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home : sports : sports April 29, 2016

3/11/2013 11:03:00 AM
Local athletes ending, starting seasons
Sports Editor

As high school basketball season winds down, college basketball is also in its home stretch.

With that, it's time to take another look at college athletes with local ties.

In women's action, a couple of local athletes recently finished their freshman campaigns at the next level.

Former Robinson High School standout Kelsey Dirks closed out her first college season at Murray State University with seven points on 2-6 shooting from the field and 3-4 at the free throw line in 28 minutes of a 62-51 loss to Eastern Kentucky in the quarterfinals of the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament Wednesday in Nashville, Tenn.

Dirks also recorded six rebounds, two assists and one blocked shot in the game for the Lady Racers.

For the season, Dirks played in all 29 games for the Murray State (16-13), including 28 starts. She played 25.7 minutes per game, averaging 6.2 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per contest.

She led the team in field goal percentage at 46.2 percent (73-158) and blocks with 43. Her rebounding average was tied for second on the team and her scoring average was the fourth highest.

Meanwhile, former Palestine-Hutsonville standout Brooke Callaway wrapped up her first year at Olney Central College this week.

In her final game of the season, Callaway posted seven points on 3-7 shooting, four rebounds, four assists, one steal and one blocked shot in 27 minutes for the Lady Knights in their 87-78 loss to Rend Lake in the quarterfinals of the Region 24 Tournament Tuesday.

Callaway played in all 31 games this season for the Lady Knights (14-17), starting 28 of them. She averaged 9.5 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.1 blocks per game in 30.5 minutes per contest.

She shot 36.4 percent from the field (95-261) and 71.3 percent from the free throw line (77-108). Her steals, blocks and assists averages placed her second on the team, while she was third in scoring average and fourth in rebounding average.

On the men's side, former RHS standout Ben Jones posted seven points and two rebounds in Southern Indiana's 88-80 overtime win over Lewis University in the quarterfinals of the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament Thursday. The junior made both of his two-point field goals and one of two three-point attempts in the win.

On the season, Jones has played in all 27 games for the Division II 18th-ranked Screaming Eagles, playing just over 10 minutes per game, while averaging 3.3 points and 1.1 rebounds per contest.

Southern Indiana (21-6), the third-seed in the tournament, will play second-seeded Wisconsin-Parkside in the semifinals Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at the Ford Center in Evansville, Ind. The championship game is set for Sunday at 1 p.m.

Several more local athletes have taken to the diamond, as baseball season is already underway.

Former Oblong and LTC athlete Drew Morecraft has had a strong start to his first season at Hannibal-LaGrange (Mo.) University.

At the season opening Central Florida Tournament, the third baseman went 3-4 with a run and a stolen base in a 6-2 loss to Davenport March 1, then went 2-3 with three runs batted in, a run and a stolen base in a 9-6 win over Trinity International March 2, then doubled and scored a run in a 5-2 win over Madonna University later in the day.

In a doubleheader against Clarke University Monday, Morecraft had a single in 5-0 loss in the opener, then singled, scored a run and stole a base in a 6-5 loss in game two.

Against Olivet Nazarene Tuesday, Morecraft posted a double, two singles, two runs batted in, two runs scored and a stolen base in a 16-15 loss in game one, then singled in a 9-2 loss in game two.

Hannibal-LaGrange (3-5) will play a pair of doubleheaders at William Woods University in Topeka, Kan. Friday and Saturday.

Another former OHS standout, Ryan Cheek, has had a solid start to his college career at Vincennes University.

The right-handed pitcher earned a win after tossing a scoreless inning of relief with one walk in a 7-5 win over Cleveland State (Tenn.) Community College Feb. 9, then allowed one hit, one walk and struck out one in four innings of scoreless relief and picked up another win in a 5-3 Vincennes victory over Alabama Southern Tuesday in Panama City, Fla.

Vincennes (5-7) is scheduled to play Kalamazoo Valley today in Panama City, then play host to Wabash Valley College Tuesday.

Former RHS pitcher Zach Danks has taken the mound just once so far this spring for Kaskaskia College and it was a rough outing. The freshman righthander gave up six runs, five earned, on seven hits and two walks in two innings of relief in a 13-12 loss to Copiah-Lincoln Feb. 16.

Kaskaskia (4-2) had recent games with Vincennes and St. Charles cancelled due to weather, but are scheduled to play host to Lake Land College today at 3.

Danks' former battery mate, Warren Whithaus, has had a slow start to his college career as well.

The Rose-Hulman freshman catcher has seen action just three games for the Engineers and is 0-2 at the plate with a pair of strikeouts.

Rose Hulman (1-5) is scheduled to play host to Carthage for a three-game series Saturday and Sunday.

Likewise, former RHS standout Derek Hannahs has seen limited action in his first season at Indiana State after transferring from Ohio State.

Hannahs has played in just two games for the Sycamores and is 0-2 at the plate.

A player with local ties that is excelling with ISU is former LTC reliever Josh Dove. The junior is currently 1-0 with one save and a 0.00 ERA in three appearances for the Sycamores. He has allowed one unearned run on two hits with two walks and two strikeouts in three and two-thirds innings pitched. He earned the win in a 7-5 victory over Morehead State Feb. 12, while earning his save in a 3-1 win over College of Charleston Feb. 22.

Indiana State (3-4) is scheduled to play host to South Dakota State today and Mercer Saturday and Sunday.

In addition, former RHS athletes Don Daugherty and Brady Welsh are playing baseball for Monmouth College and golf at Parkland College, respectively. Their seasons are set to get underway this weekend.

After having several games cancelled due to inclement weather, Monmouth will open their season with a doubleheader against MacMurray College in Fort Myers, Fla., Sunday at 9 a.m.

Parkland opens their spring slate at the Tusculum College Invite in Greeneville, Tenn. Saturday and Sunday.

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