By CAREY FOX
Times Sports Editor
Several local high school graduates are competing on the hardwood while finishing finals in the classroom and being tested on the basketball court.
The IUPUI Jaguars were dealt a blow to an already difficult as First Team All-Preseason conference selection, Julie Whitted, left the team last week. Whitted had returned to limited action following an injury. The Jaguars had gotten off to a 1-9 start this season.
Whitted had seen playing time in seven games this year, but had averaged just nine minutes per contest. So far this season she has averaged 4.1 ppg. and three rebounds per contest with 10 blocks.
IUPUI has seen some of the best girls' teams that the nation has to offer as they have faced No. 3 Ohio State and took on Louisville on the road most recently Dec. 13.
Last season as a junior, Whitted played in 31 games, 29 of them starts, and averaged 13.8 ppg. and 8.4 rpg. while compiling 82 blocks for the 16-15 Jaguars. She had a season-high 27 points against Oakland on Jan. 26 and also pulled down 14 rebounds. She was the team's leading scorer in 13 of the final 18 games of the season.
For her career at IUPUI, Whitted played in 100 games, scoring 1,033 points with 638 rebounds and 216 blocks.
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods should soon see the return of Northview alum, Lexee Hayes following nearly an 18-month layoff following a variety of injuries and surgery. The Pomeroys' junior has been practicing with the team and hopes to be back in action before the new year as SMWC faces Earlham (Dec. 21) before competing in the Marian Classic in Indianapolis on Dec. 29-30.
The Olney Central Blue Knights headed into the post-finals holiday break on a winning note by defeating IU-East junior varsity by a resounding 107-50 score.
Northview High School graduate Austin Akers had perhaps his best game of the season with a 23-point effort in just 24 minutes of action. Akers hit eight-of-10 from the field, including all five of his 3-point attempts and added six assists and two rebounds.
In the game, Olney Central dominated the glass, outrebounding its opponent 35-15 and registered 31 assists to just seven. The Blue Knights also hit a remarkable 47-of-66 (71 percent) from the field.
On Dec. 12, Olney Central defeated Mid-Continent's junior varsity squad by a 107-77 score on Dec. 12.
Akers scored nine points in limited duty. The freshman guard hit four-of-11 shots from the field and had four assists and three rebounds. Akers saw 27 minutes of action, which was tops on the team in the contest.
On Dec. 5, the Blue Knights came out on the short end of a 72-68 decision against Lincoln College as Akers scored 10 points to go with four rebounds and three assists in 33 minutes.
At Danville Community College, the Jaguars have struggled to find victories this season, heading into a Dec. 17 date against Illinois Valley.
The Jaguars had lost eight-straight heading into the Christmas Break, which has Danville on hiatus until Jan. 6.
Kirstin Kimball, a Northview graduate, had two points in a 78-68 loss to Lakeland on Dec. 5 and was held scoreless against Lincoln Trail in a 98-52 loss on Dec. 5.
At Lincoln Christian University, the Red Lions are ranked 10th in the country in the latest poll conducted by the National Christian College Athletic Association.
Former Northview Knight, Josiah Brock, is a member of the Red Lions squad that is coming off an 81-69 win over the Preachers of Concordia Seminary on Dec. 12.
Brock had 12 points and eight rebounds in the victory as six Red Lions got into the scoring column and the team shot 57 percent from 3-point range.
The win comes on the heels of a victory over Greenville College in Illinois, 75-72 as Brock had 10 points and six rebounds on Dec. 9.
LaPhonso Ellis, the son of the former NBA player by the same name, led Greenville with 29 points and 10 rebounds.
The win improves the team's record to 6-3 overall and the Red Lions will be on semester break until a trip to Missouri to take on Central Christian College on Jan. 6.
Indoor track and field
The Indiana State Sycamores got their indoor track season started early on Dec. 11 by competing at Eastern Illinois.
The Sycamore men and women won all five of the dual meet competitions with several local Wabash Valley athletes showing off their talents.
Former Terre Haute North standout, Kylie Hutson, coming off a national championship in both the indoor and outdoor pole vault, picked up right where she left off by winning the event, clearing 13-7 ¼.
Sullivan High School graduate, Erica Moore, also did some damage, scoring 32 points by herself while winning the high jump (5'7), 800 meters (2:11.32) and anchoring the winning 4x400 relay. Moore was also second in the 60-meter hurdles.
South Vermillion graduate, Julia Costello, a senior at ISU, won the mile run in a time of 4:58.97.
Former Northview standout, Kylee Thacker, an ISU freshman, finished as the top Sycamore in the 3,000-meter run with a time of 11:18.54 to finish sixth overall.
The Sycamores will be off over the holidays before competing at the Illinois State Dual on Jan. 13.