By Steve Robinson | November 13, 2016 - 10:17 pm
Posted in Category: Central Catholic, The Normalite

VolleyballNORMAL – Making their second appearance at Illinois High School Association State Volleyball Tournament in two years, Bloomington Central Catholic found themselves, even with a cardboard cutout of the current Pontiff looking on, competing only to find they would be trying for a third place title by the end of action at Redbird Arena on Friday. BCC finished the season with a 31-7 record.

Loss To Mascoutah Takes A 3-Game Set: Counting this year, BCC has made its presence known at IHSA State Volleyball for two straight years. This year, the Saints encountered a tough Chicago Heights-based Marian Catholic High School team which concluded sending BCC to the third place game to face Mascoutah. But that three-game set played out like a championship match in its own right, but the Indians defeated BCC by scores of 21-25,28-26, and 23-25.

Game 1 was back and forth until kills from Maddie Hold and Kate Hoerdemann demonstrated the Saints could push forward, advancing with a 17-12 lead. Mascoutah (31-9) came within one, 20-19 off kills by Kamrynn Voypick, Lacy Albers, and Nilah Roy. An additional kill by Katirah Johnson tied the game, 20-20, prompting BCC head coach J. R. Banister to call a timeout.

After the timeout, with Allie Warfield serving, Mascoutah registered one kill while BCC committed four attack errors leading to the Indians’ first win. In game two, except for three early ties after the games started, Mascoutah took a commanding 12-7 lead which they increased to 20-16, where upon BCC, behind the serving of Maddie Malinowski and kills by Morgan Koch, achieved a 20-all tie before an Malinowski service ace put BCC up, 21-20. From there, the game would be tied five more times.

At 26-26, a Malinowski kill put BCC up by one and that was followed by an Indians attack error by Johnson, sealing the Saints victory.

The rubber game’s scoring returned to the format it had in game one, with six ties early on before Mascoutah, behind serves from Sydney Waeltz and kills from Albers and attack errors by BCC’s Hoerdemann and Emily Butt, put Mascoutah up, 13-9, prompting a timeout by BCC.

Central Catholic SaintsThe Saints found themselves pursuing throughout the contest coming within four, 24-20, when with Erika Moore serving, they closed the gap to within two, 24-22, thanks to Indians attack errors. A kill by Hoerdemann brought the Saints within one, 24-23, before Hoerdemann committed an attack error herself, leading to Mascoutah’s winning point.

For the Indians, Voypick led the set with 36 aces. Roy and Albers had 12 kills each. As a team, Mascoutah had 110 takeaways to BCC’s 108. Hold registered 36 aces while Roy and Albers had 12 kills each for Mascoutah. Hoerdemann led the Saints in kills with 16.

Mascoutah head coach Todd Gober reminded reporters afterward his team had faced BCC twice earlier in the season, which he said, helped them prepare for the contest. “We knew coming in we wanted to serve aggressively and that was a factor that was big. Bloomington chased a lot of balls and they weren’t able to use their big hitters.”

From the previous two times BCC saw Mascoutah, Banister said, the Indians made more use of their outside hitters than previously. “Other than that, overall, I felt like we played a really good game.”

Marian Catholic Overtakes BCC In Semifinals: BCC (31-6 after this game) managed to keep pace with Chicago Heights- based Marian Catholic (31-9 following this game) in the first game, but the Spartans took command in the second game of the two-game set, beating the Saints by scores of 25-21 and 25-13, to advance to the Class championship.

Game 1 began with the two sides meeting point-for-point until a serving error by Hoerdemann followed by an attack error by teammate Bailey Coffman, and a service ace from Marian Catholic’s Temliade Adyoka helped push Marian Catholic up, 17-13. From that point, BCC trailed coming within two, 21-19, thanks to a serving ace from Holt before a serving ace by Marian’s Jaya Hall and three BCC attack errors put the game out of reach of the Saints.

Game 2 became a chase early on for BCC as the Hurricanes registered four kills to push for an early 7-1 lead from which the Saints had trouble keeping pace.

BCC had 63 takeaways to 58 for Marian. The Saints registered 22 kills but were outnumbered by 26 made by the Hurricanes. Holt made 19 of 21 aces accounted for by the Saints with Moore making the other two. Marian Catholic had 25 aces – 11 each from Adyoka and Jordan Piekarski.

“We knew Bloomington was good and served extremely well, “said Marian Catholic head coach Ryan Sommers. “They brought some good heat. We were surprised that their outside hitters moved the ball around a little bit more.”

“We have a good group of seniors,” BCC’s Banister said. “Our seniors have been leaders all year long, but they’ll help us regroup for the first place game.”

BasketballBLOOMINGTON – Bloomington Central Catholic dropped a 60-50 decision in the championship game of the Small School Boys’ bracket at the State Farm Bloomington-Normal Holiday Classic on Dec.31.

Fifth seeded BCC defeated 12th seed Peoria Christian, 78-55; beat fourth seed St. Joseph Ogden, 63-58, and dethroned top seed Rockford Lutheran, 48-42 to get to the final game, while 2nd seed QND doubled up on Prairie Central in round one, 64-32; beat St. Joseph Ogden, 63-58 in round two; and beat Stanford Olympia, 59-43, in their semifinal, to get to the title contest.

State Farm Holiday ClassicIn a contest held at Shirk Center on Illinois Wesleyan University’s campus, BCC was able to keep pace with QND in the first quarter, on the strength of threes from senior John Rave, junior Matt Barnes, and sophomore James Morris, allowing QND only a two-point edge, 17-15, going into the second quarter.

But as that second quarter began, threes by junior guards Carter Cramsey, Johnny Ray, and a layup from senior forward Tanner Stuckman pushed QND out to a 29-20 advantage at 2:36 until halftime. That lead jumped to 31-20 when Stuckman struck again just over a minute later. The Raiders’ defense got impatient with 5.6 seconds left as QND junior forward Justin Bottorff fouled BCC senior Jake Baughman, who sank two free throws, closing QND’s lead, 36-22 going into halftime.

Sophomore Austyn Ellison opened the third quarter for BCC with a basket, pulling the Saints within 12, 36-24. But Ray and Stuckman combined for five unanswered points, pushing QND ahead, 41-24, at 5:24 left in the period. At that point, BCC went on the first of two scoring runs – an 8-0 streak – as junior Jacob Gilmore, Rave, and Baughman hit buckets and Rave adder a free throw to pull BCC within 11, 42-31, at the 2:46 mark.

Central CatholicBCC’s second scoring rush came from baskets from Gilmore ad Baughman and two Baughman free throws. QND’s lead, as a result, was cut to nine, 46-37, going into the fourth quarter.

A Baughman free throw opened the fourth quarter, cutting QND’s advantage, 46-38. After that, baskets by junior Jacob Mayfield and Stuckman, complimented with free throws by senior guard Aubrey Reis put QND up, 52-40 with 5:01 remaining, had BCC head coach Jason Welch call time. After that, BCC outscored QND, 10-3, coming within five, 55-50, with 2:11 remaining. That close a margin had QND head coach Kevin Meyer calling for time to consider his team’s options.

Quincy Notre DameBut after that time out, BCC fell into foul trouble, as four different QND players went to the free throw line to successfully score 5-of-8 free shots, resulting in the final score. Mayfield led QND with 18 points, followed by 16 from Stuckman. Rave and Baughman led BCC’s effort, with 16 points, and 15, respectfully.

“Overall, it was a good win for us,” QND’s Meyer said. “Overall, I’m very proud of my guys. BCC ratcheted up their defense in the third quarter, and we just needed to be a little bit stronger.”

“Quincy Notre Dame dictated all the terms in the game,” BCC’s Welch told reporters afterward. “They were able to get whatever they wanted whenever they wanted. I didn’t think our kids responded very well, especially on our defensive end.”

VolleyballNORMAL – Bloomington Central Catholic High School’s road to their first State trophy in Volleyball needed to go through an undefeated squad from Orion when the two sides met for a Class 2A matchup at Redbird Arena on Saturday, Nov. 14. At points in the two-game match, the Saints were kept down by Orion’s defense but a dramatic come-from-behind turn in the second match helped BCC earn the school its first-ever State title in the sport. BCC defeated Orion, 25-20 and 25-21.

The first contest was tied five times, the last tie coming at 13-13 before BCC (35-5) began pulling away on a ball handling error by Orion’s Ashton Lee, a serving ace by Carlie Zafziger, and a kill from Kate Hoerdemann, putting BCC in front, 17-14. With Hoerdemann serving, kills from Maddie Malinowski and Erika Moore upped the Saints’ advantage, 22-16 before Saints’ attack errors allowed the Chargers to close in during the match, 22-16. Two final kills by Hoerdemann closed out the contest.

Game 2 ran in a similar fashion with serves by Orion’s Taylor McCunn baffling BCC enough to let the Chargers jump out to an early 4-1 lead. Serves by BCC’s Nafziger and Holt helped the Saints keep pace as the game saw four ties – the last one at 13-13 – before BCC went on a four-point spree to lead, 17-13. Behind serves by Macy Hancock, Orion (40-1) pulled within two, 18-16. But BCC would get two more points, increasing the Saints’ lead, 20-16, prompting Orion head coach Jack Wheeler to call a time out.

But BCC kept rolling, holding Orion back spoiling the chance at a perfect season while earning a first trophy in the sport in school history.

BCC outpaced Orion in digs, 75-58. Holt led all players with 26 assists, with only Orion’s Hancock coming closest in that category with 15. Malinowski scored 10 points and had 10 kills to lead BCC. Hoerdemann had two serving aces while Nafziger had one. Lee led Orion in scoring with 12½ points. Hancock led her team in assists with 15. McCunn contributed her team’s lone serving ace. BCC took total take aways by a 110-106 tally.

Central Catholic“We’ve been down in other games we’ve had to get here,” BCC head coach J. R. Banister said. “We just had to talk about staying in control and getting our passes down. That would get our middle hitters involved again and go back to running our offense.”

“We’ve been working for this for the whole season, and we’ve just been working really hard lately,” Malinowski said. “It’s just awesome.”

Orion’s seniors, disappointed by the loss were teary-eyed during their postgame news conference at the thought of not ever playing together again, Wheeler said. “Today, Bloomington was a little bit better than we were. We played a good match. We played hard. We never quit.”

Saints Hold Off Timothy Christian In Semifinal: BCC got to the championship by taking two games from Elmhurst-based Timothy Christian High School, 25-22 and 25-21. Game 1 had both sides exchanging points early to a 10-10 tie before a kill by Bailey Coffman and two serves by Nafziger pushed the Saints up, 13-10. Timothy Christian (36-5) came within one three times –15-14, 18-17, and 22-21 – after that before the game’s last two kills for BCC by Malinowski polished off the Titans.

Game 2 looked to be an even contest with Timothy Christian’s Ava Venema committing an error putting BCC up 1-0, but then immediately following it up with a kill to tie the game at 1-all. But from there, BCC went on a 12-0 blitz with Moore serving and recording five service aces. It wasn’t until she committed a serving error that the streak ended.

But then, Timothy Christian began a run of their own behind serves by Abby Groters and a kill by Kendra Teune, cutting BCC’s lead, 14-7. Kills late in the contest from Teune, Venema, and a service error provided by Nafziger helped Timothy Christian pull within four, 23-19, and a kill by Dani VanLaten pulled them closer, 24-20, before BCC’s Maddie Holt committed a ball-handling error, cutting BCC’s lead again, 24-21. Moore provided a kill of Teune’s final serve to bring in the final score.

Malinowski’s 7 kills led BCC followed by 6 from Moore, who led the Saints in service aces with 6. Hoerdemann led in take aways with 17. Holt contributed 20 assists. Holt and Moore each had 7 digs defensively of BCC’s total 24. For Elmhurst Timothy Christian, Teune had 23 take aways and 12 kills while VanLaten provided 22 assists. Zoe Stanton had 8 digs.

FootballThey say lightning doesn’t strike twice in the same place. While that might be the case, football players from both University High School and Bloomington Central Catholic High School had to start wondering as, for the second straight year, their Week 2 contest was delayed by lightning strikes on Sept. 4. The game was delayed roughly two hours during the first quarter waiting for an all-clear before play resumed. On Sept. 5 last year, in Bloomington, the game between these two teams was postponed one day by similar weather conditions.

Officials halted the game at Hancock Stadium on the Illinois State University campus with 2:57 remaining in the first quarter with no score. BCC (1-1) was threatening to score, with the ball on the U-High 6 yard line when officials spotted lightning in the distance and halted the contest at 7:20p.m.

As a result of the delay, it was almost 11:30p.m. before the Saints could claim a 31-12 Corn Belt Conference victory over the 4th ranked Class 5A Pioneers before 700 fans. Many of those fans waited out the delay in nearby Horton Field House. BCC’s victory put a halt to the Pioneers regular season winning streak at 29, as well as halted U-High’s consecutive Conference win tally at 21 games.

Illinois High School Association has a rule about what must occur first before a game can, depending on when the lightning arrives, either start or resume. IHSA uses a rule established by National Severe Storms Laboratory which recommends waiting at least 30 minutes after the last flash of lightning or sound of thunder before returning to the field. And since there had been no activity up to the point of the storm’s arrival, the teams needed 15 minutes on top of that for warm-ups.

Central Catholic Saints footballBCC would, once the weather passed, strike like lightning, starting after a bad U-High snap from center put the Saints in good field position for their first points. BCC senior running back Brett Segobiano ran from 6 yards out for the score, followed by an extra point by sophomore kicker Max Moews, putting BCC up, 7-0. Before the lightning postponed matters, Segobiano had contributed to the drive for the score, running for 14 and 2 yards.

U-High’s bobbling of the ensuing kickoff would give the ball back to the Saints at U-High’s 42 with 2:50 left in the first quarter. Six plays later, junior running back Andrew Einck would dash into the end zone from three yards out for BCC’s second score, followed by Moews’ extra point, increasing the Saints’ lead, 14-0 with 33 seconds left in the opening quarter.

U-High (1-1 overall and in Conference) ended their next possession punting the ball back to BCC but then conducting a stingy defensive campaign which forced the Saints to end a 9 play, 67 yard drive with a Moews 23 yard field goal, increasing the guest’s lead, 17-0 at 6:06 in the second quarter, keeping that lead going into halftime.

BCC got the ball to start the third quarter and in one play, Segobiano took the ball from scrimmage charging 80 yards for a touchdown, giving BCC a 24-0 lead following Moews’ extra point. Segobiano had 22 carries on the night for 141 yards.

U-High’s ensuing drive ended on downs at midfield at 9:59 in the third quarter and seven plays later, BCC senior tight end John Hayes received a pass from quarterback Jake Baughman for a 21-yard touchdown, increasing BCC’s lead, 31-0 following Moews’ last extra point of the night.

U-High senior running back JoJo Hughes’ 50 yard reception from sophomore quarterback Doug Holmes gave the Pioneers their first points of the night at 2:33 in the third quarter, but BCC defenders prevented a two-point conversion try. The end result cut the Saints’ advantage to 31-6 going into the fourth quarter.

U-High Football BCC was forced to end their ensuing possession with a punt but an unsportsmanlike conduct flag against BCC gave U-High the ball at the Saints’ 37. One play later, Holmes connected with sophomore wide receiver Trey Heffner at the11:30 mark for the Pioneers’ next score. But U-High muffed the two-point conversion try, resulting in the final score.

BCC gained more yardage than U-High on the night, outpacing the Pioneers, 316-197. Hughes had 16 carries for 50 yards, and had five receptions for 76 yards.

“Last year, we had the same weather situation playing Washington and we came out of that break flat,” explained BCC head coach Mike Moews. “But tonight, we kept our energy up and it was huge. We were forcing Holmes to get the ball out of his hands faster, too, so they weren’t able to pass down field.”

“We’re really young up at the front line,” explained U-High head coach Mike Troll. “We’re going through growing pains. Our game plan was good. We had tough stuff in our plays that should have worked. But we got beat up front.”

BasketballPEORIA – The madness of March in an attempt to win a state championship almost took twice as long to resolve in order to find a Class 2A winner at Carver Arena here Saturday, as Bloomington Central Catholic came from behind to force and then win what became a triple overtime thriller over Nashville, 76-62, before roughly 4,200 fans.

The game’s pace was slow and deliberate in the first quarter, BCC (27-6) recovering from a fast 7-2 deficit on a basket by senior guard Nick Norton at 1:44 followed by an unanswered deuce by junior guard Jake Reinhart with 45 seconds left, putting the Saints just one point down, 7-6, going into the second quarter.

A trey by senior guard Parker Goodlick at 7:56 helped BCC open the second quarter with a 9-7 lead, but it was brief due to a trey by Nashville junior guard Dylan Mueller at 7:40, giving Nashville a 10-9 edge. That trey set off an 8-0 run for the Hornets before BCC senior center John Hester’s going 1-for-2 from the free throw line after being fouled by Nashville sophomore forward Royce Newman. That clipped Nashville’s lead, 15-10, before Newman added a basket of his own, putting the Hornets up 17-10 at 4:31 until halftime.

A deuce by BCC senior guard Parker Goodlick made the score 17-12 at 3:43 before Nashville took advantage of a three-point play caused by a foul committed on Nashville senior guard Keegan Anderson by BCC’s Norton led to Nashville owning a 20-12 lead with 2:59 remaining in the half. BCC responded with a layup by junior center Braxton Coffman and a pair of threes from Goodlick to narrow Nashville’s lead to four, 24-20, going into halftime.

Nashville (27-8) went on a 6-0 romp to open the third quarter, with buckets from Mueller, junior guard Daniel Thorson, and Newman, opening a 10-point lead, 30-20 with 5:37 left in the period. That run ended thanks to a trey by Goodlick, 30-23, with 4:43 left. Norton would sink a trey for BCC at 1:12 cutting Nashville’s lead to four, 33-29. Back-to-back buckets by Newman and senior guard Clint Johannes would give Nashville a 37-29 lead with 22.2 seconds left. The period would end with Goodlick sinking just 1-of-3 free throws after being fouled during a three-point attempt, resulting in Nashville owning a 37-30 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Between two Nashville free throws by Johannes and Thorson, Norton hit another trey for BCC cutting the lead to 41-33, with 6:30 left in regulation. Two baskets and a free throw by Johannes, coupled with a deuce from Anderson, pushed Nashville up, 48-37 with 4:18 left. Back- to-back unanswered treys by Norton at 3:57 and 3:18 helped the Saints cut the lead down more, 48-43. Johannes put Nashville up, 50-43, after sinking two free throws at 2:34, having been fouled by BCC’s Hoerdemann.

BCC scored five unanswered points thanks to a deuce by Holman and another Norton trey, reducing Nashville to a two-point lead, 50-48, with 51.7 seconds remaining. Each team took a timeout, one after the other, after that.

When action resumed, Holman found himself fouled twice – once by Johannes and once by Newman – putting him on the free throw line for a total of four shots, half of which he made, tying the game at 50-all with 29.1 seconds left. Defense took over the last 30 of regulation, leading to overtime.

Central Catholic Hoerdemann opened the overtime following regulation play with a trey at 3:11 to give BCC a 53-50 lead. Newman countered with a jumper for Nashville at 2:51 cutting BCC’s lead, 53-52. Mueller hit a basket to put Nashville up, 54-53. BCC’s Holman responded to with a layup, putting the Saints up, 55-54. Holman was fouled in the attempt and sank the subsequent free throw completing a three-point play, putting BCC up, 56-54 with 48.4 seconds left. But Holman also gave Nashville an opening to tie the game when he fouled Newman with 30.1 seconds left. Newman sank the subsequent free throw, tying the game at 56-all, forcing double overtime.

Each team exchanged a basket to open the second overtime, tying the game, 58-all. Mueller sank a deuce for Nashville at 2:53, putting the Hornets up, 60-58, but Reinhart sank another bucket for BCC, tying the game at 60-all. Each side exchanged deuces again before the period-ending buzzer, forcing the teams into a third overtime.

Reinhart opened the third extra period with a trey at the 2:39 mark, sending BCC fans into a frenzy, putting the Saints up, 65-62. Mueller fouled Norton, who sank 1-of-2 free shots, giving BCC a 66-62 lead. But from there, Nashville defenders had difficulty avoiding foul trouble. Norton went to the line four more times, as did Hoerdemann and Hester once each before the game would end. In total during that barrage, BCC would go a combined 10-of-12 from the line, leading to the eventual final score.

“I don’t what to say, I’m so proud of them,” BCC head coach Jason Welch told reporters afterward. “I am so, so proud of them. Our players had lofty goals of winning the state tournament.”

Norton led all scorers with 25 points, including going 8-for-10 from the free throw line and hitting 5-of-12 threes. That is impressive considering he only had two points in the first half. “We knew if we kept going to Nick, we’d have a chance. He did a good job of keeping us right in it.

“I think it was pretty obvious it was a hard fought ball game for both teams,” explained Nashville head coach Brad Weathers. “I’ve got to credit Central Catholic for knocking down some big shots there at crunch time and causing a couple of turnovers. They utilized their strengths. I also have to credit our kids’ fortitude for when the momentum changed in Central Catholic’s direction at the end of regulation because they fought through two overtimes before they had it go south on us.”

“The two NBA range threes Norton hit were awfully hard to guard,” Weathers continued, adding the onslaught of free throws toward the end of the contest were too difficult to overcome.