The Commercial-News, Danville, IL


January 23, 2013

Tigers shut down Hilltoppers

WESTVILLE —  It might be hard to fool a coaching veteran like Westville head coach Jeff Millis. He’s been around awhile. And he’s coached in a lot of Vermilion County Tournaments. Perhaps more importantly, he’s coached teams in games immediately following the County Tournament.

Though the Tigers won this year’s tournament for the first time since 1995, he didn’t want his team to be tricked into thinking the rest of the season would be a breeze. So, he stressed the importance of using the victory as positive momentum, and continuing to build on the success.

They took the words to heart, and in a pivotal Vermilion Valley Conference home game on Tuesday against Schlarman Academy, the Tigers won their 10th consecutive game, defeating the Hilltoppers 40-24.

“I told the kids after the game, ‘You’re not going to believe this, guys, but I’m more proud of how you played tonight than how you played Saturday night,’” Millis said. “Not that I’m not happy with their effort on Saturday, but I’ve been in this business a long time and I’ve seen a lot of teams not play very well after the County Tournament, period, let alone when you win it. So, I was really proud of the effort that we played with.”

The win keeps the Tigers’ conference record a perfect 6-0 with a key contest coming up on Friday against Bismarck-Henning, which is also undefeated in the VVC.

Not only did Westville (17-4) avoid a letdown after securing its County title, it refused to look past the Hilltoppers (14-8 overall, 4-2 in the VVC) who have been battling for their own spot at the top of the conference standings.

The Tigers proved as much by forcing the Hilltoppers to call a time out just three minutes, 21 seconds into the game after committing three quick turnovers, and finding themselves down 8-0. By halftime, Westville had built an 18-9 lead, and that was even after a poor offensive showing in the second quarter in which it scored only four points.

But even with their brief offensive woes, the Tigers never trailed in the game in large part to applying defensive pressure that the Hilltoppers could not break.

Schlarman Academy was forced into a total of 24 turnovers — 10 on steals, two five-second calls, three traveling violations, four offensive fouls, and five occasions in which they simply threw the ball away.

“It’s big,” Westville guard Tanner Cox said. “Guarding the guy that brings the ball up the court, you obviously have to put a lot of pressure on the ball. It sets the tone for the rest of the game, especially for the rest of your teammates.

“We heard that they are a good ball team, and they are a good ball team. But we came out and pressured them, and forced them into some turnovers. We did our job on defense.”

Cox finished with a game-high 16 points, but also had two assists and three steals. Layn White also scored nine for the Tigers and had four steals.

The Hilltoppers went on a 9-0 run in the third quarter to pull to within 20-18. The stretch included a four-point play when Chris Kuchefski was fouled on a basket and missed the free throw only to see Maher Samawi get the offensive rebound and putback.

The play sparked life into the Hilltoppers and their fans, but the comeback was short-lived. The Tigers immediately responded with a 14-2 run over the ensuing 4:44.

It was the lowest point total of the season for Schlarman Academy, and its largest margin of defeat since losing to Cissna Park 42-26 on January 5.

“The game was just too physical for us tonight,” Schlarman Academy coach Gary Tidwell said. “We really struggled with the physicality of it all. I think their physical play really took us out of what we wanted to do offensively.

“We missed a lot of easy baskets, and defensively I thought both teams were pretty solid. I think they were just more physical than we were, as evidenced by the low-scoring output that we had. But, I’m proud of my guys. They competed, they didn’t back down, didn’t give up. We just couldn’t make shots. That’s what the name of the game is all about.”

The Hilltoppers are scheduled to host Georgetown-Ridge Farm on Friday, while the Tigers go on the road to battle Bismarck-Henning in an attempt to keep their conference record perfect.

“Coming out of the County Tournament is big, but we just couldn’t have a letdown,” Cox said of the win. “We had to come out with a big win, and we did that.

“It definitely keeps the momentum going after the championship at County,” he continued. “It puts us one step closer to the conference championship.”

The Tigers and Blue Devils met on January 17 in the County Tournament with Westville pulling out a 43-39 overtime win to advance to the title game.

Text Only
  • SPT- CN0419 - Bis-Henn Baseball photo 1 Taylor slows Blue Devils BISMARCK -- After a perfect game from Ross Learnard on Tuesday, the Salt Fork baseball team received another outstanding pitching performance on Friday from Cole Taylor, who struck out nine and allowed only one hit over five innings as the Storm beat

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - CN0419 - Danville softball photo 1 Danville blasts three homers to beat Westville WESTVILLE -- Danville coach Corey Pullin knew it was just a matter of time until junior Alissa Peelman and sophomore Lindsey Lowenstein started seeing positive results at the plate. On Friday afternoon, the duo of Peelman and Lowenstein gave the Viki

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Danville girls track wins Raider Invitational BLOOMINGTON -- The Danville girls track team picked up four wins as they were able to beat the pack at the Lady Raider Invitational on Friday. Sadie Elliott won the 3,200 in 11 minutes, 51.75 seconds for Danville, while Aariona Graham won the long ju

    April 19, 2014

  • Friday's Local Scores PREP BASEBALL At Bismarck Salt Fork 15, Bismarck-Henning 0 Salt Fork 040 0(11) -- 15 14 0 Bis-Henn 000 0 0 -- 0 1 8 WP -- Cole Taylor. LP -- Dustyn Ingram. Two or more hits -- SF: Ross Learnard 3, Max Stutsman 3, Garrett McFadden, Lane West

    April 19, 2014

  • 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

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
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide 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
NDN Video
Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station My name is Cocaine Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students 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