Mac on Sports

Central A&M State Champs
    Normal--Central A&M is the Class 1A girls Illinois High School Association state champions.
    Tom Dooley's lady Raiders defeated Hardin-Calhoun 51-41.
    Central A&M overcame a two-point, 27-25, hafltime deficit for the victory.
    I will have more on their state championship in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune. 

A&M Lady Raiders Advance to Title Game
    Normal--With three players scoring in double figures and playing through a bad third quarter, Central A&M defeated Prophestown, 56-52, to advance to Saturday afternoon's championship game.
    Taylor Jordan and Kaley Hennings scored 14 points each and Mikah Maples scored 10 to lead Tom Dooley's Raiders to the title game and to snap their two-game state tournament losing streak.
    Dooley's Raiders placed fourth last year after falling twice in the semi-finals and third place game, but they will bring home at least the runnerup trophy sometime Saturday evening.
    I was courtside for the game and will return Saturday afternoon for the championship game.
    If Central A&M wins the state championship, the Raiders will join St. Teresa as the second Decatur and Macon County team to win the title.  Bill Ipsen's Bulldogs won their title in 2004.

A&M Nears Naming Grid Coach
    Central A&M may name its new football head coach next Monday night, March 2, when the school board meets.
    In response to a question from this writer, Superintendent Dr. Kyle VonSchnase said a recommendation will be presented to the board at that time.  "I can not make comments regarding what you are seeking until after the Board takes action in open session," wrote VonSchnase.  He would not name who the administration is taking to the board for approval.
    Later, he wrote back, saying I could call him Tuesday, March 3, for information on the board's decision regarding the new high school physical education teacher/football head coach there.
    After two years on the sidelines there where he followed the legend Mark Ramsey, who is now coaching football at Shelbyville, Nathan Graham resigned.  
    I will have more on this developing story in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune.

Generals, Panthers to Meet Again
    MacArthur and Eisenhower will meet again Tuesday night, March 3, in the second game that evening in the Mount Zion regional at 7:30.
    And that meeting will come less than five days after they play in their last regularly scheduled game Friday night, Feb. 27, at MacArthur.  The Generals defeated the Panthers previously in Bob Witt Gymnasium on the Eisenhower campus.
    The first game in the Mount Zion regional will be played Monday, March 2, at 7 featuring the host four-seed Braves against five-seed Paris.
    Tuesday night's first game at 6 will find top-seed Lincoln meeting the winner of Monday night's game, followed by the two-seed MacArthur against the three-seed Eisenhower.
    Friday night's championships tips off at 7 that will feature Tuesday night's two winners.
    I will have more on this developing story in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune. 

Mount Zion Regional Seeds Announced
    There weren't any surprises, shortly after four this afternoon (Thursday), when the Illinois High School Association announced the coaches seeds for the Mount Zion regional.
    As expected, Lincoln received their top seed, MacArthur is two, Eisenhower three, the host Braves four and Paris five.
    The IHSA will announced the Mount Zion regional pairings at the same time Friday.
    I will have more on this developing story in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune.

Ida Brooks, Legendary Girls Coach, Passes Away
    The chef is writing this with a heavy heart after learning that one of the best girls basketball coaches in Decatur public school history has passed away.
    Ida Brooks, whose 1983-84 and 1984-85 Eisenhower girls basketball teams won regional championships, passed away Tuesday.  Arrangements are incomplete at Walker Funeral Home and Chapel.
    Brooks had a massive heart attack in November that prevented her from atrtending the Team Soy Decatur Thanksgiving Tournament program where Mel Roustio and his committee were going to recogniize her and her 1983-84 team that advanced to the super-sectionals where Nora Lewis led her Peoria Richwoods team to their victory that ended the lady Panthers season. 
    It's truly a sad time for the Eisenhower community and, obviously, for the Brooks family because she enjoyed coaching so much.   She was excited so about the recognition program scheduled at halftime of the Panthers/Springfield Lanphier game where Roustio was going to honor her and those two teams.  With Brooks hospitalized, the program went on with three of her players present because Brooks wanted her players to enjoy being honored for their successes.
    When we notified her last April that she and those teams had been selected to be feted at the 45th annual Team Soy Decatur Thanksgiving Tournament,  "It's a blessing that I never thought would happen. 
    "Thanks to Mel (coordinator Mel Roustio), Superintendent (Lisa) Taylor and you for making this happen," said Brooks, adding, "you've given this old coach something to work on."
    She truly was excited about the honor that was about to be given to her girls for their achievements on the basketball courts around central Illinois.
    It is with considerable regret and heartfelt sympathy to a family the chef has known for years.
    I will have more on this developing story in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune.

Binkley Wins 500
    With Warrensburg-Latham's 95-65 win at Cerro Gordo/Bement Monday night, Vic Binkley has his 500th career victory at the school.
    As a result, he moves into a tie for 44th with Lowell (Pops) Dale of Streator, who coached there 28 years with a won-loss record of 500-245, and how's an interesting note, he coached there from 1919 to 46.
    I did not see Dale coach as I was only five at the time.
    Binkley goes for win 501 Friday night at St. Teresa which if he does Warrensburg-Latham will be regular season Central Illinois Conference champions.  The Bulldogs defeated the Cardinals, 45-40, Feb. 6, for the CIC tournament title.
    I will have more on this developing in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune.

J. Thomas McNamara
Sports Editor
Decatur Tribune

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Check out McNamara's "Irish Stew" every week in the print edition of the Decatur Tribune.

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