Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL


February 12, 2014

Neoga crushes Okaw Valley 64-27

Regional rematch with Arcola set

TOLEDO — Neoga's offense clicked on Tuesday, sending Okaw Valley packing and cementing its place in Thursday's Class 1A Regional Championship at Cumberland High School.

The Indians made it look easy by getting out on the fast break to kick start the offense in the 64-27 win, picking up their 20th win along the way.

“We knew we had the guns to do it and our kids like to do that,” Neoga head coach Kim Romack said. “We were knocking stuff down in transition and that makes things a lot easier.”

Romack said she was happy with where her team was at halftime, leading 35-17. Six Indians scored in the half and Romack said many of the points came from right around the basket.

But the offense only got better in the second half, extending its lead to 30 points by the end of the third quarter and 40 points in the fourth quarter.

Jillian Deters led Neoga with 21 points in the game, while EC Thies added 18. Madison Butler scored 11.

“Madi, EC and Jill are really consistent,” Romack said. “It's always nice to have somebody else knock down some shots, too.”

Romack said Olivia Ott's eight-point game was complimentary to the other leading scorers, making the Indians' offense even more difficult to defend.

“Olivia has done a realy nice job for us getting six to 10 points a night,” Romack said.

The Indians got off to a relatively slow start, only leading 22-12 after the first quarter. Romack said the defense changed things up to protect player from early foul trouble.

“Once we got that taken care of, we didn't let it bother us,” Romack said.

Okaw Valley scored 12 points in the first quarter, but only 15 in the final three quarters.

The reaction was pretty simple for Romack, who said her team took care of business in the regional semifinal victory.

“They're hungry for more,” Romack said. “They're ready for Thursday night. They're excited about the opportunity to play in a regional championship again. We came in tonight and were solid throughout.”

The win sets up a rematch between Arcola and Neoga for the regional title. The two teams played each other early this season, with Neoga winning 62-58 on Nov. 21, but Romack said a lot has changed since then.

“Both teams have gotten better,” Romack said. “I'm anxious to see us put the two teams out there on Thursday and let them go at it and see what happens.”

One things hasn't changed, though. That's Arcola's Taylor Edwards, who scored 19 points in the Lady Riders' semifinal win over Tri-County on Tuesday.

“She's even better,” Romack said. “We'll have to figure out how we can contain her.”

Arcola and Neoga will tipoff at 7 p.m. Thursday in Cumberland, for the regional championship.

Alex McNamee can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or alex.mcnamee@effinghamdailynews.com.

Neoga          22 13 18 11     64

Okaw Valley     12 5 5 5          27

Neoga: Butler 11, Ott 8, Thies 18, Deters 21, Erickson 2, Miah 2, Roy 2

Okaw Valley: Robinson 4, McClain 16, Harlin 3, Birch 2, Dash 2


Text Only
  • Groce.jpg Illini coach Groce stops in Effingham; Speech focuses on team building

    A crowded ballroom met for "An Evening with John Groce” Thursday inside the Thelma Keller Convention Center.
    Groce has been the men's basketball coach at the University of Illinois since March 2012. Prior to that, he was the head coach at Ohio University, where he led the Bobcats to a Sweet 16 appearance in 2012.
    His speech was focused on team building and Groce said it was the a variation of the same speech he will give Sunday evening at his beginning-of-the-year players' meeting.

    August 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • MadisonBushue.jpg St. Anthony second at Charleston scramble

    In their first meet of the season, the St. Anthony Bulldogs came out firing, taking second place at the Charleston Invitational Thursday afternoon.
    The tournament was a scramble at Charleston Country Club, and the hosting Trojans took home the tournament with a combined score of 72. St. Anthony was five shots back, shooting a 77. Effingham finished fourth with an 88, and Teutopolis took ninth with a 98.

    August 22, 2014 3 Photos

  • Ryan.jpg Czachorski: Lunt the right man at QB

    There haven't been many times I've put pen to paper — or I guess more fittingly finger to keyboard — and written about the Illinois Fighting Illini.
    Part of it is due to their football team's struggles, as it's hard to have an opinion on them outside of "man, they went 1-7 in the Big 10 last year" or "I remember that one time they went to the Rose Bowl, but that's about it." Part of it is staying in my wheelhouse, which is MAC football and my alma mater Central Michigan Chippewas, a topic that doesn't concern many, if any, around here.

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • NeogaGresens.jpg Neoga prepares for upcoming volleyball season

    Another area team finds themselves with a new coach holding the clipboard this season.
    Susan Hutchinson is the new volleyball coach for the Neoga Indians, but she isn't new to the game of volleyball. Hutchinson coached at Mattoon for seven years when they were still in the Big 12 Conference. She said her new players had to get used to her coaching style very quickly.

    August 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bulldogs fifth at ISU

    St. Anthony took to the links for the second-straight day and had a strong showing at the Raider/Redbird Classic.
    The Bulldogs finished fifth among a 20-team field, shooting a 318. East Peoria shot a 312 to win it, Normal U-High and Lincoln each shot 315s with Normal winning the tie-breaker, and Bloomington took fourth with a 317.

    August 21, 2014

  • DonovanHammer.jpg St. Anthony will lead with speed

    For the last five years, Eric Morales has been the assistant coach of the St. Anthony Bulldogs soccer team. But this season he will have his chance at the helm and try to help lead the Bulldogs to their first regional title since 2010.
    St. Anthony is missing six seniors from last years team, including its leading goal scorer and starting goalie.

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • JakeLinders.jpg Flaming Hearts win St. Anthony Invitational

    The Flaming Hearts of Effingham were the overall winners and also had the medalist. Effingham shot a team score of 312 to beat the host Bulldogs by nine shots. Hearts senior Jackson Wendling finished with a 72 to take medalist honors.

    August 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Willenborg.jpg Teutopolis takes opener against St. Thomas More

    Teutopolis took the course with a new coach and four players, but as coach Becky Probst said, it takes four to score.
    And those four Lady Shoes took their first match of the year, topping Champaign St. Thomas More 216-227 in both teams' openers at Cardinal Golf Course in Effingham.

    August 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • callawaysmith.jpg Time to tee off, golf season starts fall sports campaign today

    The fall sports campaign kicks off in earnest Monday afternoon, with the first area varsity contests being held in Windsor and Effingham this afternoon.
    The St. Anthony Invitational boys golf tournament will be held at Fox Prairie Golf Course at 1 p.m. in Windsor, while the Teutopolis Lady Shoes host St. Thomas More at Cardinal Golf Course at 4 p.m.

    August 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • AndrewBingham.jpg Flaming Hearts' flexibility a plus; Effingham prepping for upcoming soccer season

    Three days into the practice season, Effingham soccer coach Aaron Witges sees a lot of flexibility.
    It was something his squad had last year, with 10 seniors but young players forcing their way into the lineup as well.
    Coming off a 10-8-3 season, some of those young players will find themselves in new positions for the Flaming Hearts this season.

    August 16, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.