The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Sports

January 9, 2013

Guard play boosts Hilltoppers

DANVILLE —  The original game plan of the Schlarman Academy Hilltoppers entering Tuesday’s Vermilion Valley Conference contest against the Chrisman Cardinals was to exploit the significant size advantage the Hilltoppers held.

It rarely happened. In reality, they didn’t have to, and at times, the guard play of senior Austin Calhoun and freshman Michael Simmons made the Schlarman Academy big men a second option.

Hilltoppers post players Maher Samawi and Chris Kuchefski each scored six points in their 51-28 win over the Cardinals, and Kuchefski pulled down five rebounds and had three blocks. Forward Andrew Kelley also finished with six rebounds.

But it was the duo of Simmons and Calhoun that ultimately gave the Cardinals fits and left their effort seeming lackluster and poignant in the eyes of Chrisman coach Greg Gisinger.

“I thought we came out with no heart,” Gisinger said. “I thought we played soft, and messed around. They wanted to play more than we did. I think we wanted to stay at home tonight.”

Any lack of effort on the part of the Cardinals was magnified as the defense of the Hilltoppers produced a 21-4 first-quarter lead behind the nearly perfect shooting of Calhoun who scored 11 of his game-high 22 points in the frame. Schlarman Academy (13-6 overall, 4-1 in the VVC) had six steals in the first quarter, and limited Chrisman’s offensive opportunities.

“I told those guys in the locker room that they had an outstanding performance tonight, both of them,” Schlarman Academy coach Gary Tidwell said of Calhoun and Simmons. “Austin was tough to stop around the bucket and did a great job defensively as well. He just used his athleticism around the rim.

“Michael made some outstanding decisions in the open court, took it coast-to-coast a couple times. He’s just really been improving leaps and bounds throughout the course of the season. The thing that makes him even more of a challenge to guard is he’s able to knock down the three-point shot. He’s been doing a good job of that, and he did that at the beginning of the game, which stretched their defense. Those two, it was definitely a one-two punch tonight out of those guards.”

Simmons scored 15, grabbed seven rebounds, and accounted for five of Schlarman Academy’s 10 steals. The freshman point guard scored the Hilltoppers’ first eight points of the third quarter on perfect accuracy beginning with a three-pointer that gave his team a 34-14 lead.

“Michael is a very fast, good point guard,” Calhoun said. “He’s got really good handles. We work really well together. Being a freshman, he’s got a really good career ahead of him.

“If he needs to drive, he’s good at kicking it out. If I’m driving, he knows where to be. He’s always my opposite. He just knows the court really well.”

Simmons not only saw the court well Tuesday, but saw the rim well, too. He scored his first points of the game roughly one minute into the contest. Just after Kuchefski scored the game’s opening points on a rebound basket, Simmons gave Schlarman Academy a 5-0 lead on a three, which was followed shortly after by a three by Calhoun. Calhoun went on to score the Hilltoppers’ final eight points of the period, including a layup as the buzzer sounded when he stole the Cardinals’ inbounds pass under the basket.

“It was good getting a conference win,” Calhoun said. “Every conference game is a big game for us. We’re just really looking forward to being at the top of our conference. Coming off a loss was pretty devastating, but we bounced back really well tonight.”

The win was much-needed coming off a 16-point loss to Cissna Park, and the schedule doesn’t get any easier as the Hilltoppers travel to Bloomington on Saturday for the Central Catholic Shootout where they face Decatur St. Teresa (11-1).

1
Text Only
Sports
  • SPT- CN0725 - Dustbowl photo 2 Stars advance to boys final DANVILLE — The 42nd Annual Dustbowl action continued Thursday at David S. Palmer Arena with the High School Boys basketball division in full swing as four games were played and all eight teams participated. In game one of the winner’s bracket of sem

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - CN0725 - Atwood photo Baseball community to honor Atwood DANVILLE — Whether it was working on the field or running a tournament, there wasn’t anything that Frank Atwood wouldn’t do for the game of baseball.His love for the game created numerous opportunities for the youth of the Danville area as Atwood ser

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dans get a split of doubleheader with Cavemen HANNIBAL, Mo. — The Danville Dans won the first game of a doubleheader with the Hannibal Cavemen 3-1 on Thursday before losing the second game 5-3 to get a split.In the first game, Corbin Olmstead pitched seven innings with eight strikeouts to get th

    July 25, 2014

  • Danville Post 210 Speakers fall to Rantoul CHARLESTON — Playing five games in five days finally took its toll on the Danville Post 210 Speakers.Rantoul’s Tanner McLain delivered a game-winning, two-out single to left to give his team a 6-5 victory over Danville in an elimination game of the F

    July 24, 2014

  • Juniors continue to play at Danville Tennis Open DANVILLE — The juniors were still on the court in the Greater Danville Tennis Open on Wednesday as three division titles were given out.Rachael Lewis won the girls 18 and under singles title with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Lauren Ellis, while the team of Er

    July 24, 2014

  • SPT- CN0723- Dans photo 2 Thurston gets first win DANVILLE — Getting those Ws is the goal of every pitcher.Danville’s Chase Thurston has been seeking his first collegiate victory all year. The former Danville High standout finally got it on Tuesday night when the Danville Dans defeated the Springfie

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT- CN0723 - Dustbowl photo 1 Shooting Stars sprint past MB Squad DANVILLE —Tuesday’s action from the Dustbowl at the David S. Palmer Arena featured two games in the Girls High School Division with two local teams — MB Squad and Shooting Stars — squaring off in round-robin play to advance to Sunday’s championship.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Pitching boosts Speakers CHARLESTON — The Danville Post 210 Speakers’ pitching is coming along at the right time.With strong performances from Austin Millholland and Dalton Strawser, the Speakers defeated Piatt County 5-1 to move on in the Fourth Division Tournament.“The sto

    July 23, 2014

  • SPT - CN0722 - Post 210 Baseball photo 1 Speakers stay alive TILTON — Danville Post 210 baseball got their revenge Sunday afternoon and did it in style. After losing to Shelby County in the Fourth Division Tournament opener on Saturday, Danville had to win two games on Sunday if they wanted to advance and keep

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - CN0722 - VCS photo Youth gets served at VCS Fan Appreciation Night OAKWOOD — The Vermilion County Speedway Fan Appreciation Night was more a spotlight for the youth on and off the track.While kids in the stands had bike races and decided the order for racers in certain feature races, there was a bunch of kids going

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

E-edition
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

Must Read
AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites
NDN Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot