TERRE HAUTE — North Vermillion senior Hillary Lively saw her high school basketball career end this week with a sectional loss to Turkey Run, but unlike most prep players her career is nowhere near its completion.
Lively, a 5-11 wing/post player, has received a scholarship from Maryville University in St. Louis and next fall will join the Division II program which competes in the Great Lakes Valley Conference with schools such as Indianapolis and Southern Indiana.
“I accepted the scholarship Maryville offered me because I thought it would provide me with the best athletic opportunity and academic excellence possible,” said Lively, who plans to major in physical therapy. “It’s also close enough to home that my friends and family can come to my games; however, it's also far enough away for me to experience a new beginning and to start a new life. All in all, I was very happy to take the chance they had given me to play basketball because I knew it would be the total package.”
Lively averaged 16 points, nine rebounds and three assists per game this year in leading the Falcons to a 20-3 record. She shot 55 percent from the field and 67 percent from the free throw line, and was named all-Wabash River Conference and all-sectional the past two years.
Coach Terry Naylor thinks Lively’s versatility will suit her well.
“Hillary has really progressed as a basketball player in my three years with her,” Naylor said. “She has become even more difficult to guard as time has progressed, and she can now go both inside and out. She used to be a true post player and only score in transition, but now she has developed a great jump shot and can take it to the basket.”
Naylor knows she will face obstacles that are common for any athlete moving on to college.
“Hillary realizes it's going to be a big adjustment going to college, but if she can stay focused on both her academics and basketball she should fit it fine at the college level,” Naylor said. “Just as with any student- athlete, she's going to have to be organized, be able to prioritize, and multi-task – especially during basketball season.”
Lively, the only Wabash Valley area girls player to get a basketball scholarship so far this season, has had a goal of playing college basketball since kindergarten.
“Ever since I was little, I strived to achieve my academic and athletic ambitions,” she said. “For my fifth birthday, all I wanted was a Bulls basketball uniform, which I received. I am very pleased with the position I am in now, knowing the better half of these goals have been accomplished throughout my high school career.”
Lively feels she can be one of her own biggest critics, and needs to work on the mental aspect of the sport as she advances her career.
*The thing I need to work on the most, I believe, is my confidence,” she said. “I know I can accomplish great things if I believe in myself more.
“During my time at North Vermillion, I have overcome much adversity,” Lively added. “I believe everywhere you go, there will be challenges and people that will want to bring you down, but having the support team I had behind me in my time here has been amazing.”
She credits her high school coach, as well as her summer AAU experience, with helping her make this tremendous leap.
“Coach Naylor has been instrumental in keeping me focused toward my goal of playing college basketball,” she said. “I was also very pleased to be offered a spot on Indiana's Finest Team out of Indianapolis, with Mike Duke coaching me this past summer. He was a great resource in helping me find different colleges that would fit my needs, finally introducing me to the coach at Maryville.”
Naylor knows what his senior standout needs to do in order to have success at the D-II level.
“Going to the next level, she needs to continue to shoot it well from the outside, but she really needs to concentrate on her ballhandling and focus on smarter decisions with the basketball,” he said. “She'll need to get a little stronger in the upper body and continue to shoot from outside if she wants to excel at the next level.”
Lively is looking forward to the new challenge, but also takes pride in helping rebuild a Falcon program that struggled for a few years since the back-to-back state finalist teams of the mid-2000s.
“Being able to play basketball at North Vermillion has been an amazing experience with many memories that will last a lifetime,” she said.
I I I
• Phillips to Olney — Northview senior softball standout Emily Phillips won’t return to the softball diamond for a while due to a knee injury suffered during basketball season, but can at least rest assured of the satisfaction that her college plans are finalized.
Phillips, a versatile player who can play just about anywhere on the diamond, recently signed a letter-of-intent to play collegiately for Olney Central
“I chose Olney because Coach [Nick] Short contacted me and wanted me to come see the campus,” she said. “When I got there, he showed me around the school and the apartments and I loved it. I think I will play middle infield, most likely shortstop, but I will play wherever I'm told.
“I've played many positions, but shortstop is my best.”
Phillips continues a long line of athletes going from Northview to Olney that includes her boyfriend, Knight baseball standout Caleb Mason.
“As weird as it is, Caleb and I going to Olney is a coincidence,” she said. “When we first started talking he asked where I was going for college, and I told him I got free books and tuition to play at Olney. He said he did, too. We were both a little shocked, but we are very excited to play.”
Northview Coach Bethany Jones sees good things ahead for Phillips on the diamond.
“I am very excited and proud of Emily’s success throughout her high school career,” Jones said. “Because of her industriousness and leadership both on and off the field, she was able to get a scholarship. Olney will be a good fit for Emily both academically and athletically.”
Phillips has been a varsity player her entire career, with Jones noting she has improved her batting average from hitting .222 her freshman year to hitting .351 as a junior. Her fielding percentage also increased from .887 her freshman year to .938 as a junior.
“I can put her anywhere in the field, even in the pitching circle, and she can get the job done,” Jones said. “Middle infield is her strongest position because of her quick feet and the ground that she is able to cover.”
Even though Phillips won’t be on the field for a while, she will still be able to help out the Knights.
“Emily will most definitely be missed this season due to her knee injury from basketball, but she will remain a part of the team,” Jones said. “She will still be used as a leader and a teacher to the younger players. I know Emily’s goal is to be ready by sectionals and with her determination, she just may be. Her coach’s goal for her to return, March 8th…”
Phillips knows it’s going to be hard to watch from the sidelines.
“Not being able to play softball will be extremely hard for me,” she said. “I love softball, but I can still be a leader on the team. I'll be at the practices and help out. Hopefully I’ll make it back by sectionals.”
I I I
• Hill also off to Olney – A similar pipeline also exists from Shakamak to Olney Central, and senior pitcher T.J. Hill is the latest to travel that road.
Hill has already helped lead Shakamak to a state championship, and has one more season in Jasonville to try to repeat that feat.
“I feel very fortunate to have this opportunity to continue my baseball career and get an education,” Hill told the Greene County Daily World. “Every since I was 3, I have loved to play baseball.
“I will have a chance to play ball pretty to close to home. They have a great program and hopefully I can have the chance to eventually transfer and play ball for two more years after two at OCC.”
OCC Coach Dennis Conley led the Blue Knights to a 35-20 record last year and likes Hill’s background.
“T.J. comes from a winning program here at Shakamak, so he is used to competing and used to winning. Shakamak does a great job of putting good teams on the field ever year.”
Joey Bennett is a former Tribune-Star sports reporter and copy editor who now teaches and coaches at Northview High School in Brazil.
COLLEGE REPORT AGATE
Jarrod Brett, men’s ass’t coach, Franklin – Has helped coach team to 8-16 record (6-9 in HCAC)
Brent Owen, men’s graduate ass’t coach, Southern Indiana – Has helped coach team to 23-2 record and No. 2 national ranking.
Matt Kennedy, Fr., Olney Central – Does not appear in team statistics.
Mardi Steiner, Fr., Olney Central – Statistics not available.
Chase Haltom, Sr., Wabash – Third on team in scoring at 11.0 per game, averaging 1.7 rebounds per game.
Mike Carpenter, men’s head coach, Danville Area CC – Has coached team to 11-15 record.
Mike Roberts (former Terre Haute resident), men’s ass’t coach, Rice – Has helped coach team to 8-17 record.
Jake Kelly (former Marshall resident), Jr., Indiana State – Played in 12 games before suffering season-ending knee injury, averaging 9.9 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game.
Ryan Russell (former Turkey Run student), Jr., DePauw – Has played in 19 games, starting 9, averaging 3.3 points and 2.7 rebounds per game.
Lexi Russell (wife of Terre Haute native Mike Russell), Fr., Olivet Nazarene – Has played in 18 games, averaging 2.2 points per game.
Jon Prevo, women’s head coach, Rose-Hulman – Has coached team to 4-20 record.
Logan Eitel, Fr., Indiana State – Sitting out season as a redshirt.
Lucas Eitel, Fr., Indiana State – Sitting out season as a redshirt.
Keisha Switzer, Fr., Danville Area CC – Has played in 13 games, averaging 3.1 points and 2.4 rebounds per game.
Brittani Wolfe, Fr., Greenville – Has played in 20 games, starting seven, averaging 4.1 points and 1.6 rebounds per game.
Heidi Dahnke, Fr., Illinois-Chicago – Has played in 15 games, starting none, averaging 1.0 points and 0.8 rebounds per game.
Andrew Gilman, Jr., Wabash – Has played in 24 games, averaging 2.2 points and 1.2 rebounds per game.
Donnie Abrams, Fr., Marian – Has played in eight games, starting none, averaging 2.4 points and 1.3 rebounds per game.
Mike Newell, men’s head coach, Arkansas-Monticello – Has coached team to a 12-9 record this season, and picked up his 300th career head coaching victory on Thursday in an overtime win over Henderson State.
Derryn Axtell, Fr., St. Mary-of-the-Woods – Statistics not available.
Josiah Brock, So., Lincoln Christian – Scored 10 points on Thursday in an 80-64 loss to Eureka.
Lexee Hayes, So., SMWC – Statistics not available.
Kirstin Kimball, Fr., Danville Area CC – Has played in 24 games, averaging 1.9 points and 2.7 rebounds per game.
Austin Akers, Fr., Olney Central – Leads team in scoring at 11.6 points per game and in assists at 3.5 per game. Shooting 43 percent from field and 35 percent from 3-point range.
Kirsten Henry, Fr., Olney Central – No statistics available.
Harry Marshall, Sr., Indiana State – Leads team in scoring at 13.9 points per game, and averages 4.0 rebounds per game.
Samantha Stahl, Jr., Oakland City – Leads team in scoring at 15.6 per game and passes out 1.7 assists per game.
Jared Maners, Jr., Wabash Valley – Ranks second on team in scoring at 15.3 points.
Antonio Marshall, So., Olivet Nazarene – Ranks fourth on team in scoring at 10.9 points per game.
Callie Matsel, So., Lake Land – Averaging 8.7 points and 2.0 rebounds per game.
Heather Gonser, Fr., Indianapolis – Averaging 3.3 points and 1.6 rebounds per game.
Nickole Gonser, Fr., Indianapolis – Averaging 3.0 and 1.8 rebounds per game.
Randy Lientz, Fr., Lake Land – Averaging 0.8 points and 1.0 rebounds per game in 17 games.
Mitch Stahl, Fr., Lake Land – Had two points and three rebounds in only game of season.
Rodney Watson, head men’s coach, Southern Indiana – Has coached team to 23-2 record and No. 2 national ranking.
Emily Maggert, Jr., Ball State – Leads team in scoring at 18.3 points and in rebounding at 10.9. Was named the Mid-American Conference Western Division Player of the Week in December after leading the Cardinals with 17 points and 14 rebounds against undefeated Wisconsin-Green Bay and after getting 21 points and eight rebounds in a win over Illinois State.
Chase Brinkley, Fr., Olney Central – Averaging 6.5 points and 2.6 rebounds per game.
Stephen Jones, Fr., St. Louis Christian College – No statistics available.
Josh Reed, Fr., Lincoln Trail – Averages 0.9 and 2.3 rebounds per game in 11 games.
R.J. Mahurin, Fr., Indiana State – Sitting out season as a redshirt.
Jared Rehmel, Jr., Central Arkansas – Ranks fifth on team in scoring at 9.3 points per game and averages 1.6 assists per game. Has scored 16 and 14 points in his last two games.
Jessica Canary, Sr., Indianapolis – Ranks second on team in scoring at 14.3 and leads in rebounding at 5.5 points per game.
Leeah Butts, Fr., Trine – No statistics listed.
Louie Gudino, men’s ass’t coach, Indiana State – Has helped coach team to 16-11 record.
Jenni McLeish, So., Lake Land – Averaging 0.5 points and 1.0 rebounds per game.
Terre Haute North
John Grimes (Gerstmeyer H.S), men’s head coach, Marian – Has coached team to 12-14 record.
Clint Weddle, women’s head coach, Indiana State – Has helped coach team to 13-11 record.
Nate Blank, Jr., Indianapolis – Ranks third on team in scoring at 11.0 and third in rebounds at 4.7. Had high game of 24 points against Lewis last month.
Samantha Meissel, Jr., Indianapolis – Leads team in scoring at 19.4 points and is second in rebounding at 5.1. Team has lost last two games after winning first 24 of season to earn No. 4 national ranking. Was named school’s “Student Athlete of the Month” for January.
Molly Martin, Jr., Hanover – Leads Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference in scoring at 18.0 and in rebounding at 10.5. Had 19 points and eight rebounds on Wednesday in a win over Rose-Hulman.
Zach Harrison, Fr., Wabash – Transferred from Ball State following first semester after playing two minutes in two games with no statistics.
Terre Haute South
Jim Shaw, men’s head coach, Rose-Hulman – Has coached team to 7-17 record.
David Conrady, men’s associate head coach, Tennessee-Chattanooga – Has helped coach team to 13-14 record.
Melanie Boeglin, assistant women’s head coach, Indiana State – Has helped coach team to 13-11 record.
Jay Smith, Sr., Eastern Illinois – Averaging 2.2 points per game.
Brooke Daugherty, Jr., Indiana-South Bend – Sitting out season due to injury.
Armon Bassett, Jr., Ohio – Leads team in scoring at 15.0 points per game, also averaging 3.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. Had high game of 27 points against Delaware in December.
Spencer Harlan, So., Rose-Hulman – Has played in 22 games, averaging 6.8 points and 3.8 rebounds.
Megan Craft, So., Vincennes – Averaging 9.0 points, 1.9 rebounds, 5.6 assists, and 1.0 steals per game. Shooting 44.2 percent from 3-point range (31 of 70).
Dragana Grbic, Fr., Butler – Sitting out season as a redshirt.
Randa Rector, Fr., Vincennes – Averaging 2.6 points, 1.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.0 steals per game.
Tessa Johnson, Fr., Lincoln Trail – Ranks second on team in scoring at 15.0 points per game, also getting 4.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game this year. Shooting hitting 41.9 percent of 3-pointers (24 of 60).
Jake Odum, Fr., Indiana State – Sitting out season as a redshirt.
Krista Smith, Fr., Indiana State – Has played in 14 games, averaging 1.2 points and 0.9 rebounds.
Ian McIntyre, Fr., Lincoln Trail – Has played in 12 games, averaging 1.8 points and 0.7 rebounds per game.
Colin Brown, Fr., Franklin – Has played in eight games off the bench, scoring four points.
Meghan Doss, Fr., Vincennes – Averaging 0.5 points, 0.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 0.8 steals per game.
White River Valley
Matthew Graves, men’s ass’t coach, Butler – Has helped coach Bulldogs to 24-4 record.
TERRE HAUTE — North Vermillion senior Hillary Lively saw her high school basketball career end this week with a sectional loss to Turkey Run, but unlike most prep players her career is nowhere near its completion.
- 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