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Villa Grove Blue Devils winter sports wrap

By Tony Hooker
Girls Basketball
Rattled by Illineks
Cold shooting (22 percent) and too many turnovers spelled defeat for the Devils as they fell 50-23 to Uni High on January 4. Vanessa Wright, showing no ill effects after returning from a recent injury, stuffed the stat sheet with ten points, seven rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots to lead the VGHS effort. Kaylee Arbuckle backed her with six points and led the way defensively by pilfering four steals. Emma Buesing and Jobella Crafton each dished out a pair of assists to help the offensive attack, and Ava Vollmer chipped in four points and five rebounds, including three off the offensive glass. 

Thrown by Riders
Kaylee Arbuckle netted a team high nine points, but it wasn’t enough as VGHS fell to Arcola 51-25 on January 6. Jobella Crafton chipped in six points and Vanessa Wright added five for the Devils. Arbuckle yanked down eight  rebounds, including four on offense, and Ava Vollmer collected seven caroms of her own. Arbuckle also pilfered three steals to lead the defensive effort and dished out two assists in one of her strongest overall games. The lady netters return to action this week with games on 1/10 at Cumberland, 1/11 vs Chrisman, 1/13 vs ALAH and then begin LPC play on 1/15 at Arcola. 

Boys Basketball
Remembered by Titans
By almost any statistical metric, the Blue Devils outplayed Tri-County on January 4. Unfortunately, poor free throw shooting (3/15) and a decided disadvantage on the glass (48-26) led to a 70-67 double overtime heart breaker of a loss. Layne Rund splashed 5 three pointers on his way to a 24-point night, Parker Stevens added 15, Robert Fancher added a trio of treys and scored 11, and Peyton Smith chipped in ten points. Brady Clodfelder, Stevens, Rund Smith each had five rebounds to lead the way on the glass, and Stevens handed out seven dimes and pilfered six  steals to help the cause. Rund had six steals and four assists in a solid overall performance.

Nicked by Illineks
Sometimes a solid team effort in basketball can be overcome by a surpassing individual output. Such was the case in Villa Grove’s 72-56 loss to Uni High on January 7. Uni’s Ethan Mok-Chih poured in 37 points to overcome a balanced VGHS attack, led by Layne Rund’s 17-point effort. Brady Clodfelder added 12 points and Liam Barr netted ten for the Blue Devils. Clodfelder pulled down four offensive rebounds on his way to a game high eight boards. Rund pilfered four steals and Robert Fancher and Parker Stevens dished out two assists apiece for VGHS, which returns to action this week with games at Arcola on 1/11, at Cumberland on 1/14, and vs ALAH on January 18.

Junior Devilettes
In their first performance in over 600 days, the junior devilettes picked up right where they left off with a first-place finish and state qualifying score at the Charleston Competition. 

Junior High Volleyball
Eighth grade bites Bulldogs
Piper Kiser had four kills, six digs and eight aces to lead VGJH to a 25-17, 25-13 road win over Bement in their season opener on January 6. Libero Ella Schweighart handed out eight assists to fire the attack. The Blue Devils return to action with a home contest vs. Prairieview-Ogden on 1/10, and a road game at Philo St. Thomas on 1/13. The netters then travel to Georgetown for tournament action on 1/15.

Seventh grade bitten by Bulldogs
In their first game of the season, VGJH dropped a 18-25, 14-25 decision to Bement. Setter Kynnzey Coller led the Devil attack by flushing four kills and handing out four assists, and Middle Blocker pounded down three kills of her own. Middle Blocker Evalice Callison had five digs and outside hitter Kori Russell dug out three attempts of her own.

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