Terre Haute North got the good news Sunday night — or did it?
Coach Mike Allen’s Patriots drew still-winless Northview in the first round of Class 4A Sectional 12, which will be played a little over a week from now on North’s court.
Terre Haute South got sectional favorite — if records mean anything — Plainfield in the other first-round game there a week from Tuesday, while defending champion Mooresville and Martinsville got byes into the Feb. 10 semifinal games.
Plainfield has the only really good record in the field — 15-5 so far — and Northview the only bad one, with the other four teams all grouped within two games of .500 for the season.
In other draws by the Indiana High School Athletic Association on Sunday, both West Vigo and South Vermillion avoided the favorites in the first round of Class 3A Sectional 28 by drawing each other (favored Edgewood and darkhorse Brown County both got byes) and nothing in the Class 2A or Class A pairings looks ominous.
Which is ominous itself, something I’ll explain in a couple of paragraphs.
At Bloomfield, Sullivan’s first venture in a 2A tournament begins with the ninth-ranked Arrows having to go through a number of teams with reasonably similar records. The rematch of Linton and North Central that some of us predicted (the Miners and Thunderbirds play tonight, each seeking a first win of the season) can’t occur until the championship game.
At North Vermillion, things appear to be set up for favorites Riverton Parke and North Vermillion — who have played one overtime game already this season — to meet in the final game, although the Panthers’ first-round opponent, Attica, is one of the most improved teams in the state.
And at Clay City, where the Eels are two-time defending champions with a senior-laden lineup, a hot Shakamak team would seem to be the biggest challenge, something that again could not occur until the last night of the tournament.
But this is the sectional, remember, and things are not always as they seem. There are some nerves involved, particularly in a team’s first game (which is why the recently adopted format of the bye teams each playing a previous winner is one of the good things the IHSAA has done, wiping out some of the advantage to playing one fewer game).
If I knew where he was — or if he’s still alive — I would introduce Randy Harkabus to Mike Allen.
Randy was the big star at Lowell a year or two before I even got to high school, known throughout The Region for his scoring and rebounding and also throughout Lowell for a feat of expectoration that I’d probably better explain to you in person.
Lowell was no longer in a state-record basketball losing streak at that time, but at least was trending toward mediocrity. The Red Devils had to play in the East Chicago Sectional, however, which was usually an immediate kiss of death.
Imagine the thrills that went through Lowell when the draw came out and the Red Devils were paired with Crown Point — not only our bitterest rival, but our bitterest rival having the worst season in its history.
Imagine the depression when the 0-20 Bulldogs picked up their first win in that first-round sectional game.
Play the games and don’t look ahead, girls. I’ll get to as many as I can.
• Honored — Among the highlights of the West Vigo homecoming game Saturday was a ceremony for athletic director Mike Miller, who was recognized — quite reluctantly, I’m told — for his 13 years of service (not 14, he corrected later) and got a standing ovation as well as some memorabilia celebrating both his administrative career and his playing career (he still has the school record of 29 rebounds in a game, which not even daughter Bridget could break).
It was a busy night for Kathy Miller too. She was out there with her husband, children and grandchildren, but also got flowers prior to the varsity game from the Vikes and Tykes, who sang the National Anthem.
• Haven’t heard enough about this — Her fellow Seymour alum, Clint Davis, sent along the complete list of the Silver Anniversary girls basketball team released earlier this month by the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame that includes Indiana State women’s coach Teri Moren.
I wasn’t fortunate enough to see the 1987 Indiana All-Stars that featured Teri as well as Miss Basketball Lori Meinerding (now Morris-DeVries) of Fort Wayne Northrop and Indiana; Nikki Anderson (Cerbone) of Center Grove and Butler; Shannon Hardesty (Cantu) of Crawfordsville and Indiana; Krissi Davis of Noblesville and Notre Dame; Michelle Baker (Davis) of Franklin and Ball State; Vicki Lander of Evansville Bosse and UNLV; Kelly Powell (Richter) of Silver Creek and Eastern Illinois; Jane Calhoun (Scott) of Tipton and Purdue; Sara White of Clarksville and Wake Forest; Dana Wilkerson of Anderson and UNLV; and Ann Zellers (Williams) of Western Boone and IUPUI. Teri, of course, also starred at Purdue.
Other members of the Silver Anniversary team, which will be honored in April, are Janice Holliday (Burrus) of Elkhart Memorial and UNLV; Alicia Dobbels (Clevenger) of Seeger and St. Joseph’s; Shari Clark (Doud) of Mt. Vernon and Drake; Sharon Geary (Franks) of Lake Central and Ohio State; Robin Scott of Madison-Grant and IPFW; and Kristie Talley (Wright) of North Posey and Southern Indiana.
• Confirmation — Heard from Gary Fears this week that Bloomfield has officially withdrawn from the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic (meaning somebody else will have to play at 10 a.m. on the first day now) and will be replaced by Robinson.
PHWVC fans are going to like Aaron Siler of the Maroons, I predict.
• Not surprised — Futsum Zeinasellassie of Indianapolis North Central was Gatorade’s Runner of the Year for boys cross country.
• Reflecting — I can’t blame anyone for getting a little choked up about all the recent oratory surrounding the death of Joe Paterno.
I might also suggest, however, that those people read the recent piece in OnionSports, the one purportedly written by Jerry Sandusky. If you were one of my 99 followers at the time, you already have the link.
Andy Amey can be reached after 4 p.m. at (812) 231-4277 or at 1-800-783-8742; by e-mail at email@example.com; by mail at P.O. Box 149, Terre Haute, IN; or by fax at (812) 231-4321. Follow @TribStarAndy on Twitter.