Special to the Tribune-Star
TERRE HAUTE —
Missouri Valley Conference men’s basketball teams and others are off to a good start.
Valley teams were 9-2 in games played through Sunday. Two teams picked up some very nice victories.
Evansville played its first official game in its new arena and beat preseason Horizon League pick Butler 80-77. There was some controversy about the final minutes and the Aces had a 32-15 edge in free throws, but the Aces also defeated Butler at Indy last season.
The Aces meet Indiana in another home game on Wednesday.
Missouri State bested Nevada by 22 points at Nevada. Nevada is the preseason pick to take WAC honors.
Illinois was another winner in its first game, defeating Loyola of Chicago 67-49. Robinson sophomore Meyers Leonard did not start but had a great game with a career-high 15 points and six blocks for the Illini.
The Illini met SIU-Edwardsville in their second game Monday.
Former Illinois State coach Porter Moser is in his first season as the Loyola coach.
Sports Illustrated had its predictions for the 68 teams in the NCAA tournament in the past issue with Creighton, Wichita State and Indiana State in the field.
ISU has a big game coming up Friday with a tough Ball State team.
• Down to two — Two high school football teams in our coverage area still are alive in postseason play with Casey in Illinois and Linton in Indiana both in the Final Four.
The Miners take on Indianapolis Scecina at the University of Indianapolis on Friday in a Class A semistate game and Casey is host to undefeated Maroa-Forsyth in Class 2A semifinal action on Saturday. Maroa-Forsyth has been ranked No. 1 most of the season in Illinois.
Good luck to both teams in their bids to go to state.
Several players from the area were included in the list of Indiana leaders prior to last week’s games including Linton quarterback Austin Karazsia, who was No. 1 in passing with 216 completions in 303 attempts for 3,199 yards and 42 touchdowns.
Others: Rob Gibson of South Putnam, No. 8 in rushing with 243 carries for 1,943 yards; Dante Rehmel of North Central, No. 3 in solo tackles with 106 and Tsali Lough of Terre Haute South, No. 10 in solos with 99; Jake Lear of Rockville, tied for No. 2 in sacks/tackles for loss with 24 and Ethan Lannon of Linton No. 9 in the same category with 20; and Hayden Stuckwisch of Greencastle and Justin Bumgardner of South Putnam, tied for second with seven interceptions.
• Tom-Cattin’ It — One of the great Indiana high school boys basketball coaches died last week.
Bill Green won a record six titles at Indianapolis Washington and Marion. Many people thought the 1968-69 team with Steve Downing and George McGinnis in the lineup was one of the greatest teams ever.
Green received one of his degrees from Indiana State University.
• Bob Spoo coached his last football game at Eastern Illinois last week and the Panthers lost to Southern Illinois 45-28 to finish 2-9. SIU will be in town to play Indiana State this week
• Julie Meeks won her 100th girls basketball game last week when Sullivan defeated Riverton Parke.
• Bud Wright keeps extending his state-best total for football coaching victories at Sheridan. His team won a regional last week and faces Lafayette Central Catholic this week, with the winner playing Linton or Scecina in the finals.
• Gary Harris of Hamilton Southeastern was one of the prize recruits who did not make up his mind until late and chose Michigan State. He averaged 18.6 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.8 steals last season.
Tom Reck may be contacted by telephone at (812) 232-3231, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail at 4284 South 5th Street, Apt. 3, Terre Haute, IN 47802.