DANVILLE – Danville is a better boys' basketball team with Ronny Bell.
Whatever doubt existed regarding that matter was put to rest Saturday as the senior guard scored 10 of his team-high 17 points in the second half to lead the Vikings to a 65-53 nonconference win against Romeoville.
Bell, who looked rusty Friday night in his first action since Dec. 1, was dominant at times against the Spartans. He scored eight points in the third quarter as the Vikings stretched a 28-27 halftime lead to 50-37.
"I was a little nervous out there getting back on the court, but I'm glad to be back," Bell said. "I have to keep my grades up because that's what got me, and I'm not going to let that happen again."
Danville is happy to have the athletic playmaker back in the mix. With Bell teaming with Jonathan Reed, Stanley Tyler and defensive-minded Tim Leek on the perimeter and rising star Mikel Brigham in the paint, the Vikings can pressure and produce (18 Romeoville turnovers).
"It's a lot different with him (Bell) out there," said Brigham (15 points, 10 rebounds, five blocks). "We have someone out there on the perimeter that can shoot it or drive and dish it off to me inside. With him in the front and me in the back they can't throw it over the top as easily. He's fast, athletic and he can jump."
Bell showed his anxiousness in the closing minutes when he got a chance to throw down a one-handed dunk only to see the points erased because of a traveling call – one of a handful of turnovers for Bell.
"It still felt good," Bell said.
The Vikings committed 23 turnovers but shot 52 percent (25 of 48) from the field and outrebounded Romeoville (6-11) 39-25.
Leek chipped in with 11 points, and Tyler added nine.
Normal C. 66, M-S 50. Host Normal Community used a 22-12 third-quarter run to pull away from Mahomet-Seymour.
It was a nonconference detour for the Bulldogs, who are in the hunt for a Corn Belt Conference title.
Jason Seaman led the Bulldogs with 20 points. Steve Coyle added 10 points, and Neil Wright made two three-pointers.