Times Sports Editor
The collegiate basketball season has reached the mid-point as the calendars have switched to 2010 and most teams are in the thick of conference play, which is typically a whole different animal than the early season slate.
A number of local high school graduates are battling in conference races with their college teams.
The variety of talents that Olney Central freshman, Austin Akers, brings to the table are sorely missed by his alma Mater, Northview High School.
From one Knights' squad to another, Akers is the Blue Knights leading scorer this season though Olney has struggled in Great Rivers Athletic Conference play.
Olney Central is now 1-3 in the GRAC and 11-7 overall.
Most recently, the Blue Knights dropped a 68-57 decision to John A. Logan one week ago as Akers matched up with UCLA-bound point guard, Lazeric Jones, who tallied 14 points in the Volunteers win that evening. John A. Logan advanced to 12-4 overall and remained unbeaten in GRAC play at 3-0.
Akers had 16 points and added three, 3-pointers with three rebounds and two assists in the loss.
Akers followed that game up with an 11-point effort in an 84-74 loss to Southwestern Illinois and was held scoreless in a 63-51 victory over Lincoln Trail this week.
For the season, Akers is averaging 12.6 ppg. and three assists per contest while shooting slightly under 50 percent for the year.
Also in Illinois, Josiah Brock and his Lincoln Christian University team posted a pair of recent wins at the Concordia Tournament held in St. Louis, MO.
Brock was a bit part of those wins as he tallied 10 points and six boards in a 90-84 win against the Greenville College Panthers. In the previous game, Brock grabbed nine rebounds to go with a 13-point contest in a 67-57 victory over Concordia Seminary.
The wins improved the Red Lions' record to 7-5 overall heading into last night's game at Moody Bible Institute.
Also in Illinois, the Danville Area Community College Jaguars continued to struggle as they lost their 11th consecutive game on Jan. 9 in a nail biter against Shawnee, 66-65.
Northview graduate, Kirstin Kimball had two points in the loss.
Locally, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College scored a victory against Earlham on Jan. 12, 84-56.
Former Northview Knight, Lexee Hayes has returned to the court after significant time on the sideline due to injury the past two seasons and is working her way back into playing extended minutes.
Against Earlham, Hayes saw 12 minutes of action and added four points, an assist and a steal for the Pomeroys.
Since that win, SMWC has split a pair of games, winning 58-55 over UC-Clermont in Cincinnati, OH Monday night, which followed a 76-41 loss to IU-Southeast last Thursday. Against IU-Southeast, Hayes played nine minutes and was scoreless for the 7-8 Pomeroys.
Mardi Steiner, a Clay City graduate, is a member of the Olney Central girls' basketball team, but no recent results were available for the team.
Indoor track and field
The Indiana State Sycamores continued the indoor track and field season by hitting the road and coming away with a couple of dual meet victories at Illinois State last weekend.
The men's team won 88-60 over the Redbirds while the Sycamore women won 77.5-71.5.
Sycamore freshman, Kylee Thacker, a Northview graduate, was ISU's top finisher in the women's 3,000-meter run where she placed fourth with a time of 10:46.01.
Indiana State is scheduled to host an Open Meet this evening with events scheduled to begin with the men's and women's pole vault at 6:30 p.m.
The University of Southern Indiana indoor track team will be bolstered by a talented contingent of distance runners, which will include Northview graduate, John Latta.
The former Knight will be a middle distance runner for the Screaming Eagles, who open their season this weekend at Indiana University's Gladstein Invitational.. Former Clay City Eel, Cole Schroer, will be a competitor in multiple events for USI this season. Schroer is a junior this season while Latta is a sophomore.