TERRE HAUTE — Two powerful, left-handed, female post players from the Wabash Valley are making big impacts this winter for their respective college basketball teams.
Julia Whitted — a 6-5 sophomore from Northview — ranks second in both scoring and rebounding this season for IUPUI, including a career-high total of 25 points against Cleveland State on Dec. 5, while Terre Haute freshman Molly Martin had a pair of double-doubles last week and was named the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference player of the week.
Last season, Whitted started six of 29 games for the Jaguars and averaged 3.4 points and 2.2 rebounds per game.
Coach Shann Hart upgraded Whitted’s role this year to that of starting center, and the Staunton native has responded with averages of 12.3 points and 7.0 rebounds per game.
“This year, a lot more has been expected of me and I have had to perform and contribute every night,” Whitted said. “Last year, they needed more as a spark off the bench for a couple of baskets. This year, they need me for the majority of the game, and it’s a lot more like my role in high school.”
Whitted’s scoring average ranks her 13th in the Summit League, while her rebounding total is tied for seventh best. She leads the entire conference in blocked shots with an average of 2.6 per game.
Whitted has led the 3-7 Jaguars four times each this season in both scoring and rebounding, and likes her increased role.
“A lot of it is knowing that I had to step it up for us to succeed,” Whitted said of her success this season. “I work better under pressure and I feed off of the pressure for energy. Also, as weird as it may sound, I feel like when I play good it just sort of happens and I don’t know really exactly how or why it happens — it just does.”
Whatever “it” is definitely happened against Cleveland State, a game in which Whitted hit 10 of 18 field goals and 5 of 5 free throws in 36 minutes of action
A good pre-season conditioning program has helped Whitted to increase her athleticism, and also a year of knowing what to expect has also made her second season a much more enjoyable one.
“I’m a lot more comfortable, and I am used to Coach Hart and how she coaches,” Whitted said. “I know the campus and how a lot of the teachers are. I just like it a lot more this year because I don't feel like there are any surprises about to jump out at me anymore, which is comforting.”
Whitted’s personal and team goals for the season concentrate on an increase in consistency.
“My goal for the rest of the season is to be a lot more consistent from game to game, getting in better basketball shape and finishing a lot better inside,” she said. “As a team, we are going to have to be able to put two halves together and all of us come to play in one game. We are also going to have to be able to execute all of our plays and play as a team a lot more.”
Martin’s Hanover squad is off to a 4-2 start this season, 2-1 in the Heartland Conference, and the 6-2 Martin keyed a pair of HCAC victories last week.
She scored 22 points, pulled down 11 rebounds and had three steals in a 63-56 win against Mount St. Joseph on Dec. 5. Martin then netted 11 points, grabbed 12 boards and had three assists in a 77-64 triumph against Defiance Dec. 8.
Martin, who helped direct the Patriots to a sectional title last winter, paces Hanover in scoring (14.2), rebounding (9.8) and blocked shots (.83) this season.
She is obviously enjoying her first collegiate season.
“The transition has been pretty easy, although the work load is a lot more,” Martin said. “I am enjoying playing for Hanover.”
Panther Coach Molly Jones credits Martin’s success to her tremendous work ethic.
“Molly has come in as a freshman and been able to dominate inside,” Jones said. “She is such a workhorse and gives 100 percent in every practice and every game. She has to be guarded by the other team’s best post player and is often double-teamed.”
In addition to her scoring and rebounding abilities, Jones credits Martin’s unselfishness with helping Hanover turn around last year’s dismal records of 3-21 overall and 1-15 in the HCAC.
“She is a very unselfish player and is able to make her teammates around her better,” Jones said. “I look for Molly to continue working hard, getting better, and being one of the top players in our conference.”
• • •
• Ex-Tiger honored — Misi Clark, a former Paris Tiger standout who was a three-time All-American in women’s basketball at Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, had her No. 3 jersey retired Dec. 1 in a halftime ceremony at the Vadalabene Center.
Clark’s career at SIUE included three appearances in the NCAA Division II Tournament. She earned All-American honors as a freshman during the 1997-98 season, as a junior during the 1999-2000 season, and as a senior during the 2000-2001 season.
“Misi played more than 4,000 minutes as a Cougar. She worked hard in every one of those minutes as well as in the hours of practices,” said SIUE coach Wendy Hedberg.
Clark scored a school-record 2,164 points and holds school records in steals (324), field goals attempted (1,550), free throws (647) and free throws attempted (920). She is in the top five in field goals (683), three-point field goals made (151), three-point field goals attempted (473), assists (461) and blocks (62) for her career.
She scored double figures in a school-record 97 consecutive games and 110 of 114 career games.
A 2003 SIUE graduate with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology, Clark also played semi-professional basketball for the Chicago Blaze.
Joey Bennett is a former Tribune-Star sports reporter and copy editor who now teaches at Northview High School. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Valley women’s basketball
Whitney McWilliams, So., Olney Central — No season statistics available. Scored 10 points (including two 3-pointers) in a 106-49 win over Malcolm X College recently.
Toni Burney, Jr., St. Francis — Has led team to 8-1 record this year. Had 14 points and seven assists in recent win over Huntington.
Katie Tharp, Sr., Rose-Hulman — Averaging 4.0 points and 3.3 rebounds per game.
Jon Prevo, women’s head coach, Rose-Hulman — Has coached team to 3-4 record this season.
Dee Romine, women’s head coach, Stetson — Has coached young team with only three seniors to 1-7 record so far this year.
Jennifer Gregg, So., SMWC — Statistics not available. Had 12 points in recent win over Principia.
Julia Whitted, So., IUPUI — Averaging 12.3 and 7.0 rebounds per game.
Lexee Hayes, Fr., SMWC — Statistics not available. Had 12 points in recent win over Principia.
Emily Maggert, Fr., Ball State — Averaging 6.1 points and 3.6 rebounds as sixth man for 3-7 Cardinals.
Lade Akande, Jr., Butler — Averaging 15.9 points and 5.6 rebounds per game in leading team to 7-1 record. Won Horizon League Player of the Week for the third time in four weeks on Dec. 3.
Scored game-high 20 points in just 23 minutes on 9-for-18 shooting from the field in helping the Bulldogs to an 83-70 victory over Indiana State on Dec. 1.
Jessica Canary, So., Indianapolis — Second on team in scoring with 13.4 points per game and also averages 5.0 rebounds per game for 7-0 Greyhounds. Had career-high 23 points in recent win over Ohio Valley.
Terre Haute North
Clint Weddle, women’s ass’t coach, Indiana State — Has helped coach team to 5-3 record.
Samantha Meissel, Fr., Indianapolis — Has started four of seven games for 7-0 Greyhounds, and is third on team in scoring at 10.7. Ranks second in rebounding at 5.9 per game. Has high games of 18 points and nine rebounds against Missouri-St. Louis.
Molly Martin, Fr., Hanover — Averaging 14.2 points and 9.8 rebounds per game.
Terre Haute South
Melanie Boeglin, women’s graduate ass’t coach, Indiana State — Will join team after Christmas break.
Brooke Daugherty, So., Danville Area CC — Averaging 10.0 points and 5.2 rebounds per game, ranking her third on team in both categories. Also averages 1.4 assists and 1.3 steals per game.
Amanda Payne, Jr., SMWC — Statistics not available. Had two points in recent win over Principia.
White River Valley
Dani Lammert, So., Olney Central — No season statistics available. Scored 11 points (including three 3-pointers, three rebounds, three assists and one steal) in a 106-49 win over Malcolm X College recently.
TERRE HAUTE — Two powerful, left-handed, female post players from the Wabash Valley are making big impacts this winter for their respective college basketball teams.
- College Report
College report: Valley softball pair help Ball State start off with 12-2 record
Two Wabash Valley products have helped the Ball State softball team get off to a 12-2 start, including five straight wins last weekend to capture the Louisville Slugger Invitational at Arizona State.
College Report: Valley pair square off in softball pitching duel
Administrators and coaches long ago scheduled the East Tennessee State and Indiana University softball teams to both compete in the Georgia State Panther Invitational in Atlanta last weekend. Little could they have realized, however, that a Sunday afternoon pitching matchup between the two teams would pair two successful, blonde, and versatile performers from western Indiana in a head-to-head clash.
College report: Versatile Vicars set to help VU baseball program
Chris Barney knew what qualities he wanted as he was searching this winter for a new assistant baseball coach at Vincennes University. He wanted someone familiar with his program and his coaching style, someone from the Wabash Valley area who understood the state’s high school and American Legion programs, someone who had played several different positions in the field and also someone who had made a successful transition from junior college to Division I baseball. It didn’t take him long to realize that Cole Vicars was his man.
College report: Terre Haute pair Berry, Comer to boost Sycamores’ lines
While many people have varying opinions on the most important position on a football team, most old-school gridiron veterans would consider strong line play as a necessity for anything else to work — kind of like pitching in baseball and guard play in basketball.
College report: Wabash Valley hoops pair earn MVC weekly honors
Two Wabash Valley natives picked up big honors this week from the Missouri Valley Conference for their excellence on the basketball court. Evansville freshman Sara Dickey of Riverton Parke earned the league’s Newcomer of the Week for the third time while Loyola sophomore Matt O’Leary of Terre Haute North was chosen as the league’s Scholar-Athlete of the week.
College Report: Mahurins playing major role for Indiana Wesleyan
R.J. Mahurin, a senior at Indiana Wesleyan, was selected as the Crossroads League’s Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for the period of Nov. 24-30.
The fifth-year senior from Rockville led Indiana Wesleyan, then ranked No. 2 in NAIA Division II, to an 88-82 win over No. 9 Bethel last month in the Crossroads League opener.
Mahurin scored 33 points on 12-for-18 shooting from the field, including 7 of 10 from 3 point range. He also recorded seven rebounds and two assists while knocking down both free throws in the contest.
COLLEGE REPORT: Former WRC football standouts playing key roles for No. 1 Mount Union
It’s a huge jump from the Wabash River Conference, one of the smallest leagues that plays high school football in Indiana, to Division III national powerhouse.
But two Wabash Valley standouts have made that leap and are significant contributors for top-ranked and defending national champion Mount Union (Ohio).
College Report: North grad enjoying sophomore season at Virginia Tech
A.J. Hughes had an admittedly up and down freshman season as the punter for Virginia Tech’s football team, but the sophomore from Terre Haute North High School has elevated his game like one of his long, hanging left-footed punts.
Hughes ranks first in the Atlantic Coast Conference in punting with a 44.8-yard average per punt, a 4.7 increase over last year and a lofty number that ranks him ninth nationally.
College Report: South graduate becomes Wabash College swim coach
Brent Noble’s climb up the collegiate swimming coaches has taken another big step, after the Terre Haute South grad was recently named the new head swimming and diving coach at Wabash College in Crawfordsville.
Noble joins the Wabash program after serving for a year as the women’s head swimming coach at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn.
College Report: People with Valley ties getting up-close look at top-ranked Crimson Tide
Trivia question: What do Trent Miles, A.J. Hughes and Johnny Manziel have in common?
Maybe nothing right now, but after Saturday they will all have played against the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide already this season.
Manziel has no known local ties, but was involved in the most-hyped game of the year last month as Texas A&M fell just short in a late comeback against Alabama.
Hughes, a sophomore punter for Virginia Tech from Terre Haute North, did his part in the Hokies’ 35-10 season–opening loss to the Tide.
Turner hoping to prove himself in junior college
Jeffrey Turner hopes a couple of years at junior college will do for his basketball career what it did for Derek Shouse.
COLLEGE REPORT: Watson, Seliger move on in strength and conditioning careers
Three members of the Indiana State athletics strength and conditioning staff, including two from Terre Haute, have advanced their careers and moved on to other opportunities.
Daniel Watson, former graduate assistant from Terre Haute North, has been hired by Rocky Mountain College to serve an assistant football coach and the head strength and conditioning coach.
Matt Seliger, also a former graduate assistant and North Patriot, has been hired by Athletes’ Performance in Frisco, Texas, to serve as an intern.
Longtime Butler assistant stays loyal to new job
Matthew Graves waited patiently for nine years as a member of the Butler men’s basketball staff for his chance to be a head coach.
COLLEGE REPORT: Several Valley standouts busy with baseball
Several of the Wabash Valley area standouts now in college baseball are busy with summer league teams.
COLLEGE REPORT: Kentucky baseball star Reed earns All-SEC
Kentucky sophomore baseball standout A.J. Reed of Terre Haute South Vigo High School earned first-team All-Southeastern Conference honors in voting by the league coaches for the recently completed season.
- COLLEGE REPORT: Wabash College All-American relay team has TH flavor
Catching up as the school year winds down
Odds and ends from here and there as the school year quickly winds down. For starters, high jumper Nick Jaeger of Terre Haute South was named the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference’s male track & field newcomer of the year:
College Report: Lively earned collegiate upgrade with strong play
Hillary Lively signed to play Division II basketball at Maryville (Mo.) during her senior year at North Vermillion, but those plans changed and she would up at nearby Danville Area Community College — where she recently concluded an outstanding two-year career.
Lively was impressive enough to earn a Division I scholarship to Southeast Missouri State of the Ohio Valley Conference, and both her future and past college coaches think she will continue to succeed there.
“She fits what we need,” SEMO coach Ty Margenthaler said. “She has college experience, she is strong and physical and plays well around the basket and moves well.
“Her strength, rebounding and touch around the basket will be a big help. On the defensive end, she’ll be able to guard a true center.”
COLLEGE REPORT: Valley prep athletes getting ready for next level
The NCAA “regular” signing period begins Wednesday for all sports except football, field hockey, soccer, track and field, cross country and men’s water polo.
COLLEGE REPORT: Conferences honor Valley softball players
Several Wabash Valley area college softball players have been honored by their respective conferences for outstanding play this spring.
COLLEGE REPORT: Jake Newton makes big impact for Lincoln Trail College
Jake Newton had a long time between playing in competitive basketball games, a span of about 18 months, and used the frustration from that long dry spell to produce a stellar freshman season for Lincoln Trail College this winter.
COLLEGE REPORT: A.J. Reed earns SEC Player of the Week honors
After belting three home runs during a five games last week, Kentucky sophomore left-handed pitcher/first baseman A.J. Reed was named Southeastern Conference Player of the Week.
COLLEGE REPORT: Spring newcomers making marks
Several freshman baseball and softball NCAA Division I players from the Wabash Valley have already made immediate impacts at their new schools, while others are waiting for their turns to shine.
COLLEGE REPORT: A.J. Reed named third-team preseason baseball All-American
Two-way sophomore standout A.J. Reed was one of three University of Kentucky players named third-team preseason All-America by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.
COLLEGE REPORT: Sponsler honored after big week for Wabash men's hoops
Wabash College freshman Ross Sponsler of Terre Haute North was named the North Coast Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week for the period ending Jan. 6.
COLLEGE REPORT: North grad Hughes finds success after facing preseason adversity
A.J. Hughes knew he was in for a battle as he competed with three other walk-on punters in the preseason for the lone starting job on the Virginia Tech football team.
Etling, Meggs enjoying great year
It’s been a great year so far with more to come for a pair of longtime friends and St. Patrick’s School classmates.
Former Terre Haute resident Jack Meggs quarterbacked the Bellevue Wolverines football team to the Washington Class 3A state championship this fall, culminating with a 35-3 win over Sammamish Eastside Catholic — Bellevue’s fifth straight crown.
Danny Etling, meanwhile, has completed graduation requirements at Terre Haute South and is preparing for an upcoming high school all-star game and his first college classes in a couple of weeks.
COLLEGE REPORT: Valley’s women’s college hoops players start strong
Several women’s college basketball players from the Wabash Valley have gotten off to good starts this season on the hardwood. Highlights:
COLLEGE REPORT: Mayhew, Mascari provide fall highlights
Several dozen Wabash Valley athletes enjoyed successful fall seasons collegiately in cross country and tennis this year.
COLLEGE REPORT: Former North teammates start strong in college
Former Terre Haute North teammates Ross Sponsler and Matt O’Leary made their college basketball debuts last week and had outstanding initial performances.
- More College Report Headlines
- College report: Valley softball pair help Ball State start off with 12-2 record