Size vs. speed. Small town vs. big city.
Those are possible high school basketball story lines at 1 p.m. today as the big kids from the small town of Linton play Speedway in the Class 2A Richmond Semistate.
Purists rushing to Google the population of Speedway might point out that it really isn’t a very big town itself. But the players for coach Chuck Bennett’s Sparkplugs, from the town surrounded on all sides by Indianapolis, are as big-city as their neighbors are and should provide an interesting test for the Miners.
Linton, led by 6-foot-8 Austin Karazsia and 6-5 Dess Fougerousse — both of whom average more than 21 points per game — brings a 23-3 record and an eight-game winning streak into today’s game. The Miners suffered two losses in late December at the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic — in the wake of a season-ending to senior point guard Sam Dyar — but adjusted from there and were otherwise undefeated except for a loss to Clay City a month ago.
Speedway, 21-4, gets 19.5 points per game from 6-3 junior Justin Brent, 17.8 points per game from 6-4 sophomore Anthony Jones and 13.5 points per game from junior point guard Jordan Furlow. The Sparkplugs were unbeaten until early January, when they lost twice in a row — once in the Marion County Tournament — to defending Class 2A state champion Park Tudor and then suffered a 22-point setback against Tri-West.
Since then they’ve won 11 of 12, losing a one-point game at Western Boone in early February.
One of Speedway’s other starting guards is 6-0 senior Austin Anglea, a four-year starter and two-time all-stater at quarterback for the Sparkplugs, incidentally. Between him and Karazsia, nearly 20,000 high school football passing yards will also be represented.
“Furlow, Jones and Brent were [Anglea’s] main receivers,” Bennett pointed out this week.
Speedway avoided Park Tudor in tournament play because the defending champs were knocked out in sectional play by Indianapolis Broad Ripple, the team Speedway beat 43-41 in the regional championship game.
“We enjoy transition,” Bennett said when talking about his team, “but we like to think we play pretty solid defense too [the Sparkplugs are averaging about 62 points per game and allowing about 45]. Lately we’ve had good half-court execution, especially in the tournament.”
Linton’s size is a concern for Bennett, whose team starts three guards and has just one more 6-4 player off the bench in its regular rotation.
“With Linton’s height, they’ll be a challenge,” the coach said. “They’re a very good team. Karazsia has great touch around the basket with both hands, Fougerousse’s game is really nice, [6-4 forward] Jackson Bohnert is solid — I call him a no-stat all-star — and their two guards [Keith Fulk and Bryant Jackson] do a nice job … I’m impressed with their free throw shooting, and they all seem to understand their roles.”
Linton avenged one of its Classic losses by beating Sullivan in sectional play, giving the Miners the edge in a three-game series against the Golden Arrows, and beat a pair of higher ranked teams — Clarksville and Perry Central — at the Southridge Regional last week. The Sparkplugs may pose a different kind of problem, however.
“They’re very athletic,” coach Joey Hart of the Miners said when asked about today’s opponent. “A good team … we’ll have to play well, and we can.”
Guarding the Sparkplugs and keeping them off the offensive glass are keys to the game, Hart said.
“Hold them to one contested shot,” the coach answered when asked what he hoped the Miners would be doing today. “We’re a very good rebounding team, and we should be, but that was almost a bugaboo for us Saturday night [in the win over Perry Central]. We’ll have to rebound better [today], and we can.”
The Sparkplugs have similar goals.
“Finding out how to guard [the Miners’] size and rebounding will be keys for us,” Bennett noted.
Karazsia said this week he just wants his team to keep doing what has gotten it to this point.
“Keeping our composure, and having fun out there [are the keys],” the Linton center said. “Everything is clicking at the right time; we’re a hot team right now.”
Size vs. speed. Small town vs. big city.
- High School
West Vigo shows its youth in loss to Owen Valley
It was a game that confirmed his fears, coach Joe Boehler said Saturday night after his West Vigo team lost 67-51 in its Western Indiana Conference boys basketball opener to visiting Owen Valley.
“I think our young team showed up tonight,” Boehler said. “We did not handle success very well.”
Terre Haute South can't match 'great' Mooresville team
Terre Haute South did very little right Saturday night at Mooresville, while the host Pioneers did very little wrong in an 89-54 victory over the visiting Braves.
Rady passes Sharpe to move into second on all-time victory list
Cloverdale coach Pat Rady, who resides in Terre Haute, climbed to No. 2 on Indiana’s all-time victory list for boys high school basketball Saturday morning when his Clovers got past host Greencastle 60-56 in the semifinals of the Putnam County Classic tournament in McAnally Center.
Consistent effort helps Terre Haute North hold off Robinson
After falling behind 14-2 after one quarter, Robinson’s Maroons bounced back to make it a game at Terre Haute North on Saturday night.
The Maroons cut the gap to 39-33 late in the third quarter, but a crucial turnover led to a 3-pointer by North and the Patriots went on a 65-50 win.
South girls fall to Indy North Central 67-46
Indianapolis North Central used 3-point shooting and defense to prevail in Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference girls high school basketball Saturday, defeating Terre Haute South 67-46.
The Panthers got off to an 8-0 start in the early-afternoon contest played in the South gym and outscored the Braves 20-9 in the final frame to get even for the season at 3-3 and even in the conference at 1-1.
Sister act: Elkins pair have helped West Vigo get off to 4-1 start
Heading into tonight’s home game against Owen Valley, the West Vigo girls basketball team is one win from equaling last season’s total for victories. The 4-1 Vikings are led by post players and sister duo Lexus and Shyanne Elkins.
Rady could break tie with Sharpe today
Longtime boys basketball coach Pat Rady has a chance to pass the legendary Howard Sharpe for No. 2 on Indiana’s all-time victory list today when his Cloverdale Clovers play Greencastle at 10 a.m. in the first game of the postponed Putnam County Classic at Greencastle.
New dates when available
- Vigo County basketball matchups
Study looks at effects of concussions
Austen Cummings sits in class and can’t remember what he’s supposed to focus on. He doesn’t have a learning disability or an attention disorder. The Homestead High School sophomore suffered two concussions in the span of two months while playing football. The concussions have caused Cummings to blank out in class, at times for almost a half-hour.
Even high-rated helmets may not protect players
Two studies this year highlight the tough choices and conflicting information that parents and coaches face when trying to protect football players from head trauma.
PREP ROUNDUP: West Vigo girls basketball cruises past Sullivan
Lexus Elkins poured in 15 points, Shyanne Elkins contributed 13 and McKenzie Little added 11 to lead the host Vikings over Sullivan 57-40 in Western Indiana Conference action Tuesday night inside the Green Dome.
Terre Haute South girls hold off Northview's surge
A funny thing happened on the way to a Terre Haute South blowout victory Tuesday night at Northview High School. The Knights fought back and nearly pulled out a win.
Three-point baskets by Kennedy Williams and Lauren Perrelle and free throws by Kylie Fendrick and Lauren Hambrock preserved a 53-50 win for the Braves over the Knight.
Casey beats Terre Haute South with last-second layup
On many nights during this high school basketball season, the shots are going to fall for both Casey and Terre Haute South and both teams are going to look really good.
Tuesday was not one of those nights.
Former North Central inducted into Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame
Thirteen men will become official members of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame when they are inducted into the Hoops Hall at the annual dinner in March.
Matchups set for wide-open Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic field
Sometimes the ping-pong balls used to draw the high school basketball pairings for the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic have a wisdom all their own, and that seemed to be the case Tuesday at Terre Haute North.
Metro sports: ISU women play today at No. 15 LSU
Indiana State’s women finish a three-game road swing by playing nationally ranked LSU at 12:30 p.m. today at Baton Rouge.
Tonight’s prep basketball
Casey at Terre Haute South
PREP ROUNDUP: North Central falls at home to Eastern Greene
Eastern Greene’s Camden Sego popped in 18 points to lead to a 67-42 home loss for North Central in SouthWestern Indiana Athletic Conference boys high school basketball Saturday night.
Bertoli runs personal-best time to qualify for Foot Locker national championships
Reigning IHSAA state champion Jackson Bertoli, a senior at Terre Haute South High School, accomplished a personal-best time of 15 minutes, 14 seconds as he finished fifth in the Foot Locker Midwest Regional Championships for cross country Saturday morning at Wayne E. Dannehl Course.
New excitement: Opportunity to swim in new pool in near future has Vigo County athletes ecstatic
As excited as Mike Williams is about the start of the Terre Haute North High School swim season today, he’s just as excited that one of its circumstances won’t have to be repeated a couple of years from now.
Prep/Metro roundup: Marshall girls pick up big wins at Robinson
Marshall’s Lions got a huge girls high school basketball victory Friday afternoon at the Robinson Thanksgiving Tournament, downing Mt. Carmel and 2013 Illinois Miss Basketball Tyra Buss 57-53.
Today’s Vigo County boys basketball game
Terre Haute North at Lebanon
West Vigo boys rally to pull out season-opening OT victory
A season-opening high school boys basketball game at West Vigo on Wednesday night was as much about when the players did things as it was what they did.
Visiting North Vermillion seemed to have a close game under control the entire way because every time the host team made a run, Falcon star Brayden Woodard was there to answer.
Although West Vigo was never ahead in the last 28 minutes of regulation time, the Vikings got a game-tying 3-pointer from Alec Blair with 6.3 seconds left and pulled out a 47-46 victory on Braiden Cardinal’s driving layup with 10 seconds left in overtime.
Clay City hits 13 first-half treys in downing Wildcats
Clay City junior Evan Rogers hit his first 3-pointer of the night 45 seconds into the season opener at South Vermillion.
By the time another 2 minutes, 15 seconds passed on the scoreboard, he had hit a fifth 3-pointer, putting his Eels ahead 17-2.
Heat check? That time had already passed.
Rogers hit a sixth 3-pointer to put the Eels up 25-4 then finally missed one with 2:20 on the first-quarter clock.
Prep basketball: Marshall preparing for Capital Classic
Marshall is one of the boys high school basketball teams that will compete in the Capital Classic to be played at Lawrenceville and Red Hill.
The Lions will play their preliminary games at Lawrenceville, meeting Mount Carmel and Lawrenceville today and Pinckneyville on Saturday.
O’Leary eyes return to Hulman Center
Former Terre Haute North standout Matt O’Leary is hoping to help Loyola Chicago coach Porter Moser turn the program into a new chapter of success in a new conference.
Preps: Turkey Run wins boys basketball opener
Austin Jones tallied 14 points for Turkey Run in a season-opening 77-62 home victory over Southmont in boys high school basketball Tuesday night.
Northview opens with tough loss to Vincennes Lincoln in boys basketball
Coaches learn more about their team playing quality opponents than a weak opponent.
That is why Northview coach Clint Weddle wasn’t down after Vincennes Lincoln defeated the Knights 69-55 in the opening game of the boys high school basketball season for both teams.
Prep preview: Knights more comfortable with Weddle
The Northview boys team is a year older, wiser and more adept with the basketball.
The Knights also are are more comfortable with what second-year coach Clint Weddle wants.
After an 8-15 season in his debut, Weddle is optimistic about contending for Western Indiana Conference and Class 3A sectional crowns in 2013-14.
- More High School Headlines
- West Vigo shows its youth in loss to Owen Valley