NORMAL - Coach Sondra Vogel has heard it over and over, dating back to Beth Current's eighth-grade season at Bloomington Junior High.
"She's tried to convince me for five years that, 'I'm just a softball player that plays basketball,'" Vogel said.
Monday night, Current looked every bit a basketball player in the semifinals of the Normal West Class AA Sectional, contributing 15 points and 13 rebounds in Bloomington High School's 48-33 victory over Danville.
"Beth is just a great athlete," Vogel said of the 5-foot-9 forward. "I'll take that kid any day. She has great speed, she will outhustle you and she has a nose for the ball. You can't teach that."
Current's 11th double-double of the season rescued the Purple Raiders on a night they made only 16 of 51 from the field for 31 percent. She was 6 of 9 from the floor and 3 of 4 from the free-throw line in leading fourth-seeded BHS (19-8) into Thursday night's 7:30 championship game.
The Raiders play the winner of tonight's game between Kankakee Bishop McNamara and Lincoln.
Current made No. 14 seed Danville (10-19) pay for giving extra attention to BHS 6-2 junior Kristin Petrinec, the Raiders' leading scorer. Petrinec struggled through a 2 for 16 shooting night while scoring five points, but Current was too active for the Vikings to handle.
"Teams usually double-team her (Petrinec) and I'm usually open on the weak side," Current said.
The Raiders found her enough to overcome a slow start. They trailed 13-10 after one quarter before switching from a matchup zone to a man-to-man in the second period.
Danville had six turnovers and managed only two points in the quarter, enabling BHS to take a 19-15 halftime lead. The Raiders forced four more turnovers in the third quarter while extending the margin to 36-22.