Friday's highlights: Portwood paces Milford
In boys’ basketball
■ Normal Calvary 56, Urbana Uni High 49. The Illineks were outscored 14-9 in the fourth quarter in losing a tightly contested game on the road. George Voulgaris had a double-double (14 points, 14 rebounds) for Uni, and teammate Taharka Baraka contributed 17 points, nine rebounds and four blocks.
■ Blue Ridge 55, LeRoy 46. Michael Plunk scored 17 points and Travys Nichols added 11 points to lead the Knights to a road victory. Dalton Stewart paced the Panthers with 17 points.
■ St. Teresa 71, Unity 47. The Rockets were outscored 38-19 in the second half in a road loss. Matt Restad scored 20 points for Unity, and teammate Mitch Negangard finished with 13 points, seven rebounds and three steals.
■ Okaw Valley 71, Heritage 68. The Hawks lost in overtime at home despite 23 points from John Taylor.
■ Danville First Baptist 68, Quest Charter 45. Jonathan Garver sank 8 of 11 free throws and scored 24 points for First Baptist in a home win.
■ Heyworth 57, GCMS 52. The Falcons fell at home despite 19 points by Ben Eads and 12 rebounds from Wiley Hasty.
■ Eureka 51, Mahomet-Seymour 48. Trailing by four points entering the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs were unable to pull out a road win in the final period. Connor Diedrich scored 12 points for M-S, which was outrebounded 29-20.
■ Arthur Okaw Christian 61, Schererville (Ind.) Hammond Baptist 42. Isaiah Lowry scored 20 points and Adam Beachy (14) and Wes Henningsen (13) also reached double figures to lead the Conquering Riders to a win at the East Moline Christian Invitational.
■ Judah Christian 75, Buckley Christ Lutheran 30. Krys McClure had 14 points and nine rebounds to lead the Tribe to a home win. Tim Widick and Logan Chitty each added 12 points for Judah Christian, with Widick also grabbing eight boards.
■ Sullivan 56, Clinton 28. Mitch Molzen scored 16 points and Nick Frerichs contributed seven points, five assists and four steals for the Redskins in a home win. Colten Reeves led Clinton with 15 points.
■ Arthur-Lovington 54, Cerro Gordo 33. Curtis Plank and Tyler Schuring combined for 25 points to lead the Knights to a home victory. Cole Blickensderfer scored 17 points for the Broncos.
■ Meridian 48, Monticello 46. Bryan Phipps had 14 points and Matt Kruse (seven points) hauled in 13 rebounds, but the visiting Sages saw their 11-game win streak come to an end when Braydon Barnes hit a turnaround jumper with 0.8 second left to lift the Hawks. Isaac Bales had nine points and Nick Stokowski chipped in eight, but Monticello missed eight free throws and blew a three-point lead after three quarters.
■ Milford 76, Watseka 62. Alex Portwood’s nearly perfect night lifted the Bearcats on the road. Portwood, who hit all three of his three-point attempts, was 6 of 7 overall and was 10 of 12 on free throws, finishing with 25 points, and Josh Killion added 21 for Milford, which led 38-29 at the break. Alex Gocken (16 points) and Justin Moyer (14) paced the Warriors.
■ Tri-County 57, Arcola 55. Luke Clapp had 23 points and Wyatt Lesner (three three-pointers) added 19 to lift the Titans on the road. Zach Hudson led the Purple Riders with 16 points.
■ Normal U-High 73, Rantoul 49. The host Eagles never led in a loss that snapped a four-game winning streak by coach Brett Frerichs’ squad.
“They’re very talented. They’re physical. They can shoot the ball. And they’re very long on the defensive end,” Frerichs said. “They gave us all kinds of headaches with their 1-3-1 (zone) and their experience. Like I told the guys, they were playing last year in the state championship game, and most of our guys were playing (junior varsity). You throw that experience in with all that talent, they’re a tough team.”
Normal U-High — which played its first game since a 30-point loss last Saturday at Chicago Morgan Park, the state’s top-ranked Class 3A squad — put away Rantoul late in the second quarter. With the Eagles trailing 29-20 and less than three minutes before halftime, the Pioneers (12-4, 7-0 Corn Belt) ended the first half on an 11-2 run to go up 40-22 at the break.
They did this mostly with Keita Bates-Diop (23 points, eight rebounds and four steals) on the bench with two fouls. Bates-Diop — who finished with four dunks — did most of his work in the third quarter with 11 points before U-High coach Bob Fitzgerald pulled him with 5:07 left and the Pioneers leading 65-37.
“The thing about Keita is he’s a quiet player,” Fitzgerald said. “He’s going to put up 20, and you’re not going to know about it because he’s not a ball hog and he’s not stingy. He works within the offense.”
Rantoul junior guard Johnny Jones led all scorers with 26 points, but the Eagles (8-10, 2-5) did not have another player reach double figures.
Senior forward Weylin Williams added six points.
“We had the intensity, but they’re just big,” Jones said. “We weren’t rebounding good, and we came out with too many turnovers. They’re long. They take up half our court.”
In girls’ basketball
■ Urbana Uni 41, Normal Calvary 31. Emma Hoyer had 12 points, 16 rebounds, five steals and four blocks to help the Illineks hold on for an ECIC victory despite being held to two points in the fourth quarter. Madeleine Nelson added 13 points for host Uni.
■ Judah Christian 55, Buckley Christ Lutheran 38. Leslee Chambers was 5 for 5 on three-pointers, finishing with 25 points and leading the host Tribe to an ECIC victory. Kristina Lee chipped in 18 points and five steals.