The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Sports

February 9, 2013

Vikings fall short in close game

DANVILLE — By now, Danville boys basketball coach Ted Houpt feels as though he is experiencing a real life version of Groundhog Day.

The same cast of characters on his Vikings squad give him outstanding effort game after game, and have come oh, so close to getting over the hump. But it just doesn’t happen.

Houpt knows better than to complain about the skill level of his players, or question their will to win. That would be a waste of time. He realizes the talent, and knows the desire is there. Despite a losing record, he continues to have a full roster of players arrive at practice determined to get better. But that doesn’t mean the Vikings don’t have reason to be discouraged.

Six times this season, Danville has lost a game either in overtime, or by four points or less. The latest was on Friday in a heartbreaker on its home court that saw a comeback against the Decatur MacArthur Generals end in a 64-61 loss.

“It’s hard,” Danville junior center Denzel Smith said. “Every game we go through we play so hard. Every game, it doesn’t ever go our way. It never goes our way. We play so hard. We’re just playing our hearts out.

“I just want to play one game without worrying about (finishing),” he added. “I want to get my guys on the bench (in the game) because they play so hard in practice. I want to get them off the bench and have fun. Just sit on the bench and cheer for my team.”

With three players out of the lineup, including frequent starters Marcus Merriweather and Daniel Carter, Houpt wasn’t sure what to expect against a MacArthur team that had just defeated the Vikings by nine on January 4.

But if he has learned one thing about his team, it’s that regardless of the circumstance, it wouldn’t give up. Danville trailed 32-25 at halftime, but outscored the Generals 36-32 in the second half.

MacArthur went on a 10-3 run and led 44-34 with one minute, 52 seconds remaining in the third quarter. That’s when Danville kicked into another gear and forced MacArthur into six turnovers in the final quarter, and used a 14-5 run to take its first lead since going up 7-4 2:23 into the game.

“Coach told us we weren’t playing as a team,” Smith said. “We were trying to get our own individual buckets in the first half. We decided to come out in the second half and play hard as a team. Our shots came as a team — playing as a team, screening as a team, doing everything as a team. Once we do that as a team, everything falls into place.”

Things were beginning to fall into place, especially for Smith who scored 15 of his game-high 29 points in the second half. And perhaps equally as important was a shot by Devyn McGuire who scored his only points of the game on three with 32 seconds left in the game. The basket pulled the Vikings to within 62-61. And after a missed basket by the Generals, Danville had one more opportunity, but Smith’s jumper with three seconds to go bounced off the rim and into the hands of MacArthur’s Marcus Bartley.

“The guys dug down and fought back and put themselves in a position,” Houpt said. “You’ve got your best player taking a shot that he’s comfortable with for the game. You just have to live with that.

“The last two possessions we had were great. We got Devyn a three-pointer that we knew he could hit. He practices hours and hours on that shot, and he hit it when it counted. And Denzel had a great game and the ball just rolled out. I think everyone on the team can live with that shot. If we had that game again and we’re down by one and you tell me we can have Denzel take a 12-foot, turnaround jumper, I’ll take it every time, and he’ll make it more times.”

After missing his first three shots of the game, Smith made six of his next seven, scoring 12 of the team’s 14 points in the second period. In addition to his 29 points, he finished with 12 rebounds, two assists, and one block. Jarhed Watson scored eight and had four rebounds, Kylen Butler scored seven, had three assists and three steals, and Steven Williams and Te’Von Hutcherson each finished with five.

Danville (4-18 overall, 3-11 in the Big 12 Conference) has three games remaining on the regular season schedule including a home game on Friday against Bloomington. Despite the string of unlucky bounces this season, the Vikings are still determined to finish the season strong.

“You have a choice to be hopeful and push forward, or you can feel sorry for yourself and say it’s not meant to be,” Houpt said. “That’s not how we’re going to do it. We’re going to keep pushing, and that’s why I was so happy in the second half when it looked like we could have thrown in the towel, and we didn’t.

“It’s not easy. It’s not easy for kids, and for grown-ups, to keep positive when you can’t get over the hump. They keep doing it. They keep trying. It’s not going to be a pretty record, but there’s a lot to be said for what the kids have done.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • 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

  • Local Roundup: Dans drop third straight SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — Ninth-inning rallies are becoming the norm for the Danville Dans.Unfortunately, all three of the comebacks have failed to produce a victory.On Monday night, Danville shortstop Matt Henderson delivered a two-run single in the ninth

    July 22, 2014

  • No Headline Provided TODAYBasketballDustbowl at Palmer ArenaLegion BaseballFourth Division Tournament at Charleston: Danville Post 210 Speakers vs. Piatt County, 7:15 p.m.Prospect League BaseballSpringfield Sliders at Danville Dans, 6:30 p.m.TennisGreater Danville Open a

    July 22, 2014

  • Legion Baseball Galnce LEGION BASEBALLIllinois Fourth Division TournamentSaturday, July 19 scoresAt CharlestonGame 1 — Mattoon 14, Charleston 4Game 2 — Piatt County 14, Paris 0At DanvilleGame 3 — Rantoul 10, Lincoln 1Game 4 — Shelby County 1, Danville 0Sunday, July 20 scor

    July 22, 2014

  • No Headline Provided LocalAUTO RACINGFrom SundayAt Vermilion County SpeedwayUMP Modifieds1. Randy Lines2. Devin Gilpin3. Jamie Lomax4. Chad Evans5. Roger Cary6. Kevin Gummere7. Don Kiger8. Denny Schwartz9. Kenny Carmichael10. Slater Blickensderfer11. Neil Rollins12. Bria

    July 22, 2014

  • Local golf and tennis scores LOCAL GOLFHarrison Park OpenFinal resultsChampionship FlightKeenan 71-69 — 140Cunningham 68-75 — 143Enos 73-75 — 148Standwich 75-78 — 153M.Hansgen 77-76 — 153Cross 76-78 — 154Rowe 77-77 — 154First flightMasterman 80-73 — 153Millis 79-76 — 155Gallez 8

    July 22, 2014

  • SPT- CN0720 - Dans photo 2 Rex claim Rickey Cup DANVILLE — It’s a tried but true statement that good pitching beat good hitting.The evidence could be found in this year’s Clash at the Border rivalry between the Danville Dans and the Terre Haute Rex.The Rex won the final three meetings, including a

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT- CN0720 - Speakers photo Speakers come up one run short in tournament TILTON — Offense was hard to come by Saturday night at the Carl Gruber Sports Complex as the Danville Post 210 Speakers started post-season play against Shelby County and lost 1-0.Both teams put their best pitchers on the mound to start the District

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cunningham leads in HP Open DANVILLE — Bruce Cunningham took the first round lead at the 2014 Harrison Park Open with a score of 68.Russ Leverenz shot a 70 to get to second place, while David Keenan shot a 71 for third and Steve Enos is fourth at 73.The final round is today wit

    July 20, 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
Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts
NDN Video
Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Rory McIlroy struggles, surges, wins British Open