By CAREY FOX
Times Sports Editor
The 2010-11 basketball season has officially begun for a number of Indiana college teams and with that, a number of local high school graduates have begun a new year of competition as well.
In Olney, Ill. hopes are high this season as coach Mike Burris leads a balanced club that includes Northview graduate Austin Akers and Terre Haute South's John Michael Jarvis. Terre Haute North graduate Thomas Anderson is also with the Blue Knights, but will miss the season following shoulder surgery.
In the season opener, the Blue Knights struggled from the free throw line, hitting just 50 percent of their 20 charity tosses and lost 75-71 to visiting Parkland.
Olney Central trailed 42-32 at halftime, but Akers and Jarvis each hit 3-pointers and Akers knocked down a layup to close the gap to 46-43 with 17:15 remaining. OCC tied the contest at 52-all and later grabbed a one-point lead at 57-56, however, the Cobras responded with an 11-2 run.
Akers led OCC with 22 points on 8-of-15 shooting, including a 3-for-5 night from 3-point land. He also added four rebounds and two assists. Jarvis added nine points for the Blue Knights.
Up next is a road trip to take on 20th-ranked Vincennes on Saturday at 6 p.m.
At Danville Area Community College, the Warriors and sophomore Kirstin Kimball, a Northview graduate, had a tough opener against a tough Vincennes University squad. The Crusaders placed 10 players in the scoring column on the way to a 104-57 victory over the Warriors. Turkey Run grad, Meghan Doss, opened her sophomore year with a six-point, six assist game while Terre Haute South alum, Randa Rector added nine points.
After long-time head coach, Lyle Hicks, retired, University of Illinois club team coach, Kyle Bent was hired over the summer. He led the club team to a national title and has a background in scouting. The 24-year-old has designs on changing the Warriors style while staying competitive against a tough schedule. Kimball is one of several returning athletes for the Warriors.
Returning from last year's team are Cassidy Grey and Kirsten Kimball.
"Cassidy played some post last year, but due to our numbers situation we will be playing her more on the wing,'' Bent recently told The Commercial-News in Danville. "She has really improved her jump shot and off the ball defense. Kirsten will be making the reverse move. She was a wing player last year but we will need her more inside and she is making the transition to the more physical style you get playing inside."
At Lincoln Christian College, former Northview Knight, Josiah Brock, begins his senior season with the Red Lions. The 6'5 forward begins the regular season on Nov. 8 with a contest against Central Christian College of the Bible.
At Rose-Hulman, freshman Lauren Reberger, a Northview graduate, is part of a first for the Engineers' tennis team as the squad earned its first trip to the NCAA Division III Women's Tennis Tournament.
The Engineers won a 5-2 match against Transylvania University to earn the berth, which is just the second women's sports team in school history to quality for the NCAA Tournament.
In the conference championship match, Reberger teamed with Terre Haute North graduate, Paige Cook, to win an 8-4 decision at No. 3 doubles to help propel Rose-Hulman to the NCAA Tourney.
This season, Cook and Reberger were a combined 5-2 at No. 3 doubles.
The 2010 cross country season is in the home stretch for teams around the nation and the Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College team wrapped up the regular season at the St. Louis Fall Cross Country Classic on Oct. 23 with a second-place finish.
The team was second to Bellarmine's 23 points as the Pomeroys finished with 68 points. Former Northview standout, Casandra Barnett placed 20th in the meet, finishing the five-kilometer race in 21:24.
Up next, the Pomeroys hope to defend their United State Collegiate Athletic Association national championship today as SMWC takes to the course at New Hampshire Tech in Concord, N.H. There will be a record 19 teams competing in the championship meet.
At Indiana State, the Sycamore women and former Knight, Kylee Thacker, placed fourth at the Missouri Valley Conference Meet last weekend.
Wichita State won its sixth straight women's championship with 54 points followed by Illinois State (68), Missouri State (82) and ISU with 126.
The Sycamore women were picked to finish sixth in the meet and made a big improvement according to their coach.
"I am really, really proud of the girls," John Gartland, Indiana State women's cross country coach said. "It was a great effort by all the girls in a very competitive race."
Thacker, an ISU sophomore, finished 38th in 19:01.26 and was fourth on the team. Senior Allison Malone ran a personal best 17:38 to place second in the 5K event.
Another Northview graduate, Shelby Sands will compete with several members of the Indiana State cross country team on Friday when they run in the Hoosier Invitational Cross Country Meet in Bloomington, Ind. Eight members of the Sycamore team along with 11 others who are competing unattached will compete on the Indiana University Championship course.
"This is an opportunity for several of our runners who have not had a lot of race time this season to compete, probably for the final time this season," John Gartland, Indiana State women's cross country coach said. "This is a tough course and several of them may run well enough to make the team we will take to the Great Lakes Regional next week."
The course is located east of Route 46 in Bloomington at the Indiana University Golf Course. The women's 5K race will begin at 3:30 p.m. with the men's 8K race to be run at 4 p.m.
Competing from the Indiana State women's team will be freshmen Val Burns, Alexa McFadden, and Shelby Sands, and sophomores Carol Mass, Hanna Mercer, and Serena Simeoli. Competing from the men's team will be sophomore Andrew Sullivan and junior Cody Siblisk.
This is the final meet of the season before the Great Lakes Regional, which will be held on Saturday, Nov. 13, in Rochester, Mich., and hosted by Oakland University.
Taylor University senior, Cole Schroer, a Clay City standout, ran a personal record time of 25:40 on Oct. 23 at the NAIA Great Lakes Challenge, helping the Trojans to a 17th-place finish overall on the 8K course.
Schroer placed 23rd and his time was nearly a minute faster than his previous best and it was the second fastest for the Trojans over the last five years.
"We were a little flat overall, but Adam [Schroer] had another tremendous race," Taylor head coach Ted Bowers said of the Trojan effort. "This puts Adam in position to contend for one of those at-large positions to nationals."
The Trojans compete on Saturday at the MCC Championships in South Bend.
At the University of Southern Indiana, the Screaming Eagles wrapped up their regular season with a team win at the Fast Cats Classic in Kentucky. The 15th-ranked men's team had the top-three finishers and six of the top-10 in winning the meet.
Northview's John Latta is a member of the team and he placed 10th overall in the meet with a time of 26:12 in the 8K event.
The Screaming Eagles head to the Great Lakes Valley Conference Meet on Saturday in Kenosha, Wis. The team is in search of its sixth straight GLVC title.