The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Sports

November 25, 2012

Toppers gobble up Tigers

DANVILLE — Suffering their first loss of the season on Friday to St. Thomas More left a bad taste in the mouths of the Schlarman Academy Hilltoppers. Dropping a five-point decision to a more experienced team in the midst of adversity could have been scored a victory in the minds of the youthful Hilltoppers. But it wasn’t.

Coming so close to winning a game when the odds were stacked against them only made Schlarman Academy hungrier.

Fortunately, the Hilltoppers had less than 24 hours to let their hunger build, and when they finally took the court on Saturday, were able to feast on the Paris Tigers in a 54-42 win in the finale of the Topper Classic.

“It really motivated us to push ourselves to be better,” Hilltoppers senior guard Austin Calhoun said. “We got a bad taste of losing, and we wanted to get back to that mental state of always being competitors and winning. That’s what pushed us.

“I think it shows a lot about our players and our hard work in how we were able to bounce back from a loss that was pretty important last night,” he continued. “I think it shows a lot about our character as players to be able to bounce back and get a win the next day.”

Schlarman Academy improved to 2-1 overall with the win, showing immediate improvement from last season’s record. The Hilltoppers began the 2011-2012 campaign 3-7 and didn’t record their second win until six games into the season.

First year head coach Gary Tidwell credits the team’s senior leadership of Calhoun, Andrew Kelley, and Maher Samawi for leading the young squad and keeping it positive even when adversity might strike.

Despite earning a 12-point win, the Hilltoppers struggled to gain control early in the contest. The Tigers (1-2) got into foul trouble in the first quarter, but instead of Schlarman Academy taking advantage, it was Paris that went on a 9-0 run during a four-minute, eight second stretch in the second quarter.

The Hilltoppers trailed 26-21 at the break, but quickly regained momentum with the help of a 9-1 run of their own at the beginning of the second half. The outburst gave Schlarman Academy the lead at the 6:27 mark of the third, and ultimately stretched its advantage to eight points while Paris remained scoreless for over two minutes.

Much of the success was a result of working the ball inside to 6-foot-6 forward Chris Kuchefski.

“Chris stepped up and Austin did a nice job getting the ball to him,” Tidwell said. “That was a big pressure release because they were pressuring our guards pretty heavily on the outside. Chris relieved that pressure quite a bit. He had an outstanding game tonight.”

Kuchefski finished the game with 10 points and seven rebounds, and also swatted four blocks on the defensive end of the court.

Calhoun led all scorers with 25 points, and had seven rebounds, three steals, and one block. Having Calhoun in the lineup for the entire contest definitely paid off for the Hilltoppers, but Tidwell also began to see glimpses of maturation in freshmen starters Michael Simmons and Gannon Hughes.

Simmons scored 11 points including a three-pointer at the halftime buzzer that pulled the Hilltoppers to within five, and another three in the fourth quarter just after Schlarman Academy took its final lead of the game. Hughes also scored eight points on two three-pointers and a pair of free throws that cushioned his team’s lead with only 54 seconds remaining in the game.

But Tidwell was also pleased with the way they handled a situation late in the fourth when, with an eight-point lead, the Hilltoppers were patient during a one-minute, 20-second possession that forced the Tigers to begin fouling with just under three minutes to go.

“I think our freshmen kept their composure late in the game,” Tidwell said. “We had a lead at the end at the two-and-a-half or three-minute mark. We wanted to pull it out. They weren’t in the bonus yet. I thought we were smart overall with the basketball. It was the first opportunity as a team, especially with the younger guys, to be put in that position, and they did a great job.”

Calhoun finished the tournament with a total of 67 points and was named to the all-tournament team, as was Landon Larrance of Paris, Judah Christian’s Ethan Chitty, and St. Thomas More guard Kyler Jones. St. Thomas More’s Kevin Carroll was named the tournament MVP. St. Thomas More secured its third Topper Classic title since 2009 while the Hilltoppers finished second.

Schlarman Academy will have a break before jumping into Vermilion Valley Conference play on December 7 against defending conference champs, Bismarck-Henning.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • NASCAR Brickyard 400 Auto Racing [Duplicate] Harvick sets the pace at Indy INDIANAPOLIS — Growing up in Bakersfield, Calif., IndyCar driver Rick Mears was the childhood hero for Kevin Harvick.Mears is one of three men to have won four Indianapolis 500s and he has won a career-best six poles for the “Greatest Spectacle in Ra

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT- CN0727 - Dustbowl photo 1 Click Clak Tre wins consolation championship DANVILLE — Saturday’s Dustbowl action at the David S. Palmer Arena had a full day of action ending with the Men’s Division Consolation Championship Game. The Consolation Championship was played between Rantoul’s Mon Stars (Rantoul) and Click Clak Tre

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • No Headline Provided DANVILLE — Adult action started at the Greater Danville Tennis Open on Saturday with one title decided. Stacy Wells won the women's open singles division with a 6-2, 1-6, 6-2 win over Katie Larck. The rest of the action was mostly semifinal play. IN

    July 27, 2014

  • Dans photo 27.jpg Dans get past Cavemen

    Shumaker hits a home run with two RBIs as Danville defeats Hannibal after delay

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT- CN0726 - Dans photo 1 Dans make most of second chance DANVILLE — Baseball can be a funny game, and as often is the case, a player can be the goat one minute, and the hero the next.Trevor Rucker blooped a shot down the right field line that caromed off the glove of Hannibal second baseman Jeff Smith to d

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • 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

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
13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
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