LeRoy Regional Championship Game: Ridgeview 43, Blue Ridge Boys Basketball 36

LEROY -- The clock struck midnight midway through the fourth quarter for the Cinderella Knights.

After entering the fourth quarter up by two points, Blue Ridge increased its lead to 36-30.

From there, however, the Knights could not score a single point. The Mustangs, meanwhile, went on a 13-0 run to win the game.

Ridgeview's Trevor McIntosh hit a 3-pointer with 1:30 remaining to put his team up 37-36.

Michael Plunk led Blue Ridge with 14 points. Will Duggins contributed 12 points and six rebounds.

With the loss, Blue Ridge ends its season with a 10-20 record. Michael Plunk could not advance in the Three-Point Showdown.


Blue Ridge Boys Basketball Advanes to LeRoy Regional Championship Game with 44-31 Win over Lexington

LEROY -- Unlike last year's regional championship team, this year's Knights went into the postseason with a losing regular-season record at 8-19.

With Wednesday's 44-31 upset victory over No. 2-seeded Lexington in the LeRoy Regional semifinals, No. 3 Blue Ridge achieved the only record that matters in the postseason: 2-0.

"We talked about how, last Friday in El Paso, we kind of got skunked, but I told them how every team is 0-0," Blue Ridge coach Kyle Watson said. "It doesn't matter what the records are once you go to the postseason, and now we're 2-0. Hopefully, we can keep our Cinderella run going."

The Knights advanced to their second consecutive regional championship game thanks to a defense that played one of the best games it played all year. Blue Ridge held the Minutemen to a total of eight points or less in each quarter.

In the first quarter, the Knights held Lexington to four points in the first 4:24 to race out ot a 11-4 lead. Michael Plunk scored seven points during that run to lead Blue Ridge offensively.

The Knights ended the first quarter with a 13-8 lead. Despite only scoring four points (all by Travys Nichols) in the second quarter, they went into halftime leading 17-16 by holding the Minutemen to eight points in that quarter.

"Defense wins championships," Watson said. "We've talked about that so many times before. We didn't play great defense at Gibson City on Thursday, we didn't very good defense in Monticello at Christmas time, and we didn't play good defense in [the] McLean County [Tournament]. We preach to our kids to keep working on our defense. This is the biggest tournament that's left. We kind of gave up 62 to Calvary the other night. We'd been working on our defense yesterday in practice and today in the walk-through, and we held a very athletically-talented Lexington team to 31 points."

Nichols also scored eight points in the third quarter to help Blue Ridge end the quarter with a 27-24 lead. He also contributed defensively, drawing two charging calls on Lexington that helped put the Knights in the bonus.

Before Michael Plunk sank two free throws with 16.1 seconds left in the third quarter, Blue Ridge did not attempt a single free throw in the game, as Watson pointed out to a referee with 1:10 remaining in the quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the Knights scored 11 of their 17 points on 11-of-16 shooting at the charity stripe, including an 8-for-10 effort from Michael Plunk.

"Free throws win or lose games," Watson said.

Michael Plunk led Blue Ridge offensively with 17 points while Nichols contributed 14 points. Tucker Johnson added eight points.

Meanwhile, the Knights held the Minutemen to seven points in the fourth quarter. Taylor Schneider finished the game leading Lexington in scoring with seven points while Michael Baker tied with Jonny Meints with six points.

"[There was] great defense not only by Will Duggins, who was chasing Baker all night, but great defense by Mark Plunk on Schneider," Watson said. "That's a great job by the kids. I can't be more proud of our kids right now.

Watson also said one of his assistant coaches, Garie Brock, helped him devise a game plan that led to the Knights' stifling defense.

"Coach Brock went and scouted Lexington last Friday night," Watson said. "He ran the Lexington sets in practice yesterday. He had the scouting report tonight. He screamed out to our kids exactly what the offense is that they're running. It was a great job by my assistant coaches. This was a win by our staff. I can't be proud of not only my kids, but I can't be more proud of my coaching staff."

Blue Ridge will look for its second straight regional championship on Friday night. The Knights will face Ridgeview at 7:30 p.m.

"We kind of had the Cinderella slippers on long enough tonight to pull off an upset," Watson said. "They're the No. 1 seed, we're the No. 3 seed. We've just got to hope that our Cinderella slippers don't slip off and that we can make a little bit of a run here. We're playing our best basketball of the year, and this is the perfect time to play your best basketball of the year."

Ridgeview lost to Blue Ridge two weeks ago after beating the Knights last December in the Monticello Holiday Hoopla.

The No. 1-seeded Mustangs earned the trip to the regional title game with a 66-39 victory over LeRoy in the semifinals.

"Hopefully, Ridgeview doesn't shoot the way they shot tonight, because they shot the lights out tonight," Watson said. "Man, did they shoot the lights out tonight. They beat us at Christmas time. We beat them two weeks ago on Friday night. I told our kids, 'It sure would be awful great to be playing them in two weeks,' and now we are."

Sports Thread's in the Bonus

Michael Plunk advanced to the final round of the Three-Point Showdown by making eight 3-pointers in the semifinals.

He will shoot prior to the LeRoy Regional title game along with Schneider and Josh Jackson of Lexington and Normal Calvary Christian's Kyle Freeze.

Jon Jones made four shots, but will not advance to Friday's regional final.

LeRoy Regional: Blue Ridge Boys Basketball 44, Lexington 31 (box score)

Blue Ridge (44)
Mark Plunk 0 0-0 0, Jon Jones 0 1-2 1, Trenor Hildreth 0 0-0 0, Michael Plunk 3 10-12 17, Will Duggins 2 0-0 4, C.J. Bishop 0 0-0 0, Travys Nichols 7 0-0 14, Josh Plunk 0 0-0 0, Tucker Johnson 3 2-4 8, Clint O'Neal 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 13-18 44
Lexington (31)
Taylor Schneider 2 3-4 7, Michael Baker 3 0-0 6, Chris Collins-Terry 2 0-0 4, Josh Jackson 1 0-0 3, Donavan Laible 0 0-0 0, Jonny Meints 2 2-4 6, Nick Barkes 2 0-0 5. Totals 12 5-8 31
Blue Ridge      13      4      10      17      -- 44
Lexington      8      8      8      7      -- 31
3-pointers -- Blue Ridge (Mi. Plunk). Lexington 2 (Jackson, Barkes).
(Blue Ridge -- 10-19; next: Friday vs. Ridgeview in LeRoy Regional championship game, 7:30 p.m.)
BLUE RIDGE BOYS BKB UPDATE: The Knights advance to the regional title game with a 44-31 win over Lexington.
BLUE RIDGE BOYS BKB UPDATE: Michael Plunk made eight shots in the Three-Point Showdown to advance to Friday's final round.
LEROY BOYS BKB REGIONAL UPDATE: Ridgeview beat LeRoy 66-39 to advance to Friday's title game against the winner of Blue Ridge vs. Lexington.


Blue Ridge Boys Basketball Out-Shoots Normal Calvary Christian to 72-62 LeRoy Regional Quarterfinal Victory

LEROY -- In Monday's LeRoy Regional quarterfinal game, the Knights' post game matched up against NCC's sharp shooting.

Blue Ridge won the battle with a 72-62 shootout victory to advance to the regional semifinals.

"I'm a little disappointed [about] giving up 62 [points]," Blue Ridge coach Kyle Watson said, "but I'm really happy [with] scoring 72."

With the win, the Knights (9-19) will face Lexington in the LeRoy Regional on Wednesday at 8:10 p.m. The winner of that game will face either Ridgeview or LeRoy in the championship game Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Blue Ridge has a strong recent postseason history with the Mintuemen, having faced them in the regionals in each of the past two years.

Two years ago, Lexington beat the Knights in the quarterfinals of a regional they hosted. Last year, Blue Ridge returned the favor with a 73-71 victory in the semifinals of the Farmer City Blue Ridge Regional.

The Knights hosted a regular season game against the Minutemen on Jan. 10, which Lexington won 69-67.

"They're playing very good basketball right now," Watson said. "They're a senior-dominant team. They're obviously going to have fire in their eyes. They're the higher seed, so I guess we've got to hope that Cinderella's slippers fit for a week or two. We'll go out and play, go out and have fun, and what happens happens."

Tucker Johnson scored 13 points in the first quarter, including eight on Blue Ridge's opening 11-4 run. Thanks to the shooting touches of Calvary's Bryson Barth and Kyle Freeze, NCC came back and tied the game at 14-14 with 10.2 seconds left in the first quarter.

Johnson made two free throws (he sank 5-of-7 free throws, all in the opening quarter) with 2.5 seconds remaining in the quarter to give his team the 16-14 lead.

Barth made a 3-pointer, one of three he converted in the game, to give Calvary a 17-16 lead early in the second quarter before Johnson made a bucket while being fouled to give Blue Ridge a 18-17 advantage with 7:44 left in the quarter.

Barth finished with a game-high 29 points while Freeze had 14 points. Dustin Beernink contributed 12 points, nine of which were scored on three 3-point field goals.

As a team, NCC made nine 3-pointers, including eight from a combined effort of Barth, Freeze and Beernink.

"Barth is a great shooter," Watson said. "That Freeze kid has been very good scorer for them all year long. I told the coach after the game they played awfully hard."

Defensive adjustments, including the replacement of Will Duggins (who scored five points) for Mark Plunk for the task of guarding Barth, helped the Knights take control of the game in the second half. Barth was held to five points, all on free throws, in the fourth quarter.

"We played a lot better halfcourt defense in the second half," Watson said. "Mark's length really bothered him. Mark Plunk did a really nice job on him in the second half."

The Knights countered offensively with a solid post game. After scoring 17 points in the first half, Johnson added 10 more to finish with a team-high 27 points.

"Tucker's been very steady for us the second half of the season," Watson said.

After Michael Plunk made a 3-pointer to give Blue Ridge a 40-38 lead, Travys Nichols scored a couple of baskets in the paint to help increase the Knights' lead to 46-38 with 3:44 remaining in the third quarter.

Nichols was held scoreless in the first half, but scored eight points in the third and fourth quarters each to finish with 16 points. His free throws with 2:15 remaining in the third gave Blue Ridge a 50-41 lead.

"Travys, I had to get on him a little bit at halftime because, [as] I told him, he had as many points as I did at halftime, which is none," Watson said. "He ends up with 16 in the second half. I don't have to have 16 out of him in a half, but I can't have zero from him in a half, either."

Clint O'Neal came off the bench to score three points to give the Knights a total of 46 points in the post.

"We knew that we had a height advantage on them," Watson said. "In a zone offense, we want to attack the basket. We got into the double bonus in the first half, and anytime you get into the double bonus, everybody attacked the lane, and if you get fouled, you're going to shoot two free throws the whole rest of the way. There's going to be some nights where it's the guards' night, and there's some nights where it's the post's night. Tonight just happened to be one night where it was a post night."

Michael Plunk led Blue Ridge's perimeter production. He scored a total of 17 points, including three 3-point field goals.

"Our posts were doing so well that it made them suck inside, and that's what opened up our perimeter guys for some nice shots," Watson said. "I think we ran our zone offense probably the best we've run it all year. We had some nice pass fakes, which opened up some nice assists for layups from our guards."

Sports Thread's in the Bonus

Before the regional quarterfinal game, Michael Plunk and Beernink showed their ability to shoot from beyond the arc in the Three-Point Showdown.

He made six 3-pointers to force an overtime shoot-off with Beernink. Michael Plunk won the shoot-off to advance to Wednesday's semifinal round, which will take place prior to the Blue Ridge/Lexington game.

He will represent the Knights in the Three-Point Showdown alongside Jon Jones, who made seven 3-point shots in the quarterfinals.


LeRoy Regional: Blue Ridge Boys Basketball 72, Normal Calvary Christian 62 (box score)

Normal Calvary Christian (62)
Bryson Barth 10 6-7 29, Nate Huddleston 2 2-2 7, Kole Walker 0 0-0 0, Connor Gentry 0 0-0 0, Dustin Beernink 3 3-5 12, Kyle Freeze 4 4-6 14, Diamante McCquicker 0 0-0 0, James McConnell 0 0-0 0, Emory Thomas 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 15-20 62
Blue Ridge (72)
Mark Plunk 1 0-2 2, Dylan Grammer 0 0-0 0, Jon Jones 0 0-0 0, Trenor Hildreth 0 0-0 0, Michael Plunk 6 2-2 17, Will Duggins 2 1-4 5, C.J. Bishop 1 0-0 2, Travys Nichols 7 2-3 16, Josh Plunk 0 0-0 0, Tucker Johnson 11 5-7 27, Clint O'Neal 1 1-2 3, Daniel Gilbert 0 0-0 0. Totals 29 11-20 72
Normal Calvary Christian      14      16      16      16      -- 62
Blue Ridge      16      17      21      18      -- 72
3-pointers -- Normal Calvary Christian 9 (Barth 3, Beernink 3, Freeze 2, Huddleston). Blue Ridge 3 (Mi. Plunk 3).
(Blue Ridge -- 9-19; next: Wednesday vs. Lexington in LeRoy Regional semifinal, 8:10 p.m.)
BLUE RIDGE BOY BKB UPDATE: The Knights will advance to the regional semifinals with a 72-62 win over Normal Calvary Christian.
BR BOYS BKB UPDATE: The Knights lead 54-46 at the end of the third quarter.
BLUE RIDGE BOYS BKB UPDATE: The Knights lead Normal Calvary Christian 33-30 at halftime in the LeRoy Regional quarterfinals.


El Paso-Gridley 65, Blue Ridge Boys Basketball 43

EL PASO, Ill. -- The Knights concluded their regular season with a Heart of Illinois Conference loss to the Titans.

EPG outscored Blue Ridge 16-5 in the second quarter after leading 14-10 at the end of the first. The Titans held 18-12 and 17-16 advantages in the third and fourth quarter, respectively.

Jon Jones led the Knights in scoring with 11 points. Michael Plunk and Travys Nichols contributed nine and eight points, respectively.

Will Duggins and Tucker Johnson each scored four points. C.J. Bishop tallied three points.

Clint O'Neal and Daniel Gilbert each finished the game with two points.

With the loss, Blue Ridge ends the regular season with an 8-19 overall record and a 4-8 record in the HOIC.

The Knights will face Normal Calvary Christian Academy in the quarterfinals of the LeRoy Regional on Monday at 8:10 p.m. If they win, they will face Lexington in the semifinals on Wednesday at 8:10 p.m.


St. Thomas More 56, Blue Ridge Boys Basketball 46

FARMER CITY, Ill. -- The Knights led after the first quarter 15-9 and had a 23-20 halftime lead.

Blue Ridge could not hang on, however, as the Sabers outscored the Knights 36-23 in the second half. St. Thomas held 19-11 and 17-12 advantages in the third and fourth quarters, respectively.

Tucker Johnson led Blue Ridge in scoring with 17 points. Michael Plunk scored in double figures as well with 10 points.

Will Duggins contributed nine points while Mark Plunk finished the game with six points. Travys Nichols added four points.

With the loss, the Knights fall to an overall record of 8-18. They will conclude their regular season with a road game against El Paso-Gridley Thursday at 7:30 p.m.


Blue Ridge Athletes of the Month -- January

According to today's Blue Ridge High School student announcements, the following athletes were chosen as Athletes of the Month for January:

Girls Basketball -- Jacquelyn O'Neal

Boys Basketball -- Tucker Johnson

Cheerleading -- Korie Reynolds


Jacquelyn O'Neal Advances to Three-Point Showdown Sectional Final

COLFAX, Ill. -- The Lady Knights' leading scorer of 2011-12 once again showed her versatility

O'Neal averaged 15.3 points, 12.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 3.3 blocks for Blue Ridge during the season. She also made 15-of-37 (41 percent) of her 3-point shots.

On Monday, O'Neal advanced to the Colfax Ridgeview Sectional finals of the Three-Point Showdown. She will be joined by Ashley Walker of LeRoy, Fisher's Elyssa Browning and Sydney Freed of Lexington.

LeRoy beat Heyworth 52-46 to advance to the sectional finals as well. The Panthers will face the winner of Urbana Uni-High/St. Anne at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, before which the Three-Point Showdown will occur.

Prior to Monday's Uni-High/St. Anne tip-off, Sarah Mowrey (St. Anne), Leslie Chambers (Champaign Judah Christian), Holly Huckstadt (Danville Schlarman) and Jamie Blue (Urbana Uni-High) advanced to the sectional finals of the Three-Point Showdown.

Jacquelyn O'Neal 186-403 58-90 445, Korrie Gilbert 45-142 54-87 148, Melinda Wilson 153-331 37-62 366, Liz Cordes 2-19 2-5 6, Bailey Clancy 28-117 52-73 108, Gabby Pearl 49-110 14-22 112, Jamison Brandt 78-194 20-39 176, Jeana Cheek 15-58 10-22 42, Breanna Watterson 1-4 0-0 2. Totals 557-1,378 247-400 1,405.
3-pointers -- Blue Ridge 44-156 (O'Neal 15-37, Gilbert 4-26, Wilson 23-79, Cordes 0-1, Brandt 0-4, Cheek 2-9).
Rebounds -- Blue Ridge 1,030 (O'Neal 350, Gilbert 71, Wilson 154, Cordes 27, Clancy 93, Pearl 144, Brandt 138, Cheek 49, Watterson 4). Assists -- Blue Ridge 352 (O'Neal 97, Gilbert 58, Wilson 93, Cordes 3, Clancy 21, Pearl 16, Brandt 40, Cheek 24). Steals -- Blue Ridge 340 (O'Neal 46, Gilbert 48, Wilson 141, Cordes 1, Clancy 33, Pearl 8, Brandt 39, Cheek 22, Watterson 2). Blocks -- Blue Ridge 204 (O'Neal 97, Gilbert 13, Wilson 15, Cordes 1, Clancy 7, Pearl 52, Brandt 16, Cheek 3).


Blue Ridge Boys Basketball 56, Ridgeview 51

COLFAX, Ill. -- The Knights pulled off a come-from-behind victory in the Heart of Illinois Conference.

Ridgeview outscored Blue Ridge 18-12 in the first quarter and 12-6 in the second to take a 30-18 halftime lead. The Knights, however, came back with a 24-13 third quarter to cut their deficit to 43-42.

Blue Ridge pulled ahead 14-8 to seal the comeback win.

Tucker Johnson led the Knights with a game-high 24 points. Michael Plunk scored in double figures as well with 14 points.

Travys Nichols finished the game with six points and five rebounds. Will Duggins contributed five points while Clint O'Neal tallied four points.

Mark Plunk and Jon Jones finished the game with two points and one point, respectively.

With the win, Blue Ridge improves to a record of 8-17 overall and 4-7 in the HOIC. The Knights will play in their home finale on Tuesday, facing St. Thomas More.

Meanwhile, Blue Ridge's junior varsity team beat Ridgeview 52-45.


Jacquelyn O'Neal Advances past Regionals in Three-Point Showdown

FISHER, Ill. -- Prior to the Fisher Regional championship game, Blue Ridge girls basketball was represented in the Three-Point Showdown by a player who proved to be a Jacq of all trades.

Averaging 14.8 points, 12.4 rebounds and 3.6 blocks after Jan. 26's game against Flanagan-Cornell-Woodland, Jacquelyn O'Neal made seven 3-pointers to advance past the regional round.

Meanwhile, LeRoy will advance past the Fisher Regional as well. Two days after blowing out the Lady Knights in the semifinals, the Panthers beat Fisher 58-41 in the title game to advance to next week's Colfax Ridgeview Sectional.


Fisher Regional: LeRoy 71, Blue Ridge Girls Basketball 47

FISHER, Ill. -- Jacquelyn O'Neal led the Lady Knights with 19 points.

It was not enough, however, as Blue Ridge ends its season with a record of 13-17 with a blowout loss in the regional semifinals.

LeRoy outscored the Lady Knights in all quarters except the third. In the third quarter, Blue Ridge and LeRoy tied at 13-13.

The Panthers took an 18-9 lead at the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter, the No. 4-seeded Lady Knights increased their deficit to 34-21 at halftime.

Leading 47-34 at the end of the third quarter, top-seeded LeRoy erased any trace of doubt with a 24-13 fourth quarter.

O'Neal got her team-high 19 points partially on three 3-point field goals. Prior to the game, she made six 3-pointers in the Three-Point Showdown to advance to the finals.

She made five 3-pointers prior to Monday. Jamison Brandt and Melinda Wilson each advanced past Monday's round of the Three-Point Showdown, making five and four 3-point goals, respectively.

Brandt also scored 12 points against LeRoy.

O'Neal was Blue Ridge's only advancing 3-point shooter advancing past Tuesday. She will participate in the finals on Thursday at 6:45 p.m.

LeRoy will advance to the regional championship game against Fisher on Thursday thanks in part of the efforts of Ashley Walker and Molly Marcum.

Walker scored a game-high 24 points while Marcum recorded a double-double, tallying 19 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.

As a team, the Panthers made 30-of-65 (46 percent) shots from the field. They recorded 31 rebounds, including 11 on the offensive end, and 17 steals.

Paxton-Buckley-Loda 56, Blue Ridge Boys Basketball 39

PAXTON, Ill. -- The Knights head back to Farmer City with a non-conference loss.

PBL led 39-33 heading into the fourth quarter. Michael Plunk led the Knights in scoring with 12 points.

With the loss, Blue Ridge falls to 7-17 overall. The Knights will be back on the court on Friday, when they travel to Colfax for a Heart of Illinois Conference showdown against Ridgeview.

Postseason Information
Game 2 -- Monday, Feb. 20: No. 3 Blue Ridge vs. No. 6 Normal Calvary Christian, 8:10 p.m.

Game 4 -- Wednesday, Feb. 22: No. 2 Lexington vs. Winner Game 2, 8:10 p.m.

Game 5 -- Friday, Feb. 24: Winner Game 3 vs. Game 4, 7:30 p.m.


Blue Ridge Girls Basketball Advances to Fisher Regional Semifinals with 61-20 Win over Buckley Christ Lutheran

FISHER, Ill. -- Despite spending significant minutes on the bench, Jacquelyn O'Neal and Melinda Wilson each achieved a double-double on Monday.

O'Neal scored a game-high 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Wilson had a more unconventional double-double, tallying 16 points and stole the ball 10 times.

Thanks in part to the performance of their star duo, the No. 4-seeded Lady Knights achieved a 61-20 victory in the Fisher Regional quarterfinals over No. 5 Buckley Christ Lutheran.

"They're good," Blue Ridge coach Stephanie Schroeder said. "They're my ones that are going to lead them on there, so they did exactly what I asked them to do and what they should have done."

With Blue Ridge leading 20-5 after the first quarter, Schroeder could afford to give O'Neal and Wilson some spurts on the bench during the next three quarters to avoid injury and give them rest.

They would need their rest, as the Lady Knights (13-16) will face No. 1-seeded LeRoy the next night at 6 p.m.

"I didn't want to get them hurt before tomorrow. I sat them as much as they can allow. They're a little antsy on the sidelines," Schroeder said. "They did good."

Wilson and Gabby Pearl each scored six points to help Blue Ridge gain its 20-5 first-quarter lead. The Lady Knights opened the game with 13 unanswered points.

The Crusaders got their first points of the game with 3:06 left in the first quarter, when an Olivia Janssen field goal cut Blue Ridge's lead to 13-2.

In the first quarter, the Lady Knights held BCL to 2-for-11 shooting from the field. The Crusaders were held to a total of two points in the second quarter on 1-for-10 shooting.

Meanwhile, Blue Ridge scored 11 points in the second quarter -- six from O'Neal and five from Bailey Clancy -- to go into halftime leading 31-7.

"They did good tonight," Schroeder said. "I told them to come out strong. [We had to] maintain discipline for ourselves.  We hadn't faced a team where we had move at a slow pace, so it was hard for us to not want to just keep going and set some moving screens because we're just thinking too hard and going too fast for what it really was. We got the win that we knew we should get. Tomorrow night's going to be the complete opposite."

In the third quarter, Wilson got things started with one of her 10 steals, which created a fastbreak layup opportunity for her that increased the Lady Knights' lead to 33-7. Wilson scored eight of her 16 points in the third quarter, as Blue Ridge outscored BCL 14-7 in the quarter to take a 45-14 lead.

In the fourth quarter, the Lady Knights took a 16-6 advantage. Six of Blue Ridge's points were scored by O'Neal, and four by Pearl.

Pearl finished the game scoring in double figures with 12 points. She also grabbed six rebounds.

"She did really good," Schroeder said. "She was getting rebounds; she's tall. She needs to be putting up points like that for me every game, so [I'm] getting her built up for the future. She's only a freshman. She's still got a ways to go, so [this is a] good experience for her."

Jamison Brandt had a solid day on the boards as well, finishing the game with seven rebounds. She also stole the ball six times and scored three points.

Wilson led her team in assists with six and blocked three shots. O'Neal also had one blocked shot.

For the Crusaders, Andrea DeBella led her team with nine points.
Blue Ridge Girls Basketball  61, Buckley Christ Lutheran 20
Buckley Christ Lutheran (20)
Andrea DeBella 4 0-2 9, Sophia LaMie 2 1-2 5, Dani Meyer 0 0-0 0, Olivia Janssen 2 0-0 4, Alex Tofari 0 0-0 0, Markie Riston 0 0-0 0, Maggie Russell 1 0-0 2, Billie Lohrbach 0 0-2 0. Totals 9 1-6 20
Blue Ridge (61)
Jeana Cheek 2 0-0 4, Jacquelyn O'Neal 10 0-0 21, Korrie Gilbert 0 0-0 0, Melinda Wilson 7 2-2 16, Liz Cordes 0 0-0 0, Bailey Clancy 2 1-2 5, Gabby Pearl 6 0-0 12, Jamison Brandt 1 1-2 3. Totals 28 4-6 61
Buckley Christ Lutheran      5      2      7      6      -- 20
Blue Ridge      20      11      14      16      -- 61
3-pointers -- Buckley Christ Lutheran (DeBella). Blue Ridge (O'Neal).
For Blue Ridge, Wilson had 10 steals, 6 assists, 3 blocks. O'Neal had 10 rebounds. Brandt had 7 rebounds, 6 steals. Pearl had 6 rebounds.
(Blue Ridge -- 13-16; next: Tuesday vs. LeRoy at Fisher Regional, 6 p.m.)


Tri-Valley 60, Blue Ridge Boys Basketball 50

FARMER CITY, Ill. -- After a 13-13 tie at the end of the first quarter, the Vikings outscored the Knights 11-8 in the second quarter and 27-19 in the third.

Tucker Johnson led Blue Ridge with 19 points. Jon Jones scored in double figures as well with 13 points.

Michael Plunk had nine points while Clint O'Neal contributed four points. Will Duggins and Travys Nichols finished the game with three and two points, respectively.

With the loss, the Knights drop to 7-16 overall and 3-7 in the Heart of Illinois Conference. They will travel to Paxton-Buckley-Loda for a non-conference game on Tuesday.

Blue Ridge Girls Basketball 51, Tri-Valley 43

FARMER CITY, Ill. -- The Lady Knights celebrated their Senior Night with a Heart of Illinois Conference victory over the Lady Vikings.

Seniors Jacquelyn O'Neal and Melinda Wilson led Blue Ridge with 19 and 11 points, respectively. Gabby Pearl had 11 points as well.

The Lady Knights overcame a 15-10 first-quarter deficit by outscoring Tri-Valley 16-6 in the second quarter and 17-9 in the third.

Jamison Brandt and Bailey Clancy contributed six and four points, respectively, for Blue Ridge.

With the win, the Lady Knights concluded their regular season with a record of 12-16 overall and 5-6 in the HOIC.

They will face Buckley Christ Lutheran in the quarterfinals of the Fisher Regional on Monday at 6 p.m. If Blue Ridge wins, it'll go up against LeRoy on Tuesday at 6 p.m.


Deer Creek-Mackinaw 47, Blue Ridge Boys Basketball 41

MACKINAW, Ill. -- The Knights held a 34-32 lead after three quarters.

They outscored the Chiefs 12-10 and 15-11 in the second and third quarters, respectively, after trailing 11-7 following the first quarter. However, Dee-Mack outscored Blue Ridge 15-7 in the fourth quarter en route to the victory.

Michael Plunk led the Knights with 14 points, as the Plunk brothers accounted for more than 70 percent of their team's points. Mark Plunk finished the game with eight points while Josh Plunk tallied seven points.

Tucker Johnson contributed nine points while Jon Jones finished with three points.

With the loss, Blue Ridge falls to 7-15 overall and 3-6 in the Heart of Illinois Conference. The Knights will host a conference game against Tri-Valley on Friday.