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 email@example.com.
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
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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.
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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.
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Matt Seliger, also a former graduate assistant and North Patriot, has been hired by Athletes’ Performance in Frisco, Texas, to serve as an intern.
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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.
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Catching up as the school year winds down
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“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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Several women’s college basketball players from the Wabash Valley have gotten off to good starts this season on the hardwood. Highlights:
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Several dozen Wabash Valley athletes enjoyed successful fall seasons collegiately in cross country and tennis this year.
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Former Terre Haute North teammates Ross Sponsler and Matt O’Leary made their college basketball debuts last week and had outstanding initial performances.
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Former Indiana State, Olney Central and Northview baseball standout Brady Shoemaker opened a lot of eyes last summer in the Chicago White Sox farm system, earning him a spot on a mlb.com blog team that highlighted the team’s outstanding minor leaguers at each position.
COLLEGE REPORT: Boeglin has plenty of ISU memories, but not all are related to basketball
Melanie Boeglin, an All-American who played on the women’s basketball team at Indiana State from 2002-2006, will be inducted into the 21st class of the Indiana State University Athletics Hall of Fame on Thursday.
COLLEGE REPORT: North grad leading DePauw volleyball in winning streak
DePauw’s volleyball team has won seven straight matches entering this weekend’s DePauw Invitational, including four straight wins last weekend to capture the Rose-Hulman invitational title.
COLLEGE REPORT: Engle moving up football coaching ranks
Michael Engle graduated from DePauw University in the spring of 2011 with a degree in political science and future plans to advance his studies in law school.
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COLLEGE REPORT: From Terre Haute South to Division I competition to coaching careers
Adriane Wunderlich and Katelyn Bishop both turned stellar high school careers at Terre Haute South into Division I collegiate careers at Indiana State and Southern California, respectively.
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An impressive total of at least 122 Wabash Valley athletes and coaches will be competing collegiately for the first time during the upcoming school year or have changed schools to continue their careers.
- More College Report Headlines
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