Local Sports

Top-ranked Waldron overpowers Morristown to retain Victory Bell

In its first defense of the Victory Bell in many years, Class A, No. 1 Waldron got stuck in first gear Friday against a shorthanded Morristown squad.

The Mohawks found their higher gear in the middle quarters, outscoring the Yellow Jackets  38-9 to cruise to a 62-30 victory.

Waldron not only retained the Victory Bell, the traveling trophy amongst the four county high schools, it retained the series’ traveling trophy for the fourth straight year (photo), and also set a program record for consecutive victories to start the season (10) and most consecutive victories in a season.

“I thought we moved the ball better tonight than we have in awhile,” said Waldron coach Anthony Thomas. “We started out real slow. We are trying some different things defensively that you can do in practice but it’s different live in a game and I thought we executed pretty well.”

Ten different Mohawks scored against a Morristown squad that hadn’t played a game since Nov. 24 and was without three varsity players – two seniors and a junior in Gracie Laster, Delaney Cornn and Emma Spahr.

Waldron, now 10-0 (3-0 Mid-Hoosier Conference) to retain the top ranking in Class A for a second consecutive week, shot 44% from the field in the opening quarter but missed several shots from within the lane.

Megan Bogemann hit a pair of three-pointers and Hadlie Ross scored off an offensive rebound to close out the first quarter with a 16-11 advantage.

Waldron put together scoring runs of 7-0, 8-0, 7-0 and 12-0 in the middle two quarters to pull away.

Nichole Garner finished with a game-high 15 points for Waldron and also had three assists and three steals. Bogemann added 11 points and Bella Larrison had 10 points.

Mackenzie Shaw and Hallie Ross each had five rebounds.



Freshmen Danika Rutledge and Nevaeh Sanders led the way for Morristown. Rutledge finished with 10 points and eight rebounds. Sanders had a team-high 12 points and four rebounds.

The Yellow Jackets (5-5, 0-2 MHC) managed just 26 shot attempts and committed 32 turnovers.

“We just didn’t get enough shots,” said Morristown coach Rachel Kleine. “We liked the way we finished. We are missing some ball handlers with varsity experience that would have made a difference. And to see that kind of pressure (from Waldron), we have to take care of the basketball or good teams will make you pay.

“Credit to Waldron, that is a good team. We don’t see that type of competition in our everyday practices. That was a good experience for some of our younger players.”

Morristown returns home tonight to face another top-ranked team in Jac-Cen-Del (8-1), the No. 3 team in Class A.

Entering the weekend, Waldron was one of a dozen girls basketball teams across the state without a loss. That list has dropped to 10.

“I am a little surprised (at being 10-0). Our schedule by all intensive purposes has been pretty brutal,” said Thomas. “When you get in that stretch where you play (Triton Central) and Jac-Cen-Del in five days, but on the other hand I am not (surprised). We are getting back to the way we were playing this summer and these kids are pretty resilient. They absorb a lot of stuff.

“Did I think we’d be 10-0 right now? No. But I am not at all shocked. It has not been an easy road.”

The target Waldron is carrying around will only grow larger as long as it remains unbeaten and the schedule does not lighten any through the holiday season.

The Mohawks are at Class 2A, No. 14 North Decatur (10-3) on Friday. The Chargers’ three losses have come to teams with a combined 24-7 record.

Following a home game with Knightstown (1-10) on Dec. 18, Waldron hosts Batesville (2-8) in the semifinal game of its holiday tournament. The other semifinal features Union County (4-2) and Blackford (5-2).

A rematch with Class 2A, No. 2 Triton Central (8-1) in the Shelby County Tournament is possible and the Mohawks travel to Class 2A, No. 8 Eastern Hancock (9-1) on Jan. 15 in what could be the toughest test left to completing an undefeated season.

“It’s never happened for girls basketball here,” said Thomas of being ranked No. 1 in the state. “It’s something they can tell their kids someday. I’m very proud of them. They haven’t backed their way into it. These kids have earned everything they have gotten to this point.

“Every night (now), they are the hunted. I think they have embraced that like we did tonight. It doesn’t faze them. They are pretty even keeled, almost to the point it’s a detriment sometimes. It’s OK to show some emotion. You have to enjoy this. This isn’t normal. There are a lot of teams that would trade positions with you. I don’t know if we are the No. 1 team or not, but I know if we can stay healthy and keep improving, we are pretty good.”


Waldron 62, Morristown 30

MT: Rogers 0-0 0-0 0, Kleine 1-7 4-6 6, Sanders 4-9 4-5 12, Rutledge 5-7 0-0 10, Lutes 1-1 0-0 2, Rude 0-0 0-0 0, Essex 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 11-26 8-11 30.

WA: Had. Ross 1-4 0-0 2, Shaw 2-7 0-0 4, Bogemann 4-11 0-0 11, Garner 7-12 0-0 15, B. Larrison 5-12 0-0 10, J. Larrison 2-5 0-1 4, Fewell 3-5 0-0 8, Hal. Ross 1-4 2-2 5, Benson 0-1 0-1 0, Hogg 1-1 0-0 2, Fischer 0-1 1-2 1. Totals: 26-62 3-6 62.


MT (5-5)    11    6    3  10  --  30

WA (10-0)  16  19  19   8  --  62

3-point field goals: MT 0-4 (Kleine 0-1, Sanders 0-2, Essex 0-1), WA 7-19 (Shaw 0-1, Bogemann 3-7, Garner 1-3, B. Larrison 0-2, Fewell 2-3, Hal. Ross 1-2, Benson 0-1). Rebounds: MT 21 (Kleine 3, Sanders 4, Rutledge 8, Lutes 6), WA 23 (Had. Ross 2, Shaw 5, Bogemann 2, Garner 1, B. Larrison 1, J. Larrison 1, Fewell 2, Hal. Ross 5, Benson 1, Hogg 2, Fischer 1). Assists: MT 3 (Kleine 2, Lutes 1), WA 11 (Had. Ross 1, Shaw 1, Bogemann 2, Garner 3, B. Larrison 2, Fewell 2). Steals: MT 4 (Rutledge 1, Lutes 1, Rude 2), WA 12 (Had. Ross 2, Shaw 2, Bogemann 3, Garner 3, B. Larrison 1, Fewell 1). Blocks: MT 1 (Sanders 1), WA 1 (Hogg 1). Total fouls: MT 10, WA 10. Turnovers: MT 32, WA 6.