News From Terre Haute, Indiana

High School

February 10, 2014

Unbeaten Marshall likely to face top Illinois scorer

TERRE HAUTE — Sectional snow is not expected to affect the schedule, although perhaps a knock on wood would be a good idea when considering that possibility, and the schools in Vigo and Clay County don’t have to drive very far anyway.

Marshall’s Lions are in a position to become villains throughout the state of Illinois, although the Lions seem willing to live with that.

And by the end of this week, very few girls high school basketball teams in the Wabash Valley will still be playing.

Postseason regional games began Monday in Illinois and Indiana sectionals start today. Two tournaments are scheduled in Vigo County — the Class 4A sectional at Terre Haute North and the Class 3A sectional at West Vigo — while Clay City is hosting a Class A sectional, as is North Vermillion. Class 2A sectionals are at North Knox and Southmont.

Illinois fans have a little farther to drive — to Cumberland for a Class A regional and to Mt. Carmel or Arthur-Lovington for Class 2A action.

Mt. Carmel is where Marshall will do its best to be a spoiler — that is, if a top-seeded, unbeaten team with an all-state-caliber player like Kaydie Grooms can be considered a spoiler.

One of the Lions’ victories earlier this season was a 57-53 decision over the host Golden Aces; if Marshall repeats that feat, on the Mt. Carmel court, they’ll end the career of the most prolific scorer in Illinois history.

The Lions held Tyra Buss to 33 points in that earlier meeting, and held is the operative word. Buss, an Indiana University recruit and the nation’s No. 2 scorer for her career, is averaging 47 points per game and very rarely plays the entire 32 minutes.

“Our main goal is to stop Tyra from driving,” coach Kathy Miller of the Lions said. “You can’t foul her … and she’ll pick your pocket [defensively] if you’re not paying attention.”

Those two teams will meet in Friday’s championship game unless an upset of epic proportions occurs in Wednesday’s semifinals.

Things are by no means as clear-cut in the two sectionals in Vigo County this week, with the Patriots and Terre Haute South both competing at North and Northview joining the host Vikings at West Vigo.

North has the lone game in its gym tonight, playing Martinsville, with the winner of that game advancing to Friday’s semifinal against eighth-ranked Mooresville, the five-time defending sectional champion.

Coach Mike Allen’s Patriots may have leading scorer Layne Curley back in the lineup after a broken hand caused her to miss more than a month, which could give a boost to a team that maintained a successful season regardless.

“We have a couple kids step up in [Layne Curley’s] absence,” Allen noted, “and we won a couple of games we might not have won [if those players hadn’t stepped up].

“It’ll be a tough road,” the Patriot coach predicted. “We have the potential to win [North’s eight-point loss to Mooresville was as close as any of the Pioneers’ potential sectional foes has come], it’s just a matter of putting it together at the right time. Get on a hot streak and anything can happen.”

North’s key is simple, Allen added.

“We can’t turn the ball over,” he said. “Take care of the basketball and value every possession.”

Terre Haute South meets Plainfield on Wednesday, the rematch of a recent game in which the Braves led by 13 points after a quarter but went on to lose by 18.

“We can learn from our mistakes [in that game] and remember what we did well,” coach Cara Stuckey said in looking forward to seeing the Quakers again, “and after playing against [Plainfield’s] pressure, we can get better shots than we got [the first time].”

The young Braves have shown flashes if what Stuckey thinks they can be — if games were eight minutes long, they’d have a very good record — and are a dangerous team to overlook. Their coach has no trouble picking a sectional favorite, however.

“Mooresville,” Stuckey said. “Their defense is really good, and they know how to get it done.”

Picking a favorite at West Vigo would appear to be easy, since Edgewood was undefeated in Western Indiana Conference play this year and all five teams in the sectional are from the WIC. It’s not that simple, however — many of the conference games were nail-biters — and that gives the host Vikings hope, even after going 0-4 against sectional foes.

“Our sectional is not the best in the state, but it’s the closest from top to bottom,” coach Ryan Easton of West Vigo said. “Everybody is pretty competitive [with one another] … and being 0-4 [against the field] hasn’t hurt our mindset.”

West Vigo has already clinched its first winning season in 13 years, and Easton hopes that momentum, plus the home court, will make the Vikings a factor.

“The maturity and development of this team has been pretty good,” the coach said. “We’re looking at this as a second opportunity to avenge some losses.”

Even though Northview is the only team in the field with a record below .500, the Knights also expect to be a factor in their first basketball sectional at the Class 3A level.

“It’s a big change,” coach Scott Buell said. “We’re still going up against well-coached teams with outstanding players, but we feel we have a better chance to win a sectional now … anyone could win it.”

The key for Northview? “Just playing four quarters,” Buell said. “In a lot of games we’ll play really well, then have a bad stretch.”

The two Class 2A sectionals would appear to have definite favorites, with Seeger and host North Knox ranked 17th and 11th respectively.

The two highest-ranked teams involved in any of the Wabash Valley tournaments are playing each other tonight at North Vermillion — third-ranked, unbeaten Attica playing sectional newcomer Lafayette Central Catholic. The Knights are ranked seventh and haven’t lost a sectional game since 2005.

Another key Class A game tonight is at Clay City, where defending champion Shakamak plays a Bloomfield team returning from Class 2A; the Lakers won a one-point game during the regular season. White River Valley has beaten everyone in the sectional field, but might get a challenge in the other bracket from a Union team that has a shot at winning the school’s last sectional championship trophy.

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High School
  • SPT041714 WV BB shaffer.jpg 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.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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.

    April 18, 2014

  • 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.

    April 18, 2014

  • 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.

    April 16, 2014

  • 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.

    April 15, 2014

  • SPT 041214 MADDI BOLINGER.jpg 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.

    April 12, 2014 9 Photos

  • SPT 041214 NATHAN PIRTLE 2.jpg 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.

    April 12, 2014 4 Photos

  • 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.

    April 12, 2014

  • 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.

    April 12, 2014

  • 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.

    April 12, 2014

  • SPT041014 THN SB nease.jpg 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.

    April 10, 2014 3 Photos

  • 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.

    April 10, 2014

  • 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.

    April 10, 2014

  • 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.

    April 9, 2014

  • SPT 040814 SMODILLA LOOK.jpg 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.

    April 8, 2014 3 Photos

  • 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.

    April 8, 2014

  • SPT040514 THS BB herrin.jpg 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.

    April 5, 2014 2 Photos

  • 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.

    April 5, 2014

  • 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.

    April 4, 2014

  • SPT110113XCTRY chute.jpg 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.

    April 3, 2014 2 Photos

  • 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.

    April 2, 2014

  • SPT 072813 JACOB JOHNSON2.jpg 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.

    April 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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.

    April 1, 2014

  • 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.

    March 31, 2014

  • 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.

    March 28, 2014

  • 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.

    March 28, 2014

  • SOFTBALL PREVIEW: Big Four teams looking to build off strong 2013 seasons

    Although any of the four would have liked more postseason success, the spring of 2013 was a good one for the Big Four high school softball teams. That’s good news.
    Even better news for the three Vigo County teams is that very few seniors who contributed to that success are missing, and hopes are even higher this year.

    March 27, 2014

  • SPT 032014 WV DEGROOTE.jpg Til it's over: Long wait finally over for first-year West Vigo baseball coach

    My sincerest apology if I jinx it, but winter should be done now. This means, first and foremost, baseball season has arrived. It’s been a long winter for Culley DeGroote, in particular. He takes over the West Vigo program that his father Steve DeGroote built into a perennial winner.

    March 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • Metro sports: Silver Crown field filling up for Action Track

    More than a dozen drivers are scheduled to seek their initial U.S. Auto Club Silver Crown championship victory April 6 when the Sumar Classic is run at the Terre Haute Action Track.

    March 26, 2014

  • SPT 013114 AIMONE FILE.jpg Amey Takes Aim: Columnist’s boys basketball tradition continues

    In marked contrast to my recent whiny column about girls basketball, I was blessed this winter to see virtually every high school team in the Wabash Valley during the boys season.
    Some might suggest that was a mixed blessing, since a few of our teams weren’t as successful as they are used to being (particularly in the 2014 portion of the season), but the Tribune-Star was still involved with two teams that came within a game of the state finals, one of them in an Indiana final four (no capitalization anymore, new system) and two teams that were in the top eight of their class. That’s only three great teams — Paris was both a game away and in the final eight — but that’s still a pretty good haul.

    March 26, 2014 3 Photos

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