12/30/11

Fourth Quarter Dooms Blue Ridge Boys Basketball in Tournament Loss to Ridgeview

MONTICELLO, Ill. -- It was a tale of two good quarters and two bad ones for the Knights in the fifth-place game of the Monticello Holiday Hoopla.

The bad out-weighed the good, as Blue Ridge was outscored by a combined 42-11 in the first and fourth quarters en route to a 58-44 loss to Ridgeview.

In the second quarter, the Knights went on a 17-8 run to go into halftime with a 29-25 deficit after trailing 21-8 at the end of the first quarter. The Mustangs were held to 9-of-30 shooting in the first half en route to a 32.7-percent shooting performance.

Offensively, Blue Ridge was led in the second quarter by Tucker Johnson, who scored eight of his 10 first-half points in the quarter. Johnson made 5-of-10 shots from the field in the first half and ended the game leading the Knights with 12 points on 6-of-18 shooting.


Johnson also recorded 15 rebounds, including seven in the first half, and three blocks and three steals. Johnson scored the final points of the first quarter, getting a field goal in the paint while getting fouled with 4.2 seconds left in the quarter.

Although he could not make the free throw to complete the three-point play, the basket started a 19-6 run that continued into the second quarter and ended with a Johnson bucket that cut Blue Ridge's deficit to 27-25.

Prior to the run, Ridgeview started the game outscoring the Knights 21-6, starting with a couple of 3-pointers from Trevor McIntosh that put the Mustangs up 6-1 with 6:33 left in the first quarter.

McIntosh finished the game with 13 points. Bryce Powell was the game's high scorer with 18 points, including 11 in the first half.

Johnson started the second half with a basket that cut Blue Ridge's deficit to 29-27. That started a 16-6 run that gave the Knights a 41-35 lead late in the third quarter.


Jon Jones made a couple of 3-pointers during that run to help Blue Ridge pull away. The first of those 3-point shots gave the Knights the lead at 34-32.

Following a McIntosh free throw, Jones made another shot from beyond the arc to extend Blue Ridge's lead to 37-33 with 2:31 left in the third quarter. The Knights led 41-37 at the end of the quarter.

Jones finished the game scoring all nine of his points via 3-pointers.

In the fourth quarter, Clint O'Neal scored his team's only three points. After Ridgeview tied the game at 41-41, O'Neal got a three-point play to give Blue Ridge the lead again at 44-41 with 6:46 left in the game.

O'Neal finished the game with six points and nine rebounds.


After O'Neal's three-point play, the Mustangs outscored the Knights 17-0 to clinch the game. Powell gave Ridgeview the go-ahead basket, a 3-pointer that put his team up 46-44.

McIntosh made a free throw and Will Weber scored a couple of field goals to extend the Mustangs' lead to 51-44 with about three minutes left to play.

"We have to learn how to win a game," Blue Ridge coach Kyle Watson said. "We need to learn how to execute."

In the second half, Ridgeview shot 10-of-18 from the free-throw line in the second half en route to a 19-of-35 shooting performance. The Knights, on the other hand, made 1-of-6 foul shots in the second half and 4-of-14 for the game.

"[The Mustangs] made their free throws. We did not," Watson said.

With the loss, Blue Ridge (4-9) settles for sixth place in the tournament. The Knights will be back in action on Tuesday, when they travel to Minonk for a Heart of Illinois Conference game against Fieldcrest.

"We've got to continue to do the little things," Watson said.

12/29/11

Ridgeview 58, Blue Ridge Boys Basketball 44 (box score)

Ridgeview (58)
Brock Heimer 4-8 1-3 9, Dana Bose 1-7 0-4 2, Matt Barnes 2-7 6-8 10, Trevor McIntosh 2-7 7-11 13, Bryce Powell 6-21 5-9 18, Cory Winterland 1-1 0-0 2, Adam Jones 0-1 0-0 0, Will Weber 2-3 0-0 4, Cole Winterland 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-55 19-35 58
Blue Ridge (44)
Will Duggins 2-8 0-1 5, Travys Nichols 3-6 0-0 6, Tucker Johnson 6-18 0-1 12, Jon Jones 3-10 0-0 9, Michael Plunk 2-11 1-2 5, Mark Plunk 0-3 1-2 1, Dylan Grammer 0-0 0-1 0, Trenor Hildreth 0-0 0-2 0, C.J. Bishop 0-0 0-2 0, Josh Plunk 0-0 0-0 0, Clint O'Neal 2-3 2-3 6, Daniel Gilbert 0-0 0-0 0, Matthew White 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-59 4-14 44
Ridgeview 21 8 8 21 -- 58
Blue Ridge 8 17 16 3 -- 44

3-point goals -- Ridgeview 3-15 (McIntosh 2-6, Powell 1-5, Bose 0-2, Barnes 0-2), Blue Ridge 4-18 (Jones 3-8, Duggins 1-5, Mi. Plunk 0-3, Johnson 0-2). Rebounds -- Ridgeview 45 (Powell 10, Barnes 8, Hiemer 7, Bose 5), Blue Ridge 56 (Johnson 15, Nichols 9, O'Neal 9, Mi. Plunk 5). Assists -- Ridgeview 9 (Hiemer 6), Blue Ridge 6 (Jones 2, Bishop 2). Steals -- Ridgeview 13 (Hiemer 3, Cory Winterland 3), Blue Ridge 8 (Duggins 3, Johnson 3). Blocks -- Ridgeview 4, Blue Ridge 3 (Johnson 3). Turnovers -- Ridgeview 9, Blue Ridge 20.
(Blue Ridge -- 4-9; next: Tuesday at Fieldcrest.)
BLUE RIDGE BOYS BKB UPDATE: The Knights lost the fifth-place game of the Monticello Holiday Hoopla 58-44 to Ridgeview.

Blue Ridge Girls Basketball Loses to Clinton 58-50 in Third-Place Game of Okaw Valley Holiday Tournament

BETHANY, Ill. -- The Lady Knights led the Lady Maroons 25-18 at halftime after a 15-7 second quarter.

However, Clinton outscored Blue Ridge 25-11 in the third quarter en route to a 58-50 win and a third-place finish in the Okaw Valley Holiday Tournament. The Lady Knights settled for fourth place in the tourney.

Jamison Brandt was Blue Ridge's leading scorer with 14 points, as the Lady Knights did not attempt a single 3-point shot.

Jacquelyn O'Neal, who was named to the All-Tournament Team, finished with 11 points.

Bailey Clancy had 11 points as well. Melinda Wilson also scored in double digits, tallying 10 points.

The Lady Maroons were led by Haley Toohill, who was also named as a member of the All-Tournament Team. Toohill had 16 points, including 8-of-10 shooting at the free-throw line, while Madi Bevins got 12 points thanks in part to 3-of-9 shooting from 3-point range.

With the loss, Blue Ridge falls to a record of 7-9. The Lady Knights will return to action on Monday, when they travel to Minonk to face Fieldcrest.

Clinton 58, Blue Ridge 50
Blue Ridge (50)
Jeana Cheek 0 0-0 0, Jacquelyn O'Neal 3 5-6 11, Korrie Gilbert 1 1-4 3, Melinda Wilson 4 2-2 10, Bailey Clancy 4 3-5 11, Gabby Pearl 0 1-2 1, Jamison Brandt 7 0-1 14. Totals 19 12-20 50
Clinton (58)
Megan Tool 2 1-2 6, Madi Bevins 4 1-2 12, Haley Ginger 1 1-2 4, Alex Hunt 0 1-5 1, Morgan Witzke 0 1-2 1, Morgan Hickman 2 1-4 5, Amber Miller 1 0-0 3, Haley Toohill 4 8-10 16, Jessica Scott 4 0-0 9, Payton Bieber 0 1-2 1. Totals 18 15-33 58
Blue Ridge    10    15    11    14    -- 50
Clinton    11    7    25    15    -- 58
3-pointers -- Clinton 7-18 (Bevins 3-9, Miller 1-5, Ginger 1-2, Tool 1-1, Scott 1-1).

Blue Ridge Boys Basketball Loses to Monticello, Will Play Ridgeview in the Holiday Hoopla

MONTICELLO, Ill. -- After a 17-12 first quarter, the Sages outscored the Knights 23-9 to run away with a 72-46 victory.

In the first half, Monticello shot 15-of-27, including 5-11 from 3-point range. The Sages finished the game making 26-of-47 field goals and 6-of-15 from beyond the arc to build their biggest lead at 29 with 3:28 left to play.

Blue Ridge's biggest lead was at two with 6:06 left in the first quarter. The Knights shot 7-of-21 in the first half en route to a 17-of-49 shooting night, including 0-6 from 3-point range.

Will Duggins was their leading scorer, tallying 16 points on 8-of-13 shooting.

Blue Ridge committed 27 turnovers, off which the Sages scored 34 points. Monticello, meanwhile, turned the ball over 20 times and yielded 14 points off turnovers.

With the loss, the Knights (4-8) will play in the fifth-place game of the Monticello Holiday Hoopla. They will face Ridgeview today at 4:30 p.m.

Monticello 72, Blue Ridge 46
Blue Ridge (46)
Will Duggins 8-13 0-3 16, Travys Nichols 3-4 2-2 8, Tucker Johnson 5-11 1-1 11, Jon Jones 0-4 2-2 2, Michael Plunk 1-7 2-4 4, Mark Plunk 0-2 0-0 0, Dylan Grammer 0-0 2-2 2, Trenor Hildreth 0-2 0-0 0, C.J. Bishop 0-1 0-0 0, Josh Plunk 0-1 0-0 0, Clint O'Neal 0-3 2-5 2, Daniel Gilbert 0-1 1-2 1, Matthew White 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-49 12-21 46
Monticello (72)
Nick Stokowski 4-6 2-2 11, Matt Kruse 1-1 0-0 2, Isaac Bales 4-7 5-6 14, Ryan Donohue 8-15 1-4 19, Daly O'Brien 1-4 0-0 3, Jacob Williams 1-2 4-5 6, Austin McCall 0-0 0-0 0, Ryan Bidner 0-1 0-0 0, Tyler Taylor 0-0 0-0 0, Kendal King 4-5 0-1 8, Parker Trice 0-1 2-2 2, Mitch Miller 3-5 0-0 7. Totals 26-47 14-20 72
Blue Ridge    12    9    12    13    -- 46
Monticello    17    23    17    15    -- 72
3-point goals -- Blue Ridge 0-6 (Johnson 0-2, Duggins 0-1, Jones 0-1, Mi. Plunk 0-1, Ma. Plunk 0-1), Monticello 6-15 (Donohue 2-6, O'Brien 1-3, Miller 1-3, Stokowski 1-2, Bales 1-1). Rebounds -- Blue Ridge 33 (Duggins 5, Nichols 5, Johnson 5), Monticello 30 (Donohue 4, Williams 4). Assists -- Blue Ridge 5 (Nichols 2), Monticello 14 (O'Brien 7, Donohue 4). Steals -- Blue Ridge 7 (Duggins 2, Johnson 2), Monticello 12 (Donohue 5, King 3). Blocks -- Blue Ridge 2 (Nichols 2), Monticello 3.


12/28/11

Blue Ridge Boys Basketball Splits First Day in Monticello Holiday Hoopla

MONTICELLO, Ill. -- The Knights are 1-1 in the tournament after losing to Mount Zion 83-46 and beating Neoga 77-67 in overtime.

Blue Ridge (4-7) will face Monticello today at 3:30 p.m.

Blue Ridge 77, Neoga 67, OT

Michael Plunk was the Knights' leading scorer with 25 points.

He was also their hero.

With Blue Ridge trailing 62-59 with three seconds left in regulation, Michael Plunk sank the tying 3-pointer at the buzzer to force overtime.

From there, the Knights clinched the game at the free-throw line, as they sank 13-of-14 free throws.

Blue Ridge had to rally from a 20-12 deficit at the end of the first quarter. A 12-2 run by the Indians in the first 3:05 of the second quarter that increased their lead to 32-14 did not help.

However, the Knights went on a run of their own, scoring of the 14 final 15 points of the second quarter to cut the deficit to 33-28 at halftime. Michael Plunk started the run with a jump shot and Tucker Johnson, who finished the game with 16 points, capped it off by scoring a basket with 22 seconds left in the half. 

With 6:03 remaining in the third quarter, Blue Ridge trailed the Neoga 39-32. With a scoring run of 10-2, the Knights took the lead.

Will Duggins started the run with a jump shot. Michael Plunk sinked a free throw to give the Knights a 42-41 lead with 2:38 left in the third quarter.

Neoga retook the lead at 50-44 by the end of the third quarter and increased their lead to eight at 57-49 with 5:41 left in regulation. Clint O'Neal scored on a layup to get two of six points and cut the deficit to 57-51.

From there, Blue Ridge went on a scoring run of 8-1 to take the lead at 59-58, getting the last of those two points on Michael Plunk free throws with 52 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.

T.J. Roy, who finished with a game-high 42 points, gave the Indians a go-ahead jump shot to give his team a 60-59 lead with 35 seconds left and increased it to 62-59 with two free throws before Michael Plunk's game-tying 3-pointer.

Johnson made the first shot of the overtime period, giving the Knights a 64-62 lead with 3:33 left in the game. From there, Blue Ridge went on a 11-2 run with all of its points scored via free throws.

Jon Jones gave the Knights a 75-64 lead by making two foul shots with 10 seconds left in the overtime period.

Blue Ridge (77)
C.J. Bishop 0-4 0-0 0, Travys Nichols 4-5 0-0 8, Tucker Johnson 8-18 0-1 16, Michael Plunk 4-12 1-18 25, Will Duggins 4-9 0-0 8, Mark Plunk 0-1 0-0 0, Dylan Grammer 0-0 0-0 0, Jon Jones 3-6 5-6 12, Trenor Hildreth 1-1 0-0 2, Josh Plunk 0-0 0-0 0, Clint O'Neal 3-4 0-0 6. Totals 27-60 21-25 77
Neoga (67)
Dalton Roberts 2-8 0-0 5, Seth Kline 0-2 0-1 0, Joey Smyser 1-2 0-0 2, T.J. Roy 13-22 7-8 42, Adam Probst 5-7 2-3 12, Wyatt Krikie 1-5 1-2 4, Cole McKimmey 1-2 0-2 2, Michael Baker 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 23-49 10-16 67
Blue Ridge    12    16    16    18    15    -- 77
Neoga    20    13    17    12    5    -- 67
3-pointers -- Blue Ridge 2-8 (Jones 1-2, Mi. Plunk 1-2, Ma. Plunk 0-1, Duggins 0-1, Ma. Plunk 0-1). Neoga 11-24 (Roy 11-24, Roberts 1-5, Krikie 1-5).
For Blue Ridge, Johnson had 13 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals. Mi. Plunk had 7 rebounds, 3 steals. Duggins had 5 rebounds. Jones had 4 rebounds, 4 steals. Team had 38 rebounds, 11 steals, 8 assists.
For Neoga, Baker had 8 rebounds. Roy had 6 rebounds, 3 assists. Probst had 4 steals, 3 assists. Roberts had 3 assists. Team had 28 rebounds, 13 assists, 5 steals.
First half stats
Blue Ridge (28)
C.J. Bishop 0-2 0-0 0, Travys Nichols 2-3 0-0 4, Tucker Johnson 3-5 0-0 6, Michael Plunk 1-4 2-2 4, Will Duggins 2-4 0-0 4, Mark Plunk 0-1 0-0 0, Dylan Grammer 0-0 0-0 0, Jon Jones 2-3 0-0 2, Trenor Hildreth 1-1 0-0 2, Clint O'Neal 2-3 0-0 4. Totals 13-26 2-2 28
Neoga (33)
Dalton Roberts 1-4 0-0 2, Seth Kline 0-2 0-0 0, Joey Smyser 0-0 0-0 0, T.J. Roy 6-11, 4-4 20, Adam Probst 4-5 2-3 10, Wyatt Krikie 0-3 1-2 1, Cole McKimmey 0-1 0-0 0, Michael Baker 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 11-27 7-9 33
3-pointers -- Blue Ridge 0-3 (Bishop 0-1, Duggins 0-1, Ma. Plunk 0-1). Neoga 4-12 (Roy 4-7, Krikie 0-3, Roberts 0-2).
For Blue Ridge, Mi. Plunk had 4 rebounds. Johnson had 3 rebounds, 2 assists. O'Neal had 3 rebounds. Jon Jones had 2 steals. Team had 15 rebounds.
For Neoga, Roy had 4 rebounds, 2 assists. Baker had 4 rebounds. Probst had 3 rebounds, 2 steals. Roberts had 2 assists. Team had 16 rebounds.

Mount Zion 83, Blue Ridge 46

From the start, the Knights simply had no chance.

The Braves jumped out to an 18-8 at the end of the first quarter. They outscored Blue Ridge 19-11 in the second quarter to go into halftime leading 37-19.

Mount Zion had advantages of 25-14 and 31-13 in the third and fourth quarters, respectively.

Clint O'Neal led the Knights with eight points. Will Duggins and Tucker Johnson each contributed seven points.

Mark Plunk and Trenor Hildreth each scored five points. Michael Plunk and Matthew White each had four points.

Jon Jones finished the game with three points while Travys Nichols tallied two points.

Blue Ridge Girls Basketball Loses Semifinal Game to Heyworth, Will Face Clinton for Third-Place Today

BETHANY, Ill. -- The Lady Hornets raced out to an 18-6 first quarter lead en route to a 48-38 victory over the Lady Knights in the semifinals of the Okaw Valley Holiday Tournament.

For Blue Ridge, Jeana Cheek was the game's leading scorer with 18 points. Korrie Gilbert had nine points and Bailey Clancy finished with eight points.

Jacquelyn O'Neal, Jamison Brandt and Melinda Wilson scored a combined three points. O'Neal tallied two points while Brandt had one.

Meanwhile, Heyworth's Ashley Hoegger had 16 points to lead her team. Kaley Lobb contributed 13 points.

With the loss, the Lady Knights (7-8) will play against Clinton, who was defeated by Decatur Lutheran 58-41, for third place today at 6:30 p.m.

Heyworth 48, Blue Ridge 38
Heyworth (48)
Hollie Sinn 2 1-2 5, Savannah Ross 1 1-2 3, Cassidy Kingery 0 4-8 4, Abi VanWinkle 0 2-2 2, Samantha Nettleton 0 2-2 2, Kaley Lobb 5 3-4 13, Nicole Bonnell 1 0-0 3, Ashley Hoegger 6 2-4 16. Totals 15 15-24 48
Blue Ridge (38)
Jeana Cheek 8 2-2 18, Jacquelyn O'Neal 1 0-0 2, Korrie Gilbert 3 3-6 9, Melinda Wilson 0 0-0 0, Liz Cordes 0 0-0 0, Bailey Clancy 2 4-6 8, Gabby Pearl 0 0-0 0, Jamison Brandt 0 1-2 1. Totals 14 10-16 38
Heyworth    18    9    10    11    -- 48
Blue Ridge    6    11    11    10    -- 38
3-pointers -- Heyworth 3-3 (Hoegger 2-2, Nicole Bonnell 1-1). 

12/24/11

Blue Ridge Girls Basketball Beats Lexington 50-41, Will Face Heyworth in Okaw Valley Holiday Tournament

BETHANY, Ill. -- After trailing the Lady Minutemen 26-19 at halftime, the Lady Knights pulled ahead with a 16-5 third quarter to advance past the Okaw Valley Holiday Tournament quarterfinals.

Melinda Wilson scored Blue Ridge's first five points of the second half to cut the team's deficit to 26-24. After a Bailey Clancy field goal tied the game at 26-26, Jacquelyn O'Neal scored the go-ahead basket.


O'Neal (pictured above) increased the lead to 31-26 by making a shot in the lane while being fouled and making the ensuing free throw with 3:55 left in the third quarter.

She also had an and-1 in the fourth quarter. With an assist by Wilson, O'Neal gave the Lady Knights a 51-46 lead with 1:59 left in the game.

O'Neal finished the game with a double-double, scoring a game-high 18 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. She also recorded five blocks and three assists.

"She did an awesome job," Blue Ridge coach Stephanie Schroeder said. "She's my consistent one underneath. She thinks rebound all the time because that's her specialty."


Seven of O'Neal's points were scored in the third quarter. Wilson also scored seven in that quarter, as she finished the game with 12 points, six rebounds, five assists and 3 steals.

Schroeder said the Lady Knights' big third quarter was a credit to her team's offense as well as its defense, the cutdown of turnovers in particular.

After committing 12 turnovers in the first half, Blue Ridge cut the number down to seven in the second half.

"We wanted to make smart passes and move the ball," Schroeder said. We came out and we nailed our first three possessions down the court, and I think that just transferred over to our defense. Once we played good on offense, we seemed to play good on defense. That goes hand-and-hand."

On the defensive end, Lexington's Sydney Freed was held to nine points. Freed was Lexington's leading scorer in Thursday's first-round game against Okaw Valley.

Taylor Wonderland was the Lady Minutemen's leading scorer with 15 points.

"We wanted to keep Freed under control, and we came out and did that," Schroeder said. "It was a good game tonight. We shut them down when we wanted to."

Jamison Brandt opened up her scoring in the fourth quarter. After getting shut out in the first three quarter, she scored all seven of her points in the final period.

Brandt also recorded eight rebounds and two blocks.

Although she was shut out through the second half, Korrie Gilbert kept the Lady Knights in the game during the first half with nine points. Her first five points gave Blue Ridge the opening 5-0 lead.

Gilbert (pictured below) also recorded seven steals and three assists.


With the win, the Lady Knights (7-7) will face Heyworth in the semifinals of the tournament. The Lady Hornets beat Sullivan 51-33 in Friday's quarterfinal round.

Blue Ridge and Heyworth will play on Tuesday at 8 p.m. The winner of that game will play in the championship bout at 8 p.m. on Wednesday against the winner of Tuesday's 6:30 p.m. semifinal game between Clinton and Decatur Lutheran.

The loser will play the loser of the Clinton/Decatur Lutheran game for third place on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.

12/23/11

Blue Ridge Girls Basketball 50, Lexington 41

Blue Ridge (50)
Jeana Cheek 0 0-0 0, Jacquelyn O'Neal 8 2-4 18, Korrie Gilbert 3 2-2 9, Melinda Wilson 5 1-2 12, Liz Cordes 0 0-0 0, Bailey Clancy 2 0-0 4, Gabby Pearl 0 0-0 0, Jamison Brandt 2 3-5 7. Totals 20 8-13 50
Lexington (41)
Taylor Winterland 6 2-4 15, Sydney Freed 4 0-1 9, Erica Davis 2 0-0 4, Bridgette Sims 1 3-8 5, Tessa Walcott 1 4-4 6, Allie Vollmer 1 0-0 2. Totals 15 9-17 41
Blue Ridge    9    10    16    15    -- 50
Lexington    14    12    5    10    -- 41
3-pointers -- Blue Ridge 2 (Gilbert, Wilson). Lexington 2 (Winterland, Freed).
For Blue Ridge, O'Neal had 12 rebounds, 5 blocks, 3 assists. Gilbert had 7 steals, 3 assists, 3 rebounds. Wilson had 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals. Brandt had 8 rebounds, 2 blocks. Team had 33 rebounds, 19 turnovers.
For Lexington, team had 29 rebounds, 9 turnovers.
(Blue Ridge -- 7-7; next: Tuesday vs. Heyworth, 8 p.m.)
BLUE RIDGE GIRLS BKB UPDATE: The Lady Knights will play against Heyworth, who beat Sullivan 51-33, in the Okaw Valley Holiday Tournament semifinals on Tuesday.
BLUE RIDGE GIRLS BKB UPDATE: The Lady Knights beat Lexington 50-41 in the second round of the Okaw Valley Tournament.
BLUE RIDGE GBKB UPDATE: With 5:36 left in the third quarter, the Lady Knights are tied with Lexington 26-26.

12/22/11

Blue Ridge Girls Basketball Beats Shelbyville (and Referees?) 55-48 in Opening Game of Okaw Valley Holiday Tournament

BETHANY, Ill. -- Depending on one's perspective, the Lady Knights faced merely the Lady Rams or went up against the referees as well.

Whatever one's perspective may be, here are the facts:

Blue Ridge did not attempt a single free throw until 5:52 left in the fourth quarter and shot a total of five foul shots, making four. Meanwhile, Shelbyville had attempted 16 shots from the foul line at the 5:52 mark in the fourth quarter and finished the game making 14-of-20 free throws.

With 1:14 left in the first half, the Lady Knights got called for seven fouls before the Lady Rams were called for one. And at one point in the fourth quarter, Blue Ridge led 8-3 in the foul category for the second half.

"We didn't have anything called for us in our advantage," Blue Ridge coach Stephanie Schroeder said. "We needed the fouls called on them, too, just like they were calling them on us. It kind of hurts the game when they go to the free-throw line five times as many times as you do."

Despite the one-sided foul trouble, the Lady Knights escaped with a 55-48 victory over Shelbyville in the first round of the Okaw Valley Holiday Tournament.


"[I] just kept reminding them that we're in control," Schroeder, who was called for a technical foul with 4:41 left in the fourth quarter, said. "We can't control what the refs are going to call. We can't take it out on the other girls; it's not their fault."

Melinda Wilson (pictured above) finished the game as Blue Ridge's leading scorer with 16 points. She scored the first two baskets for her team via turnover-generated fastbreak layups.

Twelve of Wilson's points were scored in the first half. The last two of those points were scored on a fastbreak as well, as she pulled up for a jump shot at the buzzer to put her team up 25-22 at halftime.

Wilson also stole the ball seven times and recorded five assists. Four of her steals occurred in the first half.

In the third quarter, it was Jamison Brandt's turn to lead the scoring, as she scored eight of her 12 points to help the Lady Knights outscore the Lady Rams 16-13 in the quarter and go into the fourth with a 41-35 lead.


After Shelbyville's Courtney Schultz tied the game at 35-35 in the third quarter, Brandt (pictured above) final field goal of the quarter put Blue Ridge back up and started a 10-0 run that continued into the fourth quarter.

The run ended with the Lady Knights' first two free throws of the game, when Korrie Gilbert sank two of her four foul shots. Gilbert finished the game making all four of her free-throw attempts and with six points.

 "We dealt with what was given to us with the fouls and different things like that, maintained the lead and did what we were supposed to," Schroeder said. "It was kind of nice to be on the other end of the side of controlling the ball and having the lead."

Jacquelyn O'Neal (pictured below) took over the scoring for Blue Ridge in the fourth quarter, tallying eight of her 15 points to help her team pull away with a 14-13 advantage in that quarter.


O'Neal finished the game with six rebounds and five blocks to go along with her 15 points. She also tied with Gilbert for the team lead in assists with seven.

"They do a good job just working together," Schroeder said. "If they can pass it to somebody else that's going to get an easier shot and make it, then they're more than willing to do that. We don't have ones who are selfish that are going to take it every time for themselves. They're looking for everybody else. We have good teamwork."

For the Lady Rams, Katelyn Duckett was the game's leading scorer with 19 points, including 10-of-11 shooting from the free-throw line.

With the win, the Lady Knights (6-7) will play against Lexington, who beat Okaw Valley 56-31, on Friday in the quarterfinals of the tournament. The game will start at 6:30 p.m.

Blue Ridge Girls Basketball 55, Shelbyville 48

Shelbyville (48)
Morgan Voyles 0 0-0 0, Katelyn Duckett 4 10-11 19, Courtney Schultz 2 2-5 7, Brandy Smith 0 0-0 0, Alex Johnston 0 0-0 0, Kelsey Stauder 2 0-0 4, Bailey Ambrose 0 0-0 0, Miranda Bricker 0 0-0 0, Lindsay Floyd 0 0-0 0, Alicia Pizzo 0 0-0 0, Lindsay Burton 4 2-4 10, Katelyn Coleman 3 0-0 8, Olivia Williamson 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 14-20 48
Blue Ridge (55)
Jeana Cheek 0 0-0 0, Jacquelyn O'Neal 7 0-0 15, Korrie Gilbert 1 4-4 6, Melinda Wilson 8 0-1 16, Bailey Clancy 1 0-0 2, Gabby Pearl 2 0-0 4, Jamison Brandt 6 0-0 12. Totals 25 4-5 55
Shelbyville    10    12    13    13    -- 48
Blue Ridge    13    12    16    14    -- 55
3-pointers -- Shelbyville 4 (Coleman 2, Schultz, Duckett). Blue Ridge (O'Neal).
For Blue Ridge, O'Neal had 6 rebounds, 7 assists, 5 blocks. Wilson had 7 steals, 5 assists. Gilbert had 7 assists, 4 steals, 3 blocks, 3 rebounds. Pearl had 4 rebounds, 2 blocks. Team had 17 rebounds.
BLUE RIDGE GIRLS BKB UPDATE: The Lady Knights beat Shelbyville in the Okaw Valley Holiday Tournament, will face Lexington tomorrow.
BLUE RIDGE GIRLS BKB UPDATE: The Lady Knights lead Shelbyville 25-22 at halftime in the Okaw Valley Holiday Tournament.

12/17/11

Blue Ridge Boys Basketball 49, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 45

GIBSON CITY, Ill. -- Three weeks ago, the Knights beat the Falcons 73-65 in the GCMS Thanksgiving Tournament to claim their first victory of the season.

On Friday, Blue Ridge fell behind 37-34 lead at the end of the third quarter. However, the Knights outscored the Falcons 15-8 in the fourth en route to its second victory in Gibson City.

Travys Nichols led Blue Ridge with 18 points. Thirteen of those points were scored in the second half, and eight in the fourth quarter.

Michael Plunk and Tucker Johnson each added 11 points for the Knights.

With the win, Blue Ridge improves to 3-6 overall and 1-3 in the Heart of Illinois Conference. The Knights will begin playing in the Monticello Tournament on December 27.

12/15/11

Blue Ridge Girls Basketball Loses Conference Game at Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley

GIBSON CITY, Ill. -- After falling behind 11-4 in the first quarter, the Lady Knights went on a 13-2 run that gave them a 17-13 lead with 2:51 left in the second quarter.

However, foul trouble and turnovers spelled Blue Ridge's doom, resulting in a 57-49 Heart of Illinois Conference loss to the Lady Falcons.


"They played hard again," Blue Ridge coach Stephanie Schroeder said. "That's all I can say."

Jacquelyn O'Neal (pictured above) started the first half run with her second field goal of the first quarter to cut the Lady Knights' deficit to 11-6. O'Neal scored six of her 10 points in the first half to help her team gain a 19-16 advantage late in the second quarter.

She also had three of her four blocks and four of her 13 rebounds in the first half, as Blue Ridge held GCMS to six points in the second quarter, including only three in the first 7:52 of the quarter.

However, after the Lady Falcons' Courtney Gramley made the first of two free-throw attempts with 7.8 seconds left in the first half, Jaymi Nettleton scored two points in the paint after rebounding the second foul shot to put GCMS in a 19-19 tie at halftime.

The Lady Falcons were awarded a total of 28 free-throw attempts in the game, making 20 of them. They also cut down their turnovers in the second half, only committing six of their 17 turnovers in the half, whereas Blue Ridge finished the game with 26 turnovers, including 12 in the second half.

Regan Romshek and Angel Gaesser scored eight and six points, respectively, in the third quarter to lead GCMS to a 37-32 lead heading into the fourth quarter.


Romshek finished the game scoring in double figures with 11 points while Gaesser had nine points. Jaymi Nettleton was the game's leading scorer with 17 points, including 6-of-6 shooting from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter.

In the fourth quarter, with the Lady Knights trailing 51-44 and 2:33 remaining, Jamison Brandt (pictured above) was called for her fifth foul. However, according to Schroeder, the foul should have been called on Gabby Pearl.

"[Jamison] wasn't even in the play," Schroeder said. "That kind of turned the game for us."

Melinda Wilson (pictured below, on left) ran into some foul trouble as well. She helped Blue Ridge's 13-2 first-half run by scoring an and-1 off a steal in the frontcourt in the first quarter to cut her team's deficit to 13-11.


Wilson finished the game with 11 points and seven steals, but was called for her fourth foul with 4:59 left in the fourth quarter. She did not score a single point since.

Korrie Gilbert (pictured below, on left) was the team's leading scorer with 12 points, including six in the fourth quarter. Four of those six points were scored on 4-of-4 shooting at the foul line.

As a team, Blue Ridge had 17 free-throw attempts, making 13 of them.

With the loss, the Lady Knights fall to a 5-7 record overall and 2-3 in the HOIC. This upcoming Thursday, they will begin playing in the Okaw Valley Holiday Tournament in Bethany.


Meanwhile, the Blue Ridge junior varsity team lost to GCMS as well by a score of 43-22.

Liz Cordes led the Lady Knights in scoring with eight points, including four of the team's six second-quarter points and the team's only two points of the third quarter.

Miranda Gillis and Cheye Beres each had six points while Breanna Watterson finished the game with two points.

For the Lady Falcons, Blythe Berton was the leading scorer with 14 points.
Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 57, Blue Ridge Girls Basketball 49
Blue Ridge (49)
Jeana Cheek 0 0-0 0, Jacquelyn O'Neal 5 0-2 10, Korrie Gilbert 3 6-6 12, Melinda Wilson 5 1-1 11, Bailey Clancy 2 4-6 8, Gabby Pearl 1 2-2 4, Jamison Brandt 2 0-0 4. Totals 18 13-17 49
GCMS (57)
Regan Romshek 4 1-3 11, Taylor Boma 4 0-0 8, Jessica Meyer 0 0-0 0, Annie Schultz 1 1-3 4, Jordyn Nettleton 0 2-2 2, Courtney Gramley 0 1-2 1, Katie Massey 1 102 3, Jaymi Nettleton 4 9-10 17, Angel Gaesser 2 5-6 9, Ericia Baillie 0 0-0 0, LaToya Baillie 1 0-0 2. Totals 17 20-28 57
Blue Ridge    11    8    13    12    -- 49
GCMS    13    6    18    20    -- 57
3-pointers -- GCMS 3 (Romshek 2, Schultz).
For Blue Ridge, O'Neal had 13 rebounds, 4 blocks, 4 assists, 3 steals. Wilson had 7 steals, 4 rebounds, 3 assists. Pearl had 7 rebounds, 3 blocks. Clancy had 4 rebounds. Gilbert had 3 steals, 1 block. Team had 32 rebounds, 26 turnovers.
For GCMS, team had 30 rebounds, 17 turnovers.
JV -- GCMS 43, Blue Ridge 22
Blue Ridge (22)
Miranda Gillis 3 0-0 6, Cheye Beres 3 0-0 6, Sydni Redding 0 0-2 0, Katrina Medernach 0 0-0 0, Breanna Watterson 1 0-0 2, Liz Cordes 4 0-0 8, Brette Dow 0 0-0 0. Totals 11 0-2 22
GCMS (43)
Blythe Berton 5 4-4 14, Erin Tabor 0 2-2 2, Chrissy Angelos 0 0-0 0, Sam Fiore 2 0-0 4, Jillian Donoho 0 1-3 1, Emily Elder 2 2-4 6, Sydney Vetter 2 1-2 5, Hannah Kollross 1 0-0 2, Kylie Trantina 3 3-7 9. Totals 15 13-22 43
Blue Ridge    4    6    2    10    -- 22
GCMS    11    9    9    14    -- 43

BLUE RIDGE GIRLS BKB UPDATE: The Lady Knights lost to GCMS 57-49.
BLUE RIDGE GIRLS BKB UPDATE: The Lady Knights are tied with GCMS 19-19 at halftime.
BLUE RIDGE GIRLS BKB UPDATE: The Lady Knights' JV squad lost to GCMS 43-22.

Blue Ridge Basketball Postseason Assignments

The IHSA's Web site recently launched regional assignments for this year's boys and girls basketball postseasons.

Blue Ridge's boys and girls basketball teams will play in the Class 1A state tournaments. The schedules and brackets will not be announced until at least late January.

The boys basketball team will play in the LeRoy Regional along with the following teams: Bloomington Cornerstone Christian Academy, Ridgeview, LeRoy, Lexington and Normal Calvary Christian Academy.

The winner of that regional will advance to the Colfax Ridgeview Sectional, the winner of which will move on to the Normal ISU Super-Sectional.

The state final tournament will be played at the Civic Center in Peoria.

The girls basketball team has been placed in the Fisher Regional along with the following teams: Buckley Christ Lutheran, DeLand-Weldon, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley, Fisher and LeRoy.

The winner of that regional will advance to the Colfax Ridgeview Sectional, the winner of which will move on to the Bloomington IWU Super-Sectional.

The state final tournament will be played at Redbird Arena in Normal.

For more information regarding the IHSA state postseasons for boys and girls basketball, visit www.ihsa.org.

Blue Ridge Sports Announcements: December 15, 2011

The Knights' game at Fieldcrest, played on January 3, 2012, will be televised on Mediacom.

The following athletes were selected as Blue Ridge Athletes of the Month:

Girls Basketball: Jacquelyn O'Neal

Boys Basketball: Tucker Johnson

12/12/11

Blue Ridge Girls Basketball Update: December 12, 2011

Tonight's game against DeLand-Weldon has been cancelled.

The Eagles did not have enough girls basketball players available to field a team for tonight.

Therefore, the Lady Knights' next game will be on Thursday at Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley.

12/10/11

Clinton 63, Blue Ridge Girls Basketball 56

Updated December 13 at 11:22 a.m.

CLINTON, Ill. -- The Lady Knights erased a 22-14 first-quarter deficit with a 20-11 second quarter that gave them a 34-33 lead going into halftime.

The Lady Maroons, however, went on a 11-4 run in the first 3:42 of the third quarter. From there, Clinton never trailed and escaped with a 63-56 home victory.


Jacquelyn O'Neal (pictured above) was Blue Ridge's leading scorer with 19 points, including 12 in the second half. Her last two points of the first half, scored in the paint on a Melinda Wilson assist, cut Blue Ridge's deficit to 26-25 with 2:11 left in the second quarter.

Seven of Wilson's 18 points were scored in the second quarter, including a field goal that gave the Lady Knights the 34-33 halftime lead.

As a team, Blue Ridge shot 20-of-52 from the field, a percentage of 38%.

O'Neal also finished the game with a double-double, grabbing 12 rebounds, and blocked five shots. Wilson (pictured below) had eight rebounds, five assists and five steals.

However, it would not be enough, as Clinton's Payton Bieber started the second half with two baskets, the second a fastbreak layup off a steal. Those two baskets gave the Lady Maroons a 37-34 lead, and a Madi Bevins basket increased the lead to 39-34 with 6:16 left in the third quarter.


Going into the fourth quarter, Clinton led 51-42. The Lady Knights cut the lead to 53-50 with 4:29 left in the fourth quarter via two free throws from Bailey Clancy, who ended the game scoring seven points.

Two free throws from Wilson and a basket by O'Neal cut a 59-50 Clinton lead to 59-56 with about a minute left in regulation. However, four free throws by Haley Toohill clinched the game for the Lady Maroons.

With the loss, Blue Ridge drops to a 5-6 overall record. The Lady Knights will host another non-conference game against DeLand-Weldon on Monday.

There will be no junior varsity game, so the varsity teams will play at 6:30 p.m.

There was, however, a junior varsity game in Clinton on Saturday, which Blue Ridge lost 33-14. Miranda Gillis scored the first basket for the Lady Knights with about 4:30 left in the second quarter.

Gillis and Brette Dow tied for the team lead with five points.

Blue Ridge (56)
Jacquelyn O'Neal 7-18 5-6 19, Korrie Gilbert 2-8 3-4 7, Melinda Wilson 7-12 3-4 18, Liz Cordes 0-0 0-0 0, Bailey Clancy 2-6 3-4 7, Gabby Pearl 2-3 0-0 4, Jamison Brandt 0-5 1-2 1. Totals 20-52 15-20 56.
Clinton (63)
Megan Tool 2 1-2 5, Madi Bevins 5 0-0 12, Haley Ginger 3 8-9 15, Alex Hunt 0 0-1 1, Morgan Witzke 0 2-2 2, Mogan Hickman 1 4-6 6, Amber Miller 1 0-0 3, Haley Toohill 2 6-8 10, Jessica Scott 1 4-5 6, Payton Bieber 2 0-3 4. Totals 17 25-36 63.
Blue Ridge    14    20    8    14    -- 56
Clinton    22    11    18    12    -- 63
3-pointers -- Blue Ridge (Wilson). Clinton 4 (Bevins 2, Ginger, Miller).
For Blue Ridge, Jacquelyn O'Neal had 12 rebounds, 5 blocks. Wilson had 8 rebounds, 5 steals, 5 assists. Pearl had 6 rebounds. Clancy had 5 rebounds. Team had 36 rebounds.
For Clinton, Scott had 11 rebounds. Hickman had 9 rebounds. Bieber had 6 rebounds. Toohill had 5 steals. Team had 38 rebounds.
JV -- Clinton 33, Blue Ridge 14.
(Blue Ridge -- 5-6; next: Monday vs. DeLand-Weldon, 6:30 p.m. Clinton -- 6-4.)

Fisher 55, Blue Ridge Boys Basketball 45

FARMER CITY, Ill. -- The Knights outscored the Bunnies 13-5 in the second quarter to go into halftime trailing 27-26 at halftime.

However, Fisher scored 28 points, while yielding 19, in the second half to escape with a 55-45 Heart of Illinois Conference win.

Michael Plunk led Blue Ridge with 15 points. Travys Nichols also scored in double figures with 14 points.

Clint O'Neal finished the game with five points. Mark Plunk and Jon Jones each had four points while Tucker Johnson contributed three points.

With the loss, the Knights drop to 2-6 overall and 0-3 in the HOIC. They will look for their first conference win this upcoming Friday, when Blue Ridge goes on the road to face Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley.

Meanwhile, the Blue Ridge junior varsity team beat Fisher 42-24.

12/9/11

Fisher 48, Blue Ridge Girls Basketball 44

Updated December 13 at 11:34 a.m.

FARMER CITY, Ill. -- Despite making 18-of-29 free throws and outscoring the Bunnies 25-17 in the second half, the Lady Knights move back to .500 with a home loss.

Fisher ended the first half with a 31-19 lead, scoring 16 points and yielding six in the second quarter. Blue Ridge came back by outscoring the Bunnies by four points in the third and fourth quarters each.

Melinda Wilson led Blue Ridge with 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Jamison Brandt also scored in double figures with 12 points, shooting 4-of-15 from the field.

As a team, the Lady Knights' field-goal percentage was 23% at 12-of-53 shooting.

Jacquelyn O'Neal scored seven points. She also grabbed eight rebounds and blocked six shots to increase her season total to 28 blocked shots.

Korrie Gilbert contributed eight points while Bailey Clancy had one point.

With the loss, the Lady Knights fall to 5-5 overall and 2-2 in the Heart of Illinois Conference. They will travel to Clinton on Saturday to face the Lady Maroons.

The junior varsity teams will tip off at 11 a.m., and the varsity game will start afterwards.

Blue Ridge (44)
Jacquelyn O'Neal 2-11 3-6 7, Korrie Gilbert 1-11 6-9 8, Melinda Wilson 5-9 4-6 16, Clancy 0-5, 1-4 1, Gabby Pearl 0-2 0-0 0, Jamison Brandt 4-15 4-4 12. Totals 12-53 18-29 44
Fisher    15    16    4    13    -- 48
Blue Ridge    13    6    8    17    -- 48
3-pointers -- Blue Ridge 2 (Wilson 2).
For Blue Ridge, O'Neal had 8 rebounds, 6 blocks, 3 assists. Gilbert had 5 rebounds. Wilson had 5 rebounds, 7 steals, 3 blocks. Pearl had 5 rebounds, 3 blocks. Brandt had 7 rebounds. Team had 25 rebounds, 12 blocks.

12/8/11

Blue Ridge Basketball Notes

Girls Basketball

Monday's game against DeLand-Weldon will be a varsity-only event, which will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Boys Basketball

Tomorrow's game against the Fisher Bunnies will be Grandparents Night, in which the grandparents of the Knights' players and cheerleaders will be recognized.

12/7/11

Heyworth 55, Blue Ridge Boys Basketball 49

FARMER CITY, Ill. -- Despite the return of Tucker Johnson from an ankle injury, the Knights fell short of handing the Hornets their first loss of the season.

After getting ahead 12-8 at the end of the first quarter and 25-21 at halftime, Heyworth outscored Blue Ridge 14-9 in the third quarter. Although the Knights outscored the Hornets 19-16 in the fourth quarter, they left their home floor with a 55-49 loss.

Johnson was Blue Ridge's leading scorer with 11 points. Travys Nichols helped him in the post with eight points.

Jon Jones was the Knights' second-leading scorer with nine points. Mark Plunk and C.J. Bishop each scored six points.

Clint O'Neal contributed four points. Dylan Grammer had three points and Trenor Hildreth finished with two points.

With the loss, Blue Ridge falls to 2-5 overall and 0-2 in the Heart of Illinois Conference. The Knights will host another conference showdown on Friday against Fisher.

Meanwhile, Heyworth improves to 5-0 (1-0 HOIC) and its junior varsity team beat Blue Ridge 58-55.

12/6/11

Blue Ridge Girls Basketball Goes above .500 with Come-from-Behind Home Win over Heyworth

Updated December 6 at 3:18 p.m.

FARMER CITY, Ill. -- The Lady Knights overcame a 12-point halftime deficit to beat Heart of Illinois Conference opponent Heyworth 54-49.

After falling behind 14-6 at the end of the first quarter and 28-16 at halftime, Blue Ridge outscored the Lady Hornets 17-10 to cut the deficit to five points at the end of the third quarter.

Then the Lady Knights scored 21 points in the fourth quarter, while yielding 11 to Heyworth, en route to the comeback win.

Melinda Wilson was the game's scoring leader, scoring 16 points on 6-of-17 shooting. She earned a double-double with 10 rebounds, including five on the offensive end.

Wilson also stole the ball five times and recorded five assists.

As a team, Blue Ridge made 43% (21-of-49) of its field goals while shooting 12-of-19 from the free-throw line. The Lady Knights collected 35 rebounds, including 16 offensive ones.

Jacquelyn O'Neal scored 14 points on 5-of-10 field-goal shooting. She also grabbed nine rebounds (five offensive), blocked four shots and finished the game with five steals and five assists.

Blue Ridge finished the game with a total of 17 steals and 18 assists.

Jamison Brandt contributed to the Lady Knights' scoring effort with eight points. Korrie Gilbert and Gabby Pearl each added six points while Bailey Clancy had four points.

Pearl also recorded six rebounds and three blocks. Gilbert finished the game with four steals and four assists.

With the win, Blue Ridge improves to 5-4 (2-1 HOIC), one victory away from matching last year's win total. Last year, the Lady Knights went 6-21.

They will look for that sixth win on Thursday, when Blue Ridge hosts another conference showdown against Fisher.

Blue Ridge 54, Heyworth 49
Blue Ridge (54)
Jacquelyn O'Neal 5-10 4-6 14, Korrie Gilbert 3-7 0-0 6, Melinda Wilson 6-17 4-8 16, Bailey Clancy 1-2 2-2 4, Gabby Pearl 2-3 2-3 6, Jamison Brandt 4-10 0-0 8. Totals 21-49 12-19 54
Heyworth    14    14    10    11    -- 49
Blue Ridge    6    10    17    21    -- 54
Rebounds -- Blue Ridge 35 (Wilson 10, O'Neal 9, Pearl 6, Brandt 4, Gilbert 3, Clancy 3). Assists -- Blue Ridge 18 (O'Neal 5, Wilson 5, Gilbert 4, Pearl 2, Brandt 2). Steals -- Blue Ridge 17 (O'Neal 5, Wilson 5, Gilbert 4, Pearl 2, Brandt 1). Blocks -- Blue Ridge 7 (O'Neal 4, Pearl 3). 

12/5/11

Matt Forte Out, Brett Favre In for Chicago Bears' Offense?

Yesterday, the Chicago Bears' Matt Forte suffered what ESPN Chicago is calling a Grade 2 MCL sprain.

As a result, he will, according to sources talking to ESPN Chicago, miss 2-6 weeks.

So with Forte, as well as Cutler, out with injuries, what will the Bears do to fix their offense?

Hire Brett Favre?

Yes, those talks have already begun. According to sources talking to ESPN, Favre said he would listen if the Bears contacted him regarding a chance to play again.

12/2/11

Blue Ridge Boys Basketball Comes up Short in Tremont

TREMONT, Ill. -- Another loss, another painful learning experience.

After gaining a 25-22 halftime lead, the Knights fell victim to a second half filled with missed free throws and layups en route to losing their first Heart of Illinois Conference matchup 55-43 to the Turks.

"We've got to get games like this if we want to get to where we want to get to," Blue Ridge coach Kyle Watson said. "If it's worth a loss in November to learn from it to get wins in February and March, as much as I hate to say it, we'll take it. But I wish we'd learn these lessons already so we don't have to lose these games right now."


Travys Nichols (pictured above) was the Knights' leading scorer with 11 points, including eight in the first half. After falling behind 15-11 early in the second quarter, Blue Ridge went on a 6-0 run to take a 17-15 lead.

From there, the Knights never trailed in the first half. Michael Plunk (pictured below), who scored all five of his points in the first half, gave Blue Ridge a 25-20 lead by completing a three-point play with two minutes left in the second quarter.

"There were some times where we showed a lot of heart," Watson said. "We did some nice things. We had a real nice first half."


From there, Tremont picked up its pressure on the defensive end, allowing only eight points in the third quarter and 18 for the entire second half.

"We knew they were going to come out and pressure us, so we wanted to screen away and have the pickers open up and come back to the ball and hit the picker if they're pressuring the wings as hard as they were," Watson said. "Also, if they're pressuring the wings, we'll hit the post and have the wings back-door cut. When they picked up their pressure in the second half, we just didn't do that as much as we did in the first half, and that's when they made their runs. Give them all the credit; they're a very skilled basketball team. They have a couple of players who've played varsity for two or three years, and their experience showed a little bit more than ours tonight."

As a team, Blue Ridge finished the game shooting 14-of-26 from the free-throw line, including 2-of-4 in the third quarter and 4-of-10 in the fourth.

"We lost by 12 and missed 12 free throws," Watson said. "I told them after the game, free throws and layups. We preach it all the time. We do layup drills in practice; try to get so many layups in a certain amount of time period, try to put a game intensity to it. Until we start seeing how many we need to be making in practice, unfortunately, those key situations, we're going to miss some games. We make 15 free throws every day in practice. Some kids come in during the mornings and make some extra free throws. I hate to say this after a loss, but maybe this might open some people's eyes to see that we need to have more people come in to make some free throws in the mornings."

With Tucker Johnson still on the bench with an ankle injury, the Knights' bench stepped up to provide quality minutes. Josh Plunk was Blue Ridge's second-leading scorer with eight points.

Trenor Hildreth scored a point off the bench and stole the ball three times.

"We had some good energy off our bench again tonight," Watson said. "Trenor Hildreth gave us some good minutes off the bench. Josh Plunk was our second-leading scorer coming off the bench with eight [points]. We've got some guys off the bench coming up with some good minutes. When Tucker goes down, that doesn't help, but it's an opportunity for other guys to step up." 

Tremont's Blake Uhlman was the leading scorer of the game, finishing with 19 points. He scored 17 of those points in the second half and shot 7-of-8 from the foul line in the fourth quarter.

"He's a great player," Watson said. "He was out all of last year with an injury. He played varsity as a sophomore. He's a tough competitor; he's a tough kid and a great kid. Very nice young man."

With the loss, Blue Ridge falls to 2-4 overall and 0-1 in the HOIC. The Knights will host a conference matchup against Heyworth on Tuesday.

Tremont 55, Blue Ridge 43
Blue Ridge (43)
Trenor Hildreth 0 1-2 1, Michael Plunk 2 1-2 5, Mark Plunk 1 2-8 4, Will Duggins 0 0-0 0, Dylan Grammer 0 0-0 0, Jon Jones 1 2-2 5, Johnney Bruden 0 1-2 1, C.J. Bishop 0 0-0 0, Daniel Gilbert 0 0-0 0, Clint O'Neal 2 2-2 6, Travys Nichols 4 3-6 11, Josh Plunk 3 2-2 8, Matt White 1 0-0 2. Totals 14 14-26 43
Tremont (55)
Hunter Hoskinson 0 0-0 0, Luke Wagenbach 1 0-0 3, Sam Stuber 0 0-0 0, Bryce Breeden 0 0-0 0, Cole Dill 1 1-3 3, Caleb Pflederer 3 1-3 7, Blake Uhlman 6 7-8 19, Sammy Bollinger 3 1-3 8, Lucas Gibson 1 2-3 4, Cody Herbst 2 3-4 7, Jerry Herbst 1 2-2 4. Totals 18 17-26 55
Blue Ridge 11 14 8 10 -- 43
Tremont 13 9 16 17 -- 55
3-pointers -- Blue Ridge (Jones). Tremont 2 (Wagenbach, Bollinger).
For Blue Ridge, O'Neal had 7 rebounds*, 1 steal. Nichols had 6 rebounds*, 1 block. Jones had 3 rebounds*. Hildreth had 3 steals, 1 rebound*.
JV -- Tremont 60, Blue Ridge 30.
(Blue Ridge -- 2-4, 0-1 Heart of Illinois; next: Tuesday vs. Heyworth.)

*- A player may have one more rebound than I gave him credit for.
BLUE RIDGE BOYS BKB UPDATE: The Knights lost 55-43 to Tremont.
BLUE RIDGE BOYS BKB UPDATE: The Knights trail Tremont 38-33 at the end of the third quarter.
BLUE RIDGE BOYS BKB UPDATE: The Knights overcame a 13-11 first-quarter deficit to take a 25-22 halftime lead over Tremont.
BLUE RIDGE BOYS BKB UPDATE: The Knights' junior varsity team lost to Tremont 60-30.

Blue Ridge Girls Basketball 51, Tremont 45

TREMONT, Ill. -- The Lady Knights picked up their first Heart of Illinois Conference victory with a road win over the Turks.

Blue Ridge outscored Tremont 24-22 in the first half (12-11 in each quarter) before an 11-4 third quarter. The Turks' 19-16 fourth quarter was not enough to rally them to a victory.

Jamison Brandt was the Lady Knights' leading scorer with 13 points. Melinda Wilson and Gabby Pearl each contributed 12 points.

Wilson also stole the ball eight times.

Korrie Gilbert finished the game with eight points while Jacquelyn O'Neal scored four. O'Neal blocked three shots as well.

Bailey Clancy recorded two points.

With the win, Blue Ridge improves to 4-4 overall and 1-1 in the HOIC. The Lady Knights will host Heyworth on Monday.

11/30/11

Blue Ridge Boys Basketball Wins Home Opener over Clinton

Updated November 30 at 12:25 p.m.

FARMER CITY, Ill. -- A few days after his 32-point performance in the Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley Thanksgiving Tournament, Michael Plunk picked up where he left off on his home floor.

He scored 21 points to lead Blue Ridge to a 59-42 win over Clinton.

As a team, the Knights had success on the offensive and defensive end. On the offensive end, Blue Ridge shot 23-of-43, a 53.5% field-goal percentage.

On the defensive end, the Knights held the Maroons to 14-of-50 shooting, a 28% field-goal percentage. After allowing 30 points in the first half, Blue Ridge yielded 12 points to Clinton in the second, including three in the third quarter.

Travys Nichols and Jon Jones each finished the game with double-digit points. Nichols had 11 points while Jones had 10 points.

Clint O'Neal and Josh Plunk finished with six points while Mark Plunk, returning from an injury that kept him out of the GCMS Thanksgiving Tournament, scored five points and recorded three assists.

O'Neal also led the Knights with eight rebounds.

For the Maroons, Matt Chandler was the leading scorer with eight points. Mitch Creager and Greg Osgood each contributed seven points.

Blue Ridge (2-3) will travel to Tremont on Friday for its Heart of Illinois Conference opener against the Turks.

Meanwhile, the junior varsity team picked up a victory, beating Clinton 53-43.

Blue Ridge 59, Clinton 42
Clinton (42)
Matt Chandler 2 4-4 8, Mitch Creager 3 0-1 7, Greg Osgood 2 2-2 7, Dylan Scott 2 1-2 5, Kaleb Shepherd 1 2-2 5, Jacob Rockhold 2 0-0 4, Marshall Sprague 1 1-2 4, Nick Thompson 1 0-0 2, Austin Devore 0 0-0 0, Jerrod Hurst 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 10-15 42
Blue Ridge (59)
Michael Plunk 6 5-6 21, Travys Nichols 5 1-3 11, Jon Jones 4 0-0 10, Clint O'Neal 3 0-0 6, Josh Plunk 3 0-0 6, Mark Plunk 2 1-2 5, Johnney Bruden 0 0-0 0, C.J. Bishop 0 0-0 0, Dylan Grammer 0 0-0 0, Trenor Hildreth 0 0-0 0, Matt White 0 0-0 0, Will Duggins 0 0-0 0, Daniel Gilbert 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 7-11 59
Clinton    11    19    3    9    -- 42
Blue Ridge    15    28    5    11    -- 59
3-pointers -- Clinton 4 (Chandler, Osgood, Shepherd, Sprague). Blue Ridge 6 (Mi. Plunk 4, Jones 2).
For Clinton, Rockhold had 6 rebounds. Chandler had 5 rebounds. Creager had 2 steals. Team was 14-of-50 shooting.
For Blue Ridge, O'Neal had 8 rebounds. Ma. Plunk had 3 assists. Team was 23-of-43 shooting.

11/28/11

Blue Ridge Girls Basketball Opens Conference Season with Loss in Ridgeview

Updated November 29 at 11:46 a.m.

COLFAX, Ill. -- Korrie Gilbert, Jacquelyn O'Neal, Melinda Wilson and Gabby Pearl each scored in double digits for the Lady Knights.

It was not enough, however, as the Mustangs took a 27-21 lead at halftime and held on from there for a 52-47 Heart of Illinois Conference victory over Blue Ridge.

"I think we did an awesome job," Blue Ridge coach Stephanie Schroeder said. "We could've very easily been beaten by a lot more, and we fought hard and we kept our heads up and did a lot of good things. We need to work on a few things, but overall, I think they played a really good game."


In the first half, Gilbert (pictured above) led the Lady Knights in scoring with eight points, including two 3-pointers, to keep her team in the game.

She finished the game with a team-high 13 points.

In the second half, Blue Ridge started with a 6-0 run that tied the game at 27-27 in the third quarter. They tied the game with an O'Neal basket that was assisted by Wilson.


O'Neal and Wilson scored 12 points each. O'Neal (pictured above) and Wilson scored eight and seven of their points in the second half, respectively.

O'Neal also grabbed 16 rebounds.

Megan Jones helped Ridgeview regain the lead at 30-27 with a 3-pointer. Then Pearl, who finished the game with 10 points, turned the Lady Knights' 30-28 deficit into a 32-30 lead with a couple of baskets in the third quarter.

However, Jones hit one of her four 3-pointers to give her team the lead at 33-32.

After Ridgeview gained a 42-32 lead in the fourth quarter, the Lady Knights went on an 8-2 run to cut the lead to 44-40. Gilbert and Wilson (pictured below) each hit a 3-pointer in that run.


The run ended when Jenna Ayers stole the ball from Gilbert and scored on a fastbreak layup with 3:49 left in the game.

"We picked up the intensity a little bit [in the second half]," Schroeder said. "We knew we could play with them; it was just that we couldn't hold onto that lead. They're a good shooting team. There's not a whole lot you can do with good shooting except try to get the rebounds and hope [the shots] don't go in."

With the loss, Blue Ridge falls to 3-4 overall and 0-1 in the HOIC. They will travel to Tremont for another conference showdown on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Lady Knights' junior varsity team lost 30-2. Miranda Gillis scored Blue Ridge's only basket.

Ridgeview 52, Blue Ridge 47
Blue Ridge (47)
Jeana Cheek 0 0-0 0, Jacquelyn O'Neal 6 0-1 12, Korrie Gilbert 5 0-0 13, Ashley Spicer 0 0-0 0, Melinda Wilson 4 1-2 12, Liz Cordes 0 0-0 0, Bailey Clancy 0 0-0 0, Gabby Pearl 5 0-0 10, Jamison Brandt 0 0-0 0, Breanna Watterson 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 1-3 47.
Ridgeview (52)
Rachel Bradd 1 0-0 2, Jenna Ayers 4 1-5 9, Hallie Johnson 4 0-1 8, Kelsie Cedeno 0 0-0 0, Kelli Richards 1 0-0 2, Ashley Benton 0 0-0 0, Lexi Stubblefield 0 0-0 0, Maddie Huff 0 0-0 0, Paige Jones 3 0-0 6, Megan Jones 6 3-4 19, Rachelle Weber 2 2-2 6, Mikayla Reynolds 0 0-0 0, Dani Washington 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 6-12 52.
Blue Ridge    9    12    11    15    -- 47
Ridgeview    15    12    10    15    -- 52
3-pointers -- Blue Ridge 6 (Gilbert 3, Wilson 3). Ridgeview 4 (M. Jones 4).
BLUE RIDGE GIRLS BKB UPDATE: The Lady Knights lost to Ridgeview 52-47.
BLUE RIDGE GIRLS BKB UPDATE: The Lady Knights trail Ridgeview 37-32 at the end of the third quarter.
BLUE RIDGE GIRLS BKB UPDATE: The Lady Knights are trailing Ridgeview 27-21 at halftime. JV lost 30-2.

11/26/11

Blue Ridge Boys Basketball Takes Seventh Place in GCMS Thanksgiving Tournament with Victory over Falcons

Updated November 28 at 11:59 a.m.

GIBSON CITY, Ill. -- With Mark Plunk out with an injury throughout the Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley Thanksgiving Tournament and three losses to start the season, the last two things Blue Ridge needed were another injured player and another loss.


Due to an ankle injury, however, Tucker Johnson (pictured above) was forced to spend most of the Knights' seventh-place game against the Falcons on the bench. Johnson would later be selected for the All-Tournament team.

Regardless of losing its leading scorer, Blue Ridge beat GCMS 73-65 thanks to a big scoring game from Michael Plunk and some solid post play from Clint O'Neal and company.

"I told the kids before the game there's a huge difference between 0-4 and 1-3," Blue Ridge coach Kyle Watson said. "[Going] 1-3 wasn't our goal when we came into this tournament, but obviously this morning, 1-3 was the best we could have done."

With the victory, the Knights got their first victory of the season after losing the first three games by a combined 70 points.

"That was a great test of character today without playing our game the first three games," Watson said. "I think we did play our game, more or less, tonight. I was very happy with how we responded today. Tucker going down with his ankle today gave some other guys a great opportunity to step up. That's a heck of an early-season test, and we finally passed this test. I was very proud of our kids' effort."

With Johnson out, Michael Plunk (pictured below) took over the scoring. He finished with 32 points, including 14 in the fourth quarter.


In the second quarter, Michael Plunk sank a 3-pointer before the halftime buzzer, giving Blue Ridge a 36-35 halftime lead. In the fourth quarter, his third 3-pointer of the game put the Knights ahead 64-63 with about two minutes left.

From there, Blue Ridge never trailed, scoring all of its next nine points via free throws. Michael Plunk finished the game converting on 13-of-16 free-throw attempts.

"Michael had a huge game for us," Watson said. "I know it's awfully hard with him being a sophomore, but I tell him it's almost as if he's playing like he's not a sophomore anymore. He definitely played like he wasn't a sophomore tonight. He played like he was a junior or senior. He's a tremendously gifted young man, he's a super young man in the classroom, and he'll be fun to coach over the next three years."

O'Neal (pictured below in black jersey) scored six of his 14 points via fourth-quarter free throws following Michael Plunk's go-ahead 3-pointer, including two that increased the Knights' lead to 66-63.

He also grabbed 10 rebounds to finish the game with a double-double.


Jon Jones helped Michael Plunk with the backcourt scoring, finishing the game with 11 points. After the Falcons' Jacob Jordan hit a jump shot to cut Blue Ridge's lead to 66-65, Jones hit two free throws to push the Knights' lead back to three points.

Josh Plunk came off the bench to complement O'Neal's frontcourt play in Johnson's absence. He grabbed four rebounds and came up with a crucial steal.

With Blue Ridge holding on to a 68-65 lead, a GCMS pass hit Ben Eads in the face, and the ball was loose as a result. Josh Plunk was there to scoop up the loose ball.

The ball was put in the hands of Travys Nichols, who sank two free throws to put the Knights up 70-65. As a team, Blue Ridge made 26-of-40 free-throw attempts.

"We did a great job of going inside to the post early," Watson said. "Clint O'Neal had a big game for us. Travys Nichols [was] getting fouled inside. Josh Plunk came off the bench and had some great play for us inside. That made them have to guard the post, so that opened the outside up even more for Jon Jones to get his points and for Michael [Plunk] to get his points."

On Tuesday, the Knights will take the momentum from their first win to their home court, where they will host Clinton.

"There's still some things we need to do to improve, but the kids know that they'll have to get back to work on Monday and get ready for an awfully tough Clinton team on Tuesday night," Watson said.

Watson said the status of Johnson for that game is uncertain.

"Our trainer was, obviously. with him most of the day," Watson said. "It depends on how much [the ankle] swells up. Hopefully, I'll have him for Tuesday. I'll obviously let the trainer re-evaluate him on Monday and let the trainer make the final decision."

Blue Ridge also has a rematch against the Falcons on December 16 in Gibson City.

"We have to come back to the same gym in less than three weeks and play [GCMS] again," Watson said. They're awfully tough; they play very well together and play very hard, so we're going to have to put the same effort, if not more, when we come back here in three weeks and do it all over again."

Blue Ridge 73, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 65
 Blue Ridge (73)
Trenor Hildreth 1 0-0 2, Michael Plunk 8 13-16 32, Dylan Grammer 2 0-0 4, Jon Jones 3 3-5 11, C.J. Bishop 0 2-2 2, Clint O'Neal 4 6-8 14, Travys Nichols 1 1-3 3, Tucker Johnson 1 1-2 3, Josh Plunk 1 0-2 2. Totals 21 26-40 73
GCMS (65)
Gabe Kerber 1 0-0 3, Seth McCall 4 0-0 10, Jake Johnson 3 0-0 8, John Massey 0 2-2 2, Reese Simpson 1 1-2 3, Ben Eads 2 2-3 6, Jacob Jordan 4 0-0 8, Sam Johnson 9 3-5 21, Nick Retherford 1 2-6 4. Totals 25 10-18 65
Blue Ridge    16    20    14    23    -- 73
GCMS    17    18    11    19    -- 65
3-pointers -- Blue Ridge 5 (M. Plunk 3, Jones 2). GCMS 5 (McCall 2, J. Johnson 2, Kerber).
For Blue Ridge, O'Neal had 10 rebounds, 1 steal. Hildreth had 5 rebounds, 2 steals. M. Plunk had 4 rebounds, 2 steals. J. Plunk had 4 rebounds, 1 steal. Bishop had 3 steals. Nichols had 3 rebounds. Johnson had 2 rebounds. Jones had 2 rebounds. Daniel Gilbert had 1 steal. Grammer had 1 rebound.
BLUE RIDGE BOYS BKB UPDATE: The Knights beat GCMS 73-65 to take 7th place in the Gibson City Thanksgiving Tournament.
BLUE RIDGE BOYS BKB UPDATE: The Knights lead GCMS 50-46 at the end of the third quarter.
BLUE RIDGE BOYS BKB UPDATE: The Knights lead GCMS 36-35 at halftime.
BLUE RIDGE BOYS BKB UPDATE: The Knights trail GCMS 17-16 at the end of the first quarter.

Blue Ridge Girls Basketball 50, Oakwood 28

FITHIAN, Ill. -- Thanks to another double-double from Jacquelyn O'Neal, the Lady Knights left the Comet Classic with a fifth-place finish.

O'Neal scored 20 points and grabbed 18 rebounds. Jamison Brandt also scored in double figures, picking up 11 points.

Blue Ridge finished the first quarter tied 8-8 in the first quarter and trailed the Comets 19-16 at halftime. From there, however, the Lady Knights outscored Oakwood 14-7 in the third quarter and 20-2 in the fourth.

Melinda Wilson finished the game with six points. Korrie Gilbert scored five points while Jeana Cheek had four points.

Bailey Clancy and Gabby Pearl each contributed two points.

With the win, Blue Ridge improves its record to 3-3. The Lady Knights will travel to Colfax on Monday for a Heart of Illinois showdown against Ridgeview.

Bismarck-Henning 74, Blue Ridge Boys Basketball 28

GIBSON CITY, Ill. -- The Blue Devils outscored the Knights 28-5 en route to a blowout victory in the Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley Thanksgiving Tournament.

Blue Ridge (0-3) will look to salvage a seventh-place finish from the GCMS Thanksgiving Tournament today, facing the Falcons at 2 p.m.

Bismarck-Henning scored 17, 21 and eight points in the second, third and fourth quarter, respectively, whereas the Knights scored seven, 14 and two points.

Jon Jones and Tucker Johnson each scored eight points to lead Blue Ridge. Six of Jones' points were scored via two 3-pointers while Johnson converted on 6-of-8 free-throw attempts.

As a team, the Knights scored half of its points by sinking 14-of-19 free-throw attempts. Clint O'Neal scored all four of his points via free throws.

Travys Nichols scored four points as well while Michael Plunk and C.J. Bishop each contributed two points.

11/23/11

Blue Ridge Girls Basketball Beats Georgetown-Ridge Farm, Will Play Oakwood for Fifth Place in Comet Classic

FITHIAN, Ill. -- After a first half in which the Lady Knights and the Lady Buffs combined for 12 points in the first quarter, Blue Ridge pulled away with a 10-0 run to start the third quarter.

From there, they never looked back, outscoring Georgetown-Ridge Farm 33-13 in the second half en route to a 52-28 victory in the Comet Classic.

As a result, the Lady Knights (2-3) will play Oakwood on Friday for fifth place. The game will tip off at 4 p.m.

"We played great tonight," Blue Ridge coach Stephanie Schroeder said. "We started off a little shaky in the first half and should have had a bigger lead than we did, but we turned it on and came out in the third quarter and took care of business and played the game."


Melinda Wilson (pictured above) and Jeana Cheek started the run with a 3-pointer each to put the Lady Knights up 25-15 one minute into the second half.

"I just told them in the locker room [at halftime] there was no reason to be as slow as we were," Schroeder said. "We were playing down to their level, and we need to pick it up and play our tempo and play our game, so they came out and played tough defense and went hard to the basket."

Wilson and Jacquelyn O'Neal were Blue Ridge's leaders on the offensive and defensive ends. O'Neal picked up a double-double, scoring 13 points and grabbing 13 rebounds; eight of O'Neal's points were scored in the second half.

O'Neal (pictured below) also had three steals and three blocks. With her three blocks, she puts herself closer to the school record for most blocked shots in a career.


O'Neal is currently in the top five.

"She played an awesome game," Schroeder said. "She was dominating the boards, and defensively, [she was] where she needed to be."

Wilson scored 13 points as well. She also recorded eight rebounds and eight steals, including five in the second half.

Jamison Brandt also scored double-digit points with 12 and finished the game with five rebounds and one block.

Blue Ridge 52, Georgetown-Ridge Farm 28
Georgetown-Ridge Farm (28)
Callan Hall 1 1-3 3, Shelby Howard 0 0-0 0, Erika Briggs 1 0-1 3, Hannah Brandt 0 0-0 0, Alyssa Sawyer 1 3-5 5, Brittany Hay 3 0-0 6, Maya Green 3 3-4 9, Lexi Ovall 1 0-0 2, Katie Brandt 0 0-2 0, Baylea Hall 0 0-0 0. Totals 10 7-15 28.
Blue Ridge (52)
Jeana Cheek 2 0-0 5, Jacquelyn O'Neal 6 1-3 13, Korrie Gilbert 0 0-0 0, Ashley Spicer 0 0-0 0, Melinda Wilson 5 2-2 13, Liz Cordes 0 0-0 0, Bailey Clancy 0 2-2 2, Gabby Pearl 3 1-2 7, Jamison Brandt 6 0-0 12, Breanna Watterson 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 6-8 52.
Georgetown-Ridge Farm    5    10    8    5    -- 28
Blue Ridge    7    12    19    14    -- 52
3-pointers -- Georgetown-Ridge Farm (Briggs). Blue Ridge 2 (Cheek, Wilson).
For Blue Ridge, O'Neal had 13 rebounds, 3 steals, 3 blocks. Wilson had 8 rebounds, 8 steals. Pearl had 5 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block. Brandt had 5 rebounds, 1 block. Clancy had 5 rebounds. Spicer had 2 rebounds, 1 steal. Cheek had 1 rebound, 1 steal. Team had 38 rebounds, 14 steals, 5 blocks.
BLUE RIDGE GIRLS BKB UPDATE: The Lady Knights beat GRF 52-28, will play Oakwood Friday for fifth place at 4 p.m.
BLUE RIDGE GIRLS BKB UPDATE: The Lady Knights lead Georgetown-Ridge Farm 19-15 at halftime in the Comet Classic.
BLUE RIDGE GIRLS BKB UPDATE: The Lady Knights lead 11-7 with 5:15 left in the first half.

Prairie Central 66, Blue Ridge Boys Basketball 47

GIBSON CITY, Ill. -- After the Knights gained a 17-14 lead at the end of the first quarter, the Hawks raced ahead with a 18-6 run in the second quarter to go up 32-23 at halftime.

From there, Prairie Central controlled the action en route to a blowout victory in the Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley Thanksgiving Tournament. Addison Bounds led the way with 25 points, including 15 in the first half.

For Blue Ridge, Tucker Johnson led the team in scoring with 19 points. Michael Plunk scored double-digit points as well with 11.

Daniel Gilbert contributed to the Knights' scoring with four points. Jon Jones, Johnney Bruden and C.J. Bishop each scored three points while Travys Nichols and Trenor Hildreth each added two.

Blue Ridge (0-2) will continue playing in the GCMS Thanksgiving Tournament on Friday, when it faces Bismarck-Henning at 5:30 p.m.

11/21/11

Blue Ridge Boys Basketball Blows Second-Half Lead to Tri-Point in Season Opener

GIBSON CITY, Ill. -- With only one varsity player (Tucker Johnson) remaining from last year's regional championship team, the Knights will count on some younger players to play big roles for the team.

With those younger players come growing pains, such as giving up second-half leads. In its season opener at the Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley Thanksgiving Tournament, Blue Ridge had a 47-38 halftime lead.

Tri-Point outscored the Knights 18-13 in the third quarter to cut the lead to 60-56. Then the Chargers stole the game with a 28-19 run in the fourth quarter, winning the game 84-79.

Tri-Point began the fourth quarter run with an 11-3 run that put the Chargers up 67-63 with 5:42 left in the game. The last two points of that run were scored when Terry Barnhart stole the ball and drove for a layup on the fastbreak.

According to Blue Ridge coach Kyle Watson, turnovers were one of the keys to Tri-Point's come-from-behind victory.

"They went man-to-man and pressured [us] in the second half, and they forced us into a lot of turnovers," Watson said. "With us being this young, I told them in the locker room it's gonna be something we have to learn from."

Tucker Johnson was Blue Ridge's leading scorer with 27 points. Jon Jones contributed 19 points, including six 3-pointers in the first half.

"He had a great first half, but then they really tightened up the defense in the second half," Watson said. "He hurt their zone in the first half."

For Tri-Point, Barnhart led the team with 30 points, including 16 in the first quarter. 

"He was a stud. He was a horse," Watson said. "We did a nice job on him [after the first quarter]; we attacked him and got him to foul trouble and fouled him out of the game."

Despite yielding only eight points to Barnhart in the fourth quarter, the Chargers were able to put up 28 points thanks to 18-of-25 shooting from the free-throw line. Jordan Tharp sank 10 of his 12 fourth-quarter free-throw attempts to finish with a total of 20 points.

With less than 30 seconds remaining and the Knights trailing 82-77, Tharp intercepted a Michael Plunk pass and was fouled on the fastbreak by Johnson, who fouled out of the game as a result. Tharp made one of his two ensuing free-throw attempts.

"They attacked the basket, and we turned the ball over, so that's something we need to learn from," Watson said. "We need to be the people that are attacking the basket. It's gonna be awfully hard to win games when you give up [more than] 80 points. We definitely have to build our defense a lot better than what it was tonight."

With the loss, Blue Ridge starts its season with an 0-1 record. The Knights will continue playing in the GCMS Thanksgiving Tournament on Tuesday against Prairie Central at 6:30 p.m.

"I told the kids in the locker room we did some really nice things," Watson said. "We've got to build on those nice things we did, take away some of the mistakes and use this as a learning point. I know it's early and we're young, so if we can use this as a learning point, then it's gonna be something where we'll have success down the road. But we can't make the same mistakes we made tonight, unfortunately. We have to build on this, and we'll have to do it within 24 hours. I'm sure Prairie Central's going to press us tomorrow night, too."

Tri-Point 84, Blue Ridge 79
Tri-Point (84)
Dylan Juergens 4 2-2 11, Jordan Tharp 4 10-12 20, Ryan DeFord 4 4-11 12, Timmy Crouch 1 0-0 3, Nathan Hoffman 2 2-2 8, Terry Barnhart 10 7-8 30. Totals 25 25-34 84
Blue Ridge (79)
Trenor Hildreth 0 1-2 1, Michael Plunk 4 3-4 12, Jon Jones 6 1-2 19, C.J. Bishop 1 0-0 3, Daniel Gilbert 1 0-0 2, Clint O'Neal 2 1-2 5, Travys Nichols 4 2-3 10, Tucker Johnson 10 7-10 27. Totals 28 15-23 79
Tri-Point    21    17    18    28    -- 84
Blue Ridge    25    22    13    19    -- 79
3-pointers -- Tri-Point 9 (Barnhart 3, Hoffman 2, Tharp 2, Crouch, Juergens). Blue Ridge 8 (Jones 6, Bishop, Plunk).
BLUE RIDGE BOYS BKB UPDATE: Tri-Point came from behind to beat the Knights 84-79.
BLUE RIDGE BOYS BKB UPDATE: The Knights lead Tri-Point 60-56 at the end of the third quarter.
BLUE RIDGE BOYS BKB UPDATE: The Knights lead Tri-Point 47-38 at halftime in the GCMS Thanksgiving Tournament.
BLUE RIDGE BOYS BKB UPDATE: The Knights lead Tri-Point 25-21 at the end of the first quarter.

11/20/11

Blue Ridge Girls Basketball Loses to Milford, Shiloh in Comet Classic

Updated November 21 at 11:21 a.m.

FITHIAN, Ill. -- Jacquelyn O'Neal and Jamison Brandt scored double-digit points in a losing effort, as the Lady Knights lost to the Lady Bearcats 47-40.

Each team made 18 field goals, but Milford made 11-of-22 free-throw attempts compared to Blue Ridge's 4-of-6. The Lady Knights outscored the Lady Bearcats 21-17 in the second and third quarters combined.

Milford, however, took an 16-8 first-quarter lead and outscored Blue Ridge 14-11 in the fourth quarter.

O'Neal and Brandt scored 14 and 13 points, respectively, to lead the Lady Knights. Melinda Wilson had five points, Bailey Clancy recorded four points and Jeana Cheek and Liz Cordes each finished with two points.

Blue Ridge also lost to Shiloh 59-34. Wilson was the leading scorer with nine points while O'Neal grabbed eight rebounds.

The Lady Knights (1-3) will continue playing in the Comet Classic on Wednesday, when it faces Georgetown-Ridge Farm at 5 p.m.

11/19/11

Blue Ridge Girls Basketball Picks Up Victory in Comet Classic

Updated November 21 at 11:19 a.m.

FITHIAN, Ill. -- The Lady Knights outscored Westville 17-2 in the first quarter en route to a 42-23 victory.

After getting outscored 10-5 in the second quarter, Blue Ridge gained 12-6 and 8-5 advantages in the third and fourth quarter, respectively.

Jamison Brandt led the Lady Knights with 15 points. Jacquelyn O'Neal contributed 12 points while Melinda Wilson scored 11.

O'Neal also grabbed 13 rebounds and blocked three shots. Blue Ridge had a total of 30 steals as a team.

Jeana Cheek and Bailey Clancy each finished with two points.

With the win, Blue Ridge improves to 1-1. The Lady Knights will continue playing in the Comet Classic with a doubleheader today.

They will face Shiloh at 4:30 p.m. and play against Milford at 7:30 p.m.

11/18/11

Blue Ridge Boys Basketball Scrimmage: Blue 40, White 35

FARMER CITY, Ill. -- Three days before their season opener, the Knights held a Blue and White scrimmage for one last tune-up.

In a game that Blue Ridge coach Kyle Watson said was "a bit shaky at times," Tucker Johnson (pictured below in black jersey) led the Blue team with 15 points en route to a 40-35 victory over the White team.


"You want to have a game like tonight, so you can get the kinks worked out a little bit," Watson said. "We did some good things tonight; we also had some things we need to work on. We'll have practice tomorrow. We'll come get those things corrected, and hopefully be ready to go by Monday night."

Johnson, a 6-foot-4 senior forward who is the Knights' only returning varsity player from last year, scored the first of his 15 points via 3-pointer. He also hit a shot from the perimeter in the first half to give the Blue team a 21-10 lead.

"He's going to be a guy, hopefully this year, [who will] have some mismatches," Watson said. "When he came up as a sophomore, he was more of an outside player. [Johnson] had a great run in the postseason [last year] during the three-point contest. He really showed that he can hit that shot, and he's worked hard on that shot this summer, so he's doing a great job."

Johnson also showed his ability to score in the paint, giving the Blue team a 15-10 lead by driving to the lane for a left-handed layup and a 17-10 lead with a hook shot.

"Last year, he played inside and had a real nice year for us," Watson said. "If there's a situation where he has some smalls on him, then maybe he can go down and post the small up," Watson said. "If he has some bigs on him, he can take that big out and get a nice shot on it."


For the White team, center Travys Nichols (pictured above) scored 14 points to lead his team. Jon Jones added nine points.

Blue Ridge will open its season on Monday, playing in its first game of the Gibson-City-Melvin-Sibley Thanksgiving Tournament against Tri-Point at 5 p.m.

"I'd much rather see [the mistakes] in a game like this than in a game Monday night," Watson said.

Meanwhile, the Blue team also won the junior varsity scrimmage, beating the White team 41-18.

BLUE RIDGE BOYS BASKETBALL ROSTER
No.    Name    Height    Weight    Position    Year
2    Trenor Hildreth    5'9"    180    Forward    12
4    Michael Plunk    6'2"    155    Guard    10
10    Mark Plunk    6'1"    155    Forward    11
12    Will Duggins    6'0"    160    Guard    10
14    Dylan Grammer    5'10"    145    Guard    9
20    Jon Jones    6'1"    160    Guard    11
22    Johnney Bruden     5'8"    175    Guard    11
30    C.J. Bishop    5'10"    140    Guard    11
32    Daniel Gilbert    6'3"    165    Forward    11
34    Clint O' Neal    6'3"    190    Forward    10
40    Travys Nichols    6'4"    175    Center    11
44    Tucker Johnson    6'4"    170    Forward    12    
16    Matt White