TERRE HAUTE —
Lots of sports fans around Hoosierland should have been in a good mood Monday morning as a result of action in Indianapolis on Sunday.
The Indiana Fever beat the Minnesota Lynx 87-78 to win their first WNBA championship and the first pro basketball title for hoops-crazy Indy since 1973, when the Pacers won their last ABA championship.
They did it in front of a boisterous crowd in Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Tamika Catchings has been in the league for 11 seasons and was able to add the WNBA title to those she has won in college, in the Olympics and overseas.
She was named the MVP and thanked the fans for all their support in the playoffs. Legendary coach Pat Summitt was one of those in the stands for what turned out to be the final game.
Earlier in the day, the Colts held off Cleveland 17-13 and now are 3-3 for the season. That is one more win than all of last season and is about what many fans thought they might be lucky to win this season.
Now, they are in second place in the AFC South and some folks actually are talking playoff potential. That might not happen, but the Colts figure to win a few more games.
• Tournament continues — Second-round games will be played in the Indiana high school football tournament this week.
Two undefeated teams won their openers in the first round and will try to keep their record clean this week with Linton facing Perry Central and North Vermillion taking on North Central, loser only to NV and Linton during the season.
We failed to mention North Vermillion last week as one of the teams finishing strong in the regular season. My bad.
Casey and Robinson both earned spots in the Illinois football playoffs that begin this week, and the undefeated Warriors have a home game against Carmi in Class 2A on Saturday while the Maroons hit the road to play a 3A game with Benton.
In volleyball, Clay City and Riverton Parke are the two teams from the area that won sectional titles in Class A competition.
Other winners in sectional play last week — all by 3-0 counts — were Eastern over Linton, Martinsville over Plainfield and Edgewood over Owen Valley.
• Tom-Cattin’ It — The New York Yankees hit only .188 in the postseason. … Detroit manager Jim Leyland is 67 and is in his 49th season of pro baseball.
Baseball America has tabbed Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels as rookie of the year and player of the year.
And, in case you missed it, Cincinnati has given Dusty Baker a two-year contract extension.
• Bruce Speth of Clinton is 63 and recently competed in his 70th marathon. He has run at least one event in each of the 50 states.
• Bob Knight will do SEC basketball games on ESPN on Thursdays along with Reece Davis. Knight did Big 12 games last year and Fran Fraschilla now will do those contests.
• Adam Schenk of Knox County is a junior at Purdue and recently was named Big Ten golfer of the week. He started the final round of the Jack Nicklaus Invitational in a tie for 13th and finished second.
Castle senior Kayla Katterhenry confirms that she intends to play college golf at Evansville.
Don’t forget that one of the final golf events of the season in the county is the Providence Medical Group/St. George two-man scramble on Sunday at Rea Park.
• Vincennes University coach Brittany Harry has recorded her 100th win in volleyball while Sullivan High School coach Jennifer Murdock has won 200.
• Terre Haute South recently had a nice message on its marquee in front of the school … congratulating North teachers Michael Menser and Matt Renn for their induction into the Indiana State Athletics Hall of Fame.
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.
TERRE HAUTE —
- Sports Columns
College Report: Mahurins playing major role for Indiana Wesleyan
R.J. Mahurin, a senior at Indiana Wesleyan, was selected as the Crossroads League’s Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for the period of Nov. 24-30.
The fifth-year senior from Rockville led Indiana Wesleyan, then ranked No. 2 in NAIA Division II, to an 88-82 win over No. 9 Bethel last month in the Crossroads League opener.
Mahurin scored 33 points on 12-for-18 shooting from the field, including 7 of 10 from 3 point range. He also recorded seven rebounds and two assists while knocking down both free throws in the contest.
Ramblin’ Reck: Thanks to snow, hectic high school slate tonight
Due to last week’s snowfall, tonight’s boys high school basketball schedule is akin to a Friday night in the area.
Redneck Quaker: Don’t get itchy trigger finger when animals wander
I felt compelled to write these words for the sake of you night hunters — or let’s say coon hunters — as well as deer hunters.
In my coon-hunting days, if your hounds ran a coon on to posted property, you left your weapon at the property line and went straight in to retrieve your dogs and come back out the same way you went in. Well, we were actually wrong because you have to get permission from the landowner before stepping a foot on their property. The same goes for tracking a wounded deer.
Ramblin' Reck: Final BCS national title picture still unclear
With one improbable finish and another near-upset last week, the question of which teams are best in college football remains clouded, especially in regards to the national championship game.
From The Press Box: If ISU figures out defense, look out
The Great Alaska Shootout is not going to provide the Great RPI Bump that Indiana State’s participation in last year’s Diamond Head Classic provided.
College report: Gardner jumps at chance to play for ISU
Cody Gardner enjoyed his freshman baseball season at Wright State and earned more time on the field than he honestly expected to get. Coach Rob Cooper departed WSU after last season to take over at Penn State, however, and Gardner jumped at the chance to return to his hometown as an Indiana State Sycamore and perform for the school where two members of his family previously excelled.
Ramblin’ Reck: College football race should clear up this week
We should have a better idea of which teams are best in college football after games this week with top teams meeting their biggest rivals.
From the Press Box: Damage is done for ISU football
As a parent and a professional, there’s a bit of advice I’ve tried to pass along that I’ve found to be true.
No matter what you happen to be doing — whether it be job performance or just your own personal behavior — you can do the right thing for a period of time, even the vast majority of the time, but all it takes is one slip and the goodwill you’ve built up can be gone in one fell swoop.
Rambling Reck: Big victories for Sycamores, Engineers
It was another busy weekend in sports with lots of highlights.
COLLEGE REPORT: Former WRC football standouts playing key roles for No. 1 Mount Union
It’s a huge jump from the Wabash River Conference, one of the smallest leagues that plays high school football in Indiana, to Division III national powerhouse.
But two Wabash Valley standouts have made that leap and are significant contributors for top-ranked and defending national champion Mount Union (Ohio).
RAMBLIN RECK: Recalling events of 50 years ago
Monday was Veterans Day and it seemed to be a good time to recall some events of 50 years ago.
DAVID HUGHES: The ’78-79 Sycamores rediscover timeless bond
The 1978-79 Indiana State men’s basketball team that posted a 33-1 record and battled Michigan State for the coveted NCAA championship almost 35 years ago isn’t likely to play any more full-court games together, not even just for fun.
Ramblin' Reck: Valley football season winding down
There’s a bit of a lull in high school athletics right now, but not for members of five football teams in the Wabash Valley.
Those teams will be out to keep their title hopes and postseason alive this weekend.
Hughes, News & Views: Shaw preparing for 20th season as Rose-Hulman coach
When Rose-Hulman men’s basketball coach Jim Shaw gets introduced to the Hulman Center crowd before Sunday afternoon’s exhibition game against Indiana State, think of the old saying “time flies when you’re having fun.”
TODD GOLDEN: Munn, Odum want to make paper accomplishment a real one
When it comes to Missouri Valley Conference Media Day, it has historically been a kick in the gut for Indiana State's basketball teams.
But not this year. For the first time since formal MVC preseason polls began in the mid-1980s, the Sycamores rule the MVC roost.
College Report: North grad enjoying sophomore season at Virginia Tech
A.J. Hughes had an admittedly up and down freshman season as the punter for Virginia Tech’s football team, but the sophomore from Terre Haute North High School has elevated his game like one of his long, hanging left-footed punts.
Hughes ranks first in the Atlantic Coast Conference in punting with a 44.8-yard average per punt, a 4.7 increase over last year and a lofty number that ranks him ninth nationally.
Tom Reck: Postseason prep action heats up this week
High school postseason competition fills the Tribune-Star sports schedules this week.
Redneck Quaker: Hunters Helping Hunters big boost for handicapped who love outdoors
Hunters Helping Hunters’ mission is to improve the quality of life for physically challenged and seriously ill hunters. This is accomplished by providing hunting opportunities to those who would not otherwise have the ability or resources to fulfill outdoor adventures.
FROM THE PRESS BOX: Injuries, tough schedule have led to Sycamores' slide
No one saw this coming.
On the final October weekend of 2012, Indiana State’s football team was 7-2 and a Football Championship Subdivision playoff bid seemed a mortal lock.
Expect some frosty games in Fall Classic
It’s October and time for the Fall Classic.
TODD GOLDEN: Colts fans paid Manning ultimate tribute
Peyton Manning’s return to Indianapolis was many things — the return of a beloved prodigal son, a battle of Colts’ No. 1-draft-pick quarterbacks and last, but not least, the visit from one of the AFC’s last reminaing undefeated teams — but most of all, it could have been a battle for the Colts’ fans soul.
College Report: South graduate becomes Wabash College swim coach
Brent Noble’s climb up the collegiate swimming coaches has taken another big step, after the Terre Haute South grad was recently named the new head swimming and diving coach at Wabash College in Crawfordsville.
Noble joins the Wabash program after serving for a year as the women’s head swimming coach at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn.
Tom Reck: Fans enjoyed a high-drama sports weekend
High drama prevailed in more than one weekend sports contest.
FROM THE PRESS BOX: Sycamores shocked by 1-5 start to season
It was a play that not only symbolized Indiana State’s 17-14 loss at South Dakota on Saturday, but perhaps the Sycamores’ entire season.
Down three with 6:39 left in the fourth quarter, ISU faced third-and-9 from its own 39. ISU ran Shakir Bell to the left and the senior standout had daylight.
Hughes, News & Views: Friends remember Jim Bogle
When I covered the semifinal round of the IHSAA boys tennis sectional at Terre Haute North last week, it seemed like there was an empty seat in the bleachers.
In reality, I noticed few — if any — empty seats because plenty of spectators wanted to watch the host Patriots battle No. 14-ranked Terre Haute South for the right to advance to the next day’s sectional championship match.
In the end, junior Nathan Bogle pulled out a dramatic three-set victory at No. 1 singles to help South edge its crosstown rivals 3-2 on its way to capturing the sectional title.
Yet there was something missing.
The person who would have been in that empty seat I imagined, Nathan’s father Jim Bogle, had been battling cancer for close to two years and could not attend the sectional.
Sadly, cancer claimed his life Thursday morning. He was 52.
Rolling Colts appear to be the real deal
Some of Monday’s headlines in sports pages pretty well summed up another interesting weekend in the National Football League.
College Report: People with Valley ties getting up-close look at top-ranked Crimson Tide
Trivia question: What do Trent Miles, A.J. Hughes and Johnny Manziel have in common?
Maybe nothing right now, but after Saturday they will all have played against the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide already this season.
Manziel has no known local ties, but was involved in the most-hyped game of the year last month as Texas A&M fell just short in a late comeback against Alabama.
Hughes, a sophomore punter for Virginia Tech from Terre Haute North, did his part in the Hokies’ 35-10 season–opening loss to the Tide.
Fun season continues for Pirates
Postseason baseball begins tonight and I can root for my team for the first time since 1992.
I’ve followed the Pittsburgh Pirates most of my life — I was born and lived in Indianapolis until 1950, and the Indians then were affiliated with Pittsburgh just as they are now.
Trackside: Burns, Fitzpatrick provide fun moments at Putnamville
In a season that has generated more than its share of down moments for Wabash Valley fans and racers, last Saturday’s “King of non-wing Sprints” program at Lincoln Park Speedway served notice that there are still a few positive storylines to be found in the wild and unpredictable sport of sprint-car racing.
One such storyline unfolded this past weekend on the rough and challenging 5⁄16-mile Putnamville dirt oval. That’s where the runs of Eric Burns and Blake Fitzpatrick sent fans home feeling that if the season has to come to a close, it couldn’t end on a happier or brighter note.
NFL season offering some early surprises
The third week of the National Football League ended Monday night when Oakland played at Denver. Some interesting results cropped up in headlines and stories in Monday’s newspapers and were hashed out on some Sunday night sports shows.
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