PREP BOYS BASKETBALL: No sustain progress for Danville

Feb. 8—DANVILLE — One step forward, one step back. Two steps forward, two steps back. That has seemingly been the progression this season for the Danville boys basketball team.

After wins over Bloomington, LaSalette Academy, Normal West and Springfield Calvary this month for the Vikings, they have now lost three out of four including a 54-35 contest on Wednesday night against the Teutopolis Wooden Shoes on Senior Night at Danville High.

"That is a problem," Danville coach Durrell Robinson said. "We have seen glimpses of improvement in the past few weeks, but then we take a step back like we did tonight.

"No disrespect to Teutopolis, they are a good team and we knew it. But it seemed like we were just out there playing to be playing. I don't know if it was because of the Senior Night activities, but we were just out there to be out there."

That's definitely not a way for the Vikings, who fall to 9-16 on the season, to play at home against a quality opponent that Danville has beaten only once in four tries in the past decade.

"It's very frustrating, because our community is coming out and supporting us," Robinson said. "I feel like we are letting them down, there are a lot of things that we are capable of doing.

"You have to believe and then you have to do it. We are not at the stage."

With just three games left until postseason play begins, Robinson believes he has tried everything to get this team on track.

"We have tried a lot of different things, and a lot different rotations," he said. "Basically, we are trying to figure out what combination works the best for us. We have a couple of players that we can depend on, but we don't have a lot of players that we can mark down as being ready to play every night.

So, what does Danville need to do in its final three games to get ready for IHSA Class 3A regional action beginning Feb. 19. The Vikings are one of the hosts.

"We need to show that the little things matter," he said. "We need to focus on defense, Focus on rebounding. And focus on finishing layups and free throws.

"I felt we did a decent job on free throws tonight (Vikings were 9 of 13) but we missed 12 layups. That is just a lack of focus."

Surprisingly, the IHSA Class 2A Teutopolis Wooden Shoes, who improved to 18-9 overall, looked like the bigger and stronger team on Wednesday night.

But, Robinson wasn't concerned about that.

"You can fight physicality with effort," he said. "But, we didn't do that. We have to put our bodies on people. Those are the little things that matter."

It also didn't help that the Vikings failed to make a 3-pointer in the contest, while the Wooden Shoes got eight of them from six different players.

"That might be the most frustrating part of this game," Robinson said. "We spend so much time working on our shooting and we can't throw a rock in the ocean, right now.

"We just have ti keep practicing and hopefully, they start going in for us."

Not only did Teutopolis have six different players with a 3-pointer but the Wooden Shoes got scoring contributions from 11 players. Senior Joey Niebrugge had a game-high 15 points.

Junior Diddy Robinson was leading scorer for Danville with 10 points, while senior Devan Larkin finished with 8.

In Wednesday's junior-varsity contest, Teutopolis cruised to a 66-35 victory over Danville. Adam Forthenberry was the leading scorer for the Vikings with 9 points.

Teutopolis 54, Danville 35

Teutopolis (54) —Garrett Gaddis 2 0-0 6, Alex Kremer 2 2-4 7, Zac Niebrugge 0 0-0 0, Ethan Thoele 1 0-0 2, Isaac McWhorter 1 0-0 3, Joey Niebrugge 6 1-2 15, Mitch Koester 1 0-0 3, Drew Hoene 2 0-0 4, Tyler Pruemer 2 0-0 4, Jake Bushur 2 0-0 5, Austin Bloemer 0 1-2 1, Logan Lawson 2 0-0 4. Totals: 21 4-8 54.

Danville (35) — Diddy Robinson 5 0-0 10, Curtis Beasley 1 0-0 2, Devan Larkin 3 2-2 8, CL Dye 0 2-2 2, Jentezen Harris 0 0-0 0, Eric Bryant 0 0-0 0, Darius Jay 1 2-4 4, Jerry Reed 1 0-0 2, Persiris Menifield 2 1-3 5, Tayvion Diltz 0 2-2 2. Totals: 13 9-13 35.

Teutopolis '16 '8 '15 '15 '— '54

Danville '12 '5 '11 '7 '— '35

3-pointers — Teutopolis 8 (Gaddis 2, J.Niebrugge 2, Kremer 1, McWhorter 1, Koester 1, Bushur 1). Danville 0. Total fouls — Teutopolis 13, Danville 11. Fouled out — none.

Records — Teutopolis 18-9 overall, Danville 9-16 overall.

JV score — Teutopolis 66, Danville 35