News From Terre Haute, Indiana

High School

December 25, 2013

Joyous moments: Four days of non-stop hoops offer enticing storylines

TERRE HAUTE — The Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic is always certain to provide one of the best gifts of the high school sports calendar each year.

It’s a measuring stick for the teams and four days of non-stop hoops for the hardwood addicts out there.

Four days of drama on the basketball floor also provide everyone a better idea of who is going to be contending for conference and sectional championships in the next few weeks.

Following are some of the top storylines of the 14th annual high school boys basketball tournament.

Target on the arrows

No team has been more consistent in the Classic the past four years as Sullivan has been among the final four each each of those years, including the 2009 title win over Terre Haute North.

“It’s a wide open field with Sullivan’s experience and talent level obviously making them the favorite,” Terre Haute North coach Todd Woelfle said.

Coach Jeff Moore’s team is by far the most experienced in the tournament. Point guard Brooks Weszely was an all-tournament team performer as a junior, and 6-foot-5, 240-pound big man Jake Kinnaman averaged 18.5 points in the Arrows’ first two games this season.

Last year’s runner-up, Robinson will hope to win a rematch against defending tournament champion Rockville in the first round to win a potential shot at Sullivan. The 4-0, Class 2A No. 5 Arrows play Turkey Run in the first round tonight at 7 p.m.

“They’ll be tough for anyone to beat,” Robinson coach Mack Thompson said. “They’ve got a lot of size and experience back and some kids that can shoot it. Definitely have to have one of your better games to beat them.”

Examining the bracket

Terre Haute South’s first-round game against Marshall stands out among the first-round pairings. The 4-2 Lions and 2-2 Braves are similar in that they can bring pesky defense and a variety of options at the offensive end.

“I watched them beat Casey, who beat us. Instant respect right there, they went into Casey and won,” South coach Scott Ridge said. “They shoot the ball well, they space the floor, they’re well-coached. It’s a basketball town, they bring a big crowd.”

The winner of that game could get another chance to play the Warriors, led by one of the tournament’s top scorers in senior Brandon Wolfe. Casey plays 0-5 Monrovia today at 4 p.m. to open play in the bottom half of the bracket.

Wolfe and Robinson’s 6-4 forward Michael Akande are the only other returning all-tournament team players back for this year’s tournament.

That puts some of the more well-known players in the bottom bracket, but Linton, who lost just 52-49 to Sullivan last week, is hoping to be among the teams to contend in the top bracket. The Miners are without one of the top big-man duos from last year’s tournament — Dess Fougerousse and Austin Karazsia — but 6-2 senior Bryant Jackson is leading the Miners to a solid start this season.

Terre Haute North might be the top contender to come out of the top half of the bracket as well. Sophomore Keshaun Sandifer and Charlie Aimone are scoring in double figures to give North a strong perimeter pair.

“Anything can happen, especially when you’re playing four games in five days,” said coach Woelfle, who won consecutive PHWVC titles in 2010 and 2011 after back-to-back runner-up finishes. “I’m interested to see how our guys react in a pressure atmosphere.”

Extra motivation

Marshall coach Tom Brannan has been a part of the tournament every year since its inception in 2000, winning the 2008 title after falling to Terre Haute South in the 2007 championship. The Lions also won the consolation bracket in 2000 and 2004.

Kobe Brannan, the 15-year-old son of the coach, was around the Lions’ as a ball boy for the Marshall championship run. He’s now serving as a team manager after having to give up playing due to a health issue.

Kobe was born with a heart defect and underwent a transplant when he was seven weeks old.

“He’s on the list to get another heart,” coach Brannan said. “I think our guys have always played hard and motivated. I think this year, there’s a little extra motivation.”

First-year players on the scene

It’s always intriguing to see what freshmen might impress in the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic. It’s fun to project where those players will be in a couple years and what degree of positive impact they might have on their program.

Terre Haute South’s Jaylen Minnett, who scored 14 points off the bench in two Braves’ games last week, is one of several in this year’s tournament to keep an eye on.

Marshall will start a pair of freshmen, with 6-foot-4 Spencer Shafner and 6-0 guard Brock Finkbiner. Shafner has averaged close to 10 rebounds a game so far for the Lions.

Linton’s 6-2 Josh Dieball is among several players vying for time in the Miners’ frontcourt.

Robinson freshman Dillon Dirks, the younger brother of Indiana State forward/center Kelsey Dirks, will play big minutes for the Maroons, especially after Robinson lost starting guard Jason Richart to a knee injury.

Rockville’s Lance Hopkins had 11 points for the 3-2 Rox in their 56-50 double-overtime win against South Putnam last week.

14th annual Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic

Today’s first-round games

At Terre Haute North

South Vermillion vs. Riverton Parke, 10 a.m.

Northview vs Linton, 11:30 a.m.

Owen Valley vs. West Vigo, 1 p.m.

Terre Haute North vs. Shakamak, 2:30 p.m.

Monrovia vs. Casey, 4 p.m.

Marshall vs. Terre Haute South, 5:30 p.m.

Turkey Run vs. Sullivan, 7 p.m.

Robinson vs. Rockville, 8:30 p.m.


Text Only | Photo Reprints
High School
  • Metro roundup: Post 346 rallies past Rockville

    Wayne Newton Post 346 scored a run in the sixth and two in the seventh to get past Rockville 6-3 in an American Legion baseball regional at Terre Haute North on Wednesday.

    July 23, 2014

  • SPT 061114 BROCK PITCH.jpg Game’s the same, no matter park’s name

    Maybe they should play this at Valle Field. It’s called Terre Haute Boys & Girls Club Park now, but the venerable ballpark was the site of some classic high school baseball regional games in the 1970s when coach Don Jennings and Terre Haute North’s local dynasty fought off stiff challenges from the best the rest of the Wabash Valley had to offer.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT 061114 JOHNSON FILE.jpg Ex-Brave Johnson happy to welcome back ex-Patriots

    When recent Terre Haute South graduate Jacob Johnson watched his baseball counterparts from Terre Haute North march through the IHSAA state tournament to the Class 4A title game against Noblesville last month, he had mixed emotions.

    July 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • North wrestling club performs well at Disney World

    Several athletes from the Terre Haute North wrestling club fared well this week in the AAU Scholastic Duals National Championships at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney World.

    July 3, 2014

  • SPT052814 THNBB collett.jpg Collett named first-team All-State in Class 4A

    T.J. Collett led Terre Haute North to the Class 4A state championship game at Victory Field.
    The sophomore catcher was rewarded as a first-team All-State selection by the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association. Collett hit 17 home runs with a .536 batting average this spring.

    July 2, 2014 2 Photos

  • Thompsonswing.jpg Tribune-Star Spring Sports Athletes of the Year: Hard-working sluggers

    It’s not a challenge to figure out one of the things the two players chosen as the Tribune-Star’s Athletes of the Year for high school spring sports have in common. Both Cheyenne Thompson of Marshall and T.J. Collett of Terre Haute North make the ballparks they play in look way too small.

    July 2, 2014 4 Photos

  • SPT 062814 DANE RUPSKA.jpg Gold surprises Black 35-12 in WVFCA All-Star Game

    A dozen players from Terre Haute North were hoping that Saturday night’s Wabash Valley Football Coaches Association All-Star Game at Memorial Stadium would put a fitting exclamation point on their historic 2013 high school season.
    But there were four other smaller schools in the Valley that also had excellent seasons, and Brian Oliver drafted all of them.
    “I’m a coach at a small school,” said the Linton coach, whose first year resulted in an Indiana Class A semistate appearance and earned him the right to be an all-star coach opposite North’s Chris Barrett, “and I picked [Casey, North Vermillion and North Central, among others] because I know how much heart those schools play with.
    “I knew those kids would come out tonight and give me everything they had, and they did,” he continued after a 35-12 victory by a Gold squad that had probably been considered an underdog.

    June 29, 2014 10 Photos

  • SPT 062614 STEPINA ESCAPE.jpg Fireworks likely: Plenty of offense expected in tonight’s All-Star Game

    Predicting the offensive attack for the Black Division in tonight’s 10th annual Wabash Valley Football Coaches Association All-Star Game shouldn’t be difficult.

    June 27, 2014 5 Photos

  • Metro: ISU’s Wise starts out well in USATF championships

    Indiana State sprinter Katie Wise advanced to the semifinals of the women’s 100 meters as she ran 11.42 seconds in the opening heat of the event Thursday evening at the USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships.

    June 27, 2014

  • SPT 062614 COMER SCANK.jpg TH North puts 12 players in WVFCA All-Star football game

    The third week in June has become an unofficial reunion for members of the Wabash Valley Football Coaches Association, who make their way to Indiana State’s Memorial Stadium to swap stories and coach — officially or unofficially — the two all-star teams for the Saturday game.
    Terre Haute North has taken the concept one step further this week, however.

    June 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • North wrestlers set for big AAU meet

    Sixteen members of the Terre Haute North AAU wrestling team — coached by Luke Register, Mark Frisz and John DeLisle — will leave today for Orlando, Fla., to compete in the Scholastic National Duals meet at the ESPN Wild World of Sports Complex on the Walt Disney World Resort property.

    June 25, 2014

  • SPT 062114 CHEST-BUMP.jpg Sweet season: Shakamak wins Class A baseball title

    Shakamak baseball wins the IHSAA Class A state baseball championship.

    June 21, 2014 15 Photos

  • SPT 062114 EARLY LEAD ROX.jpg Rockville philosophical about championship game defeat

    Rockville philosophical about championship game defeat

    June 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT 053114 SHAWN TURNER.jpg North's Turner departs Patriots after title game loss

    Terre Haute North coach Shawn Turner will leave his head coaching and teaching job to join McCutcheon's staff.

    June 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • SPT062014milam.jpg Just a little short: TH North strands 10 runners while losing in Class 4A state title game

    Pitching depth came into more play than one might have expected Friday night in the Indiana Class 4A baseball state championship game, and that’s what Noblesville had in abundance.

    June 21, 2014 4 Photos

  • SPT 061414 MILAM SMILE.jpg It's go time for North, Rockville and Shakamak

    Terre Haute North, Rockville and Shakamak will be playing for high school baseball state championships this weekend, the Patriots at 7:30 p.m. today against Noblesville for the Class 4A title and the Rox and Lakers against each other at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Class A final.

    June 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT061914rox BB buell.jpg Rockville gets its first Victory Field shot in Class A title game

    Rockville's talent runs deep as it plays in its first Class A baseball championship game.

    June 19, 2014 3 Photos

  • SPT 022214 THOMPSON JUBI.jpg Thompson leaves big legacy in TH swimming

    Jeff Thompson, of Terre Haute South and the Terre Haute Torpedoes, has taken the head coaching position at Germantown Academy in Pennsylvania.

    June 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT 061414 EIL LOOK.jpg The final inning: Close-knit Terre Haute North seniors hope long journey winds up with a state title

    Most of them have been close enough to a state baseball championship already to decide that close just isn’t good enough anymore. But the lessons they learned and the bonds they formed in those previous tournaments are among the reasons why Terre Haute North’s nine seniors are looking forward to Friday night’s Class 4A high school state championship game with excitement and optimism.

    June 19, 2014 7 Photos

  • SPT061714shakamak  c sweet.jpg This time, Shakamak coach is really retiring

    This isn’t the first time that a story has been written about the retirement of Chip Sweet as Shakamak High School’s baseball coach.

    June 18, 2014 3 Photos

  • SPT061714 cahill.jpg Sullivan 12th heading into today’s final round of boys golf state finals

    It was hot and windy for the start of the IHSAA boys golf state finals Tuesday at The Legends of Indiana Golf Club.
    Columbus North was the leader at the conclusion of 18 holes and Sullivan is 12th going into the final round to be played today with tee times beginning at 8 a.m.

    June 18, 2014 4 Photos

  • Sullivan opens bid for state golf title

    Play begins today in the high school boys state golf finals at The Legends of Indiana Golf Club at Franklin.

    June 16, 2014

  • Prep/Metro roundup: Hambrock named to all-state tennis team

    Lauren Hambrock of Terre Haute South was named to the all-state first team on Monday by the Indiana High School Tennis Coaches Association.

    June 16, 2014

  • SPT 061414 HICKS PLAQUE.jpg IHSAA baseball game times set

    Game times set for IHSAA state baseball finals.

    June 15, 2014 3 Photos

  • SPT 061414 VICTORY PILE.jpg Shakamak tops Rivet in pitchers' duel to advance to Victory Field

    When your name is Yeryar, Shakamak High School expects great things on the baseball diamond. Vincennes Rivet dodged Brett Yeryar intentionally walking him. But Rivet had to face Braxton and pitch to Tanner and their performances lifted the Lakers to a 1-0 victory and into the Class A state championship game.
    Braxton Yeryar pitched a three-hit shutout and Tanner Yeryar singled up the middle in the eighth inning to drive in Kyler Fulford with the game-winning run.

    June 14, 2014 4 Photos

  • SPT 061414 THN WIN PILE.jpg Terre Haute North heading to Victory Field after semistate win

    If Terre Haute North becomes the Class 4A state champion a week from now — and who would bet against the Patriots at this point? — there’s one prediction that might be safe: it won’t be a typical, run-of-the-mill high school baseball game that makes it happen.

    June 14, 2014 3 Photos

  • Rox.jpg Rockville to make maiden voyage to Victory Field

    Rockville wins the Class A Kokomo baseball semistate.

    June 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT061314 dransfield.jpg Rival Castle up next for Patriots

    Revenge isn’t the purest of motives, but it’s one that two of the three Wabash Valley high school baseball teams involved in semistate games have in common today. And it could come in handy for Terre Haute North’s Patriots.

    June 13, 2014 3 Photos

  • IU recruit lights up Kentucky for 41 points in All-Star win

    James Blackmon Jr. scored 41 points to lead the Indiana boys All-Star team to a 104-94 win over Kentucky on Friday night.

    June 13, 2014

  • Sullivan boys, South's Drew Cahill qualify for state golf finals

    Sullivan’s team and two players from the area extended their high school boys golf season by two days with their play on the links on Thursday.
    The Arrows placed third to qualify for the state finals Tuesday and Wednesday, and Alec Davis of Greencastle  and Drew Cahill of Terre Haute South qualified as individuals in the Washington Regional played at Country Oaks in warm, mostly sunny conditions.

    June 13, 2014

Latest News Poll
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Airstrike Shatters Fragile Calm in Gaza Fox Dons 'Bondage Strap' Skirt at Comic-Con Raw: Violent Clashes Between Libyan Militias Today in History for July 28th Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma Obama Advisor Skips House Hearing Video Shows Smiling American Bomber in Syria
NDN Video
'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years

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