Vikings handle change
DANVILLE – Mike Ahrens' Coach for the Day designation required more than saying, "Go get 'em," to the Danville boys' basketball team.
Serving as the Vikings' interim coach Friday as Gary Tidwell served a one-game IHSA suspension for his ejection from a game last week, Ahrens had to alter the lineup when two regulars arrived late to the gym and started on the bench.
He made another switch six minutes into the game, after visiting Urbana opened up a 16-9 lead thanks to eight points from Joshua Hall.
"We tried to play them man-to-man, but we couldn't do it," Ahrens said. "Our intention was to play man the whole game, but it wasn't going to work. That part is disappointing."
There were few such feelings on the offensive end for the Vikings as they made at least half of their field goal attempts every quarter and overpowered Urbana 84-58 in a Big 12 contest.
Junior Mikel Brigham was one of several catalysts for the Vikings. He had a double-double by halftime and finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
Daveon Allen, who sat out the first four minutes, came off the bench to make every shot he took. He was 6 for 6 from the field – including a three-pointer – and 6 for 6 from the free throw line.
He was also the team's second leading rebounder with six.
"He rebounds as well as any guard his size in the state," Ahrens said. "He is a very good high school basketball player."
Simeon Simmons and Ian Hanke each scored 12 points to lead the Tigers, who remain winless after 11 games. Hanke hauled down a team-high six rebounds.
"When the shots stop falling, we start to lose focus defensively and they got into the transition," Urbana coach Terrence Gray said. "Danville has good guard play and a big man in the middle who does a good job."
Omar Kelly added 12 points for the Vikings, scoring all of his total in the first 5:04 of the fourth period. Kelly hit three of Danville's six three-pointers.
Ahrens opened the second half with two freshmen on the court, D'Lando Carter and Joey Robinson. Between them, they made 7 of 12 shots while scoring 16 points and grabbing six rebounds.
"We ended the first half on a strong note (an 8-0 run) and decided to go back with those guys," said Ahrens, whose last official game as a varsity head coach (at Schlarman) was in 1992.
Danville scored eight of the first 10 third-quarter points.
"We got enough of a run to get control of the game," Ahrens said, "but defensively, this was not one of our better efforts. We didn't play very well defensively."