All Boys' Basketball Content
TOLONO – With junior and leading scorer Zebo Zebe on the bench to start the game because of Senior Night, Unity never really got going in the first half against Tuscola, trailing 15-13 at halftime.
DANVILLE – The Vikings feel they are on the cusp of becoming a very good basketball team. That makes Saturday's 78-71overtime loss to state-ranked Peoria Manual that much harder to stomach.
The Vikings led the Rams 61-53 with 2:38 seconds to play only to see the visitors rally to force overtime in the final seconds before putting the hosts away by outscoring them 17-10 in the extra session.
It snowed enough to close the schools. But nobody dared cancel the biggest game of the season: Central vs. Centennial. Cars circle the streets around Central High, looking for a parking spot as the junior varsity game gets under way.
Fans walk past the snow piled up alongside the streets and sidewalks, heading into Seely Hall to buy their tickets. The game isn't yet sold out, but by tipoff of the varsity game, the gym's wooden bleachers will be full.
DANVILLE – Toward the end of Friday night's Big 12 matchup against Normal West, Danville coach Gary Tidwell undoubtedly was feeling a little of the same pain Illinois coach Bruce Weber has been subjected to all season.
With his Vikings within striking distance of the Wildcats throughout the final eight minutes, Tidwell watched helplessly as his team went to the free throw line and missed. The Vikings clanked six freebies in the final three minutes and eight overall before falling 65-62.
URBANA – The last time the Urbana Tigers faced Mattoon, Terrence Gray's team lost a one-point heartbreaker.
In the rematch Friday night, the pain was felt early and often.
PAXTON – Still smarting from losing in the Sangamon Valley Conference tournament championship game, the Paxton-Buckley-Loda boys were seeking to redeem themselves.
Winning the conference's regular season for the first time since 2001 certainly helps.
MONTICELLO – Quality depth and excellent free throw shooting usually leads to victory at any level in basketball.
Monticello's Sages showed an affinity for both in Friday's 78-64 Okaw Valley Conference victory against Decatur St. Teresa.
CHAMPAIGN – The free throw line can be a place where palms get clammy and knees wobble.
Not so for St. Joseph-Ogden.
CHAMPAIGN – Even in the immediate afterglow of an exhilarating win, James Kinney couldn't help but look ahead.
All the way to next season.
CHAMPAIGN – No one had to remind Jeff Johnson what happened the last time he went up against Keith Biggers and the Champaign Central Maroons.
In fact, had Johnson awakened in a cold sweat in the middle of the night more than once since the Jan. 11 meeting, no one could blame him.