The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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November 20, 2012

Unity wins its basketball opener

Knights enter season with high expectations

FULTON, Ill. — There are many reasons for Fulton Unity Christian High School to believe a successful season awaits the boys basketball team. Monday’s season opener certainly left no reason to doubt the high hopes.

The Knights got off to a strong start, holding Galesburg Christian scoreless for most of the first period, and continued that most of the way in a 58-37 win in the Unity tournament. The Knights will play Dixon Faith Christian in tonight’s final after Faith beat Quad Cities Christian 45-26 in Monday’s other game.

“The first quarter, they didn’t score until about 30 seconds were left,” Unity coach Jack Roemer said. “The first half we really did a good job of shutting them down, I’d say the first three quarters.”

Nolan Willoughby supplied much of the offense for Unity, finishing with 24 points. Sean Hansen added 14.

“We got a lot of inside shots, but we probably missed 20 inside shots,” Roemer said. “I thought we played well for the first game. I think we expected to win, and I think we’ll improve as we go along. Sean Hansen and Nolan especially had nice offensive games. Shawn Hintz came in and did some scoring for us.”

The Knights are expecting to win a lot this season as Roemer inherited a great deal of experience from last year’s team that went 10-12, 6-4 in the conference.

Leading the returners is 6-foot-1 senior Collin Willoughby, a three-year letterwinner who was a first-team all-conference player last year. Another senior, 6-2 Devin Holesinger, also has earned three letters, while 5-7 senior Jeramie House and 6-1 senior Garith Shinkle are two-year letterwinners. Sophomore letterwinners Hintz, 6-1 Nolan Willoughby and 6-4 Colby Dykstra all should be improved. Two other letterwinners, 5-7 senior Troy Pierce and 6-2 junior Hansen, also are back.

“We have good size, quickness and balanced scoring,” Roemer said. He added that defense and depth were two more team strengths.

“We need to work hard to improve our pass selection and shot selection,” he said.

The Knights should get an idea of how they stack up in the Northern Illinois Christian Conference tonight because Roemer said Unity, Faith and Cornerstone Christian should be the top three teams in the league.

FULTON UNITY CHRISTIAN 58, GALESBURG CHRISTIAN 37

GALESBURG CHRISTIAN (0-1) — Josh Sainerlich 0 1-2 1, Jeremy Palpner 3 0-3 9, Jake Sainerlich 3 3-6 12, Cole Sellers 0 3-4 3, Luke Yarde 5 2-3 12. Totals 11 9-18 37.

UNITY (1-0) — Devin Holesinger 2 0-0 4, Sean Hansen 6 2-3 14, Colby Dykstra 4 0-0 8, Nolan Willoughby 9 3-3 24, Collin Willoughby 1 0-0 2, Shawn Hintz 3 0-0 6, Troy Pierce 0 0-0 0, Hobs Winters 0 0-0 0, Garith Shinkle 0 0-0 0, Josh Ellinor 0 0-0 0, Jeramie House 0 0-0 0. Totals 25 5-8 58.

Galesburg    3    6    10    18    —    37

Unity    12    14    22    10    —    58

3-point goals — Galesburg 3 (Palpner 3, Ja. Sainerlich 3); Unity 3 (N. Willoughby 3). Total fouls — Galesburg Christian 10, Unity 28. Fouled out — None.

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