Danville fifth at Pontiac
PONTIAC – Danville's boys' basketball depth is surfacing at the perfect time.
Less than 24 hours after senior Ethan Smith came off the bench to sink 4 of 4 three-point shots and score 14 points, senior reserve JaVanta Gaines had a 14-point, nine-rebound performance Thursday night as Danville upended United Township 75-67 to capture fifth place in the 80th Pontiac Holiday Tournament.
The Vikings reached the fifth-place contest by virtue of a 60-53 conquest of West Aurora in an elimination game.
Against United Township, Danville (7-6) scored 27 first-quarter points to take command. Dennis Hightower led the way with a game-high 27-point showing that included 5-of-7 accuracy from three-point range and 6-of-6 shooting from the free throw line.
Danville was short-handed for its fourth game in three days. Starters Joey Robinson and Justin March each were sidelined with ankle injuries suffered against West Aurora. Smith and Gaines showed they were ready to step in.
"It has been a challenge for those guys being seniors and not getting a lot of playing time," Danville coach Gary Tidwell said. "I was encouraged to see them perform. We couldn't have won without them. That's what teamwork is all about. When your time comes, take advantage. Those guys played outstanding."
Jaron Cunningham scored 13 points against the Panthers and D'Lando Carter added 12 to finish with 77 points in four tournament games.
Urbana falls at Collinsville. Juniors Devin Carter and P.J. Blissit each had 16 points for Urbana in a 60-56 loss to Chatham Glenwood.
Carter had five rebounds for Urbana (3-8).
Jones, Maroons fall short. Clayton Jones poured in a game-high 30 points for Champaign Central in the Maroons' 62-60 loss to Marist at Centralia. Jones hit seven three-pointers.
Jay Simpson added 18 points and six rebounds for Central (5-7), which hosts Danville next Friday.