The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Sports

January 29, 2013

Danville back on winning track

DANVILLE —  Steven Williams couldn’t have picked a better time to take his first charge.

The 5-foot-11 senior for Danville High made one his team’s biggest plays in the final minutes of the Vikings 44-41 victory over the Urbana Tigers on Monday night.

“It wasn’t one of our better games, but we finished the best that we’ve done all year,’’ said Williams, as Danville improved to 4-16 overall and 3-9 in the Big 12 Conference.

“We’ve had great games before. Centennial was unbelievable, but a terrible finish (losing 45-43), so it was all forgotten,’’ Danville first-year coach Ted Houpt said. “That was the most poised finish that we’ve had.

“As the year has gone along, you want to see improvements in important areas.’’

Urbana led by as much as five in the final quarter and the Tigers, who fall to 6-13 overall and 3-8 in the Big 12, took a 41-40 lead with 2 minutes, 41 seconds left on a three-point play from Conner Gremer.

But unlike some other games this season, Danville didn’t buckle under the late-game pressure.

Junior Denzel Smith, who missed Friday’s contest with an ankle injury, got a tip-in with 1:54 left giving the Vikings a 42-41 lead.

“It felt much better tonight being wrapped up and I iced it all weekend to get ready for tonight,’’ Smith said. “I knew I would be able to go and I knew my team would need me.’’

Junior Marcus Merriweather hit two free throws with 1:05 left giving Danville a 44-41 lead, setting up Williams for his big defensive play.

Urbana’s Donald McKinley, who scored a game-high 23 points, drove down the right-side of lane and Williams was there.

“I saw him coming to the hole, and we’ve been talking about taking charges all season,’’ Williams said. “I saw an opportunity to take it and I stepped in and took it.

“It’s the first one that I’ve gotten all year, but it’s not the first one that I’ve tried to take.’’

Houpt said it was first charge Danville has taken as a team in that kind of situation.

“It was a great play, a winning play,’’ Houpt said. “It was the difference in the game.’’

After the offensive foul, Urbana still had another shot to tie the game as Danville’s Smith got called for a lane violation as he made the front end of the 1-and-1.

Still clinging to the three-point lead, Gremer launched a 3-pointer in the final seconds that went long.

“I think most people in the gym thought it was going in, I know I did,’’ Houpt said. “I know that kid hadn’t hit a lot. Our guys went flying and he had a wide-open look. I’m thinking, I’ve seen this one before, this is going down. I was very surprised it didn’t.

“That young man hit some good shots in the first game (Gremer had nine points and a 3-pointer in Urbana’s 59-49 win over Danville on Dec. 4) and I knew he was capable of hitting that shot.’’

The winning plays that the Vikings made in the fourth quarter overcame a few poor decisions in the first three — including Smith’s foul on McKinley half-court shot attempt at the end of the third quarter.

McKinley sank all three free throws with no time on the clock, giving the Tigers a 34-32 lead heading into the final eight minutes.

But during that final quarter, Danville’s defense forced Urbana into seven turnovers with junior Trent Sherfield getting a pair of steals during that stretch.

“We needed winning plays and I think people see Trent as a winner because of his success and leadership on the football field,’’ Houpt said. “ I was just thinking let’s see if he can make a few plays and he did. He made a couple of big hustle plays.’’

After winning just two of their first 14 games, Danville has now won two of its last four.

“Hopefully, this tells everyone that we’re not done this year,’’ said Smith, who had a team-high 14 points and six rebounds.

And that’s something Houpt says has been a positive this year.

“You keep looking at the next game,’’ said Houpt about how this team has handled this season. “They keep coming to practice, and working hard.’’

So what can a big win over a rival like Urbana do for Danville?

“Hopefully this win will give us some energy for the rest of the season, so that we can get a few more wins,’’ Williams said.

Next up for Danville will be the Normal West Wildcats at home on Friday night. The sophomore game starts at 6 p.m. with the varsity contest tentatively set for 7:30 p.m.

In the sophomore contest on Monday night, Urbana defeated Danville 52-26. Aubrey Duncan led the Vikings with six points.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • SPT - CN0801 - Dans photo 2 Troubles continue DANVILLE­­­ — The Danville Dans dropped their fourth straight game on Thursday night, falling 5-1 to the visiting West Virginia Miners at historic Danville Stadium for the final regular season home contest of the season.The game started a little on t

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • Conservation World highlights outdoor activities at State Fair Free activities and entertainment for youth and families will give Illinois State Fair visitors a chance to sample great ways to spend time in the great outdoors in Illinois at Conservation World at this year’s state fair, on Aug. 8-17 in Springfield

    August 1, 2014

  • Local Sports Calendar TODAYLocal TennisMcTagertt Tennis Tournament at North MontgomerySATURDAYLocal TennisMcTagertt Tournament at Fountain CentralProspect League BaseballDanville Dans at Hannibal Cavemen, 7:05 p.m.TODAYAuto RacingNASCAR Sprint Cup Series: GOBOWLING.com 40

    August 1, 2014

  • SPT - CN0731 - Dans photo 1 Danville boots one away DANVILLE — Keith Shumaker, an every day first baseman, was tied for the team lead in RBIs this season, before making his first start on the mound.But that was the least of the concerns for the Danville Dans, who made four fielding errors en route to

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Local Sports Calendar TODAYProspect League BaseballWest Virginia Miners at Danville Dans, 6:30 p.m.Local TennisMcTagertt Tennis Tournament at North Montgomery, 3:30 p.m.FRIDAYLocal TennisMcTagertt Tennis Tournament at North MontgomerySATURDAYLocal TennisMcTagertt Tourname

    July 31, 2014

  • SPT - CN0730 - Dans baseball photo 1 Dans continue to struggle DANVILLE — The Danville Dans haven’t exactly been playing their best baseball in the second half of the season. After taking the West Division title in the first half with a 19-11 record, Danville has played sub-.500 baseball in the second half and c

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - CN0730 - Illini football media photo Experienced Illini looking for success CHICAGO — Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Tim Beckman is hoping that the third time is the charm.Beckman begins his third season at the helm of the Illini, and with the nucleus of last season’s team returning, it may finally be time for Illinois

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - CN0730 - Purdue football media photo Hazell hopes for smooth second season CHICAGO — After a season to forget in 2013, Purdue head coach Darrell Hazell is expecting better results as his team begins training camp next week. Hazell spoke to the media during the 2014 Big Ten Football Media Days at the Hilton Chicago, and afte

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local Sports Calendar TODAYProspect League BaseballHannibal Cavemen at Danville Dans, 6:30 p.m.THURSDAYProspect League BaseballWest Virginia Miners at Danville Dans, 6:30 p.m.Local TennisMcTagertt Tennis Tournament at North Montgomery, 3:30 p.m.FRIDAYLocal TennisMcTagertt

    July 30, 2014

  • SPT - CN0729 - Dustbowl photo 2 Repeat performance Championship Sunday was in full swing at the 42nd Annual Dustbowl at David S. Palmer Arena. In the men’s division it was defending champions Leek & Sons against the Hickory Beavers. Leek & Sons made it back to back championships with a 29-point victo

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

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
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
NDN Video
Famous Internet Cats Help Big Cause With Viral Video Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza