Feehan Named SLIAC Player of the Year, Four Red Devils Honored

Photos courtesy of Michelle Curl.
Photos courtesy of Michelle Curl.

GREENVILLE, Ill. -- Eureka College junior guard Shea Feehan (Peoria, Ill./Notre Dame H.S.) has been named St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year, according to an announcement from league commissioner Angie Morenz at the SLIAC Tournament, Thursday night in Greenville, Ill. Additionally, junior Hank Thomas (Peoria, Ill./Richwoods H.S.) and sophomore Dakota Bennington (Peoria, Ill./Peoria Christian H.S./Olivet Nazarene) were selected to the All-SLIAC Third Team and senior Ryan McElmurry (Galesburg, Ill./Galesburg H.S./Black Hawk) was voted to the SLIAC All-Defensive Team.

Feehan, who also named to the All-SLIAC First Team, becomes the fourth Red Devil to earn the SLIAC Player of the Year award in EC's 12-year membership in the league. He joins Chris Tarpley (2007), Michael Zasada (2010) and Mark Lessen (2013) as Eureka winners of the award.

The third-year sharpshooter entered Thursday's SLIAC tournament semifinal averaging 30.8 points per game, most in the league and second-most in NCAA Division III. He also ranks among the national leaders with 219 field goals made (sixth), 3.9 3-pointers made per game (seventh), an 87.5 free throw percentage (25th) and a 44.3 3-point field goal percentage (27th). Feehan ranks fourth on Eureka's all-time scoring list with 1,574 points and his 2017-18 total of 646 is seven shy of tying Chris Peterson's single-season school record of 653 set in 1993-94. Additionally, his 126 free throws this season are fourth-most on the Red Devils' single-season modern era list and he also appears on EC's single-season lists with 219 field goals (seventh) and 82 3-pointers (seventh).

Feehan, who transferred to Eureka from NCAA Division II Lewis at semester break in December 2015, broke Eureka's single-game scoring record with 49 points in a non-conference win at Knox on Nov. 26. He joins Zasada as Eureka's only three-time All-SLIAC performers. Feehan, Zasada and Lessen are the only Red Devils to be named to the All-SLIAC First Team in consecutive seasons.

Bennington joined EC at semester break, appearing in 16 contests after making his debut against Domincian (Ill.) on Dec. 19 and making his first of four starts at Spalding on Feb. 3. He averaged 17.0 points for the year and led the Red Devils with 7.3 rebounds per contest. He scored in double figures in all but two of his appearances, including a career-high 33 points in his start at Spalding, and compiled three double-doubles. He shot 50 percent from the field and 85 percent at the foul line.

Thomas produced another big season in the Eureka backcourt, averaging 17.6 points in 24 appearances and 22 starts. Largely a perimeter shooter, Thomas connected from the field at a 43-percent clip and produced eight 20-point games, including a season-high 28 against Greenville on Nov. 29. Thomas overcame a facial injury suffered Jan. 31 at Webster to return to the starting lineup on Feb. 10 and pumped in 27 points in EC's regular-season finale against Fontbonne on Feb. 17. Thomas entered Thursday's SLIAC Tournament semifinal with 992 points, eight shy of becoming Eureka's 24th 1,000-point scorer in program history.

McElmurry is Eureka's fifth SLIAC All-Defensive Team honoree since 2012 and the first since Greg Kent in 2016. He anchored a Eureka defensive unit that shaved more than 11 points off its scoring defense average from last season. The NJCAA Black Hawk transfer was the only Red Devil to start all 25 games and finished the regular season with 30 steals. McElmurry also entered Thursday's tournament opener with 141 assists, second-most in the SLIAC, 16th-most in Division III and eighth-most in a season in program history.

Senior Brady Sanders (Minonk, Ill./Fieldcrest H.S./Illinois Wesleyan) was Eureka's representative on the SLIAC All-Sportsmanship Team. One player from all 10 SLIAC schools are named to the All-Sportsmanship Team.