TERRE HAUTE —
The regular season now has ended for most high school and college basketball teams in the area. It’s Tourney Time.
Rose-Hulman and Illinois high school teams commenced the postseason last week. The Engineers again won the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament and hope to keep their season going with success in the NCAA Division III tournament.
Paris was a regional winner in Illinois Class 2A competition and will shoot for a sectional title at Westville, starting tonight against Clifton Central. Justin Lemenager had 22 points for CC in the first half against Paxton-Buckley-Loda in the Watseka regional title tilt and finished with 30 in his team’s 65-48 victory.
Indiana State’s men’s team will be in St. Louis for Missouri Valley Conference Arch Madness action and has something to prove after losing its last three games.
Wichita State is the first team in NCAA history to win 31 regular-season games without a defeat and will be hard to beat. We’d like to see the Sycamores get another shot at the Shockers and will need to win two games to do it, starting with Bradley or Loyola on Friday.
Sectional play begins tonight for Indiana boys teams and continues Wednesday and Friday before winding up Saturday. Right now, the weather forecast looks good and the games could be played on schedule.
The state finals for Indiana girls high school teams again will be played Saturday in Hulman Center. The matchups, with sessions beginning at 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.:
Class 1A — Oregon-Davis (22-2) vs. Vincennes Rivet (22-4)
Class 2A — Heritage Christian (26-1) vs. Fort Wayne Canterbury (20-4)
Class 3A — Evansville Mater Dei (26-1) vs. Western (22-3)
Class 4A — Bedford North Lawrence (26-1) vs. Penn (25-1)
Bedford North Lawrence bested Lawrence North in overtime to gain its slot in the finals.
Mater Dei was moved up to Class 3A this season because of its success in 2A and is right back in the finals again.
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• Coaches huddle — Several boys coaches from the area talked about their seasons and the tournament at the annual luncheon sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Terre Haute.
Problems with the weather and rescheduled games were faced by all the teams.
West Vigo coach Joe Boehler summed up the season for the Vikings.
“We have no seniors on the roster and had three freshmen in our top eight. We were 4-5 after December … then we went three weeks without playing a game and with little practice. Then we lost two players for the year — Hunter Voils first, then Braiden Cardinal,” he said.
“We won two of our last five games and the players are working hard,” he added.
West Vigo got the bye in the Northview Class 3A Sectional. Northview is playing in 3A after being in the same 4A Sectional with Terre Haute North and South.
North Vermillion concluded its season last week — the first winning season since 1997-98 — and Mattoon has its first winnng season since 1991-92 in Illinois.
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• Tom-Cattin’ It — Terre Haute South graduate Morgan Patterson, who now plays golf at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, recently had ACL and meniscus surgery.
n Cumberland has been voted No. 1 in the preseason Class 1A softball poll in Illinois. The Pirates lost to Milledgeville 5-4 in the state finals last season.
Teutopolis girls reached the Class 2A state basketball finals before bowing 63-43 to St. Thomas More.
• It was a tough week for ranked teams in college basketball with 11 in the top 25 falling. Indiana beat two of them — Iowa and Ohio State — and Illinois handled Michigan State to win its third game in a row. The Illini earlier had lost eight in a row.
Wisconsin has won seven in a row and one key to the Badgers’ success is taking care of the basketball. They also hit 13 of 14 free throws in beating Penn State 71-66.
• The Indiana Pacers are on a bit of a roll again, beating Utah for their fifth straight on Sunday. And they have been without George Hill for two games due to a shoulder injury.
The Pacers opened the month with a game at Boston on Saturday, the first of 18 slated in the month and the first 11 on the road. They also will have five back-to-backs on the card due to Big Ten men’s and women’s tournaments being played in Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
• Former IU player Maurice Creek is having a good season at George Washington University, averaging 13.7 points and making 38 percent of his 3-point shots.
Tom Reck may be contacted by telephone at (812) 232-3231, by email at email@example.com or by mail at 4284 South 5th Street, Apt. 3, Terre Haute, IN, 47802.