The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Sports

February 9, 2014

Vikings fall under the pressure

DANVILLE — Turnovers has been an issue for the Danville boys basketball team this season.

On Saturday night, Decatur MacArthur turned up the defensive pressure, forcing 24 turnovers as the Generals won their eighth straight contest with a 65-53 victory over the Vikings in a Big 12 Conference contest.

"We don't have lots of ball handlers on this team,'' Danville coach Ted Houpt said. "Execution depends on making a good pass. We've got big guys with the ball in their hands that are not used to it.

"But, we can do better. We need to get guys in the right spots with a clear purpose. It's something we have struggled with this year.''

But after Friday's loss to Champaign Central (64-47), Houpt had a much different perspective on how his Vikings played on Saturday night.

"Absolutely no doubt the effort was there,'' he said. "Those guys stayed together through the tough times and fought hard. We didn't get a lot of breaks in this game, but our guys stayed together and they were committed to the fight.

"We got the will, we just have to develop the skill.''

One of the areas that Danville didn't get any breaks can easily be seen in the post-game statistics.

MacArthur, which improved to 12-6 overall and 5-4 in the conference, managed to shoot 30 free throws — making 14 — while Danville was limited to just 4-of-6 at the free-throw line in the contest.

And while those numbers seemed to be a little one-sided, Houpt was still more concerned with his team's ball-handling issues.

"Every team has weaknesses, and right now, that's our area of weakness,'' he said. "It's not a knock on any one player, because these guys are going what they can do right now. We, as the program, need to do a better job of developing some ball handlers.''

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NJCAA Tourney Photos 2014


Check out the action at the NJCAA Division II National Men's Basketball Tournament March 18-22 at DACC. Buy photos from the Commercial-News here: http://smu.gs/1iCWKnP

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