Prep bulletin board: Holiday tournaments set to begin

Prep bulletin board: Holiday tournaments set to begin

Watseka, IW tip off holiday tournaments
The first holiday tournaments involving boys’ basketball teams begins tonight with the 14th annual Watseka Holiday Tournament.

Hoopeston Area, Iroquois West, Milford and Watseka are the area schools in the eight-team tournament, which is divided into two pools of four teams.

On the girls’ side, the first holiday tournament is slated to start this Saturday with the Raiders Holiday Hoops tournament, hosted by Iroquois West. The eight-team tournament, split into two pools of four teams each, will have games in Gilman and Onarga. Hoopeston Area, Iroquois West and Milford are the area teams at the event, which will conclude next Wednesday with a 7 p.m. championship game.

Local ties among new Hall of Fame class
Eleven individuals and one team with area connections will be part of the 44th Hall of Fame class to be inducted by the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association on April 30, 2016.

In the players’ category, Mahomet-Seymour graduate Brett Melton will be enshrined alongside ex-Illini Brian Cook (from Lincoln) and Larry Smith (from Alton). Melton, a two-time Area Player of the Year who graduated in 2000, also played two years for the Illini before transferring to San Diego.

Veteran area officials Sam Banks, from Champaign, and Mark Moberly, from LeRoy, will also be inducted.

In the category for coaches, Steve Allen (whose stops included one at Milford) and former Illini assistant Mark Coomes were selected.

The media grouping includes Larry Duling, who worked for both WHOW (Clinton) and WJBC (Bloomington).

A Friends of Basketball group includes Iroquois County historian David Mitchell, from Watseka, J.C. Zimmerman, from Colfax, and Seymour native Mary Sue Firchau.

Coach Lou Henson’s 1989 Flying Illini Final Four entry will also be added to the Hall of Fame.

The ceremony will take place at Illinois State University’s Union Ballroom next April, with the doors opening at 5 p.m.

Spartans softball standout signs with UIS
ST. JOSEPH — Allison Rose knew she wanted to go to the University of Illinois-Springfield after visiting.

“I really liked the campus,” she said. “It was a small campus with a homey feel.”

The St. Joseph-Ogden senior will not only attend UIS next fall, but she will also play softball for the Prairie Stars, recently signing with the Division II school.

Rose, an outfielder for the Spartans, missed most of her junior season last year with a knee injury. She returned in time to hit safely in six of her 10 at-bats during the Spartans’ run to a fourth-place finish in Class 2A last June.

As a sophomore, Rose hit .530 with four home runs and 38 RBI to go along with 33 stolen bases.
UIS coach Shannon Nicholson said Rose will bring a strong bat to the Prairie Stars.

“She’s dedicated herself to working on her speed, power, and her patience at the plate, which helps make her so successful,” Nicholson said. “She has been a big part of her high school team’s success and has been able to play at a very high level. Allison’s hard work, resilience, ability to overcome obstacles and true competitive spirit help make her a great fit.”

Rose said Nicholson and the coaching staff was another reason she choose UIS.

“They were kind of like playmates, but they would also be hard on you,” she said. “They felt like friends and coaches instead of just coaches.”

Rose, a three-sport athlete during her time at SJ-O, said deciding to continue her softball career in college was an easy decision.

“It was the most fun sport that I have played,” she said. “Volleyball and basketball were fun, but softball is the most fun.”

Area volleyball stars get one more match
CHAMPAIGN — The third annual Parkland Area All-Star volleyball game is slated for 5 p.m. this Sunday in Champaign.

Twenty-six area seniors will take to the court at Dodds Athletic Center, with Cissna Park’s Josh Landon coaching the Green Team and Watseka’s Krista Pufahl coaching the White Team.

Members of the green team are Kristi Bruce, Alivia Dew and Sammie Lavin from Centennial, Izzy Charter and Jillian Painter from Mahomet-Seymour, Brea Cunningham from Unity, Gillian Jones from Argenta-Oreana, Anna Kaeb and Addison Stoller from Cissna Park, Nicole Lough from Tuscola, Shelby Mascari from Oakwood and Dana Westfield from Champaign Central.

Dew and Jones are Parkland recruits, while Lough is slated to play collegiately at Lincoln Christian, with Westfield bound for Temple and Stoller signed to play basketball at Valparaiso.

Karlie Baker and Marissa McElroy from St. Joseph-Ogden, Abby Bush from Chrisman, Sophie Christianson and Madi Woo from Mahomet-Seymour, Jennica Estes from Centennial, McKensie Hagen from Watseka, Allie Kreie from St. Thomas More, Maddie LeGrande and Kelley McDonald from Champaign Central, Kellyn Maynard from Paxton-Buckley-Loda, Becca Perry from Monticello and Brenna Swartz from Urbana will comprise the White Team. LeGrande is a College of Charleston signee.

Anthony Zilis, Nora Maberry-Daniels and Matt Daniels