Sports NewsSports TalkSchedulesAnnouncements

Sports News Elsewhere  (fresh daily from the Web)

Olympic medal and the Alberts…
any connection???

[FEB. 21, 2002]  The Winter Olympic Games are winding down, with only three more days of events after today.  Cross-country skiing and ice hockey will be followed by the closing ceremony Sunday evening from 6 to 9.  (If you haven’t gotten your brush with the Olympics, tickets to the closing ceremony are only $885.)

Stories have poured forth from many who have had a major part or even a slight touch with that prestigious event. Local resident Bob Albert adds one more.

Olympic medal and the Alberts … any connection???

From Bob Albert

Curious now???  Well, let me tell you the story! 

It all started on Feb. 24, 1996, in Granville, Ohio. My daughter Susan was expecting a child, and Kathyrn was her name. When Susan started to have labor pains, she decided that she still had time to take a shower before heading off to the hospital.  Wrong!  Little Kathyrn decided to enter this world before the shower was done. So a frantic call was made to 911, and the Granville Fire Department and the paramedics responded.  A young firewoman (and paramedic too) answered the call and helped give birth to my granddaughter Kathyrn. This firefighter had never delivered a baby before, but she did a good job and was excited with all of the happenings.  Her name was Lea Ann Parsley.

Lea Ann rode in the ambulance with Susan and Kathyrn to the hospital and helped soothe all of the excitement. Since that event, Lea Ann has become a friend of daughter Susan, and they meet and talk occasionally, since Granville is a small town.  Lea Ann and Kathyrn have a history bonding that will last forever.

  [to top of second column in this article]

And now for the rest of the story…

 If you watched the Olympics on Wednesday night and watched the sled event called the "Skelton," you then saw Kathyrn’s friend Lea Ann perform. From the small town of Granville, Lea Ann had won a spot on the USA Olympic team as a member of the Skelton sled team.  Not only did she perform, but she won a silver Olympic medal, and her teammate won the gold.  There was also an interesting lead-in TV story about Lea Ann and how she had always dreamed of being on the Fire Department and how she loved her job.  And we are glad that she does!

Well, my friends, you can see that my granddaughter Kathyrn does know some very important people in this world. Kathyrn will probably get to hold the silver medal when the two meet next week in Granville. And you never know, but maybe Kathyrn will win her own medal at the Olympics in about 12 years!!  Yes… small-town people can create big-time news!

And now you know the whole story!


[Bob Albert and LDN]

College basketball

Lincoln College vs. Spoon River

[FEB. 21, 2002]   At Lincoln:


Spoon River         33  47 — 80

Lincoln College    51  42 — 93

Lincoln stats

Lamb 3-0-6, Bausley3-0-6, Graham 2-1-5, Story 1-2-4, Scott 4-2-10, McLaughlin 3-1-7, Bossingham 6-0-14, Beebe 4-8-17, Dobey 0-1-1, Massenburg 0-2-2, Calhoun 2-0-4, Miller 0-1-1, Dullard 5-2-12, Harper 1-2-4

Three-point field goals: Bossingham 2, Beebe

Redbirds fall at Wichita State

[FEB. 21, 2002]   WICHITA, Kan. — Gregg Alexander broke the Illinois State freshman record for 3-point field goals in a season but missed ISU foul shots, and Wichita State’s inside muscle helped the Shockers avenge a January loss by beating the Redbirds 77-66 Wednesday in a Missouri Valley Conference basketball game at Henry Levitt Arena.

The Redbirds, 14-13 overall, 10-6 in the Valley, were No. 3 in the nation in free-throw percentage at the game’s start. They slumped to just eight of 16 from the stripe in losing just their second game in the last 10. Shawn Jeppson led the Redbirds with 16 points.

WSU, 14-13, 8-8 in the Valley, avenged an 81-71 loss Jan. 7 in Normal thanks to Troy Mack’s toughness in the second half. Scoring 15 of his game-high points in the final 20 minutes, Mack included nine of 11 free throws as the Shockers hit 17 of 23 from the line while winning  for the seventh time in eight league home games. WSU out-rebounded the ’Birds 32-24 as ISU’s Baboucarr Bojang and Wichita State’s Jamar Howard collected eight each.

Alexander needed just one 3-pointer to pass Dan Muller for the Illinois State freshman record for treys. He took care of that early, draining back-to-back 3-point shots to log the first six points for the ’Birds, who led 6-2 early. Alexander now holds the record with 52, including his three against the Shockers.

"We played offense probably well enough to win, but our interior defense just wasn’t there. They got inside, they drove the ball, they shot more free throws, and they were more aggressive than us," said Richardson, whose team shot 49 percent from the field and made eight of 19 3-pointers. "They scored at will inside."


[to top of second column in this article]

The ’Birds saw a 27-23 lead dissolve into a 32-27 Shocker edge as WSU went on a 9-0 run from 6:35 to 3:39 remaining in the first half. Bojang ended the ISU dry spell with a bank shot with 3:02 left. Randy Rice followed with a jumper to cut that lead to 32-31 2:40 before halftime. Rice, with all nine of his points in the first half, dropped in two driving shots to put ISU up 35-34 with 14 seconds left, but C.C. McFall beat the buzzer and WSU led 36-35 at intermission. The ’Birds never led again.

With Andy Strandmark lost to four fouls early in the second half and Dirk Williams out with a foot injury, the beefy Mack went after the ’Birds in the paint in the second half, scoring six points in three minutes as WSU opened up a 45-40 lead. Chad Mazanowski came off the bench to help the ’Birds stay close, scoring six points in eight minutes to help the ’Birds draw within 51-50. Mazanowski pulled the Redbirds even at 58-58 with a hoop on a goaltending call, but Randy Burns’ field goal with 6:15 left began a 9-1 Shocker run to put WSU safely ahead.

Illinois State plays its final regular-season road game Saturday at Northern Iowa before returning home to close the regular season Monday against Evansville.

[ISU news release]

Illini pound Penn State 83-56

[FEB. 21, 2002]   For a report on the Illini mens basketball game Wednesday night, see

Reichle repeats as Valley Scholar-Athlete

[FEB. 21, 2002]   ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Steph Reichle repeated as a second-team choice on the Missouri Valley Conference Women’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete team as voted by the Valley women’s basketball media relations contacts.

Reichle, with a 3.86 grade point average as a public relations major, leads the Redbirds in steals and is No. 2 on the team in rebounds and assists, including 24 steals in her last nine games.

The junior guard from Lincoln, Ill., and fellow 2002 second-teamer Abbi Schutte of Northern Iowa are the only repeat selections from the 2001 team. Reichle is one of six players on the second team. The first team features seven players, and four made honorable mention.

The criteria for the scholar-athlete team balloting parallels the Verizon/CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America) standards for Academic All-America voting. Nominees must be starters or important reserves, have played at least 50 percent of a team’s games, and must carry at least a 3.00 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale).

Student-athletes must also have reached sophomore athletic and academic standing at their institution (true and redshirt freshmen are not eligible) and must have completed at least one full academic year at the institution. Honorable mention selections are awarded to student-athletes who receive a minimum of two votes. A total of 25 Valley student-athletes met the criteria for scholar-athlete honors in 2002.

Reichle is the 14th Illinois State selection to the team in the 10 years the Missouri Valley has had a scholar-athlete team. If she makes the team as a senior in 2003, she will join only Jenny Schmidt and Valarie Trame as Redbird players selected three times to Valley Scholar-Athlete teams.


[to top of second column in this article]

Missouri Valley Conference Women’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete selections

First team

Sara Bailey, Bradley, junior, 3.38

Carla Bennett, Drake, junior, 3.05

Jenny Burns, Creighton, junior, 3.98

Jennifer Kaczka, Wichita State, senior, 3.143

April Kirby, Indiana State, senior, 3.79

Kourtney Mennen, Indiana State, junior, 3.46

Lora Weber, Bradley, senior, 3.88

Second team

Jenna Hayes, Evansville, junior, 3.80

Kara Opp, Northern Iowa, junior, 3.94

Steph Reichle, Illinois State, junior, 3.86

Erin Richards, Drake, senior, 3.44

Abbi Schutte, Northern Iowa, senior, 3.27

Kristin Stewart, Indiana State, junior, 3.71

Honorable mention

Jayme Anderson, Drake, senior, 3.67

Nadine Brandt, Northern Iowa, senior, 3.36

Katie Miller, Northern Iowa, junior, 3.63

Shinko Ono, Evansville, senior, 3.17

[ISU news release]


Illinois State-SMS contest part of numbers game

[FEB. 21, 2002]   NORMAL — Five or 200? Illinois State’s 7:05 p.m. Friday basketball game at Southwest Missouri State will either be conference win No. 5 for the Redbirds this season or career conference win No. 200 for SMS coach Cheryl Burnett.

The Redbirds, 6-18 overall, 4-11 in the Missouri Valley Conference, could receive a huge boost toward their goal of reaching the 2002 State Farm-Missouri Valley Conference Tournament with a win at Hammons Student Center. It’s the first of a two-game road trip that ends with a 5 p.m. Sunday game at Wichita State.

Redbird coach Jenny Yopp is enthused about the possibilities because of the way her team played on its last road trip and the way it played at home against Wichita State and Southwest Missouri, beating the Shockers 68-64 and dropping a 59-55 decision to the Bears.

"On our last road trip, we played well against Creighton and Drake, the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the league," said Yopp. "We just had to sustain that for longer periods. Against these two teams (SMS and WSU), we played well for 40 minutes to beat Wichita State, and we were in control of the game for 30 minutes against SMS before we struggled against their zone defense."

Burnett, who has disdained the zone for much of her coaching career, felt it was necessary to slow down Illinois State’s drives to the bucket. Yopp conceded that her team has been inconsistent against the zone.

"In some games, like at Southern Illinois, we handled the zone really well," said Yopp. "But, against SMS we struggled, and against Southern (at home) we struggled. We have a team which takes the ball to the basket well, and lately, we’re shooting well from 3-point range, and our post player, Kristi Larson, is giving us good offense. We have the ingredients and we can put them together."

The noise from the 7,000 or so patrons expected at Hammons Student Center excites Larson, who has been there three times before.




[to top of second column in this article]

"It’s an exciting atmosphere," said Larson. "I think most players enjoy playing in front of enthusiastic fans, like the ones we have at Redbird Arena. Their (Lady Bear) fans get excited and are into the game."

Sophomore forward Stacey White has led the recent spurt of 3-point success for Illinois State, hitting 14 of 27 over her last four games and scoring in double figures in five straight. Achieving the balance Yopp likes, the Redbirds have had four or more players in double-figures scoring in four of the last five games.

Without top offensive players Jaci McCormack (out for the season with an ankle injury) and more recently Sharon Blade (listed as day-to-day after missing nine games with a foot injury), the Redbirds have struggled to score at times this season. At SMS, they will face the league’s No. 2 defense.

The Bears, 14-9 overall, 10-4 in the Valley, are hoping to hoist Burnett into the No. 1 slot in all-time league coaching victories. Burnett is tied with former Southern Illinois coach Cindy Scott at 199. Retired Redbird coach Jill Hutchison is third with 170.

Burnett’s success inspires Yopp. At first, the winning didn’t come easily for Burnett, whose first two Lady Bear teams were a combined 16-37. But she weathered those early storms to lead the Bears to a pair of Final Four appearances.

"The success of SMS, and of coach Burnett, and the competitiveness of the Missouri Valley Conference are all reasons I wanted to come to Illinois State," said Yopp. "In this league, it’s possible to have a competitive, national program in women’s basketball.

[ISU news release]

[Click here for a link to pre-game notes.]

High school basketball

Class A regionals

[FEB. 20, 2002]   


Olympia                     7  13  28  31

University High         20  29  41  45

Olympia stats

Kieser 2-0-5, Cheek 2-0-5, Sherman 5-0-11, Elliott 1-0-2, Olsen 3-0-6, Wright 1-0-2

Three-point field goals: Kieser, Cheek, Sherman

College basketball

LCC vs. St. Mary-of-the-Woods

[FEB. 20, 2002]   


St. Mary-of-the-Woods    37  34 — 71

Lincoln Christian               27  20 — 47

LCC stats

Robbins 5-0-11, Urton 0-2-2, Szostek 1-0-2, Wright 5-2-12, Wertin 5-0-10, OMalley 1-0-2, Jewel 1-2-4, Davis 2-0-4

Three-point field goals: Robbins

Williams named Big Ten Co-Player of the Week

[FEB. 20, 2002]   Frank Williams of the Fighting Illini and Kirk Penney of the Wisconsin Badgers have been selected Big Ten Co-Players of the Week.

Frank Williams


Junior; guard; Peoria; Manual

Williams was named the Big Ten Co-Player of the Week after averaging 20.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 3.0 steals in a pair of road wins last week, as the Illini stretched their winning streak to four straight games.

The 2001 Conference Player of the Year opened the week with 22 points and eight boards in a crucial road triumph at Michigan State, as Illinois improved to 2-4 on the road in league play. Williams followed that performance with 19 points and five assists on the road at Seton Hall, including three treys, to spark an Illini rally after the team fell behind 13-2 to start the game. Illinois has won three straight road games after opening the year with a record of 0-5 on the road.

Williams earns his second weekly conference honor this season and the fourth of his career.



[to top of second column in this article]

Kirk Penney


Junior; guard; Auckland, New Zealand; Westlake

Penney shares Big Ten Player of the Week honors after averaging 20.0 points on 50 percent shooting in two Conference road victories last week as Wisconsin improved to 9-5 to stand alone in third place in the league standings. The Badgers handed both Indiana and Minnesota their first home losses in conference play this season.

The UW junior started the week with 10 points in the win at Indiana before exploding for 30 points, on 69 percent shooting (9-13), in the victory at Minnesota. Penney hit six 3-pointers against the Gophers, equaling a Big Ten high this season, and added five rebounds.

Penney earns his third weekly conference honor this season, the most in a single season by any Wisconsin player in school history. The previous record was two Big Ten Player of the Week selections by Michael Finley during the 1992-93 campaign.

[Scott Chipman, associate director of communications, Big Ten Conference]

Illinois game at Minnesota to be televised March 3

[FEB. 20, 2002]   The Illinois men’s basketball game at Minnesota has been selected for broadcast by CBS and scheduled for a 3 p.m. tipoff on Sunday, March 3. Below are TV selections for other games that weekend.

•  CBS has selected Illinois at Minnesota for broadcast on March 3. Game time is 3 p.m. CST.

•  Iowa at Michigan State will be an ESPN Plus regional telecast on March 2 at 4:30 p.m. EST.

•  Ohio State at Michigan will be an ESPN Plus local telecast on March 2 at 8 p.m. EST.

[Kent Brown, assistant athletics director / sports information director, University of Illinois]

High school basketball

Area game reports

[FEB. 19, 2002]   


At Normal

Lincoln New Wine         14  28  35  44

Calvary Baptist                9  28  37  47

Class A regionals

[FEB. 19, 2002]   


At Eureka

Olympia                      15  24  37  46  57

Roanoke                       6  15  31  46  54


At Glasford

Hartsburg-Emden         10  16  29       35

Delavan                        14  28  40       50


At Williamsville

Mount Pulaski                8  21  38        58

Riverton                        11 29  38        60

College basketball

Pre-game notes: Illini vs. Penn State  (men)

[FEB. 19, 2002]   

[Click here for background information (in Adobe Acrobat).]

[Click here to download Adobe Acrobat reader]

Pre-game notes: Illinois State vs. Wichita State  (men)

[FEB. 19, 2002]   

[Click here for background information (in Adobe Acrobat).]

[Click here to download Adobe Acrobat reader]

Pre-game notes: Illinois State vs. SMS, Wichita State

[FEB. 19, 2002]   

[Click here for background information (in Adobe Acrobat).]

[Click here to download Adobe Acrobat reader]

High school basketball

Area game reports

[FEB. 18, 2002]   


Jacksonville       7  19  25  35

Lincoln              8  15  37  58

Farmer 2-2-7, Komnick 2-0-5, Schonauer 3-1-9, Schrader 5-0-12, Welch 5-1-12, Young 4-2-10, Blast 0-1-1, Wilder 1-0-2

Three-point field goals: Schonauer 2, Schrader 2, Farmer, Komnick, Welch

College basketball

LCC vs. St. Louis Pharmacy

[FEB. 18, 2002]   


Lincoln Christian         57  53 — 110

St. Louis Pharmacy     38  56 —  94

Clark 16-6-42, Raymer 2-6-10, Johnson 1-0-2, Below 6-6-19, Turney 1-4-6, Okusami 4-0-8, Grooms 0-2-2, Searby 8-5-21

Three-point field goals: Clark 4, Below

Lincoln College vs. Parkland

[FEB. 18, 2002]   


Lincoln College         36  42 — 78

Parkland                   40  53 — 93

Roberson 7-2-19, Clark 1-0-2, Turner 6-5-18, Sams 7-0-14, Major 1-2-5, Hollyfield 7-2-18, Bowen 1-0-2

Three-point field goals: Roberson 3, Hollyfield 2, Turner, Major

Redbirds upend Southern Illinois

[FEB. 18, 2002]   NORMAL — Shawn Jeppson, with 22 points, led a balanced attack that took Illinois State past Southern Illinois 84-70 in a battle of two first-division teams in the Missouri Valley Conference Saturday at Redbird Arena.

Jeppson’s play was backed by Gregg Alexander and Shedrick Ford with 17 points each and by Baboucarrr Bojang with 13 and a team-high nine rebounds. Kent Williams led the Salukis with 27 points and Rolan Roberts had 22, but the Salukis had to battle an energized Illinois State team that scored a season-high 84 points and made 27 of 33 free throws, plus an active crowd of 9,451, largest of the year at Redbird Arena, celebrating a tribute to state Sen. John Maitland.

The Redbirds, 14-12 overall, 10-5 in the Valley, won for the eighth time in their last nine games and avenged a 79-58 drubbing Jan. 5 in Carbondale. Southern Illinois, 21-6 overall, 11-4 in the Valley, has lost back-to-back games for the first time this season. The Salukis now trail league-leader Creighton by two games. The two teams meet Wednesday in Carbondale.

Illinois State shot 61 percent from the field in the first half, as Jeppson made all five of his field goals to help the ’Birds to a 43-30 halftime lead. ISU held that lead at 47-34 when Southern Illinois made its move, going on a 14-2 run to cut the margin to 49-48 on Kent Williams’ layup with 12:56 left.

“We knew they would come out with a lot of energy in the second half,” said Jeppson. “They hit a lot of shots, and Rolan Roberts got going. We knew we didn’t see their best in the first half. We knew they would come up on us, but I think we loosened them up and a lot of guys got good looks at the hoop and knocked them in.”


[to top of second column in this article]

Richardson thought it could have been Illinois State’s best game.

“It might be (our best),” said Richardson. “We’ll have to look at the tape, but from right now, it looks pretty good.”

He agreed with Jeppson that responding to SIU’s run was a key.

“I was hoping the toughness we’ve built up over recent weeks would take us through,” said Richardson. “That was gut-check time. We knew they would fight back. We bent, but we didn’t break and sustained their drive and slowly pulled away from there. It’s a confidence-booster for your team when you can hold them off and take the lead again.”

Illinois State had a 42-37 rebounding advantage and shot 48 percent for the game to SIU’s 44 percent. The Redbirds were able to put the game away by hitting 21 of 25 free throws in the second half.

SIU coach Bruce Weber saluted Illinois State’s effort.

[ISU news release]

Illini upend Seton Hall 75-65

[FEB. 18, 2002]   For a report on the Illini mens basketball game on Saturday, see m-baskbl/recaps/021602aaa.html.

Redbirds stunned by Southern Illinois

[FEB. 18, 2002]   NORMAL — Molly McDowell scored 16 points in the first half to help Southern Illinois build a 13-point halftime lead, as the Salukis downed Illinois State 64-51 in a Missouri Valley Conference matchup.

Southern Illinois 5-18, 1-13 in the Valley, out-shot the Redbirds .448 to .327 for the game and had just 14 turnovers to 19 for the Redbirds while earning their first Valley victory of the year, spoiling Senior Day for Kristi Larson, Illinois State’s lone senior. Larson had four blocked shots, putting her at 38 for the season, No. 4 all-time for a single season at ISU. Larson’s 80 career are No. 4 on the career block list.

“I think this victory was a great team effort,” said head coach Lori Opp. “Our team really needed a win to get their confidence back, and hopefully this will continue for the next few games.”

Molly McDowell led Southern Illinois with 22 points and three assists. Also playing well for the Salukis were Jodi Heiden, who had 13 points, and Holly Teague, who chipped in 12 points.

“Molly McDowell came out and played a great game today,” said head coach Jenny Yopp. “I think Southern Illinois really deserved the win today. Our team is young and we didn’t seem to handle the emotion of Senior Day as well as we could have. We let that affect our play.”

McDowell thought SIU played like the pressure was off, since the Salukis already are out of contention for the State Farm-Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.

“Finally, we came out and played like we had nothing to lose,” said McDowell, “and we got our first conference win.”

Illinois State 6-18, 4-11 in the Valley, was led by Stacey White and Steph Reichle, who both had 12 points. Beth Huston added 11 points, including three 3-point field goals. Reichle led ISU with eight rebounds.


[to top of second column in this article]

McDowell sank her first six field goals and a pair of free throws to collect 14 points in the first 10 minutes as Southern Illinois sprinted to a 20-11 lead. That lead stretched to as many as 14 as McDowell finished the half with 16 points and the Salukis took a 35-22 lead into the locker room. SIU had just four turnovers in the first 20 minutes and out-rebounded ISU 21-13 in the half. Illinois State scored its last basket of the period with 5:42 left in the half.

“I felt like our team was a little too caught up with all the emotions surrounding this game,” said Yopp. “It really didn’t seem like our focus was on executing the game plan.”

“Kristi is a senior that every head coach wants to work with,” said Yopp. “When we do turn things around, Kristi will get a lot of credit for it.”

Saluki coach Lori Opp, whose team had been victimized by one good half and one bad half many times this season, thought her team played well from start to finish.

“The kids played hard, they played together and they played the full 40 minutes,” said Opp.

Illinois State goes on the road to play Friday at Southwest Missouri State. The ’Birds likely will need two wins in their final three games to get the final Valley tournament spot.

[ISU news release]

Redbirds fall to Evansville in overtime

[FEB. 18, 2002]   NORMAL — Stacey White scored 16 of her career-high 19 points in the second half to lead a furious rally that fell just short as Evansville beat the Redbirds 77-71 in overtime in a Missouri Valley Conference basketball game Friday at Redbird Arena.

Besides White, three other Redbirds scored in double figures. Kristi Larson finished with 16 points, while Steph Reichle and Katie Donovan each chipped in 11. Donovan also had a game-high nine rebounds.

Evansville was led by Latasha Austin with 24 points and eight rebounds. Tami Masterson and Jenna Hayes each contributed 14 points to the winning effort. The Aces had a Redbird Arena record 44 trips to the free-throw line in the game off 29 Illinois State fouls.

“We have to handle our composure a little better,” said Illinois State head coach Jenny Yopp. “There have been plenty of games this season where we have handled it just fine. This just wasn’t one of those games.”

The Aces, 12-11, 7-6, moved out to a 12-point lead in the first nine minutes of the second half, thanks to Evansville’s huge advantage at the free-throw line. The Aces went to the free-throw line nine times, and ISU had nine fouls in the first nine minutes and trailed 48-36.

The Redbirds, 6-17, 4-10, started slicing into that lead when Steph Reichle converted a layup and foul shot for a 3-point play to start an 11-4 Redbird run that included six points by Stacey White and another hoop by Reichle, whose steal and layup closed the gap to 52-49 with 6:45 left. Austin, Shinko Ono and Jenna Hayes got UE back on top by nine with 4:35 left.

A pair of Kristi Larson free throws and a White trey sliced that lead to 58-54 with 3:21 left, but Ono’s 3 just under the two-minute mark gave UE a seven-point cushion. But the ’Birds battled back, outscoring the Aces 9-3 in the final two minutes, capped by White’s 23-foot, bounce-off-the-rim, nudge-the-backboard 3-pointer to tie the score at 65-65 with 11 seconds left.



[to top of second column in this article]

“I thought it had a chance to go in,” said White, describing her 3-point shot. “I guess it is better to be lucky than good.”

UE had a chance to win it in overtime, but Reichle stole the ball from Latasha Austin with four seconds left and her 42-footer at the buzzer for the win rimmed out.

Austin scored the first seven points of the overtime as Illinois State didn’t score in the first 3:40 of the extra period. The ’Birds came no closer than four points.

Sharon Blade, who has missed eight games with a foot injury, entered the game for the first time at the 14-minute mark of the first half. ISU’s defense frustrated Evansville’s offense through the midsection of the first half. The Aces went seven minutes without a field goal as ISU came from down 11-9 to ahead 22-17 on Stacey Nickerson’s bucket-and-free throw with 4:29 left.

The ’Birds led 25-20 on White’s 3-point shot with 3:46 left in the half, but the Aces went on an 8-0 run to take a 28-25 halftime lead as Illinois State missed its last seven shots before the intermission. Donovan had eight points and seven rebounds at halftime as ISU had 25-18 edge on the boards.

[ISU news release]


Redbirds honor Larson

[FEB. 18, 2002]   NORMAL — Kristi Larson, the only senior on the Illinois State squad, was honored following Sunday’s 2:05 p.m. game against Southern Illinois.

Larson, who ranks No. 4 on the all-time Illinois State career field goal percentage list, has been scoring better than any other time in her injury-filled career in recent games. The 6-foot-4 Cashton, Wis., native averaged 11.9 points over the previous 11 games and shot 52 percent from the field during that time.

Redbird coach Jenny Yopp appreciates what Larson has contributed during her career.

"She always takes ownership, always believes in her teammates," said Yopp, whose team faces an SIU squad Sunday searching for its first league win (4-18, 0-13 in the Valley). "When younger players came into the program, she has always embraced them."

The tallest Redbird player in a decade, Larson has overcome chronic and persistent foot problems to contribute at both ends of the floor for Illinois State. Her 76 career blocked shots make her one of just four players in Illinois State history with 70 or more. She has 34 blocks (1.48 per game) with at least four games remaining. With five more blocks, she would move from No. 6 to No. 4 on the single-season list at Illinois State.

But mostly, Larson would love to take her first trip to the Valley tournament. It’s going to take at least one more win and probably two. Normally, five wins have been enough to finish in the top eight in the 10-team Valley. In 18 previous years of regular-season play, 12 of the 13 teams to win five games (all but the 1997 Northern Iowa team) have finished in the top eight.

If the ’Birds, 6-17 overall, 4-10 in the Valley, win one more game, somebody with at least five wins will be out. Wichita State and Bradley already have five, and Indiana State has six. The ’Birds were one play from earning their fifth league win in regulation time Friday against Evansville, but the Aces emerged 77-71 in overtime.


[to top of second column in this article]

"The schedule is winding down," said Yopp, whose team has more than a half-dozen shots spin out of the basket when it looked like they wanted to go in. "I think we’re playing well right now, but I think we may have been a little tight at the start of that (UE) game. As we get older, we’ll learn to play more relaxed."

The other Redbird problem recently is free throws — the other team’s. Evansville broke a Redbird Arena record by attempting 44, to just 17 by Illinois State. The Aces made 14 more than ISU’s 12 makes — well beyond the difference in the final score.

"Foul trouble has hurt us," said Yopp, whose team was whistled for 29 on its own court against the Aces. "Some of our players have to sit out with foul trouble and have trouble getting back into the flow of the game."

Steph Reichle was in the flow against Evansville, with 11 points, eight rebounds, four assists and five steals. The last steal came after Stacey White tied the game on a 23-foot 3-pointer with 11 seconds left in regulation time. Reichle picked UE’s Latasha Austin clean, then launched a 42-foot attempt with a UE player bumping into her just ahead of the buzzer. It rimmed out, and Austin scored the first seven points in overtime for a UE win.

Reichle’s shot scared UE coach Tricia Cullop on two levels.

"It had a chance to go in, and I also thought they might have called a foul (on UE)," said Cullop.

In addition to Larson, the Redbirds will honor student manager Vance Catlin in post-game ceremonies. Catlin will earn a business degree this spring while completing his third season as a Redbird manager.

[ISU news release]

High school basketball

Area game results

[FEB. 16, 2002]   


At Fairbury

Olympia             17  33  35   40

Prairie Central      7  24  31   49

Sherman 2-1-6, Olson 0-2-2, Cheek 7-0-19, Dillenburg 3-0-7, Elliott 1-0-2, Schultz 1-0-2, Criswell 1-0-2, Thornton 0-0-0

Totals 15-3-40

Three-point field goals: Cheek, Sherman, Dillenburg

At Glasford

Mount Pulaski       17  39  51  75

Illini Bluffs             15   38  55  76

Miner 1-0-2, Coers 3-0-6, Dlements 4-8-16, Schilling 3-0-6, Olson 7-2-16, Blaum 0-2-2, Anderson 9-2-24, Waymire 0-0-0,
Erienbrush 1-0-3

Totals 28-14-75

Three-point field goals: Anderson, Erlenbrush

At Springfield

Hartsburg-Emden    16  22  38  50 

Springfield Calvary  17  30   47  63

Ko. Leesman 2-0-4, Ke. Leesman 1-0-2, Fletcher 1-0-3, Anderson 4-0-9, Gleason 8-0-17, Jones 1-1-3, Wrage 6-0-12

Totals 23-1-50

Three-point field goals: Fletcher, Anderson, Gleason

At Springfield

Lincoln                    12   26   34   55
Springfield               13   26   43   57

Farmer 3-8-17, Komnick 5-0-13, Gallagher 0-0-0, Schonauer 2-0-5, Schrader 5-1-14, Welch 1-0-2, Young 0-2-2, Bunch 1-0-2

Totals 17-11-55

Three-point field goals: Farmer, Komnick Schrader, Schonauer


High school basketball

Area game results

[FEB. 15, 2002]   


Lincoln           7  11  17   29

Centennial    14  24  36   46

Bunch 1-0-2, Froschauer 4-0-10, Dawson 2-1-5, Ingram 2-1-6, Moore 0-2-2, Robbins 1-0-2, Carey 1-0-2

Three-point field goals: Froschauer 2, Ingram

College basketball

Lincoln Christian College vs. Moody Bible

[FEB. 15, 2002]   


Moody Bible          31  22 — 53

Lincoln Christian     49  38 — 87

Clark 8-4-24, Raymer 2-0-5, Gordon 2-0-4, Johnson 3-0-6, Below 1-0-2, Turney1-0-2, Okusami 2-0-4, Grooms6-0-12, Searby 13-0-28

Three-point field goals: Clark 4, Searby 2, Raymer


Moody Bible         23  22 — 45

Lincoln Christian    44  31 — 75

Szostek 1-0-2, Write 10-0- 20, Wertin 5-0-10, Robbins 9-0-21, O’Malley 4-0-8, DeVore 1-0-2, Jewell 3-0-6, Urton 1-1-3, Davis1-0-3

Three-point field goals: Robbins 3, Davis


Redbirds ready to control what they can

[FEB. 15, 2002]   NORMAL — In the five-team race for the final four spots in the 2002 State Farm-Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, Illinois State coach Jenny Yopp and her team won’t be "scoreboard watching" to check the progress of competitors. Yopp plans to have her team busy taking care of its own business.

"We can only control what we can control," said Yopp, whose team is 6-16 overall, 4-9 in the Valley, entering Friday’s 7:05 p.m. game with Evansville in Redbird Arena. "We have plenty of people telling us ‘what if’ regarding the Valley race. But, right now, this team plays its best when we are focused on doing what we can do on the court, controlling what we can control."

Two of the Redbirds who have been controlling well lately have been sophomore forward Stacey White and freshman forward Katie Donovan. White made 7-of -10 3-pointers while averaging 15.5 points per game on the recent trip to Creighton and Drake. Donovan has improved her offensive performance, continues to lead the ’Birds in rebounds (she had nine at Drake), and has been using her 6-foot height, long arms and quick feet to effectively guard opposing point guards.

"Stacey has come out of a little scoring slump better equipped to handle defensive pressure," said Yopp. "Katie has been excelling at both ends of the floor. She looks more confident in our offense and we know she is a rebounder and strong defender. It’s great to see that, at this time of the year, she’s advancing her game to a higher level."

In the battle for the final four spots in the Valley tournament, five teams have four, five or six wins, with still nearly one-third of the season remaining. Evansville 11-11 overall, 6-6 in the Missouri Valley, is one of those teams ahead of the ’Birds. The others are Bradley, Wichita State and Indiana State, all with five wins.


[to top of second column in this article]

The Aces also are one of four league teams with better conference road records (3-2) than home (3-4). Evansville coach Tricia Cullop is bothered by Illinois State’s offensive improvement since the teams last met. The Redbirds, averaging below 55 points per game before facing Evansville, have averaged 62 points per game since.

"Illinois State is a team that drives the ball to the basket really well," said Cullop. "I saw where they made eight 3-pointers at Drake. Being able to hit the 3 and drive as well as they do makes them dangerous."

Cullop believes her team has created its own problems, particularly in recent home losses to Southwest Missouri State and Wichita State. Evansville might be as glad to get out of town as the Redbirds are to be back home.

"We missed 13 free throws (on our own court) in one game," said Cullop. "We got into foul trouble in the other game. We need to control our emotions, limit our fouls and stay focused. For some reason, when we get away from home, we get focused on what we need to take care of."

Like the Redbirds, the Aces won’t be watching the scoreboard for other scores.

[ISU news release]

Redbirds ‘through the worst’ of injuries and illnesses

[FEB. 15, 2002]  NORMAL — Redbird women’s basketball athletic trainer Yvonne Logan has had her hands full lately with injuries and illnesses rummaging through players and staff. But Logan had good news to report on the progress of sophomore guard Jaci McCormack and freshman forward Sophie Tirtiaux, both sitting out the season with injuries.

Logan, herself battling the chest congestion and cough which has slowed several players and head coach Jenny Yopp the past two weeks, was all smiles when talking about McCormack’s ankle and Tirtiaux’s upper leg.

"Jaci’s progress is awesome," said Logan, in her fifth season with Redbird basketball. "Within two weeks, we feel she could begin getting involved in practice."

McCormack, ISU’s No. 2 scorer last year, had ankle surgery in November. Tirtiaux, a Belgium native who led Urbana High School to a team record for wins last season, was sidelined by a stress fracture in her upper leg after appearing in just one game.

"A bone scan showed the stress fracture is healed," said Logan. "Sophie has started bicycle workouts for the first time since November with limited pain. Toward the end of the season, we believe she can begin to practice with the team."

The news on sophomore center Sharon Blade, who has missed eight games with a foot problem, was not quite as promising as hoped earlier in the week. Blade saw podiatrist Dr. Gerald Paul at midweek, and it was decided she wouldn’t be able to play Friday against Evansville or Sunday against Southern Illinois.

"Her foot is still painful," said Logan. "She isn’t able to run properly. Sharon will see Dr. Paul again next Tuesday and we’ll go from there. For now, she’s doing light work during practice."


[to top of second column in this article]

The Redbirds also could be without freshman Chris Kutschinski this weekend. Kutschinski missed the most recent game against Drake because of a tendon injury in her leg. Starting with Friday’s shooting practice before the Evansville game, Kutschinski’s status will be day-to-day, according to Logan.

"Chris’ injury is to a tendon which attaches muscle to the leg bone," said Logan. "It’s an inflammation, so you can’t predict how it will feel from one day to the next."

According to Logan, sophomore forward Stacey White continues to play major minutes despite painful shin splints in both legs. The legs are wrapped in braces before each practice and each game. Junior guard Steph Reichle, from Lincoln, and sophomore guard Taren O’Brien both are playing through knee problems.

But the ‘bugs’ — the players’ name for two recent viruses to hit the team — are all but gone, according to Logan. At the same time, a stomach virus and the chest virus affecting Logan herself were crisscrossing the team. The chest problem hit Yopp especially hard, with the coughing and congestion affecting her voice. Logan said some players continued to have a cough, but most are feeling better than they did last week. Yopp admitted Wednesday she felt better than she had in two weeks.

"It has been tough on them," said Logan, "but I think we’re through the worst of it."

[ISU news release]

Grade school basketball

Olympia boys in Class 8AA tournament

[FEB. 14, 2002]   At Downs:


Olympia                       12  22  27   35

Bolingbrook Addams   11  22  35   46

Olympia stats:

Frantz 3, Strubhar 2, Stappenbeck 2, Burnette 22, Boudeman 6

College basketball

Lincoln College vs. Lewis & Clark

[FEB. 14, 2002]   At Lincoln:


Lewis & Clark       35  33 — 68

Lincoln College      33  49 — 82

Lincoln stats:

Roberson 3-0-7, Clark 1-0-3, Fowler 2-1-7, Turner 5-3-14, Sams 6-4-16, Major 5-4-15, Hollyfield 7-3-18, Bowen 1-0-2

Three-point goals: Fowler 2, Hollyfield, Major, Turner, Clark, Roberson


Lewis & Clark       26  45 — 71

Lincoln College      43  39 — 82

Lincoln stats:

Bausley 0-3-3, Scott 1-1-3, McLaughlin 2-0-5, Bossingham 2-0-4, Beebe 8-10-26, Calhoun 2-1-5, Sims 4-2-10, Dullard 7-2-16, Harper 5-0-10

Three-point goals: McLaughlin

Illinois State cruises past Evansville 73-55

[FEB. 14, 2002]   EVANVILLE, Ind. — Five Redbird players scored in double digits, including 14 each by Baboucarr Bojang and Gregg Alexander, as the Illinois State men’s basketball team defeated Evansville 73-55 in Valley action in Evansville, Ind., Tuesday night.

With the win, Illinois State (13-12, 9-5) moved above the .500 mark and won its seventh in the last eight games. Evansville fell to 5-18, 2-12.

Vince Greene and Shedrick Ford contributed 13 points each while Shawn Jeppson had 11. Bojang, who also posted 12 boards, notched his eighth double-double on the year.

Jumping out to a quick start, the ’Birds were 4-for-5 before the 16-minute mark and took an early 10-point lead, 12-2. Still up by 10 with 10 minutes to play in the first, Illinois State continued to dominate and held a 41-27 lead at halftime.


[to top of second column in this article]


The Redbirds did not falter in the second, never losing the edge, and were up by as many as 13, 66-51, with 3:26 to play. With an 18-point advantage with 1:40 left in the game, Evansville could not muster any more points.

The Redbirds face the Salukis of Southern Illinois on Saturday at 2:05 p.m. at Redbird Arena. It is designated Senator John Maitland Day, and Sen. Maitland will be honored at halftime of the game.

[ISU news release]

Illini edge Michigan State 63-61

[FEB. 14, 2002]   For a report on the Illini basketball game Tuesday night at East Lansing, Mich., see

Mayfield’s Mutterings…

Weekend wild cards come up aces

By Jeff Mayfield

[FEB. 18, 2002]   Sometimes you have great sports weekends; other times you come up empty.  We here at the LDN always hope things come up rosy for your local teams and for the college and pro teams that you’re rooting for too.  This weekend seemed to be another example of just that.

Local college teams continue to roll on toward good seeds in the upcoming postseason.  The Railers and other scholastic teams are having great seasons.  At least one area wrestler, Jacob Fatheree of Clinton, came away with a state championship in Champaign-Urbana.  Locals Brian Cook and Gregg Alexander put Lincoln on the map Saturday, as both of them had monster games for their respective teams.  The weather continues to impress, and that means we can start thinking and talking about golf and other spring sports as well. And of course it was another wild week at Daytona, and we haven’t even mentioned the Olympics yet, have we.

Olympic controversy

We don’t know anything about figure skating.  We are glad that the skating judges won’t be giving the marks for the Illini basketball, or the French judge may have already have our team out of the running in the Big Ten.  We do know that it seems strange to change the outcome of an event so long after that actual event was over.  I am sure that the funky scoring that occurred in the pairs skating was not the first time that has ever happened in that sport.  Even an untrained eye like ours knows when somebody hits a jump or not or whether the skaters are in sync or not.  It’s almost a slap in the face of us fans the way they’ve gone about righting this wrong.

We mean, we guess it’s nice that a second gold was awarded to a pair that some experts said was jilted, but what about the other pairs?  What about the Americans?  Who, really now, should own the silver and bronze?  And if at least two pairs were affected, wasn’t every pair affected in some way?  And, hasn’t this shameful situation put in place the fact that probably the rest of the skating events will be affected in some way?

Maybe it’s just us, but we’re leery of any sport that uses a group of so-called impartial judges to determine the final outcome.

We bet Maryland is glad that Amaker, Hurley or Laettner or any other assembled group of former college greats now linked with a federation, won’t be allowed to decide if the Terps get the gold and Duke gets the silver!

Or, how ’bout the Raiders?  Don’t you think they’d like to have a team of judges ruling on whether Tom Brady fumbled or not?

For that matter, we’re sure a team of judges could tell you how many times the ball bounced before Franco Harris rumbled for a very undeserved score several years ago.

You Illini fans might be interested in a team of judges looking at how many times Dicky Beal traveled in the regional on Kentucky’s home court, and they might even want to look at how a game of that magnitude could have ever been played to someone’s home court advantage.

And Cardinal fans, no doubt, would take their chances with even the French and Russian judges over Don Deckinger in the ’85 debacle in Kansas City!

If you want in on this debate, give us a call on the radio show tonight!

Why is there so much corruption in amateur sports anyway?  We thought it was supposed to be the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat — NOT the thrill of making a voting deal in exchange for putting a gold medal in your pocket; and the agony of the rest of us having to watch their stinking pious faces every four years!

We just wish Jim Thorpe were alive today.  We think we could help put together a heck of a gang to rule the sports empire.

Oh well, let’s get back to professional sports; at least we expect greed, crime and corruption there!!!

Daytona 500

Ward Burton in the No. 22 car wins the Daytona 500; that is, if it’s OK with the skating judges?  Somebody who’s familiar with NASCAR, please call in tonight and enlighten those of us whose sports knowledge is weak in racing … please?

Railers split weekend set

While we’re sure that the Railers are not one bit happy about losing to Southeast, we did like the way they came out in the second half versus Jacksonville Saturday night.  There’s been a lot of history with the Crimsons over the years, so we were even more happy than the casual observers to win this one going away.

Hats off to our three seniors, Brandon Welch, Adam Schonauer and Ryan Bast, for going out in style with a win and with all three of them in the scoring column.  We’ve known these three for a few years and appreciate their efforts on behalf of our team and our community.  Good luck in the playoffs, and good luck in your college and other future plans.

Next up for the Railers is a road tilt with the No. 2-ranked team in the state, the undefeated Lions of Lanphier High School.  While Railer coach Neil Alexander did not say that the Lions would be impossible to beat, he made it quite clear that it would take a near perfect performance for Lincoln to come away with the upset.  Win or lose, we hope they come out of the game with enough info that, should the two combatants meet again at the PCCC, the Railers could avenge the spectacular three-overtime game played there a few years ago!

Lincoln will host a very difficult opponent in Rantoul at Roy S. Anderson on Tuesday, Feb. 26.  That is the same night the Illini will host Indiana.



[to top of second column in this article]

Former Railers make good

What can you say about Gregg Alexander and his Illinois State Redbirds?  While we have covered some of their games and mentioned them a little bit here, they were left for dead earlier this season.  At one time ISU was four or five games under .500 and going nowhere fast.  Now they have won seven of the their last eight, are 10-5 and solidly in third place in the Missouri Valley Conference, and are looking more and more like a team with postseason aspirations.

We had been talking NIT here and at FIX 96, but one local fan said, “how ’bout an NCAA bid?”  We said, “How ’bout one?”  We would be tickled to death with an NCAA bid.  But we’re not greedy!

Other Redbirds contributing to the huge 84-70 upset over SIU on Saturday afternoon were Shawn Jeppson, Shedrick Ford, Boo Bojang and Andy Strandmark with another huge performance.  If Strandmark can bring a consistent effort to the court game after game, that may very well dictate how far this Redbird team goes.

Tough road games loom on the horizon for ISU, as they still need to go to Wichita State and to Northern Iowa.  They will also play one more home contest against Evansville.

Illinois on the mend

We wonder how much the physical health of the Illini corresponds to the team’s recent four-game winning streak, which includes three road victories. And will people still bash Cook, Williams, Self, Mayfield or the cowboy that sells tickets in the parking lot every time things don’t go Illinois’ way?

One wonders how much perspective the Illini received on the importance or unimportance of college basketball in the grand scheme of life after visiting ground zero on Friday. One also wonders what effect that road trip will have as far as team chemistry and bonding are concerned the rest of the way.

Illinois is set to host Penn State at the Hall Wednesday night.  Illinois now stands at 19-7 and 7-5 in the Big Ten and would still like to secure a high seed for the conference tourney.

...Although as tough as our league is, doesn’t it really matter what you’re seeded?  The Big Ten bashers have been all over us saying that we are so weak this year.  They point to the very flawed RPI ranking to support their claims.  We’ve got a little somethum-somethum for them.  Don’t be surprised to see the Big Ten advance at least one team to the Final Four — and yes, we have one team in mind that we would really like to see in Atlanta!  Our league from top to bottom is the best in the nation once again this year — and yes, we do have some stats to back that position.

Baseball breakfast

My son and I attended the Railer baseball fund-raiser Sunday morning on our way to church.  Glad to see the diamond boys working to improve their lot.  Coach Hake has done a great job with this program, and here’s hoping that they will have a wonderful season!  We intend to get some 411 to you loyal LDN readers soon in this column and hopefully on the FIX 96 call-in show!

Lincoln swimmers

The Lincoln High School swimmers participated in the sectional at Pekin on Saturday. No info was available when we went to post.

Shameless promotion

Please join Greg Taylor and some other joker on the new FIX 96 sports call-in show every Monday night starting at 6!  We want your calls and we want to talk about the stuff you want to talk about.  Hopefully, we’ll have some more giveaways and a few surprises for you along the way.

Shameless promotion Part 2

We want to let you know that Lincoln Christian College will be dedicating their new sports arena and fitness center next Saturday, Feb. 23, at 10 a.m.  We’re sure that LCC would love to see dozens of community people come out and join us for this truly historic event.

And is there a better Lincoln resident that a building should be named for than Lynn Laughlin?  We think not!

Eight-time Boston Marathon champion Jean Driscoll will be the keynote speaker for the event.  LCC’s women’s basketball team will officially open the facility with a 1 p.m. game, followed by a men’s game at 3 featuring Matt Clark, who still has a chance to become the all-time leading scorer in Illinois small-college history!

The LDN sports staff would be happy to give you a personal tour of the facility or of our campus. Come and join us!


We’re ramblin’ guys, so how ’bout some ramblins…

•  Was it just us or was this one of the best years ever for area junior high basketball?

•  I sure hope the Illini don’t have to face Duke, Maryland or Georgia until the NCAA championship game.

•  Did you happen to catch that Southeast went to Quincy on Saturday night and won for the first time there in over 20 years?

•  Notice how many people are sheepishly climbing back on the Illini bandwagon?

•  We would really like to see the Railers advance to the sectional level and see how good all these teams really are.

Hope you all have a great sports week and an even better week in the classroom and as a citizen!!!  See you all tonight on FIX 96 at 6!!!

[Jeff Mayfield]


Back to top


News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries

Community | Perspectives | Law & Courts | Leisure Time | Spiritual Life | Health & Fitness | Letters to the Editor