Home • Community • Looking Back • Recent Columns • Pyne Needles • Sports • Classifieds • Weather • About • Subscribe • Rates • Contact

Sports

Get all our news every week - Subscribe to the Normalite

High School Highlights

Steve Robinson Photo
by
Steve Robinson

Local, County Teams’ Holiday Tourney Schedules At A Glance

An old song by the late Andy Williams proclaimed, “It’s The Holiday Season…,” and if some aspiring composer with a love of basketball wanted to, they could add a lyric about it also being a time for holiday basketball.
The State Farm Bloomington-Normal Holiday Classic, known simply around these parts as “The Classic,” gives us the day after Christmas to exchange gifts as needed right before tipping off on Tuesday, Dec. 27 running through championship night on Friday, Dec. 30. That gives us all four full days of fun to watch on the hardwood.
Again this year, Normal Community West High School and Illinois Wesleyan University’s Shirk Center will be among the venues returning for The Classic, joined by Normal Community High School and Bloomington Central Catholic High School.
In the Small School Boys bracket, Quincy Notre Dame is seeded first, with El Paso Gridley the only county team among the contenders. The Titans are seeded 13th and will take on 4th seed BCC Dec. 27 at 11:30a.m. at Shirk Center.
The local schools will have their work cut out for them in the Large School Boys bracket. University High School, under new head coach Andrew McDowell, is seeded 8th and will take on 9th seed Rockford Lutheran at Normal West. The game tips off at 4:30p.m. At that same location at 9p.m., NCHS, seeded 11th, will tangle with 6th seed Joliet Central.
Among the teams in the Small School Girls bracket, BCC, seeded 13th, will face 4th seed Peoria Christian. That Dec. 27 game will be at NCHS starting a 10a.m. LeRoy is also in that bracket, seeded 15th and will square off against Camp Point Central//ASE at 9p.m. at NCHS. El Paso Gridley is seeded 14th and will face 3rd seed Rock Falls at NCHS at 2:30p.m.
In the Large School Girls bracket, only U-High seems to be the local team awarded a single digit seed. The 6th seed Pioneers will face 11th seed Chicago St. Ignatius. That game tips off Dec. 27 at BCC at 2:30p.m.
Sticking with the Large School Girls bracket, NCHS is seeded 12th and will face 5th seed Rochester at 7:30p.m. at BCC. Normal West is 15th, drawing second seed Morton. That game precedes NCHS’ game and begins at 6p.m. Bloomington High School is seeded 14th and will face Springfield High on the Purple Raiders’ home court in an opening game that will start at 1p.m.
Normal West’s boys’ team will again be competing at the Pekin Insurance Holiday Tournament beginning on Dec. 27. That day, the Wildcats will face Lake Zurich starting with a 9:30p.m. tipoff.
I think this is one of the first times I have ever seen the seedings printed on The Classic tournament’s brackets. I’m certain I’m not the only person, whether they follow these brackets, with every game or just casually, who appreciates that particular change. The Classic tournament bills itself as “The Best Basketball This Side Of March.” Illinois High School Association’s branding of its tournament is now known widely as “March Madness.” So, after Christmas, let the early madness begin.


Click to Check out our Photo Galleries from Alan Look Photography - Bloomington - Normal's Best Look in Sports Action Photography



Redbirds Top Wichita State to Win Battle of MVC Unbeatens
Illinois State improved to 6-0 – in sole possession of first place in the Missouri Valley Conference men’s basketball standings for the first time since 1998 – by beating Wichita State, 76-62, to hand the Shockers their first league loss of the season in front of 9,078 fans Saturday, January 14 on Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena.
With the victory, ISU (14-4, 6-0 MVC) knocked WSU (15-4, 5-1 MVC) out of first in the MVC for the first time since the end of the 2013 season. The Redbirds also won their seventh-straight game and their 15th in a row at home, dating back to last season. Illinois State held Wichita State – a team that came in shooting 47.1 percent – to 22-for-63 (34.9 percent) from the field. Meanwhile, the Redbirds shot 26-for-48 (54.2 percent) from the field, marking ISU’s second-highest shooting effort of the season.
MiKyle McIntosh led five Redbirds who achieved double-digit scoring with 20 points on 7-for-9 shooting. He was joined in double figures by Deontae Hawkins (14), DJ Clayton (11), Keyshawn Evans (10) and Paris Lee (10). Hawkins and Phil Fayne also added eight rebounds. For Wichita State, Darral Willis Jr. and Landry Shamel each netted 14 points.
Lee lifted Illinois State to a 3-0 lead on the Redbirds’ first possession by netting a trifecta from the top of the key. Wichita State tied the game with three Shamet free throws; however, ISU regained the advantage on a Tony Wills 3-pointer. Wills then buried another trifecta to build a 9-5 Redbird lead, and Lee made the score 11-5 at the 15:54 mark with a fastbreak layup sparked by a Fayne steal. The Shockers answered with a 7-0 run to take a 12-10 advantage on Shaquille Morris’ jumper with 13:24 remaining in the first half.
Wichita State extended its lead to 15-13 on a Conner Frankamp 3-pointer. But, McIntosh converted a three-point play to regain the Redbird advantage. Another Frankamp trifecta lifted the Shockers ahead, 20-18, at the 10:59 mark. The teams proceeded to exchange baskets until the Redbirds went on a 13-3 run from 7:56 until a baseline 3-poiner by Evans at the 2:48 mark. Illinois State held the Shockers scoreless for 3:38 during the stretch en route to a 36-27 halftime advantage. ISU limited Wichita State to its second-lowest first-half point total, as the Redbirds shot 13-for-27 (48.1 percent) from the field while holding the Shockers to 10-for-29 (34.5 percent).
Wichita State opened the second half with a an 8-1 run – with all eight points by Markis McDuffie – to cut Illinois State’s lead to 37-35 on a McDuffie 3-pointer at the 17:53 mark. Fayne netted a jumper to stop the run, and the teams exchanged baskets for the next two minutes before the Redbirds went on an 8-3 run to take a 49-42 lead on a Fayne dunk with 10:48 remaining. ISU extended its lead to 54-44 on a Hawkins 3-pointer with a 9:28 to play.
The Shockers answered by manufacturing a 9-2 run – including five points by Shamet – and Wichita State pulled within 56-53 at the 6:14 mark before Lee and Hawkins each drilled 3-pointers to push ISU’s margin to nine points, 62-53, with 5:07 remaining. And, after Wichita State made the score 62-55, McIntosh hit a fade-away 3-pointer which sparked a 7-0 run to give ISU a 69-55 lead on a pair of Lee free throws at the 1:37 mark. Wichita State pulled within 11 points in the final minute, but Illinois State maintained its double-digit lead, and a dunk by McIntosh at the 18-second mark put an exclamation point on ISU’s 76-62 victory.
ISU returns to Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena Saturday, Jan. 21 to host Drake at 7 p.m. Redbird great Doug Collins will be recognized at halftime of Saturday’s game.




Women’s Basketball Falls to First-Place Drake in ‘We Back Pat’ Game
The Illinois State women’s basketball team was defeated by first-place Drake, 87-36, in Missouri Valley Conference action Sunday, January 15 on Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena in the team’s annual “We Back Pat” contest.
All 12 Redbirds played for the second game in a row, with nine scoring. Senior Brechelle Beachum and sophomore Katrina Beck both scored six points, while junior Hannah Green pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds and rejected a game-high three shots. Beck also tied a career high in blocks with two.
Illinois State finished the game shooting 22.8 percent (13-of-57) and was 4-of-33 from downtown. Drake, who entered the contest as the fourth-best shooting team in the country, finished at 53.1 percent (34-of-64), including a sizzling 13-of-20 (65 percent) from long distance. Every basket but six was credited with an assist.
The Bulldogs used their size to win the rebounding battle, 45-31, and outscore the Redbirds in the paint, 40-10. Illinois State forced 14 turnovers, but the Redbirds gave it up 19 times, which led to a 30-2 deficit in points off turnovers. Fourteen of the 19 turnovers were the result of steals.
Drake had four players score in double figures, with Lizzy Wendell leading the way with 17 points and five assists, while Sammie Bachrodt and Becca Hittner each added 12 points and three assists. Becca Jonas chipped in 11 points, a team-high seven rebounds, three assists and two steals. Bachrodt and Paige Greiner (nine points) both registered a game-high four steals, and Greiner and Caitlin Ingle, who entered the contest with the second-most assists in the country, each had five assists.
The Redbirds return to action Friday, Jan. 20, when they travel to Springfield, Missouri, to take on Missouri State in conference play, with tipoff slated for 7 p.m. inside JHQ Arena.



ISU Women’s Basketball Wins Second Half in Loss to First-Place UNI
The Illinois State women’s basketball team outscored first-place Northern Iowa, 29-28, in the second half, but the Panthers dominated the first 20 minutes in a 78-40 victory Friday, January 13 in Missouri Valley Conference action on Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena.
Northern Iowa (12-4, 5-0 MVC) tallied the first 25 points of the contest until a three-point play from sophomore Viria Livingston nine minutes and 10 seconds into the opening quarter put the Redbirds (4-11, 1-3 MVC) on the scoreboard.
For the game, Illinois State finished at a season-low 21.1 percent (12-of-55) and shot 4-of-19 from behind the arc. The Redbirds did connect on 12-of-13 free throws (92.3 percent). Northern Iowa cooled off to shoot 47.5 percent (29-of-61), including 5-of-22 from downtown, while shooting 93.8 percent (15-of-16) from the charity stripe.
Illinois State turned the ball over 22 times and forced 11 turnovers, which led to a 28-5 advantage for Northern Iowa in points off turnovers. The Panthers also used their size and fast-break chances (17-0) to outscore the Redbirds in the paint, 42-14. The visitors also won the battle on the glass, 39-35, but Illinois State held an 18-14 advantage on the offensive boards.
Senior Brechelle Beachum was the top scorer with 10 points to go along with a game-high three steals, while Stewart added nine points and two steals. Sophomore Katrina Beck chipped in seven points and four rebounds, and Livingston finished with six points and six rebounds to share team-high honors with freshman Megan Talbot, who also had a season-high two steals.
Twelve of the 13 players for Northern Iowa scored, with Ellie Herzberg leading the way with 11 points, four rebounds and two steals. Megan Maahs pulled down a game-high nine rebounds and added two blocks and two steals.














Corn Kernels
News about the Normal CornBelters

Steve Robinson Photo
by
Steve Robinson

Returning in the spring of 2017 by popular demand


RRedbirds Move to 5-0 in MVC with 60-53 win at Southern Illinois
After Illinois State and Southern Illinois both shot 12-for-23 (52.2 percent) in the first half, the Redbirds held the Salukis to 5-for-27 (18.5 percent) shooting in the second half to surmount a four-point halftime deficit en route to a 60-53 Missouri Valley Conference victory over SIU Wednesday night at SIU Arena.
The Redbirds (13-4 overall) won their sixth-straight game and improved to 5-0 in the MVC for the first time since starting the 2007-08 season with a 6-0 record before suffering their first loss. ISU has also won its first three league road games of the season for the first time since 1997-98.
DJ Clayton matched a career high with 13 points on a career-best 6-for-7 (85.7 percent) shooting in the winning effort. Deontae Hawkins collected a game-high eight rebounds and scored 11 points, and Paris Lee netted 10 points with four assists and three steals. Sean O’Brien led Southern Illinois with 15 points and seven rebounds. The Redbirds shot 23-for-49 (46.9 percent) from the field, while the Salukis finished 17-for-50 (34.0 percent) from the field.
Southern Illinois built a 5-0 lead before MiKyle McIntosh put Illinois State on the board with a hook shot at the 17:56 mark. After the Salukis took a 9-4 advantage, Illinois State answered with a 5-2 run to pull within 11-9 on a Phil Fayne layup with 12:47 remaining. Southern Illinois went on to hold a 20-13 advantage.
Tony Wills responded by burying a 3-pointer to spark an 8-2 run which pulled the Redbirds within 22-21 on a Lee steal and ensuing fastbreak layup at the 6:05 mark. Then, Clayton forced a steal and scored on a fastbreak dunk to tie the game at 24-24. However, Southern Illinois outscored Illinois State, 9-5, to end the first half, and ISU trailed, 33-29, at halftime. Clayton led the Redbirds with nine first-half points.
The Redbirds opened the second half with a 7-2 run and took their first lead of the game on a Lee 3-pointer at the 15:33 mark which pushed ISU ahead, 36-35. Defensively, Illinois State held Southern Illinois without a field goal in the second half until a Leo Vincent trifecta with 14:02 remaining which made the score 38-36 in favor of SIU. Illinois State answered with a 9-0 run to build a 45-38 lead on a Keyshawn Evans 3-pointer at the 11:23 mark. A trifecta by Rudy Stradnieks pulled the Salukis within 45-42 with 9:27 remaining.
Then, with ISU leading, 47-44, Hawkins converted a three-point play to lift the Redbirds ahead by a six-point margin, 50-44, at the 8:10 mark. A two-handed dunk by Fayne pushed the Redbird advantage to 52-44. However, Southern Illinois responded with four-unanswered points to pull within 52-48. On the other end, Evans buried a 3-pointer and Hawkins netted a layup which extended ISU’s lead to 57-48 at the 1:36 mark, and Illinois State held on in the final 90 seconds for the seven-point victory.

Redbirds Top Wichita State to Win Battle of MVC Unbeatens
Illinois State improved to 6-0 – in sole possession of first place in the Missouri Valley Conference men’s basketball standings for the first time since 1998 – by beating Wichita State, 76-62, to hand the Shockers their first league loss of the season in front of 9,078 fans Saturday, January 14 on Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena.
With the victory, ISU (14-4, 6-0 MVC) knocked WSU (15-4, 5-1 MVC) out of first in the MVC for the first time since the end of the 2013 season. The Redbirds also won their seventh-straight game and their 15th in a row at home, dating back to last season. Illinois State held Wichita State – a team that came in shooting 47.1 percent – to 22-for-63 (34.9 percent) from the field. Meanwhile, the Redbirds shot 26-for-48 (54.2 percent) from the field, marking ISU’s second-highest shooting effort of the season.
MiKyle McIntosh led five Redbirds who achieved double-digit scoring with 20 points on 7-for-9 shooting. He was joined in double figures by Deontae Hawkins (14), DJ Clayton (11), Keyshawn Evans (10) and Paris Lee (10). Hawkins and Phil Fayne also added eight rebounds. For Wichita State, Darral Willis Jr. and Landry Shamel each netted 14 points.
Lee lifted Illinois State to a 3-0 lead on the Redbirds’ first possession by netting a trifecta from the top of the key. Wichita State tied the game with three Shamet free throws; however, ISU regained the advantage on a Tony Wills 3-pointer. Wills then buried another trifecta to build a 9-5 Redbird lead, and Lee made the score 11-5 at the 15:54 mark with a fastbreak layup sparked by a Fayne steal. The Shockers answered with a 7-0 run to take a 12-10 advantage on Shaquille Morris’ jumper with 13:24 remaining in the first half.
Wichita State extended its lead to 15-13 on a Conner Frankamp 3-pointer. But, McIntosh converted a three-point play to regain the Redbird advantage. Another Frankamp trifecta lifted the Shockers ahead, 20-18, at the 10:59 mark. The teams proceeded to exchange baskets until the Redbirds went on a 13-3 run from 7:56 until a baseline 3-poiner by Evans at the 2:48 mark. Illinois State held the Shockers scoreless for 3:38 during the stretch en route to a 36-27 halftime advantage. ISU limited Wichita State to its second-lowest first-half point total, as the Redbirds shot 13-for-27 (48.1 percent) from the field while holding the Shockers to 10-for-29 (34.5 percent).
Wichita State opened the second half with a an 8-1 run – with all eight points by Markis McDuffie – to cut Illinois State’s lead to 37-35 on a McDuffie 3-pointer at the 17:53 mark. Fayne netted a jumper to stop the run, and the teams exchanged baskets for the next two minutes before the Redbirds went on an 8-3 run to take a 49-42 lead on a Fayne dunk with 10:48 remaining. ISU extended its lead to 54-44 on a Hawkins 3-pointer with a 9:28 to play.
The Shockers answered by manufacturing a 9-2 run – including five points by Shamet – and Wichita State pulled within 56-53 at the 6:14 mark before Lee and Hawkins each drilled 3-pointers to push ISU’s margin to nine points, 62-53, with 5:07 remaining. And, after Wichita State made the score 62-55, McIntosh hit a fade-away 3-pointer which sparked a 7-0 run to give ISU a 69-55 lead on a pair of Lee free throws at the 1:37 mark. Wichita State pulled within 11 points in the final minute, but Illinois State maintained its double-digit lead, and a dunk by McIntosh at the 18-second mark put an exclamation point on ISU’s 76-62 victory.
ISU returns to Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena Saturday, Jan. 21 to host Drake at 7 p.m. Redbird great Doug Collins will be recognized at halftime of Saturday’s game.







Annual Play 4Kay Game  to be Friday, Feb. 3, 2017
Illinois State Athletics, in partnership with title sponsor Advocate Bromenn Medical Center, is proud to announce the return of its seventh-annual women’s basketball Play 4Kay cancer awareness game to be held Friday, Feb. 3, when the women’s basketball team hosts Indiana State on Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena at 7 p.m.
As Redbird fans have grown to recognize, Illinois State Athletics looks forward to this event every season, as it allows Illinois State to celebrate and lift up cancer survivors, and those currently battling the difficult disease in all of its forms.
Cancer survivors and those currently battling cancer are encouraged to register for the pregame reception in the Legends Room, by visiting GoRedbirds.com/play4kay, which is also where interested fans are encouraged to stay up-to-date with the latest news about Play 4Kay at Illinois State. More information about the event will follow in the coming weeks.





Click here for the Normalite Sports Photos Galleries




Special Editions of Best Look Magazine chronicaling the historical runs to the IHSA Finals by the Normal Community Ironmen and the Ridgeview Mustangs boys basketball team are not available.

Best Look Magazine




Celebrate 2017 National Signing Day With Redbird Football Feb. 1
Illinois State head football coach Brock Spack and his staff will publicly announce the 2017 Redbird recruiting class at a National Signing Day party to be held inside the Hancock Stadium Club the evening of Feb. 1. The event is free of charge and open to the public and a cash bar will be provided.
The annual event will begin at 6 p.m., with a short meet-and-greet session with the coaching staff before Coach Spack provides commentary and recruiting insight on the Redbird prospects, with video clips of the newest Redbirds available for viewing. Following a question and answer session, attendees are encouraged to head to Redbird Arena to watch the ISU men’s basketball game against Northern Iowa at 8 p.m.
For those without a men’s basketball parking pass, parking will be available in the gravel lot (G64) west of the North University Garage and the lot west of the Student Services Building.
“This is an event we enjoy every year and one that our entire staff looks forward to,” Spack stated. “We all put in long hours traveling and meeting recruits and their families, so the signing day party is a great way to celebrate all of that hard work with the fans that care most about the program. We hope to see everyone at the Hancock Stadium Club to talk with us about the newest Redbird Football players.”
Prior to the event, GoRedbirds.com will provide up-to-date signing day coverage for the 12th consecutive year. As each National Letter of Intent (NLI) is certified by the Illinois State Athletics Compliance Office, biographies of each ISU recruit will be updated on GoRedbirds.com. In addition, RedbirdHD.tv subscribers will have exclusive access to a highlight video of each signee, with coaches’ comments available to view.

  

Site Maintained by Alan Look Photography
@ Normalite Newspaper, All Rights Reserved
1702 W. College Suite G
Normal, IL 61761


All content is the property of The Normalite and/or Alan Look Photography.  All content and images are copyright protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America. Any reuse or redistribution without prior consent is prohibited.