The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Sports

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.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • 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

  • SPT- CN0723- Dans photo 2 Thurston gets first win DANVILLE — Getting those Ws is the goal of every pitcher.Danville’s Chase Thurston has been seeking his first collegiate victory all year. The former Danville High standout finally got it on Tuesday night when the Danville Dans defeated the Springfie

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT- CN0723 - Dustbowl photo 1 Shooting Stars sprint past MB Squad DANVILLE —Tuesday’s action from the Dustbowl at the David S. Palmer Arena featured two games in the Girls High School Division with two local teams — MB Squad and Shooting Stars — squaring off in round-robin play to advance to Sunday’s championship.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Pitching boosts Speakers CHARLESTON — The Danville Post 210 Speakers’ pitching is coming along at the right time.With strong performances from Austin Millholland and Dalton Strawser, the Speakers defeated Piatt County 5-1 to move on in the Fourth Division Tournament.“The sto

    July 23, 2014

  • SPT - CN0722 - Post 210 Baseball photo 1 Speakers stay alive TILTON — Danville Post 210 baseball got their revenge Sunday afternoon and did it in style. After losing to Shelby County in the Fourth Division Tournament opener on Saturday, Danville had to win two games on Sunday if they wanted to advance and keep

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - CN0722 - VCS photo Youth gets served at VCS Fan Appreciation Night OAKWOOD — The Vermilion County Speedway Fan Appreciation Night was more a spotlight for the youth on and off the track.While kids in the stands had bike races and decided the order for racers in certain feature races, there was a bunch of kids going

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

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
Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites
NDN Video
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 Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director '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 Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad