Conditions heading into the championship game of the Class 2A Paoli Regional for girls high school basketball could have been better for Sullivan on Saturday.
But although the Golden Arrows had a far tougher game two hours later than Evansville Mater Dei — and Mater Dei is ranked first in the state and the defending state champion — they had at least advanced, thanks to a hard-fought 55-45 win over Austin.
And maybe with the promise of a better game ahead of them.
“This was definitely a warmup game,” said Rhagen Smith, who had 13 points and 14 rebounds in the Arrows’ victory. “Last year [when Sullivan lost to Mater Dei in the regional’s first round] there was a little bit of jitters.”
“We got rattled, and that included me for sure,” said Sullivan floor general Caelan Jones, who had a whopper of a stat line all across the board, “but we stepped back, took a deep breath . . . we’re ready for the next game.”
“It shouldn’t have been so hard,” coach Julie Meeks said of her team’s win. “We were really rattled, and a lot of our turnovers were unforced.”
The third-ranked Arrows jumped out quickly on the eighth-ranked Eagles, scoring the game’s first six points and taking a 15-7 lead when Emily Cottom hit a 3-pointer to open the second quarter.
Austin’s entire offense, for more than a quarter, was the driving ability of senior guard Jessie Davidson — but for a while that was almost enough. The Eagles got within 17-16 and then 22-20 before a steal and two free throws by Jones and a Jones pass to Sydney Chapman for a basket enabled Sullivan to lead 26-20 at intermission.
Turnovers helped Austin score the first seven points of the third quarter, but its 27-26 lead lasted just 15 seconds, until Smith converted two free throws at the other end. Jaleigh Gilham followed with a 3-pointer, but Austin’s Kamry Howard matched it to keep the Eagles within 31-30.
Davidson had been stifled in the third quarter, however, with Chapman getting more help from her teammates. And Sullivan found holes in the Austin defense for some easy shots by Smith and Chapman — set up by passes from Cottom and Jones — to enable the Arrows to outscore the Eagles 10-3 in the last half of the third quarter.
“We knew we couldn’t hold the ball too long [against Austin’s trapping defense],” Jones said. “When you move the ball ... [those shots] are there every time.”
Still the turnovers kept Sullivan’s lead from being comfortable, and the Arrows didn’t score for nearly four minutes of the fourth quarter to let Austin back within 41-37. Jones had two free throws and a steal and layup — moments before picking up a fourth foul — and Sullivan used that breathing room to pull away down the stretch.
Chapman led Sullivan in scoring with 14 points, while Gilham had 10 and Jones finished with nine points, eight rebounds, eight assists and seven steals.
She stayed in the game after the four fouls too.
“When I make a turnover, which I did, I want the ball back so bad it’s like a drug to me,” Jones said of her aggressive fouls.
“If I had to pick a most valuable player, it would be Sydney Chapman,” Meeks said afterward. “She played tough D, tough offense ... she played great today.”
Although Davidson finished with a game-high 16 points — including her team’s first nine of the game — she was held to one basket in the second half and her team struggled when she was ineffective.
“She’s one of the toughest I’ve had to guard all year,” said Chapman, who always gets Sullivan’s toughest defensive assignment. “My goal [against players like that] is hold them below their average [Davidson’s is 19 points per game].
“At halftime we decided to help out on her a little more ... hedge out, try to trap her a little bit.”
“We told [the Arrows] the same thing [at halftime] that we told them before the game,” Meeks said. “We wanted to jump out and double her, make her give the ball up.”
Chapman’s points were also part of the game plan, even though her 12 field-goal attempts were more than she’d taken in all but one game this year.
“We knew [the Eagles] were going to be pressuring Caelan and Jaleigh and clogging it in on Rhagen,” Chapman said, “so I knew I had to look for my shot.”
“I think we executed what we needed,” said Smith, “and down the stretch, with the exception of me, we hit our free throws.”
Mater Dei’s route to Saturday night’s championship game was a lot simpler. The Wildcats went on a 15-0 run in the first quarter to take a 20-4 lead and, after Paoli got within 12 points at halftime, opened the third quarter strong to take all doubt away.
Tori Schickel led the winners with 24 points and 11 rebounds, while Ashlynn Spahn scored 12, Beth Fischer had 10 points and nine rebounds and junior star Maura Muensterman was the best player on the floor with nine points, six rebounds and nine assists. Sophie Sears tried hard to keep fourth-ranked Paoli in the game and finished with 12 points, five rebounds and five assists.
SULLIVAN (55) — Harrison 1-5 0-0 2, Chapman 6-12 2-2 14, R.Smith 3-5 7-12 13, Jones 2-4 5-6 9, Gilham 3-7 2-2 10, Cottom 3-7 0-0 7, Wilkes 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-40 FG, 16-22 FT, 55 TP.
AUSTIN (45) — Howard 5-12 2-5 14, Davidson 6-13 3-5 16, Oeffinger 1-5 2-3 4, M.Smith 1-3 1-2 3, Mace 0-2 0-0 0, Riley 1-2 0-0 2, Embrey 2-6 0-0 6, Reynolds 0-0 0-0 0, Jeffries 0-0 0-0 0, Misamore 0-0 0-0 0, Hollan 0-0 0-0 0, Turner 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 16-43 FG, 8-15 FT, 45 TP.
Sullivan 12 14 15 14 — 55
Austin 7 13 13 12 — 45
3-point shooting — Sullivan 3-10 (Gilham 2-6, Cottom 1-4), Austin 5-13 (Howard 2-4, Embrey 2-6, Davidson 1-1, M.Smith 0-2). Total fouls — Sullivan 14, Austin 17. Fouled out — Oeffinger. Technical foul — Gilham. Turnovers — Sullivan 18, Austin 18. Rebounds — Sullivan 37 (R.Smith 14, Jones 8, Harrison 4, Chapman 3, Cottom 3, Gilham 1, team 4), Austin 25 (Oeffinger 5). Assists — Sullivan 15 (Jones 8, Cottom 4, Smith 2, Chapman), Austin 4 (Howard 2). Steals — Sullivan 9 (Jones 7, R.Smith, Gilham), Austin 6 (Davidson 3). Blocks — Sullivan 3 (R.Smith 3), Austin 3 (Howard, Oeffinger, M.Smith).
Next — Sullivan (23-2) and Evansville Mater Dei (25-2) advanced to the regional championship game. Paoli finished 21-2, Austin 19-5.
Tribune-Star staff report Hanover
Rose-Hulman earned a bid to the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament despite Saturday’s 74-63 loss at Hanover College.
The Engineers earned the No. 6 conference tournament seed and will face Hanover in a rematch of Saturday’s game in Friday’s opening round. Rose-Hulman and Hanover will square off at 8 p.m. at Transylvania University.
In Saturday’s game at Hanover, three Rose-Hulman players reached double figures in scoring. Freshman Cassidy Cain led the offensive effort with a career-high 18 points on 5-6 from the field and 3-4 from 3-point range.
Other Engineers in double figures included freshman Addie Johnson with 16 points, and freshman Carrie Morris with 10 points.
Katie Gahimer led Hanover with 22 points, and Alicia Hopkins had 14.
Rose-Hulman jumped out to a 12-5 lead at the 15:20 mark, and the Fightin’ Engineer lead reached 10 points at 22-12 on a layup by Johnson with 9:49 left in the first half. Hanover closed the half on a 9-2 run to trim Rose-Hulman’s lead to 31-30 at the half.
In the second half, the two teams battled to a 36-36 tie after a 3-pointer by Cain at the 16:04 mark. Hanover scored nine straight points to take a 45-36 edge, and Rose-Hulman withstood the charge to remain within 59-51 with 7:36 left. The Panthers answered with eight straight points to push their lead to 67-51.
Rose-Hulman is 12-13 on the season. Hanover is 18-7. The rest of the HCAC field includes top-seeded Transylvania, No. 2 Franklin, No. 4 Defiance and No. 5 Manchester.
ROSE-HULMAN (63) — Cain 5-7 5-6 18, Johnson 6-11 3-6 16, Morris 2-4 5-6 10, Gibbs 3-10 1-2 7, Ploof 3-7 0-0 6, Williams 1-3 2-3 4, Gilliam 1-7 0-0 2, Fuhs 0-0 0-0 0, Dalton 0-0 0-0 0, Ottone 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-49 FG, 16-23 FT, 63 TP.
HANOVER (74) — Gahimer 10-16 0-0 22, Hopkins 4-8 6-8 14, Malloy 3-4 0-1 9, Caudill 2-4 3-6 7, Brewer 2-5 0-0 6, Prater 2-7 2-6 6, Watson 0-2 5-6 5, Weddle 0-2 3-6 3, DeMoss 1-2 0-0 2, Dilley 0-2 0-0 0, Tubb 0-0 0-0 0, Block 0-1 0-0 0, Morse 0-3 0-0 0, Jones 0-0 0-0 0, Pahren 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 24-58 FG, 19-33 FT, 74 TP.
Halftime score — Rose-Hulman 31, Hanover 30. 3-point goals — Rose-Hulman 5-13 (Cain 3-5, Morris 1-3, Johnson 1-3, Williams 0-1, Gilliam 0-1), Hanover 7-18 (Malloy 3-4, Brewer 2-5, Gahimer 2-4, Morse 0-1, Pahren 0-1, Caudill 0-1, Hopkins 0-2). Fouled out—Ploof. Rebounds — Rose-Hulman 39 (Gibbs 10), Hanover 26 (Gahimer 6). Assists — Rose-Hulman 12 (Ploof 4), Hanover 13. Total fouls — Rose-Hulman 22, Hanover 19. A — 350.
Conditions heading into the championship game of the Class 2A Paoli Regional for girls high school basketball could have been better for Sullivan on Saturday.
- High School
Olds pitches South to share of MIC baseball title
Friday night, winning the second game 5-0 and earning a share of the Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference high school baseball title.
Damon Olds was dominant on the mound for the Braves, striking out 14 and walking just one while pitching a three-hit shutout.
South wins first half of doubleheader against Lawrence North
Host Terre Haute South kept its Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference high school baseball title hopes alive — and clinched no worse than second place in the process — by downing Lawrence North 4-1 in the first game of a doubleheader Friday night.
The second game, which started after Senior Night festivities between games, ended past the Tribune-Star deadline.
PREP ROUNDUP: Calleja pitches West Vigo past South Vermillion
Brandon Calleja had 13 strikeouts to lead West Vigo to a 5-1 victory against South Vermillion in high school baseball Friday.
Brandon Behringer went 2 for 4 with two RBI for the Vikings, who secured second place in the Western Indiana Conference.
Kaden Lawson had double for South Vermillion (15-7), which finished 4-2 in the WIC.
Seibert returns from injury to win three events as Braves win sectional crown
His baseball equivalent might be Rick Sutcliffe of the 1984 Chicago Cubs.
When Tyler Seibert returned to the Terre Haute South track and field lineup Thursday for sectional action at Terre Haute North, it was like the midseason trade the Cubs made for Sutcliffe that earned them a playoff spot.
South switches up lineup to defeat North in tennis sectional
Terre Haute South coach Bill Blankenbaker said two weeks ago that he would change the Braves’ lineup after the 3-2 dual-meet loss to Terre Haute North.
The Patriots knew it was coming, but they couldn’t do anything to stop it.
PREP ROUNDUP: North slips past Northview in eight-inning baseball game
Colton Pittman drew a bases-loaded walk to score Zach Milam with the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning as host Terre Haute North edged Northview 8-7 in high school baseball Thursday at Jennings Field.
PREP ROUNDUP: North and South to face off for tennis sectional title
The winner of the Terre Haute sectional for girls high school tennis will come down to Terre Haute North and Terre Haute South.
Terre Haute North gets 10 event victories to claim 12th straight sectional crown
Terre Haute North won 10 events Tuesday night while winning the Indiana High School Athletic Association girls track and field section at South Putnam High School for the 12th straight year.
North, South to meet in first round of baseball sectional
The Indiana High School Athletic Association announced pairings for the baseball state tournament Tuesday and the draw offered up a Vigo County battle in the opening game.
PREP ROUNDUP: West Vigo softball clinches share of WIC title
West Vigo clinched at least a share of the Western Indiana Conference softball title with a 6-4 victory over Edgewood on Tuesday.
Jacy McClain and Bailee Waters had RBI singles in the fourth inning to break the game open for the Vikings.
Track sectional titles on the line
Expect one heck of a high school dual track meet Thursday night when Wabash Valley boys visit Terre Haute North for sectional action.
Prep report: Patriots, Braves favored to advance from tennis sectional 1st round
Persons attending this week’s girls tennis sectional championship match at Terre Haute North might want to pack a lunch.
Local ADs happy to see spring come to a close
Brian Mancuso is the most experienced of the high school athletic directors in Vigo County — and that’s a very relative term — but even he wasn’t quite ready for the headaches that have accompanied spring sports the last few weeks thanks to rain, rain and more rain.
South baseball remains in first-place tie with Center Grove
Heading into Saturday’s Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference baseball doubleheader against Center Grove, coach Kyle Kraemer of Terre Haute South wasn’t completely optimistic.
Kehrt Award goes to Emily Bell, Lee Davis
Emily Bell of Terre Haute South and Lee Davis of Terre Haute North are the 2013 recipients of the Willard M. Kehrt Mental Attitude Award.
Bell and Davis were nominated by their schools and chosen in a vote by the Kehrt Award panel. Both will be recognized at awards assemblies later in the month at the schools.
Bell played varsity basketball four years at South and is competing in track this season, running the 800 and two relays. “I wanted something to do my senior year,” Bell said.
She plans to attend DePauw University and play basketball. DePauw is the reigning NCAA Division III champ in women's basketball.
Bell tore an AÇL playing in a basketball tournament the summer after her sophomore season. She missed most of her junior season but came back to play her senior year and was second leading scorer and leading rebounder her final season.
Bell also was leading rebounder her sophomore year.
South softball's power display earns Braves share of MIC
The fun that the Terre Haute South high school softball team had Saturday — including those five home runs — was all the result of the hard work the Braves had put in before the game, coach Dwayne Stout said after the game.
Pirtle takes medalist, leads Sullivan to WIC title
Sullivan took team and individual honors in the Western Indiana Conference boys high school golf championships played Saturday at Idle Creek.
Prep roundup: Patriots drop doubleheader to Carmel baseball
Host Terre Haute North saw its Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference baseball championship hopes suffer what was probably a fatal blow on Saturday as the Patriots lost a doubleheader to Carmel by scores of 8-7 and 11-8.
Timely hits: After slow start, Terre Haute North rallies to beat Mooresville
No-hit through three innings, Terre Haute North’s bats came alive — especially Sam Wolf’s — just in time to rally for a 4-2 home victory over Mooresville in high school baseball Friday evening at Jennings Field.
Linton’s Weber to coach at BNL
Bedford North Lawrence High School has announced that Steve Weber will be the Stars’ head coach for the 2013 season.
Freshman group adds to Big Four teams' baseball tradition
The Terre Haute North-Terre Haute South high school baseball series wasn’t an inning old last week before T.J. Collett of the Patriots lashed a run-scoring single.
That hit helped the Patriots take a 2-0 lead, but in the top of the second inning a three-run double by Justin Jenkins sparked the visiting Braves to a four-run inning.
North tied the score in the bottom of the second inning, Collett driving in another run. And just before rain caused the game to be suspended, South called Logan Ames in from its bullpen for some solid pitching.
Not bad for a trio of freshmen. And the weekend hadn’t even started yet.
Pairings drawn for high school softball sectionals
The IHSAA announced Thursday its pairings for the 2013 sectional softball tournament slated for May 20-25.
Regionals will take place May 28.
North boys make it three consecutive Vigo County golf titles
Terre Haute North made it three in a row in Vigo County boys high school golf championship action Wednesday at Hulman Links.
The Patriots shot 161 to edge Terre Haute South with 165. West Vigo carded 222.
PREP ROUNDUP: Wolf homers as North baseball wins 16th game
Terre Haute North erupted for seven runs in the third inning on its way to routing visiting White River Valley 14-1 in 41⁄2 innings of high school baseball Wednesday afternoon at Don Jennings Field.
Northview's Carter strikes out 19 in 10-inning win against South Vermillion
Northview’s Taylor Carter and South Vermillion’s Daphne Dunegan locked into a 10-inning all-star softball pitching duel Tuesday night at Northview High School.
Unfortunately, one of them had to lose.
PREP BASEBALL ROUNDUP: South Vermillion 4-0 in WIC after 4-3 win at Northview
Jordan Branz won his ninth game of the season, scattering six hits over eight innings to lead South Vermillion to a 4-3 victory at Northview in a Western Indiana Conference battle.
Thompson going into Indiana High School Football Hall of Fame
Former Terre Haute North High School standout Anthony Thompson is the newest member of the Indiana High School Football Hall of Fame.
PREP ROUNDUP: South tennis wins against Oldenburg Academy
Playing on Ben Davis’ courts, Terre Haute South pulled out a 4-1 victory over Oldenburg Academy in girls high school tennis Tuesday.
Multiple records fall in Big Four track meet
Terre Haute North dominated the girls competition, as expected, and Terre Haute South’s boys edged the host Patriots in what turned out to be a rain-soaked Big Four Classic high school track and field meet Saturday at North.
Despite the less-than-ideal weather, North’s girls set four meet records in compiling 132.5 points, outdistancing the runner-up Braves, who had 63.5.
Four teams still in running for Big Four baseball crown
The 2013 Big Four baseball tournament was going to last longer than Saturday anyway, thanks to a schedule change this season.
Thanks to steady rain at Terre Haute North, it will last even longer than planned.
Terre Haute South beat West Vigo 2-0 in Saturday morning’s first game, and the second contest between Northview and the host Patriots was halted in the top of the third inning as the field became unplayable.
- More High School Headlines
- Olds pitches South to share of MIC baseball title