March 30, 2016

Atkins Tennis Center to host mixed-doubles tourney

One of the things the makes Champaign-Urbana a great place to live and play is its large, active tennis community. Brandon Lenfert, head tennis pro from the Atkins Tennis Center, announced a new tournament for competitive players in the area.

Atkins, home of the Fighting Illini tennis program, will host their first annual Fighting Illini Fast 5 mixed doubles tourney on Saturday, April 9th.

The tournament is a mixed doubles only event set in a 4-hour compass draw format. At the end of each round, the winners continue in their tournament in the same direction, while the losers change directions. There are no eliminations. Each doubles pair continues to play until the time limit has been reached.

Compass draws provide a great way for players to face opposing teams and players of different abilities and styles. All duos will play a best of 5 game set. Games are tallied with no-ad scoring and pairs must win by two games. Ties will be broken with a 9-point tiebreaker(first to 5 points) at 5-5.

The competition will begin at 4pm with match snacks and Gatorade will be provided for players through out the one day event. Entry fee is $40.00 per doubles pair and interested players can register in person or call the Atkins Tennis Center at 217-244-8562 to reserve their spot in the draw.

March 29, 2016

Spartans slide by Unity in OT thriller

Past the mid-season mark, eventual Class 2A state champions St. Joseph-Ogden faced Okaw Valley Conference rival Unity on the road at the Rocket Center. The Spartans used a 43-point fourth quarter comeback and an overtime to down the Rockets in a 76-67 thriller. Between them, Unity and SJO put 68 points in the final quarter of the game.

Junior Brandon Trimble led all scorers with 33 points, 26 of them dropping after the mid-game break. Jake Pence and teammate Aaron Schluter contributed double digits with 17 an 12 respectively. It was Schluter who hit a pair of clutch free throw in a packed gym of onlookers that sent the game into the extra session.

Trimble, a confident deadeye free throw sharpshooter, missed just three of his 19 shots from the line.

TJ Wheeler led Unity's offensive effort in the second half with 16 points on the way to a team-high 20. Skyler Shepherd added 14 points and Jared Shotten, who went 11-for-12 from free throw line, pitched in another 12 in the team's conference loss.

Here's a slideshow of all the photos from the game back on February 5, 2016.

01-08-16 SJO vs Unity - Images by Clark Brooks at PhotoNews Media

Click here to view the thumbnails and larger versions of each of the photos.

Do what you enjoy, life is for living

by Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator

Life is lived once. Be happy. What should you be doing today? What do you want to be doing today? Where should you be today? Where do you want to be today?

An old friend who recently died said, "Do what you enjoy."

Life is not only about our gratification. We have family members and work associates who are impacted by our decisions. To totally go off the wall and make decisions that are only about us is careless. To never make decisions that are about us is stupid.

Another dying friend recently told his Facebook followers to pursue life and go for whatever dreams or goals they had in life. While he had pursued many of his I also got the message that he had unfinished business or dreams that he had cast aside and never pursued.

Don't live your life with regrets. Get in the game and enjoy whatever time you have to play the game. Or, get on the road and enjoy the scenery along the way. Life for many people is watching life go by. We watch others live on television. We watch others at sporting events. We sit on the sofa and vegetate, get depressed, eat too much, get fat and then need drugs to get us through the day.

Life is for living. We weren't created to watch life go by. Life was never intended to be a non-active existence.

Today get up and do something and do it a lot. As long as it's legal, moral and healthy what do you have to lose? Don't spend a lot of time asking others what you should be doing. They really don't know your heart. Ask yourself, talk to God about it and then move forward with living and be happy.

Dr. Glenn Mollette is a syndicated American columnist and author of American Issues, Every American Has An Opinion and ten other books. He is read in all 50 states. The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily representative of any other group, organization or this publication.
DISCLAIMER: This article is the sole opinions of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of PhotoNews Media. We welcome comments and views from our readers.


March 28, 2016

7 sweet shots from SJO's state semifinal

Brandon Trimble set a Class 2A record draining 44 points in St. Joseph-Ogden's state semifinal game against Breese Central. The junior all-stater hit 13 of his 14 free throws and his third quarter shooting seminar - an 18 point solo drubbing - yielded more points than the Cougars scored in the second half. His spectacular shooting show, and not to mention his game-high 12 rebounds, propelled the Spartans into the championship game after handing Breese a 60-48 loss.

The Spartans' ninth straight victory might have been won by Trimble, but the victory was sealed by SJO's stifling second half defense effort lead by senior trio Kohlten Johnson, Jake Pence and Garrett Grimsley. Breese went from shoot 56% from the field in the first half to finding the hole just six time out of their 22 attempts.

The Cougars' main offensive charge was supplied by Logan Kohrmann with 22 points. Mitchel Rule contributed 15 points in the loss sending their team to the third place game on Saturday.

Here's a look at the best photos from the Spartans' semifinal win over the Cougars below. See the entire game gallery here: SJO vs Breese Central.

SJO's Brandon Trimble shoots
Brandon Trimble slices his way to the basket on a first quarter shot against the Cougars. The Spartan guard led all scorers with 44 points in the state semifinal win. Trimble set a Class 2A record for the most points scored in a single game.

SJO's Jake Pence dribbles at state.
Jake Pence drives to the paint during first quarter action around Breese Central's Logan Kohrmann. The guard scored 8 points in the win.

Spartans' Aaron Schluter goes up for 2 points.
SJO's Aaron Schluter goes up for a shot during the first half.

SJO fans
Spartan fans cheer for their team during the first half.

Jake Pence takes a charge from Cougars' Kolby Schulte.

SJO's Brandon Trimble watches the ball roll away after taking a fall during the first half.

Kohlten Johnson celebrates SJO's semifinal win.
Kohlten Johnson is all smiles as hugs a teammate after the Spartan victory over Breese. The senior hauled in 11 of his team's 34 rebounds.

March 27, 2016

Top 5 photos from Unity home game against Cissna Park

Back in early January, Addison Stoller scored a game-high 17 points in Cissna Park's away non-conference game against the Unity Rockets. The Timberwolves outscored their host 24-14 in the second half to win 47-35 in front a small crowd at the Rocket Center.

Katie Kaiser, Lauren Wedling and Brea Cunningham chipped 7 points a piece behind Jordy Curtis' team-high 8 for Unity. Cunningham, a senior, finished the game 3-for-6 from the free throw line for the Rockets.

Here is a peek at five of our favorite photos from the game a couple months ago below. We been so busy we forgot to show off our series of great hoops action. See 17 more photos from the game in our photo gallery here: PhotoNews photo archives.

Unity's freshman Katie Kaiser
Unity freshman starter Katie Kaiser dives for a loose ball during the Rockets' junior varsity game against the Timberwolves.

Jessie Spivey and Michelle Fehr
Rockets' Jessie Spivey tries to tear the ball away from Timberwolves' Michelle Fehr.

Diving Gabby Wessels
Cissna Park's Gabby Wessels scraps for a loose ball in the first half of her team's away game against Unity. Wessels tallied 13 points and was a perfect 3-for-3 from the charity stripe against the Rockets.

Jordy Curtis makes gusty play for the ball
Unity's Jordy Curtis crashes to the floor after making a second half steal on Cissna Park's Addison Stoller. Hitting the team's only trey of the night, Curtis lead all Rocket scorers with 8 points.

Brea Cunningham and Addison Stoller
Cissna Park's Addison Stoller used both hands to block a shot by Unity's Brea Cunningham during the first half of their game. Stoller finished with 17 points while Cunningham chipped in 7 in her team's effort.

March 11, 2016

Liberty unable to claw their way past LeRoy

Liberty's shots fell anywhere but through the orange hoop in their state semifinal contest against LeRoy early Friday afternoon. Scoring just 8 points in the first half on a frustrating 3-for-23 start, the Eagles fell 48-32 to eventual Class 1A champions LeRoy at the IHSA Basketball State Finals.

Entering the Final Four with a record of 29-4, it was the third time in program history the Eagles had a shot at a state title. In 2005 and 1981, Liberty finished the season with fourth place trophies.

Starters Reed Wolfmeyer and Tayton Roe led Liberty's scoring effort. Roe, who was 2-for-2 from the free throw line, finished with 12 points. Wolfmeyer buoyed his team with 10 points and 4 steals. Cole Wellman was credited with 6 of the team's 25 rebounds and chipped in 5 points in the loss.

LeRoy (27-5) was led by D1 star Matt Chastain. The 6'6', 190-lb senior led all scorers with 20 points - 6 under his season average - and hauled in a game-high 14 rebounds off the glass. Teammate Nick Perry contributed 10 points, three shy of the pair defeating Liberty by themselves.

March 11, 2016 - Peoria, IL - Liberty's Levi Obert stumbles back a step after LeRoy's Brett Egan runs into him along the sideline in their IHSA semifinal game at Carver Arena. The Eagles were held to just four points in three of the four quarters in their 48-32 loss to the Panthers on Friday. Obert finished game with 3 points and 4 rebounds. (Photo: PhotoNews/Clark Brooks)

View more game photos here . . .