News From Terre Haute, Indiana

March 20, 2012

RAMBLIN' RECK: One man’s vote for public schools in the IHSAA tournament

Tom Reck
Special to the Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — The basketball season has ended for most high school and college teams, but fans in the Wabash Valley still have teams to root for this weekend.

Rockville will play Loogootee for the Class A boys championship on Saturday while Indiana University takes on Kentucky in an NCAA Sweet Sixteen contest on Friday in Atlanta.

The Rox are in the state finals for the first time since 1918 while Loogootee is making its fourth trip. The Lions made it twice under Jack Butcher and once in the class system under Steve Brett, losing to Lapel.

It’s great to see two “regular” schools in the finals as opposed to private schools and it’s great not to have any team from Fort Wayne or Marion County in the Class A finals.

Go Rox!

IU is one of four Big Ten teams still left in the NCAA action and must try to get another victory over Kentucky to advance to the Elite Eight. Purdue nearly made it but lost in the final minutes to Kansas.

It would have been nice to see the Boilermakers and Robbie Hummel, in particular, keep playing after all he overcame to play his senior season. Hummel had a super first half in Sunday’s game against the Jayhawks, bowing out in great style.

Our picks for the regionals:

South — Kentucky over Indiana, Baylor over Xavier, Kentucky wins

West — Michigan State over Louisville, Florida over Marquette, Spartans win

East — Wisconsin over Syracuse, Ohio State over Cincinnati, OSU prevails

Midwest — North Carolina over Ohio, Kansas over NC State, NC wins

FYI — Four teams from Ohio schools are left in the tournament, the same number as the Big Ten and Big East. No teams are left from the Pacific or Mountain time zones … Nick Kellogg of Ohio is the son of former OSU great and CBS commentator Clark Kellogg … MSU will be out to make the Final Four for the seventh time under coach Tom Izzo.

• Tom-Cattin’ It — Three players from the area made the girls basketball all-state team selected by The Champaign News-Gazette.

Robinson senior Kelsey Dirks is on the special mention 50 while Marshall sophomore Kaydie Grooms and Cumberland junior Kamisha Holsapple both are on the honorable mention 100.

• Coach Nate McMillan was fired by the Portland Trailblazers last week and Greg Oden was waived to make room for some new players gained in a trade.

• Quarterbacks Alex Smith and Peyton Manning both have the same agent; it appears Manning will be going to Denver.

• Jim Etherington has resigned after one season as girls basketball coach at Lawrence North for personal reasons. He had been a longtime assistant under boys coach Jack Keefer.

• Some Illinois high school softball and baseball teams began play week and Indiana teams open the season this week. Marshall is at West Vigo in one softball game today and Paris is at Marshall in baseball.

• The Martinsville, Ill., baseball team will play Mattoon following the Cardinals’ game with Philadelphia on May 27. Tickets are $23 for both games.

• A major uplift is planned in Evansville basketball practice facilities with office spaces for Aces’ men’s and women’s coaching staffs.

• Don’t forget the North-South alumni game slated for Friday at North.

Tom Reck may be contacted by telephone at (812) 232-3231, by email at or by mail at 4284 South 5th Street, Apt. 3, Terre Haute, IN 47802.