Sara Dickey and Paige Yando were freshman starters in June 2010 when Riverton Parke captured the IHSAA Class A state championship in softball.
And they were junior starters on the Panthers’ girls basketball team that advanced to the Class A semistate last season.
Now seniors, along with teammates and longtime friends Kenzie Pollard and Kori Wood, they want to go out with a bang in 2013.
Judging by the way the current girls basketball season has gone so far, Parke County residents should prepare to cover their ears.
Ranked No. 6 in the state in Class A this week, Riverton Parke carries an 11-1 record after defeating South Vermillion 56-21 Friday for its school-record 11th straight victory.
Attaching their names to school records seems to be the norm for this group of Panthers. Here’s a partial list from this season:
n Dickey, a 5-foot-11 guard signed to play basketball for the University of Evansville next season, seized the RP career marks for points (1,401), rebounds (539), assists (237) and steals (310).
Riverton Parke graduates Traci Ball (points and steals) and Amy Wheeler (rebounds and assists) were the previous owners of these records, although fifth-year coach Josh Douglass indicated Yando may pass Dickey on the all-time rebounds list before the season ends.
Incidentally, Dickey is averaging 23.5 points and 6.0 rebounds per game this season.
n In an 84-33 triumph at Rockville on Nov. 16, the Panthers established a school record for most points in one game. The previous mark was 77, originally set in 1987 and tied in 2003.
n In a 53-18 win at Turkey Run last week — even though Dickey twisted her ankle and missed most of the contest — the 5-9 Yando stepped up and sank seven 3-point goals, most in one game in RP history. On that same night, the 5-8 Pollard set the single-game mark for blocked shots with eight.
“It’s nice to set records,” Yando told the Tribune-Star later in the week. “But we can’t stop there. We have to keep pushing.”
Yes, regardless of how many school records they end up breaking, these Panthers won’t be completely satisfied unless they win the state championship March 2 in Terre Haute’s Hulman Center.
Douglass, a relatively young head coach at 31, thinks his squad’s stingy defense could lead to that result.
“We run a lot of half-court traps with Sara on the front,” he explained. “She’s got very good hand-eye coordination and causes a lot of deflections.”
Dickey and Yando, who tallies 16.7 ppg, also are believers.
“We can go all the way,” emphasized Dickey, who also plays volleyball and runs track for the school located near Mecca. “We just have to play hard every single day and stay healthy … We’ve grown up. We’re figuring things out. We’re just playing really well together right now.”
“We have matured as a group,” added Yando, a volleyball, basketball and softball standout who is undecided on a college choice. “We got a taste of [basketball success] last season and now we’ve got to make it happen … We have to remember to stay focused every game and make every possession count. We need to execute.”
Told that her comments sound like the kind a coach would make, Yando quickly replied: “I learned from the best,” referring to Douglass while he was within earshot.
On a more serious note, Douglass expects Dickey to be recovered from her ankle injury when Riverton Parke returns to action Dec. 27-28 in the Toby Yoho Tournament at Eastern Greene. The Panthers most likely will need her healthy when they face tougher competition down the road.
“Sara involves all of her teammates in the game,” Douglass pointed out. “She’s always trying to set them up to do good things on the court. She’s also a good shooter. That comes from her showing up at the gym at 5 a.m. to do a shooting regimen on her own. So she’s put in the time.”
Douglass also praised Yando, a former inside specialist who has been moved to the perimeter this season.
“She’s really worked hard on her outside shooting,” the Panthers’ coach said. “She has more confidence now.”
Douglass described the 5-5 Wood as someone who’s able to bring “a defensive intangible.”
“She can just shut down a player,” he noted.
The Panthers’ only loss came in the season opener — a 48-45 decision to Sullivan way back on Nov. 6. That won’t happen again because the Golden Arrows are not on Riverton Parke’s schedule for a rematch and they compete in the Class 2A state tournament.
Although a few other bigger schools appear on the Panthers’ regular-season slate, one more crack at the Class A state tournament is what they’re looking forward to the most.
“If we stay healthy,” Douglass assessed, “I really, truly believe we can go all the way.”
And if that actually happens, how would a 31-year-old coach react?
“Words wouldn’t be able to describe it,” he admitted.
Sara Dickey and Paige Yando were freshman starters in June 2010 when Riverton Parke captured the IHSAA Class A state championship in softball.
- High School
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.
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.
Linton's defense causes West Vigo problems
West Vigo ran into a Linton boys high school basketball team Tuesday night that played like a contender to return to the Class 2A state championship game.
The Miners hit 26 of 45 shots from the floor and dominated the Vikings with their defense en route to a 71-42 win.
PREP ROUNDUP: Casey to meet Marshall in regional game
Semifinal games are slated for tonight in Illinois boys high school basketball regional tournaments.
Casey meets Marshall in one game at Robinson. Host team Paris takes on Tuscola in another contest.
Prep basketball: Marshall sidelines Robinson 51-46
The Marshall Lions were winners in the first game of the Robinson Class 2A Regional played Monday night, defeating the host Maroons 51-46 to advance to the semifinals on Wednesday.
Duncan brothers too much for Terre Haute North
An abundance of Duncans for visiting Evansville Harrison proved to be too much for host Terre Haute North in high school basketball Saturday night, although the Patriots didn’t go down without a battle before finally losing 64-56.
Heyen leads Braves to win on Senior Night
Terre Haute South stopped a seven-game skid as the Braves cruised to victory over winless Indianapolis Arlington by a score of 83-22.
On the Braves’ Senior Night, senior Da’Shon Heyen led the Braves with 15 points in an impressive send-off performance before his home crowd.
West Vigo holds off furious rally from North Central
West Vigo snapped a three-game losing streak in high school boys basketball Saturday night, defeating North Central 60-56 in the Jim Mann Green Dome.
The Vikings led most of the way, then hit free throws in the final minute to secure the victory after the Thunderbirds had knotted the score at 54-54.
Wilhelm's school-record freestyle victory leads South to second at swim sectional
Asked late Saturday afternoon about the Avon Sectional for boys high school swimming that had just ended, Jeff Thompson replied, “Well, it was fast.”
Understatement doesn’t always seem to be the Terre Haute South coach’s calling card, but that comment would qualify. Like the high tide that lifts all boats, the home team — ranked third in the state — had a fantastic meet, and pulled the rest of the field, particularly the three Vigo County teams, along with it.
Prep roundup: Sullivan boys lose close one to Evansville North
Host Sullivan led almost the entire game in high school basketball Saturday night, only to be overtaken at the end 64-60 by Evansville North.
The Golden Arrows had a 49-42 lead at the end of three quarters, but the Huskies — who came from behind for a four-point win over Terre Haute South a night earlier — caught and passed the home team when Robert West was fouled on a 3-point attempt and hit all three free throws for a 59-58 lead. The visitors protected their margin with free throws.
Reversal: South Knox turns up defense in second half to rally past West vigo
For a half of high school basketball Friday night, host West Vigo did what it took to make an upset of a 13-5 team look like reality in the Jim Mann Green Dome. In the second half, visiting South Knox didn’t let the Vikings do some of those things, exploding for a 60-39 nonconference win that wasn’t as decisive as that score makes it appear.
Late Huskies run sinks Braves
Since the calendar flipped to 2014, it’s been a struggle for Terre Haute South.
Franklin Central outmuscles Patriots
With Franklin Central missing shots early, Terre Haute North’s chances of stealing a high school basketball road win were looking promising. The second quarter Friday night changed that.
Prep roundup: Linton boys get past Thunderbirds 58-48
Linton dominated the third quarter in a SouthWestern Indiana Athletic Conference boys high school basketball game Friday night, beating host North Central 58-48.
Both teams had balanced scoring attacks, with Ryan Woodward and Zach Riddell scoring 13 each and Bryant Jackson and Joe Dieball 10 apiece for the Miners. Andrew Nikirk scored 11 and Austin Jewell and Mitchell Peterson had 10 each for the Thunderbirds.
- More High School Headlines
- Former Terre Haute resident Rick Risinger looking for fifth state title in Hulman Center