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Today's Sports

  • Vandal wrestlers dominate on...

    The timing of the Vandalia wrestling team's "Senior Night" was a bit unconventional.

    The results were not.

    The Vandals celebrated "Senior Night" in their patented dominating fashion, kicking off the Thursday evening's triangular with a surprisingly easy win over SCC rival Litchfield, 63-3, before easing by Class 2A Highland, 53-15.

  • Lady Vandals win Sandoval...

    A boxing analogy might seem apt to describe the Vandalia girls basketball team's championship-game tilt with Webber Township Saturday at the Sandoval Tournament.

    But boxing is too civil a sport to compare to what transpired in the Lady Vandals' 30-26 victory over the previously undefeated Lady Trojans.

  • Vandals place 5th at Princeton,...

    Five Vandals placed Saturday at the prestigious Princeton Invitational, helping VCHS edge out Byron for fifth-place in a field featuring a "who's who" list of Illinois wrestling programs.

    Senior Matt Shroyer led the way, claiming the title in the 189-pound division, helping the Vandals move up two spots from last year's seventh-place finish in a field that included four of the state's top 10 Class A teams.

    Still, the Vandals left the 25-team extravaganza feeling they could have made a bigger statement.

  • St. Elmo State-Tournament Squad...

    The situation seemed ideal for Dan Denton.

    A 2 1/2-hour drive. A scenery-free stretch of interstate.

    Plenty of time and minimal distractions in his quest to come up with the perfect words to honor a special team.

    But by the time Denton completed his journey from his home just south of Kankakee to the small south-central Illinois town where he enjoyed the most memorable season of his 32-year coaching career, the perfect words had yet to materialize.

    It wasn't for lack of material, though. Quite the opposite.

  • Wilmington takes state-title...

    Wilmington's wrestling team is ranked No. 1 in the state for a reason.

    The defending Class A champions return a strong core from a squad that edged Vandalia via a tiebreaker in last year's dual team state final.

    So it wasn't that surprising the Vandals lost to the Wildcats Saturday at the St. Thomas More New Year's Challenge.

    But it was how the Vandals dropped a 47-23 dual that bugged VCHS coach Jason Clay.

  • Lady Vandals win Mattoon...

    With the bitter disappointment of Thursday's overtime loss to Marion still fresh in the Lady Vandals' minds, and their Mattoon Christmas Tournament title hopes hinging on a Friday evening game against MacArthur, the VCHS girls basketball team did what many squads before them have done.

    They turned to Hollywood for inspiration.

    And as it turns out, inspiration can come from the unlikeliest of sources.

  • Vandals pick up first victory

    The final three minutes of last Thursday's game at VCHS seemed to take an eternity.

    But considering how long it had been since the Vandalia boys basketball team last tasted victory, the wait was well worth it.

    Shelbyville attempted to prolong the game - and the Vandals' agony - as long as possible by sending the host team to the line 17 times in the final 2 1/2 minutes.

    But the Vandals shook off the Rams' comeback strategy - along with the 400-pound gorilla on their backs- by hitting 12 of those attempts, enough to secure their first victory of the season, 57-48.

  • Cougars edge Eagles in thriller

    Isaac Grapperhaus was not having a good day.

    The South Central junior had spent much of Friday's game against St. Elmo on the bench with foul trouble. And when he was on the floor, his production was well below his normal standards, as he had just four points and four rebounds heading into the final minute of play.

    So when the 6-foot-5 center reached over a St. Elmo player to coral a Tanner Bushue miss in the closing seconds of a tie game, just about everyone in the building figured he would be whistled for an over-the-back foul.

    But that whistle never came.

  • Hillsboro rallies to hand Lady...

    The Lady Vandals' disappointment was palpable Thursday as they walked off the court following a 57-46 setback to state-ranked Pana.

    For good reason.

    They had just watched the Lady Panthers escape VCHS with a victory for the third straight time, doing so, once again, by rallying from a second-half deficit.

    But as the team emerged from the locker room after taking a moment to let their first setback of the season sink in, a sense of pride and optimism was just as evident.

  • Vandals still searching for...

    Mitch Johnson had just completed a Vandalia comeback from a nine-point first-half deficit with a putback that tied the game at 27 early in the second half.

    Carlyle, having fallen in love with the 3-point shot after making three of its first six attempts early, had just seen its 10th-consecutive heave from beyond the arc clang off the rim.

    Barring something unforeseen, Vandalia appeared to have the edge down the stretch at home Tuesday night.