictured, front row, left to right are: sister Kailyn Boyer, mother Sara Boyer, Brittin Boyer, and father Dave Boyer. Back row, left to right: Sullivan girls’ head coach Sheri McCain, and Central Illinois Storm head coach Barry Wolfe.

November 19, 2014

Sullivan’s Boyer to become a Panther next year

By Matthew Kracht
NP Sports Reporter

Brittin Boyer’s mom Sara remembers reading the note as if it happened yesterday.

Four years ago Brittin was attending EIU’s basketball camp as an eighth grader. As a camp coach filled out an evaluation form, he wrote “I hope to recruit you one day.”

To this day Sara Boyer is, “not sure if they put that on every form, but it was great foreshadowing.” Flash forward four years and Brittin Boyer gets a call on a Sunday in July. She runs down the stairs excited to tell her parents that Eastern Illinois University just called to offer her a scholarship. According to Mom, “That was the best moment for us as parents because playing Division I basketball is a big goal, and you want your kids to chase their dreams.”

Sullivan head coach Sheri McCain, who was Boyer’s third grade teacher, complimented her after the signing. Read More