May 21, 2014

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – One of the premier guards in Southern Illinois will continue her basketball career at John A. Logan College this fall.

Hailey Darnell of Goreville was an All-Conference, All-South and All-State perfomer with the Blackcats, a team that won 106 games over Darnell’s four-year career and advanced to the state tournament in Class 1A on multiple occasions.

The 5-foot-6 Darnell tallied over 1,400 career points and grabbed 400 rebounds. As a senior, she averaged 23.5 points per game to lead the squad.

“Hailey is a combo guard, who helped take her Goreville team to state the last couple of years,” said JALC head coach Marty Hawkins said. “She is a competitor who scored a ton of points and was clearly a team leader. She’s also a first cousin of our freshman post player here at Logan, Alison Webb. We think Hailey will be a good fit with our basketball program.”

Darnell, who is finishing her athletic career at Goreville on the softball field, said choosing Logan was an easy decision for her.

“I’m excited about it,” she said. “I get to play close to home so that my family and friends can come see me play. That means a lot to me.”

Darnell said she knew as early as her freshman year that basketball would be her best bet to earn an athletic scholarship.

“I knew that I liked the game more and that it came easier to me than the other sports,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to the challenge of college basketball. I feel that if I continue to improve, I should have a good chance at playing and contributing at Logan.”

Darnell described her play as aggressive.

“I enjoy driving to the basket and trying to draw the foul, along with making the shot,” she said. “But I’m not afraid to shoot the three if it’s there.”