Zack Carpenter

Leading the Pac: Rantoul grad Mike Mennenga one of top recruiters for Oregon men's basketball

LOS ANGELES — The memory comes flooding back in an instant.

Even through the phone, the wide grin can be felt spreading across his face as he harkens back to a fleeting moment from his childhood.

Mike Mennenga is sitting in Los Angeles traffic, the congested gridlock light years away from the flat, see-for-miles landscape of central Illinois corn and bean fields.


Leading the Pac: Former Fisher star Mitch Elkins serves behind the scenes for University of Cal men's basketball

BERKELEY, Calif. — Ten years later, head coach Deon Mennenga can still recall the exact type of player and person he had in his star guard/forward.

The person was confident, dependable and a strong leader.

“He’s a good young man. They don’t get much better,” Mennenga said.

The player was coachable, multi-talented and a serious basketball junkie.


Frerichs makes Rantoul history, notches 100th career win

RANTOUL — When Brett Frerichs checked his messages in the moments following last Tuesday’s win over Paxton-Buckley-Loda, he was a bit astonished at what engulfed his phone.


Déjà blues: Eagles’ crushing loss to Mattoon at buzzer brings back painful memories

RANTOUL — Google “Mattoon buzzer beater,” and the first item to pop up is a YouTube video with more than 67,000 views from a boys basketball game played Dec. 27, 2012 at the Taylorville Holiday Tournament. 

Matchup? Rantoul vs. Mattoon.

Situation? Score tied 54-54.

Time left? 0.7 seconds.


Vermilion County Tournament Preview: Armstrong boys look to rebound from two nail-biting losses

ARMSTRONG — It’s been a frustrating month for Deon Mennenga and the Armstrong-Potomac boys basketball team.

The Trojans (4-14) have not relished victory since a Dec. 11 win over Schlarman, losing eight straight, with the first six games in the losing streak coming by an average of 28 points.


Vermilion County Tournament Preview: Trojan girls look to continue recent hot run

ARMSTRONG — Projections for the second half of the season looked gloomy, at best, for Armstrong-Potomac girls basketball.

That was the consensus opinion following a dismal 46-16 loss to Salt Fork on Dec. 6 in the Trojans’ home building.

Morale was low, confidence even lower, and it looked like some wholesale rotation changes might be in the cards.


‘Having a blast’: St. Malachy basketball continues racking up Ws

RANTOUL — It has been a season filled with smiles and excitement for Rantoul St. Malachy boys basketball.

Two years after the Tigers’ seventh-grade team reached the 7-1A state tournament’s Elite Eight round, it looks like the 2018-19 seventh-graders and eighth-graders each have the potential to make a return trip to state.


All smiles: Eagles show no rust, force 30 turnovers in victory over IVC

RANTOUL — As Jada Mosley glided in for a buzzer-beating third-quarter layup, it was a fitting ending to the period as the ball sank through the net.

The Rantoul girls basketball senior had just recorded her fifth steal of a game against Illinois Valley Central on Saturday, stripping the Grey Ghosts’ point guard before giving the Eagles a 34-28 lead.


Unfashionably late: Slow start hurts Fisher once again in loss to Ridgeview

COLFAX — At this point in the season, it would be hard to blame fans of Fisher boys basketball if their mentality is “Let’s just survive the first half and hope they can turn it on in the second.”

Once again, the Bunnies came trudging out of the gate, their feet stuck in the mud Friday night as Ridgeview opened up leads of 13-4 at the end of the first quarter and 26-14 at halftime.


RCS introduces special ed co-directors

RANTOUL — Following the recent resignation of Barb Moore, director of special education at Rantoul City Schools, the district introduced Moore’s temporary replacements at its monthly meeting Dec. 20.

Donna Oakes-Novak and Dr. Margie Jobe were announced as interim special education co-directors.


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