Gremer leads Tigers past Eisenhower
DECATUR — Vashoune Russell already has a post player under the weather in Marcus Catchings.
The talented Urbana senior is out indefinitely for Russell’s team with mononucleosis.
His counterpart in the paint, classmate Conner Gremer, didn’t feel that great, either, Friday night at Eisenhower.
But you probably couldn’t tell after Gremer guided Urbana to a 50-47 win against the Panthers.
Gremer produced 18 points and grabbed 16 rebounds on a night in which he wasn’t 100 percent.
“He’s got a cold, but he just keeps going and going,” Russell said. “He has that motor where he doesn’t quit.”
Neither did the Tigers, despite some shaky possessions in the second and third quarters that allowed Eisenhower to keep the game close until the end.
“We kind of just kept taking some punches,” Russell said. “It was one of those things where our tenacity and drive not to fold down the stretch was key. We really kind of kept them off balance.”
Greg Boyd was a key reason. The forward complemented Gremer’s interior presence by adding 12 points.
“If we can get Greg going, I think we can really, really scare some people down the stretch here,” Russell said. “We’re going to go as Greg goes. He is our answer. If Greg has a great night, we’re going to have a great night.”
Nick Romito supplied seven points, while the backcourt combination of Shimaaz Ivy (seven assists) and Korrion Taylor played well.
“Shimaaz has been our point guard from the beginning of the season, and once he settles in, he does well,” Russell said. “He’s got some help with Taylor playing some great minutes. That 1-2 punch with those guys controlling the ball is pretty nice.”
■ Normal Community 63, Danville 52. Denzel Smith dropped in a game-high 25 points and Kylen Butler scored 16 points, but the host Vikings couldn’t stop the Ironmen.