News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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November 11, 2013

VALLEY GIRLS HOOPS PREVIEW: Rookie coach takes helm of veteran Rockville squad

TERRE HAUTE — At 44, Clinton native Ron Alabaugh feels like he’s doing what he should be in life.

Having graduated from Indiana State University with a degree in social studies education this past May and earning his first teaching job at Rockville High School soon afterward, he convinced the school to hire him in September to replace Ryan Luce as its girls basketball coach. Luce had shifted over to guide the Rox boys basketball team.

The Rockville girls finished with an 8-13 record last season. But Alabaugh — who played basketball and baseball at South Vermillion in the 1980s and worked as an assistant baseball coach at Rockville in recent years — believes this squad is capable of improvement.

“We’re returning nine varsity players from last season,” he told the Tribune-Star. “They give great effort and this team will be well balanced.”

Alabaugh said the only senior is 5-foot-8 starting forward Meghan Bullington. Adding spark to the front line should be 5-10 sophomore Meagan White and 5-6 junior Paige Boardman.

The new coach also mentioned what he called three equally talented guards in 5-5 sophomore Morgan Black, 5-5 junior Alexia Lear and 5-6 sophomore Caylin Fellows.

“We’re going to try to find a new identity this year,” Alabaugh emphasized. “Meghan will be one of the leaders.”

He added that his biggest concern is how quickly the girls can pick up his new style of play. “I’m hoping they get used to it right off the bat,” he noted.

Alabaugh explained why he wanted this job.

“I’ve been involved in youth sports a lot and coaching is something that I’ve been wanting to do my entire life,” he said. “And so now I’m getting the opportunity, finally.”

Alabaugh admitted that he’s still becoming familiar with other teams in the Wabash River Conference, but he thinks Attica is likely to be a top contender for the title.

“I know North Vermillion and Riverton Parke lost some good players [to graduation],” he added, “but they’ll still be competitive.”

Rockville’s first game is tonight at South Putnam.

• • •

Other Indiana girls basketball teams from the Wabash Valley to keep an eye on:

• Sullivan — Now in her 11th season at the helm of the Golden Arrows, Julie Meeks has fond memories of her 2012-13 squad that finished 23-3 and won a Class 2A sectional championship a year ago.

She realizes, however, that repeating that success will be a tough task, considering her starting five has graduated.

“I have practically a new team this year,” Meeks said in a text message over the weekend. “Emily Cottom, a senior, has the most varsity experience and she tore her [anterior cruciate ligament] in the first practice. I was looking for her to score double figures and handle the ball quite a bit for us.

“Kaiti Basinger, a senior guard, got some playing time on the varsity last year. I look for senior leadership and scoring from Kaiti. Along with her are Kiersey Judson, Jenni Wilkes and Peyton Garrett, all seniors. I have a freshman in Ashley Durall who will start and help us out. Junior Skye Dillingham, coming off knee surgeries, hasn’t played since her freshman year [but] will help us. Sophomores Katie Day and Kyndall McDonald will get a lot of playing time.

“We also have another freshman, McKenzie Pirtle, that will get some varsity playing time. … I have told the team, ‘Let’s work hard, have great attitudes and play hard in games and see where it takes us.’ We will improve as the season goes on.”

Sullivan will play host to Riverton Parke tonight.

• Clay City — The Eels, who slumped to 7-14 in 2012-13 after enjoying plenty of success in previous season, are looking to make a comeback under the guidance of sixth-year coach Chris Ames.

“Returnees are [sophomore Alisha] Steward, [senior Alex] Wolfe, [senior Kylee] Truax, [junior Logan] Ellinger, [senior Claire] Miller and [senior Mahayle] Durga,” Ames explained in an email. “Expect a lot out of our core players returning this year. We also have several young kids coming in that we are looking to help us — such as [sophomore Alexis] Price, [sophomore Courtney] Brown and [sophomore Emily] Rogers. Keys for us are to be able to defend people and rebound the basketball in order to be competitive.”

Price is the Eels’ tallest player at 6-0.

Clay City will open its season Friday at home against Eminence.

• Linton — The Miners, who are coming off a 3-19 campaign, will open a new season tonight at Monrovia.

“We return seven of our top eight players from last year,” sixth-year coach Brad McKinney mentioned in an email over the weekend. “The four seniors have started since their sophomore season.

“Mercedes Shafford is our leading scorer and rebounder returning from last year. She is joined by point guard Brilee Parker, forward Courtney Johnson and guard Carlie Booe. Last year’s ‘sixth man’ Avaree Dunn also will be in the mix. Freshman Taylor Thuis will provide some size we have been not had the past few years. We have got to find a way to increase our offensive output over the past couple of years to make the step forward as a program.”

• Others — Shakamak captured a Class A sectional crown and ended up 12-12 in 2012-13. The Lakers, with sixth-year coach Troy Fougerousse in charge again, will tip off a new campaign tonight at Washington Catholic. … Riverton Parke, which finished 19-4 and battled eventual winner North Vermillion for a Class A sectional championship with Josh Douglass at the helm a year ago, will travel to Sullivan for its opener tonight. … With Tim Terry beginning his 34th season of coaching South Vermillion, the Wildcats will tangle with Western Indiana Conference foe West Vigo in the first round of the Terre Haute Savings Bank Tip-Off Tournament at 7:30 p.m. today in the Vikings’ gym. South Vermillion was 3-18 last season. … North Central, 7-15 last season, will face Owen Valley at 8 p.m. Wednesday in the THSB Tip-Off Tournament at West Vigo. The Thunderbirds are guided by second-year coach Jacob Cummings. … Union was 9-12 last season and eighth-year coach Benji Boyd will try to kick off a new season on a positive note Thursday at home against Cloverdale. … North Vermillion, coached by Terry Naylor, should have a difficult time duplicating its 24-3 mark with a Class A sectional title from a year ago. But the Falcons will try, starting tonight at Southmont. … Jeff Thompson is back to try to turn around the fortunes of Turkey Run, which ended up 2-19 in his first season there in 2012-13. The Warriors were slated to get started Monday night at Eminence.

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SPT041714 WV BB shaffer.jpg

Tribune-Star/Jim Avelis Consistent: West Vigo�s Jordan Shaffer gets a hit and on base for the second time in the third inning, having walked his first time at bat. Shaffer reached base in all four at-bats in their game with North Vermillion.

  • West Vigo baseball wins in rout

    When Brandin Behringer drove in his first run Thursday evening, it gave West Vigo a short-lived lead in nonconference high school baseball.
    The remainder of the Viking senior’s RBIs came four at a time in the bottom of the fourth inning, his grand-slam homer capping the second of consecutive seven-run innings that sent his team to a 15-3 win over visiting North Vermillion.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • College Report: Haley Chambers making noise in OVC softball circles

    Two Wabash Valley natives are again making big news for the Southern Illlinois-Edwardsville softball team.
    Former Riverton Parke and Cascade standout pitcher Haley Chambers was recognized for a string of dominant performances in the circle by being named Ohio Valley Conference Pitcher of the Week on Monday.

    April 18, 2014

  • Colts take another look at Shakir Bell

    Under general manager Ryan Grigson, the Indianapolis Colts have searched nationally and internationally for talent to build a program that has won 23 of 34 games in the last two seasons.
    On Wednesday, the Colts took a look at some Indianapolis-area talent, including former Warren Central High School and Indiana State standout Shakir Bell.
     

    April 18, 2014

  • Prep roundup: Vikings get big hits to beat North Vermillion on softball diamond

    The West Vigo softball team improved to 4-3 for the season with an 11-4 victory over North Vermillion on Thursday.
    Leah Morrison busted the game open with a three-run double in the Vikings’ seven-run fourth inning.
    Kenzie Little chipped in with a two-run triple in the sixth and Hannah Harden tossed a complete-game for the pitching win.

    April 18, 2014

  • Prep baseball: Northview beats top-ranked Shakamak

    Damon Bass pitched a three-hit shutout and struck out seven to lead Northview to a 7-0 high school baseball victory over Shakamak.
    The visiting Knights blew open a tight game against Class A’s top-ranked team with a four-run seventh inning.
    Austin Butts and Jake Harden combined for six hits for Northview.

    April 18, 2014

  • PREP ROUNDUP: North girls tennis wins 5-0 at Plainfield

    Terre Haute North’s girls tennis team swept its opening match of the high school season as it defeated Plainfield 5-0 on Wednesday.

    April 16, 2014

  • SPT041614 SMWC jordan.jpg Saint Mary-of-the-Woods sweeps doubleheader over Rose-Hulman

    Over the years, defeating its crosstown rival has not usually been easy for Saint Mary-of-the-Woods or Rose-Hulman when they’ve met in college softball.
    But on Wednesday afternoon at The Woods, the home team made its doubleheader sweep look easy to first-year coach Mark Feller with five-inning decisions of 10-0 and 11-1.

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • SPT 041614 ROSSELLI REX.jpg Rex looking to expand fan base in 2014

    Bruce Rosselli, part of the new Terre Haute Rex ownership group as well as the team’s general manager, hopes to build the fan base in the first year.
    The Rex, who have returning sponsorships from Clabber Girl, Union Hospital and Old National Bank, among others, want to appeal to more baseball fans from outside Vigo County.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT 030714 ODUM 02O'LEARY.jpg Terre Haute North grad O'Leary to transfer from Loyola

    Matt O’Leary is one of three men's basketball players at Loyola recently granted a release from his scholarship from the Missouri Valley Conference school.
    The former Terre Haute North standout told the Tribune-Star he doesn’t yet know his next move.

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • Rose-Hulman, Woods to face off on softball diamond

    The Rose-Hulman softball team will visit a familiar foe today when the Engineers take on crosstown rival Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in a nonleague doubleheader.

    April 15, 2014

Local Interest
  • METRO ROUNDUP: Waltman's funeral Saturday at Indianapolis

    Royce Waltman’s visitation will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at St. Luke’s Methodist Church at 100 E. 86th Street, Indianapolis.

    April 10, 2014

  • METRO ROUNDUP: Burnham leads Woods softball to wins

    After dropping a pair of games to Missouri Baptist on Wednesday, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods beat Lindenwood-Belleville 9-7 and 1-0, both games in eight innings, on Thursday afternoon.
    Sarah Burnham’s seventh-inning homer in the first game tied the score 4-4, and the Pomeroys took a 5-4 lead later in the inning on an RBI double by Brooke Jordan before the Lynx tied the score in the bottom of the inning.

    March 21, 2014

  • METRO ROUNDUP: ISU softball splits pair in Florida

    Pitching dominated Tuesday’s opening day of play in the Rebel Spring Games for the Indiana State softball team, which defeated Bucknell 2-0 before falling 2-0 to Creighton.
    “The girls did a great job in the first game getting a couple runs,” ISU coach Shane Bouman said. “We leaned on [sophomore] Yvette Alvarez who pitched really well. We probably got as much as we could out of her and probably should have changed earlier so put that on me. We have a couple little things we can clean up and get a little better and we will be ready to go tomorrow.”

    March 11, 2014

  • Tony Dungy, wife Lauren signing books today in Terre Haute

    Former NFL coach Tony Dungy and his wife, Lauren, are at Sam’s Club in Terre Haute today, Feb. 12, signing books until about 1:30 p.m.

    February 12, 2014

  • Vigo County Jail Log: Feb. 7, 2014

    The following individuals were booked into the Vigo County Jail by area law enforcement on Thursday, based on jail records.

    February 7, 2014

High School
College
SPT041614 SMWC jordan.jpg

Tribune-Star/Jim Avelis In command: Saint Mary-of-the-Woods pitcher Brooke Jordan delivers a pitch early in the Pomeroy�s sweep of Rose-Hulman Wednesday afternoon on the Pomeroy�s diamond.

  • Saint Mary-of-the-Woods sweeps doubleheader over Rose-Hulman

    Over the years, defeating its crosstown rival has not usually been easy for Saint Mary-of-the-Woods or Rose-Hulman when they’ve met in college softball.
    But on Wednesday afternoon at The Woods, the home team made its doubleheader sweep look easy to first-year coach Mark Feller with five-inning decisions of 10-0 and 11-1.

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • SPT 030714 ODUM 02O'LEARY.jpg Terre Haute North grad O'Leary to transfer from Loyola

    Matt O’Leary is one of three men's basketball players at Loyola recently granted a release from his scholarship from the Missouri Valley Conference school.
    The former Terre Haute North standout told the Tribune-Star he doesn’t yet know his next move.

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • Rose-Hulman, Woods to face off on softball diamond

    The Rose-Hulman softball team will visit a familiar foe today when the Engineers take on crosstown rival Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in a nonleague doubleheader.

    April 15, 2014

  • ISU baseball holds off Eastern Illinois for 24th win

    Indiana State freshman left-hander Ryan Keaffaber won his first game as a Sycamore and senior catcher Mike Fitzgerald went 3 for 3 as ISU defeated host Eastern Illinois 6-4 in college baseball Tuesday.

    April 15, 2014

  • Top returners lead Cream over Crimson in Hoosiers' spring game

    The Cream team at Saturday’s Cream and Crimson intrasquad game had Indiana’s top returning rusher and receiver and the Hoosiers’ top-rated passer from last season.
    No surprise, then, that Tevin Coleman, Shane Wynn and Tre Roberson guided the Cream to a resounding 24-14 win over the Crimson.

    April 12, 2014

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Terre Haute Rex
SPT 041614 ROSSELLI REX.jpg

Tribune-Star/Joseph C. Garza Expanding the fan base: Bruce Rosselli, manager of the Terre Haute Rex, displays the team's new slogan, Wabash Valley's Own, during a press conference on Wednesday at Clabber Girl.

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