TERRE HAUTE —
The Indiana High School Athletic Association Executive Committee voted unanimously (18-0) to return the girls basketball state finals to Terre Haute’s Hulman Center for a second straight year.
With a one-year contract in place once again, next year’s four-game, one-day state finals will be played March 2, 2013.
Terre Haute won out over two other submitted bids — one from Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis and the other from Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne.
BLF, formerly Conseco Fieldhouse, hosted the event for several years, but opted out a few years ago, primarily for commitments to host the Big Ten Men’s and Women’s tournaments. Fort Wayne was the host site in 2010 and 2011.
“The Association wishes to thank all three entities for their submissions of proposals to host our girls state basketball championships,” IHSAA commissioner Bobby Cox said in an official release.
“In the final analysis, the proposal from Terre Haute provided the best support and opportunities to the eight member schools that will arrive at the state finals along with other considerations extended to the IHSAA. The entire Terre Haute community should be proud of their leadership in the creation and execution of this effort.”
Last year’s state finals saw an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 people in Hulman Center through the day. Two games were played starting at 10:30 a.m., the final two games played in the evening.
Thrilling competition greeted fans in attendance, two games going overtime, while one other game was just a three-point decision. Last year’s state champions were Indianapolis North Central (4A), Fort Wayne Concordia (3A), Evansville Mater Dei (2A) and Fort Wayne Canterbury (A).
With a statewide television audience tuning in too, Terre Haute was on the minds of many more people than just those attending.
“We’re excited to be a part of the girls state finals again,” Vigo County School Corporation superintendent Danny Tanoos said. “It was hugely successful last year, a collaborative effort by the Terre Haute Convention and Visitors Bureau, [Indiana State University] and the [Vigo] school system.”
Tanoos is not surprised Terre Haute was chosen over Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
“I think the people involved realized Bankers Life Fieldhouse has conflicts in scheduling in the future,” Tanoos noted. “We hope to have the event for many more years to come.
“This is not necessarily a financial gain for the school system. It’s good for Terre Haute, its hotels, its restaurants. It’s our hope that people will be inclined to come back and visit Terre Haute even when not competing in a tournament.”
Terre Haute’s Convention and Visitor’s Bureau played a large part in coordinating the many amenities for the girls on the participating teams.
To wit, complimentary hotel rooms were afforded each team, numerous gift items for each player, including personalized towels and shirts, and a banquet the night before the event — the first time that had been done in tournament history.
“I’m elated … it’s nice the IHSAA has shown confidence in us again,” THCVB director Dave Patterson said. “It’s a cooperative venture between the Visitor’s Bureau, the [Vigo County] school corporation and ISU. I think it’s the little things we did last year made a difference too. We’ll do no less this year.”
Also asked if the IHSAA selecting Hulman Center over Banker’s Life Fieldhouse is a feather in Terre Haute’s cap, Patterson agreed.
“I feel the teams playing in the smaller venue lends itself to a better show for the fans,” Patterson said. “The sounds, the excitement level was better at Hulman Center.”
One of the teams hoping to reach next year’s state finals is nearby Riverton Parke, a team with several key players returning from a team that was eliminated in the Class A semistate last season.
“It’s a great thing for the schools around here, if they make it [it to state finals],” Riverton Parke coach Josh Douglass said. “We would have a chance to be close to home for the first time in three weeks [by making it to Hulman Center].”
Does the local tournament committee have upgrades in mind for next year’s state finals?
“I want to keep that a secret,” Patterson laughed. “We just want to make [the state finals] an even bigger and better experience for these young ladies.”
New football class could split North, South
‘Tournament success factor’ will affect all team sports
By Andy Amey
The law of unintended consequences seems to have reared its head as the Indiana High School Athletic Association concluded its 2011-2012 business Thursday by announcing a couple of major changes in tournament play.
Beginning with the 2013-14 school year, there will be six classes instead of five in Indiana high school football, and a tournament success factor in all team sports will cause some schools to be bumped up a class if they accumulate a certain number of success points the previous two years.
Wabash Valley fans will have no trouble identifying a couple of the targets of that latter rule: Fort Wayne Canterbury in girls basketball, four-time defending champion Lafayette Central Catholic in baseball. And Vigo County high school football fans are breathing sighs of relief at avoiding Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference foes in postseason games.
On one side of town, anyway.
Longtime IHSAA watchers realize that classes in Indiana are not determined by enrollment, but by grouping schools in equal-sized units. And Class 6A football will not isolate the huge schools in the state, merely cut the former Class 5A in half. The 32 biggest schools will be Class 6A, the next 32 remain in Class 5A — both those classes will have a one-week bye to begin the playoffs — and the other classes remain the same.
One list of recent enrollment figures has Terre Haute North within the top 20 biggest schools, while Terre Haute South ranks in the lower 30s.
Not only might North and South be separated in postseason football — which is not guaranteed yet, by the way — but also some of the smaller public schools in the area could also be dragged upward with the Canterburys and the LCCs. Riverton Parke could be bumped to Class 2A in girls basketball along with Canterbury if the Panthers win the 2013 Class A state title (Canterbury would move up by winning a regional next winter), and Shakamak — losing just two seniors from its baseball team that was runner-up to Central Catholic last week — would move up to 2A along with the Knights if the Lakers earn a chance for revenge next year.
Coach Chris Barrett of North, one of the Patriot deans as well as its football coach, isn’t sure his team will remain in 6A when the enrollment figures are taken again.
“We were down to about 1,880 [students] by the end of the year,” he pointed out, “so it will be interesting to see what the number is at the beginning of next year [when classes will be determined]. We’re right there at the bottom [of potential 6A schools], and a lot of those [bigger] schools are still growing.”
If the problem isn’t North’s, though, there will be a problem for somebody. The smaller 6A schools — potentially more than half of them — will be less than half the size of Carmel, Warren Central or Indianapolis North Central, recently the state’s three largest schools.
“There’s still a huge disparity in the sixth class,” Barrett noted, “but [the change] is still better for the overall system.”
It’s definitely better for Terre Haute South, coach Mark Raetz said.
“We’re pretty excited about it,” he admitted Thursday. “Keeping us in 5A will put us with schools closer to our size.”
If the North-South rivalry can’t be renewed in postseason — “They’ve got several hundred more kids than we do,” Raetz said — the coach expects to see teams such as Bloomington North, Bloomington South, Martinsville and Decatur Central in tournament play, “but I haven’t really looked at it [recently],” Raetz added.
Joining the Braves in Class 5A would be beneficial to the Patriots too, Barrett admitted. “I’m proud of the way my teams have hung in there,” he said, “but these kids also need a payoff to reinforce your message.”
The tournament success factor awards schools in team sports one point for winning a sectional, two points for winning a regional, three points for winning a semistate and four points for winning a state championship. Six points or more in two consecutive years — the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons will be grouped together — would move that school up a class in that particular sport.
Coach Chip Sweet of Shakamak’s baseball team addressed the elephant in the room — recruiting advantages for private schools — while addressing the Lakers’ situation.
“For me, this is a little frustrating,” he told the Tribune-Star. “It seems like we’re being punished for possible wrongdoing by other schools. Obviously you have to have a blanket rule, but for us it’s almost not fair. It almost seems like a punishment [for being successful], but if it eliminates some of the things going on, maybe it’s a good thing.”
The nature of talent in public schools could create some unwarranted class promotions, Sweet indicated, and Barrett agreed with him.
“You’re going to have years [when you are successful] … but it’s hard to maintain that high level,” Sweet said, “and when the next group comes in, they’re going to have to play up a class.”
“Those [private] schools will be good every year,” Barrett said, “but with other schools [talent] is more cyclical.”
Josh Douglass, whose Riverton Parke girls won their first basketball regional last winter but lost at the semistate to Canterbury — which won its third championship in four years — favors the change, even if a championship by his 2013 team and its strong senior class headed by all-state candidate Sara Dickey would mean the next two Panther squads might be ill-equipped for Class 2A tournaments.
“I think [moving up] would be worth it,” he said, “and if I’m a school that continually dominates a class, what fun is it? I would look at [moving up a class] as a great challenge.”
Should his Panthers have another good season in 2012-13, though, Douglass’s team will still be very likely to see Canterbury — and its three or more Division I recruits — on the tournament trail.
“They say we have a level playing field, but we all know it’s really not,” Douglass said. “I think [the tournament success factor] will change some things, and small schools could benefit.”
Terre Haute bid wins out over Indy, Fort Wayne
TERRE HAUTE —
- 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.
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.
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