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Blackburn College's men's basketball team has definitely had its valleys this year.
But last week was definitely one of its peaks of the season. The Beavers earned their third win overall and their first St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference win of the year, beating Principia College, 72-66.
They accomplished the feat behind the double-digit scoring and the shooting performance of Blake Doehring, a VCHS grad. Doehring drained 6-of-12 from the field and 4-of-4 from the charity stripe to finish with a team-leading 19 points.
Of his field goals, three were long-range bombs from beyond the arc. He also had three assists and two rebounds.
Fellow Vandalia grad Ryan Smith pulled down a team-high eight rebounds in the contest. The Blackburn player also had five points, three blocked shots and two steals. Smith had his best game of the week in Blackburn's 66-58 loss to Maryville University. Smith finished with 12 points on 6-of-10 from the floor. He also grabbed four boards. Blackburn is 3-12 overall and 1-7 in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
While Blackburn is struggling, the Greenville College Lady Panthers are far from struggling.
The Lady Panthers put two more SLIAC notches on their belt this week, winning narrow victories over Westminster College (63-56) and Eureka College (60-58) to improve to 12-4 overall and 7-1 in the SLIAC. They trail only Maryville University, who has an 8-0 mark in the league.
In the win over Westminster, former Vandalia player Meredith Banal, a Greenville starter, poured in 21 points, hitting 10-of-19 from the field, which included one from the three-point land. She also had a team-high five steals and four rebounds.
Against Eureka, she had 15 points and four boards. Banal hit 7-of-15 field goals and 1-of-2 free throws.
Fellow Greenville player and South Central grad Susan Githinji, who pulled down a team-leading eight caroms against Westminster, scored two points in each contest. Githinji also had three steals against Westminster.
The McKendree College Bearcats have won their last six men's basketball games to improve to 16-5 overall and 6-0 in the American Midwest Conference. They are currently ranked 15th in the latest National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Division I poll.
They dispatched Harris-Stowe State University (78-61) and Columbia College (79-50). Vandalia grad Eric Hobbie hit five field goals (three treys) and two free throws to finish with 15 points and five rebounds against Harris-Stowe State. Against Columbia, Hobbie had eight points, seven rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots.
Vandalia grad Rachel Bell, an Iowa State University cross country runner, helped the Cyclones finish second in the distance medley relay at the Iowa State Track & Field Open recently.
Bell, a sophomore, helped the team finish in 12 minutes, 10.8 seconds. Bell ran the 800-meter leg of the race. Individually, she took 22nd in the mile run, finishing the distance race in 5:27.68. Team scores were not kept.
Vandalia grad Nathan Mackiewicz has played sparingly at St. Louis Christian College this year. The 6-foot-4 freshman forward had played in eight games. He has eight points, 16 rebounds, four blocked shots, three assists and three steals. St. Louis Christian is 8-10 overall and 3-1 against National Christian College Athletic Association Central Region opponents.
In two weeks, we will run the spring introduction article. If anyone has anyone to add to my list for the spring, please e-mail me (Dan62293@cs.com). I will need the name of the athlete, the former high school, the college/university they are attending as well as the sport they are playing. At this point, I have contacted all the high schools.
The only two requirements to be included in this column are the athlete has to be a graduate of one of the area high schools normally covered by The Vandalia Leader-Union and they have to be involved in intercollegiate athletics. When e-mailing, please put "Leader-Union" in the subject line.