Maybe Darin Pemberton’s injury was the start of it, or maybe the loss by his teammate David Lewis was the omen.
But whatever the cause, the news was bad early and never got much better for Wabash Valley wrestlers Saturday at the Evansville Semistate in the Ford Center.
None of the 13 who qualified for the competition at Evansville advanced to Friday’s state finals, and South Vermillion’s Tanner Smith also suffered a first-round setback at the New Castle Semistate.
Terre Haute South’s Pemberton was ruled out of Saturday’s competition because of a knee injury he suffered during the Bloomington Regional — during which he qualified for semistate competition despite wrestling with a broken thumb.
But the Braves still had two regional champions and a regional runner-up — meaning two top seeds and one second seed in the four-man survivor brackets to advance — and still came up empty, which left coach Gabe Cook temporarily at a loss for words after the end of the second round.
Terre Haute North also lost the top seed among its four competitors Saturday, and Northview — with two second seeds among its four wrestlers — also was shut out.
“Tough competition. It always is,” coach Mark Frisz of North said afterward.
“We didn’t quite get the peak performances like we wanted,” added coach Dan Mikesell of Northview.
Three wrestlers made it to the second round — the go round — on Saturday. Cale McCoy of Northview had a 4-2 victory in his opening match at 120 pounds, while two of the top-seeded wrestlers, North’s Tyler GIlmore and South’s sixth-ranked Phoenix Adams, were dominating. Gilmore routed his first-round opponent at 145 by a 10-0 score, and Adams had a 67-second pin at 152.
But McCoy fell victim to two takedowns, a quick reversal and riding time against Evansville Mater Dei’s Alex Johnson — “We’re pretty good on our feet, but we have to improve our mat wrestling,” Mikesell repeated Saturday; Gilmore was beaten 7-2 by Cascade’s Zach Batts; and Adams never scored after a last-second reversal in the first period in losing 3-2 to eventual runner-up C.J. Damler of Brownsburg.
North’s Thomas Dull had his moments in his first-round loss, during which he got a key third-period reversal to get within 8-7 but had to yield an escape in a gamble for takedown points in the waning seconds, only to be taken down himself.
Northview’s Trey Boor also had a good start, taking a 4-0 lead before being trapped in a pinning combination, and South Putnam freshman Kyle Shaffer showed promise, holding a 2-0 lead in the third period against 46-1 Andy Fisher of Southridge before suffering a late pin.
Other first-round opponents of Valley wrestlers showed how strong they were, notably Ben Davis sophomore James Pritchett, who dominated a second opponent in advancing to the state finals after upsetting South’s top-seeded Lewis. But that was small consolation to Cook.
“All these guys [including Cory Orndorff] have been here or qualified for this twice, and Phoenix has been here three times. It’s a tough tournament to compete in, and we definitely did not compete the way we are capable,” the South coach finally said.
“The seniors [Adams and Orndorff] have accomplished a lot of great things and they have a lot to be proud of. I hope they take things they learned from the sport and apply them to life after high school.”
“I’m proud of the kids for how hard they competed,” said Frisz. “The effort from everybody was real good. Hopefully Thomas [Dull, a freshman] will be back and the three seniors [J.J. Low and Ryan Moshak in addition to Gilmore] have had good careers that they can be proud of.”
“We’re young,” Mikesell said. “Having two freshmen [Austin Cook and Jacob Hendrich] here is good … we’ll be the upperclassmen dominating next year, hopefully.
Speaking of Boor’s loss, Mikesell added, “That was too bad, because we thought he had a pretty good draw. But from where he started [no experience prior to high school], we can’t complain. He’s been a joy to coach: a real good leader and a real good kid.”
Maybe Darin Pemberton’s injury was the start of it, or maybe the loss by his teammate David Lewis was the omen.
- High School
Herrin's pitching effort leads South to win over Northview
When two good high school baseball teams get together, each using one of its better pitchers, the margin for error figures to be slim, and some defensive plays that weren’t made were the difference Friday evening as Terre Haute South beat Northview 7-1.
Stout home run sparks South softball at Sullivan
Terre Haute South junior Mariah Stout made her father proud and helped her team win its eighth game of the season at the same time Friday evening.
With the previously flat-looking Braves trailing host Sullivan 1-0 with two outs and nobody on base in the top of the second inning, Stout woke up her dugout mates by hammering a McKenzie Pirtle pitch over the fence in left-center field for a score-tying home run.
Terre Haute North baseball cruises past Warren Central
Terre Haute North swept a high school baseball doubleheader against Warren Central on Friday night by scores of 14-1 and 10-4.
PREP ROUNDUP: Sollars, Morrison lead West Vigo softball to win
Kaitlyn Sollars had a double, triple and four runs batted in and winning pitcher Leah Morrison contributed a pair of triples and a double to lead visiting West Vigo over Riverton Parke 14-1 in high school softball.
West Vigo baseball wins in rout
When Brandin Behringer drove in his first run Thursday evening, it gave West Vigo a short-lived lead in nonconference high school baseball.
The remainder of the Viking senior’s RBIs came four at a time in the bottom of the fourth inning, his grand-slam homer capping the second of consecutive seven-run innings that sent his team to a 15-3 win over visiting North Vermillion.
Prep roundup: Vikings get big hits to beat North Vermillion on softball diamond
The West Vigo softball team improved to 4-3 for the season with an 11-4 victory over North Vermillion on Thursday.
Leah Morrison busted the game open with a three-run double in the Vikings’ seven-run fourth inning.
Kenzie Little chipped in with a two-run triple in the sixth and Hannah Harden tossed a complete-game for the pitching win.
Prep baseball: Northview beats top-ranked Shakamak
Damon Bass pitched a three-hit shutout and struck out seven to lead Northview to a 7-0 high school baseball victory over Shakamak.
The visiting Knights blew open a tight game against Class A’s top-ranked team with a four-run seventh inning.
Austin Butts and Jake Harden combined for six hits for Northview.
PREP ROUNDUP: North girls tennis wins 5-0 at Plainfield
Terre Haute North’s girls tennis team swept its opening match of the high school season as it defeated Plainfield 5-0 on Wednesday.
AMEY TAKES AIM: Loss of Coach Bennett leaves hole in Marshall
My email box is a little less busy now, and there’ll be a familiar face missing on basketball trips to Marshall in the future.
Roncalli fights past North Central in extra innings on way to Braves Bash title
Roncalli became a three-time Gold Bracket champion of the sixth annual Braves Bash high school softball tournament at Terre Haute’s Miss Softball America complex Saturday night by defeating Evansville Mater Dei 7-1 in the title game.
The 12-team round-robin tournament, which started Friday evening with three pools, and concluded with bracket championships Saturday night.
Sullivan enjoys record golf day at Northview Invitational
Sullivan and No. 1 player Nathan Pirtle were top finishers in the Northview Invitational for high school boys golf teams played Saturday at Forest Park.
TH North loses to McCutcheon, beats Harrison (West Lafayette)
Terre Haute North bounced back from a big loss to host McCutcheon to defeat Harrison (West Lafayette) in a pair of high school baseball games Saturday.
The Mavericks defeated the Patriots 17-7 early Saturday, but North beat the Raiders 9-4 later in the day.
West Vigo baseball drops first two in Center Grove Classic
West Vigo hammered the baseball all over the field and had a double-digit lead through three innings early in the week at Seeger before rain washed it out short of a complete game.
TH South sweeps MIC baseball doubleheader
Justin Jenkins and Timmy Herrin led visiting Terre Haute South to a sweep of a Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference high school baseball doubleheader Saturday at Indianapolis North Central.
Opening their final MIC season, the Braves won the opener 9-6 and the nightcap 8-6.
Braves Softball Bash a 'premier' early-season tournament
The Braves Softball Bash has grown to 12 schools in 2014, with high school teams looking to gauge their early-season progress against quality competition.
The host Braves have put together a solid 3-1 start that includes a doubleheader sweep of Casey, Ill., a newcomer to the field along with West Vigo.
Golf season gets going Saturday with Northview Invitational
Most high school boys golf teams in the area will get the season started Saturday in the Northview Invitational at Forest Park.
New players will be in the lineups for many of the teams. Sullivan and Greencastle are the leaders in returning players.
PREP ROUNDUP: Allen homers in North softball win
Jazmine Allen had her first home run of the season and she and Conner Nelson combined for five hits and four RBIs as Terre Haute North defeated Sullivan 8-1 on Thursday in nonconference high school softball.
PREP ROUNDUP: South offense leads Braves to dominant win over Lincoln
Justin Jenkins had three hits and Jacob Johnson and Zach Donnelly drove in four runs apiece as Terre Haute South rolled to a 15-2 high school baseball victory Wednesday at Vincennes Lincoln.
Terre Haute North tops Sullivan, falls to Class A No. 1 Shakamak
Class A No. 1-ranked Shakamak got a big pitching performance and big hits from Braxton and Brett Yeryar Tuesday night while beating Terre Haute North 5-2 at Don Jennings Field.
Prep roundup: West Vigo softball wins in 4 1/2 innings
Charity Lane, Shelby Edington, Baylee Waters and Leah Morrison each had two hits and Lane knocked in three runs to lead West Vigo past visiting Turkey Run 13-2 in a run-rule high school softball game that went 4 1/2 innings Tuesday.
Terre Haute South cruises to Braves Bash title
Terre Haute South knew it had a deep pitching staff going into the 11th annual Braves Bash baseball tournament and that proved to be true. But the Braves’ offense surprised everyone but the players Saturday as South won two 10-run-rule games en route to the championship.
South defeated Mount Vernon 10-0 Saturday morning and capped the championship with a 14-4, come-from-behind victory over Munster in the finale.
PREP ROUNDUP: Collett homers as North splits doubleheader
Sophomore T.J. Collett hit a solo home run in the top of the seventh inning in the first game of a doubleheader as Terre Haute North opened its high school baseball season with a 9-3 victory over host Hamilton Southeastern on Saturday.
The Patriots lost the nightcap 6-0 after three first-inning errors led to three unearned runs.
Metro sports: Locks of Love tournament today at Memorial Stadium
The Indiana State Women’s Soccer team will host its annual Locks of Love tournament today. The 4th annual event will begin at 9 a.m. at Memorial Stadium.
PREP TRACK PREVIEW: Raetz, Holman among new coaches
Two new coaches are in charge among the eight Vigo County and Northview high school track teams in 2014, although one of them isn’t really that new.
Mark Raetz has taken over the Northview boys for Chad Smith, who is battling an illness. Raetz formerly headed the Terre Haute South boys program for two seasons.
Metro sports: ISU blanks Austin Peay in 6-plus innings
Indiana State’s baseball team posted another mid-week victory Wednesday night as four pitchers combined to throw a three-hit shutout and lead a 3-0 victory over Austin Peay State at Bob Warn Field.
Season preview: Vigo County, Northview baseball teams ready to roll
To no one’s surprise, Wabash Valley baseball fans don’t have to leave Vigo County — although they certainly could, as described later in this article — to find talented baseball players on the high school diamond this spring.
Terre Haute North has a quartet of .300 hitters returning — Zach Milam, Jonathan Eilbracht, Nathan Will and Lane Dransfield — in addition to super sophomore T.J. Collett, who led the Patriots with a team-best 50 runs batted in for the 24-7 Patriots last season. Collett hit .424 with six doubles, two triples and nine home runs as a freshman.
PREP ROUNDUP: Marlow's 10 RBI leads Braves' softball at Casey
Terre Haute South’s Kelsey Marlow had 10 runs-batted-in during a doubleheader sweep at Casey.
Metro sports: ISU’s Stone, Riemenschneider honored by MVC
Indiana State junior Megan Stone and freshman Brooke Riemenschneider each earned Missouri Valley Conference Athlete of the Week honors, according to an announcement from the league office Monday.
Girls state finals leaving Terre Haute
The IHSAA and city of Terre Haute are still on excellent terms, insists Terre Haute Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director Dave Patterson. But that didn’t keep the girls basketball state finals from returning to Indianapolis in 2015 after a three-year stint with Terre Haute’s Hulman Center serving as the host venue.
TH South comes out swinging in softball opener
The combination of experience and talent has created great expectations, from both the fans and players, for the Terre Haute South High School softball team. The Braves displayed both Friday afternoon in an impressive 11-4 season-opening victory over host Southmont.
- More High School Headlines
- Herrin's pitching effort leads South to win over Northview