Ghosts begin long preparation for winter season



With basketball season still far in the distance, the Illinois Valley Central boys are wasting no time in preparing.



“The importance of summer games is to learn how to play together, and it’s a good chance for evaluation from the coaching staff to check out different starting lineups,” coach Jim Thornton said.


Ghosts begin long preparation for winter season

With basketball season still far in the distance, the Illinois Valley Central boys are wasting no time in preparing.

“The importance of summer games is to learn how to play together, and it’s a good chance for evaluation from the coaching staff to check out different starting lineups,” coach Jim Thornton said.

On June 11, the Ghosts hosted a one-day shootout for the varsity and sophomore teams against Olympia, Ottawa and Fieldcrest.

“This is the first time we did this. We thought that since we have the two gyms that we’d try to host a one day shootout tournament that would get both the varsity and sophomore levels involved,” Thornton said.

For the tournament, the teams played two 20-minute halves with a running clock until the final minute.

The team first played Olympia and won by seven points.

“We did OK in that one and played fairly well,” Thornton said. “We held the lead for the entire game.

“We didn’t have everybody healthy, and the first shootout game was only our third summer game of the year, but I thought we did good.”

One of the players who was absent at the shootout, and will be missed all summer, is Austin Johnson, who recently broke his arm.

The team then took on Fieldcrest in an up-and-down game.

“We were down by 16 points in the second half and came back to beat them by two points in overtime,” Thornton said.

The team finished the shootout by playing Ottawa.

“We won by 12 points and maintained the lead throughout the game,” Thornton said.

After the tournament was over, Thornton considered the one day shootout a success.

“We had several freshman playing for the first time, and so they got a taste of high school ball,” Thornton said. “So that was a good experience for them.”

The tournament was sponsored by the Blarney Castle and owner Bill Fleming.

“I’ve been here 20 years and he’s been a great supporter and always helped us out in whatever way he can,” Thornton said. “He’s great for our program and we really appreciate all he’s done.”