DANVILLE — It would have been easy for the Danville Viking seniors to give up this season.
Through each heartbreaking loss this season, the opportunity was there for them to throw in the towel.
But, that didn’t happen, and on Tuesday night in the regular-season home finale, senior Denzel Smith and the rest of the Vikings put on a very impressive display for a large crowd at Danville High, beating the Rantoul Eagles 85-62 in a non-conference contest.
“It feels really good to play this well in front of the home fans,’’ said Smith, who had a game-high 39 points. “We wanted to put on a good show in our final game and our fans, that have supported us this whole year, deserved it.’’
And, the Vikings, who have regardless of their record put up some great efforts in most of their games this season, didn’t disappoint on Tuesday night.
Danville’s seven seniors combined for 79 points, 20 of the team’s 28 rebounds and they had all 19 of the team’s assists in the contest.
“That looked really good,’’ said a very pleased Danville coach Ted Houpt. “I guess every team looks good when they are passing the ball and making shots like we did tonight.
“That was just really good unselfish basketball.’’
The Vikings shot a remarkable 60.3 percent (35-of-58) from the field and they were 10-of-24 from 3-point range. And the biggest reason for their impressive shooting can be directly attributed to the ball movement.
That unselfish play is pretty rare for a team that entered Tuesday’s contest with just seven wins in 23 games.
“But, that’s one thing about this team that I’ve enjoyed,’’ Houpt said. “No matter what has happened this season, this group of guys have remained close and we have enjoyed being around each other.