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Marion County College Report

Ashley Hammer Signs with Kaskaskia College

When Kaskaskia College coach Kim Potthast first saw Sandoval volleyball player Ashley Hammer, it is fair to say coach Potthast liked what she saw.

Potthast recruited Hammer specifically to fill a hole on the front row. Hammer signed because she knows that Potthast will train her to help Kaskaskia — not only over the the next two years, but also as Kaskaskia transforms from a two-year into a four-year school.

Thus begins the marriage made on College Road in Centralia.

"I chose KC because of their great nursing program and Potthast's reputation," Hammer said. "She turned KC around quickly. I like that. If I can improve as a player and make it through their nursing program, I will consider that a successful career."

Hammer finished her senior season at Sandoval with 103 kills, 83 solo blocks and a .390 hitting percentage. Both her hitting percentage and solo blocks were team highs.

In addition, Sandoval posted a winning record for the first time in 12 seasons with a 16-14 mark. They advanced to an IHSA 1A Regional Final before being defeated by Lebanon.

"Ashley learned an entirely new system pretty quickly," Sandoval coach Todd Cook said. "She is a big strong kid and the fact that she is a quick learner will help her. I wish I had an opportunity to coach her for more than one year."

KC had a season similar to that of Sandoval. In her first season behind the clipboard at KC, the Blue Angels finished 18-19 overall and 3-5 in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference.

"We want Ashley to contribute to our program right away," Potthast said. "She is strong, athletic and very dedicated to the sport and will be a great addition to our team. She has the tools to help our team immediately."...

Men's Basketball

Following a sweet 21-game winning streak, McKendree College finally lost a game, falling 65-54 to Columbia College in the American Midwest Conference Tournament Championship game. To earn a trip to the championship game, McKendree dropped Harris-Stowe State University (79-50) and Hannibal-LaGrange College (79-63).

Centralia resident and Metro East Lutheran grad Andy Wolff his best game of the tournament against HLG. The sophomore guard scored 14 points by hitting 5-of-9 from the field and 3-of-4 from the charity stripe. Wolff, who struck once from beyond the arc, also had five rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Even though they lost in the title game of the AMC Tournament, the McKendree squad received a bid to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Nationals.

McKendree, who was ranked fourth in the NAIA during the conference tournament, received the seventh seed at the NAIA Nationals and will face Northwestern Oklahoma State University in the first round on March 19 at 8 p.m. The game will be played at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Missouri.

McKendree will enter the contest with a 28-5 mark. They finished the AMC season with a perfect 14-0 mark. ...

Centralia grad Matt Shaw scored 11 points as his professional team, Spanish-based La Palma, pulled off an upset win over LEB Gold, Lucentum Alicante Costablanca 80-74. Shaw hit 4-of-8 field goals including 3-of-7 from beyond the arc. With the win, LaPalma improved to 11-13 overall. Lucentum Alicante Costablanca is 18-5. ...

Women's Basketball

The United States Air Force Academy got two double digit performances from Salem grad Kim Kreke, but they did not win either contest.

Kreke scored 12 points as the Air Force Lady Falcons lost a 64-63 battle to University of Nevada-Las Vegas. Kreke hit 4-of-11 from the field and 4-of-6 from the stripe. The towering 6-foot-3 senior center also had eight rebounds and two steals.

In Air Force's 65-34 loss to University of Wyoming, Kreke posted a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. She also tallied three blocked shots and three steals. The Air Force Academy is 4-24 overall and 0-16 in the Mountain West Conference. ...

The University of Illinois-Springfield won its final game of the regular season, beating McKendree University 62-60. Salem product Shana Stein, an Illinois-Springfield senior, scored 11 points by hitting 4-of-10 field goals, which included a 3-for-5 performance from beyond the arc. Stein also had five rebounds, three assists and three steals.

UIS was ousted in the first round of the American Midwest Conference Tournament by Columbia College. They were topped 71-52 as Stein finished with five points, four rebounds and three steals. UIS finished 8-23 overall and 6-10 in the AMC. ...

Ellen Young scored seven points over 31 in University of Southern Indiana's 70-59 loss to Rockhurst University. The Southern Indiana sophomore played 31 minutes. In the team’s 75-69 loss to Drury, Young finished with five points, four rebounds and four assists. Southern Indiana is 14-13 overall and 6-11 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. ...

Former Centralia player Julie Garrison, now a McKendree senior, scored three points over seven minutes during McKendree's 87-47 win over Missouri Baptist University at the AMC Tournament. McKendree advanced to the title game but fell to William Woods University 69-55. McKendree finishes the year at 20-12 overall and 9-7 in the AMC. ...

The Maryville University women's basketball team finished its season in the first round of the NCAA Division III playoffs. It was the final year of Division III competition for the school as they will be moving to NCAA Division II next year.

In the 77-62 loss to Wisconsin-Stevens Point, former Centralia player Samantha Maines finished with two points and two rebounds for MU. Maryville ended its season with a 22-6 overall mark and a perfect 16-0 record in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. ...

Golf

Maryville senior and Centralia graduate Nick Profancik opened the spring portion of his season with a 13th-place finish in the Spring Hill Badge Invitational at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala. Profancik recorded a stroke count of 159 after opening with a low round of 77. As a team, Maryville finished sixth with a 652. Lindenwood University took first with a 611. ...

Softball

The University of Southern Indiana is currently in Kissimmee, Fla., taking part in the NCAA Division II Rebel Spring Games. Former Salem player and Southern Indiana regular Amanda Brendel had her best game of the event against Chadron State. In the 3-2 USI loss, Brendel was 2-for-3 with one RBI and one walk. USI is 4-14. ...