Area Prep Roundup (Jan. 30)

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By Andrew Harner


The seventh-grade basketball season ended for Vandalia on Tuesday, with a 52-26 loss to Hillsboro in the regional semifinals.

Blake Barth had seven points to lead the Jr. Vandals, who finished with a 10-9 record.


Vandalia's seventh-graders advanced to the regional semifinals, with a 41-28 win against Litchfield on Monday at the Hillsboro Regional.

Trevor Smalls led the Jr. Vandals (10-8) with 12 points.


Vandalia’s junior high boys basketball teams swept games against Litchfield last Thursday, with both teams taking easy wins.

The seventh-graders picked up a 40-30 victory to move to 9-8 on the season.

Blake Barth led the team in scoring with 16 points, and Trevor Smalls added 13.

In the eighth-grade game, the Jr. Vandals took a big lead early on and never let up in a 50-27 victory.

Nathan Casey scored 15 points, including several first-half 3-pointers, and Marcus Zimmerman put in eight for Vandalia (13-3).


The eighth-grade volleyball team picked up a two-set win last Thursday at Mulberry Grove.

In the 25-10, 25-21 win, Rachel Zimmerman, Shelbi Stewart and Sydney Austin each had three kills, and Stewart served eight aces.


The Lady Bombers had a strong fourth quarter, but faced too large a deficit to come back against North Clay on Tuesday night.

Danie Austin scored 16 points, Audriana Pruett added 12 but 25 points in the fourth quarter wasn't enough to overcome a 12-point deficit in a 62-55 loss.

Tuesday, Jan. 28
North Clay 62
BSE 55
N: 9-17-16-20—62
B: 7-14-9-25—55
Points: Austin, 16; Pruett, 12; Krystyn Fitch, 7; Molly Hill, 7; Gabi Moore, 5; Emily Bone, 4; Morgan Brown, 4.
Record: 11-8


Sandoval used consistent scoring throughout last Thursday’s game against Brownstown/St. Elmo, which led to a lopsided 71-44 loss for the Lady Bombers.

Senior Molly Hill and junior Audriana Pruett led BSE (11-7) in scoring, with 11 points, and sophomore Gabi Moore scored seven.

The Lady Bombers struggled in the first half, scoring just 14 points. That led to a 33-14 lead for Sandoval.

Five 3-pointers by BSE in the third quarter cut that lead to 13 points, but with only seven points in the final eight minutes, Sandoval finished off the victory.

Thursday, Jan. 23
Sandoval 71
BSE 44
B: 6-8-23-7—44
S: 17-16-17-21—71
Points: Hill, 11; Pruett, 11; Moore, 7; Emily Bone, 5; Danie Austin, 4; Morgan Brown, 4; Krysytn Fitch, 2.
Record: 11-7
JV: BSE won, 42-40.


The Lady Bombers made almost three times as many free throws as field goals last Monday against Christ Our Rock Lutheran, but that didn’t keep them from earning a victory.

Brownstown/St. Elmo made 19-of-32 free throws, while making eight shots from the field, during a 35-28 road victory.

Senior Molly Hill led the team with 10 points. She found her way to the free-throw 17 times during the game.

The Lady Bombers (11-6) held the Lady Stallions to just eight points in the first half in taking a 22-8 lead.

CORL outscored BSE by six in the second half, but its first-half woes were enough to keep BSE on top.

Monday, Jan. 20
BSE 35
B: 8-14-7-7—35
C: 3-5-7-13—28
Points: Hill, 10; Danie Austin, 7; Gabi Moore, 5; Audriana Pruett, 5; Krystyn Fitch, 3; Morgan Brown, 2.
Record: 11-6


Freshman Jack Criner had a double-double, and junior Damian Latham had a team-high 18 points, but Mulberry Grove couldn't get by Patoka in the opening game of the Christ Our Rock Lutheran Tournament.

The game was tied at halftime and the Aces (3-12) trailed by four going to the fourth quarter of Monday's game, but Patoka scored consistently over the final eight minutes to take a 61-47 win.

Criner had 10 points and 13 rebounds in the loss, and sophomore Ty James had eight points and nine boards.

Monday, Jan. 27
Patkoa 61
Mulberry Grove 47
M: 18-8-10-11—47
P: 17-9-14-21—61
Points: Latham, 18; Criner, 10; James, 8; Dalton Crisman, 7; Austin Redfern, 4.
Record: 3-12


After the first quarter last Friday, it looked like Mulberry Grove was going to give St. Elmo/Brownstown a run for the second straight season.

One year after a 57-56 upset of the Eagles, Mulberry Grove kept the game close for the first quarter, but struggled to score in the second period to let SEB get a lead and take a 66-49 Egyptian-Illini Conference win.

Junior Damian Latham had 12 points to lead the Aces (3-11, 1-2 EIC), and sophomore Ty James had 14 rebounds and eight points.

Freshman Austin Redfern had nine points, and senior Dalton Crisman and freshman Jack Criner added eight points each.

Friday, Jan. 24
SEB 66
Mulberry Grove 49
M: 14-7-16-12—49
S: 14-19-16-17—66
Points: Latham, 12; Redfern, 9; Crisman, 8; Criner, 8; James, 8; Alex Goodin, 4.
Rebounds: James, 14; Goodin, 10; Criner, 8; Crisman, 5; Latham, 3; Michael Sloan, 3; Redfern, 1.
Record: 3-11, 1-2 EIC)
JV: SEB won, 58-37.


The Aces were tired of getting beat by Ramsey.

After the Rams had earned wins in two prior matchups this season, junior Damian Latham took over last Wednesday’s game with 30 points as Mulberry Grove won 67-57 to pick up its first Egyptian-Illini Conference win.

Latham did most of his damage in the second half, hitting two 3-pointers and making 13-of-16 free throws, helping the Aces (3-10, 1-1 EIC) break away in a game that was just four points apart going to the fourth quarter.

Mulberry Grove doubled up Ramsey, 20-10, in the first eight minutes and led by eight at halftime.

The Rams, who were led by 15 points from senior Ryan Kelly and 13 from senior Tylor Knisley, made a pair of 3-pointers and scored 20 points in the third quarter to pull within striking distance of the Aces.

A 3-pointer from Latham was Mulberry Grove’s only field goal in the fourth quarter, but the team stepped up at the free-throw line, making 14-of-22 free throws.

Freshman Jack Criner added a double-double, with 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Aces.

Ramsey had previously defeated Mulberry Grove 63-55 on Nov. 30 at the Mulberry Grove Turkey Tournament, and 59-35 at the St. Elmo Holiday Tournament.

The teams will meet for a fourth time Friday at the Christ Our Rock Lutheran Tournament and for a fifth time on Feb. 21 at Ramsey in the final game of the regular season.

Wednesday, Jan. 22
Mulberry Grove 67
Ramsey 57
R: 10-16-20-11—57
M: 20-14-16-17—67
Points: Latham, 30; Criner, 12; Ty James, 8; Austin Redfern, 8; Dalton Crisman, 4; Alex Goodin, 3; Michael Sloan, 2.
Record: 3-10 (1-1 EIC)
Points: Kelly, 15; Knisley, 13; Carson Thomas, 9; Tristan Wesselman, 9; Michael Camez, 6; Carter Hunt, 3; Michael Lay, 2.
JV: Mulberry Grove won, 59-47.


The Aces traveled to Christ Our Rock Lutheran last Tuesday in search of revenge for CORL’s win eight days prior.

But the Stallions were in no mood to lose on their home court.

CORL’s offense was firing in the first three quarters, scoring at least 20 points in each of them, to lead the Stallions to a 78-46 victory.

Mulberry Grove had no answer for the hot shooting of the Stallions, who made 30 field goals in the first three periods.

The Aces (2-10) were led by junior Damian Latham’s 18 points, and freshman Austin Redfern added 12, including 10 in the third quarter.

Sophomore Ty James did not play in the game due to an ankle injury.

Tuesday, Jan. 21
Mulberry Grove 46
M: 12-13-11-10—46
C: 21-20-25-12—78
Points: Latham, 18; Redfern, 12; Jack Criner, 8; Alex Goodin, 6; Dalton Crisman, 2.
Record: 2-9 (0-1 EIC)


Senior Seth Allen had a career-high 24 points to help the Warriors overcome an early scare from Mulberry Grove in the first game of the Christ Our Rock Lutheran Tournament.

Allen made four 3-pointers on Monday and scored nine points in a 21-point fourth quarter that gave the Warriors a 61-47 win.

Patoka trailed by a point after the first quarter, but tied the game at 26 by halftime.

Two 3-pointers by Dylan Back helped give the Warriors a four-point cushion going to the final eight minutes.

Patoka (12-5) was 10-for-10 from the free-throw line down the stretch to secure the win.

Senior Johnnie Clift and freshman Jered Cain both scored 13 points, and junior Tyler Back and Dylan Back each had seven.

Monday, Jan. 27
Patkoa 61
Mulberry Grove 47
M: 18-8-10-11—47
P: 17-9-14-21—61
Points: Allen, 24; Cain, 13; Clift, 13; D. Back, 7; T. Back, 7; Sheldan Felchlia, 1.
Record: 12-5


The Eagles continued rolling in the National Trail Conference.

St. Elmo/Brownstown moved to 5-1 in conference play last Saturday, with a 73-52 win at Windsor.

The Maxey brothers led the offense for SEB (12-7, 5-1 NTC), with senior Levi knocking down five 3-pointers on the way to 20 points, and sophomore Malachi hitting four 3s to help him also score 20.

Seniors Jacob Behrends (11) and Cole Smithson (10), and freshman Landon Feezel (10) also scored in double figures. Behrends had two 3-pointers to give SEB 11 for the game, the third one in which the Eagles have scored at least 70 points.

The game was never close, with SEB taking a 19-6 lead at the first quarter, and that lead was extended to 42-18 by halftime.

Saturday, Jan. 25
SEB 73
Windsor 52
S: 19-23-17-14—73
W: 6-12-15-19—52
Points: L. Maxey, 20; M. Maxey, 20; Behrends, 11; Feezel, 10; Smithson, 10; Kyle Hardimon, 2.
Record: 12-7 (5-1 NTC)


St. Elmo/Brownstown picked up its third win in the Egyptian-Illini Conference with a 66-49 win against Mulberry Grove.

Senior Levi Maxey scored 20 points to lead the Eagles (11-7, 3-1 EIC), and senior Jacob Behrends (12), sophomore Malachi Maxey (11) and freshman Landon Feezel (10) also scored in double figures.

The game was tied at 14 after the first quarter, but SEB took a lead in the second period, with a 19-7 scoring advantage.

Both teams scored 16 in the third quarter, but the Eagles picked up five extra points in the final eight minutes.

Friday, Jan. 24
SEB 66
Mulberry Grove 49
M: 14-7-16-12—49
S: 14-19-16-17—66
Points: L. Maxey, 20; Behrends, 12; M. Maxey, 11; Feezel, 10; Cole Smithson, 8; Nick Bauer, 2; Eric Neeley, 2; Kyle Hardimon, 1.
Rebounds: L. Maxey, 9; Smithson, 9; Feezel, 8; Behrends, 6; Kardimon, 3; Bauer, 2; M. Maxey, 2; Neeley, 2; Curt Frailey, 1.
Record: 11-7 (3-1 EIC)


In junior high volleyball, the SEB eighth-graders earned a 25-9, 22-25, 25-15 win against Mulberry Grove on the strength of 25 service aces.

Kills: D. Shelton (4), 3; Buff, 2; Carson, 2; Dilger, 2; Duckwitz, 1.

Aces: Sidwell, 6; Carson, 5; D. Shelton (14), 5; Reeder, 3; Parkison, 2; D. Shelton (4), 2; Dilger, 1; Noll, 1.


South Central had trouble containing Brandon Helmuth and Stew-Stras on opening night of the 79th annual National Trail Conference Tournament.

Helmuth scored a game-high 23 points to lead the Comets to a 47-36 win that leaves South Central without another game until Saturday, when it will play Cowden-Herrick at 11:30 a.m. at Altamont High School.

Sophomore Brett Harmeier had a team-high 11 points for the Cougars (0-18).

Monday, Jan. 27
Stew-Stras 47
South Central 36
SC: 8-7-13-8—36
SS: 12-18-8-9—47
Points: Harmeier, 11; Evan Langley, 6; Sean OLeary, 5; Chase Riley, 5; Tyler Ross, 5; Noah Powless, 4.
Record: 0-18


The Lady Cougars fell to St. Anthony, 58-19, on Monday.

Freshman Abby Hahn scored in double figures for the third time in four games, leading South Central (0-18, 0-5 NTC) with 13 points.

Freshman Alannah Sigrist added four, and junior Bailey Ritter scored two.

Monday, Jan. 27
St. Anthony 59
South Central 19
SC: 4-3-6-6—19
SA: 12-16-18-12—58
Points: Hahn, 13; Sigrist, 4; Ritter, 2.
Record: 0-18 (0-5 NTC)


The Cougars kept the score close but missed out on their first National Trail Conference win of the season.

South Central trailed by a point going to the fourth quarter last Friday, but Beecher City made nine free throws down the stretch to secure a 41-33 victory.

Senior Tyler Ross led the Cougars (0-17, 0-6 NTC) with 10 points. It was the first time all season he has led the team in scoring.

Friday, Jan. 24
Beecher City 41
South Central 33
S: 10-8-6-9—33
B: 8-7-10-16—41
Points: Ross, 10; Chase Riley, 8; Noah Powless, 7; Evan Langley, 6; Trevor Markley, 2.
Record: 0-17 (0-6 NTC)


Altamont limited the Lady Cougars’ offensive opportunities last Thursday in a 40-15 National Trail Conference victory.

South Central (0-17, 0-4 NTC) made just six field goals in the game, and was only 3-of-12 from the free-throw line. Freshman Abby Hahn led the team, with five points.

Madison Ohnesorge led all scorers, with 16 points for the Lady Indians.

Thursday, Jan. 23
Altamont 40
South Central 15
S: 6-3-4-2—15
A: 14-5-9-12—40
Points: Hahn, 5; Abby King, 3; Autumn McCoy, 2; Bailey Ritter, 2; Jenna Rose, 2; Sydney Wilkins, 1.
Record: 0-17 (0-4 NTC)


The Lady Cougars played their closest game of the season last Wednesday, but fell four points short of earning their first win since the 2011-12 season.

Freshman Abby Hahn had a career- and game-high 18 points, and freshman Sydney Wilkins set her career-high with eight points as South Central kept pace with Webber in a 42-38 loss.

The Lady Cougars (0-16) led 5-4 after the first quarter, but had to play catch-up for the rest of the game after Webber took a four-point halftime lead.

South Central made a push to close a three-point gap in the fourth quarter, scoring 15 points in the final eight minutes, but Webber scored seven field goals and a pair of free throws to hold on for the win.

Those 15 points were the most the Lady Cougars have scored in any quarter this season, and the 38 points are the most the team had scored in a game.

Wednesday, Jan. 22
Webber 42
South Central 38
S: 5-7-11-15—38
W: 4-12-10-16—42
Points: Hahn, 18; Wilkins, 8; Abby King, 4; Alannah Sigrist, 4; Autumn McCoy, 2; Olivia Price, 2.
Record: 0-16


Freshman Abby Hahn nearly matched her career-high scoring, but South Central fell to Sandoval, 54-24, last Tuesday.

Hahn had 14 points to fall two points short of her highest single-game total, which came on Dec. 16.

She scored all but four points for the Lady Cougars (0-15) in the first three quarters.

Tuesday, Jan. 21
Sandoval 54
South Central 24
S: 16-10-19-9—54
SC: 5-4-7-8—24
Points: Hahn, 14; Autumn McCoy, 4; Bailey Ritter, 2; Jenna Rose, 2; Alannah Sigrist, 2.
Record: 0-15


The Cougars struggled offensively last Tuesday in dropping a National Trail Conference game at Neoga.

None of South Central’s players scored in double figures as the Indians ran away to a 52-27 victory.

Sophomore Chase Riley had eight points to lead the Cougars (0-16, 0-5 NTC), and Brett Harmeier and Sean O’Leary each had six.

Tuesday, Jan. 21
Neoga 52
South Central 27
S: 7-6-4-10—27
N: 13-15-16-8—52
Points: Riley, 8; Harmeier, 6; O’Leary, 6; Noah Powless, 4; Tyler Ross, 3.
Record: 0-16 (0-5 NTC)