South Central grad Isaac Grapperhaus has been coming off the bench about 50 percent of the time for the Illinois College men's basketball team. But if he keeps making field goals at his current rate, he'll probably be starting 100 percent of the time.
Grapperhaus, who was named the Midwest Conference Player of the Week for the first full week of the new year, helped IC down Ripon College (76-64) and Lake Forest College (70-67). Grapperhaus scored 22 points in the win over LFC. Grapperhaus, who hit 10-of-12 shots from the field, finished with 22 points and seven rebounds in 26 minutes of play. He made both of his shots from 3-point range.
"My teammates got me the ball in very good position," Grapperhaus said. "I have some moves, and they know exactly when to get me the ball."
The sophomore center scored 16 points against Ripon. The former Cougar drained 7-of-12 shots from the field, including 2-of-5 from beyond the arc. He also had seven rebounds and two blocked shots. Grapperhaus started the contest and played 23 minutes.
Illinois College has won four of its past five games. The Blueboys are 10-3 overall and 6-2 in the MVC.
"It doesn't matter whether I come off the bench or start," Grapperhaus said. "I was really surprised that I earned player of the week. There are some great players in this league. I was just doing what I needed to be doing at the beginning of the year. It helps if you win the games. If we get a win out of it, I think it helps you get selected.Our entire team needs to hit the boards better, including myself."
Vanderbilt University won the Mid-Winter Bowling Classic, which was held at Arkansas State University. Vanderbilt lost its first game, then proceeded to win the next 12 head-to-head matches. Sophomore Jessica Earnest, a Vandalia grad, finished 10th individually. Vanderbilt, which is ranked 12th in the nation, defeated the University of Central Missouri 4-3 in the final. The team also topped the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore, the top-ranked team in the country, and the University of Nebraska, the third-ranked team in the country, at the tournament.
Two weeks ago, Vandalia grad Eric Hobbie returned to the McKendree University men's basketball lineup. Since then, the Bearcats have won three out of four games. Hobbie scored 27 points as McKendree blasted William Woods University 82-49. Hobbie hit 10-of-17 field goal attempts, including 7-of-12 from beyond the arc. He also pulled down five rebounds in his first game in two months.
He scored in double figures in the two other games since his return. In McKendree's 86-76 triumph over Missouri Baptist University, Hobbie finished with 16 points, six rebounds, three blocked shots and two assists. Hobbie finished with six field goals (one trey) and three free throws. He was held to 11 points in a 53-46 loss to Columbia College. The senior had six rebounds, four assists and three blocked shots in that contest. McKendree is 9-10 overall and 3-1 in the American Midwest Conference.
Greenville College has gotten three double-digit performances from Vandalia grad Laura Hobbie in the last two weeks. Hobbie scored in double figures in wins over Eureka College (68-57) and Principia College (73-57) as well as in a loss to Fontbonne College (69-58). The sophomore had her best game against Eureka. She hit three field goals (two treys) and eight free throws and finished with 16 points, eight rebounds and two steals.
She tallied 13 points against Principia and 11 against Fontbonne. In the win over Principia, she also had six rebounds and three steals. She had three rebounds against Fontbonne. Greenville is 8-5 overall and 3-3 in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
Vandalia grad Drew Bell finished fifth in the mile run at a dual meet between the University of Illinois and the University of Iowa. Bell, an Illinois runner, finished in 4:33.44. The Hawkeyes topped the Fighting Illini, 83-74. The outing was held at the University of Illinois Armory.