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CHAMPAIGN – Verdell Jones was on the bench with an injured ankle. Keith Biggers was on the bench with foul trouble. Champaign Central was on the ropes after a four-point third quarter.
ST. JOSEPH – Seniors are expected to step forward at regional tournament time.
Tyler Johnson and Zach Becker did just that in St. Joseph-Ogden's 50-37 boys' basketball win against Westville, as did Curtis Leischner in Monticello's 76-55 conquest of Urbana University High at Tuesday's Class 2A St. Joseph-Ogden Regional.
SPRINGFIELD – Ashley Clanton's hope was that her Danville High girls' basketball team had one final run left.
Turns out she was right.
DECATUR – After seeing his girls' basketball team play in the sectional finals last week, Flanagan-Woodland coach Ron Spencer realized he had more than the opponent to be concerned about for Monday's Class 1A super-sectional game.
His own team provided a source of concern.
ST. JOSEPH – The postseason often becomes a forum for unsung heroes to make names for themselves.
Monday night in the opening round of the St. Joseph-Ogden Regional, Westville junior Dustin Billings did just that, netting 11 of 12 shots and finishing with a game-high 25 points to lead sixth- seeded Tigers past No. 8 seed St. Thomas More 67-59.
CHAMPAIGN – It started in late December, when the parent of a Champaign Central swimmer wanted to take a group photo after a meet in Aurora.
Impulsively, Colin McGill began flexing his biceps as the camera clicked away. Soon, teammate Mike Lacine was joining in and a tradition was born.
PAXTON – For as far back as Kendall Cox can remember, opponents have tried to get into his head. They talk trash to him. They get physical with him. There's even been a cheap shot or two.
CHAMPAIGN – So he didn't win back-to-back state titles. Doesn't matter, Kyle Dooley is still the best wrestler in Monticello history. The 150-pound senior dropped the 152-pound championship match 4-0 to Coal City's Chase Odeen, bringing to an end a stellar career.
He won a school-record 150 matches to just 11 defeats, and finished second, first and second in consecutive years at the individual state meet. That's the kind of stuff most guys dream of.
CHAMPAIGN – This isn't a scientific survey based on thousands of cases. Yet, it reveals perhaps the reality in high school wrestling.
The study group consisted of the first 16 matches in the preliminary round of the Class 1A state wrestling tournament that involved News-Gazette area athletes.