All Prep Sports Content

All Prep Sports Content

Central gears up for latest installment

CHAMPAIGN – When the Battle of Champaign last was waged Jan. 11, Centennial and Champaign Central played to a sellout crowd.

If that ever before happened at Centennial's 2,300-seat gym – the largest high school basketball venue in Champaign-Urbana – it was before Central athletic director John Woods started regularly attending Maroons-Chargers boys' games.

Bus trouble, turnovers hamper Sabers

PAXTON – St. Thomas More coach Todd Anderson won't blame it on the weather, but icy roads almost cost the Sabers a chance at playing Tuesday night in their 43-40 loss to Watseka in the Sangamon Valley Conference tournament.

Parents helped the players reach the game, the first car arriving in Paxton with the five starters and one bench player – six players, no coach.

Monticello hangs tough against Meridian

DECATUR – When Nathan Swarts thinks about sitting on the bench, he displays a puzzled look on his face and just shakes his head. His face becomes almost as red as his hair, and he can't even put into words how angry the prospect of watching his Monticello teammates from the sideline makes him feel.

"Geez, I don't even want to talk about that," Swarts said after his Sages dropped a 69-60 Okaw Valley Conference tournament semifinal game to Meridian on Tuesday. "I know that I just hate sitting on the bench."

Kinney, Stefan key latset Big 12 outburst

CHAMPAIGN – Boys' basketball in the Big 12 Conference this season has developed into a series of stellar offensive showings.

Champaign Central has eclipsed the 100-point mark once and hit 93 in two other games.

McCorkle eager to be center of attention

DANVILLE – With each day, Trey McCorkle thinks he's one step closer to fully recovering from an ankle injury that cost him a month of his senior season.

Bismarck-Henning's 6-foot-10 center is running up and down the court, blocking shots and hitting the floor for loose balls. He's just not doing it in long enough stretches to suit himself or his sixth-ranked Class 2A teammates.

Playoff primer

Which area teams will strike gold? What area stars will shine brightest? Prep sports coordinator Fred Kroner previews the winter-sport postseasons for the three classes in which area schools have been assigned.

Cerro Gordo adds another chapter to magical season

ARTHUR – Cerro Gordo coach Scott Bacon knows about the history his team is making this season, and so do his players.

"It's been a long time," Bacon said after his Broncos wrapped up the Little Okaw Valley Conference tournament championship. "Too long if you ask me."

Nothing normal about Brigham's effort

NORMAL – When Mikel Brigham does a self-evaluation, he sees something missing.

"I feel underrated," the Danville junior said.

Recuperating Zaayer finds right medicine

HOOPESTON – Westville's playoff run to the Class 2A state title football game last fall took its toll on junior Dusty Zaayer.

In December, the 171-pound standout was diagnosed with a pinched nerve in his neck, a popped disk in his back and a minor spinal injury that cost him three weeks of the wrestling season.

Central takes its best shot

BLOOMINGTON – It was the No. 1 goal from the very first practice. And the Champaign Central Maroons never forgot it, ending each workout with the chant Big 12 champs.

Maroons coach Jeff Scott targeted a conference title not only because he thought it was reachable, but because it had been sooooo long. Forty-one years ago, to be exact.