ST. JOSEPH – Winning ugly might be the only way the St. Joseph-Ogden basketball team will win this season.
"I don't think we are ever going to be pretty," coach Brian Brooks said Tuesday after the Spartans opened their bid for a fifth consecutive Leader Classic title with a 56-20 rout of Armstrong-Potomac. "We are going to have to win defensively. We're not very good, but we are better than we were a week ago. We just have to try to get better each day."
Everything you need to know about the second annual hoopsfest:
ST. JOSEPH – Dane Winn scored 12 points as Tuscola beat Paxton-Buckley-Loda 36-33 in the opening game at Saturday's Leader Classic.
"We started to panic when we got pressured," Tuscola coach David Hess said. "Guys would try to do it all on their own instead of trying to stay within themselves."
TUSCOLA – Ever since Lloyd Carr stepped down as Michigan's coach nearly a month ago, Tuscola quarterback John Wienke has been fielding questions about whether he would honor his commitment to the Wolverines.
An official visit to Iowa last weekend only increased speculation. On Saturday, Wienke made the move, giving Kirk Ferentz and the Hawkeyes an oral commitment.
TOLONO – Zebo Zebe will be a leader in a lot of categories for the Unity basketball team this season.
The 6-foot junior point guard overcame a woeful shooting night (7 of 19) with sound overall play to spearhead a 54-34 win over Moweaqua A&M Friday in the Okaw Valley Conference opener for both teams.
URBANA – Maybe it was the fact that their winless opponent was all too tempting to overlook. Or maybe it was the distracting anticipation of today's invitation to play on the Assembly Hall court.
Whatever the reason, the Centennial Chargers looked out of sorts Friday night en route to a 63-47 Big Ten victory against Urbana.
Boys' basketball teams from Cerro Gordo and Oakwood are pursuing the same goal, and it's one which each high school could achieve.
The schools are within reach of winning the 1,000th game in their history.
URBANA – Karl Heine never will take his high school pool for granted. Not after being without the Urbana Indoor Aquatic Center for nearly two months last season.
"I'm glad that we have it back," the Urbana sophomore swimmer said. "I think we can train much better in this pool than we could in Campus Connections."
RANTOUL – After replacing an injured teammate in the starting lineup Tuesday night, Jeff Johnson was in need of an ice pack himself.
While scrambling for a loose ball during the third period, the Centennial center took a painful knock to the knee.
WESTVILLE – Jordan Kindred's Chrisman teammates know the senior guard is going to attract more than his share of attention from opposing defenses. They also know that when that happens they must step up and knock down shots.
Now if the Cardinals can just figure out how to close out games, coach Shawn Nugent and his staff would sleep much easier.