The end of an era came too quickly and far too painfully for the girls from Sullivan on Saturday night.
The five starting seniors on the Golden Arrows' girls high school basketball team — Sydney Chapman, Jaleigh Gilham, Cobie Harrison, Caelan Jones and Rhagen Smith — gave themselves a chance to win a Class 2A regional against the defending state champions for the better part of two quarters.
But after an 8-0 Sullivan run tied the score at 18 with a little over three minutes to play in the second quarter, top-ranked Evansville Mater Dei scored the last five points of the first half — and then the first 12 of the second half. Sullivan never got closer than 16 points the rest of the way in an eventual 68-35 loss.
Mater Dei had blitzed the host Paoli team with a 15-0 run in the first quarter of Saturday morning's first semifinal contest, and threatened to do the same to the Arrows in the night game.
After Sullivan took a 4-0 lead on two free throws by Smith and a driving layup by Jones, the Wildcats scored the next 14 points the way they'd done against Paoli: pinpoint passing by junior star Maura Muensterman setting up open teammates for easy shots. Muensterman had five assists on the six Mater Dei baskets in the first quarter and scored the other one herself.
Smith got the next six points of the game, however, and Sullivan was within 14-10 early in the second quarter. Mater Dei got the next two baskets — one by Muensterman, one assisted by Muensterman — and changed defenses, but the Arrows were ready for the switch.
Using skip passes beautifully against Mater Dei's tricky 3-2 trapping zone, Sullivan got a 3-pointer by Jones, then one by Gilham, then a layup by Smith set up by Jones' spectacular wraparound pass. Mater Dei didn't use that zone trap again.
Unfortunately, they weren't pressed into another defensive change.
“We ran out of gas,” coach Julie Meeks said after the game. “Caelan hurt her knee a little bit [and was limping throughout a good portion of the season half] ... we were just mentally and physically exhausted.
“We fought hard. We were in it at halftime,” the coach continued. “We had a great run and a great year. We have a lot to be proud of.”
Smith closed out a record-setting Sullivan career with 19 points and seven rebounds and Jones, the other four-year starter in the lineup, scored nine and had six assists.
Muensterman turned to a scoring role in the second half for Mater Dei and finished with 26 points, a game-high eight rebounds and eight assists. Tori Schickel matched Smith in both points and rebounds, and Beth Fischer added 11 points for the Wildcats.
“We did the best we could,” Meeks said. “Now we'll be rebuilding, and working hard. We don't get to reload. I felt we had a great defensive plan and it worked for us ... we just wore down.”
Meeks called her five seniors, “five wonderful kids. I was fortunate to get the opportunity to have them and to coach them. I hope I've blessed them with some lifelong skills.”
EVANSVILLE MATER DEI (68) — Muensterman 11-21 1-1 26, Fischer 5-6 1-1 11, Schickel 6-9 7-9 19, Spahn 0-3 0-0 0, Bueltel 1-3 0-0 2, Greenwell 3-8 0-0 6, Kelley 1-2 0-0 2, Ubelhor 0-0 0-0 0, Goebel 0-1 0-1 0, Gries 0-0 0-0 0, Anderson 0-0 0-0 0, Daunhauer 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 28-55 FG, 9-12 FT, 68 TP.
SULLIVAN (35) — Harrison 0-0 1-4 1, Chapman 1-4 0-0 2, Smith 6-15 7-7 19, Jones 3-6 2-4 9, Gilham 1-7 0-0 3, Cottom 0-1 0-0 0, Wilkes 0-0 0-0 0, C.Day 0-0 1-2 1, McDonald 0-0 0-0 0, Basinger 0-0 0-0 0, Judson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 11-33 FG, 11-17 FT, 35 TP.
Evansville Mater Dei 14 9 21 24 — 68
Sullivan 6 12 6 11 — 35
3-point shooting — EMD 3-9 (Muensterman 3-7, Spahn 0-1, Bueltel 0-1), Sullivan 2-8 (Jones 1-1, Gilham 1-6, Cottom 0-1). Total fouls — EMD 14, Sullivan 12. Fouled out — none. Turnovers — EMD 7, Sullivan 23. Rebounds — EMD 32 (Muensterman 8, Schickel 7), Sullivan 26 (Smith 7, Chapman 6, Jones 3, Gilham 3, Harrison 2, Wilkes, team 4). Assists — EMD 17 (Muensterman 8), Sullivan 8 (Jones 6, Chapman, Cottom). Steals — EMD 11 (Schickel 4, Fischer 4), Sullivan 6 (Chapman 2, Gilham 2, Smith, Jones). Blocks — EMD 1 (Muensterman), Sullivan 0.
Next — Evansville Mater Dei (26-2) plays Heritage Christian next Saturday at the Class 2A southern semistate, either at Richmond or Bedford. Sullivan finished 23-3.
The end of an era came too quickly and far too painfully for the girls from Sullivan on Saturday night.
- High School
Class 2A girls: Rick Risinger coaches Heritage to fifth state title
Rick Risinger spoke this past week about defense being the key to securing a win against a talented Fort Wayne Canterbury girls basketball squad in the Class 2A state championship game.
Coach Risinger’s Heritage Christian squad rose to the occasion Saturday in Hulman Center, holding the Cavaliers to 33-percent shooting to claim the school’s fifth state title since joining the IHSAA in 2003.
The Eagles won their first title since 2009 by a score of 64-61.
Class A girls: Oregon-Davis holds off Vincennes Rivet
Oregon-Davis jumped out to a 15-2 lead when senior Alicia McIntosh drilled a 3-pointer in Saturday’s Class A state championship for girls high school basketball.
The Bobcats stretched that lead to as large as 17 before halftime, and still led by double figures with three minutes remaining.
Class 3A girls: Western over Evansville Mater Dei 38-35
Like Fort Wayne Canterbury in the Class 2A championship, two-time defending Class 2A champion Evansville Mater Dei found the going much more tough when moving up one class due to the IHSAA’s “Team Success Factor” legislation.
Mater Dei (26-2), which had an average margin of victory of 27 points throughout the season, struggled against Western’s 2-3 zone all night long in falling to the Panthers 38-35.
Class 4A girls: Bedford North Lawrence wins second straight title
Damon Bailey guided Bedford North Lawrence to a second straight state championship in his first year as head coach.
Bailey, an assistant on the Stars’ unbeaten Class 4A champions in 2013, watched his team hold off a scrappy Penn squad for a 51-41 victory Saturday night.
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Clay City wins third straight sectional
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Damon Bailey among coaches directing daughters at Hulman Center on Saturday
Father-daughter bonding was among the themes Saturday at Hulman Center as Terre Haute played host to the IHSAA girls basketball state finals for a third straight year.
Class 4A title favorite Bedford North Lawrence looked to repeat as champions late Saturday night. Former BNL state champion and Indiana Hoosier great Damon Bailey led his Stars into the game with a pair of daughters on the court. Junior Alexa Bailey, wearing No. 22 of course, is a Butler recruit and sophomore Loren is a reserve for the Stars.
Owen Valley, Edgewood in sectional final again
Things haven’t changed that much in the Class 3A boys basketball sectional. Northview was in the field for the first time and hosted the semifinals Friday night. But for the second year in a row, Edgewood and Owen Valley will play for the Sectional 28 championship tonight.
Temples’ 3-pointers help Paris advance
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For part of Friday, doubt existed about whether flu-stricken Rockville standout Keiontre’ Wilkey would be able to play in the first semifinal game of the Class A North Vermillion Sectional for boys basketball. The junior guard gutted it out, however, and tallied 17 points to help lead the Rox over the host high school 61-53. That sent them into tonight’s sectional championship game against No. 7-ranked Lafayette Central Catholic.
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Linton hit 4 of 5 free throws in the final minute and hung on to defeat streaking North Knox 47-46 in the semifinals of the Class 2A North Knox Sectional for boys high school basketball.
Former Terre Haute resident Rick Risinger looking for fifth state title in Hulman Center
An accomplished group of girls basketball coaches will make their way into Hulman Center on Saturday for the IHSAA state finals.
Damon Bailey, 1990 Mr. Basketball for state champion Bedford North Lawrence and former Indiana University great, is the most familiar name to Hoosier basketball fanatics. In his first year as a girls varsity coach, Bailey leads BNL into action in the 4A state championship game.
With 590 career wins, Fort Wayne Canterbury coach Wayne Kreiger is already a member of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.
Behind senior Miss Basketball candidate Maura Muensterman, Steve Goans leads Evansville Mater Dei into the Class 3A title game on the heels of consecutive 2A titles.
No answer: Spears scores 30 as Martinsvlle ends TH South’s season
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North falls to No. 5 Brownsburg in Class 4A Avon Sectional
Terre Haute North did not bow out of the boys high school basketball tournament Tuesday night like a team on a seven-game losing streak.
The Patriots executed their gameplan, battled back from a double-digit deficit and forced Class 4A No. 5-ranked Brownsburg to hit free throws to win the opener of the Class 4A Avon Sectional.
Brownsburg (19-2) hit six straight free throws in the final 1 minute, 15 seconds to hold off the Patriots 51-47.
Two sets of Eels win at WRV Sectional
There’ll be no Cinderella story in Dugger to end this boys high school basketball season, and a spirited upset bid also fell short Tuesday night at the Class A White River Valley Sectional.
Defensive pressure and depth made the difference in both games, as Eminence ended the Union season — perhaps its last, at least as a public school — by a 59-46 score and Clay City pulled away in the second half for a 53-44 win over Shakamak.
Paris knocks off 23-2 Clinton Central in overtime sectional thriller
Paris’ boys basketball team has learned a lot in a late-season run of success, but the one thing that set the Tigers apart on Tuesday in Class 2A Westville Sectional semifinal game was composure.
The Tigers never got rattled, never flinched and got the ultimate reward.
BOYS SECTIONAL ROUNDUP: Linton holds off Sullivan at North Knox
Linton and Eastern posted victories in the opening round of the North Knox Class 2A Sectional on Tuesday.
Linton led most of the way to defeat Sullivan 51-43 in the first game. Eastern Greene bested North Central 62-42 in the nightcap.
Linton is 16-6 and will take on North Knox and Eastern Greene faces South Knox in the semifinals on Friday. North Knox takes an 11-game winning streak into the action.
Tough roads ahead: Terre Haute North faces big challenges in its sectional
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South swimmers fall short of lofty goals at state finals
Sometimes the journey is more rewarding than the destination.
That would best describe Terre Haute South’s performances Saturday in the 77th annual IHSAA boys swimming and diving state championships at the IU Natatorium.
Center Grove deals Terre Haute North 7th loss in row
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Prep roundup: Casey falls at Robinson Regional; Paris posts upset win at home
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Casey, Paris to play in regional title games
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AMEY TAKES AIM: Bringing you the Amey Teams for girls basketball
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I wish some of our girls teams had been able to play longer for a purely selfish reason: that might have given me an opportunity to see one or two of their games.
South boys fall to Southport, finish regular season 8-14
Terre Haute South got an up-close look Thursday night at what a Conference Indiana championship boys basketball team looks like. And Southport is big and quick.
Southport, led by 6-foot-10 sophomore Joey Brunk and junior guard Malik Bennett overpowered South’s Braves 61-49 at Southport Fieldhouse. Brunk had 16 points and 12 rebounds, while Bennett scored 21 points.
VIDEO: Wilhelm leads South swimmers into state finals
Christian Wilhelm plans to compete in the distance freestyle when he gets to the University of Illinois-Chicago’s downtown campus.
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Casey advances to regional title game
Casey will be in the championship game of the Class 2A Robinson Regional for boys high school basketball teams Friday night. The Warriors gained their spot in the title tilt with a 55-42 victory over Marshall on Wednesday.
Cloverdale joins Pizza Hut Classic field
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Preps: Northview rallies past Linton in boys basketball
Ethan Whitson, Christian Ellis and Jim Mace tallied 19, 18 and 10 points respectively as host Northview overcame a 10-point halftime deficit to defeat Linton 62-57 in boys high school basketball Wednesday night.
Terre Haute North plays well but doesn't finish at Bedford North Lawrence
Visiting Terre Haute North did everything but win a nonconference high school basketball game Tuesday at Bedford North Lawrence.
The Patriots shot better, dominated the boards and reversed the game’s momentum with a second-half defensive adjustment, but only once got the lead above a one-possession one. That cost North in the end, when the Stars scored the last six points to win 42-38.
- More High School Headlines
- Class 2A girls: Rick Risinger coaches Heritage to fifth state title