TERRE HAUTE —
Jimmy Maples was prepared to help West Vigo contend for a Western Indiana Conference title in 2012, but the Viking junior planned to do so as a wide receiver.
When Tyler Hayes broke his leg a week before two-a-days began, Maples was moved under center.
With his speed an integral part of the Vikings’ potent rushing attack and his arm hitting for the occasional big play, Maples quarterbacked the Vikings to a share of the WIC title.
Now he faces his biggest challenge of the season, leading the team against undefeated Greencastle in an IHSAA Class 3A Sectional 21 football game tonight at Jay Barrett Field.
The Tiger Cubs have allowed just 14 points all season and beat the Vikings way back on Aug. 24 by a 44-0 margin.
“Their defense is pretty good,” Maples conceded. “Our offense has improved. We made a lot of errors that game. Can’t do that this time.
“We’ve grown as a team [since then],” Maples added. “I think they’re overlooking us. I think we’ll have a pretty good chance at winning the game.”
Vikings coach Jeff Cobb agrees that his team is much improved on both sides of the ball since early in the season.
“We’ve got kids that have kind of grown up into the positions they’ve been given,” Cobb said. “Really started noticing about week 5, in the South Vermillion game and Week 6 with the Edgewood game, kids feeling more comfortable with where they were. In Week 2, we still had a lot of new kids, some of them playing new positions. We’re familiar with what we’re doing. We feel a lot better about ourselves as a team.”
The No. 4 Tiger Cubs are just one of three teams in the toughest 3A sectional in the state; No. 3 Indianapolis Chatard (7-2) and No. 7 Brebeuf Jesuit (7-2) loom on the opposite side of the bracket. Chatard’s first-round opponent, 7-2 Danville, is just outside the top 10.
Greencastle’s schedule strength shows the West Central Conference isn’t at its strongest in 2012, but Cobb knows Tiger Cubs quarterback Nick Gilliam and a veteran defense will be ready to play.
“Everything goes through him, he’s got some great receivers, great lineman. Very good offense,” Cobb said.
The Vikings’ defense has only allowed seven points the last two weeks, holding a pretty good Sullivan passing attack to just one touchdown last week.
“The Sullivan game taught our defense they could bend but couldn’t break,” Cobb said. “I think we have a chance. Some things need to roll our way.”
Class 5A Sectional 6
Terre Haute North (5-4), ranking 18th overall in the state Sagarin rankings with a schedule rated the sixth toughest, will try to take down city rival Terre Haute South (3-6) twice in the same season. (See related story).
Terre Haute North dominated the line of scrimmage in the first meeting as Brother Scank, Ricky Brookins and Kai Stratten led the Patriots to 265 yards rushing. Linebacker Lee Davis and the defense held South to 84 yards on the ground.
South showed improvement in that department last week, with sophomore running back Michael Watt rushing for 140 yards in the Braves’ victory over winless Lawrence North.
Watt and Ian Newton will have to get the South ground game so that quarterback Danny Etling and Tyler Seibert can have opportunities to make big plays in the passing game. South was held without an offensive touchdown in the first meeting, Watt providing the only TD with a kickoff return.
The winner will earn a home game with Avon (5-4) or Decatur Central (4-5). Ben Davis (8-1), Zionsville (7-2) and Brownsburg (9-0) will duke it out in the opposite side of the bracket.
Class 4A Sectional 14
Don’t be fooled by Indianapolis Cathedral’s 4-5 record. With Warren Central, Ben Davis, Louisville Trinity and Cincinnati Moeller on the schedule, the Fighting Irish play a schedule as tough as any team in the state.
The Knights’ young team has shown improvement all year long but they’re likely to be overmatched in this one.
Class 2A Sectional 32
Sullivan (6-3) finally caught a break in a very tough sectional field after drawing traditional power Evansville Mater Dei on the road in the opening round the past two seasons.
The Golden Arrows will have a home game against South Spencer (3-6) and would play 1-8 Forest Park with a victory.
Mater Dei (7-2) and Southridge (6-3) play in the first round of the opposite bracket, with North Posey (9-0) likely playing the winner of that contest in the second round.
Sullivan coach Trent Olson isn’t counting on a trip to the championship game just yet.
“If we switched schedules [with South Spencer], we could very well switch records. Not that our schedule’s terrible but they play in a tough league,” Olson said of the Pocket Athletic Conference that includes Southridge, Heritage Hills and Gibson Southern.
Plus, Sullivan is coming off a game in which it left a lot of potential points on the field. Quarterback Payne Fortner passed well at times, but the Golden Arrows only scored one touchdown in an 8-7 loss.
“We threw it around well last week,” Olson said. “We bogged down in the red zone. Have to find a way to get those tougher yards.”
Looking on the bright side, the loss was a wake-up call to the Arrows.
“We’ve got to be more physical,” Olson said. “The big thing was for us last week, probably a little overconfident. I think it grounded us a little bit. Might have been a good thing going into the tournament.”
Class 2A Sectional 30
South Vermillion (2-7) coach Chuck Sorrell made progress this season with the Wildcats, but he runs into an undefeated and No. 1-ranked Indianapolis Ritter team in the opening round.
Ritter is averaging 51 points a game, including a 56-33 victory over Class 3A Chatard, a team that ranks in the top 10 overall in the state in the Sagarin rankings.
Class A Sectional 38
North Vermillion is the team to beat after a 9-0 regular season in which the Falcons outscored opponents by an average of 38 points per game.
Junior quarterback Brayden Woodard has ran for more than 1,200 yards with 21 TDs and passed for over 1,100 with 15 TDs.
“He’s a talented young man, but he’s humble about it too,” coach Brian Crabtree said. “A big part of his success is the five guys in front of him.”
While the Falcons, who play 2-7 Covington in the opener, are known for a high-powered spread offense, the defense has been strong recently, Crabtree said.
“Ethan Kunkel, a linebacker’s just a really good football player on that side of the ball,” Crabtree said. “A lot of talented kids around him as well. Sometimes the defense is overlooked because of the amount of points we’re scoring.”
A first-round win would set up the Falcons for another matchup with North Central (7-2), which was Crabtree’s first head coaching job. North Vermillion won the first meeting 48-0. The Thunderbirds play 3-6 Turkey Run at home tonight.
“They’re such a good football team, so athletically talented,” said Crabtree, who hopes the Falcons can make an extended run in the state tournament.
“I think if we’re playing our best football, no reason we can’t look at that as a possibility,” he said of the state finals. “You set goals big but approach it with humility and realize you’re vulnerable every Friday night.”
Riverton Parke (0-9) and Cloverdale (0-9) will be looking to advance to the second round with a first victory of the season.
Rockville (4-5) plays Attica, and coach Herb King said the Rox are a much better team than they were early in the season.
Lightning fast Kiontre Wilkey (5-foot-5, 135 pounds) took over at quarterback and Ryan Lewis moved to wide receiver in the fifth week of the season.
“We think both of those moves have helped us,” King said. “The offensive line has improved drastically. Those kids have done a job at getting much better. We can see marked improvement on a weekly basis.”
Robby Foster, one of only two seniors on the Rox, leads the defense. He’s led the team in tackles the past three seasons.
The Rox had seven turnovers in a 27-6 loss to Attica in early September.
“We’re playing much better as of late,” King said. “We’re playing extremely hard. I think we’ve gotten a lot better. It’s been an enjoyable group of guys to coach. Early in the year we were turned the ball over a lot.”
Class A Sectional 40
Undefeated Linton is the heavy favorite. The Miners take a 5-0 record against the sectional field into the state tournament.
Linton has averaged 55 points, while its defense has pitched five shutouts.
The Miners go on the road to North Knox (4-5) — a team they beat 64-0 — and then likely visit Perry Central (6-3) next week.
TERRE HAUTE —
Jimmy Maples was prepared to help West Vigo contend for a Western Indiana Conference title in 2012, but the Viking junior planned to do so as a wide receiver.
- High School
Paris rally falls short in Super Sectional
When Petersburg (PORTA) finally showed it was possible to hit a free throw on the west end of the Illinois-Springfield gym Tuesday night — after 12 misses in a row — it spelled the end of a high school comeback by Paris that looked for awhile like it would be one for the ages.
“I thought we had ‘em,” Tiger coach Shawn Nugent said after the Class 2A Super Sectional game won by the Bluejays 58-49.
Paris seeking finals berth tonight
The Paris Tigers may be the underdogs again tonight when they play at the Class 2A Springfield Super Sectional, or they may be the favorites. What’s already clear as the Illinois boys basketball tournaments for the smaller schools enter their final week is that rankings and reputation don’t matter, particularly to the Tigers.
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.
Central Catholic rallies to defeat Rockville
It was an old story in a new location Saturday for the boys basketball team from Lafayette Central Catholic High School.
Clay City wins third straight sectional
Clay City, the two-time defending champion of the IHSAA Class A Sectional No. 57, took the floor at White River Valley High School with a chip on its shoulder Saturday night.
Linton pulls away late to win at North Knox
Defending smartly and playing the offensive tempo like a finely tuned violin, Linton’s Miners dominated the fourth quarter of a previously air-tight high school basketball game to defeat South Knox 57-45 and repeat as Class 2A Sectional 47 champions.
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
The prudent thing would have been to pull the basketball out, wait for an opponent to foul and run as much clock as possible in the final minute of the Illinois Class 2A Westville Sectional on Friday night. Audie Temples was thinking dagger.
Ailing Wilkey helps Rockville advance to title game
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.
Preps: Late free throws help Linton beat North Knox
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
Terre Haute South ran into a championship performance Wednesday night in Game 2 of the Class 4A Avon Sectional for boys high school basketball. Martinsville’s Troy Spears scored 30 points while leading the Artesians to a 65-44 victory that ended South’s season.
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
With the hope that the obligatory snow is already on the ground, high school boys basketball sectionals begin today in Indiana, and for one Wabash Valley team in Illinois.
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
Terre Haute North and Center Grove – two teams that haven’t won much lately – struggled to put the finishing touch against the other on Friday at North.
Prep roundup: Casey falls at Robinson Regional; Paris posts upset win at home
Teutopolis finished strong Friday night to defeat Casey 47-36 and win the Robinson Class 2A Regional for boys basketball teams.
Casey, Paris to play in regional title games
Championships of Illinois regional boys high school basketball tournaments will be decided tonight.
AMEY TAKES AIM: Bringing you the Amey Teams for girls basketball
Our Wabash Valley teams won’t be represented when the Indiana girls state basketball finals return again to Hulman Center on March 8 (even though the Class 4A title will probably be decided this weekend when Lawrence North plays Bedford North Lawrence in a semistate game).
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.
Wilhelm emerged as a state qualifier in the 500-yard freestyle and 200 freestyle as a junior for Terre Haute South. But his senior season took a different turn and he’s hoping to make a big splash in a new event.
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
The Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic has a new team, but the newcomer for the 2014 tournament is led by a familiar name to Terre Haute basketball. Pat Rady’s Cloverdale Clovers, currently 19-1 this season, will join the field as a likely contender.
- More High School Headlines
- Paris rally falls short in Super Sectional