News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Amey Takes Aim

January 3, 2012

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

Smallest players steal the show at TH North

TERRE HAUTE — 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.

Justin, for those of you who don’t know him, is a freshman basketball player at Turkey Run. When you watch him warm up before the game you aren’t surprised by the freshman part, because Justin isn’t very tall (5-foot-3 seems to be the official height) and is very (sorry dude, I can’t avoid this description) cute.

He saw action at the end of all three of the Warrior games, but on Wednesday in the waning seconds against Terre Haute South he launched a 25-footer — and buried it. The cheers that followed might have been as loud as the tournament got until the championship game din between Terre Haute North and Sullivan, and North’s fans — who were in place to see their team play later, and who were seated next to the Turkey Run cheering section — adopted him immediately, to the point of serenading him (JUST-in PADD-ock, JUST-in PADD-ock) when he emerged from the locker room about a half hour after the game (which required a little research, since his name wasn’t in the program). Autographs were sought, I’m told.

If that was my favorite moment of this year’s tournament, however, it wasn’t my favorite play. This happened with 17 seconds left in Tuesday’s first-round game between Linton and Monrovia.

If you have your list of scores handy, you’ll realize Linton was leading by 30 points at the time. But when a ball got loose on the court, six players hit the floor going for it. Kudos to coaches Joey Hart and Chris Sampson for teaching their players how to compete.

Here are a couple of other oddities I noticed last week.

• Best fans, part one — He’s not Lew Drake yet (my former son-in-law’s father has seen more minutes of PHWVC basketball than any other paying fan, I’m willing to bet) but Rockville’s Joel Wittenmyer, for the second year in a row, was around quite a bit.

I arrived before 10 a.m. Tuesday, and Joel was in the stands when I got there (Rockville’s game was at 2:30 p.m.).

Before that game was over, the Sullivan fans were streaming in (they played Rockville, remember), and during the second game that day I saw some Northview people (the Knights were going to play at 8:30 p.m.).

• Best fans, part two — There were several big contingents of adult fans at the tournament, Shakamak and Rockville being particularly noticeable to me. But the folks from Sullivan and Marshall actually know their team’s cheers and yell right along with the cheerleaders.

(I mention this point out that, despite what at least one school seems to believe, it is not illegal for cheerleaders to actually lead cheers.)

Student fans? North’s Woelf Pack isn’t always polite or as clever as they think they are, but I give them props for being loud and well organized.

• Best sideline coaching — Early in the Wednesday game between Linton and Marshall (when the Lions were without leading scorer Logan Cannady), Marshall’s Walker Berner passed up a shot in the corner. Walker can stroke it (he is left-handed, after all), and coach Tom Brannan yelled out “Don’t be afraid to shoot it.” By the time the words were out of his mouth, however, the Lions had reversed the ball to the other corner to 6-5 Taylor Maurer. “Not you,” Brannan continued, not quite as loudly.

Maurer, of course, drained the 3-pointer he wasn’t supposed to take and added two more of them before the first quarter was over.

• Just lob it up there near the basket — With less than a second left before the end of a quarter in a Thursday game between Linton and Casey, Linton’s Sam Dyar was throwing an in-bounds pass from midcourt. Linton’s frontline, remember, includes 6-8 Austin Karazsia and 6-5 Dess Fougerousse, so the plan was to attempt an alley-oop pass.

Of course Dyar banked it in.

(And if you think an awful lot of unusual plays seem to happen when the Miners are playing, you are not alone.)

• Longest eight minutes of basketball in recorded history — Same game, Miners trailing, Hart trying to extend the game. Here are some stats for you: 13 of 30 field goal attempts, 21 of 45 free throw attempts, 26 personal fouls.

In the fourth quarter.

And now some awards:

• Best game — That 2:30 contest on the first day, Rockville vs. Sullivan was maybe the best PHWVC contest ever in terms of intensity and passion. The North-South game that followed, which was also a dandy, paled by comparison (and had a smaller crowd).

• Best teams to watch — Marshall and West Vigo, who staged a classic game of their own for third place, had four extremely solid performances that were a joy. Brannan might not consider this his best man-to-man defensive team, but I think I do. Which leads me to …

• Defensive players — There was plenty of hard-nosed play during the week, so this isn’t a complete list, but guys like Wittenmyer, Caleb Turner of Sullivan, Austin Lewis of North, Koye Kaiser of Linton and Josh Parker of Owen Valley take pride in their work at the other end of the court.

And at least twice I saw two of them guarding each other, which pretty much reduced those games to four-on-four, like overtime hockey.

Those defenders still weren’t guaranteed to stop …

• The penetrators — Jordan Houser of West Vigo and Brock Dowell of Shakamak wore out probably a dozen defenders each in the course of the week. Trying to stay in front of either one was a frustrating job (and probably means Marshall’s Jacob Duncan belongs on that previous list too).

And on Thursday, we wound up watching a battle of left-handed facilitators when Dowell (my choice as the most egregious all-tournament snub) and Owen Valley point forward Trent Whitten combined for 16 assists.

• Teams who helped themselves — Start with South, which was a first quarter against North away from going 4-0 after entering the tournament with one win. One win is what South Vermillion has now, which has to help the Wildcats, and Casey, Marshall and maybe even Sullivan (see below) are a little bit better now than they were a week ago. I’m willing to add the champion Patriots to this list too, on the nights when they’re not easily satisfied.

• A little inconsistent, perhaps? Linton had three games — one great, two not so good. Monrovia got blown out by Linton, then nearly beat Bloomfield. Bloomfield could have lost to Monrovia, then turned around to beat Rockville by 10. That game puts Rockville on this list — the Rox seem to have one weirdly bad PHWVC game each year, although it doesn’t seem to hurt them later in the year — and Sullivan’s pattern of overpowering spurts followed by lulls that let opponents get close again might need a little smoothing out.

Speaking of smoothing out …

• Unsung hero — Some of the computers at Terre Haute North are very similar to those at the Tribune-Star (not necessarily a compliment).

The graciousness of the Patriot staff, particularly Stacy Mason and Kris Painter, was complemented very nicely by North student Jessica Sotak, the nicest technical assistant I’ve worked with in quite a while.

Andy Amey can be reached after 4 p.m. at (812) 231-4277 or at 1-800-783-8742; by e-mail at andy.amey@tribstar.com; by mail at P.O. Box 149, Terre Haute, IN, 47808; or by fax at (812) 231-4321. Follow @TribStarAndy on Twitter.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Amey Takes Aim
  • Amey Takes Aim: Still-alive columnist offers thanks for recent kind words

    I’ve often had the weird thought that it would be nice to be able to attend my own funeral — in some kind of cognitive state, of course.
    Seeing what people show up to say nice things about me (or bad things, although I’ve never known that to happen and I’ve been to quite a few funerals) would be very interesting, maybe a little heart-warming (a relative term in that circumstance).

    May 14, 2014

  • 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

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Police: Prostitute Linked to 2nd Death Chimp-attack Victim Lobbies Congress Obama Responds to Hecklers on Immigration FIFA Rejects Suarez Appeal Against Biting Ban Israeli-Palestinian Tensions, Attacks Escalate World Cup Final Pits Argentina Against Germany Thousands Attend NYC Firefighter's Funeral Four Kids, Two Adults Shot Dead Near Houston Kim Kardashian Hits Up Valentino Show in Paris Police: Prostitute Accused in Overdose Death Art of Haitian Machete Fighting Revived Neighbors Mourn Killing of Texas Family Raw: Obama Shoots Pool in Denver Robots Gearing Up for Their Own 'World Cup' 'Game of Thrones' Leads Emmy Nominees Raw: Truck Crash Spills Turkeys on Va. Highway World's Tallest Water Slide: See It for Yourself UN Secretary-General Urges Mideast Ceasefire Soft Robot Fish Lead New Wave of Robotics Raw: Palestinian Youth Clash With Israeli Police
NDN Video
'OITNB' Cast Toast to Emmy Nom, Plus Other Nominee Reactions The World Waits on King James Obama Responds to Hecklers on Immigration ScarJo Channels Marilyn Monroe Aerial fish restocking in Utah Tiny Hamsters Who Ate Burritos are Back for a Tiny Hedgehog's Party Watch Kelly Ripa Get Soaked! 'Referee' Hands Out Yellow Cards for Social Faux Pas in NYC 2014 Emmy Nominees: 8 Snub Shockers Emma Watson Is Va-Va-Voom in Valentino 7 Infamous Sports Blowouts Argentina tops Holland in World Cup semifinals News flush: Japanese toilet exhibition making a splash Emmy Nominations: What to Watch For 'Game of Thrones' Leads 66th Emmy Awards Nominations Photographic 'Proof' That LeBron Is Leaving Miami - @TheBuzzeronFOX Elephant Pool Party at The Oregon Zoo Must-See! Berry and Fallon Form Human Hamster Wheel Pilot buys pizzas for travelers delayed by storm Klose nets record, Germany rout Brazil 7-1
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity