The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Sports

March 23, 2013

Hurricanes find a way to win

DANVILLE — Led by 19 points from Kevin Williams and 18 points from Terance Christian, the Louisburg Hurricanes claimed a hard fought 69-66 win over the Howard Dragons to advance to the NJCAA Men’s Division II National Basketball Tournament consolation championship game.

Coming off a 100-point performance in a win against Essex, the Hurricanes — the top scoring team in the tournament after two games — could never pull away from a Dragons team that they had defeated by 30 points in the regular season.

“When we played them earlier in the year we were at home and everything was going in for us,” Williams said. “Today we knew it would be defense that would be the key to the win and were able to play good defense. We kept a level head, battled some fatigue, and got ourselves into a trophy game by pulling out the win.”

Louisburg was ranked No. 1 in the final Division II regular season poll and seeded third coming into the tournament.

“We knew this was going to be a tough game because consolation bracket games are all about heart and we knew that Howard has a lot of heart,” said Louisburg coach Mark Vanderslice. “After we beat them by 30 points, we knew — as our guys would say — that they wouldn’t come into the national tournament and get punk’d. We had some chances to get some separation, but Howard wasn’t going to be denied late and kept it close to the final possession.”

Making their first appearance at the national tournament, Howard was led by a game-high 20 points from Alie Kondeh and ends it season with a record of 17-14.

“Coming into this game, I told our guys that this was our championship game,” said Howard coach Mike Smelkinson. “Especially after the way we lost to them in the regular season, I couldn’t be more proud of the way our guys played today. We still had a chance on the last shot and everyone on our team expected that shot to go in. It was from half-court, but it was still a great shot and Brandon Spain has made that shot before.”

The Hurricanes got out to an early lead, but the Dragons rallied to tie for the first time at 9-9 and the score was tied 20-20 with two minutes to go in the first half.

Louisburg would close the half on a 9-2 run to take a 29-22 lead into halftime. Williams would score the final points of the half on a buzzer beating layup.

“That basket gave us some momentum, “Williams said. “It helped us have something to take into half time we could use to get some more momentum going in the second half.”

The Hurricanes opened their largest lead of the game at 31-22 on the first basket of the second half, but the Dragons continued to battle back over the next 15 minutes and cut the deficit to 56-53 with five minutes to go. The lead was 62-60 with 1:30 to go. The Hurricanes would struggle late at the foul line, but Christian hit 1-of-2 with 3.9 seconds remaining to seal the win.

“Fatigue carries a lot of weight in a tournament like this and I think that affected us at the line as a lot of our shots were short,” Vanderslice said. “We had guys coming up short who have hit clutch free throws all season. The Williams basket was also big because it gave us a teachable moment going into halftime. It was a broken play but the ball ended up with exactly who we wanted to get the ball and sometimes it works out that way for you.

“I can’t honestly say it’s been a fantasy of mine to play for the consolation championship, but Mott has won those titles for a reason and they are certainly a team that could be contending for a national title. It’s a nice match-up and we will need to be ready to go.”

Louisburg will face the Mott Bears for the consolation championship at Noon today.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • 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

  • No Headline Provided Trojans get past Ramblers STAFF REPORT sports@dancomnews.com ATTICA, Ind. -- Regan Foster hit a home run and drove in three runs as the Covington softball team defeated Attica 8-5 on Tuesday in Wabash River Conference action. Andi Taylor had three hi

    April 16, 2014

  • Tuesday's Local Scores |PREP SOFTBALL At Attica, Ind. Covington 8, Attica 5 Covington 120 004 1 — 8 10 4 Attica 001 100 3 — 5 8 2 WP — Ali Holmes. LP — Torrie Ward. Two or more hits — C: Andi Taylor 3 A: Alexis Burris

    April 16, 2014

  • SPT - CN0415 - DACC baseball jump photo DACC splits with Parkland DANVILLE -- To quote Bull Durham, "this is a very simple game. You throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains." Despite eminent threats in the forecast, it didn't rain on Sunday at

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - CN0415 - Local roundup photo Danville standout Smith signs with Wabash Valley DANVILLE -- A year ago, Mike Carpenter left Danville Area Community College to take the head coaching position at Wabash Valley College. On Monday afternoon, Carpenter returned to Vermilion County and this time, he secured the services of Danville Hi

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • No Headline Provided Local COLLEGE BASEBALL At Danville Stadium, Danville Game 1 Parkland College 5, Danville Area Community College 3 Parkland 100 310 0 -- 5 9 0 Danville Area 000 300 0 -- 3 7 1 WP -- Bryce Pennington. LP -- Zach Anderson. Two or more hits -- Parkland:

    April 15, 2014

  • Local Sports Calendar TODAY Prep Baseball Covington at Attica, 3:30 p.m. Seeger at North Vermillion, 3:30 p.m. Danville at Schlarman Academy, 4:30 p.m. Salt Fork at Tri-Valley, 4:30 p.m. Prep Softball Seeger at North Vermillion, 3:30 p.m. Covington at Attica, 3:30 p.m. Un

    April 15, 2014

  • SPT - CN0413 - CN Boys POY photo Rising to new HEIGHTS DANVILLE -- Before last season, the name Denzel Smith probably didn't mean a whole lot in the prep boys basketball world. But with a breakout season during his junior year, Smith all of the sudden started popping up on the radars of a lot of basketba

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT- CN0413 - Danville girls soccer photo 1 Vikings show skill in 7-0 victory DANVILLE -- One of the most promising aspects of this year's Danville High girls soccer team is its depth. Head coach Katie Gremar has believed since the beginning of the season that her squad has tremendous potential, and much of that confidence has

    April 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT- CN0413 - Illinois football photo Beckman still looking for answers after game CHAMPAIGN -- Hopefully, the third time is the charm. University of Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Tim Beckman began his third year on Saturday with the annual Spring game at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, and there are still a lot of questions t

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

E-edition
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: http://smu.gs/1iCWKnP

Must Read
AP Video
Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge US Supports Ukraine's Efforts to Calm Tensions Suspect in Kansas Shootings Faces Murder Charges Ukraine: Military Recaptures Eastern Airport Raw: Storm Topples RVs Near Miss. Gulf Coast NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse Pistorius Cries During Final Cross-Examination The Boston Marathon Bombing: One Year Later Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement First Women Move to Army Platoon Artillery Jobs Sex Offenders Charged in Serial Killings Police: Woman Stored Dead Babies in Garage OC Serial Murder Suspects May Have More Victims Family: 2 Shot in Head at Kan. Jewish Center Raw: Horse Jumping Inspires 'Bunny Hop' After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida Popular Science Honors Year's Top Inventions ND Oil Boom Attracting Drug Traffickers
NDN Video
8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Toddler climbs into vending machine Much-Anticipated 'Gone Girl' Trailer Finally Debuts! (VIDEO) Dog and Toddler Wear Matching Outfits in Adorable Photo Series VP Biden: "World witnesses ordinary citizens doing extraordinary things" It's Official! Michael Strahan Joins "GMA" Blood Moon Time-lapse Actress Lake Bell Goes Topless The Five Weirdest Local Taxes in America Applicants Vying for 'World's Toughest Job' Get Heartwarming Surprise Awkward: Crist catches Lt. Gov. insulting him on camera NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse US Airways Tweets Graphic Photo of Nude Woman Behind the scenes of the Marathon anniversary photo shoot American Airlines Responds After Girl Tweets Alleged Terror Threat 'Joke' Charlie White's "Dancing" Mistake Olympic Great & Baltimore Native Michael Phelps Ends Retirement; Eyes Rio 2014 NFL Draft: Potential Booms And Busts William and Kate Squash Baby No. 2 Rumors With a Wine-Tasting Trip Who Showed Up at Coachella?