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Tuesday, Dec. 31

High school basketball

[DEC. 31, 2002] 

State Farm Holiday Classic


Class AA - Third place

Lincoln      17   26   42     57

St. Rita       8   21   31     39

Lincoln:  Gallagher 1-0-2, Bunch 6-8-22, Farmer 4-2-11, Komnick 0-0-0, Schrader 2-2-6, Young 6-3-16.  Totals 19-15-57.  Three-pointers:  Bunch 2, Farmer 1, Young 1.

Class A - Championship

Quincy Notre Dame     14   29   44     66

Mount Pulaski                3   20   34     55

Mount Pulaski:  Erlenbush 2-0-4, Anderson 6-1-15, Olson 2-2-6, Waymire 1-0-2, Blaum 0-2-2, N. Tierney 3-0-6, J. Tierney 1-4-6, Coers 1-4-6, Milner 4-0-8, McCormack 0-0-0, Moore 0-0-0.  Totals 20-13-55.  Three-pointers:  Anderson 2.

Class A - Consolation third place

Olympia      16   27   44     57

Sherrard       4   17   30     50

Olympia:  Thornton 2-0-6, Kieser 5-3-14, Schmidgall 2-1-5, Elliot 4-4-13, Criswell 6-1-13, Olson 3-0-6, Boudeman 0-0-0.  Totals 22-9-57.  Three-pointers:  Thornton 2, Kieser 1, Elliott 1.


Class AA - Third place

Lincoln                          4   14   20     33

Peoria Notre Dame     15   20   26     39

Lincoln:  Robbins 1-1-3, Presswood 1-0-2, Hoffert 2-2-7, Ingram 3-3-11, Humbert 1-2-5, Freesmeier 1-0-2, Carey 1-1-3, Whalen 0-0-0.  Totals 10-9-33.  Three-pointers:  Ingram 2, Hoffert 1, Humbert 1.

Class A - Third place

Tolono Unity     13   17   24     38

Olympia              5   18   24     40

Olympia:  Wilcox 1-0-2, Floyd 2-6-10, Prager 3-3-9, Hieser 2-1-5, Brand 1-0-2, Canopy 0-0-0, Litwiller 6-0-12.  Totals 15-10-40.

Other tournaments - Boys

Williamsville - Championship

Warrensburg-Latham     16   26   42     54

CPCI                               8   21   42     49

Warrensburg-Latham:  Calmes 9-1-19, Aughenbaugh 0-3-3, Binkley 1-1-3, Kronshagen 2-0-4, Traughber 1-0-2, Doyle 2-0-4, Littrell 2-0-4.  Totals 24-6-54.

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State Farm photos:

LCHS boys

[Photo by Kristopher Lewis]

[Photos by Bob Frank]

LCHS girls

Mount Pulaski boys

Bloomington, Ill.—Sam Leman, Chrysler, Jeep, Mazda, and Auto Stop

The largest program car dealer in downstate Illinois just announced plans to have one of the largest 4-day events held in Bloomington.  This event will take place on Jan. 2, 3, 4 and 6.  According to Rick Pontnack, General Sales manager, outstanding new sales in November and December have resulted in an extraordinary number of used vehicles in stock, “More now than we’ve had in months!  I have program cars, trucks and vans.  Cars starting at $995.00!  We are going to have to move a lot of used vehicles fast…or else they will go to wholesale auction.”

Rather than lose money wholesaling these vehicles, plus carrying cost, Rick decided to slash the prices on the entire inventory in an attempt to sell at least 150 vehicles in 4 days.  “I’ve been given orders to sell some cars for $995 that normally sell for $3000 just to move them.  The Average sale price will be from $1000 to $3000 less than our normal low prices.  The savings will be incredible!”  Sam Leman Chrysler, Jeep, Mazda, and Auto Stop will have all of these used vehicles on display in the heated Interstate Center in Bloomington starting on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2003.

“Word of mouth is the best form of advertising, and if you sell people quality cars like we do, you get a lot of loyal repeat customers,” said Rick Pontnack, expressing Sam Leman’s philosophy.

All vehicles are subject to prior sale.  For information, call 309-662-5000.

Keeney hits 3s, but 'Birds fall short against Indiana

[DEC. 31, 2002]  NORMAL -- Erin Keeney recorded career highs with 19 points, including four 3-point baskets and eight rebounds, but Indiana's defense made the difference at the end, limiting Illinois State to just six points in the final 4:30 to salt away a 71-64 decision.

Early in the game, though, Keeney's 3s had the Hoosiers on their heels 7-3, even though she had made just one of 13 for the season before Monday's barrage.

"Coach (Jenny) Yopp and I talked after practice (Sunday), and she told me not to get frustrated," said Keeney. "I have always been a 3-point shooter, and coach Yopp believes in me."

Yopp agreed. "I told her (Keeney) that I recruited her to shoot the 3. She needed to become confident, and I think Erin knows that," she said.

Keeney got the Redbirds off to a fast start with three 3-point field goals in the first six minutes, and Taren O'Brien added a jumper and a pair of free throws to give Illinois State a 13-7 lead. Jenny DeMuth converted a pair of free throws to start a 9-0 Hoosier run that boosted IU ahead 16-13. Jaci McCormack's 3-pointer and Michelle Harakas' jump shot got ISU back ahead 18-16 with 9:44 left in the half.


Indiana stretched out to a nine-point lead on a run sparked by a DeMuth 3-pointer and five empty offensive trips by the Redbirds. Trailing 27-18 heading into the final four minutes of the half, ISU sliced it to six twice, but IU shot six free throws in the final two minutes to take a 36-26 halftime lead. After a four-for-five start, the Redbirds made just three of their last 17 field goals before halftime.

In the second half, the Hoosiers kept the Redbirds chasing leads between six and 13 points in the first 15 minutes. IU held a 63-52 lead at the six-minute mark, when Donovan's layup on a blind bounce pass from Blade, Keeney's long 2-pointer, and a McCormack steal and basket trimmed the margin to 63-58 with 4:38 left. ISU had opportunities to get closer but had some shots rim out. The only score in the next 3:30 was a Bodine jump shot for IU with 4:13 left.


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Along with Keeney's 19 points, the Redbirds also had Sharon Blade score in double figures, with 10 points. Katie Donovan followed Keeney in rebounds with seven. The 'Birds had 13 turnovers in the first half but just five after intermission.

The Hoosiers, 7-3, were led by Cyndi Valentin with 22 points, while Kristen Bodine contributed 15. Indiana had three players with seven rebounds each, and Bodine led the Hoosiers in assists with a game-high seven dishes.

The game was a long way from last year's meeting, when Illinois State fell to the Hoosiers 101-53 in Bloomington.

Yopp credited IU's defensive intensity. "That is the best half-court defense we have seen all season," said Yopp. "That was Kathi Bennett defense, and we needed the first 20 minutes to adjust to it. Our kids stayed aggressive and got some scoring opportunities. We have really gained some confidence."

Hoosier coach Kathi Bennett, who spent four years in the Missouri Valley as head coach at Evansville, believes the Redbirds challenged her team. "This is one of the best teams we have played," said Bennett. "They are scrappy and play hard. They are going to be a very good team. I feel good about the win because of how hard we had to play, especially on defense, to get it."

The Redbirds, 2-7, open the Missouri Valley Conference season at 2:05 p.m. Saturday against Indiana State in Redbird Arena.

[Thomas Lamonica, Illinois State University]

Men's basketball pre-game notes

Illinois State vs. Southern Illinois

[DEC. 31, 2002]   The Illinois State Redbirds play the Southern Illinois Salukis in Carbondale on Saturday afternoon, Jan. 4.

Click here to view pre-game notes (in Adobe Acrobat).

[Click here to download the Adobe Acrobat reader.]

[Provided by Todd Kober,
 director of media relations,
Illinois State University]

Senior leadership takes Illini over Coppin State

Cook and Harrington lead Illinois to a 63-37 victory

By Jeff Mayfield

[DEC. 31, 2002]  Brian Cook and Sean Harrington continued Monday night doing what they always do, helping No. 12 Illinois (9-1) win games. This time it was a 63-37 victory over a very gritty and determined Coppin State team. Cook and Harrington outscored Coppin by themselves!

And this game was much closer than the final score indicated. But when Lincoln's Brian Cook, the Big Ten's leading scorer, goes off for and leads all scorers and all rebounders with 20 points and eight rebounds, what’s a visiting opponent to do? Then you compound the problem by watching Sean Harrington erupt for 18 points by dialing long distance six times.

Somebody please tell me that Big Ten opponents are going to let Sean and Brian shoot this many open shots? Didn't think I'd find any takers!


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Illinois even once again lost the rebounding battle, 25-27, but did force Coppin into 18 turnovers while limiting themselves to a mere 13. The Illini also held CSU to a paltry 29 percent shooting night, while the Illini torched the nets for 51 percent shooting. They also continued to follow the LDN's imploring of improvement at the FT line by hitting nine of 12 for a 75 percent touch and kudos from the entire LDN staff.

Next up for the Illini is a Saturday night game with the Grizzlies of Oakland University.

Don't forget to check out the article on the Illini in Sports Illustrated.

[Jeff Mayfield]

Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores, Inc.
is coming to Williamsville, IL.

We have openings for Travel Stop Management at our new location currently under construction in Williamsville. Positions available include: Travel Stop General Manager and Travel Stop Assistant Managers. We are looking for career-minded people to add to our over 140 locations across the U.S. We are opening 8-12 stores per year.

Stop by and interview with us on Monday, January 6. Interviews will be held at the Hampton Inn, 3185 S. Dirksen Parkway, Exit 94, Springfield.  Interview times are: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (no appointment necessary).  Stop by and meet Todd Wilson who will be conducting confidential interviews. Please bring your resume (with work references) and a copy of your recent paycheck stub or W-2 form from current or last employer. For early consideration, please e-mail your resume, plus cover letter to or fax to (405) 749-9145.

Our ideal candidates will have grocery, fast-food, convenience store, high volume retail or travel stop experience. Ability to relocate a PLUS. We offer a base salary up to $40K plus quarterly bonuses up to 20% of annual salary and a competitive benefits package including health, life and disability insurance, 401(k), paid vacation/holidays, sick pay and relocation assistance.  EOE.

Come grow with Love's Travel Stops!

Kocka going to Australia games

[DEC. 31, 2002]  Dan Kocka, son of John and Jean Kocka of Lincoln, has been named to the U.S. junior national team for Australian football in the 2003 Arafura Games in Darwin, Australia, May 17-24. The Arafura Games are an Olympics-style event with more than 6,000 athletes from more than 20 countries participating in 30 sports.

Australian football is a combination of rugby, soccer and football. Players chosen for the U.S. junior team, called the Under 23 Revolution, were announced by the United States Australian Football League in conjunction with USA Athletes International.

Kocka graduated from Lincoln High School in 1999 and is a senior at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville. He is currently playing for the St. Louis Blues Australian Rules Football Club.

For more information, see  and

[Provided by John Kocka]

Articles from the past week


  • Mayfield's Mutterings: Mount Pulaski steals area spotlight
  • High school basketball
  • Illinois State suffers worst defeat at Redbird Arena, falls to SMS 76-48


  • High school basketball


  • High school basketball


  • Women's basketball pre-game notes:
    Illinois vs. Indiana, Indiana State


  • (Christmas holiday)


Mount Pulaski steals area spotlight

By Jeff Mayfield

[DEC. 30, 2002]  ...And not only did they steal the spotlight in this week's holiday basketball tournaments, they're still doing it. Tonight at 6 at the Shirk Center they will play the top-seeded Quincy Notre Dame program. But don't count out Jim Jumper and his Hilltoppers. People have been doing that all year, and Mount Pulaski just keeps piling up the wins. Good luck, Mt. P!!!

I know that Illini fans were disappointed with Illinois' 74-77 loss to the Memphis Tigers, but I wasn't all that devastated. Don't get me wrong... If we could go 33-0 and they would just hand us the national championship banner right now, I would gladly display it; but I also don't think that that is very realistic. This team will be up and down, but I predict more highs than lows.

I think this game was brilliantly scheduled. Especially if you've glanced at a schedule and already discovered that four of the first six Illini Big Ten games are on the road. That would be tough for a veteran team… multiply exponentially for a young team. Another reason I'm glad we played the Memphis game. Maybe we won't like that taste in our mouth and it will pay off in a couple of close wins somewhere down the road.

Lots of opportunity for the Illini to show how much they can grow up over the next two to three weeks. Next up: Coppin State tonight at 7. Plenty of seats still available!

The Railers got stung by -- you guessed it -- the South Holland Thornwood bunch. They can end the tourney on a happier note with a third-place trophy today at the Horton Fieldhouse at 4:30. Thornwood gets a tough Normal Community at the Shirk at 9 p.m.

The Lady Railers had a nice run in the tourney, and they also will play for third place in the Horton prior to the boys' contest at 3 p.m.!


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The Bears' season mercifully came to an end last night at the hands of Tampa Bay, 15-0. As my friend Greg Taylor says, the Bears are tough to watch. Playoff predictions: In the NFC I'm going with one of the Bays… probably the green one. In the AFC… I'll say either the Titans or the Jets. The safe money is to go with somebody else!


[Photos by Jeff Mayfield]

For you "FANdamonium" fans, there is a holiday treat in store. To give our outstanding production crew (Tim Rogers, Celeste Rogers and Jim Ash) a little break, we will be replaying the interviews we did with Illini coach Bill Self and with Brian Cook. Hope you enjoy them or enjoy them again, and Happy New Year to everyone!

[Jeff Mayfield]


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