The Commercial-News, Danville, IL


November 25, 2012

Vikings, Houpt get first win

LINCOLN — Playing well and getting better just wasn’t enough for the Danville boys basketball team.

The Vikings needed the ultimate prize — a win.

Danville got that elusive first victory on Saturday night at the Eaton Electric Lincoln Tournament with a 46-44 win over Morton.

“Instead of going 0-5 this year, we were able to get a win,’’ said Danville junior Denzel Smith, who made the game-winning 3-pointer with 1 minute, 19 seconds left.

This win snapped the Vikings 15-game losing streak at the Lincoln Tournament and it was the first victory for head coach Ted Houpt.

“It’s a relief,’’ he said. “I don’t know about exhilaration or happiness … I just know that I can finally breathe — so it’s a relief.’’

And part of that can be attributed to the fact that Danville suffered a gut-wrenching loss to the host Lincoln Railers on Saturday morning.

In a triple-overtime contest, Lincoln pulled out a 52-51 win over Danville.

“In one day, we had a shot go against us and then to come back, battle down to the wire and this time the ball bounces our way,’’ Houpt said. “The important thing is our guys put themselves in a position, both times, to win a game.

“They kept fighting. That’s more important than anything else. We fight and compete all of the time.’’

Danville players said the most important thing to them was the improvement they made from the season-opening 78-54 loss to Champaign Centennial on Monday.

“We’ve gotten much better as a team since that Centennial game,’’ said Smith, who averaged 19.8 points per game in the Lincoln Tournament.

The Vikings (1-4) did it with good man-to-man defense in both games on Saturday, allowing just 96 points after allowing 70 or more in their first three losses.

“We really weren’t a team when this week started,’’ Danville senior guard Te’Von Hutcherson said. “But through the five games we played this week, we came together and we got better in each game. I think we’re a team now.

“We have established what we are about and how hard and committed we are to be successful.’’

And the fact that Saturday’s victory came just six hours after a stinging triple overtime loss?

“This says the Vikings are a hard-fighting team and we will never give up,’’ Hutcherson said. “A lot of our players were tired after playing so hard in the three-overtime game, so it feels really good that we kept going hard and we pushed through to get a victory.’’

Houpt added the Vikings learned something from the loss to Railers.

“We learned from the earlier game to keep your composure … you can see the growth already,’’ he said.

That’s because Morton (0-5) rallied from a 7-point deficit (41-34) to take a 44-43 lead on a layup from Jared Liddle with 1:42 left.

Earlier in the day, the Vikings were in the same position. And just like they did multiple times against Lincoln, Danville came right back with Smith drilling a 3-pointer from the right baseline.

“This tournament showed us how we need to play our game,’’ Smith said. “We needed someone to make a shot, and I took it.’’

And Houpt believes this is just a start for his junior forward.

“He has the talent — there is no doubt about that,’’ Houpt said. “He has been working on his consistent effort and attitude. That will take him to another level. I think he is a big-time player. I think people will notice him all around the state. He is competing at another level.

“I think his skill set will transfer over to the college game. We need to keep him going.’’

And what impressed Houpt as much as anything on Saturday was the fact that Smith had five assists against Morton and four earlier in the day against Lincoln.

“We know he can score and rebound, but he also had some really great passes,’’ Houpt said.

And what about his team as they prepare for the home opener on Friday against Decatur Eisenhower.

“I feel good about going into any conference game we play,’’ he said. “I don’t think there is a team that we can’t compete with. That’s exciting, because I can’t say that I knew that at the start of the season.

“I didn’t know much, not that I know a lot now, but I know enough to know that our team has heart, and we have some skill.’’

Friday’s game, which is also the home debut for Houpt, will start at 6 p.m. with the sophomore game and the varsity game is tentatively set for 7:30 p.m.

Text Only
  • SPT - CN0425 - Oakwood baseball main photo Vinson delivers for Oakwood OAKWOOD -- Sophomore Blake Vinson showed maturity beyond his age on Thursday afternoon. The Oakwood right-hander could have easily lost his focus as his infield defense committed seven errors during Thursday's Vermilion Valley Conference baseball gam

    April 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Vikings fall in the seventh inning DANVILLE -- The Danville softball team went toe to toe with Mattoon for most of Thursday's non-conference game, keeping the game tied at 4-4 through six innings, but in the seventh inning, Mattoon scored three times and Katelyn Fisher came in to get

    April 25, 2014

  • SPT- CN0425 - Bi-County track photo 2 Attica, Seeger win at Bi-County WEST LEBANON, Ind. - The Attica boys and the Seeger girls won the Bi-County Track team titles in a meet held at Seeger. The Red Rambler boys outscored second place Fountain Central 79-56 while the Patriot girls almost doubled the points by second pla

    April 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Danville late rally falls short at Urbana URBANA -- The Danville baseball team rallied to tie things up with Urbana, but the Tigers scored a run in the bottom of the seventh to get the 7-6 win on Thursday in Big 12 Conference action. Austin West and Nolan First each had two hits and two RBIs

    April 25, 2014

  • Thursday's Local Sports Scores PREP BASEBALL At Urbana Urbana 7, Danville 6 Danville 000 103 2 -- 6 8 3 Urbana 021 301 x -- 7 14 0 WP -- Tauber. LP -- Keegan West (0-3). Two or more hits -- D: Austin West, Nolan First U: Russell, Amaya. 2B -- D: Austi

    April 25, 2014

  • Westville SB 1.jpg Blue Devils run past Tigers

    Bismarck-Henning scored early and often in a win over Westville

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Seeger BB 1.jpg Mustangs get past Patriots

    Senior Tyler DePugh struck out 13 as the Fountain Central Mustangs defeated the Seeger Patriots.

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • LOCAL ROUNDUP: Tigers squeeze past Blue Devils

    April 24, 2014

  • Local scores and more

    April 24, 2014

  • SPT - CN0423 - Danville girls track photo 1 Record-setting day for Hall DANVILLE -- Athletes, coaches and fans were all giving advice to Danville sophomore Imani Hall in the high jump. While she appreciated the encouragement, Hall just focused on what she had been doing in practice for the past few weeks and it worked. H

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

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
US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents Obama Reassures Japan on China Raw: Car Crashes Into San Antonio Pool Time Magazine Announces Top Influencers List Raw: Angry Relatives Confront SKorea Officials Bigger Riders Means Bigger Horses Out West Yankees Pineda Ejected for Pine Tar Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US
NDN Video
Grumpy Cat Not Impressed at "Idol" Is Shaquille O'Neal the World's Best Ex-Athlete? Raw: Obama Plays Soccer With Japanese Robot Behind The Tanlines Jersey Strong Part 2 BASE Jumpers Set World Record Screaming 2-year-old gets psyched at Penguins game Pineda: Put pine tar because he didn't want to hit anyone Beyonce on Her Biggest Influence Michael Strahan's First Day on "GMA" Clerk catches on fire after man throws Molotov Cocktail into Brooklyn store Amazon's Deal With HBO Leapfrogs Streaming Rivals Stephen Colbert Tells David Letterman His Plan for 'Late Show' Georgetown police officer filmed tripping students Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Recycling Highlights for Earth Day Lupita Nyong'o Named People's 'Most Beautiful' Peeps Launched into Outer Space NYPD's Twitter Request For Photos Backfires New HBO Go Commercials Capture Awkward Family TV Watching Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India