SENSATIONAL SEVEN for December 17th


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Let's begin at Central Lee, where you'll see the true definition of the term court vision. Traci Keller crashes into the lane and draws a crowd, so she fools everyone by dropping off a crafty assist to Regan Shockley in the corner. Instead of trying to create in traffic, Keller targets her open teammate when the defense didn't. And the assist is useless unless you have a good shooter on the other end.

More good teamwork from Canton this week as well. Here, Tyler Niemann gets free in transition with some solid handling, and leaves it to Brandon Berhorst to do the rest. The spin and slash to the hoop are pretty good, but it's Brandon's mid-air adjustment that gets the job done. Once again, an excellent pass sets up an excellent finish.

If there's one player that gives a defense fits, its Western's Rachel Motley. She can attack the rack with the best of them - as seen on this play where she beats the defense and hits a tough shot on the move. Don't make any mistakes in the backcourt, either - Motley is more than happy to prove she can take advantage.

If you haven't taken notice of the Culver-Stockton Wildcats yet, its about time you do. Their red-hot start to the season was put to the test against 11th-ranked Mount Mercy, who took a big lead in the first half. But the 'Cats overcame a 16-point deficit and pulled off an upset and huge win for the program. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this team is for real.

Speaking of athletes to keep an eye on, Will Lucie is getting a very early start on becoming a household name in Tri-State wrestling. The West Hancock freshman took the competition by storm at the Fort Madison Invite, and won the title at 106 pounds. Its an early glimpse at what should be a very decorated career as a Titan.

After her performance this past week, it may be time to label Graci Bastert as one of the best finishers in our area. The Illini West standout proved that fact not once, not twice, but three times against Macomb, as she put her somewhat second-nature skill of closing on display. If you challenge her path to the hoop, you'll be challenged right back.

We learned one thing last week - Unity's Thomas Donley is effective from the free throw stripe. Especially the one at the other end of the floor. Just when you thought Palmyra had hit the final shot of the half, Donley takes one last incredibly accurate heave and finds the twine. One word: ridiculous. And that's your Sensational 7.{>}