DANVILLE — Never in his two seasons as the head coach of Danville Vikings has Ted Houpt walked off the floor at Danville High School with the feeling he had on Friday night.
Houpt struggled to find the right words to describe his team’s 64-47 loss to the Champaign Central Maroons in a Big 12 Conference boys basketball game.
“Embarrassed is a strong work, but that’s what it was,’’ he said. “Just not proud of what is going on. We’ve had some heart-wrenching defeats ... that’s a different kind of pain. Those hurt bad, but you can live them. This is the type that you can’t live with.’’
Unlike previous home games where the Vikings (6-13 overall, 4-8 in the Big 12) have fallen behind and made strong comebacks in the second half (Normal West and Normal Community in the last month), this time around, there was no energy for a comeback.
Danville went from leading 22-21 with 5 minutes, 33 seconds left in the second quarter to trailing 53-30 at the end of three quarters. Central (11-9 overall, 5-5 in the Big 12) went on a 32-8 run.
“That is just something we haven’t done here at home,’’ Houpt said, “We have been down before, so we have some experience with that, but we have always found a way to pull together make a run. Tonight, we didn’t pull together and that is something we have prided ourselves on a as a program.
“The people around this program have been patient and very supportive because they have seen that we were giving good effort and they know that we have things to work on. They appreciate that we are genuine in our beliefs in our efforts. This was a giant step backwards.’’
But, Houpt was also quick to point out that these things can happen to any team on any level in a long season.