TERRE HAUTE —
The Indiana High School Athletic Association Executive Committee voted unanimously (18-0) to return the girls basketball state finals to Terre Haute’s Hulman Center for a second straight year.
With a one-year contract in place once again, next year’s four-game, one-day state finals will be played March 2, 2013.
Terre Haute won out over two other submitted bids — one from Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis and the other from Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne.
BLF, formerly Conseco Fieldhouse, hosted the event for several years, but opted out a few years ago, primarily for commitments to host the Big Ten Men’s and Women’s tournaments. Fort Wayne was the host site in 2010 and 2011.
“The Association wishes to thank all three entities for their submissions of proposals to host our girls state basketball championships,” IHSAA commissioner Bobby Cox said in an official release.
“In the final analysis, the proposal from Terre Haute provided the best support and opportunities to the eight member schools that will arrive at the state finals along with other considerations extended to the IHSAA. The entire Terre Haute community should be proud of their leadership in the creation and execution of this effort.”
Last year’s state finals saw an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 people in Hulman Center through the day. Two games were played starting at 10:30 a.m., the final two games played in the evening.
Thrilling competition greeted fans in attendance, two games going overtime, while one other game was just a three-point decision. Last year’s state champions were Indianapolis North Central (4A), Fort Wayne Concordia (3A), Evansville Mater Dei (2A) and Fort Wayne Canterbury (A).
With a statewide television audience tuning in too, Terre Haute was on the minds of many more people than just those attending.
“We’re excited to be a part of the girls state finals again,” Vigo County School Corporation superintendent Danny Tanoos said. “It was hugely successful last year, a collaborative effort by the Terre Haute Convention and Visitors Bureau, [Indiana State University] and the [Vigo] school system.”
Tanoos is not surprised Terre Haute was chosen over Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
“I think the people involved realized Bankers Life Fieldhouse has conflicts in scheduling in the future,” Tanoos noted. “We hope to have the event for many more years to come.
“This is not necessarily a financial gain for the school system. It’s good for Terre Haute, its hotels, its restaurants. It’s our hope that people will be inclined to come back and visit Terre Haute even when not competing in a tournament.”
Terre Haute’s Convention and Visitor’s Bureau played a large part in coordinating the many amenities for the girls on the participating teams.
To wit, complimentary hotel rooms were afforded each team, numerous gift items for each player, including personalized towels and shirts, and a banquet the night before the event — the first time that had been done in tournament history.
“I’m elated … it’s nice the IHSAA has shown confidence in us again,” THCVB director Dave Patterson said. “It’s a cooperative venture between the Visitor’s Bureau, the [Vigo County] school corporation and ISU. I think it’s the little things we did last year made a difference too. We’ll do no less this year.”
Also asked if the IHSAA selecting Hulman Center over Banker’s Life Fieldhouse is a feather in Terre Haute’s cap, Patterson agreed.
“I feel the teams playing in the smaller venue lends itself to a better show for the fans,” Patterson said. “The sounds, the excitement level was better at Hulman Center.”
One of the teams hoping to reach next year’s state finals is nearby Riverton Parke, a team with several key players returning from a team that was eliminated in the Class A semistate last season.
“It’s a great thing for the schools around here, if they make it [it to state finals],” Riverton Parke coach Josh Douglass said. “We would have a chance to be close to home for the first time in three weeks [by making it to Hulman Center].”
Does the local tournament committee have upgrades in mind for next year’s state finals?
“I want to keep that a secret,” Patterson laughed. “We just want to make [the state finals] an even bigger and better experience for these young ladies.”
New football class could split North, South
‘Tournament success factor’ will affect all team sports
By Andy Amey
The law of unintended consequences seems to have reared its head as the Indiana High School Athletic Association concluded its 2011-2012 business Thursday by announcing a couple of major changes in tournament play.
Beginning with the 2013-14 school year, there will be six classes instead of five in Indiana high school football, and a tournament success factor in all team sports will cause some schools to be bumped up a class if they accumulate a certain number of success points the previous two years.
Wabash Valley fans will have no trouble identifying a couple of the targets of that latter rule: Fort Wayne Canterbury in girls basketball, four-time defending champion Lafayette Central Catholic in baseball. And Vigo County high school football fans are breathing sighs of relief at avoiding Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference foes in postseason games.
On one side of town, anyway.
Longtime IHSAA watchers realize that classes in Indiana are not determined by enrollment, but by grouping schools in equal-sized units. And Class 6A football will not isolate the huge schools in the state, merely cut the former Class 5A in half. The 32 biggest schools will be Class 6A, the next 32 remain in Class 5A — both those classes will have a one-week bye to begin the playoffs — and the other classes remain the same.
One list of recent enrollment figures has Terre Haute North within the top 20 biggest schools, while Terre Haute South ranks in the lower 30s.
Not only might North and South be separated in postseason football — which is not guaranteed yet, by the way — but also some of the smaller public schools in the area could also be dragged upward with the Canterburys and the LCCs. Riverton Parke could be bumped to Class 2A in girls basketball along with Canterbury if the Panthers win the 2013 Class A state title (Canterbury would move up by winning a regional next winter), and Shakamak — losing just two seniors from its baseball team that was runner-up to Central Catholic last week — would move up to 2A along with the Knights if the Lakers earn a chance for revenge next year.
Coach Chris Barrett of North, one of the Patriot deans as well as its football coach, isn’t sure his team will remain in 6A when the enrollment figures are taken again.
“We were down to about 1,880 [students] by the end of the year,” he pointed out, “so it will be interesting to see what the number is at the beginning of next year [when classes will be determined]. We’re right there at the bottom [of potential 6A schools], and a lot of those [bigger] schools are still growing.”
If the problem isn’t North’s, though, there will be a problem for somebody. The smaller 6A schools — potentially more than half of them — will be less than half the size of Carmel, Warren Central or Indianapolis North Central, recently the state’s three largest schools.
“There’s still a huge disparity in the sixth class,” Barrett noted, “but [the change] is still better for the overall system.”
It’s definitely better for Terre Haute South, coach Mark Raetz said.
“We’re pretty excited about it,” he admitted Thursday. “Keeping us in 5A will put us with schools closer to our size.”
If the North-South rivalry can’t be renewed in postseason — “They’ve got several hundred more kids than we do,” Raetz said — the coach expects to see teams such as Bloomington North, Bloomington South, Martinsville and Decatur Central in tournament play, “but I haven’t really looked at it [recently],” Raetz added.
Joining the Braves in Class 5A would be beneficial to the Patriots too, Barrett admitted. “I’m proud of the way my teams have hung in there,” he said, “but these kids also need a payoff to reinforce your message.”
The tournament success factor awards schools in team sports one point for winning a sectional, two points for winning a regional, three points for winning a semistate and four points for winning a state championship. Six points or more in two consecutive years — the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons will be grouped together — would move that school up a class in that particular sport.
Coach Chip Sweet of Shakamak’s baseball team addressed the elephant in the room — recruiting advantages for private schools — while addressing the Lakers’ situation.
“For me, this is a little frustrating,” he told the Tribune-Star. “It seems like we’re being punished for possible wrongdoing by other schools. Obviously you have to have a blanket rule, but for us it’s almost not fair. It almost seems like a punishment [for being successful], but if it eliminates some of the things going on, maybe it’s a good thing.”
The nature of talent in public schools could create some unwarranted class promotions, Sweet indicated, and Barrett agreed with him.
“You’re going to have years [when you are successful] … but it’s hard to maintain that high level,” Sweet said, “and when the next group comes in, they’re going to have to play up a class.”
“Those [private] schools will be good every year,” Barrett said, “but with other schools [talent] is more cyclical.”
Josh Douglass, whose Riverton Parke girls won their first basketball regional last winter but lost at the semistate to Canterbury — which won its third championship in four years — favors the change, even if a championship by his 2013 team and its strong senior class headed by all-state candidate Sara Dickey would mean the next two Panther squads might be ill-equipped for Class 2A tournaments.
“I think [moving up] would be worth it,” he said, “and if I’m a school that continually dominates a class, what fun is it? I would look at [moving up a class] as a great challenge.”
Should his Panthers have another good season in 2012-13, though, Douglass’s team will still be very likely to see Canterbury — and its three or more Division I recruits — on the tournament trail.
“They say we have a level playing field, but we all know it’s really not,” Douglass said. “I think [the tournament success factor] will change some things, and small schools could benefit.”
Terre Haute bid wins out over Indy, Fort Wayne
TERRE HAUTE —
- 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