Aurora University junior and former Streator High School standout Max Vickers saw their season come to a close at the NCAA Division II National Championships in St. Louis this past weekend.
The Spartans (20-9) earned an opening-round, 82-80 win over Washington University in St. Louis, with Vickers recording seven points, 11 rebounds and two assists, including the 3/4-court inbounds pass that led to Marcus Myers' game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer. AU then fell 82-61 to Nebraska Wesleyan University in the second round, despite 15 points and 12 rebounds from Vickers, who finished the season with per-game norms of 16.0 points and 7.1 rebounds, and is now just 143 points away from 1,000 for his career.
Waubonsee Community College (20-11) had its season come to a close with a 59-51 setback to South Suburban College in the semifinals of the NJCAA Region IV Division II District 4 tournament. Addison Bode (Fr., Somonauk) had a free throw in the loss for the Chiefs and finished the season averaging 4.1 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists.
Third-seeded Illinois State University fell 65-46 to No. 1 seed and regular-season champ Loyola University-Chicago in the championship game of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. Isaac Gassman (RS-So., Ottawa) had eight points and three rebounds for the Redbirds in the loss to the Ramblers. Gassman also had five points in a tournament-opening, 77-70 victory over Indiana State, and three points and two rebounds in ISU's 76-68 overtime triumph over Southern Illinois University in the semifinals.
Illinois State waits to see what its future holds, as the NCAA and NIT brackets will be released on Sunday, March 11.
Indiana University East (31-2) is the top seed in the Naismith Bracket of the NAIA Division II National Championship Tournament. The Wolves and forward Keating Rombach (So., Ottawa) begin play on Wednesday when they take on Voorhees College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. IUE is coming off its second-straight River States Conference Tournament championship and has won 25 consecutive games.
Kankakee Community College advanced to this Sauturday's NJCAA Region IV Division II District D Tournament championship contest Prairie State College at Waubonsee College with a 79-74 victory over Morton College in the semifinals. Paige Hacker (Fr., Seneca), who had four points, two rebounds and an assist against Morton, also had eight points, 16 rebounds and six assists to help the top-seeded Lady Cavaliers (22-7) to a 90-43 quarterfinal triumph over Lake County.
Mozelle Kempiak (So., Serena) registered 22 points, 15 rebounds, three assists and three blocks, with Savannah Arend (Fr., Serena) adding two points and a rebound, but it wasn't enough to help the Lady Chiefs (18-13) in a season-ending 71-61 loss to Morton College in the NJCAA Region IV Division II District D Tournament quarterfinals. It was the 46th career double-double in 61 games for Kempiak, who ended her two-year stint at WCC averaging 14.2 points, 11.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 2.2 steals and 1.1 blocks.
Track and Field
Western Illinois University's Nick Olson (Fr., Woodland) finished 11th in the shot put at the Summitt League Indoor Championships. Olson posted a personal-best toss of 51 feet, 1/4 inch for the Leathernecks, who placed fifth at the event.
Aurora University's women recently won the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference Indoor Championship for the sixth straight season. Shelby Leonard (So., Ottawa) placed seventh for the Spartans in the pole vault (9-1/4), while Aubrey Kelson (Jr., Sandwich) and Autumn Oley (Sr., Ottawa) finished ninth and tenth respectively in the 5000-meter run. Kelson clocked a time of 21 minutes, 48.72 seconds, while Oley crossed the line in 22:09.81. Benedictine University's Emma Roberts (So., Sandwich) helped her team to a fifth-place mark at the meet by winning the 5000 (17:52.43) and placing second in the 3000 (10:20.81).
Augustana College's Peyton Couch (Fr., Ottawa) placed fifth in the heptathlon for the Vikings with a final score of 3,480 points at the Wartburg Invitational.
Delanie Johnson (Fr., Streator) is hitting .255 with three doubles and a team-leading 13 RBIs for Lake Land College. Johnson is currently on a three-game hitting streak for the Lakers (10-9).
Millikin University is off to a 6-0 start, as shortstop Seth Coffey (Sr., Ottawa) is hitting .429 with a double, home run and two RBIs, while reliever Brandon Viken (Jr., Seneca) has made one appearance, fanning one in one inning of work.