TERRE HAUTE —
Another Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic is history and, once again, was a smashing success.
Great is the only word to describe the event: great games, great players, great teams, great coaches, great fans, great sportsmanship.
Kudos go to Gary Fears and his people — first of all for starting the tournament and for sponsorship and organization. And thanks to all of the folks at Terre Haute South for all the hours they spent during holiday break as host school.
All of the teams will resume regular-season action this week in Indiana and Illinois. Not many teams have the tough schedule that awaits Casey-Westfield.
To backtrack, the Warriors played two ranked teams prior to the Classic, then met Rockville, the No. 1 Class A team in Indiana, in their tourney opener, and faced Linton, another ranked team going into the Classic.
Coach Steve Hawkins’ 8-3 team will face unbeaten Newton on Friday, a very good St. Joe-Ogden team on Saturday and then will play Robinson on Tuesday.
Linton, Shakamak and Clay City — which played in the North Daviess Classic — all will be their second tournament in as many weeks, competing in the Greene County Invitational.
Linton and Eastern share the favorite’s roles but other teams very well could reign as champ come Saturday night.
Tom-Cattin’ It — Indiana State moved up quite a bit in the Sagarin college basketball rankings following their success in the Diamond Head Classic and could move up again this week after beating Illinois State.
The Sycamores were at 105 in the Dec. 27 list. Some other figures: Arizona 6, Indiana 9, Creighton 12, Wichita State 19, Illinois 23, San Diego State 28, Illinois State 29, Butler 37, Northern Iowa 93, Bradley 103, Evansville 124, Purdue 138, Southern Illinois 145, Drake 147.
• The Charlotte Bobcats ended their 18-game NBA losing streak Monday, beating Chicago 91-81.
• Tim Tetrick is the Harness Driver of the Year for the third time. Some of his first races were at the fairs in Illinois.
• Boise State has decided to stay in the Mountain West Conference in football instead of being in the Big East.
• Former Indiana State cage assistant Jerry Hoover is in his fourth decade of coaching basketball. He is the coach of the Logansport boys team.
• John Gagliardi has decided to retire from coaching football. He won 489 games in 60 seasons at St. John’s in Minnesota, an NCAA Division III school.
• With all the NFL coaches being fired, you can almost bet some team officials will be contacting Bruce Arians, who was the interim coach for most of the Indianapolis Colts’ improbable run to the postseason.
He certainly should be one of the team’s many candidates for NFL honors.
• Mt. Carmel (Ill.) junior Tyra Buss is the leading prep girls basketball scorer in the country. She’s averaging about 37 points per game.
• Northwestern’s football team got its first bowl victory on Tuesday since 1949, when the Wildcats won in the Rose Bowl. Since then, they had lost nine in a row going into their game with Mississippi State.
• Ben Davis is the early leader in Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference boys basketball standings with a 2-0 mark. Lawrence North and Carmel both are 1-0 and Terre Haute South is in fourth at 1-1 going into its game with Warren Central.
Center Grove is in first place in the MIC girls standings at 3-0. North Central and Lawrence North are both 2-0.
Tom Reck may be contacted by telephone at (812) 232-3231, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail at 4284 South 5th Street, Apt. 3, Terre Haute, IN 47802.