LTC's Mykiah Jones (12) glides in for a basket during the first half of Monday (Nov. 13)'s home opener against Lindenwood-Belleville JV. Jones finished just shy of double figures with nine points in LTC's 82-48 win. (Josh Brown photo)
The first home game of the season went about as well as it could have for Lincoln Trail College's women's basketball team.
The Lady Statesmen jumped out to a big lead early and coasted to an easy, 82-48, win over Lindenwood-Belleville JV in their home opener (Nov. 13).
"Our game plan was pretty simple. We wanted to focus on our defense and our bench," LTC head coach Scott Spark said. "We feed off defensive intensity and that fuels our offense. I think we did a very good job of that early and continued that throughout the game."
Re-establishing a pipeline to Robinson High School continues to benefit Lincoln Trail College's softball program.
The latest Lady Maroon to join the Lady Statesmen is senior Katelynn Smith, who signed her letter-of-intent to continue her career at LTC recently.
"This is good for everybody involved," LTC head coach Gary Rodgers said. "There is no reason why any of the local kids need to look any further than Lincoln Trail College."
"It's good to see kids stay local," RHS head coach Mark Brayfield said. "It's good for us and it's a huge plus for Gary, too."
For Smith, it is a dream come true.
"I am super excited," Smith said. "I have always wanted to play college softball and as soon as I had the opportunity, I took it. I got to practice with the girls on the team and I knew a lot of them and felt welcomed. Right then I knew it was the right fit."
More than a dozen local athletes were recognized for their achievements either on the court or field during the fall season, as they were named to one of the All-Little Okaw Valley Conference Southeast Division teams.
Seven from the county (four Hutsonville-Palestine, three Oblong) were named in volleyball, while six more (four Oblong, two Palestine-Hutsonville) were tabbed in football.
Neither the weather nor the results were to the liking of local participants at the IHSA Class 1A Cross Country State Finals Saturday (Nov. 4).
Cold and wet conditions were a factor during the boys' race at Detweiller Park in Peoria, which saw a short-handed Robinson High School's boys' team finish 15th out of 25 teams and Hutsonville-Palestine's Negus Bogard just miss out on all-state recognition with a 27th-place finish.
Strong play early on this season continued for Lincoln Trail College's women's basketball team over the weekend.
The Lady Statesmen remained unbeaten on the young season with a pair of lopsided wins at the Sodexo Classic in Vincennes. Lincoln Trail rolled past Indiana Tech Saturday (Nov. 4), 79-57, then cruised past Olive-Harvey on Sunday (Nov. 5), 70-48.
Sometimes in order to build something back up, you have to tear it down to the studs.
Following a 9-20 campaign in his first season as head coach, that is the philosophy Lincoln Trail College men's basketball coach Luke Stuckey employed heading into his second season at the helm of the Statesmen.
None of the 17 players on this year's roster saw any court time for the Statesmen last season, while only two of them were even in the program. There are also just two sophomores on the roster, but there are also four redshirt freshmen, along with 11 true freshmen.
"We are the youngest team in college basketball," Stuckey said. "But, I like where we are at right now. The practices have been great and we have improved in a lot of areas."
Opening games usually aren't picture perfect and Wednesday (Nov. 1)'s game wasn't, but it was still positive for Lincoln Trail College's women's basketball team.
The Lady Statesmen opened their season at Danville Area Community College and cruised to a 65-46 win on the road.
"We started out a little slow and out of sync," LTC head coach Scott Sparks said. "When we finally got our legs under us, things started to click. We hit them hard halfway through the first quarter with some scoring inside and out. Our press really got us going."