Sunday, February 17, 2019

Bradley takes down Illinois State in Redbird Arena!

Redbird Arena - 2-16-2019 Bradley at Illinois State
The Missouri Valley Conference men's basketball outcomes have been absolutely unpredictable this season.  A few games back, Illinois State defeated Loyola to take the lead in the conference.  Last night they lost to a struggling Bradley team.  Actually, Bradley has been staging a bit of a comeback the last few seasons, albeit a slow one.  But, nothing seems to happen overnight with maybe the exception of the Loyola Rambler cinderella team last season...Devine Intervention?

The game has always been a rivalry, but in recent years it's been beat up.  This game, 9000 people filed in to the 'nest' to watch the game.  Some accounts say the contingent of Braves fans that travelled 40 miles from Peoria were more energized.  Maybe so, so much red in Redbird that I couldn't tell the fans apart by just looking up.  Still, the rivalry wasn't like it was in its heydays a dozen plus years ago when the thunderous crowds could have been heard halfway to Peoria... the years my ears would ring for days and I'd swear I'd wear hearing protection the next year.

Enough of my ramblings...  The Valley is truly up for grabs this season.  Arch Madness is going to have to sort it all out.  Here's to hoping the 'Birds are healthy and bring their best game.

a fairly small Photo Gallery!  Hope you enjoy looking!

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Sacred Heart Griffin Cyclones defeat the Pioneers of University High

In a conference game and on Senior Night at University High, the Cyclones of Sacred Heart Griffin whistle past the Pioneers 71-46.  The Cyclones started quickly and moved to an 8 point lead before the Pioneers could muster a single point and that one from the charity stripe after a missed layup.  I don't watch the scoreboard closely or read the stats, but it didn't appear the Pioneers ever came within 7 the rest of the game.  They did put together a few nice runs, but it was just never enough.

Charlie Hamilton of the Cyclones scored 25 points, getting open shots frequently.  Nick Broeker dumped in 15.

Photo Gallery!

Monday, February 11, 2019

Play4Kay at Redbird Arena

The annual Play4Kay women's basketball game at Redbird Arena this year was held on Sunday February 10 and featured the Indiana State Sycamores and the Illinois State Redbirds.  The normal faire of stationary bikes, treadmills, raffles, t-shirts, etc., helped to raise $20,000 for the Kay Foundations campaign against cancer.  For those that don't know, the foundation is named for famed women's college basketball coach Kay Yow.

A couple of pretty interesting things at this years game were the sneakers worn by Illinois State coach Kristen Gillespie.  The sneakers were a one of a kind pair that were commissioned by the foundation.  Several pairs of sneakers were made, and to my understanding were all different.  All the sneakers were given to different coaches across the country.  The pair worn by Coach Gillespie were auctioned off in a silent auction and transferred to the winner after the game.

The other item that was interesting was a result of the lighting upgrade over the past year.  The new LED lights that are aimed at the dome are color adjustable.  Normally patrons of the arena have seen them in Red.  During the "Pink" game, the lights were set to pink.  It's a really interesting feature and it will be interesting how they are used in the future.

Images from the game can be viewed here!  It's a small gallery, but more can be found by looking in the 2018-19 Illinois State Women's basketball gallery!  We hope you enjoy the views!

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Valpo Crusaders trample IState Redbirds in MVC Men's basketball game

Well, starting off with the positive is the Star Spangled Banner was adequately performed last night at the start of the game.  It wasn't or even attempted to be overdone!  Not a first, but pleasantly refreshing.

From there, depending on the team you follow or the perspective you have - the rest of the night was either really good, or not so good.  Valpo walked on to something like a 14 - 0 run to start the game.  The Redbirds finally got it going in the 4th quarter and cut a 23 point deficit to 7 but it wasn't enough to change the momentum.  The Crusaders picked back up and sharpened their swords to take the score to a 16 point lead as the buzzer ended the bloodshed

Not a huge gallery this game, but some pretty cool under the bucket shots are here.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Redbirds defeat Ramblers by 8, move to 1st in MVC

February 2, 2019 - Normal, IL:  The Illinois State Redbirds and the Ramblers of Loyola Chicago squared off for a Men's Missouri Valley Basketball game to see who would walk away in sole possession of 1st place in the conference at near the midpoint of the season.  Dick Ludtke, a long time broadcaster was on hand to do the radio play by play and was recognized before the battle for his 1000th Redbird Basketball broadcast.

Just over 8100 fans nearly filled the 10,500 seat Redbird Arena and stayed in their seats to watch the entire game.  Although the point difference at the buzzer was 8 points in the Redbirds favor, the game was not really settled till inside the 1 minute mark.  The frenzied late play kept a crowd that oftens leaves with minutes left on the clock, in their seats till the end.

Photo Gallery!

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

McLean County Tournament concludes for 2019

We shot 12 games in 6 days - kind of a condensed week due to the weather here in McLean County - at the 2019 108th version of the McLean County Tournament.  The tournament is still the longest running basketball tournament in Illinois.

This year, the Eureka Hornets beat out El Paso Titans for the girls title and GCMS (Gibson City Melvin Sibley) Falcons beat out the El Paso Titan boys in a thriller that will be remembered for many years for the boys title.

Click to view all the images from the games we covered.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

108th McLean County Tournament gets underway at EP-G Monday 1-21-2019

The 108th McLean County Tournament kicked off a couple days late this year due to the weather.  The original brackets and places of play are fairly skewed.  The actual brackets being used are located at if you need to find them.

Alan Look Photography is again covering as much of this historic basketball tournament as possible.  Their work can be found at McLean County Tournament photos and galleries. There should be plenty of images to view and purchase.