TERRE HAUTE —
The Rockville High School boys basketball team has a lot of fond memories from the 2011-12 season.
Coach Dave Mahurin’s Rox captured the Wabash River Conference (WRC) title with a 7-0 record, won their fourth sectional in five years, finished with a 22-6 overall mark and reached the Class A state championship game in Indianapolis, where they lost to Loogootee 55-52.
Yes, it’s not difficult to find fond memories from that list of accomplishments.
But Mahurin said players and coaches returning for the 2012-13 campaign have a bad taste in their mouths from that final game against Loogootee when their comeback efforts fell short.
“We gave one away,” the veteran coach reflected. “We should have been state champions.”
Ranked No. 3 in The Associated Press’ preseason Class A poll, the Rox think they can make up for that setback by going all the way in 2012-13. They opened their season Tuesday night against Milwaukee (Wis.) Riverside in the Tournament of Champions at Peoria, Ill.
Returning starters aren’t hard to find — 6-foot-7 senior Lane Mahurin, Dave’s son who averaged about 19 points per game last season; 6-1 senior Gary Ulrich, who averaged about 14 ppg; 6-5 senior Jordon McFall, who averaged about 10 ppg; and 6-3 senior Joel Wittenmyer.
“We’re sitting pretty good,” coach Mahurin said over the weekend. “This is the best team I’ve ever had coming back — anywhere.”
That’s saying something, considering he’s starting his 23rd year as a head coach at schools such as Adams Central, South Vermillion and Rockville.
Dave Mahurin said Nick Waltz, a 6-7 senior who started on junior varsity a year ago, has moved up to varsity starter. “He’s just gotten bigger and stronger,” the Rox coach noted.
Keiontre Wilkey, a 5-7 sophomore from the 2011-12 JV squad, is likely to see plenty of playing time right off the bat and so will 6-2 sophomore Cole Griffen, whom coach Mahurin described as “a fantastic shooter.”
But Lane Mahurin, younger brother of Indiana State player R.J. Mahurin, will get the bulk of the attention and rightfully so.
“Lane had a fantastic summer,” Dave Mahurin said of his talented son, who has not committed to a college yet. “He’s improved his jumpshot and he’s still unbelievably good off the dribble.”
But the Rox obviously are not a one-man team.
“We have depth,” the Rox coach emphasized. “We have kids coming off the bench who would have started in previous years. We’re about 11 deep.”
Rockville is clearly the favorite to repeat as WRC champion, but Dave Mahurin expects serious threats from Attica, Fountain Central and North Vermillion.
Also hoping to climb the WRC ladder is Riverton Parke, which ended up with a 4-3 conference mark in 2011-12 (third behind Rockville and 5-2 Attica). The Panthers lost to Rockville 59-41 in the first round of the North Vermillion Sectional to conclude an 11-11 campaign.
“The key to our success will be how well we do offensively,” Riverton Parke coach Charlie Martin assessed. “Defensively, we should be pretty good. We’ve got good quickness.”
Returning starters are 5-11 senior guard Matt Haltom, who averaged 10.0 ppg last season, and 5-10 senior guard Brendon Bovair. Ready to join the starting mix is previous sixth-man Adam Wilson, a 6-0 senior forward.
Martin said the other two starters will come from either 5-5 junior Luther Mathas, 5-9 junior Kyle Sanders (a South Vermillion transfer), 6-1 junior Daniel Organ, 6-1 sophomore Tanner Edge and 6-6 sophomore Hunter Falls.
Riverton Parke will get started tonight at Fountain Central.
Turkey Run, coming off a season that included records of 4-18 overall and 1-6 in the WRC, already got started Tuesday night at South Putnam. The Warriors’ coach is Grant McVay.
North Vermillion, which finished 11-12 and 3-4 respectively under coach Sam Karr in 2011-12, will play host to West Vigo tonight.
SouthWestern Indiana Athletic Conference
For Linton, it’s another year of enjoying football success and getting a late start on basketball preparation.
But Joey Hart, beginning his 15th year as a head coach and third year with the Miners, doesn’t sound worried as his basketball squad gets ready for its season-opening matchup Saturday at North Knox.
“We have a veteran team, so we should be competitive right away,” insisted Hart, whose Miners finished 12-10 overall and 3-5 in the SWIAC in ’11-12.
Ready to carry the load again are 6-5 senior Dess Fougerousse (averaging 15.6 points and 7.6 rebounds per outing last season), 6-8 senior Austin Karazsia (15.5 ppg and 8 rpg) and 6-1 senior Sam Dyar.
Hart said the other two starters will come from 6-4 senior Jackson Bohnert, 6-0 senior Keith Fulk and 6-1 junior Bryant Jackson.
“We should be good, I think, if we can stay healthy,” Hart said of his Miners. “The kids had a nice summer and they’ve worked hard.”
Looking at the SWIAC, won by Eastern Greene with an 8-0 mark last season, Hart doesn’t see any reason why Linton shouldn’t be in the mix of top contenders this season.
Shakamak coach Steve Brett thinks the same about his Lakers, who went 14-9 overall and 6-2 in the SWIAC (second behind Eastern Greene) in 2011-12.
“We’ve got some experience,” he mentioned. “We’re not blessed with a lot of size. They’ve all filled out a little bit … and we’ve got some kids who can shoot the ball. We’ve also got some quickness. A negative might be we don’t have a lot of leadership. We’ll need somebody to step into that role.”
Brodie Crowe, a 6-2 senior who tallied almost 15 ppg a year ago, joins 5-11 senior Patrick Green and 5-10 senior Kyle Schubla as returning starters. Two others who played a lot in ’11-12 are back for another season — 6-2 junior Brandon Morin and 5-10 sophomore Dylan Collins.
Also pushing for a significant role are 5-10 junior Mark West, who has little varsity experience, and 6-4 sophomore Jeff Bessling, whom Brett thinks may start eventually. “A lot of that depends on him,” the Lakers’ coach added, perhaps dropping a hint to the player.
Shakamak won’t tip off its season until Nov. 30 when it visits Bloomfield.
Back to the SWIAC, Brett named North Daviess as another top contender to dethrone Eastern Greene. “It’s going to be much more balanced this year,” he predicted.
Clay City tied North Daviess for third in the SWIAC at 5-3 while on its way to winning the Class A White River Valley Sectional crown in ’11-12. Coach Vance Edmondson’s Eels lost to Hauser 58-50 in overtime in the Martinsville Regional to finish 15-9.
Their new-look season — seven seniors graduated since last season — will get going tonight at home against South Vermillion.
The lone returnee from the Eels’ starting lineup is 6-2 senior Blake Cesinger, who posted averages of 15.5 ppg and 8.5 rpg as a junior.
“He’s going to be our leader,” Edmondson stressed. “We’re going to rely heavily on him for just about everything.”
Clay City’s fourth-year coach mentioned 6-4 junior Josh Miller, 6-2 junior Josh Arcenal and 6-1 junior Steven Phillips as possible starters, plus he hopes to get contributions from the following sophomores — 6-0 Easton Booe, 6-1 Logan Cesinger (Blake’s younger brother), 6-2 Trevor Singer and 6-0 Evan Rogers.
“Due to our lack of size, we’re going to try to use our quickness to our advantage,” Edmondson said.
Another SWIAC team, North Central, would like to forget last season’s records of 6-16 overall and 1-7 in the conference. The Thunderbirds opened their 2012-13 campaign Tuesday night at Cloverdale.
“We’re going to have to have several guys step up and provide overall balance,” NC coach Ryan Kamman emphasized over the weekend.
The T-Birds’ only returning starter is 5-10 senior guard Tod Lebeda, whom Kamman said is the only senior in their top eight players.
Kamman anticipated 5-8 freshman point guard Gavin Stanifer, 6-3 sophomore post man Mitchell Peterson, 5-8 sophomore shooting guard Austin Jewell, 5-10 sophomore Andrew Nikirk and 5-10 junior Nick Stucker stepping in as possible starters with Lebeda.
“We’re pretty small and pretty young,” North Central’s eighth-year coach admitted.
Size-wise, he may get some help off the bench from 6-3 sophomore Loren Drake and 6-3 freshman Neal Greene, depending on how quickly they adapt to the varsity game.
Union, which concluded last season with marks of 4-18 and 0-8 respectively, will play its opener tonight at home against Bloomfield. The Bulldogs are coached by Chip Langley.
Two familiar coaching names to Wabash Valley fans — Pat Rady and Jim Jones — will be guiding teams again this season.
Entering his ninth season at Cloverdale and 49th season overall, Rady took a 714-398 career record into the Clovers’ opener at home against North Central on Tuesday. His first triumph of the season moves him into sole possession of third place on Indiana’s all-time list behind Jack Butcher and the late Howard Sharpe.
Meanwhile, Jones came out of retirement in 2012 to coach Springs Valley. Heading into the Blackhawks’ Tuesday opener at home against Mitchell, he owned a 679-381 mark. He ranks sixth on Indiana’s all-time victory list.
It’s hard to believe, but the not-that-old-looking Tom Brannan is beginning his 21st season as Marshall’s coach and he’s doing so without graduated standouts Logan Cannady and Jacob Duncan from 2011-12.
“We counted on those guys a lot,” Brannan reflected. “We’ve got to have people step up and be important players right off the bat.”
Coming off a 21-7 campaign that ended with a regional loss to Georgetown-Ridge Farm, they’ll get their first opportunity Friday against Pinckneyville in the Capital Classic at Lawrenceville.
The Lions have two returning starters who scored about 10 ppg last season — 6-1 senior guard Thomas Sisson and 6-5 senior center Taylor Maurer — plus they have 6-2 senior guard Walker Berner, who started some last season.
New starters appear to be 6-2 senior forward Cray Bloodworth and 6-2 junior guard Drew Morris.
“I really think one of our strengths is we’ll be a team where you have to guard everybody,” Brannan predicted. “On any given night, any one of them could lead us in scoring.”
Marshall’s key reserves are likely to be 5-10 senior Cole Rice and 6-3 sophomore Keegan Steele.
Turning his attention to the Little Illini Conference, Brannan discussed the addition of Robinson, Olney and Newton to its roster of schools.
“That definitely adds a new dynamic to the conference,” he pointed out, adding that Robinson then Casey should be the favorites to emerge on top of the standings.
“I think we’re one of the top teams after Robinson.”
The Apollo Conference — where Robinson, Olney and Newton came from — added Mattoon to give it six teams this season. Paris will leave the Apollo to join the LIC in 2014.
But first things first.
Paris third-year coach Shawn Nugent, whose team finished 9-18 last season, called Effingham the favorite to win the Apollo this winter.
“I think we’re one of the top three teams,” he added. “I like our team. I feel like we can play seven or eight guys comfortably. … We’ll try to hang our hats on defense. We’ll be able to throw different looks at [opposing] teams. If we can shoot the ball a little bit, we should be OK.”
The Tigers have three returning starters, although one of them — 6-1 senior guard Landon Larrance — will miss the early part of the season with an illness. The other two are 6-3 junior forward Riley Spencer (who averaged close to 10 ppg in ’11-12) and 5-9 junior guard Audie Temples.
Nugent said the new starters will come from 5-9 senior guard Stewart Arp, 6-0 senior point guard Aaron Bain and 6-5 junior center Zack Lueken.
Paris’ opener was slated to be Tuesday against St. Thomas More in the Danville Schlarman Topper Classic.
Turning back to Clark County, Casey third-year coach Steve Hawkins has three returning starters — 6-3 junior guard/forward Brandon Wolfe (averaging 16.0 ppg last season), 6-0 junior guard Zach Murphy (11.0 ppg) and 6-3 senior forward Matt McCown — from a squad that finished 15-12 overall and 6-2 (tied for third) in the LIC.
Another who saw significant action a year ago is back in the form of 6-3 senior guard/forward Trivette Scales.
“This is an exciting year for our basketball program and expectations are high from within,” Hawkins said in an e-mail. “We have a lot of players returning that have a lot of varsity experience and we have four players returning that received postseason mention last season from the LIC coaches. … I look for [Wolfe’s] scoring numbers to continue to increase again this year. He puts in the time to be a great player and I believe the entire area will see his skills in play this season.”
Casey will debut next Tuesday at Sullivan, Ill.
Rox ready for encore of great season
TERRE HAUTE —
The Rockville High School boys basketball team has a lot of fond memories from the 2011-12 season.
- High School
West Vigo shows its youth in loss to Owen Valley
It was a game that confirmed his fears, coach Joe Boehler said Saturday night after his West Vigo team lost 67-51 in its Western Indiana Conference boys basketball opener to visiting Owen Valley.
“I think our young team showed up tonight,” Boehler said. “We did not handle success very well.”
Terre Haute South can't match 'great' Mooresville team
Terre Haute South did very little right Saturday night at Mooresville, while the host Pioneers did very little wrong in an 89-54 victory over the visiting Braves.
Rady passes Sharpe to move into second on all-time victory list
Cloverdale coach Pat Rady, who resides in Terre Haute, climbed to No. 2 on Indiana’s all-time victory list for boys high school basketball Saturday morning when his Clovers got past host Greencastle 60-56 in the semifinals of the Putnam County Classic tournament in McAnally Center.
Consistent effort helps Terre Haute North hold off Robinson
After falling behind 14-2 after one quarter, Robinson’s Maroons bounced back to make it a game at Terre Haute North on Saturday night.
The Maroons cut the gap to 39-33 late in the third quarter, but a crucial turnover led to a 3-pointer by North and the Patriots went on a 65-50 win.
South girls fall to Indy North Central 67-46
Indianapolis North Central used 3-point shooting and defense to prevail in Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference girls high school basketball Saturday, defeating Terre Haute South 67-46.
The Panthers got off to an 8-0 start in the early-afternoon contest played in the South gym and outscored the Braves 20-9 in the final frame to get even for the season at 3-3 and even in the conference at 1-1.
Sister act: Elkins pair have helped West Vigo get off to 4-1 start
Heading into tonight’s home game against Owen Valley, the West Vigo girls basketball team is one win from equaling last season’s total for victories. The 4-1 Vikings are led by post players and sister duo Lexus and Shyanne Elkins.
Rady could break tie with Sharpe today
Longtime boys basketball coach Pat Rady has a chance to pass the legendary Howard Sharpe for No. 2 on Indiana’s all-time victory list today when his Cloverdale Clovers play Greencastle at 10 a.m. in the first game of the postponed Putnam County Classic at Greencastle.
New dates when available
- Vigo County basketball matchups
Study looks at effects of concussions
Austen Cummings sits in class and can’t remember what he’s supposed to focus on. He doesn’t have a learning disability or an attention disorder. The Homestead High School sophomore suffered two concussions in the span of two months while playing football. The concussions have caused Cummings to blank out in class, at times for almost a half-hour.
Even high-rated helmets may not protect players
Two studies this year highlight the tough choices and conflicting information that parents and coaches face when trying to protect football players from head trauma.
PREP ROUNDUP: West Vigo girls basketball cruises past Sullivan
Lexus Elkins poured in 15 points, Shyanne Elkins contributed 13 and McKenzie Little added 11 to lead the host Vikings over Sullivan 57-40 in Western Indiana Conference action Tuesday night inside the Green Dome.
Terre Haute South girls hold off Northview's surge
A funny thing happened on the way to a Terre Haute South blowout victory Tuesday night at Northview High School. The Knights fought back and nearly pulled out a win.
Three-point baskets by Kennedy Williams and Lauren Perrelle and free throws by Kylie Fendrick and Lauren Hambrock preserved a 53-50 win for the Braves over the Knight.
Casey beats Terre Haute South with last-second layup
On many nights during this high school basketball season, the shots are going to fall for both Casey and Terre Haute South and both teams are going to look really good.
Tuesday was not one of those nights.
Former North Central inducted into Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame
Thirteen men will become official members of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame when they are inducted into the Hoops Hall at the annual dinner in March.
Matchups set for wide-open Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic field
Sometimes the ping-pong balls used to draw the high school basketball pairings for the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic have a wisdom all their own, and that seemed to be the case Tuesday at Terre Haute North.
Metro sports: ISU women play today at No. 15 LSU
Indiana State’s women finish a three-game road swing by playing nationally ranked LSU at 12:30 p.m. today at Baton Rouge.
Tonight’s prep basketball
Casey at Terre Haute South
PREP ROUNDUP: North Central falls at home to Eastern Greene
Eastern Greene’s Camden Sego popped in 18 points to lead to a 67-42 home loss for North Central in SouthWestern Indiana Athletic Conference boys high school basketball Saturday night.
Bertoli runs personal-best time to qualify for Foot Locker national championships
Reigning IHSAA state champion Jackson Bertoli, a senior at Terre Haute South High School, accomplished a personal-best time of 15 minutes, 14 seconds as he finished fifth in the Foot Locker Midwest Regional Championships for cross country Saturday morning at Wayne E. Dannehl Course.
New excitement: Opportunity to swim in new pool in near future has Vigo County athletes ecstatic
As excited as Mike Williams is about the start of the Terre Haute North High School swim season today, he’s just as excited that one of its circumstances won’t have to be repeated a couple of years from now.
Prep/Metro roundup: Marshall girls pick up big wins at Robinson
Marshall’s Lions got a huge girls high school basketball victory Friday afternoon at the Robinson Thanksgiving Tournament, downing Mt. Carmel and 2013 Illinois Miss Basketball Tyra Buss 57-53.
Today’s Vigo County boys basketball game
Terre Haute North at Lebanon
West Vigo boys rally to pull out season-opening OT victory
A season-opening high school boys basketball game at West Vigo on Wednesday night was as much about when the players did things as it was what they did.
Visiting North Vermillion seemed to have a close game under control the entire way because every time the host team made a run, Falcon star Brayden Woodard was there to answer.
Although West Vigo was never ahead in the last 28 minutes of regulation time, the Vikings got a game-tying 3-pointer from Alec Blair with 6.3 seconds left and pulled out a 47-46 victory on Braiden Cardinal’s driving layup with 10 seconds left in overtime.
Clay City hits 13 first-half treys in downing Wildcats
Clay City junior Evan Rogers hit his first 3-pointer of the night 45 seconds into the season opener at South Vermillion.
By the time another 2 minutes, 15 seconds passed on the scoreboard, he had hit a fifth 3-pointer, putting his Eels ahead 17-2.
Heat check? That time had already passed.
Rogers hit a sixth 3-pointer to put the Eels up 25-4 then finally missed one with 2:20 on the first-quarter clock.
Prep basketball: Marshall preparing for Capital Classic
Marshall is one of the boys high school basketball teams that will compete in the Capital Classic to be played at Lawrenceville and Red Hill.
The Lions will play their preliminary games at Lawrenceville, meeting Mount Carmel and Lawrenceville today and Pinckneyville on Saturday.
O’Leary eyes return to Hulman Center
Former Terre Haute North standout Matt O’Leary is hoping to help Loyola Chicago coach Porter Moser turn the program into a new chapter of success in a new conference.
Preps: Turkey Run wins boys basketball opener
Austin Jones tallied 14 points for Turkey Run in a season-opening 77-62 home victory over Southmont in boys high school basketball Tuesday night.
Northview opens with tough loss to Vincennes Lincoln in boys basketball
Coaches learn more about their team playing quality opponents than a weak opponent.
That is why Northview coach Clint Weddle wasn’t down after Vincennes Lincoln defeated the Knights 69-55 in the opening game of the boys high school basketball season for both teams.
Prep preview: Knights more comfortable with Weddle
The Northview boys team is a year older, wiser and more adept with the basketball.
The Knights also are are more comfortable with what second-year coach Clint Weddle wants.
After an 8-15 season in his debut, Weddle is optimistic about contending for Western Indiana Conference and Class 3A sectional crowns in 2013-14.
- More High School Headlines
- West Vigo shows its youth in loss to Owen Valley