It's hard to break up a good sister act.
Notre Dame basketball standout Ashley Millham will be reunited with her sister, Lisa, next year at Central Missouri State after recently signing a letter of intent.
The two sharp-shooting sisters helped Notre Dame win its first girls' state championship last year. With Ashley scoring 17 points, the sisters combined for 36 points in Notre Dame's 63-57 victory over Elsberry in the Class 2 championship game.
Ashley, a senior guard, shot a sizzling 48 percent from 3-point range last season, sank 80 percent of her free throws and averaged 14 points a game in a balanced Bulldog attack. Her junior season ended with all-SEMO Conference and all-region honors.
"I couldn't pass up the opportunity to play ball with my sister again," Millham said.
Litzelfelner signs to play golf for Southeast team
Jackson senior Matt Litzelfelner will remain an Indian next year after signing a letter of intent to play golf for Southeast Missouri State University.
Litzelfelner has been a member of Jackson's varsity golf team since his freshman year and helped the team to state last season.
Litzelfelner has a career-low score of 67 from the black tees at Bent Creek, which his family co-owns. He's grown up on the course and has worked there for several years.
"That's the good part of it," Litzelfelner said. "I don't have to get away from the golf course and I can still play around here."
At Southeast, he'll play under coach Carroll Williams.
"I got letters from other schools, saying I could come try out or walk on, but Southeast gave me the best offer," Litzelfelner said.
Leopold's Jansen signs with Murray State
Less than two weeks after leading Leopold to the Class 1 volleyball championship, senior Holly Jansen has signed a letter of intent to play next season at Murray State of the Ohio Valley Conference.
Jansen, a three-year starter for the Wildcats, finished her career at Leopold in style. She finished with team-high totals of 333 kills and 184 blocks. Jansen was all-Mississippi Valley Conference and all-region as a junior and has already earned all-conference and all-district honors for her senior year.
Jansen's coach, Leanne Huffman, played college volleyball at Southeast when current Murray State coach Dave Schwepker was an assistant with the Otahkians.
"He's a really good coach and will teach Holly a lot," Huffman said.
She added, "I'm very excited for her. I know she has the ability to do it. I think she'll do very well at Murray."
Koeper will continue volleyball career locally
Jackson senior Jessica Koeper has signed a letter of intent to play volleyball for coach Cindy Gannon and the Southeast Otahkians.
Koeper helped Jackson to the Class 4, District 1 championship and a 24-10-2 record. She finished with a team-high 263 kills. Koeper, a three-year starter, was a first-team all-region selection her junior year, as well as academic all-state, and first-team all-district as a senior.
"It's been a dream of mine to play at Southeast," Koeper said, "ever since I went to one of their camps."
Basketball kicks in with area games Monday
The MSHSAA season officially opens Monday with a handful of boys and girls games in the area. Games also will be played Tuesday, but will break for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The schedule begins to roar Monday, Dec. 2, with the start of area tournaments hosted by Oran, Woodland, Farmington and Valley of Caledonia.
Farmington format gives area teams unusual start
Central, Jackson and Notre Dame's boys and girls will open the basketball season in the Farmington Invitational (Dec. 2-7 ), which will feature an unusual seven-team format.
Instead of awarding a bye to the top seed, the tournament will be a hybrid of bracket and round-robin play. Four teams will battle in bracket play and three teams will meet in round-robin action. The bracket and round-robin winners will meet for the championships on Dec. 7.
The odd format, in both boys and girls, came about after newcomer New Madrid County Central withdrew.
Three from area picked for all-state softball team
Three area softball players have been selected second-team all-state by the Missouri Softball Coaches Association.
Senior outfielder Sara Berkbigler and junior pitcher Lindsay Reinagel were honored for Notre Dame (21-7), which reached the Class 3 quarterfinals. Berkbigler batted .313 with a team-high 23 RBIs. Reinagel posted a record of 19-6, breaking her own school record for wins in a season (13).
Sophomore Kelly Essner of Kelly was named to the Class 2 team. The Hawks reached the Class 2 sectionals.
NotreDame places eight on boys' all-district team
The honors are already pouring in for Class 2 state soccer champion Notre Dame.
The team had six players selected to the all-district first team and two to the second team.
On the first team were seniors Adam Prasanphanich (forward), Tyler Cuba (midfield), Dustin Tatum (midfield), Dustin Haupt (defender), Jeff Brosey (defender) and Travis Siebert (goalie).
Bulldogs on the second team were senior Jake Hency (defender) and junior Blake Urhahn (forward).
Central and Jackson players also were honored in Class 4. Central senior Whit Lynn (midfield) was joined on the first team by junior teammates Heath Orr (forward), Grant Hengst (midfield) and Josh Fee (defender). Tigers named to the second team were juniors Aaron Bornstein (forward), Calen Wills (midfield) and James Russell (defender) and sophomore Matt Hellrich (defender).
Jackson seniors Stuart Knowlan (forward), Mitchell Casteel (midfield) and Balraj Dirnberger (defender) were selected first team. Junior Cole Humphrey (defender) and sophomore Tyler Beussink (midfield) were second team.