Cook (left) and Illinois are the proven commodity coming into today''s game, but Memphis gets Massie (right) back for the first time this season and also has Jeremy Hunt in the lineup for the first time since the season opener. If the Tigers can get on the same page in a hurry, they could throw the book at the Illini.

Sluggish finish costs Vikings in opener

PONTIAC  Short-handed and shortchanged were the operative words for Danville High School''s boys'' basketball team in Thursday''s opener of the 72nd Pontiac Holiday Tournament. The Vikings were without rebounding leader LeStan Hoskins (flu) and

Former area players in the NBA

A daily glance at The News-Gazette area''s finest: * ROBERT ARCHIBALD (Illinois), Memphis Grizzlies: Idle * BRIAN CARDINAL (Unity), Washington Wizards: Did not play * KEON CLARK (Danville), Sacramento Kings: Idle * KENDALL GILL

Central takes positive step in tournament

A first-half offensive shootout turned into a second-half defensive showdown between Champaign Central and Chicago Carver. And the Maroons were the ones left standing after the final buzzer, holding off the Challengers 64-56 at the Centralia Holiday Tournament on Thursday night in Centralia. Brian Carter-Williams scored 13 points, grabbed five rebounds and collected four steals for the Maroons, who shot 57.1 percent in the first half. Carver was also in a first-half zone, shooting at a

Warriors show familiar form

MONTICELLO  Tuscola''s 2002-03 boys'' basketball fortunes have been as up and down as a kid on a Christmas pogo stick. And Thursday''s 63-42 win against Meridian (2-7) in the Monticello Sages'' Holiday Hoopla tournament was certainly no

Exclusive club: 600 and counting ¬

CHAMPAIGN  On the sidelines during an Illinois game, it is not uncommon for Theresa Grentz to make an impassioned plea or gesture with great animation. She has been known to call a timeout and use the full effects of her voice. It might give

Sister act provides lift for Heritage

Candi McGee poured in a game-high 29 points and sister Carmen McGee added 17 as Heritage beat Armstrong-Potomac 65-51 in Pepsi Storm Classic action Thursday in Jamaica. Ashley Sie-berns led the Trojans with 13 points. Amy Burton scored 12.

Rack ''em up

Illinois'' Theresa Grentz, the first full-time women''s basketball coach in the country, is in her 29th season and soon will collect her 600th victory. When Grentz reached other milestone wins: 1  St. Joseph''s 64, Delaware 60 (Jan. 17, 1974)

Backfield''s in motion for Illinois

Seven Big Ten football teams are competing in bowl games. Iowa landed a BCS spot opposite Southern California, and Ohio State faces Miami for the national title. But no conference coach approaches the new year in a better

R/A trying to decide on flying coop

School board members at Rossville-Alvin will face a major decision soon. Should they renew the girls'' basketball cooperative agreement with Bismarck-Henning for two more years, or should they try to field a team of their own again? The last time they tried the latter route, for the 1998-99 season, more than a dozen girls expressed interest in playing. But when it came time to practice, not enough girls to make a starting lineup were present, and the season was forfeited. It has been five