Conditions heading into the championship game of the Class 2A Paoli Regional for girls high school basketball could have been better for Sullivan on Saturday.
But although the Golden Arrows had a far tougher game two hours later than Evansville Mater Dei — and Mater Dei is ranked first in the state and the defending state champion — they had at least advanced, thanks to a hard-fought 55-45 win over Austin.
And maybe with the promise of a better game ahead of them.
“This was definitely a warmup game,” said Rhagen Smith, who had 13 points and 14 rebounds in the Arrows’ victory. “Last year [when Sullivan lost to Mater Dei in the regional’s first round] there was a little bit of jitters.”
“We got rattled, and that included me for sure,” said Sullivan floor general Caelan Jones, who had a whopper of a stat line all across the board, “but we stepped back, took a deep breath . . . we’re ready for the next game.”
“It shouldn’t have been so hard,” coach Julie Meeks said of her team’s win. “We were really rattled, and a lot of our turnovers were unforced.”
The third-ranked Arrows jumped out quickly on the eighth-ranked Eagles, scoring the game’s first six points and taking a 15-7 lead when Emily Cottom hit a 3-pointer to open the second quarter.
Austin’s entire offense, for more than a quarter, was the driving ability of senior guard Jessie Davidson — but for a while that was almost enough. The Eagles got within 17-16 and then 22-20 before a steal and two free throws by Jones and a Jones pass to Sydney Chapman for a basket enabled Sullivan to lead 26-20 at intermission.
Turnovers helped Austin score the first seven points of the third quarter, but its 27-26 lead lasted just 15 seconds, until Smith converted two free throws at the other end. Jaleigh Gilham followed with a 3-pointer, but Austin’s Kamry Howard matched it to keep the Eagles within 31-30.
Davidson had been stifled in the third quarter, however, with Chapman getting more help from her teammates. And Sullivan found holes in the Austin defense for some easy shots by Smith and Chapman — set up by passes from Cottom and Jones — to enable the Arrows to outscore the Eagles 10-3 in the last half of the third quarter.
“We knew we couldn’t hold the ball too long [against Austin’s trapping defense],” Jones said. “When you move the ball ... [those shots] are there every time.”
Still the turnovers kept Sullivan’s lead from being comfortable, and the Arrows didn’t score for nearly four minutes of the fourth quarter to let Austin back within 41-37. Jones had two free throws and a steal and layup — moments before picking up a fourth foul — and Sullivan used that breathing room to pull away down the stretch.
Chapman led Sullivan in scoring with 14 points, while Gilham had 10 and Jones finished with nine points, eight rebounds, eight assists and seven steals.
She stayed in the game after the four fouls too.
“When I make a turnover, which I did, I want the ball back so bad it’s like a drug to me,” Jones said of her aggressive fouls.
“If I had to pick a most valuable player, it would be Sydney Chapman,” Meeks said afterward. “She played tough D, tough offense ... she played great today.”
Although Davidson finished with a game-high 16 points — including her team’s first nine of the game — she was held to one basket in the second half and her team struggled when she was ineffective.
“She’s one of the toughest I’ve had to guard all year,” said Chapman, who always gets Sullivan’s toughest defensive assignment. “My goal [against players like that] is hold them below their average [Davidson’s is 19 points per game].
“At halftime we decided to help out on her a little more ... hedge out, try to trap her a little bit.”
“We told [the Arrows] the same thing [at halftime] that we told them before the game,” Meeks said. “We wanted to jump out and double her, make her give the ball up.”
Chapman’s points were also part of the game plan, even though her 12 field-goal attempts were more than she’d taken in all but one game this year.
“We knew [the Eagles] were going to be pressuring Caelan and Jaleigh and clogging it in on Rhagen,” Chapman said, “so I knew I had to look for my shot.”
“I think we executed what we needed,” said Smith, “and down the stretch, with the exception of me, we hit our free throws.”
Mater Dei’s route to Saturday night’s championship game was a lot simpler. The Wildcats went on a 15-0 run in the first quarter to take a 20-4 lead and, after Paoli got within 12 points at halftime, opened the third quarter strong to take all doubt away.
Tori Schickel led the winners with 24 points and 11 rebounds, while Ashlynn Spahn scored 12, Beth Fischer had 10 points and nine rebounds and junior star Maura Muensterman was the best player on the floor with nine points, six rebounds and nine assists. Sophie Sears tried hard to keep fourth-ranked Paoli in the game and finished with 12 points, five rebounds and five assists.
SULLIVAN (55) — Harrison 1-5 0-0 2, Chapman 6-12 2-2 14, R.Smith 3-5 7-12 13, Jones 2-4 5-6 9, Gilham 3-7 2-2 10, Cottom 3-7 0-0 7, Wilkes 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-40 FG, 16-22 FT, 55 TP.
AUSTIN (45) — Howard 5-12 2-5 14, Davidson 6-13 3-5 16, Oeffinger 1-5 2-3 4, M.Smith 1-3 1-2 3, Mace 0-2 0-0 0, Riley 1-2 0-0 2, Embrey 2-6 0-0 6, Reynolds 0-0 0-0 0, Jeffries 0-0 0-0 0, Misamore 0-0 0-0 0, Hollan 0-0 0-0 0, Turner 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 16-43 FG, 8-15 FT, 45 TP.
Sullivan 12 14 15 14 — 55
Austin 7 13 13 12 — 45
3-point shooting — Sullivan 3-10 (Gilham 2-6, Cottom 1-4), Austin 5-13 (Howard 2-4, Embrey 2-6, Davidson 1-1, M.Smith 0-2). Total fouls — Sullivan 14, Austin 17. Fouled out — Oeffinger. Technical foul — Gilham. Turnovers — Sullivan 18, Austin 18. Rebounds — Sullivan 37 (R.Smith 14, Jones 8, Harrison 4, Chapman 3, Cottom 3, Gilham 1, team 4), Austin 25 (Oeffinger 5). Assists — Sullivan 15 (Jones 8, Cottom 4, Smith 2, Chapman), Austin 4 (Howard 2). Steals — Sullivan 9 (Jones 7, R.Smith, Gilham), Austin 6 (Davidson 3). Blocks — Sullivan 3 (R.Smith 3), Austin 3 (Howard, Oeffinger, M.Smith).
Next — Sullivan (23-2) and Evansville Mater Dei (25-2) advanced to the regional championship game. Paoli finished 21-2, Austin 19-5.
Tribune-Star staff report Hanover
Rose-Hulman earned a bid to the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament despite Saturday’s 74-63 loss at Hanover College.
The Engineers earned the No. 6 conference tournament seed and will face Hanover in a rematch of Saturday’s game in Friday’s opening round. Rose-Hulman and Hanover will square off at 8 p.m. at Transylvania University.
In Saturday’s game at Hanover, three Rose-Hulman players reached double figures in scoring. Freshman Cassidy Cain led the offensive effort with a career-high 18 points on 5-6 from the field and 3-4 from 3-point range.
Other Engineers in double figures included freshman Addie Johnson with 16 points, and freshman Carrie Morris with 10 points.
Katie Gahimer led Hanover with 22 points, and Alicia Hopkins had 14.
Rose-Hulman jumped out to a 12-5 lead at the 15:20 mark, and the Fightin’ Engineer lead reached 10 points at 22-12 on a layup by Johnson with 9:49 left in the first half. Hanover closed the half on a 9-2 run to trim Rose-Hulman’s lead to 31-30 at the half.
In the second half, the two teams battled to a 36-36 tie after a 3-pointer by Cain at the 16:04 mark. Hanover scored nine straight points to take a 45-36 edge, and Rose-Hulman withstood the charge to remain within 59-51 with 7:36 left. The Panthers answered with eight straight points to push their lead to 67-51.
Rose-Hulman is 12-13 on the season. Hanover is 18-7. The rest of the HCAC field includes top-seeded Transylvania, No. 2 Franklin, No. 4 Defiance and No. 5 Manchester.
ROSE-HULMAN (63) — Cain 5-7 5-6 18, Johnson 6-11 3-6 16, Morris 2-4 5-6 10, Gibbs 3-10 1-2 7, Ploof 3-7 0-0 6, Williams 1-3 2-3 4, Gilliam 1-7 0-0 2, Fuhs 0-0 0-0 0, Dalton 0-0 0-0 0, Ottone 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-49 FG, 16-23 FT, 63 TP.
HANOVER (74) — Gahimer 10-16 0-0 22, Hopkins 4-8 6-8 14, Malloy 3-4 0-1 9, Caudill 2-4 3-6 7, Brewer 2-5 0-0 6, Prater 2-7 2-6 6, Watson 0-2 5-6 5, Weddle 0-2 3-6 3, DeMoss 1-2 0-0 2, Dilley 0-2 0-0 0, Tubb 0-0 0-0 0, Block 0-1 0-0 0, Morse 0-3 0-0 0, Jones 0-0 0-0 0, Pahren 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 24-58 FG, 19-33 FT, 74 TP.
Halftime score — Rose-Hulman 31, Hanover 30. 3-point goals — Rose-Hulman 5-13 (Cain 3-5, Morris 1-3, Johnson 1-3, Williams 0-1, Gilliam 0-1), Hanover 7-18 (Malloy 3-4, Brewer 2-5, Gahimer 2-4, Morse 0-1, Pahren 0-1, Caudill 0-1, Hopkins 0-2). Fouled out—Ploof. Rebounds — Rose-Hulman 39 (Gibbs 10), Hanover 26 (Gahimer 6). Assists — Rose-Hulman 12 (Ploof 4), Hanover 13. Total fouls — Rose-Hulman 22, Hanover 19. A — 350.
Conditions heading into the championship game of the Class 2A Paoli Regional for girls high school basketball could have been better for Sullivan on Saturday.
- High School
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.
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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.
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.
- More High School Headlines
- Owen Valley, Edgewood in sectional final again