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Wednesday, Feb. 26
[FEB. 26, 2003]
Central State 8
Lincoln 15 24 37
Moline 9 18
Lincoln -- Gallagher 2-1-5, Bunch 3-4-12, Farmer 3-5-13, Komnick
0-0-0, Young 8-5-21, Schrader 1-2-4, Werner 0-0-0, Heidbreder 0-0-0.
Totals 17-17-55. Three-point field goals: Lincoln (4)
-- Bunch 2, Farmer 2.
Greenview 11 28
Illini Central 19 48
Illini Central - Eigenbrod 3-0-6, VanEtten 2-2-6, Norton 5-0-14,
Bergman 1-0-3, Tre. Scott 0-0-0, Williams 2-2-6, Harrison 4-1-9,
Cunningham 5-0-10, Hieronymus 2-0-4, Tra. Scott 4-0-8, Schrick
4-0-10, Swaar 2-0-4, Sickmeyer 2-0-4. Totals 36-5-84.
Three-point field goals: Illini Central (7) -- Norton 4, Schrick 2, Bergman.
Class A pairings
Game 4 -- 7:30 p.m. -- Central Catholic vs. Olympia
At Mount Pulaski
Game 4 -- 6 p.m. -- Warrensburg-Latham vs. Mount Pulaski.
[photo by Bob Frank]
Railers scoring against Moline.
[FEB. 26, 2003]
Class A dual team sectionals
Prairie Central 38, Olympia 28
LCC teams enter postseason
[FEB. 26, 2003]
men's and women's basketball teams from Lincoln Christian College
will be involved in National Christian College Athletic Association
tournaments Feb. 27 through March 1, and LCC will host the men's
The LCC women's team will participate
in the NCCAA Mid-West Regional in Wyoming, Mich.
In the opening game on Thursday, LCC
will play Northland Baptist. In a previous meeting on Feb. 21, LCC
defeated Northland 80-72.
No. 1 -- Maranatha Baptist Bible
College, Watertown, Wis.
No. 2 -- Moody Bible Institute, Chicago
No. 3 -- Grace Bible College, Wyoming,
No. 4 -- Lincoln Christian College,
No. 5 -- Northland Baptist Bible
College, Dunbar, Wis.
No. 6 -- Emmaus Bible College, Dubuque,
6 p.m. -- Northland vs. LCC
8 p.m. -- Emmaus vs. Grace
6 p.m. -- Winner of Northland-Lincoln
game vs. Maranatha
8 p.m. -- Winner of Emmaus-Grace game
1 p.m. -- Championship game
[to top of second column in this article]
LCC will host the men's NCCAA Regional
at the Laughlin Center.
Colleges represented will be Emmaus
Bible of Dubuque, Iowa; Northland Baptist, Dunbar, Wis.; Marantha
Baptist, Watertown, Wis.; and Moody Bible, Chicago.
LCC will take on Moody Bible at 8 p.m.
"True grit" is what
coach Randy Kirk has to say about the Preachers. The team began the
season with 20 players, but by Feb. 18 they were down to 10, due to
injuries. Kirk added that those 10 were “not all healthy." He listed
sprained ankles, torn meniscus and a chipped fibula as a few of the
injuries afflicting the remaining team members: eight freshmen and
"I am extremely proud
of the efforts exhibited by these young men," Kirk said. They
continued to “practice, play and improve through a tumultuous
Despite the injuries,
the team persevered for a 10-19 record in the regular season.
For the duration of the tournament, the
teams and their fans will be staying in Lincoln hotels.
[LCC news releases]
to continue as 'Willie Nelson's team'
[FEB. 26, 2003]
-- In his signature classic hit, Willie Nelson croons, "I just can't
wait to get back on the road again..." The song has special meaning
for the Illinois State women's basketball team, which has won its
last four road games, as the Redbirds head back on the road to play
Thursday at Drake and Saturday at Creighton.
The Redbirds, 7-17 overall, 5-10 in the
Missouri Valley, finish the season with three straight road games
and figure to need at least one win to earn their first State
Farm-Missouri Valley Conference Tournament bid since 1998. It's been
more than 14 years since a Redbird team has won five road games in a
row. ISU is a half game behind Evansville (5-9) and a full game
behind Wichita State (6-9).
Illinois State's road success concerns
opposing coaches, including Drake's Lisa Stone.
"Illinois State is dangerous because
they play so well on the road," said Stone, whose team suffered its
first conference home loss of the season Sunday, falling 70-56 to
Creighton. The Bulldogs are 13-10 overall, 8-6 in the Valley and
battling to remain an upper-bracket seed in the league tournament,
which will be March 6-8 in Drake's Knapp Center.
The Bulldogs have perhaps the league's
premier post player in senior Carla Bennett, who is No. 4 in
Missouri Valley Conference career rebounding and blocked shots and
No. 6 in career scoring. Her teammate in the post, junior Maureen
Head, is battling back from a shoulder injury that has limited her
play over the past two weeks.
"She and Carla are a great one-two
punch," said Stone. "But our bench has to continue to produce for
Stone believes Illinois State's
perimeter depth provides the greatest challenge of playing the
"Illinois State has great guards," said
Stone. "They all can do a lot of things. (Taren) O'Brien is
versatile. Katie Donovan is a great player at both ends of the
court. Jaci McCormack has had some great games lately. Stacey White
can go inside or outside. We'll have to take care of the ball as
well as we did last time (eight turnovers versus ISU in a 68-52 win
Feb. 1 in Normal)."
[to top of second column in this
Yopp thinks Illinois State's character
comes through on the road.
"We want to be as prepared, as rested,
as confident and as motivated as we can be," said Yopp. "I guess you
can say being on the road has been a positive experience for us as
long as we can do that. If we are fortunate enough to win and get to
the tournament, I guess it's a good thing the tournament isn't at
She wants the kind of finishes her team
has provided, particularly on defense, during its conference wins
"The last four or five games have come
down to how we played in the last four or five minutes," said Yopp.
"We executed extremely well (in road wins) at SMS and Wichita State.
For some reason, we didn't get the job done (in home losses) against
Evansville and Southern Illinois. That's something we need to take
Coming off a career-high 22 points
against Southern Illinois, McCormack has taken care of the Redbird
scoring leadership lately, averaging 12.5 points per game over the
past nine contests and shooting 46 percent from 3-point range in
that time. Senior
Sharon Blade has stepped up her
rebounding of late with at least six rebounds in her last six games,
a 7.3 rebounding average.
starting time for the Creighton game is 3 p.m. at Bellevue West High
[Thomas Lamonica, Illinois State University]
Illini pay back
Hoosiers in grand fashion
overcame hot Indiana outside shooting early and rode the trio of
Brian Cook, Roger Powell and Dee Brown to an impressive 80-54
victory over the visitors from the east in a nationally televised
game Tuesday night in the Assembly Hall.
The victory moves Illinois to 9-4 in the conference and 19-5 overall
and drops Indiana to 6-7 in the Big Ten and dangerously close to
missing the Big Dance (sorry Rondel). It really broke my heart to
hear chants like "N-I-T" and "Bobby's Better" coming from the Orange
Krush throughout the evening.
Many coaches believe there are 10 "segments" to a game, each segment
marked by the media timeouts that occur at the 16-, 12-, eight- and
four-minute marks of each half. If this is the case, Illinois won
eight of the 10 (while tying a ninth), losing only the first
"segment" by a mere three points.
Early in the game, the despised Tom
Coverdale silenced a crowd that booed every time he touched the ball
with back-to-back 3-point baskets to give the Hoosiers an early
lead. When freshman phenom Bracey Wright nailed an NBA 3 over former
teammate Deron Williams, Indiana had a 9-4 lead and looked good.
Indiana would make six of their first eight 3-point baskets, and the
natives were restless in Champaign, wondering if Indiana would
repeat an incredible performance last season in Bloomington.
However, sophomore Roger Powell willed Illinois into the lead by
scoring like he was Brian Cook. All told, Powell had a second
straight awesome first half, scoring 16 points and helping Illinois
to a 39-30 halftime lead.
While many were excited with the lead
at the break, conventional wisdom wondered if Indiana would answer
Illinois with a strong second half. Nothing could have been farther
from reality. Illinois dominated Indiana 41-24 after the break and
controlled the rebounding category after the break, 24-11, as
Illinois continued to extend their lead. Lincoln's Brian Cook
dominated early in the second half, scoring nine quick points and
keeping Indiana from ever making a run. Freshman Dee Brown again was
an offensive force, scoring 16 points and committing just one
[to top of second column in this
[photos by Tom Seggelke]
A quick review of the final stats notes
several positives for this ever-improving Illini squad:
--Illinois committed a season-low five
turnovers, an amazing total considering the up-tempo pace of the
--Indiana made an unacceptable 10
3-point baskets, but made just nine 2-baskets, a total reversal of
the game played Jan. 18 at Indiana.
--Illinois stayed out of foul trouble,
committing just 13 fouls for the game (thanks go out to Ted Hillary,
Steve Welmer and crew for remembering fans don't like to watch
free-throw shooting contests). IU was whistled for only 15 fouls for
--Illinois dished out 15 assists, led
by freshman Deron Williams, who had seven assists and no turnovers.
Williams has really become the true point guard Illinois has lacked
in previous years.
--Illinois out-rebounded Indiana 41-24
and were led by Cook and Powell, who each had seven, and freshman
James Augustine, who finished with six.
--Illinois improved to 13-0 this season
at the Assembly Hall and 38-1 in the Bill Self era.
--Illinois played their third straight
game without sophomore Luther Head. Self hopes to have him back for
the Michigan game.
--Illinois' 26-point victory was the
largest victory over Indiana since the Lon Kruger era, when Illinois
pounded IU 89-63 in February 2000. Later that season, Illinois would
face IU again at the Big Ten tourney, also beating the Hoosiers on a
Cory Bradford buzzer-beater, 72-69.
has back-to-back road games that will decide the Big Ten
championship. Saturday Illinois heads to Michigan for an early 11:15
a.m. game and then travels to the cheese state for a Wednesday night
game against the Wisconsin Badgers (8 p.m. tip). Illinois will wrap
up the regular season against Minnesota on either March 8 or 9. CBS
will decide by Monday if the game will be played at 3:30 p.m. on the
8th (regional game) or at 1 p.m. on the 9th (national CBS game). The
decision will be between Illinois-Minnesota or the Purdue at
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Cook makes life bearable
have a confession to make. I don't like Indiana very much. In fact,
the only thing good to ever come out of that state to my
recollection is my wife. That said, I'm free to unload.
I don't know what it is. I don't know
if it's the residual from the genius Bob Knight days or if it's the
fact that they copied the name of our arena and called theirs
Assembly Hall. It may be because they think they invented basketball
or at least refined it, and that is laughable on both counts. It may
be the way they look down their noses at all other Big Ten teams as
if they're too good to even have to be on the same court with us.
Heck, it may even be those funky
stripped warm-up pants or those dastardly crimson and cream outfits
they call uniforms. It might be the pitchforks on their crests that
I guess spells out something about them. But, I don't like 'em.
I told Brian Cook when he decided on
Illinois to repeat after me: I will beat Indiana every chance I get.
I think we're only 3-3 with them during the Mike Davis era, but
believe me, there have been worst stretches! I tried to explain to
Brian how much easier our lives will be if you pound the Hosers
every time you play them just for good measure. I further stated how
the world is a so much better place after a victory over Indiana and
how that feeling even grows stronger and better the next morning! I
mean like even though they leave the most bitter taste in my mouth
any time I'm near them, it would be hard for me to feel better than
I do today… and I've got huge cold and flu symptoms!
Their guys just seem to have smirks on
their faces that I'd love to wipe off. I have always felt that if
you played them a REALLY physical game that they would wilt, and
that has happened a few times. Or you see them cry and whine about
Right now what is circulating
throughout the Big Ten is their feeling that there is a conspiracy,
mostly the officiating, to make sure that last year's magical run
doesn't happen again. I say the run was fluky. But, would I accept a
similar fluky run by the Illini? You're darn tootin'! But that's
what happens when you reward mediocrity. You let a 19-10 team into
the Big Dance, they get hot for five games and the next thing you
know, you're sitting in the Georgia Dome watching Opie and the boys
after the Illini had just annihilated them three weeks before.
It might be their fans. The reason I
say this is because for years I just ignored IU altogether. And if
I'm ever going to let this thing go (doubtful that could happen
without huge amounts of intense counseling and maybe even shock
therapy), I'll have to go back to ignoring them.
Then one day I moved to Lincoln,
Illinois. Some LCC student said, I know you grew up out West and
that you're a huge UCLA fan, but I think you would REALLY like the
Illini experience. So he took me to the "Hall." The Chief, the
Illinettes, the spaceship arena, the Orange and Blue, and the best
players in all the land, the Fighting Illini. I was so hooked
instantaneously that it was incredible, and I will be hooked the
rest of my life.
[to top of second column in this
But in this process of being introduced
to Illinois basketball, I also had to be introduced to Indiana
basketball, which may be an oxymoron! I saw people who had grown up
and lived their entire lives in Illinois wearing IU colors, shirts,
coats and hats. It repulsed me. I began to get physically ill and
made several quick runs to bathrooms all over the state.
Then, if that wasn't bad enough, I
found out that LCC had a policy where they actually enrolled
students from that state! The outrage! I even found out that some of
the faculty and staff were from there. I called the attorney
general's office to see if this was within the law. I cried when I
got the results. But that was not the worst of it. It was pointed
out to me that guys living in my dorm, on my floor and even next
door to me where from over there! I was beside myself!
These guys did do me one huge favor.
They made sure that I would never be a Hoser fan. When they won,
they were on top of the world. When they lost, it was a conspiracy
to get Bobby. Talk about obnoxious.
I'm trying to be fair here! I'm trying
to show why this is NOT just another game to us, this IS THE game of
Even in the modern era, if they walk
and chew gum at the same time, somebody has to send an e-mail to
everyone to let us know of their success. Whereas, we usually
quietly go about our business when we win, because we just expect
They have fans who boo the chief and
have to take their pitiful flag and try to run it up the mast with
the majestic blue "I" on the orange background. The gall of those
Several people we ran into at last
year's Final Four saw our Big Ten stuff and asked if we were rootin'
for the Hosers. We simply said what any faithful Illini fan would
say in a similar situation, "Not in a million years!" If they were
playing China for the title, I'd be rootin' for Yao Ming!
So thank you, Brian Cook. Thank you,
Coach Self, and thanks to the Illini. I'm enjoying the redemption
I'm getting for all those years I had to suffer with all those
stinkin' crimson and cream fans. But take heart, Indiana, you're
STILL at least No. 3. Not in the Big Ten of course, but behind
Purdue and Notre Dame in your own state.
note: This has been a completely tongue-in-cheek article. It has
been fictitious in almost every way. Even the name of the author has
been altered to protect the innocent. There REALLY is a thing called
Hoosier hospitality, and I have been a recipient of it from several
outstanding family members and a few friends who had no choice in
being born or raised over in that state. So remember that the views
expressed here are not necessarily the views of the LDN, the sports
department or even the psycho who may or may not have even penned
Articles from the past week
- High school basketball
- High school wrestling
- Defensive challenges will continue for Redbirds
Junior high basketball
Men's basketball pre-game notes:
Illinois State at Marshall
Junior high basketball
Preachers end regular season's home games with win
Birds-Aces rematch has plenty on the line
Illini destroy Michigan State
Cook, Illini cruise past Spartans
Cook's four points enough in Illinois' 70-40 rout
Brian Cook named top 20 finalist for Naismith Award
Coach Alexander new
By Jeff Mayfield
[FEB. 24, 2003]
With Lincoln High School's
55-30 victory over Peoria Woodruff on Saturday night, coach Neil
Alexander boldly went where NO former Railer coach had ever gone
before -- to a record No. 272 win! IF he stays here, he'll easily
surpass 300 and may get as many as 500 or more!
Yes, LCHS has had a lot of good players
during his tenure, but few know how to put them together to produce
poetry in motion out on the court. And that's what Railsplitter
basketball is synonymous with.
For those of us who've been treated to
great basketball in Roy S. Anderson gymnasium for several decades,
we're probably too close to it. We may not even be able to truly
appreciate what we have while we have it.
Try this test sometime: Find someone in
the crowd who is NOT from Lincoln. Ask THEM their assessment of
Railer hoops. I have done this. I invited several friends to games
over a three- to five-year period and asked them their thoughts.
They couldn't get over it -- a town our size being able to not only
compete with the Chicago Kings and Proviso Easts, but oftentimes
Not many towns can lay claim to the
kind of domination that coach Alexander's teams have had, but then
few really know what goes into making a championship team and
The LDN just pauses now to say
CONGRATULATIONS, Railers and Coach "Al." May there be many more to
gives Northwestern double vision
The Illinois Fighting Illini rode the
second-half hot shooting of senior Brian Cook to send Northwestern
down to defeat 73-61. Cook's dominating play accounted for a line
that showed 17 points, 10 rebounds while limiting himself to just
two fouls. Cook, however, did receive a great amount of help from
Roger Powell's 20 tallies and Dee Brown's 18 markers. But, it was
Cook's work on the glass that sent the Illini to a resounding 32-24
edge on the boards, to the delight of 15,429 happy United Center
fans. Illinois shot 55 percent from the field while holding the
Wildcats to 45 percent shooting. Cook is some 90 points from
climbing into fifth place on Illinois' all-time scoring list. Also,
with the win, coach Bill Self netted his 200th collegiate victory!
Next up for the Illini is a Tuesday night home date with the pesky
Hoosiers of Indiana University.
[to top of second column in this
lifts Redbirds over Marshall in Bracket-Buster
Gregg Alexander's outstanding play
lifted the ISU Redbirds to their first road win of the season, at
Marshall in ESPN's Bracket Buster series. Alexander continues to
will this struggling team back to life. [Click
here for game report from ISU.]
8A brings home the gold
CONGRATULATIONS to coach Matthew
Stoltzenburg and his team for winning the 8A state basketball title!
Look for these young hoopsters at an upcoming installment of "FANdamonium"…
Taylor and his guests, Jeff Benjamin and Tom Larry, as they discuss
Lincoln Railer hoops and a host of other topics tonight at 6. You
can link to them right here
on the LDN, watch them on CITV Channel 5 or listen to them on FIX
96.3 on your FM radio dial. It promises to be a great show. Call
them at 735-3306 with your question or comment.
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