High school basketball extra: Salt Fork just keeps on winning | Sports

Overtime games not going right way for Arcola

Quite a few local games have been decided by overtime this season. I saw one late last Saturday night when Georgetown-Ridge Farm and Salt Fork needed an extra period to decide the Vermilion County boys’ tournament’s third-place game. What’s happened to the Arcola boys’ basketball team in overtime-tinged games this season, though, seems especially cruel. The Purple Riders have come up short in three such games — each time by a single point. They fell to Salt Fork 59-58 on Nov. 30, 61-60 to Dieterich on Dec. 30 28 and 57-56 to Cerro Gordo/Bement on Jan. 19. If Arcola must have an overtime game in February as well, perhaps the Purple Riders will be able to come out ahead in it.

Mahomet-Seymour glad to see Koller back in aciton wgwgwg

Mahomet-Seymour boys’ basketball coach Ryan Bosch woul have loved to have senior forward Luke Koller for this entire season. Because Koller is 6-foot-9, 220 pounds and a talented athlete. But an opening-night shoulder injury prevented Koller’s presence on the floor — until last Saturday’s win against Chatham Glenwood. Koller scored 16 points in his return to the Bulldogs’ lineup, and his ability to immediately jump back into action bodes well for an MS program that’s been treading water around .500 all winter.

Vermilion Valley Conference showdown on tapBrian Russell’s Salt Fork girls’ team romped through the Vermilion County Tournament en route to their first title in the event since 2016. Not involved in that seven-team tournament were Iroquois West and Watseka, two Vermilion Valley Conference teams, like Salt Fork, also having good seasons. The Storm blew past Iroquois West on Monday night in Catlin and will visit Watseka next Monday night in what should be a phenomenal small-school matchup, with plenty of VVC title implications on the line.

Small-school leagues set to duke it ou Saturday

The Illini Prairie Conference and Sangamo Conference have some of the top small-school programs in central Illinois. Bragging rights transspire between the girls’ basketball teams from the two leagues on Saturday in Williamsville. Unity against Petersburg PORTA and St. Joseph-Ogden against state-ranked Pana highlight the list of games involving local teams.

Better late than never for Central Centennial

Before February gets busy with postesason games essentially every night, the first Wednesday in the month doesn’t have much on the local slate. But one game that, fingers crossed, will take place on Feb. 2 is Centennial girls’ basketball hosting Champaign Central. The 7:30 pm game between the Big 12 rivals was originally was slated for this coming Saturday but now has a bigger spotlight placed upon it. Central will try to go for the season sweep after beating Centennial 57-50 on Dec. 9.

Colin Likas is the preps coordinator at The News-Gazette. He can be reached at clikas@news-gazette.com, or on Twitter at @clikasNG.

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