TERRE HAUTE —
For the first time since 2009, a new school will hang up a Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic championship banner in their gym.
Rockville punched its ticket into Monday’s championship game with a 49-32 victory over Sullivan in the evening semifinal at Terre Haute South.
The unbeaten Rox (10-0) will play Robinson – the Maroons defeated Northview 56-45 earlier Saturday – at 6:30 p.m. on Monday. Neither school has ever played in the championship game. Robinson is making its maiden Pizza Hut Classic voyage.
Not so for the Class A No. 1 and 2012 state runner-up Rox. Rockville has taken good teams to the Pizza Hut Classic before only to fall short of the title game. They will get their shot this time.
“Every year we’re the team that could, but never does. This year we’re hoping to finally break through and get one. We have a tough team to beat in Robinson,” Rockville forward Lane Mahurin said.
Rockville coach Dave Mahurin gave all of the credit to his players.
“I’m proud of the kids. We’ve been trying for a long time and we’ve had some great teams that have come through Rockville. I’m proud of the product we’ve put on the floor. This is kind of the culmination of that. The kids deserve to be here,” he said.
Lane Mahurin led Rockville with 16 points, half scored at the free throw line. Gary Ulrich and Jordon McFall added 12 points. Michael Hutchcraft led the Golden Arrows with seven points.
Both teams’ defenses held sway throughout the game. Sullivan made it difficult on Rockville to get easy looks or penetration, particularly in the opening quarter. Rockville would shoot just 4 of 16 in the opening quarter.
“There was no room for error. You know if you didn’t take a good shot or if you didn’t make the right move, the other team wasn’t going to give any leeway. Their defense was tough, our defense was tough,” Lane Mahurin said.
But the Rox still led 11-5 at the end of it as its defense forced five Sullivan turnovers. An 11-0 run by Rockville bled into the start of the second quarter as Rockville took a 14-5 lead.
Sullivan fought back and cut the lead to four, but Rockville’s diminuitive guard Keiontre Wilkey gave the Rox a spark. The sophomore sparkplug hit a jumper then came out of nowhere to jump a Sullivan pass at midcourt. He beat Sullivan’s defenders to the bucket for another field goal. Rockville’s lead would reach 20-10.
But the Golden Arrows didn’t panic. A banked 3-pointer by Nathan Pirtle and another three by Hunter King shaved the Rox lead to 20-16.
For the remainder of the half, Sullivan patiently broke down Rockville’s defense with back-door cuts, only to have the Rox respond on the other end with a bucket. Rockville’s halftime lead was 27-20. The Rox shot 11 of 27 in the half.
The first half spurts by Rockville turned out to be crucial as neither team could break the other in the second half.
“We took advantage of their pressure to get some easy baskets, but then we quit attacking. We’d wait for our cutter to get in the middle, then we’d throw it behind him, but that’s part of being young,” said Sullivan coach Jeff Moore who was otherwise satisfied with Sullivan’s defensive effort and who also believes the Arrows – who have no seniors – will continue to improve.
The third quarter was a physical battle royale that ultimately ended in a stalemate. Both teams struggled to unlock the other’s defense. At the end, the margin was the same, as Rockville led 33-26.
The fourth quarter was no different and Rockville ultimately increased their gap at the line when Sullivan was forced to foul as the Rox ran a stall offense. The Rox made 12 consecutive free throws in a period spanning the third and the final period to salt the game away.
“Our last year and a half has been pretty educational for these kids. We’ve been in every situation we can be in. We trust each other. I’m pretty proud of the way we handled ourselves tonight,” Dave Mahurin said.
The free throw makes showed grace under pressure and reflects Rockville’s experience playing in big games. Or is it something else?
“We attribute it to shooting a couple of hundred everyday,” Lane Mahurin said. “My brother [R.J. Mahurin] took me at ISU one time. I had to make 10 free throws in a row, which sounds easy, but he was throwing balls by my head as I shot them. He’s helped me focus too.”
Rockville held Sullivan to just 12 second-half points.
Sullivan (7-3) will play Northview in the third-place game at 5 p.m. on Monday.
ROCKVILLE (49) — Mahurin 4-11 8-9 16, Ulrich 4-6 3-3 12, Wittenmyer 1-6 0-0 2, McFall 5-9 0-0 12, Waltz 0-0 0-2 0, Wilkey 2-6 2-2 6, Griffin 0-0 0-0 0, J. Brown 0-0 0-0 0, Thurman 0-0 0-0 0, Baysinger 0-0 0-0 0, R. Brown 0-0 0-0 0. 16-38 FG, 13-16 FT, 49 TP.
SULLIVAN (32) — Pirtle 1-3 0-0 3, Gregory 2-4 0-0 4, Kinnaman 2-7 1-2 5, Hutchcraft 3-7 1-1 7, Weszely 1-4 0-0 2, Willis 1-3 0-0 3, King 2-8 0-0 6, McPhail 0-0 1-2 1. 12-36 FG, 3-5 FT, 32 TP.
Rockville 11 16 6 16 — 49
Sullivan 5 15 6 6 — 32
3-point goals – R 3-8 (McFall 2-4, Ulrich 1-3, Wittenmyer 0-1), S 5-17 (King 2-8, Pirtle 1-3, Willis 1-2, Gregory 1-1, Hutchcraft 0-2, Weszely 0-1). Rebounds – R 26 (Mahurin 7, McFall 6), S 20 (Hutchcraft 6), Steals – R 8 (Mahurin 3), S 7 (Willis 2, King 2), Blocks – R 4 (Mahurin 3), S 2 (Pirtle, Hutchcraft), Turnovers – R 9, S 16, Total fouls – R 9, S 16. Fouled out – none.
Next — Rockville (10-0) plays Robinson at 6:30 p.m. Monday in the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic championship game. Sullivan (7-3) plays Northview at 5 p.m. Monday in the third place game.
Rox hold Sullivan to 12 points in second half
TERRE HAUTE —
For the first time since 2009, a new school will hang up a Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic championship banner in their gym.
- High School
Goatee, Bertoli ran away with Spring Athlete of the Year
When honoring athletes after a season of excellence, the phrase “what might have been” doesn’t usually come up.
But in the case of Terre Haute South’s Jackson Bertoli and Terre Haute North’s TaPring Goatee – the Tribune-Star’s Athletes of the Year for spring sports – there’s an air of unfinished business despite obvious recent successes.
Post 346 opens tournament with two victories
Preston Tofaute got on base enough to score three runs, Cody Thornton smashed a two-run triple in the first inning and pitcher Pete Lannoo scattered four hits over a seven-inning complete game.
All of that helped Wayne Newton Post 346 down Lafayette Post 11 by a 7-2 score in the opener of the Terre Haute Inviatational tournament for American Legion baseball Thursday afternoon at Terre Haute North High School.
North boys move up to 13th in golf state finals
Early Wednesday morning, Terre Haute North senior Ryan Baker and coach Abe Nasser headed out to the Legends of Indiana Golf Course for a range session.
Baker wasn’t happy with the 85 he shot in Tuesday’s first round of the IHSAA boys golf state finals.
“He was frustrated,” Nasser said.
Problem solved. Baker bounced back with a 2-over 74 Wednesday, helping the Patriots improve their team score by seven strokes.
The Patriots shot 304 as a team Wednesday, giving them a two-day score of 615, good for 13th place in the 15-team field.
Big hill to climb for North golf
Terre Haute North boys golf is 21 strokes behind leaders at IHSAA boys golf tourney.
Top of her game
There are a lot of surprising facts about blossoming volleyball prodigy Caitlyn Newton, including that shape-shifting thing she can apparently do, but maybe one of them stands out the most. She may only be scratching the surface.
Camp, Howe win, then lose in state tennis tourney
Miranda Camp and Nicole Howe of Terre Haute South won their first match of high school tennis Friday at the state individual doubles finals, then won the first set against a powerful Park Tudor team before falling in three sets.
Terre Haute North heading back to state finals in boys golf
Terre Haute North is going back to the state finals in boys high school golf for the first time in more than 10 years. The Patriots qualified for a trip to The Legends Course next week by tying for third in the Washington Regional at Country Oaks Golf Club and advancing with the better fifth score.
North, South, Sullivan to compete at golf regional
Boys high school golf teams from the Wabash Valley will compete in the Washington Regional on Thursday, seeking a spot in the state finals to be played next week.
Terre Haute North falls 6-1 to Brownsburg in opening game of Class 4A Regional
Terre Haute North coach Shawn Turner told the Patriots to raise their heads. He wanted to see their eyes at the close of their 24-7 high school baseball season.
Terre Haute North girls shine on dreary day at track state finals
Led by a record setting 3,200-meter relay team and Keirra Porter’s long jump, Terre Haute North turned in its best finish ever in the 40th annual IHSAA Girls Track & Field Championships on Saturday at Indiana University in Bloomington.
Valley teams will have to wait until Monday for baseball regionals
Rain and the threat of more rain caused postponements of high school baseball regionals involving Terre Haute North, West Vigo and Shakamak on Saturday.
Rockville's season ends at Lafayette Central Catholic
Lafayette Central Catholic ended Rockville’s tourney run in high school baseball Saturday, defeating the Rox 8-0 in the first game of the LCC Class A Regional.
IHSAA boys state track finals: Standing alone
It hadn’t been a particularly good day for Wabash Valley track and field Friday, and it wasn’t looking like a good one for Jackson Bertoli either.
Terre Haute North, West Vigo return to baseball regionals
Terre Haute North’s baseball team hasn’t participated in an IHSAA regional since 2006. West Vigo’s wait hasn’t been as long, but it was 2010 when the Vikings last advanced from a sectional.
Patriots girls take aim at state track title
Terre Haute North’s girls have several potential state champions today at Indiana University.
South, North track athletes looking for big performances at state finals
Terre Haute South’s distance trio of Jackson Bertoli, Logan Hambrock and Riley Stohler appear to be the favorites to crack all-state status among Wabash Valley competitors today in the IHSAA boys track and field state finals at Indiana University.
- Internet site keeps area prep teams on airwaves
- PREP ROUNDUP: Locals to take part in Hoosiers All-Star Game
South Vermillion softball can't overcome errors, Tri-West
Uncharacteristic errors led to eight unearned runs and hard-luck hitting made that impossible to overcome for South Vermillion, which fell 8-0 to Tri-West in Class 3A regional play.
Clay City softball comes up short against Lutheran
Clay City closed its high school softball season Tuesday night with the best record ever for the program at 21-9.
The Eels wanted to add another win, the school’s first regional title, but they came up short.
PREP ROUNDUP: Rockville wins baseball sectional
Rockville won its own Class A sectional in high school baseball Tuesday, defeating Covington 10-4 in the rain-delayed championship game.
Class 4A Terre Haute South Sectional:The wait is over
Three minutes into an interview with various media members, Terre Haute North baseball coach Shawn Turner couldn’t react fast enough to avoid a bucket of ice water being dumped over his head from behind by his giddy players. The soaking-wet Turner could shake it off with a smile, however, because his Patriots had just won the IHSAA Class 4A Terre Haute South Sectional championship with a 13-3 six-inning triumph over Plainfield on Monday evening.
Class 4A Terre Haute South Sectional: TH North, Plainfield win squeakers
The high school baseball teams of Terre Haute North and Plainfield proved Monday that what a batter does early in the game is not necessarily indicative of what he will do in the late innings.
Class 2A Linton Sectional: Eastern rains on Sullivan parade
Mother Nature put Sullivan’s quest for a high school baseball sectional championship on hold Monday night at Linton-Stockton High School. Sullivan (14-15) and Eastern Greene (16-7) will resume play in the Class 2A Sectional 47 championship game at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Linton’s Roy Herndon Field.
Opening Day: Terre Haute Rex host Quincy
In his first season at the helm, first-year Terre Haute Rex manager Ronnie Prettyman is going to be surrounded by men he knows and trusts.
Class A Shakamak Sectional: Stout pitching leads Union, Shakamak to final
Trey Bedwell and Patrick Green made sure their respective high school baseball teams would meet for the championship of the Class A Shakamak Sectional by pitching shutouts in semifinal contests Monday afternoon.
Class A Rockville Sectional: Covington, Rockville title game postponed
Rockville and Covington won semifinal high school baseball games Monday to advance to the championship game of the Rockville Class A Sectional. Due to rain, the championship game was postponed. A decision was expected this morning whether the game will be played today or Wednesday.
South Vermillion, Linton, Clay City look to stay alive in softball
There might have been as many reasons to think they wouldn’t be winning sectionals this spring as evidence to show they would, but high school softball teams from South Vermillion, Linton and Clay City will be playing one-game regionals Tuesday with the chance to keep defying the odds.
West Vigo back on top of Class 3A baseball sectional
West Vigo won its sectional with a 6-4 victory over South Vermillion on a rainy night at Dick Ballinger Field.
South runs into ‘buzzsaw’ at girls tennis semistate
Postmatch interviews don’t often begin with a coach and a reporter ready to blurt out the same word, but that was the case for Bill Blankenbaker and his interviewer Saturday morning after the Center Grove Semistate for girls high school tennis.
Unfortunately for Blankenbaker’s Terre Haute South team, that word was “buzzsaw.”
Greenwood’s Kawamoto twins made quick work of the top of the Braves’ singles lineup, so despite stellar efforts by both South doubles teams the Woodmen’s 3-2 victory didn’t seem all that close.
Greenwood moves on to Fishers, where it plays Floyd Central or Jasper on Friday in the state quarterfinals.
Also playing Friday, but at Park Tudor, will be South’s Miranda Camp and Nicole Howe, who reached the individual doubles finals for the second straight season by virtue of their 6-4, 6-2 win over the Greenwood team of Taylor Hudnall and Brittany Toney.
“It’s really exciting,” said Howe of the prospect of a second straight finals trip, “but I wish our team could’ve gone with us.”
- More High School Headlines
- Goatee, Bertoli ran away with Spring Athlete of the Year