The News-Gazette's area Athletes of the Week
GIBSON CITY – As the girls' basketball season progressed, coach Rod Burgett saw his team of believ- ers become a team of achievers.
As recently as last season, the Milford High School program still was struggling to reach the .500 mark.
CHAMPAIGN – Trailing 29-26 at the end of the third quarter, Danville regained its defensive focus and held Centennial to seven points in the final period to earn a 37-36 Class 3A regional semifinal victory Tuesday night at Champaign Central High School.
"The key tonight was being patient in our offense," Vikings coach Ashley Clanton said. "Defensively we're just trying to get the fundamentals correct. We got away from that a little in the middle of the game."
GIBSON CITY – The running game was Ridgeview High School's ally in Tuesday night's Class 1A girls' basketball sectional semifinal game.
The Mustangs weren't as concerned with scoring transition points as they were at keeping the game going at a fast-paced gallop.
CHAMPAIGN - Unity's Rockets will be the next team to take a challenge that 29 other high schools have attempted this season.
By virtue of Monday's 53-46 sectional semifinal victory against host St. Thomas More, Unity will play unbeaten Bloomington Central Catholic — the state's top-ranked Class 2A team — in Thursday's 7:30 p.m. girls' basketball title game.
PAXTON – Paxton-Buckley-Loda used a strong second half from guards Kendall Cox, Tyler Waterstradt and Eric Funk to defeat Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 60-43 in a Ford County boys' basketball rivalry game Saturday. PBL has a 14-12 series lead dating to 1993 when GCMS consolidated.
Ahead 30-29 with two minutes remaining in the third quarter, PBL went on a 17-3 run to pull away.
Shiloh claims 30th win of year
CHRISMAN – Taylor Hawkins didn't help herself as a three-point shooter, but her perimeter prowess was a major asset for her team.
PAXTON – Jessica Brito doesn't lack in confidence. Fortunately for Bismarck-Henning's girls' basketball team, she also doesn't lack in shooting skills.
With her team protecting a one-point lead and less than two minutes to play in Thursday's Class 2A regional championship game at Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School, Brito launched a three-point shot off an out-of-bounds set.
ST. JOSEPH – For a self- proclaimed "offensive" team, the St. Thomas More girls' basketball squad has an impressive defense.
Each Friday, prep sports coordinator Fred Kroner will review the area girls' basketball scene: