News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Sports

May 12, 2014

Tom Reck: Pacers seem to be back in top form

TERRE HAUTE — So you say the Indiana Pacers can wind up their National Basketball Association second-round playoff series with the Washington Wizards in five games tonight?

Hard to believe.

Less than a month ago, after the Pacers finished the regular season in less than spectacular fashion and had gone 2-3 in the start of the playoffs against the No. 8 seed Atlanta Hawks, we heard nothing but doom and gloom on the air and in printed articles.

And then they lost the first game of the series against Washington at home and there seemed little hope for the team to advance in the postseason competition.

Well, after rallying from 19 points down in a road game to beat the Wizards on Sunday, the Pacers just need to win one more game and could do that in Bankers Life Fieldhouse tonight and earn the right to meet Miami in the Eastern Conference finals.

Way to go, Pacers.

• • •

• Changes debated — The Indiana High School Athletic Association made several changes last week and one of them has drawn lots of feedback.

That change moved up the start of the girls basketball season, largely to avoid a conflict in facility dates and have the finals back in Indianapolis.

This change eliminates a conflict between the girls state finals and boys basketball sectionals. At the same time, the start of practice for the season falls in the same week as the girls volleyball sectionals.

It has been pointed out that in many schools, small schools and otherwise, many girls take part in both sports and may find it difficult to do so with the change.

We think it will be worked out and not be a major problem although we can see that it is not ideal.

One other change that was approved allows two more girls basketball games — 22 or 20 with a tournament.

• • •

• Tom-Cattin’ It — Andrew Weisheit has been a regular for the Rockville High School golf team for four years and normally earns medalist honors in matches. He will attend St. Joseph’s College and play golf for the Pumas.

n South Vermillion golfer Aaron Shepard recently got a hole-in-one in a match on the No. 6 hole at Matthews Course.

• Anyone who has watched the NBA playoffs knows that the final minutes of most games can be drawn out considerably by fouls, timeouts and commercials.

• Aroldis Chapman showed little effects of a scary injury, using a 100-mile-per-hour fastball in his work on the mound Sunday against Colorado.

• Now that the National Football League draft finally has ended, Cleveland is earning top grades for its picks along with Green Bay, Houston, Tampa Bay and St. Louis.

Indianapolis did not get a good mark since the Colts gave up a first-round pick to get Trent Richardson and that deal doesn’t look so good right now.

• Indiana University swept a weekend baseball series against Penn State to clinch at least a share of the Big Ten title. The Hoosiers are 35-12 and 19-2 in the league, setting a record for Big Ten victories.

• Practice began Sunday for the Indianapolis 500 with Team Penske drivers Will Power, Juan Pablo Montoya and Helio Castroneves having the top three times. Qualifying is this weekend for the race.

LeAnn Rimes will sing the National Anthem at the race.

• Pittsburgh and St. Louis met in the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball game with the Cardinals scoring four times in the first inning and winning 6-5. It was the first time for the Bucs to host the Sunday Night game since 1996.

There was a nice crowd on hand for that game but we have noticed lots of empty seats for many televised games this season. We know weather has not been so hot for lots of those games.

• Tod Windlan has been hired to coach the Carmel girls basketball team. He coached Warren Central last season and has coached at several schools, taking Hamilton Heights to the Class 3A state title game in 2013.

• Ronnie Johnson announced earlier that he would leave Purdue and transfer to play basketball. He has chosen Houston where the new coach is Kelvin Sampson.

• Proceeds after expenses from Big Four action at Terre Haute South as well as from the sale of special T-shirts will go to medical expenses of former coach-teacher Mike Saylor. That amount should be at least $3,000.

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

 

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