The Commercial-News, Danville, IL


February 5, 2013

Salt Fork gets hot, defeats Milford

ARMSTRONG — Salt Fork coach Jeff Carleton thought all year that his Storm girls basketball team had the opportunity to win a regional championship.

Through the first two months of the season, that probably looked like a pipe dream when Salt Fork won just three of its first 17 games.

But when it has counted the most, the Storm have won six straight including Monday’s 42-32 win over the Milford Bearcats in and IHSA Class 1A quarterfinal contest at Bezley Gymnasium in Armstrong.

“I told these girls all year long that they didn’t believe in themselves at the beginning,’’ Carleton said. “We were losing games. We had leads in the fourth quarters of those games, but we were throwing them away at the end.

“All of the sudden, we’ve recently started winning a few games, they started believing and we are playing our best basketball right now.’’

With the win over Milford on Monday, Salt Fork (10-16) advances to Tuesday’s semifinal contest against the top-seeded Armstrong-Potomac Trojans.

“I told them all along we had a great shot to win this regional and I still believe that,’’ he said. “Now, they are believing it, so watch out.’’

Salt Fork’s recent turnaround has coincided with the return of senior Heather Ellis to the lineup.

Ellis, who missed more than a month of the season with mono, scored a game-high 11 points and led the Storm with seven rebounds.

“She didn’t come back until Jan. 1,’’ Carleton said. “She is just one month into her season and she has come on huge in the last three games.

“She is finally getting her legs back underneath her. That has helped us a bunch.’’

For Ellis, there was no way that she was going to let her senior season end without her being 100 percent.

“I was completely drained because of the mono,’’ she said. “All I wanted to do is sleep. I missed some practices because I was too tired and I even fell asleep in a practice.

“Once I got back to practicing, I got into the gym more. I started shooting more and getting myself ready for the postseason.’’

It showed as Ellis had a season-high 23 in a win over Westville last Thursday and she scored seven points during Salt Fork’s pivotal third quarter on Monday.

The Storm turned its 16-13 halftime lead into a 15-point advantage (35-20) heading into the fourth quarter.

Milford, which ends its season at 12-16, committed seven turnovers in that third quarter leading directly to 10 points for Salt Fork.

“We just didn’t take very good care of the basketball. They came out hungrier than we were in the second half,’’ said Milford coach Rod Burgett, noting his Bearcats had a full lineup for first time in a while on Monday night. “We tried to get healthy at the right time and they got hot at the right time.

“When you get hot this time of the year, it’s a good thing.’’

Ellis said the key to them getting hot is that the team has been playing with the “right mental mindset” in the last six games.

“We started playing as a team,’’ she said. “Everyone came together as a family.

“This is the time of the year that you needed to get going and we did.’’

Carleton admitted getting all players on the same page was a difficult task.

“We had a little bit of not wanting to run the offense in the beginning of the season, and we had some people wanting to do their own things,’’ he said. “They had a couple of team meetings and they made the changes necessary.’’

Another senior making a big impact for Salt Fork on Monday night was Toria Plotner, who had six points, five rebounds and four steals.

Two of her thefts came in third quarter helping the Storm go on a 13-0 run.

“She is going to get her points off of good defense,’’ Carleton said. “If I need someone stopped, she is the one I looking at on our team.’’

While Salt Fork’s defense set up the 13-0 run, the offense was also 8-of-11 from the field in the third quarter.

“We went to our man-to-man defense and they just picked us apart,’’ Burgett said. “We were hoping to cause them some trouble with it, but it turned out to be the opposite.’’

Kylie Thrust was the leading scorer for the Bearcats with 10 points and she also pulled down a game-high nine rebounds.

Text Only
  • SPT- Cn0418 - Covington softball photo 2 Trojans cruise to victory COVINGTON, Ind. - The Covington softball team had a big first inning as they scored five runs on their way to defeating Attica 11-1. Attica threatened to score in the first, getting Karrah Pattengale to second, but they were unable to drive her home.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lunger steps up for Buffaloes GEORGETOWN -- In only the second start of his career, Georgetown-Ridge Farm/Chrisman pitcher Tyler Lunger pitched a five-hit complete game as the Buffaloes defeated Milford 8-2 on Thursday in Vermilion Valley Conference action. "I feel I threw well

    April 18, 2014

  • SPT - CN0418 - Danville boys tennis photo Maroons blitz young Vikings DANVILLE -- In the process of gaining experience, the Danville boys tennis team has taken a few lumps in the first few weeks of season. On Thursday afternoon, the Champaign Central Maroons delivered a few lessons to the younger Vikings with a 9-0 vic

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Peelman pitches no-hitter as Vikings beat Maroons CHAMPAIGN -- Alissa Peelman pitched a no-hitter as the Danville High School softball team beat Champaign Central 11-0 in five innings on Thursday in Big 12 Conference action. Peelman was also 3-of-4 with three RBIs for the Vikings while Mackenzie Kin

    April 18, 2014

  • Thursday's Local Scores PREP BASEBALL At Georgetown Georgetown-Ridge Farm/Chrisman 8, Milford 2 Milford 101 000 0 -- 2 5 10 GRFC 200 141 x -- 8 8 3 WP -- Tyler Lunger. LP -- Clayton Rieches. Two or more hits -- GRFC: Dylan Bina, Ethan Silva. 2B

    April 18, 2014

  • SPT - CN0417 - Andy Bott photo Better late than never for Bott BISMARCK -- Marshall golf coach Matt Grobe completely surprised Bismarck-Henning standout Andy Bott with an e-mail earlier this year. Bott, who is a three-time all-stater for the Blue Devils, was preparing to attend Illinois Wesleyan in the fall. "Ou

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT- CN0417- Westville softball photo Nourie, Tigers beat Comets 20-4 in five inning game MUNCIE -- On a very windy day which made playing softball tough for both teams, Westville defeated Oakwood in five innings 20-4 with some good offensive production and a solid pitching performance from Stefanie Nourie. Nourie got her first win of the

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT- Cn0417 - Seeger baseball photo 2 Falcons make quick work of Pats WEST LEBANON, Ind. - North Vermillion sent 11 batters to the plate in the top of the first inning and scored seven runs en route to a 13-1 win over the homestanding Seeger Patriots. The visiting Falcons got five hits including doubles by Jordan West

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - CN0417 - Local Roundup photo Salt Fork's Learnard pitches perfect game JAMAICA -- Salt Fork's Ross Learnard finally got back on the mound on Wednesday for the first time in a week and he did not disappoint, pitching a perfect game as the Salt Fork baseball team beat Schlarman Academy in five innings. "He had his breakin

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT- CN0416 - NV softball photo 2 Patriots smash Falcons CAYUGA, Ind. - Seeger took an early lead, extended it and then kept North Vermillion at bay as the Patriots defeated the host Falcons 14-3 in five innings. The visitors scored one run in the top of the first inning and, after North Vermillion went do

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

NCAA basketball
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:

Must Read
AP Video
Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dead at 87 Beau Biden Plans 2016 Run for Del. Governor Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
NDN Video
Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday The trillest thoughts on marijuana "RHOA" Star Charged With Battery Grizzly Bears Get Snowy Birthday Party Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN Elizabeth Olsen's Sexy Shoot Bay Area Teen Gets Prom Date With Help From 'Breaking Bad' Star Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Behind The Tanlines Jersey Strong Part 1 WATCH: Women Fight To Marry Prince Harry! Jenny McCarthy Engaged to "New Kid" Kate and Will Land in Oz O’Reilly Launches Preemptive Strike Against CBS Pixar Unveils Easter Eggs From its Biggest Movies