Each Friday, prep sports coordinator Fred Kroner will review Thursday night's girls' action:
TIME FOR A SHOOTOUT
Two area schools are involved in marquee games at Saturday's Kessler's Shootout at Riverton High School. The prime-time finale at 8:30 p.m. will feature Bismarck-Henning, 8-0 and ranked fifth in the Class 2A state poll, against Teutopolis, 9-0 and ranked eighth in 2A. At 4 p.m., 15th-rated Unity will take on Rochester, which was ranked in a tie for 16th. The other game involving area schools is the 8:30 a.m. opener, when St. Joseph-Ogden battles Midwest Central.
ONE SMART TEAM
A recent item listed numerous female basketball players who were possible valedictorian candidates at their respective high schools, but it overlooked the overall varsity team at Paxton-Buckley-Loda. The team's lone senior is Kara Johnson, the National Honor Society president who has a 3.97 grade-point average (on a 4.00 scale). The seven juniors all rank among the top 40 percent academically in their class. This includes Aubrey Luebchow (first), Brittany Orr (seventh), Ally Edwards (14th), Taylor Rubarts (18th), Cara Sandman (26th), Kasey Sanders (29th) and Catie Sparks (45th). The cumulative GPA for the juniors is 3.37, including Luebchow's 4.00 and Orr's 3.96.
CROSSING STATE LINES
The girls' and boys' basketball teams from Milford will play Vermilion Valley Conference opponent Schlarman in a doubleheader Jan. 3 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The event will begin at 11:30 a.m. CST. All spectators must have a ticket for that evening's 6 p.m. (CST) NBA game between the Pacers and the Kings. Tickets are $25 each.
Through 11 games, St. Thomas More has not allowed any opponent to score more than 38 points. That mark will be challenged in upcoming games. The Sabers play at unbeaten and second-ranked Bloomington Central Catholic on Monday and host Regina Dominican next Saturday. The team is without Miranda Becker (mononucleosis).
KUDOS TO THE HOT SHOTS
Great to see the accuracy rates for some of the area's top free throwers (see statistics on scoreboard page). Unity has made nearly two-thirds of its attempts this season and has two juniors, Kasie Woodworth and Aeriel Fender, checking in at 90 percent or better. Other top marksmen, before Thursday's games, included Uni High's Jessi Sullivan (15 for 16), Westville's Alex Hannan (13 for 14), Bismarck-Henning's Kristen Tuggle (10 for 11), Salt Fork's Mallory Meade (16 for 18) and Uni High's Michelle Wong (8 for 9).
DANI GOOCH, Unity
Scored 11 points, including a three-pointer, and had five assists at Maroa.
AMY CHROMCHAK, South Piatt
Scored 12 points, including a three-pointer, and had six assists plus three steals vs. Villa Grove.
JENI FREE, Bismarck-Henning
Scored 10 points and had nine rebounds as well as seven steals against Oakwood.
KIERRA ROBINSON, Champaign Central
Scored 20 points at Danville to help coach Staci Starkweather earn her first varsity victory.
TOP FIVE SCORERS (and ties)
CAMILLE PARSONS, Urbana: 30 points vs. Decatur Eisenhower
JESSICA BRITO, Bismarck-Henning: 28 points vs. Oakwood
MADISON BAYLER, Fisher: 22 points vs. Blue Ridge
LAUREN TAYLOR, Sullivan: 22 points vs. Warrensburg-Latham
LINZY HOUGHTALING, Georgetown-Ridge Farm: 21 points vs. Chrisman
SAVANNAH PIETY, Fisher: 21 points vs. Blue Ridge
BROOKE WOLFE, Chrisman: 21 points vs. Georgetown-Ridge Farm
TOP FIVE REBOUNDERS (and ties)
SHELBY HELFRICH, South Piatt: 16 boards vs. Villa Grove
BRIA OLSON, St. Joseph-Ogden: 11 boards vs. Clifton Central
NIKKI FATKA, Iroquois West: 10 boards vs. Tri-Point
KELSI WRIGHT, Cerro Gordo: 10 boards vs. Shiloh
ERIN DOWNEY, Shiloh: nine boards vs. Cerro Gordo
SARAH PETERSEN, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley: nine boards vs. LeRoy
CLAIRE STRADER, TRI-COUNTY: nine boards vs. Martinsville
Unbeaten Hawks had three players score at least 18 points in a win at home against Pontiac.
Unbeaten Blue Devils thumped an Oakwood team that entered the game with a 6-2 record.
How news-gazette top 10 fared
SCHOOL (PREVIOUS) RECORD
1. Shiloh (2) 11-0 n Defeated Cerro Gordo 79-42
2. Bismarck-Henning (4) 8-0 n Defeated Oakwood 75-43
3. Urbana (1) 7-1 n Defeated Decatur Eisenhower 64-49
4. St. Thomas More (3) 10-1 n Defeated Momence 45-37
5. Prairie Central (6) 8-0 n Defeated Pontiac 69-51
6. Unity (5) 7-3 n Defeated Maroa-Forsyth 60-37
7. Ridgeview (7) 6-1 n Defeated El Paso-Gridley 63-50
8. Salt Fork (9) 5-1 n Defeated Westville 48-23
9. Chrisman (10) 7-2 n Defeated Georgetown-Ridge Farm 45-31
10. Milford (–) 7-2 n Idle