CHAMPAIGN – When he wasn't pounding the boards or muscling his way to the basket or stepping out and sinking jump shots from beyond the foul line, Jeff Johnson found yet another way to torment Rantoul on Tuesday night.
TOLONO – When his team's 17-point lead shrank to as little as five late in the fourth quarter, Unity coach Jarrett Brown never panicked.
That's putting a lot of faith in a team featuring two seniors, but judging by the way the Rockets closed out a 68-62 win against Teutopolis on Friday night, Brown knows his team pretty well.
Each Saturday, prep sports coordinator Fred Kroner will review Friday night's boys' action:
BROADLANDS – Basketball coaches, in general, can be a difficult lot to please.
No matter how many points a player scores, coaches frequently find faults that need correcting.
RANTOUL – In transition, the Rantoul boys' basketball team is a dangerous unit. When forced to run their halfcourt offense, the Eagles often struggle.
Friday night, Rantoul got just enough fast-break opportunities – and a game-high 26 points from junior forward Golden Hairston – to come from behind and top Corn Belt Conference foe Pontiac 72-69.
CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign Central Maroons succumbed to human nature. And nearly to the Urbana Tigers, too.
Winners of their previous eight meetings against their Twin City rivals – only one of which was closer than 20 points – the Maroons confidently looked to extend their stranglehold on this series Friday night at Combes Gym.
DANVILLE – Scott Blank hit a pair of three-pointers in overtime to lift Danville First Baptist to an 83-74 victory against Northwest Christian on Friday night.
Down three with 14 seconds left in regulation, DFB's Daniel Wells stepped to the free throw line and nailed all three attempts to send the game to overtime.
CHAMPAIGN – Nate Freeman scored 22 points to lift St. Thomas More to a 59-50 nonconference win against Salt Fork on Thursday in boys' basketball.
RANTOUL – Chris Wagner didn't recognize Golden Hairston the first time he spotted the junior this fall, but the Rantoul boys' basketball coach liked what he saw.
News-Gazette Top 10
Each week, The News-Gazette ranks the top 10 teams in a winter sport. This week's topic: boys' basketball