News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Amey Takes Aim

January 23, 2012

AMEY TAKES AIM: Harrowing path for state hopefuls

The bad news is that the winner of Class 4A Sectional 13 in boys basketball heads northeast instead of southeast for regional play in March — to Hinkle Fieldhouse instead of Seymour as a result of Indiana High School Athletic Association’s changes.

The good news is that at least the Sectional 13 winner won’t have to go that way for the first round of postseason tournament play.

I can’t think of another high school basketball season in which so many teams could legitimately be called state-championship contenders.

And the Marion County area has about a dozen by itself.

Among teams that would feed into the northern semistate, there are Lake Central and Munster from The Region; unbeaten Homestead and two other teams unbeaten until the last two weeks, Elkhart Memorial and New Haven; and defending state runner-up Kokomo, which would seem to have the easiest sectional route. Plus, in just one sectional there are the two teams that have been vying for No. 1 in the state polls most of the season, Hamilton Southeastern and Indianapolis North Central, plus third-ranked Carmel and at least two other teams, Fishers and Zionsville, that might not be state contenders but who could knock out somebody who is.

I count seven state-championship contenders up there (not Elkhart Memorial or New Haven either). Now let’s look at the teams feeding into the regional at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Pendleton Heights is an eighth state contender, but will have to beat New Castle at New Castle to get out of the sectional. Avon, Ben Davis and Pike increase our contender list to 11, all of them coming from the sectional at Southport. Bump the number to 17 with this list of six teams: Indianapolis Cathedral, Indianapolis Tech, Lawrence Central, Lawrence North, Roncalli and Warren Central — all in the same sectional at Tech.

I’d like to think Terre Haute North is the 18th name on that list, and the past weekend didn’t do anything to knock the Patriots off it. They had a pretty good shot at beating Warren Central, followed by as good a bounce-back game as I’ve seen in awhile in dominating a pretty good Bedford North Lawrence team at Bedford.

But the Patriots can’t assume they’re going to Hinkle yet either. Wily coach Tim Wolf  and his Martinsville team lurks in the weeds with a good record and most of the same kids who beat the Patriots two years ago, Mooresville is also having an outstanding season (Bob Carter’s work with a team that was something like 3-18 two years ago has been remarkable) and there could also be Terre Haute South or Northview ready to upset the apple cart. South came very close to North a month ago and gets another shot at the Patriots on Friday, remember.

So if there was ever a good year to drive to Seymour (my personal vote is that there wasn’t) it might be this one. Defending state champion Bloomington South looks human, so somebody like Castle or Jeffersonville or Center Grove — its sectional is the one that switched places with ours — might slip into the semistate.

By that time, an awful lot of potential state champions will be at home.

I haven’t done as much research on the private-school classes yet. I still have high hopes for both Sullivan and Rockville, but the Arrows have to get through their sectional first and the Rox have to get healthy.

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Amey Takes Aim
  • SPT 013114 AIMONE FILE.jpg Amey Takes Aim: Columnist’s boys basketball tradition continues

    In marked contrast to my recent whiny column about girls basketball, I was blessed this winter to see virtually every high school team in the Wabash Valley during the boys season.
    Some might suggest that was a mixed blessing, since a few of our teams weren’t as successful as they are used to being (particularly in the 2014 portion of the season), but the Tribune-Star was still involved with two teams that came within a game of the state finals, one of them in an Indiana final four (no capitalization anymore, new system) and two teams that were in the top eight of their class. That’s only three great teams — Paris was both a game away and in the final eight — but that’s still a pretty good haul.

    March 26, 2014 3 Photos

  • Amey Takes Aim: Tourney provided a few Classic moments

    This column was falling into place nicely until about 1:15 p.m. Saturday. Then youth and inexperience reared up to bite it.

    January 1, 2014

  • This time don't use your head

    My personal suggestion is leather helmets.
    As frightening data on concussions filters its way from the National Football League on down to colleges, high schools and youth leagues, I can’t help but think back to the time when I was standing on the sidelines watching my teammates play.

    December 12, 2013

  • AMEY TAKES AIM: WNBA is part of travel plans

    Columnist prepares for vacation destinations.

    July 4, 2013

  • Amey Takes Aim: NHL playoffs to put TVs to good use

    If Jenny had known, she probably wouldn’t have bought that TV.
    But four or five years ago, my Fathers Day present — for those unfamiliar with Amey family traditions, the Fathers Day one is “let’s get something we all really want and pretend it’s a gift for Dad” — was a 42-inch Vizio. It’s been used even more than the cell phone I never would have bought for myself, or the TomTom that disappeared since Jenny’s smartphone arrived.
    And it came with high-def.
    I’m not going to insult you by telling you how great high-def is, because to do so would be to imply that you are even farther behind the technological curve than I am. I’m guessing, however, that not all of you have yet discovered what it does for hockey.

    April 25, 2013

  • Amey Takes Aim: Can’t bottle the joy of Amey vacations

    The first bad sign was the Gatorade bottle.
    In the Bataan-Death-March drive to Orlando that got the Amey family spring break vacation off to a bad start, seeing it between lanes of I-24 — as we zipped along at a 100-miles-in-five-hours clip — filled with an ominous yellow liquid was a little bit scary. And although we didn't stop to check for sure, I'm fairly certain I knew about its contents.
    And the person stuck in the same traffic jam with us, the one with the existential license plate YMIHR4, couldn’t have asked a more pertinent question.
    But, after seeing a lot more of Oak Grove, Ky., than we’d planned, and after enduring more traffic slowdowns in Nashville, we were on our way. Even some rain in the dark in the Smokies didn’t slow us down much, so you would think our first-day troubles were over.
    You would be wrong.

    April 14, 2013

  • SPT 123112 MAHURIN FILE.jpg ANDY AMEY: Farewell to basketball

    I believe you’ve heard me say before — just about a year ago, perhaps — that a boys high school basketball season that ends with the Tribune-Star in Bankers Life Fieldhouse can’t be considered a bad one, which is why we have a little celebrating to do thanks to the Linton Miners.
    Lover of irony that I am, I’ve also got to point out that this season was another branch sprouting from the Wabash Valley’s most legendary coaching tree, that of Joe Hart.
    Joe never got much credit for his work at Dugger, but he took Brody Boyd, Clark Golish and the Bulldogs to a state championship game in 2000, and since then three of his former players — Joe Pigg, Clint Swan and now Joey Hart, his son — also have coached teams in the final game of the season.
    Joe probably wishes he could take credit for Doc Nash, another down-home type who gave a banjo lesson earlier Saturday in leading Borden past a bigger, more athletic Triton team (banjo lesson is a Howard Sharpism, for you younger readers), but his lineage is still the best I can think of around here.

    March 27, 2013 4 Photos

  • AMEY TAKES AIM: Maroons, Rox final a true Classic

    I don’t make predictions nearly as often as I used to, but I had one several months ago that was proven correct last week.

    January 7, 2013

  • AMEY TAKES AIM: Nitpicking aside, West Vigo Hall of Fame selections spot on

    I can’t imagine a better first class of inductees into the West Vigo High School Athletics Hall of Fame than the one that was feted Saturday night in the Jim Mann Green Dome.

    November 8, 2012

  • SPT090812THNFBbarrett.jpg Tough bunch of people

    I’m getting my warm clothes ready for a trip to Linton this week, and if a few thrills from the Miners, Casey or North Vermillion happen the next couple of weeks, I hope I get to see them.
    But high school football is over in Vigo County for the season — as coach Chris Barrett of Terre Haute North said, prematurely — and I’m sadder to see it go than usual.
    Walking the sidelines and doing midweek or postgame interviews enables me to meet quite a few of the guys whose names you are about to read, and haven’t been more impressed than I was this fall. What outstanding groups of young men. What a tough, tough bunch of people.
    Many know that one of my favorite athletic adjectives appeared consecutively in the previous sentence.

    October 31, 2012 1 Photo

  • AMEY TAKES AIM: A weekend to remember with ISU’s ’72 football team

    They’re all still pretty hale and hearty, the boys of the fall of 1972 who returned to campus over the weekend to honor their former football coach.

    October 8, 2012

  • AMEY TAKES AIM: ISU reunion raises more questions than answers

    One of the wrestlers I used to hang out with occasionally claimed to be a pretty good second-story man — although he may have just been talking, since I never saw any of the goods — and it was with him in mind that I was able to get access to the Indiana State Wrestling Alumni Reunion late Saturday night.

    July 26, 2012

  • AMEY TAKES AIM: Deciding not to ‘vacate’ during ‘vacation’ – & other ventures

    Flaunting the law, setting a bad example for the kids in other ways, grooming and acquiring dogs … not a typical Amey family vacation, but an appreciated one just the same.

    July 23, 2012

  • AMEY TAKES AIM: Huntsville’s Stars, Havoc take back seat to GGS

    The second-best thing about the Amey family’s spring-break trip to Huntsville, Ala., is that we left a lot of things on the table to do the next time we’re down there.

    April 16, 2012

  • SPT 032412 MCFALL FALLS.jpg AMEY TAKES AIM: Rox well represented on Amey teams

    If having the state finals in town makes it a successful girls high school basketball season, then certainly having a team to follow at the state finals makes it a very successful boys high school basketball season . . .

    March 26, 2012 1 Photo

  • SPT 032412 MCFALL FALLS.jpg AMEY TAKES AIM: A feeling of pride, not disappointment, comes from watching Rox play

    It’s not going to come as a startling admission that I — once the rest of the local opposition has been eliminated from consideration — am an unabashed fan of whatever team the Wabash Valley sends onward in postseason high school sports competition.

    March 25, 2012 4 Photos

  • AMEY TAKES AIM: This private school plays basketball the right way

    Any girls high school basketball season that ends with state championship games in Hulman Center is a pretty good one — even though I wished I’d seen Riverton Parke and Seeger knock off a couple of private schools the week before to even the public school-private school battle a little bit.

    March 19, 2012

  • AMEY TAKES AIM: Even 2 of state’s best once had doubts

    Look at them now.

    February 20, 2012

  • SPT 012712 SCRAMBLE.jpg AMEY TAKES AIM: Getting ready for the dance

    Terre Haute North got the good news Sunday night — or did it?

    January 30, 2012 2 Photos

  • AMEY TAKES AIM: Harrowing path for state hopefuls

    The bad news is that the winner of Class 4A Sectional 13 in boys basketball heads northeast instead of southeast for regional play in March — to Hinkle Fieldhouse instead of Seymour as a result of Indiana High School Athletic Association’s changes.

    January 23, 2012

  • AMEY TAKES AIM: A superior all-star arrangement

    I don’t work on Wednesdays, so I wasn’t able to attend the first Wabash Valley Football Coaches Association draft last week to set up the annual all-star game that will be June 23 this year.

    January 16, 2012

  • AMEY TAKES AIM: The biggest & baddest of a holiday classic

    There are more things to love about the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic than could fit in this newspaper, but one of this year’s best things was that for an hour or so on Wednesday, it was Justin Paddock’s world and we were just living in it.

     

    January 3, 2012

  • AMEY TAKES AIM: Taking note of ISU’s latest football win

    The biggest difference I’ve noticed, as I transition from the high school football beat to quasi-official status as the Indiana State football beat writer for a few weeks, is the length of the games.

    November 14, 2011

  • AMEY TAKES AIM: IHSAA playoff draw not as bad as it could have been

    First reaction to the Indiana sectional football pairings drawn late Sunday by the Indiana High School Athletic Association? It could have been a lot worse.

    October 10, 2011

  • ANDY AMEY: Between the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame & a hard place

    Just in case any of you noticed — with some anticipation — the recent lack of my bylines, I can tell you that your wish (and mine) did come true. It was vacation week for the Amey family.

    July 21, 2011

  • AMEY.jpg Amey Takes Aim: UFC fighter’s bloodines traced back to ISU brothers

    As a mild-mannered reporter from a great metropolitan newspaper — or thereabouts — I admit I haven’t paid much attention to the burgeoning mixed martial arts scene.

    July 7, 2011 1 Photo

  • AMEY.jpg AMEY TAKES AIM: Predators’ win is music to new fan’s ears

    For many, many years, the number of live games televised on WGN has been cited as perhaps the main reason for the popularity of the Chicago Cubs (it’s got to be something besides masochism, right?).

    April 28, 2011 1 Photo

  • AMEY TAKES AIM: You’ll be having a good ol’ time on vacation with the Ameys

    When one of the first people you meet is Tammy Wynette’s stepdaughter, when you’ve stepped on the feet of people you haven’t met while trying to navigate Ernest Tubbs’ old Silver Eagle tour bus, and when the activities director of your resort is, well, Elvis, you might be vacationing in Nashville.

    April 14, 2011

  • AMEY TAKES AIM: The Annual All-Amey basketball teams close out the prep season

    The most encouraging boys high school basketball event I’ve attended so far in 2011 has been the Lafayette Semistate a couple of weeks ago.

    March 31, 2011

  • AMEY TAKES AIM: Family remembers Cheryl Weatherman as caring grandmother

    As far as Riley and Keely Davis are concerned, Cheryl Weatherman was simply their grandmother, and a pretty darn good one at that.

    March 24, 2011

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