Monday’s regional victory validates a lot of hard work that the Vikings have put in this season, going through a number of close-but-not-quite losses.
“This is what you get when you keep going and you keep working,’’ Houpt said. “As long as we play with character, heart and together, good things are going to happen.’’
Smith said it was just a matter of time.
“Even when we were going through some of those losses, we kept getting stronger and stronger,’’ he said. “It took us some time to come together.’’
“We are connecting better as a team on the floor,’’ he said. “The team chemistry is finally there.’’
Up next for Danville is the top-seeded Bradley-Bourbonnais Boilermakers (18-6) in a regional semifinal contest at 6 p.m. tonight. Normal Community and Bloomington will play in the other semifinal at 7:30 p.m.
“I’m confident that our kids are going to compete well,’’ Houpt said. “We are going to be a little more relaxed, because the pressure is always on the No. 1 seed in this situation.’’
Butler points out that while the Vikings don’t know much about the Boilermakers, the opposite is also true.
Josh Robinson was the leading score for Normal West with 23, while senior Zach Breen had 15 for the Wildcats.