Friday, December 11, 2009

Picking up where they left off

It was during the final minutes of Danville's loss to Providence New Lenox Catholic that I began to ponder the Vikings chances in the looming IHSA basketball season.

My initial thoughts drew off of two things: 1.) Danville had a fairly young team last year that began to pick up steam towards the end of the season (led by then Sophomore D'Lando Carter) 2.) The basketball team relied on many stalwarts from the Viking's football squad, who had made leaps and bounds during the last few seasons.

With these points in mind, I presumed the Vikings could have an above average team with the possibility of being very competitive if Carter continued to progress at the same rate and the footballer's athletic maturity translated seamlessly onto the hard court.

If early results are any indication of future outcomes, then it looks as though my pre-season inclinations may be spot on. Although Danville started the season with a string of losses (playing the #1, #2, and #3 (class 3A) teams in the same weekend), they were able to pick up two out of conference wins during that same tournament and then quickly went 1-1 in Big 12 play (losing to Centennial and beating Normal West).

This may not seem like anything to write home about, but what you have to realize is that Danville played their first six games without any of their transitioning football players (due to lack of practice time) and were still able to hang close to the three top teams in the state.

The truest test of D-Vegas's ability came Tuesday night as the Vikings, finally at full strength, had a road match-up against Big 12 rival Champaign Central. In a fashion which bodes well for the rest of the season Danville was able to outclass it's rival with an 80-64 victory.

Though the season is still young and most are still revealing in the success of the school’s football program, it may only be a matter of time before the bleachers at Danville High School are packed and the atmosphere rivals the glorious scenes that the D-Vegas gridiron all-stars were able to create less than one month ago.

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