The Commercial-News, Danville, IL


January 15, 2013

Armstrong-Potomac snaps Bismarck-Henning streak


Each season since current Armstrong-Potomac girls basketball coach Nick Hipsher has been at the helm, the Trojans have made progress. Most notably, they’ve made progress in what many in the area consider the ultimate stage for bragging rights — the Vermilion County Tournament.

Battling with them year after year, and often standing in there way, has been the Bismarck-Henning Blue Devils, who entered this year’s tournament boasting five consecutive titles. But after defeating the Blue Devils 31-27 on Monday, the Trojans put themselves in position to play for this year’s title, and potentially ruined the Blue Devils’ chances of a sixth straight title.

“This was one of our goals at the beginning of the season,” Hipsher said. “Our seniors, we got fourth two years ago, third last year, and we really wanted to compete for a championship this year. We’re one step away from getting to that game, so that’s what we’re really focusing on.”

Bismarck-Henning, which had won 16 straight Vermilion County Tournament games, is still holding onto the possibility of making it to the title game as this year’s tournament is being played in a pool format. But barring an upset against Salt Fork on Wednesday, Armstrong-Potomac put itself in position to fulfill its goals.

The word upset still lingers in the minds of the Trojans, though, as this season has been as unpredictable as any.

“It is a reward (for this year’s improvement), but everybody (knows) it’s anybody’s ballgame,” Armstrong-Potomac senior guard Kirsten Newnum said. “It’s just crazy because we’ve had so many upsets this season (in the conference). You never know what’s going to happen.”

Though the Trojans (13-7 overall) might have been favored over the Blue Devils (7-15) with respect to season records and seeds, they held off Bismarck-Henning in what had the makings of becoming an impressive comeback. Armstrong-Potomac led by as many as nine throughout the contest.

Newnum scored the Trojans’ first four points of the game on the team’s first two shot attempts, and after hoisting her third shot attempt in the second quarter, Armstrong-Potomac held a comfortable 14-5 lead.

Newnum finished the game sharing game-high honors in points with teammate Erika Sieberns at 10 each, and felt the need to step up with the absence of Rachel Miles who is out with an injury. Miles is the team’s leading second-leading scorer and leading rebounder.

Newnum had scored a combined seven points in her previous three games, making her performance on Monday all-the-more impressive as she saw limited playing time. Through three quarters (24 minutes of game time), the starter saw only eight minutes, 10 seconds of game action because of complications from asthma.

“I think she got knocked in the chest when she took that charge,” Hipsher said. “It kind of knocked the wind out of her.

“That’s what you expect from seniors,” he continued, speaking of her effort. “We knew that they were going to play off of her a little bit. They did the first time. We told her she was going to have open shots, and she knocked them down. That’s a senior leader right there.”

Newnum also accounted for five of the Trojans’ 11 steals, but it was the defense of the Blue Devils that helped them rebound from a seemingly insurmountable deficit.

Bismarck-Henning outscored Armstrong-Potomac 11-2 in the first 5:33 of the fourth quarter, and tied the game at 27-27 after trailing for the entire contest.

“We don’t consider ourselves a full-court pressing team, honestly, but we were left with no choice,” Bismarck-Henning coach Mike Stephens said. “I thought prior to us starting to pick up full, (Lindsay) Andrews’ energy and a couple of buckets by her just absolutely got us off our knees a little bit and back into things. Once we went full, first it was (Maddie) Winkler, and then Winkler and (Lexi) Ballard just really knocking stuff loose. That’s just not wanting to lose. Some kids never have that. We’re fortunate that we’ve got a group of kids that don’t want to lose.”

Ballard scored all four of her points in the fourth quarter following turnovers, and the duo each had three steals.

But after realizing the game was slipping from its grasp, Armstrong-Potomac held Bismarck-Henning scoreless for the final 2:27, and scored the game’s final four points on a rebound basket by Sieberns, and a pair of free throws from Newnum.

“I think we just let up and were like, ‘Ok, we’ve got a lead,’” Newnum said. “We just let up a little bit and then we realized, you can’t let up. You’ve got to keep going so we can keep winning.”

Jessica Hall had a team-high eight points and eight rebounds for Bismarck-Henning, while Andrews scored six and had nine boards.

The Blue Devils will await the results of Wednesday’s games to see who their next opponent will be. In the meantime, the Trojans will take on Salt Fork on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. A win will advance them to this year’s championship.

“It feels really, really good, especially because last year we had an upset game and we lost,” Newnum said. “It feels good. We got the bye, so we got to relax when the other teams didn’t get to. We’ve got this game out of the way, so now there’s just one more and we’re there.”

Text Only
  • SPT - CN0731 - Dans photo 1 Danville boots one away DANVILLE — Keith Shumaker, an every day first baseman, was tied for the team lead in RBIs this season, before making his first start on the mound.But that was the least of the concerns for the Danville Dans, who made four fielding errors en route to

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Local Sports Calendar TODAYProspect League BaseballWest Virginia Miners at Danville Dans, 6:30 p.m.Local TennisMcTagertt Tennis Tournament at North Montgomery, 3:30 p.m.FRIDAYLocal TennisMcTagertt Tennis Tournament at North MontgomerySATURDAYLocal TennisMcTagertt Tourname

    July 31, 2014

  • SPT - CN0730 - Dans baseball photo 1 Dans continue to struggle DANVILLE — The Danville Dans haven’t exactly been playing their best baseball in the second half of the season. After taking the West Division title in the first half with a 19-11 record, Danville has played sub-.500 baseball in the second half and c

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - CN0730 - Illini football media photo Experienced Illini looking for success CHICAGO — Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Tim Beckman is hoping that the third time is the charm.Beckman begins his third season at the helm of the Illini, and with the nucleus of last season’s team returning, it may finally be time for Illinois

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - CN0730 - Purdue football media photo Hazell hopes for smooth second season CHICAGO — After a season to forget in 2013, Purdue head coach Darrell Hazell is expecting better results as his team begins training camp next week. Hazell spoke to the media during the 2014 Big Ten Football Media Days at the Hilton Chicago, and afte

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local Sports Calendar TODAYProspect League BaseballHannibal Cavemen at Danville Dans, 6:30 p.m.THURSDAYProspect League BaseballWest Virginia Miners at Danville Dans, 6:30 p.m.Local TennisMcTagertt Tennis Tournament at North Montgomery, 3:30 p.m.FRIDAYLocal TennisMcTagertt

    July 30, 2014

  • SPT - CN0729 - Dustbowl photo 2 Repeat performance Championship Sunday was in full swing at the 42nd Annual Dustbowl at David S. Palmer Arena. In the men’s division it was defending champions Leek & Sons against the Hickory Beavers. Leek & Sons made it back to back championships with a 29-point victo

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - CN0729 - Brickyard photo Gordon kisses 'The Bricks' for 5th time INDIANAPOLIS — The common gift for a 20th anniversary is either china or platinum.But for Jeff Gordon on Sunday, he was more interested in the PPG Trophy made of gold, sterling silver and alloy aluminum and the native of Pittsboro, Ind., wasn’t going

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Old friends meet again in city tourney DANVILLE — Gene Gourley and Bryan Stine have a lot of history on the tennis court. The two of them, who have been playing each other at the Danville Tennis Center for over 20 years, renewed their rivalry again on Sunday during the Greater Danville Ar

    July 29, 2014

  • SPT - CN0729 - Junior Dustbowl photo Free throws decide junior Dustbowl title DANVILLE — In the boys’s Division it was DV Stars vs. Squad for the Championship with the Squad coming back from an early 16-point deficit to beat DV Stars 59-55 in overtime. Squads Parker Lee made one of two free throws with 18 seconds left in regul

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

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
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
NDN Video
Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show'