Blue Jays return to SLIAC title game

The No. 2 seed Westminster College Blue Jays shot a sizzling 60 percent (16-of-27) in the second half to take down the No. 3 Highlanders 73-63 in Friday night’s semifinals of the SLIAC postseason tournament.

Westminster (17-9) advanced to face top-seeded Webster University (19-6) in Saturday night’s St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship. Results were not available at press time. Webster reached the title game with a 78-61 win over No. 4 Greenville (Ill.) College in Friday night’s other semifinal.

The Blue Jays were making their third straight appearance in the championship. Saturday night’s winner received the SLIAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III national tournament.

Westminster — which split its two regular-season games against MacMurray — was down 32-28 at halftime Friday night. After the two teams swapped the lead several times early in the second half, the Blue Jays were able to open up a 60-47 lead with 5 minutes, 49 seconds to play.

The Highlanders twice pulled within five points before running out of time.

Sophomore guard Skylar Tolson and freshman guard Joe James delivered 17 points apiece to spark Westminster, which shot 48 percent (29-of-61) for the game and recorded 12 turnovers. Senior guard Jake Vislay also provided 16 points and moved into eighth place on the Blue Jays’ career scoring list with 1,205.

Freshman forward Charlie Henderson — who was 7-of-9 from the field — came off the bench to add 15 points for Westminster. Visley grabbed a team-high eight rebounds to help power the Blue Jays to a 45-33 advantage on the boards.

Jerel Robertson answered with 17 points to guide MacMurray (13-13), which shot just 39 percent (24-of-62) as a team and also committed 12 turnovers. CJ McClellan contributed 14 points.

Harrisburg..............................73

N. Callaway basketball (VB)...45

KINGDOM CITY — The Thunderbirds found themselves down 55-18 at halftime and were blistered by the Bulldogs in Friday night’s regular-season finale.

The loss was the sixth straight for North Callaway, which tumbled to 5-17 overall and finished Mid-Missouri Conference play at 1-7.

Senior forward Andrew Attebery produced 14 points, eight rebounds and five steals to guide the Thunderbirds. Junior guard Zack Lavy and sophomore forward Zac Eads added 10 points apiece.

“It’s good to get this out of our system,” North Callaway head coach Tim Turlington said. “You will not see this on Tuesday night (in district play).”

Tyler Rasmussen tallied a game-high 19 points to pace three players in double figures for Harrisburg (14-8, 6-2), which shared the MMC title with Southern Boone. Ethan Beringer and Buddy Proctor both contributed 11 points.

The Thunderbirds’ junior varsity ended its season with a 9-8 record after a 52-44 loss to the Bulldogs. Sophomore guard Jacob Haubner put up a team-high 13 points and sophomore forward Ryan Pezold chipped in with 10 points.

No. 5 seed North Callaway squares off against No. 4 Hallsville at 9 p.m. Tuesday in the first round of the Class 3, District 8 Tournament at Centralia.

The Thunderbirds split their two MMC contests against the Indians during the regular season. North Callaway logged a 75-60 victory at home on Jan. 18, but then lost at Hallsville 46-40 on Feb. 18.

Hallsville.................................53

S. Callaway basketball (VG)...43

MOKANE — Sophomore guard Mackenzie Sconce scored a team-high 17 points in the Lady Bulldogs’ Mid-Missouri Conference loss to the Lady Indians in Friday night’s regular-season finale.

Sophomore forward Jenna Boulger contributed seven points for South Callaway.

“The girls have been playing hard on defense, but now they’re starting to put the ball in the basket,” Lady Bulldogs head coach Doug Sain said. “It’s good to see the girls with some confidence.”

Taylor Dinyer topped Hallsville with a game-high 18 points.

No. 9 seed South Callaway faced No. 8 Bourbon late Saturday afternoon in a play-in game of the Class 3, District 9 Tournament at St. James. Results were not available at press time.

With a win, the Lady Bulldogs would move on to a first-round matchup against top-seeded St. James — the state’s top-ranked team — at 4 p.m. Monday.

Missouri Baptist...................67

WWU basketball (M)...........66

Senior guard Dan Anderson’s 3-point attempt rimmed out as time expired Thursday night in the Owls’ narrow AMC loss to the Spartans at Anderson Arena.

William Woods University — which trailed 38-30 at halftime — dropped to 11-17 overall and 5-8 in the American Midwest Conference. The Owls shot a feeble 48 percent (13-of-27) at the free-throw line.

Sophomore forward Elliott Black, who was 8-of-11 from the field, connected for a game-high 20 points to direct four players in double figures for William Woods. Freshman guard Jonathon Nutt was next with 13 points, sophomore guard Logan Decker supplied 12 and freshman guard Dontre’ Jenkins had 10.

The Owls shot 42 percent (25-of-60) as a team and committed 15 turnovers. Black collected a team-high 10 rebounds and Nutt added nine as William Woods was edged on the boards 40-39.

Le Andre’ Johnson responded with 17 points to lead Missouri Baptist (8-20, 2-11), which avenged an 85-74 loss to the Owls on Jan. 27 in St. Louis. Kyle Ford finished with 12 points Thursday night for the Spartans, who also shot 42 percent (25-of-59) from the field and ended up with 19 turnovers.

William Woods ended the regular season with an AMC matchup at rival Columbia College — ranked No. 19 — on Saturday. Results were not available at press time.

Westminster baseball,

softball teams picked

fifth, seventh in SLIAC

The Blue Jays baseball team and Lady Blue Jays softball team have been selected to finish fifth and seventh in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in their respective 2011 preseason coaches’ polls.

The Westminster College baseball team finished 13-22 overall in the 2010 season and tied for sixth in the SLIAC with an 11-13 record. Scott Pritchard is beginning his 12th year as head coach, but has announced his resignation and will step down after the season.

The Blue Jays open their season Wednesday with a 12:30 p.m. doubleheader against Washington University in St. Louis.

Meanwhile, the Westminster softball team went 7-22 last season and finished eighth in the SLIAC at 2-12 in its first year under head coach Shelli Manson.

The Lady Blue Jays start their season March 12-13 at the Rhodes Classic in Memphis, Tenn.

Lady Owls sit atop

Golfstat rankings

The William Woods University women’s golf team, for the first time in the program’s history, are ranked first by Golfstat in scoring, scoring vs. par and adjusted scoring.

William Woods also has four players ranked in Golfstat’s Top 25, led by freshman Jamie Palermo at No. 9. Palermo shot a low round of 73 during the fall season and has an average score of 77.00.

Also ranked for the Lady Owls are sophomore Lindsey Johnson at No. 20, while junior Jada Bennington and sophomore Naomi Starr are tied at No. 23.

William Woods — ranked seventh in the NAIA Top 25 preseason poll — opens its spring season March 19-20 at the Eagle Invitational in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Eight Westminster basketball

players pick up academic honors

Four members each of the Westminster College men’s and women’s basketball squads have been named to the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference’s 2010-11 winter all-academic team.

Receiving the acclaim for the Blue Jays were senior Jake Vislay (business administration/mathematics major) and juniors Dan Hohenstein (physical education), Kelsey Weymuth (accounting/business administration) and Mark Wright (secondary education).

Earning the status for the Lady Blue Jays were juniors Rachel Backes (biology) and Heather Letourneau (business administration/history), and sophomores Kirsten Carney (English literature) and Ashley Humphreys (biology).

William Woods dominates

AMC indoor track honors

The William Woods University men’s and women’s teams swept the American Midwest Conference indoor track and field athletes of the week, the school announced Thursday.

On the men’s side, sophomore Anthony Stockton was named the AMC field athlete of the week and sophomore Terrell Shannon was chosen the conference’s track athlete of the week.

In the women’s division, junior Cheryl Held was selected as the AMC runner of the week and freshman Whitney Burton was picked the conference’s field athlete of the week.

Stockton, from Franklin, Ky., won both the shot put (40 feet, 3/4 inch) and weight throw (57-4 3/4) at the AMC indoor championships Feb. 18 at the University of Missouri in Columbia.

A Columbia native, Shannon finished in the top four in four events at the AMC championships. He won the 600 meters in 1 minute, 13.03 seconds, qualifying for the “B” standard at the NAIA indoor national championships scheduled for March 3-5 in Geneva, Ohio.

Shannon also took third in the long jump (20-10) and came in fourth in the 200 (:23.52), and was part of the Owls 1,600 relay that placed third.

Held — from Wildwood — prevailed in the 5,000 meters (19:52.35) at the AMC championships. She finished second in the distance medley (13:45.16).

Burton, a St. Louis native, won the high jump with a leap of 5-3 1/4 at the AMC championships. She also took third in both the triple jump (34-1/4) and long jump (15-3/4).

Westminster’s Luebbert

chosen for NCAA summit

Westminster College’s Courtney Luebbert has been selected to participate in the inaugural NCAA Sports and Entertainment Summit from March 4-6 in Los Angeles.

Luebbert — a junior from Jefferson City — is a three-year member of the Lady Blue Jays soccer team and is majoring in business communications with a focus in sports marketing.

The summit will give selected student-athletes the opportunity to explore the sports and entertainment industries from the perspective of professionals who work in the fields of entertainment arena and sports media talent and executives.

The Entertainment Summit will be interactive and educational, and will include panel discussions, workshops and a community service project. It is focused on student-athletes who have a desire to pursue careers in entertainment and/or sports media after graduation.

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