TERRE HAUTE —
The Rockville High School boys basketball team has a lot of fond memories from the 2011-12 season.
Coach Dave Mahurin’s Rox captured the Wabash River Conference (WRC) title with a 7-0 record, won their fourth sectional in five years, finished with a 22-6 overall mark and reached the Class A state championship game in Indianapolis, where they lost to Loogootee 55-52.
Yes, it’s not difficult to find fond memories from that list of accomplishments.
But Mahurin said players and coaches returning for the 2012-13 campaign have a bad taste in their mouths from that final game against Loogootee when their comeback efforts fell short.
“We gave one away,” the veteran coach reflected. “We should have been state champions.”
Ranked No. 3 in The Associated Press’ preseason Class A poll, the Rox think they can make up for that setback by going all the way in 2012-13. They opened their season Tuesday night against Milwaukee (Wis.) Riverside in the Tournament of Champions at Peoria, Ill.
Returning starters aren’t hard to find — 6-foot-7 senior Lane Mahurin, Dave’s son who averaged about 19 points per game last season; 6-1 senior Gary Ulrich, who averaged about 14 ppg; 6-5 senior Jordon McFall, who averaged about 10 ppg; and 6-3 senior Joel Wittenmyer.
“We’re sitting pretty good,” coach Mahurin said over the weekend. “This is the best team I’ve ever had coming back — anywhere.”
That’s saying something, considering he’s starting his 23rd year as a head coach at schools such as Adams Central, South Vermillion and Rockville.
Dave Mahurin said Nick Waltz, a 6-7 senior who started on junior varsity a year ago, has moved up to varsity starter. “He’s just gotten bigger and stronger,” the Rox coach noted.
Keiontre Wilkey, a 5-7 sophomore from the 2011-12 JV squad, is likely to see plenty of playing time right off the bat and so will 6-2 sophomore Cole Griffen, whom coach Mahurin described as “a fantastic shooter.”
But Lane Mahurin, younger brother of Indiana State player R.J. Mahurin, will get the bulk of the attention and rightfully so.
“Lane had a fantastic summer,” Dave Mahurin said of his talented son, who has not committed to a college yet. “He’s improved his jumpshot and he’s still unbelievably good off the dribble.”
But the Rox obviously are not a one-man team.
“We have depth,” the Rox coach emphasized. “We have kids coming off the bench who would have started in previous years. We’re about 11 deep.”
Rockville is clearly the favorite to repeat as WRC champion, but Dave Mahurin expects serious threats from Attica, Fountain Central and North Vermillion.
Also hoping to climb the WRC ladder is Riverton Parke, which ended up with a 4-3 conference mark in 2011-12 (third behind Rockville and 5-2 Attica). The Panthers lost to Rockville 59-41 in the first round of the North Vermillion Sectional to conclude an 11-11 campaign.
“The key to our success will be how well we do offensively,” Riverton Parke coach Charlie Martin assessed. “Defensively, we should be pretty good. We’ve got good quickness.”
Returning starters are 5-11 senior guard Matt Haltom, who averaged 10.0 ppg last season, and 5-10 senior guard Brendon Bovair. Ready to join the starting mix is previous sixth-man Adam Wilson, a 6-0 senior forward.
Martin said the other two starters will come from either 5-5 junior Luther Mathas, 5-9 junior Kyle Sanders (a South Vermillion transfer), 6-1 junior Daniel Organ, 6-1 sophomore Tanner Edge and 6-6 sophomore Hunter Falls.
Riverton Parke will get started tonight at Fountain Central.
Turkey Run, coming off a season that included records of 4-18 overall and 1-6 in the WRC, already got started Tuesday night at South Putnam. The Warriors’ coach is Grant McVay.
North Vermillion, which finished 11-12 and 3-4 respectively under coach Sam Karr in 2011-12, will play host to West Vigo tonight.
SouthWestern Indiana Athletic Conference
For Linton, it’s another year of enjoying football success and getting a late start on basketball preparation.
But Joey Hart, beginning his 15th year as a head coach and third year with the Miners, doesn’t sound worried as his basketball squad gets ready for its season-opening matchup Saturday at North Knox.
“We have a veteran team, so we should be competitive right away,” insisted Hart, whose Miners finished 12-10 overall and 3-5 in the SWIAC in ’11-12.
Ready to carry the load again are 6-5 senior Dess Fougerousse (averaging 15.6 points and 7.6 rebounds per outing last season), 6-8 senior Austin Karazsia (15.5 ppg and 8 rpg) and 6-1 senior Sam Dyar.
Hart said the other two starters will come from 6-4 senior Jackson Bohnert, 6-0 senior Keith Fulk and 6-1 junior Bryant Jackson.
“We should be good, I think, if we can stay healthy,” Hart said of his Miners. “The kids had a nice summer and they’ve worked hard.”
Looking at the SWIAC, won by Eastern Greene with an 8-0 mark last season, Hart doesn’t see any reason why Linton shouldn’t be in the mix of top contenders this season.
Shakamak coach Steve Brett thinks the same about his Lakers, who went 14-9 overall and 6-2 in the SWIAC (second behind Eastern Greene) in 2011-12.
“We’ve got some experience,” he mentioned. “We’re not blessed with a lot of size. They’ve all filled out a little bit … and we’ve got some kids who can shoot the ball. We’ve also got some quickness. A negative might be we don’t have a lot of leadership. We’ll need somebody to step into that role.”
Brodie Crowe, a 6-2 senior who tallied almost 15 ppg a year ago, joins 5-11 senior Patrick Green and 5-10 senior Kyle Schubla as returning starters. Two others who played a lot in ’11-12 are back for another season — 6-2 junior Brandon Morin and 5-10 sophomore Dylan Collins.
Also pushing for a significant role are 5-10 junior Mark West, who has little varsity experience, and 6-4 sophomore Jeff Bessling, whom Brett thinks may start eventually. “A lot of that depends on him,” the Lakers’ coach added, perhaps dropping a hint to the player.
Shakamak won’t tip off its season until Nov. 30 when it visits Bloomfield.
Back to the SWIAC, Brett named North Daviess as another top contender to dethrone Eastern Greene. “It’s going to be much more balanced this year,” he predicted.
Clay City tied North Daviess for third in the SWIAC at 5-3 while on its way to winning the Class A White River Valley Sectional crown in ’11-12. Coach Vance Edmondson’s Eels lost to Hauser 58-50 in overtime in the Martinsville Regional to finish 15-9.
Their new-look season — seven seniors graduated since last season — will get going tonight at home against South Vermillion.
The lone returnee from the Eels’ starting lineup is 6-2 senior Blake Cesinger, who posted averages of 15.5 ppg and 8.5 rpg as a junior.
“He’s going to be our leader,” Edmondson stressed. “We’re going to rely heavily on him for just about everything.”
Clay City’s fourth-year coach mentioned 6-4 junior Josh Miller, 6-2 junior Josh Arcenal and 6-1 junior Steven Phillips as possible starters, plus he hopes to get contributions from the following sophomores — 6-0 Easton Booe, 6-1 Logan Cesinger (Blake’s younger brother), 6-2 Trevor Singer and 6-0 Evan Rogers.
“Due to our lack of size, we’re going to try to use our quickness to our advantage,” Edmondson said.
Another SWIAC team, North Central, would like to forget last season’s records of 6-16 overall and 1-7 in the conference. The Thunderbirds opened their 2012-13 campaign Tuesday night at Cloverdale.
“We’re going to have to have several guys step up and provide overall balance,” NC coach Ryan Kamman emphasized over the weekend.
The T-Birds’ only returning starter is 5-10 senior guard Tod Lebeda, whom Kamman said is the only senior in their top eight players.
Kamman anticipated 5-8 freshman point guard Gavin Stanifer, 6-3 sophomore post man Mitchell Peterson, 5-8 sophomore shooting guard Austin Jewell, 5-10 sophomore Andrew Nikirk and 5-10 junior Nick Stucker stepping in as possible starters with Lebeda.
“We’re pretty small and pretty young,” North Central’s eighth-year coach admitted.
Size-wise, he may get some help off the bench from 6-3 sophomore Loren Drake and 6-3 freshman Neal Greene, depending on how quickly they adapt to the varsity game.
Union, which concluded last season with marks of 4-18 and 0-8 respectively, will play its opener tonight at home against Bloomfield. The Bulldogs are coached by Chip Langley.
Two familiar coaching names to Wabash Valley fans — Pat Rady and Jim Jones — will be guiding teams again this season.
Entering his ninth season at Cloverdale and 49th season overall, Rady took a 714-398 career record into the Clovers’ opener at home against North Central on Tuesday. His first triumph of the season moves him into sole possession of third place on Indiana’s all-time list behind Jack Butcher and the late Howard Sharpe.
Meanwhile, Jones came out of retirement in 2012 to coach Springs Valley. Heading into the Blackhawks’ Tuesday opener at home against Mitchell, he owned a 679-381 mark. He ranks sixth on Indiana’s all-time victory list.
It’s hard to believe, but the not-that-old-looking Tom Brannan is beginning his 21st season as Marshall’s coach and he’s doing so without graduated standouts Logan Cannady and Jacob Duncan from 2011-12.
“We counted on those guys a lot,” Brannan reflected. “We’ve got to have people step up and be important players right off the bat.”
Coming off a 21-7 campaign that ended with a regional loss to Georgetown-Ridge Farm, they’ll get their first opportunity Friday against Pinckneyville in the Capital Classic at Lawrenceville.
The Lions have two returning starters who scored about 10 ppg last season — 6-1 senior guard Thomas Sisson and 6-5 senior center Taylor Maurer — plus they have 6-2 senior guard Walker Berner, who started some last season.
New starters appear to be 6-2 senior forward Cray Bloodworth and 6-2 junior guard Drew Morris.
“I really think one of our strengths is we’ll be a team where you have to guard everybody,” Brannan predicted. “On any given night, any one of them could lead us in scoring.”
Marshall’s key reserves are likely to be 5-10 senior Cole Rice and 6-3 sophomore Keegan Steele.
Turning his attention to the Little Illini Conference, Brannan discussed the addition of Robinson, Olney and Newton to its roster of schools.
“That definitely adds a new dynamic to the conference,” he pointed out, adding that Robinson then Casey should be the favorites to emerge on top of the standings.
“I think we’re one of the top teams after Robinson.”
The Apollo Conference — where Robinson, Olney and Newton came from — added Mattoon to give it six teams this season. Paris will leave the Apollo to join the LIC in 2014.
But first things first.
Paris third-year coach Shawn Nugent, whose team finished 9-18 last season, called Effingham the favorite to win the Apollo this winter.
“I think we’re one of the top three teams,” he added. “I like our team. I feel like we can play seven or eight guys comfortably. … We’ll try to hang our hats on defense. We’ll be able to throw different looks at [opposing] teams. If we can shoot the ball a little bit, we should be OK.”
The Tigers have three returning starters, although one of them — 6-1 senior guard Landon Larrance — will miss the early part of the season with an illness. The other two are 6-3 junior forward Riley Spencer (who averaged close to 10 ppg in ’11-12) and 5-9 junior guard Audie Temples.
Nugent said the new starters will come from 5-9 senior guard Stewart Arp, 6-0 senior point guard Aaron Bain and 6-5 junior center Zack Lueken.
Paris’ opener was slated to be Tuesday against St. Thomas More in the Danville Schlarman Topper Classic.
Turning back to Clark County, Casey third-year coach Steve Hawkins has three returning starters — 6-3 junior guard/forward Brandon Wolfe (averaging 16.0 ppg last season), 6-0 junior guard Zach Murphy (11.0 ppg) and 6-3 senior forward Matt McCown — from a squad that finished 15-12 overall and 6-2 (tied for third) in the LIC.
Another who saw significant action a year ago is back in the form of 6-3 senior guard/forward Trivette Scales.
“This is an exciting year for our basketball program and expectations are high from within,” Hawkins said in an e-mail. “We have a lot of players returning that have a lot of varsity experience and we have four players returning that received postseason mention last season from the LIC coaches. … I look for [Wolfe’s] scoring numbers to continue to increase again this year. He puts in the time to be a great player and I believe the entire area will see his skills in play this season.”
Casey will debut next Tuesday at Sullivan, Ill.
Rox ready for encore of great season
TERRE HAUTE —
The Rockville High School boys basketball team has a lot of fond memories from the 2011-12 season.
- High School
Softball sectionals up for grabs
All three Vigo County high schools and Northview appear to have a realistic chance of winning sectional championships in softball this week.
Vikings win in extra innings at Rockville
West Vigo scored six runs in its first two innings Saturday, then needed a ninth-inning single by Lucas Fagg to escape with a 7-6 extra-inning win in nonconference high school baseball at Rockville.
TH South beats Northview in Big Four makeup baseball game
Terre Haute South wrapped up a share of the MIC baseball title and finished up the Big Four Classic with an 8-1 victory over Northview in less than 24 hours on Saturday morning.
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.
- More High School Headlines
- Softball sectionals up for grabs