Next year, it will be time for an encore.
Vandalia grad Meredith Banal earned postseason honors for her play on the basketball court this year.
Banal, a junior guard for Greenville College, was recently named to the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference’s first team. Banal scored a team-high 13.9 points per game and grabbed 3.3 rebounds per game in SLIAC action. In addition to her 223 points and 53 rebounds, she also had 43 steals and 20 assists.
‘It is great when your leading scorer is also your hardest worker,’ said Roy Mullholland, Greenville’s head coach. ‘If she was open, she would knock it down, and she does the little things well.’
Banal hit 87 of 195 field goals and 33 of 42 free throws this year. Of her field goals, 16 were from beyond the arc. When she starts her senior year, she will only be 231 points from 1,000 career points. She has 769 in her first three years.
‘My goals this year were not really about scoring points,’ said Banal, who had not been named to an all-conference team before. ‘It was about the team and getting along with everyone on the team. The other teams in the SLIAC made it very difficult on me. They had me scouted well, especially in the second round of games.’
Brownstown grad Aaron Lovett continues to help the University of Kentucky win games. In the Wildcats’ 7-3 win over Western Kentucky University, Lovett worked two innings. He allowed one earned run on four hits. He fanned one batter. He also worked 1 1/3 innings in the Kentucky Wildcats’ 6-5 loss to Mississippi State University. He allowed two hits and fanned two batters. Kentucky, ranked 10th in the latest NCAA Division I poll, is 25-5 overall and 7-5 in the Southeastern Conference.
Bryan Hobbie, a Vandalia grad, was 1-for-3 as his college team, Greenville, lost a 4-1 battle to Maryville University. Greenville is 7-9 overall and 3-3 in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
Vandalia grad Rachel Bell ran to a third-place finish in the 3,000-meter run for Iowa State at the Big Bear Invitational, which was hosted by Missouri State University. Bell crossed the finish line in 10 minutes, 38.27 seconds.
Kaskaskia College pitcher Logan Mahon, a St. Elmo grad, helped the Blue Devils defeat the Rend Lake College Warriors, 2-1. Mahon started and worked five innings, allowing one unearned run on two hits. He fanned four batters in the contest. He did not get a decision. KC is 16-8 overall and 6-2 in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference. They currently lead the conference.
After 25 games, Lake Land College is 9-16. Vandalia grads Trevor Summers and Marcus Smalls have each logged time for Lake Land. Summers, who has played in 11 games, has a .333 batting average. He has 10 hits and three RBIs. Smalls has taken the field in 10 games. He has six hits and five were for extra bases. He has three doubles, one triple and one homer. Smalls, who is hitting .261, has driven home four runs. Box scores from each individual game were not available.
The next article will feature two seniors, namely Blackburn College’s Ryan Smith and MacMurray College’s Brianne Taylor, both Vandalia grads. The pair finished their careers this winter.