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Marion County College Report

Williams Approaches Basketball and Motherhood with Maturity

Whitney Williams has a big fan. Not big as in “large,” mind you. But big as in “passionate.”

Williams’ biggest fan is her 2-year-old son Dierre, and Dierre is the reason Whitney pushes herself to succeed on the basketball court. Williams, a 19-year-old Centralia graduate, is currently leading Kaskaskia College to what appears to be another solid season. At press time, the Blue Angels were off to a 7-2 start.

Williams’ role of leading the team to wins is important, but not near as important as her role as a mother to the little boy Williams nicknamed “Baby D.”

"I push because of him, not only on the basketball court, but in the classroom," Williams said. "I know that because of the work I do at Kaskaskia, it will be better for me in the future. Having a son makes you grow up quick. Realizing you have responsibilities makes you strive for more."

Through the first nine games, Williams has scored 124 points for an average of 13.8 points per game. Besides leading the team in points scored and points per game, she also leads the team in steals (30). and has 61 rebounds, 16 assists and four blocked shots.

Williams is one of three athletes on the squad shooting over 50 percent from the field. The former Annie player has hit 47-of-91 field goals (51.7 percent) and 28-of-38 free throws (73.7). …

At 68.89 points per game, KC has plenty of athletes who have scored, but only one other is averaging in double figures. Williams, a 5-foot-9 guard, is joined by Raeford, N.C., product Sad'a Ray, who is averaging 11.2 points per game.

"Sad'a leaves it all on the floor and I believe I do as well," Williams said. "My performance has been better this year than last. This sport is going to help me accomplish other things in my life. I hope in one year, I am at a four-year school and still playing basketball. ...

Centralia grad Julie Garrison scored 16 points in her most recent game to help the McKendree University Bearcats defeat Olivet Nazarene University 107-93. Garrison was 6-of-12 from the floor and a perfect 4-of-4 from the charity stripe. Garrison completed the double-double by pulling down 12 rebounds and doling out two assists. At the time of the contest Olivet Nazarene University was ranked 25th in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Division I Poll. ...

Salem grad Ellen Young has found a new college home at University of Southern Indiana. The sophomore scored in double figures in both games at the Indianapolis Classic. In a 87-62 USI win over Grace University, Young scored 12 points by hitting 5-of-13 from the field an including one from beyond the 3-point arc. In USI's tournament opener, a 70-55 loss to Hillsdale College, Young finished with 11 points, three steals, three rebounds and two assists. She had three field goals (one trey) and four free throws. USI is 3-3. ...

The University of Illinois-Springfield is 1-6 after its first seven games. Former Salem Wildcat player Shana Stein, an Illinois-Springfield senior guard, has started every game and averaged 19.2 minutes. Stein has 32 points and 16 rebounds, respective averages of 5.3 and 2.7 per game. Stein also had five assists. Stein hit 10-of-26 from the field and 12-of-13 from the charity stripe. UIS is 1-6. ...

The United States Air Force Academy snapped a three game losing streak by beating Barry University 56-43. Salem grad Kim Kreke, a USAF senior, had five points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots in the contest. The Air Force Falcons are 2-4. ...

Samantha Maines, a Centralia grad and Maryville University senior, had three points and two rebounds in Maryville's 87-56 win over Principia College. Principia is 2-2. ...

Swimming

Andrew Langenfeld, a Centralia grad and Purdue University senior, competed in nine different events at Texas A&M University’s Art Adamson Invitational. Langenfeld finished in the top 10 in seven of those events. Individually, the Purdue University senior finished fifth in the 100-yard butterfly (47.62-seconds) and sixth in the 50-yard freestyle (20.15). He was also a member of four scoring relays for the Boilermakers. He was a member of the 400-yard medley relay (third, 3:17.12), 400-yard freestyle relay (fourth, 3:00.98), 200-yard medley relay (fifth, 1:29.36) and 200-yard freestyle relay (sixth, 1:21.72). As a team, Purdue finished third with 583 points. Stanford University won the outing with 1,565. ...

In their only swimming outing during the month of November, the Illinois State University Redbirds lost to University of Illinois 194-106. Centralia High grad Lindsay Dinkelman, an ISU swimmer, finished second in the 100-yard breastroke, touching the wall in 1:07.64. Dinkelman was also a member of the ISU 400-yard medley relay, which finished third in 4:02.59. ...

Men's Basketball

Centralia resident Andy Wolff, who did his prep work at Metro East Lutheran, has helped the McKendree University men's basketball team post an 8-4 record through the first 12 games. McKendree split their two games at the Union University Thanksgiving Classic held during the final weekend of November. In the 80-79 loss to Freed-Hardeman University, Wolff finished with 11 points, eight rebounds and two assists. He was 5-of-8 from the floor, which included a 1-of-1 performance from beyond the arc. McKendree defeated Union in the second game, this time earning the one point win, beating the hosts 67-66. Wolff was held scoreless, but finished with six rebounds, three assists, two blocked shots and two steals. McKendree was ranked ninth in the NAIA Division I Pre-Season Poll. ...

Request For Names and Future Columns

We are back of course. Sorry it is so late, but with the price of gasoline during the summer, there was not enough money to come to Marion County and get sponsors. We hope to add a few more in the next couple of weeks.

Now, what to do about it. Since we missed approximately the first 15 weeks of the year. We are going to run twice a week during the basketball season. We will try to publish those every Monday morning and every Thursday morning. This will continue until at least the end of February. At that time, we will slow to every week.

If you have a name to add to my growing list, please e-mail me (Dan62801@aol.com). The athlete must be a member of an intercollegiate team and they also must be a resident of one of the towns or a graduate of one of the high schools in Marion County.

When e-mailing me, I will need the name of the athlete, the former high school, the college/university they are attending and of course, the sport they are playing. Please put "Marion County College Report" in the subject line of each and every e-mail. ...