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Pyne Needles
            by Ed Pyne, Publisher
March 19 2015
Two trips to Peoria in one year fantastic
After last week’s trip to Peoria for the Class 1A-2A Boys State Tournament to watch the Ridgeview Mustangs take third place I thought that would be it. But, we’ll be going back this weekend thanks to the Normal Community High School Ironmen. They defeated the No. 1 ranked and 7-time state champion Simeon High School of Chicago Tuesday night at Redbird Arena, 64-50.
Allthough they had a 31-1 record going into the game few pundits thought the Ironmen would win. The Wolverines had a 27-3 record against stiff competition, were ranked No. 7 in the nation and had a University of Illinois recruit in 6-foot-7 Dennis Williams but history was made.
NCHS’ 6-7 forward Alex Peacock played like a Division 1 recruit. He scored 18 of his team’s first 22 points and kept them close in the first half. He ended with 25 points.  6-7  teammate Tyler Seibring found his stride in the second half and finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds.
NCHS will battle Geneva High at 8:15 p.m. for the right to advance to Saturday night’s finale.
Congratulations to both local coaches. Rodney Kellar’s Ridgeview team played great and could return next to state next year. Dave Witzig does a great job with the Ironmen.

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March 12 2015
Bittersweet victory for the Ridgeview Mustangs
As our editor of The Ridgeview Review in Colfax, Trish Donaldson, said, “It was a bittersweet day for the Mustangs.” The high school boys basketball team made the state tournament finals in Peoria this weekend but Coach Rodney Kellar’s dad, Leon Kellar passed away Tuesday night after the Mustangs defeated Flanagan-Cornell, 57-38, to advance.
Trish also said Leon, who was a legendary coach at the same school, would be very pleased to see the team play at State, and he will have “the best seat in the house.”
It will be the first time one of Rodney Kellar’s teams has reached the finals and it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. They will play Brimfield on Friday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. at Carver Arena in Peoria.
The game Tuesday featured a one in a million shot by Luke Ward of the Mustangs. Just when Flanagan was rallying from a huge deficit and had the momentum Luke turned that around with a 75 foot shot,  3/4 court length shot that kept Ridgeview comfortably in front with a  29-21 lead.
Wasn’t the Redbirds MVC Tournament performance amazing? They gave the thousands of Redbird fans who made the trip to St. Louis a thrill.  They competed against  two nationally ranked teams in Wichita State and Northern Iowa and beat one and had an 18-point lead on the other.
The Redbirds are still young and Coach Dan Muller has a put together a fine team. They should get an NIT bid this weekend.


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