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TC wrestling program building up new athletes chasing postseason appearances

With six seniors lost to graduation, Triton Central wrestling coach Trey Miller believes his program settles into a rebuilding mode this season.

Three of the seniors lost advanced to regional or semistate rounds of the state tournament. That puts leadership responsibilities on a new set of veterans as underclassmen work their way into varsity roles.

“We have good athletes but this will be a big building year, especially for the younger kids to see what it’s like at the high school level,” said Miller. “We will have to prepare and wrestle tough to have a successful season.”

The Tigers were set to debut tonight in a dual meet at Indianapolis Lutheran but that has been postponed due to the Saints winning the Class A football state championship Friday at Lucas Oil Stadium. A complete roster could not be put together in time to face Triton Central.

So Miller and the Tigers will wait another week to debut at home against Eastern Hancock.

“It’s a good place to start against another smaller school,” admitted Miller. “We can compare athletes and get a couple of matches in before wrestling larger schools.”

Following the Dec. 7 opener, the Tigers will travel to Union County for a dual match on Dec. 9 then compete in the Plainfield Invitational on Dec. 11.

Triton Central will likely debut with two of the 14 weight classes vacant. Miller expects to forfeit matches at 120 pounds this season and will forfeit at 138 but that could change as the season progresses.

Ayden Nufio returns at 106 pounds after enduring a tough first season.

“He is stronger and bigger than last year,” said Miller of the sophomore. “He took some lumps as a freshman plus he was about 20 pounds underweight.”

Freshman Dayne Bailey will debut at 113 pounds after four years of middle school wrestling experience.

“He has a good base of wrestling,” said Miller.

Ethan Booth has been a .500 wrestler the last two seasons but Miller sees the junior ready to have a breakout season.

Senior Marcus Davis returns to the program after not wrestling as a junior. Davis will start the season at 132 pounds.

Lucas Kleeman, a junior, and senior Jaden Ferris are battling for the 145 slot. Ferris could drop weight down to fill the 138 position if he does not secure the 145 position, according to Miller.

“Kleeman is a leader on the team,” said Miller. “He works really hard in the room.”

There are five wrestlers in competition for three weight classes (152, 160 and 170).

Sophomore Peyton Burris and freshman Aaron Heinemann are battling at 152.

Junior Trevor Ashman, and seniors Isaak Booth and Tristan Gibbons are in the mix for 160 and 170.

Gibbons did not wrestle as a junior but returns to the program down at least 20 pounds from his sophomore year. Gibbons is one of Triton Central’s best bets to be a regional qualifier in 2022, according to Miller.

Roncalli transfer Hadyn Ball takes over at 182. The junior was a regional qualifier last season and could make a deeper run into the postseason as a Tiger.

Freshman Andrew Bailey takes over at 195 and junior Austin Myers follows at 220.

Aden Sosbe, a junior, did not wrestle last season and gives Triton Central a “true” heavyweight in the 285-pound division.

Triton Central will compete in the New Palestine Invitational on Dec. 18 and close out the 2021 schedule at the Spartan Classic in Connersville.

The Tigers’ annual dual meet with Shelbyville is Jan. 6 in Fairland.

Two days later, the Tigers travel to Maconaquah for an invitational tournament.

The Indiana Crossroads Conference Meet is Jan. 15 at Beech Grove and the Ritter Invitational one week later closes out the regular season schedule.

The postseason starts Jan. 29 at the Warren Central Sectional.

Pair of Tigers named to All-ICC Football Team

With all Indiana Crossroads Conference football teams’ seasons complete, the conference has released the 2021 All-ICC Football Team.

Conference champion Lutheran, who finished off the season Friday capturing the Class A state championship, placed six on the 26-member all-conference squad.

Montasi Clay, Christian Pulliam, Jake Pasch, Micah Mackay, Joe Davis and Cur’Brian Shelby lead the All-ICC team.

Triton Central finished fifth in the conference standings and had two all-conference selections in sophomore running back Ray Crawford (1,273 yards rushing, 433 yards receiving, 14 total touchdowns) and senior Jayden Mays, who played on the offensive line, linebacker and was the team’s punter.

Also earning all-conference selections were Speedway’s DeeJay McFerson, Reis Walker, Carter Watson, Carmell Perry and Marvin Germany; Monrovia’s Jett Massey, Dustin Kostrzewski and Cole Petty; Scecina’s DeQuan Stennis, Tamir Woods, Luke Soultz, Mason Beriault and Travion Woods; Beech Grove’s Damon Thompkins and Damonte Henderson; Ritter’s Austin Sultzer; and Cascade’s Liam Farmer and Walker Van Ness.

Lutheran (15-0) won the ICC title with a 7-0 mark. The Saints defeated Adams Central, 34-28, to complete its first state championship run.

Speedway (9-3), Scecina (10-4) and Monrovia (7-4) all finished 5-2.

Triton Central (8-5) followed at 3-4. Beech Grove (3-7) was 2-5.

Cascade (3-7) finished 1-6 while Ritter (1-10) was 0-7.


Triton Central handles big-game environment better to defeat Shelbyville

Shelbyville did not have the experience nor the composure needed to defeat Triton Central.

In a raucous environment Saturday night in Fairland, all five Triton Central starters – all seniors – scored in double digits to push the Tigers’ record to 2-0 this season.

Josh Kemper scored a game-high 18 points followed by Josiah Blair’s 17. Blair also had eight rebounds, four blocks and four assists.

Caleb Miller finished with 12 while Alex Crouse and Aiden Lindsey each had 11. Lindsey had eight first-quarter points but was in foul trouble the rest of the way.

“We preach to our kids all the time about controlling what they can,” said Triton Central coach Kyle Ballard, who is the first TC coach to defeat the Golden Bears in consecutive years. “I thought our experienced guys answered the bell. We turned it over a lot more than we wanted too. As physical as it was and defensively (Shelbyville) is very sound, I think our kids kept our composure pretty well.”

Shelbyville got an early lead with back-to-back baskets from Ollie Sandman and Jakob Heaton but the Tigers put together scoring runs of 9-0 and 14-0 to build a 25-11 lead that the Golden Bears (1-1) never overcame.

The second quarter turned sloppy as both teams combined for 17 turnovers and just 12 shot attempts.

Shelbyville went frenetic with its guard-heavy defense in the third quarter and had some success, outscoring the Tigers 17-11 to cut the lead to 48-38 with eight minutes left.

Foul troubles, turnovers and overall poor execution from the free-throw line stifled any comeback attempt in the fourth quarter.

“We have a young group of guys where most haven’t been in this position before. A lot of new faces on the varsity floor and that was the start of the game right there,” said Shelbyville coach John Hartnett Jr. “We’re in a big environment here with a lot of fans yelling and screaming. A lot were nervous just like on Wednesday (a season-opening win at home over Rushville). We are going to have to work on that and make sure our guys are under control and doing things the right way.”

 

 

Shelbyville was 5 of 17 from the floor in the fourth quarter while Triton Central shot 80% and connected on 14-of-18 free throws to pull away.

“They hit a lot of shots. They will do some damage in 2A this year,” said Hartnett Jr. “The biggest thing I’m taking away from here is what we didn’t do on our end – making free throws, not turning the ball over, missing some easy shots and on the defensive end, Triton Central put up 79 points. That’s a lot of points and we have to get back to work to head to Connersville next week and compete with them.”

A trio of Golden Bears scored 48 of the 57 points. Sandman finished with a team-high 17. Heaton added 16 and Luke Brinkman had 15.

Shelbyville is at the Spartan Bowl Saturday night against Connersville (2-0).

With Lindsey sidelined most of the final three quarters, Triton Central had to turn to other veterans to pick up the offensive slack.

“It’s one of those scenarios you kind of talk about in the coach’s office – what do you do if Lindsey gets in foul trouble?” said Ballard. “I think, like the physicality of that game, it was good for us to experience and see what it’s like not to play with him. We had to make some changes on the fly that we weren’t prepared for. I can’t talk enough about how proud I am of our kids and their ability to adjust and fight through and control what they can.”

Triton Central finished 28 of 39 from the field (72%) and 17 of 22 from the free-throw line (77%).

Triton Central will host Waldron (2-0) Thursday in Fairland.

Shelbyville’s junior varsity improved to 2-0 with a 52-29 victory over Triton Central. The Golden Bears trailed 13-10 after the first quarter, outscored the Tigers 20-9 over the middle two quarters and put up 22 points in the final seven minutes for the win.

Kohen Myers led Shelbyville with 16 points. Eli Chappelow had 10.

Silas Blair led Triton Central (1-1) with eight points. Sam Kemper finished with six.

 

Triton Central 79, Shelbyville 57

SH: Sandman 6-17 2-4 17, Brinkman 3-8 6-12 15, Heaton 7-12 0-0 16, Macaluso 0-1 0-0 0, Smothers 2-4 0-0 6, Parker 1-2 1-2 3, Conover 0-0 0-0 0, Chappelow 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 19-45 9-18 57.

TC: Blair 6-10 3-3 17, Crouse 3-6 4-4 11, Miller 4-5 2-2 12, Lindsey 4-5 3-4 11, Kemper 7-9 4-6 18, Morgan 2-3 1-3 5, Faust 1-1 0-0 3, Dewey 0-0 0-0 0, Krebs 1-1 0-0 2, Palmer 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 28-39 17-22 79.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

SH (1-1)  11  10  17  19  –  57

TC (2-0)  25  12  11  31  –  79

3-point field goals: SH 10-21 (Sandman 3-10, Brinkman 3-4, Heaton 2-3, Smothers 2-3, Chappelow 0-1), TC 6-11 (Blair 2-5, Crouse 1-2, Miller 2-3, Kemper 0-1, Faust 1-1).

Rebounds: SH 17 (Sandman 3, Brinkman 3, Heaton 1, Macaluso 1, Smothers 5, Parker 2, Conover 2), TC 20 (Blair 8, Crouse 1, Miller 4, Lindsey 3, Kemper 2, Morgan 3, Krebs 1). Assists: SH 3 (Sandman 2, Heaton 1), TC 15 (Blair 4, Crouse 4, Miller 3, Lindsey 2, Kemper 1, Morgan 1). Steals: SH 8 (Sandman 1, Brinkman 3, Heaton 1, Macaluso 1, Parker 2), TC 4 (Blair 1, Crouse 1, Miller 1, Morgan 1). Blocks: TC 7 (Blair 3, Crouse 1, Lindsey 1, Kemper 1, Morgan 1). Total fouls: SH 23, TC 17. Fouled out: Sandman, Parker (SH), Lindsey (TC). Turnovers: SH 17, TC 19.

JV

Shelbyville 52, Triton Central 29

SH: Myers 16, Chappelow 10, Badgley 8, Runnebohm 6, Conover 4, Lambert 4, Sherwood 2, Fortune 1, K. Parker 1).

TC: S. Blair 8, S. Kemper 6, Collier 5, Chandler 3, Baugh 3, Goul 2, Stuckey 2.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

SH  10  11  9  22  –  52

TC  13    4   5    7  –  29

Waldron starts tough phase of schedule with impressive win over Greenwood Christian

A daunting five-game stretch of the regular season will show head coach Anthony Thomas the might of his Waldron girls basketball program.

Over a three-week span, Waldron takes on a two-time defending regional champion, the No. 1 team in Class 2A, the No. 4 team in Class A, its sister-school program that has a winning record and then the No. 13 team in 2A. Combined, those five programs are currently 28-11.

The kicker is Waldron is 7-0 and now ranked No. 2 in Class A.

The challenging run started Saturday afternoon with a 70-40 win over Greenwood Christian, the Southwestern Regional champion the last two seasons.

Greenwood Christian head coach Alan Weems’ program was hit hard by graduation, though, and has just nine players on this season’s roster.

“We’re still learning and we’re just not shooting the ball well,” said Weems after the loss. “We have better shooters than we’re showing right now. We were 10-for-48 today and we’re hitting 32% for the year. So as soon as we start shooting the ball we will be better.”

There was no junior varsity game Saturday afternoon.

Waldron sent a statement early in the first quarter with four made 3s in the game’s first four minutes. The Mohawks raced out to a 14-1 lead and the game was never close.

Nichole Garner finished with a team-high 18 points which moved her into the 500-point club at Waldron. The senior also had six assists.

Megan Bogemann hit four 3s, including three in the opening quarter, and finished with 15 points.

Bella Larrison scored 10 points and collected five assists. Hadlie Ross has a game-high 12 rebounds.

Waldron led 45-20 at halftime and was one solid run away from initiating a running clock in the second half. And a 6-0 run to start the third quarter pushed the lead to 51-20 but turnovers and fouls start accumulating and the Mohawks went scoreless for nearly an 8-minute stretch.

“The kids were frustrated and we got out of our flow but the good thing is they did what they needed to do well in the first half so if you have to have a quarter like that, we can,” said Thomas. “It’s not ideal. We have to be better. We have to make better decisions.”

Dani Simon led Greenwood Christian with 20 points and seven rebounds. Dory O’Dell had four points and nine rebounds. Ellie Bigelow finished with 10 points – all from the free-throw line.

Simon, O’Dell and Bigelow are all seniors.

“We have had a lot of change (to our roster) and you see it,” said Weems. “It does take awhile to mesh everything. We’re still meshing.”

Waldron shot 49% from the field, 42% from the 3-point line, while trying to improve an up-tempo mentality.

“We are happy with these kids but we are always polishing and that’s what we’re trying to do with these kids now,” said Thomas, who rotated eight players Saturday with seven being seniors. “Not that they know everything or are the best team in the state but they have worked hard and absorbed the game to where now we can polish and fix these things that are glaring problems. Some of the things happening now will get better as the season goes along. That’s how you get to where you want to go.”

Waldron was 18-4 last season and suffered a 52-50 loss to eventual sectional champion Southwestern in its opening postseason game.

“Everything with this group right now is from what I call the 35,000-foot level, whether it be film or a specific possession in a game where you are teaching and learning from it and not making that mistake again, making teams earn their points, quit sending them to the free-throw line,” said Thomas, who has already announced his coaching retirement after this season. “With this group, there is a happy medium there. You want them to be extremely aggressive but you have to be aggressive when it warrants. Somewhere in the middle there is this team’s sweet spot and we haven’t found it yet, but we are working toward it.”

Waldron is at Class 2A, No. 1 Triton Central (6-0) Friday then hosts Class A, No. 4 Jac-Cen-Del (6-0) on Dec. 7. The Mohawks and Eagles are in the same sectional with Southwestern, Morristown, Hauser, Rising Sun and Oldenburg Academy.

Waldron then hosts Morristown (5-4) on Dec. 10 and travels to Class 2A, No. 13 North Decatur (8-2) on Dec. 17.

 

Waldron 70, Greenwood Christian 40

GC: Bigelow 0-8 10-15 10, O’Dell 1-7 2-6 4, Jolley 0-1 0-0 0, Simon 8-18 1-2 20, Waldron 1-12 1-2 4, Carlson 0-0 2-2 2, Swan 0-1 0-0 0, Petersen 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 10-48 16-27 40.

WA: Had. Ross 2-3 0-0 4, Bogemann 5-8 1-2 15, Garner 7-15 2-3 18, B. Larrison 3-7 3-4 10, Shaw 1-1 0-0 2, J. Larrison 3-6 1-2 7, Fewell 2-5 0-0 5, Hal. Ross 3-7 1-2 7, Benson 0-0 2-2 2, Fischer 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 26-53 10-15 70.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

GC (3-5)    5  15  7  13  --  40

WA (7-0) 23  22  6  19  --  70

Three-pt. field goals: GC 4-19 (Bigelow 0-4, Simon 3-9, Waldron 1-6), WA 8-19 (Bogemann 4-7, Garner 2-4, B. Larrison 1-3, Fewell 1-2, Hal. Ross 0-3).

Rebounds: GC 26 (Bigelow 6, O’Dell 9, Jolley 1, Simon 7, Waldron 2, Sloan 1), WA 35 (Had. Ross 12, Bogemann 2, Garner 3, B. Larrison 2, Shaw 2, J. Larrison 8, Fewell 2, Hal. Ross 2, Fischer 2). Assists: GC 5 (Bigelow 2, O’Dell 1, Waldron 1, Sloan 1), WA 17 (Had. Ross 1, Bogemann 1, Garner 6, B. Larrison 5, Shaw 2, Fewell 1, Fischer 1). Steals: GC 8 (Bigelow 4, Simon 1, Waldron 3), WA 8 (Had. Ross 1, Bogemann 2, Garner 3, Shaw 1, J. Larrison 1). Blocks: GC 3 (Waldron 1, Carlson 1, Sloan 1), WA 3 (Bogemann 1, Shaw 1, B. Larrison 1). Total fouls: GC 12, WA 21. Fouled out: Shaw (WA). Turnovers: GC 20, WA 16.


Prep Report: Mitchell leads Waldron to home-opening win over Knightstown

Lucas Mitchell scored 11 of his team-high 26 points in the fourth quarter to help Waldron net its second win of the season.

Mitchell hit a pair of three-pointers in the second quarter and connected on 7-of-8 free-throw attempts over the final eight minutes Saturday night to lead the Mohawks to a 49-44 win over visiting Knightstown.

Bryce Yarling and Bryant Becker each had seven points for Waldron, now 2-0 for the second straight season. Caden Sheaffer added six points.

Waldron led 10-4 after one quarter and 23-17 at halftime.

Michael Roberson scored 11 of his team-high 19 points in the third quarter as the Panthers cut the Mohawks’ lead to 36-32.

Roberson hit a pair of 3s in the fourth quarter but Knightstown (1-0) could not complete the comeback.

Mason Fields scored nine points and Connor Pyle finished with eight.

Knightstown won the junior varsity game, 40-24.

Waldron will put its perfect record on the line Thursday at Triton Central (2-0).

In other prep basketball games:

Boys basketball

Southwestern 42, Morristown 30

At Southwestern, Jordan Jones scored 24 points to lead the Spartans (1-1, 1-0 Mid-Hoosier Conference) to their first win of the season.

Jones hit a pair of 3s in the first and third quarters and scored seven points in the fourth.

 

 

Jonah DeArmitt had nine points and Aiden Hartsell scored seven.

Southwestern took a 12-4 lead after one quarter Saturday night and extended the lead to 22-9 at halftime.

Nolan Laster scored a team-high 16 points for Morristown (0-2, 0-1 MHC).

 

 

Nick Stidham and Carson Conrad each had six points.

Morristown won the junior varsity game, 30-22.

Morristown hosts Hauser (1-2) Friday at the Bee Hive. Southwestern is at Triton Central (2-0) Saturday.

Girls basketball

Pendleton Heights 77, Shelbyville 55

At Shelbyville, three Arabians combined for 44 points and the Golden Bears’ allowed a season-high points in its Hoosier Heritage Conference opener.

Whitney Warfel topped Pendleton Heights (6-1, 3-0 HHC) with 20 points Saturday afternoon at Garrett Gymnasium. Kaycie Warfel had 14 and Abi Rosenkrans finished with 10.

 

 

Ava Wilson had a team-high 18 points for Shelbyville (4-3, 0-1 HHC). Madison Phares added 17. Kylee Edwards and Abby Brenner each had eight.

The Arabians led 19-9 after one quarter then outscored the Golden Bears 23-4 in the second quarter for a 42-13 lead at halftime.

Shelbyville won the junior varsity game, 32-30, to improve to 6-0 this season.

The Golden Bears are on the road Friday night at Franklin County (4-5).

Trinity Lutheran 57, Southwestern 48

At Southwestern, Bailey Tabeling scored a game-high 34 points to lead Class A, No. 2 Trinity Lutheran (4-0) to its fourth win of the season.

Trinity Lutheran led 32-24 at halftime and 45-32 after three quarters but the Spartans (3-4) battled back.

Lily Kerber scored eight of her team-high 18 points in the fourth quarter.

 

 

Cy Stockdale hit four 3s on the way to 14 points and Lilly Rooks finished with eight points.

Trinity Lutheran won the junior varsity game, 40-13.

Jordan Brewer had a game-high 15 points to lead the visitors.

Amber Benson led Southwestern with six points.

Southwestern is at Class 2A, No. 9 Eastern Hancock (7-1) Tuesday.

Shelby County Tournament draw produced identical brackets

The pairings for the 2022 Shelby County Tournament are set in stone.

Waldron High School (photo) is the host site for January’s tournament. Athletic director Alex Engelbert hosted the annual pre-tournament meeting Monday morning at Grandma’s Pancake House in Shelbyville.

The four-team brackets for the girls and boys tournaments were randomly drawn.

The opening game of the girls tournament Jan. 6 at Waldron features the host Mohawks (7-0), ranked No. 2 in Class A, taking on Southwestern (3-4) and first-year coach Jason West.

“There are two very good teams in this tournament to go up against. I am really excited to be a part of this for the first time,” said West, son of Hank West, who won multiple Shelby County tournament titles during his coaching career. “As a young boy, I saw a lot of good games (in the county tourney). I have a lot of good memories with my family.”

Waldron defeated Southwestern, 59-39, on Nov. 12.

“Waldron is a great team that we saw earlier this year. They do a lot of great things,” said West. “It’s another opportunity to get better as a team and go against a quality opponent.”

The second semifinal Jan. 6 pits Morristown (5-4) against Class 2A, No. 1 Triton Central (6-0). The Tigers defeated Morristown, 42-21, on Nov. 24.

The girls tournament championship game is slated for 6 p.m. on Jan. 8 at Waldron.

The boys tournament draw produced identical pairings.

In the first semifinal game on Jan. 7, Southwestern (1-1) takes on Waldron (2-0). The Spartans and Mohawks will meet on Dec. 18 at Southwestern.

“We drew Waldron and Waldron is starting off pretty good,” said Southwestern head coach Brady Days, who will be participating in his 16th county tournament this season. His three coaching counterparts in the tournament have a combined four county tourney appearances as head coaches. “They are much improved. Coach (Beau) Scott has to be happy he has an experienced bunch for once.”

The second semifinal has Morristown (0-2) taking on Triton Central (2-0). The Tigers defeated the Yellow Jackets, 52-24, on Nov. 24 in the season opener for both teams.

The boys tournament championship game will follow the conclusion of the girls tournament celebration on Jan. 8.

“If you look at it on paper, Southwestern and Morristown graduated a lot of kids but I wouldn’t look past anybody,” said Days.

Triton Central is the defending county tourney champions in both tournaments.


Waldron climbs to No. 2 in girls basketball Class A poll

Friday night’s marquee matchup became a little more stellar with the release of this week’s Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association girls basketball polls.

With its win Saturday afternoon over Greenwood Christian, Waldron improved to 7-0 this season and rose to No. 2 in the Class A rankings ahead of facing Class 2A, No. 1 Triton Central (6-0) Friday in Fairland.

Lanesville (8-1) is the No. 1 team in Class A this week with the Mohawks, Trinity Lutheran (4-0), Jac-Cen-Del (6-0), Vincennes Rivet (5-0), Lafayette Central Catholic (5-1), Fort Wayne Blackhawk (6-1), Tecumseh (2-3), Morgan Township (6-2) and Kouts (5-2) rounding out the top 10.

Triton Central will host Greensburg (1-7) Tuesday before prepping for Waldron.

Winchester (5-0) is No. 2 this week ahead of Tipton (3-1), Fairfield (7-0), Frankton (6-1), Forest Park (5-1), South Central (Union Mills) (6-0), Eastern (Pekin) (4-2), Eastern Hancock (7-1) and a three-way tie for No. 10 in Evansville Mater Dei (3-1), Rensselaer Central (7-2) and South Knox (5-2).

North Decatur (8-2) is tied for No. 13 with Andrean (3-2).

South Bend Washington (7-1) sits atop the Class 3A poll. Mishawaka Marian (5-1) is No. 2 with Silver Creek (7-0), Benton Central (7-0), Garrett (6-1), Norwell (7-1), Evansville Memorial (3-0), Twin Lakes (7-1), Salem (4-2) and Washington (6-1) completing the top 10.

Noblesville (7-0) is unbeaten and No. 1 in Class 4A. Chasing the Millers are Crown Point (6-1), Franklin (8-0), Bedford North Lawrence (6-1), North Central (6-2), Homestead (5-1), Fishers (6-1), Columbus East (7-1), Zionsville (6-2) and Jennings County (7-0).

Triton Central's depth too much for Morristown in season opener at Bee Hive

Triton Central’s depth proved too much for Morristown to overcome in the season opener for both teams Wednesday night at the Bee Hive.

Aiden Lindsey has 17 points, four rebounds and two steals and Josiah Blair scored 13 points, grabbed five rebounds and had three steals and two blocked shots to lead Triton Central to a 52-24 victory.

The visiting Tigers took a 13-7 lead after one quarter then held the Yellow Jackets scoreless in the second quarter to build a 32-7 advantage.

The lead grew in the third quarter as Morristown failed to get its offense in gear. The Tigers led 45-15 after three quarters.

Triton Central shot 45% from the field but struggled from beyond the 3-point arc, hitting just 2 of 21 attempts.

Alex Crouse led the Tigers with seven assists.

Franklin Central transfers Isaac Morgan and Luke Faust combined for 12 points, nine rebounds and three steals in their TC debuts.

Triton Central hosts Shelbyville (1-0) Saturday in Fairland.

Morristown will try to get new head coach Collin McCartt his first win as a Yellow Jacket Saturday at Southwestern (0-1).


Shelbyville smothers Rushville for season-opening win at Garrett Gymnasium

Shelbyville was the steadier team Wednesday night in the season opener against Rushville and rolled to a 61-35 victory at William L. Garrett Gymnasium.

Ollie Sandman scored 12 of his game-high 28 points in the fourth quarter against a worn-down Rushville squad.

Luke Brinkman opened the game with eight straight points to put a spark into the Shelbyville crowd but he quickly picked up three fouls and was sidelined until the second half.

Rushville settled in after falling behind 17-5 with an 8-0 run to end the first quarter. Jerron Taylor drove in the lane and scored to start the second quarter and the Lions cut the lead to 17-15.

Sandman hit a three-pointer from the wing to get the lead back to five and the two teams traded baskets over the next five minutes until Jakob Heaton scored eight straight points for Shelbyville to end the quarter.

“I told our guys at halftime we were really going to have to push the basketball and get in our transition offense and if we don’t have anything pull it out and get set up in our normal offense and keep the ball moving,” said Shelbyville coach John Hartnett Jr.

A 32-19 halftime lead grew to 39-21 but Rushville outscored the Golden Bears from there 11-6 to end the third quarter.

After missing 7 of 8 shots, Sandman settled in and hit back-to-back wing 3s to start a 14-0 run in the fourth quarter.

“I was forcing it a little bit,” admitted Sandman.

The junior guard added 25 pounds to his frame in the offseason which gives him more confidence attacking through the lane.

“I was in the weight room all summer and working with my friends to get stronger,” he said. “I am way more confident now getting to the rack and getting to the (free-throw) line and getting some points on the board.”

Shelbyville’s active defense limited the Lions to three fourth-quarter points and 29% shooting from the field in the game.

“I thought in the second half we really picked it up defensively,” said Hartnett Jr. “We have to have an identity this year as a tough-nosed defensive team and I thought in the second half our guys did a tremendous job.”

Taylor led Rushville with 21 points. Dylan Thompson had seven points, 13 rebounds and four blocked shots.

Shelbyville was better at 39% shooting but hit just 6-of-26 shots from beyond the 3-point line.

“We started hot from the (3-point line) and we kind of fell into their defense which forced us to shoot 3s,” said Hartnett Jr. “We talked at half about not settling for 3s and breaking the defense down and getting the ball moving.”

Brinkman finished with 13 points and two steals. Heaton had 11 points and eight rebounds.

Thomas Macaluso came off the bench and had a team-high 10 rebounds.

“He has been our biggest surprise so far. He has really bought into our program and what we are trying to accomplish,” said Hartnett Jr. “If (Macaluso) plays like that, he has a bright future in the program.”

Shelbyville won the junior varsity game, 54-16. Kohen Myers led the Golden Bears with 14 points. Gaige Runnebohm had 11.

After a Thanksgiving break, Shelbyville will travel to Fairland Saturday night to face Triton Central (1-0).

“It will be will county game and we’re ready for the fight,” said Sandman.

Notes: Rushville played without senior guard Cameron Jackman and sophomore guard Quentin Cain. … Shelbyville was without starting sophomore forward Ethan Lambert, who will be available Saturday at Triton Central, and junior Aidan Asher (illness). … Shelbyville has won seven straight over Rushville. ... The Shelbyville High School pep band was bolstered by former band members now in college who are home for the holiday break.

 

Shelbyville 61, Rushville 35

RV: Taylor 7-15 5-5 21, Woolf 0-0 0-0 0, Morton 0-8 1-3 1, Thompson 3-6 0-4 7, Laker 1-7 1-2 3, Bowles 0-3 0-0 0, McKee 1-2 1-2 3, Jarman 0-1 0-0 0, Alexander 0-0 0-0 0, Jenkins 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 12-42 8-16 35.

SH: Sandman 10-24 5-6 28, Brinkman 5-10 1-2 13, Parker 0-1 0-0 0, Heaton 5-13 1-2 11, Smothers 2-5 2-4 7, Macaluso 1-3 0-0 2, Conover 0-0 0-0 0, Runnebohm 0-2 0-0 0, Badgley 0-1 0-0 0, Myers 0-0 0-0 0, Fortune 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 23-59 9-14 61.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

RV (0-1)  13    6  13    3  -- 35

SH (1-0)  17  15  13  16  -- 61

Three-point field goals: RV 3-12 (Taylor 2-4, Morton 0-1, Thompson 1-3, Bowles 0-3, Jarman 0-1), SH 6-26 (Sandman 3-11, Brinkman 2-5, Parker 0-1, Heaton 0-3, Smothers 1-3, Macaluso 0-1, Runnebohm 0-1, Badgley 0-1).

Rebounds: RV 39 (Taylor 3, Woolf 1, Morton 3, Thompson 13, Laker 11, Bowles 2, McKee 5, Jarman 1), SH 29 (Sandman 3, Parker 2, Heaton 8, Smothers 4, Macaluso 10, Conover 1, Runnebohm 1). Assists: RV 2 (Taylor 1, Morton 1), SH 7 (Brinkman 1, Heaton 2, Smothers 4). Steals: RV 0, SH 6 (Brinkman 2, Heaton 1, Macaluso 2, Smothers 1). Blocks: RV 5 (Morton 1, Thompson 4). Total fouls: RV 18, SH 18. Fouled out: Laker, McKee (RV); Parker (SH). Turnovers: RV 24, SH 7.

JV

Shelbyville 54, Rushville 16

RV: Corn 7, Schelle 4, Jarman 3, Tressler 2.

SH: Myers 14, Runnebohm 11, Conover 6, Chappelow 5, Badgley 5, Jones 5, Parker 4, Owens 4.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

RV    3    5    2  6  -- 16

SH  15  10  21  8  -- 54

Triton Central sweeps basketball doubleheader at Morristown

Class 2A, No. 1 Triton Central did not put up stellar offensive numbers Wednesday night at Morristown but still doubled up the Yellow Jackets, 42-21.

The Tigers improved to 6-0 with the win, its first since moving to the top of the 2A poll this week.

Maddy Brown and Lizzie Graham led Triton Central with 10 points apiece. Olivia Faust had eight and Brooklyn Bailey scored seven off the bench.

Triton Central took a 12-5 lead after one quarter but only outscored the Yellow Jackets 6-5 over the second eight minutes.

The third quarter was all Triton Central as Brown and Graham combined for 11 points and the Tigers pulled away for a 35-12 lead.

 

 

Gracie Laster led Morristown (5-4), who had won four straight, with 10 points.

Raegan Kleine, Morristown’s leading scorer at 13.1 points per game, was held scoreless.

Both teams return to action Tuesday. Morristown is at Hagerstown (2-2) while Triton Central hosts Greensburg (1-5).

In the boys basketball season opener for both teams, Triton Central defeated Morristown, 52-24.

Triton Central took a 13-7 lead after one quarter then held the host Yellow Jackets scoreless for nearly two quarters.

The Tigers’ lead grew to 32-7 at halftime and was 44-7 before Nick Stidham finally ended Morristown’s scoreless streak late in the third quarter with a three-point play.

Triton Central will host Shelbyville (1-0) Saturday night while Morristown will travel to Southwestern (0-1).


Shelbyville wants to push pace with guard-oriented offense

With nine seniors lost to graduation, opportunities are plentiful to get playing time at Shelbyville this season.

John Hartnett Jr. begins his third season at the helm of the Golden Bears with two veteran guards and a multitude of youthful inexperience.

“This year is a different team,” said Hartnett, who begins his second full season as head coach after replacing Ryan Mack midseason in January of 2020. “We have guys that can really get down the court and play up tempo. And we can get after you defensively.”

Senior Jakob Heaton and junior Ollie Sandman are push-the-pace guards that will look to capitalize on easy-scoring opportunities.

“Ollie and Jakob put in a lot of work in the offseason,” said Hartnett. “They knew this time would come where they are not surrounded by older guys to feed off of.”

Sandman averaged 8.0 ppg last season and hit 35 three-pointers. Now 25-30 pounds heavier, Hartnett will count on Sandman to be a more consistent offensive threat.

Heaton averaged 5.6 ppg in his first season at Shelbyville after moving from California. An improved jump shot combined with the ability to slash into the lane will make Heaton more difficult to control.

Sophomore guard Luke Brinkman is another Golden Bear that has utilized the weight room to improve his game.

“He is a key piece this year,” said Hartnett. “He will play more minutes.”

Hartnett envisions a three-guard backcourt with Sandman, Heaton and Brinkman causing problems for opposing defenses.

Sophomore Ethan Lambert and junior Jackson Parker move into varsity roles.

“Lambert is big and strong and has the ability to post up,” said Hartnett. “He did a lot of work this summer.”

Parker can work in the low post but also can slash to the basket as well, according to Hartnett.

Three juniors – Aidan Asher, Nolyn Smothers and Thomas Macaluso – round out the varsity squad to start the season.

For the ninth straight year, Shelbyville opens the boys basketball season against Rushville. The Lions, with new head coach Ryan Ehm, travel to William L. Garrett Gymnasium tonight for a 6 p.m. junior varsity tipoff.

The Golden Bears are 6-2 in the last eight meetings with Rushville and have won six straight.

The Lions will have a size advantage in the low post but the Golden Bears should have the edge in quickness.

“I want to see us move the ball and not stand around holding the ball after catches,” said Hartnett of what he wants to see in the home opener. “In practice, we are getting the ball rotated around the horn. And I don’t want to see one-pass contested shots.”

With no player listed taller than six-foot, two inches on the roster, rebounding will be key this season.

“That’s our biggest flaw,” admitted Hartnett. “Lambert should do a good job filling that role but we have to have five guys crashing the glass.”

Hartnett expects to have five guards on the court simultaneously at multiple points this season.

“We have guys that can really score, which is different with this team than last year,” said Hartnett. “If we move the ball, we can see who gets open, who creates space and who can drive and kick the ball out (to shooters).”

Shelbyville travels to Triton Central Saturday for its first road game of the season. The Golden Bears will play at Connersville, Whiteland, Mt. Vernon and Yorktown in December.

Shelbyville will host potential sectional foe Franklin on Dec. 29 and play at another sectional opponent in Franklin Central on Jan. 19.

Following road games at New Palestine, Delta and East Central in mid-February, the Golden Bears close out the regular season with home games against Seymour (Feb. 22) and Batesville (Feb. 24).

Prep Report: Waldron opens boys basketball season with win at Crothersville

Waldron raced out to a 20-4 advantage after one quarter and cruised to a season-opening 65-45 victory Tuesday night at Crothersville.

Bryce Yarling and Lucas Mitchell combined for 18 of Waldron’s 20 first-quarter points and the Mohawks were never challenged again.

Yarling added 13 more points in the third quarter on his way to a game-high 25 points.

Mitchell finished with 16 and Lucas Shaw had 11.

Waldron led 35-16 at halftime and 54-24 after three quarters.

Crothersville won the junior varsity game, 51-46.

Waldron hosts Knightstown Saturday in its home opener.

In other prep events Tuesday:

Boys Basketball

Edinburgh 74, Southwestern 59

At Southwestern, Aiden Hartsell and Jordan Jones combined for 49 points but the visiting Lancers had four players in double figures to secure the season-opening win.

Hartsell scored 19 of his game-high 32 points in the fourth quarter to keep the Spartans close.

Jones finished with 17 points.

Edinburgh jumped out to an 18-12 lead after one quarter and extended the advantage to 36-25 at halftime.

Travis Jones scored 11 of his 16 points in the first quarter. Riley Palmeter had seven of his 12 points in the second quarter.

The Lancers stretched the lead to 53-35 after three quarters and Caleb Dewey scored 13 of his team-high 27 points in the fourth quarter to secure the win.

Landen Burton had 14 points to help Edinburgh’s balanced scoring effort.

Edinburgh won the junior varsity game 52-29.

Southwestern hosts Morristown Saturday night.

Boys Swimming

Shelbyville 91, Whiteland 56

At Whiteland, the visiting Golden Bears opened the season with a win.

No individual results were available.

Girls Swimming

Whiteland 125, Shelbyville 52

At Whiteland, the visiting Golden Bears suffered their second dual meet loss of the season.

No individual results were available.

Collegiate Update: Heath leads Hanover to rout of Westminster College

Taylor Heath scored 11 points and collected eight assists Sunday to lead Hanover College’s women’s basketball team to a 70-40 win over Westminster College.

Heath, a Triton Central graduate, also had three rebounds and two steals to push Hanover to 2-1 this season.

On Saturday, Otterbein University defeated Hanover, 84-61. Heath had eight points, one rebound, two assists and two steals.

Here is a look at other Shelby County graduates competing at the collegiate level.

 

 

Hayden Langkabel

The Morristown graduate scored six points and had one rebound and one assist Tuesday night in Marian’s 85-59 loss at Grace College.

The loss dropped the 11th-ranked Knights to 4-2 this season and 0-2 in Crossroads League conference games.

On Friday, Marian lost to No. 8 Indiana Wesleyan, 74-55. Langkabel had five points and one rebound.

 

 

Drake Moore

The Morristown graduate scored 10 points and collected four rebounds in 21 minutes in York College’s 66-61 loss at Avila.

The loss dropped York to 3-5 this season and 0-2 in Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference games.

 

 

Maya Chandler

The Triton Central graduate had 10 points, three rebounds, two assists and one steal Saturday for Loyola in a 71-59 win over Chicago State.

The win evened the Ramblers’ record at 2-2.

On Nov. 17, Northwestern defeated Loyola, 63-47. Chandler had seven points, two rebounds, two assists, one steal and one blocked shot in the loss.

 

 

Kenneth Gipson

The Triton Central graduate started for Rose-Hulman on the offensive line Saturday in a 26-21 loss to DePauw in the NCAA Division III Football Playoff Round of 32 game in Greencastle.

Rose-Hulman scored 14 points in the fourth quarter and amassed 511 yards of offense but could not complete the comeback at DePauw.

 

 

Brooklyn Schiffli

The Triton Central graduate had 12 digs for Jacksonville State in a 25-17, 17-25, 25-20, 25-21 loss Saturday to Florida Gulf Coast University in the championship game of the Atlantic Sun Tournament in Fort Myers, Florida.

The loss ended Jacksonville State’s season at 25-7 – the most wins for the program since 2009.

Jacksonville State, making its first Atlantic Sun Tournament appearance, defeated Stetson, 25-18, 25-12, 25-19 Thursday. Schiffli had one assist, one ace and four digs.

In the semifinal round Friday, Jacksonville State defeated Kennesaw State, 23-25, 25-14, 28-26, 20-25, 15-13. Schiffli had 10 digs.

 

 

Bailey Chandler

The Triton Central graduate had eight assists and four digs in her final collegiate match for Eastern Illinois – a 25-13, 25-15, 25-18 loss to Southeast Missouri Thursday in the opening round of the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

The loss to the tournament’s top seed ended Eastern Illinois’ season at 11-18.

 

 

Cameron Baker

The Shelbyville graduate finished sixth in the one-meter dive competition for Franklin College at Wabash’s Gail Moll Pebworth Invitational this past weekend in Crawfordsville, Indiana.

Baker also placed third in the three-meter diving competition.

 

 

Nolan Davis

The Shelbyville graduate helped Franklin College’s swim team to a pair of top-four relay race finishes and finished seventh in two individual events at the Pebworth Invitational.

Davis was part of Franklin’s 200-yard freestyle relay team that placed third and the 800 freestyle relay team that finished fourth.

Davis placed seventh in the 200 freestyle and seventh in the 1650 freestyle.

Franklin College finished second in the team standings to Birmingham Southern.

Very young Morristown squad battling through tough life lessons as season approaches

The Morristown High School boys basketball program sent two players on to college basketball rosters and officially closed the door on all connections to the 2018 state championship team.

Head coach Scott McClelland left to take over the Noblesville program. Kevin Crim graduated and is part of Hanover College’s men’s basketball team. Drake Moore graduated and headed west to Nebraska to play for York College.

If that was not enough to overcome in a rebuilding season, the program then received news that rising senior Quinton Batton would miss his final season while battling leukemia.

The athletic department needed a steady hand to take the reins at Morristown and turned to veteran coach Collin McCartt, who was an assistant coach at Morristown the last two seasons.

“Obviously I know the kids and (coach) McClelland and I have pretty similar philosophies,” said McCartt.

McCartt is 123-169 over 13 seasons as a head coach at North Putnam, Morgan Township and Prairie Heights and has two sectional titles to his credit.

Graduation took Moore (18.5 ppg), Crim (17.8 ppg) and Sawyer Jones (11.1 ppg) while Batton averaged 6 ppg meaning 91% of Morristown’s offense from a team that finished 20-5 is gone.

“I don’t have a lot of minutes coming back but there are a couple of experienced guys,” said McCartt. “Not having ‘Q’ this year made us change some things.”

Supporting a teammate through a health emergency is providing bigger life lessons for the program than wins and losses.

“More than anything, it’s given guys different perspectives on a lot of things,” said McCartt. “Now they want to play for him and want to play for themselves.”

The players and coaches are in constant contact with Batton, according to McCartt, who will follow them remotely this season through radio and online broadcasts.

Morristown opens the regular season at home Wednesday against Triton Central in a girls-boys varsity-only doubleheader.

With Batton sidelined, that leaves Morristown with senior Nick Stidham to lead the way. The six-foot, three-inch forward averaged 3.7 ppg and 5.3 rpg last season.

Juniors Chase Theobald and Nolan Laster will have expanded roles this season.

“I believe Nick and Nolan will step in there and help us scoring,” said McCartt.

With Theobald, the trio will be in charge of developing the on-court product one game at a time.

“Those are the three that have experience in the big games,” said McCartt. “They are mentoring the young guys.”

Early in the season, McCartt will look at sophomores Cade Mahin, Carson Conrad and Matthew Carlton to provide productive minutes.

The Morristown varsity roster also includes junior Shane Riley, sophomore Noah Garthwaite and freshman Colin Kieninger.

The Yellow Jackets’ first road trip of the season is Saturday at Southwestern followed by three straight home games against Hauser, Oldenburg Academy and Union County.

“I want to see how we compete,” said McCartt when asked what he wanted to see from his program at the start of the season. “We need to control the things we can control and how we do the things that don’t take talent, like rebound and talk.”

Morristown is hosting a holiday tournament Dec. 29-30 with New Washington, Clinton Prairie, Lawrenceburg, South Ripley, South Dearborn, Covenant Christian and Randolph Southern coming to the Bee Hive.

The semifinal round of the Shelby County Tournament at Waldron High School is Jan. 7.

The Yellow Jackets’ final home game of the regular season is Feb. 11 against Eastern Hancock.

The regular season schedule concludes with road games at Batesville on Feb. 18 and Tri on Feb. 25.

McCartt ended his last head coaching job at North Putnam in 2019 to move closer to home. Now a special education teacher at Morristown, the veteran coach is ready to get back to calling the shots.

“It was a good time in my life to step back,” said McCartt, who has obtained his administrator’s license while teaching at Morristown. “I got a different experience. Coaching with ‘Mac’ was a great experience. I learned a lot. This was a good opportunity at a great place.

“I was not searching for somewhere (to coach) outside of Morristown. The tradition ‘Mac’ built here … this is a great place to coach basketball.”

Shelbyville boys swim program set for record-breaking season

The Shelbyville High School boys swimming record board will be under assault all season long.

Senior Tyler Harker is after all four individual freestyle records while Spanish exchange student Juan Gonzalez Gallego has his eyes on the butterfly record held by Harker’s older brother, Dylan.

The Golden Bears debut tonight at Whiteland.

Harker is on track to make his first state finals berth after finishing sectional runner-up in the 200-yard freestyle and fourth in the 100 freestyle at the 2021 New Palestine Sectional. He finished behind a senior in the 200 freestyle and behind two seniors and a sophomore in the 100 freestyle.

“Tyler has big aspirations and big goals that he wants to achieve this season,” said Shelbyville swim coach Coen Weiler. “He has really stepped into his role as a leader this year.”

Harker’s freestyle speed will make him valuable in all three relay races and he has the endurance to chase freestyle records in the 200 and 500 freestyle.

“He wants to clean house on all the freestyle records,” said Weiler.

Gallego made it clear he wanted his exchange student placement to include a place where he could continue his swim training.

“He is a very gifted butterfly swimmer with a legitimate shot at the conference and sectional titles,” said Weiler.

The top four 100 butterfly swimmers at the New Palestine Sectional were seniors. Shelbyville freshman Will Rife was sixth.

Dylan Harker, who completed his Franklin College swimming career in the spring and is now in graduate school in Ohio will be in attendance Tuesday to see if Gallego can begin his Shelbyville career by breaking Harker’s 100 butterfly record.

Gallego’s arrival also significantly improves the 200 medley relay team, which could feature a pair of state meet qualifying swimmers and Rife, who produced an outstanding freshman season.

Rife posted sub 60-second times in the 100 butterfly before the sectional then produced a 56.72 in the qualifying round to reach the finals.

With junior Tristin Maloney in the butterfly-training mix, Weiler expects exciting races this season for the trio of Gallego, Rife and Maloney.

“Tristin has a passion to be on top and want to impact the team,” said Weiler. “He shows up every day to work.”

Seniors Lance File and Michael Fox return to provide a veteran presence in the pool.

“Lance really hit his stride last year,” said Weiler. “He did a lot of work in the offseason getting significantly stronger and it’s paying off in the pool.”

File was a sectional consolation heat qualifier in the 100 backstroke last season.

Fox is already setting personal-record times in the pool and will add speed to the freestyle relay events.

Junior Trey Carrell returns after a strong finish to his sophomore season. Carrell is a versatile swimmer that can compete in the 200 individual medley and 500 freestyle.

New to the program this season are freshmen Gaige Harker, Blake Hughes and David Quillen and a second Spanish foreign exchange student in Xavier Minoves.

While Harker is new to the sport, Hughes has previous Shelby County Aquatics Club (SCAC) experience.

“Both have shown tremendous growth the first two weeks,” said Weiler.

Along with Quillen, who swam at the middle school, and Minoves, the foursome will continue to learn all four strokes and gain experience.

“We need to get them comfortable in every event,” said Weiler.

Shelbyville does not have a diver in the program this season.

The Golden Bears will host the Shelby Relays on Dec. 11 and compete in the Hoosier Heritage Conference Meet at New Palestine on Dec. 18.

The program has seven dual meets scheduled for January and closes out the regular season at home on Feb. 1 against Lawrence Central and New Palestine.

The New Palestine Sectional championships are Feb. 19.

Triton Central reloads with another postseason run in the game plan

Kyle Ballard has a plug-in-and-play mentality for a Triton Central program fresh off its seventh boys basketball sectional title – and first in nearly a decade.

“We go into every year with the goal of being a championship basketball team … winning county, conference and sectional titles,” said Ballard, 18-27 going into his third year in Fairland. “Last year, we felt we had a team that could accomplish those things. We know the end goal now. We are approaching everyday as a stepping stone to putting ourselves in that position again.”

Triton Central finished 13-9 a season ago and grinded out a 62-60 win over Milan and 66-65 win over South Decatur to earn its first regional appearance since 2012.

At the Greenfield-Central Regional, the Tigers struggled to get in gear and lost to Parke Heritage, 47-30.

Graduation took David Steele (13.3 ppg, 3.4 rpg), Erick Hebauf (4.8 ppg, 3.1 apg), Caleb Anderson (6.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg) and Jaxson Miller (5.0 ppg, 3.1 rpg) from a balanced unit. Steele is currently playing college basketball at Manchester University in northern Indiana and Hebauf left Triton Central with the career assists record.

However, Triton Central had seven players average at least four points per game last season.

Senior Aiden Lindsey (11.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg) is the leading returning scorer. Also returning to the rotation will be seniors Josiah Blair (3.8 ppg, 2.1 rpg), Josh Kemper (5.2 ppg, 2.7 rpg), Caleb Miller (2.1 ppg, 1.8 rpg) and Mason Krebs (1.8 ppg).

Senior Alex Crouse (2.4 ppg, 1.4 apg) takes over the point guard duties from Hebauf. Sophomore Levi Dewey also will see varsity minutes this season.

Ballard also has a pair of Franklin Central transfers to work into the playing equation in juniors Isaac Morgan and Luke Faust.

“We lost some valuable parts but I feel good because we played 10 guys a bunch last year,” said Ballard. “We’ve got some experience, just maybe players in a different role.”

Triton Central opens the regular season Wednesday at Morristown in a girls-boys varsity-only doubleheader. The Tigers’ home opener follows Saturday when Shelbyville visits Fairland.

The December schedule begins with home games against Waldron and Southwestern.

“It’s a good measuring stick to get going,” said Ballard of playing all four county rivals to open the season. “We are a team with a target on our back with the success we had last year. So we will see how we stack up early.”

Triton Central opens its Indiana Crossroads Conference schedule against Cascade on Dec. 17. The Tigers close out the 2021 portion of the schedule with a trip to Franklin County for a holiday tournament on Dec. 22 and a home game Dec. 30 against Heritage Christian.

The Tigers will defend their Shelby County Tournament title beginning Jan. 7 at Waldron High School.

The final nine games of the regular season feature two potential sectional opponents and six ICC games.

“Our three conference losses last year were to the three teams that finished in front of us,” said Ballard. “Our conference is as hard as they come for a (Class) 2A basketball team. The kids are hungry for (a conference title) … it’s the one thing they didn’t get last year.”

Triton Central’s only back-to-back sectional titles came in 1997 and 1998. Ballard hopes March’s regional experience will drive this year’s group to a repeat performance.

“There will be some pretty competitive sectional games this year,” he said. “Now we’re experienced after winning county and sectional titles and playing in a regional. It never hurts to have kids back that have been in the fire.

“Maybe we will be more prepared this time for the regional. I know we’re all better for getting there and having experienced that together.”

Southwestern upsets Class A, No. 14 Hauser

With three players scoring in double digits, Southwestern upset Class A, No. 14 Hauser Monday night.

Alison Muck scored a game-high 15 points to lead the host Spartans to a 51-42 victory over the Jets (3-2, 0-2 Mid-Hoosier Conference).

McKinley Correll scored 10 of her 14 points in the first half for Southwestern (3-3, 2-1 MHC) and Lily Rooks collected eight of her 11 points in the third quarter.

Hauser led 10-9 after one quarter and 22-21 at halftime. The Spartans responded with a 20-point third quarter to take a 41-36 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Southwestern hit 5-of-8 free throws over the final eight minutes and held the Jets to six points to get the conference victory.

Madelyn Poe led Hauser with 12 points. Kyliegh Parrott finished with 10. Gabby Johns and Adriana Musallami each had six.

Hauser won the junior varsity game 51-16.

Mattie Foster led the Jets with 14 points.

Katelyn Coffman hit three three-pointers on the way to 11 points for Southwestern.

Southwestern returns to action at noon Saturday against Class A, No. 2 Trinity Lutheran (2-0).

Waldron needs to build depth at varsity level to have successful season

With nine freshmen joining the Waldron High School basketball program this season, head coach Beau Scott has three teams to manage – the typical varsity and junior varsity squads along with a rare freshman team.

“We are going to have a freshman team for sure … it’s more opportunities for guys to play,” said Scott, 12-33 in his first two seasons at Waldron. “We have so many guys that just need to play more so I am excited we are going to have a freshman team.”

That program depth keeps Scott from rushing freshmen to the varsity level which is not unusual at a small school.

Instead, Scott will build around three key returning players in senior Caden Sheaffer and juniors Lucas Mitchell and Bryce Yarling.

“Those three will play a lot and start a lot,” said Scott.

Yarling, a five-foot, eight-inch guard, led the Mohawks in scoring last season at 16.3 points per game. He made a team-high 51 three-pointers and shot 47% from the field.

“He has improved,” said Scott. “He is a lot more bouncy and strong. There are not a lot of scorers like him at his height. We are going to count on him a lot.”

Mitchell, at 6-4, will be the Mohawks’ front-line presence around the rim. He averaged 6.4 ppg and 4.9 rpg last season.

“He could have a big season,” said Scott. “He played a ton last year and will have more offensive opportunities. He’s got the potential to have a breakout season.”

Sheaffer, a 5-8 guard, does not fill the stat sheet but provides valuable contributions in other ways.

“He is always under control. He understands his role really well,” said Scott.

North Decatur transfer Bryant Becker is the program’s only other senior. He did not join the basketball program last season after his mid-year transfer and could be a reliable third scoring threat to go along with Yarling and Mitchell.

“He could be an ‘X’ factor because he can shoot it and is a good distributor,” said Scott.

Freshman Lucas Shaw, a 6-0 guard, filled the fifth starting spot for the preseason scrimmage but Scott sees Shaw, junior Sam Adkins (5-11 forward) and sophomore Jacob Lindsey (5-11 guard) sharing that role this season.

Shelbyville transfer Sam Jones, a 6-2 forward, also could see significant varsity time this season.

Waldron opens the season Tuesday at Crothersville, a program that went 4-19 last season and has a new coach in Bryant Layman.

“They lost a couple of key guys but they have some scrappy kids coming back,” said Scott.

That makes a scouting report tough to create for the Tigers.

“I don’t know if it’s a blessing or a curse not having a scouting report on a team with a new coach,” said Scott. “I kind of like it, though. We can just focus on us.”

Waldron hosts Knightstown on Nov. 27 before getting to its December schedule that includes games against three Shelby County schools and Edinburgh.

The Mohawks will travel to Batesville on Dec. 30 for a holiday tournament that also features North Harrison and Jennings County.

The Mohawks are the host for this year’s Shelby County Tournament which runs from Jan. 6-8.

Waldron faces potential sectional opponents Jac-Cen-Del, Hauser, Southwestern and Rising Sun in January.

The final two games of the regular season are at home against Liberty Christian (Feb. 18) and Anderson Prep Academy (Feb. 25).

“If we develop a little bit of depth, I see us being able to play with everyone,” said Scott. “I’ve seen our guys at their best so I am encouraged.”

Southwestern still piecing together player rotations as new basketball season arrives

Brady Days’ three sectional championship seasons have come exactly five years apart.

With the graduation of four players that combined for 39 points per game and hit 123 three-pointers, the Spartans may not be ready for the program’s first ever back-to-back sectional titles.

“Success is contagious and we can grow from it,” said Days, about to embark on his 16th season with the Spartans. “We have guys that played (in the 2021 regional) or were on the bench and got a taste of how special that was.”

Southwestern was 10-10 entering the 2021 sectional then knocked off Hauser (57-44), Rising Sun (51-48) and Morristown (68-67 in double overtime) to celebrate the program’s fifth sectional title – and first since 2016, which was the first since 2011.

The Spartans defeated Bethesda Christian, 57-50, in the regional semifinal before falling 50-48 to Tindley in the championship.

Days has plenty of questions left to answer as the Spartans prepare for Tuesday’s season opener against Edinburgh, a team that was 18-6 last season.

Five seniors lead the roster but none are listed any taller than five-foot, 10 inches.

“We definitely have a different look this season,” said Days. “We have five seniors now and they all wear medium T-shirts.”

Senior Aiden Hartsell was Southwestern’s leading scorer last season at 14.3 ppg. The Spartans will have to develop scorers around him to keep defenses from targeting him in their scouting reports.

Jordan Jones, another senior who filled the role as sixth man last season, averaged 4.6 ppg.

Jones did get several starts throughout the season due to injuries and illness and will be counted on to play a bigger role this year.

Seniors Jonny Joy, Grant Emerick and Caleb Pappano provide veteran leadership for a program trying to find its way as the season nears.

“There is going to be a lot of getting used to the fill-in pieces,” said Days. “We need to see what rotations we have.”

Juniors Matthew Clements (6-3), Jonah DeArmitt (6-4) and Conner Jewell (6-2) are the front-line size but Days is unsure how the rotations will work just yet.

“Do we go short or do we have the big guys in there?” said Days. “It’s all a learning process. We will have to keep looking at the finish line and see what we need to be successful. That may take time to get.”

Days knows this year’s version of the Spartans will not have the long-range shooting prowess of last year’s team that hit 187 3s. The veteran coach also has concerns about defending the opposition.

“We have a lot of newbies that are juniors and seniors playing varsity basketball,” said Days. “They are going to have to learn and grow together.”

Southwestern and Morristown will renew its rivalry Saturday before the Spartans hit the road for games at Triton Central on Dec. 4, Tri on Dec. 9 and Trinity Lutheran on Dec. 10.

Following its home contest with Waldron on Dec. 18, the Mohawks will not play another game at home until Jan. 29 when Indianapolis Herron visits.

The Spartans return to the Monrovia Tournament on Dec. 28-29 before traveling to Waldron for the semifinal round of the Shelby County Tournament on Jan. 7.

Road contests follow at Brown County (Jan. 14), South Decatur (Jan. 15), Edinburgh (Jan. 21) and Waldron (Jan. 28).

The regular season closes on Feb. 22 with a home contest against Christel House.

Triton Central rises to No. 1 in Class 2A poll, Waldron climbs to No. 4 in Class A

There is a new No. 1 team in the Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association’s Class 2A poll.

Triton Central (5-0) moves up to the top spot with Tipton (3-1), the prior No. 1 this season, falling to No. 2 after a 44-42 loss to Class 4A Northwestern on Nov. 16.

Unbeaten Winchester (3-0) sits at No. 3 with Forest Park (4-1), Frankton (4-1), South Knox (5-1), Andrean (2-2), Fairfield (6-0), Evansville Mater Dei (3-0) and University (2-2) rounding out the top 10.

Eastern Hancock (5-1) and Cascade (5-1) – two teams Triton Central has defeated this season -- are tied with Alexandria (6-0) at No. 16.

North Decatur (7-0) is ranked 20th.

In Class A, Waldron’s 6-0 start to the season has pushed the program up to No. 4 in the poll behind Lanesville (6-1), Jac-Cen-Del (5-0) and Trinity Lutheran (2-0).

Waldron and Jac-Cen-Del are in the same sectional.

Vincennes Rivet (3-0) is ranked No. 5 this week.

The rest of the top 10 are Tecumseh (2-3), Morgan Township (5-1), Kouts (4-2), Fort Wayne Blackhawk (5-1) and Lafayette Central Catholic (4-1).

Hauser (3-1) is ranked 14th.

South Bend Washington (6-0) leads the 3A poll with Mishawaka Marian (4-1), Silver Creek (5-0), Garrett (4-1), Benton Central (5-0), Norwell (5-1), Salem (4-1), Evansville Memorial (2-0), Twin Lakes (6-1) and Washington (4-1) rounding out the top 10.

Carmel tops IBCA preseason top 20 poll

The Indiana Basketball Coaches Association boys basketball preseason poll has been released with Carmel edging out Cathedral for the top spot.

The IBCA poll does not consider class standing for its top 20 poll. Every boys basketball program is available to be ranked.

Carmel received six first-place votes and enough total points to surpass Cathedral, 10 first-place votes, for the No. 1 ranking just ahead of the boys basketball season debut tonight.

Following Cathedral in the top 10 are Homestead, Westfield, Lawrence North, Warren Central, Indianapolis Attucks, Fishers, Indianapolis Tech, Zionsville and Jeffersonville – the latter two being tied for No. 10.

The second 10 includes Brebeuf, Ben Davis, Gary West Side, Bloomington North, North Central, Mishawaka Marian, Mt. Vernon (Fortville), Bloomington South and Lawrence Central.

Other notable programs receiving votes were Center Grove, Connersville, Park Tudor, Plainfield and Tindley.

Young Shelbyville wrestling squad off to promising start

Shelbyville High School’s wrestling program sent six to the 2021 regional round of competition. Only two return for the start of the 2022 season.

Cael Lux, a junior, and Elias Jones, a sophomore, lead a young squad of hard workers for ninth-year head coach Adam Miller.

The Golden Bears opened the season Saturday at the Cloverdale Invitational with a promising start.

Shelbyville finished 4-1 in dual matches, only losing to Sheridan (48-30). Team victories came over Kipp Legacy (66-0), Covington (42-27), Cloverdale (54-30) and South Putnam (52-12).

Isaiah Havens and Ryan Bradley each went 5-0 in the invitational.

Lux, Jones, Carson Linville, Andrew Burton, Benny Cazares and Angel Kreider each finished 4-1.

“We are young,” said Miller Friday night on the eve of the season. “We have no seniors in the lineup, which is good for us. We are in the middle of a rebuilding phase with a lot of good freshmen, sophomores and juniors. Over the next three years, we should be pretty decent.”

Havens is still cutting weight with Miller expecting him to compete at 106 pounds this season as a junior.

“I am expecting a lot of good things from him,” said Miller.

Ethan Watkins, a junior, and Kreider, a sophomore, will slot in at 120 or 126 pounds.

Lux has more focus this season, according to Miller. He competed at 138 pounds last season where he finished fourth in the sectional and lost his opening-round match at the regional.

Cazares is new to the wrestling program but has picked up the sport quickly. He will follow Lux in the lineup at 138 or 145 pounds.

Burton got off to a quick start at Cloverdale in his high school debut at 152 pounds.

“He works hard and has been around the sport for awhile,” said Miller.

Another freshman, Brayden Schultz, steps into the varsity lineup at 170 pounds. He finished 2-3 Saturday at Cloverdale.

“He looks really good,” said Miller. “That transition from middle school is tough. He will be different by midseason when he understands how all this works.”

Linville is another wrestler Miller has followed coming up through the system.

“I expect big things from him. He has a wild style but he has grown over the summer and is stronger,” said Miller, who has Linville, a junior, slotted at 182 pounds.

Bradley, a sophomore, returns at 195 pounds on the varsity roster.

Sophomore Jacob Harker suffered an injury prior to the 2021 postseason but now holds down the 220 weight class.

Sophomore Elias Jones, Shelbyville’s only other returning regional qualifier, fills the 285 weight class.

Miller was more concerned with seeing how the Golden Bears would compete in the season-opener than actual victories.

“I need to see how they respond, especially the freshmen,” he said. “When we get into the second and third periods, how will we respond? Will they listen?

“I know they will wrestle hard but they can’t be scared. But with this group, they don’t seem intimidated much.”

Shelbyville competes in its first dual match of the season Nov. 30 at Lawrence Central.

In December, the Golden Bears will wrestle invitationals at New Castle (Dec. 4), Franklin County (Dec. 18) and Connersville (Dec. 28-29) and travel to Whiteland for a dual match on Dec. 7.

Shelbyville travels to Triton Central on Jan. 6 and hosts Rushville on Jan. 20 with a trip to the Guerin Catholic Invitational in between on Jan. 8.

The Golden Bears will compete in the Warren Central Sectional on Jan. 29.

Prep Report: Class A, No. 5 Waldron nets two wins over potential sectional foes

With wins over a pair of potential sectional opponents, Class A, No. 5 Waldron improved to 6-0 this season and 2-0 against Mid-Hoosier Conference opposition.

Nine different Mohawks scored Saturday night in a decisive 57-15 road win at Rising Sun (3-3).

Bella Larrison led the way with a game-high 13 points. Megan Bogemann connected on a trio of 3-pointers on the way to 11 points.

Hadlie Ross, Shelby Fewell and Nichole Garner each had six.

Baylee Morris topped the Shiners with five points.

Waldron led 19-7 after one quarter and 35-13 at halftime then held Rising Sun scoreless in the third quarter.

On Friday, Waldron collected a conference win over visiting Hauser, 53-36.

Larrison and Bogemann each had 10 points in the win. Ross and Mackenzie Shaw followed with eight apiece. Garner and Josie Larrison each had five.

Kenzie Bostic led the Jets (3-1, 0-1 MHC) with eight points. Kyliegh Parrott had seven.

Waldron doubled up Hauser in the first quarter for a 20-10 lead.

The lead grew by one by halftime with the Mohawks up 35-24.

Waldron returns to action Saturday following a Thanksgiving break when it hosts Greenwood Christian (3-4) at noon.

In other prep events:

Girls basketball

Triton Central 63, Lutheran 11

At Triton Central Saturday, the host Tigers improved to 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the Indiana Crossroads Conference with a dominant performance against the Saints (1-2, 0-2 ICC).

Lutheran was held scoreless in the first half which allowed the Tigers to race out to a 46-0 lead.

 

 

Lizzie Graham (14 points), Olivia Faust (13 points) and Riley Ross (12 points) each scored in double figures to lead Class 2A, No. 2 Triton Central.

Maddy Brown added eight points.

Grace King led Lutheran with four points.

Triton Central travels to Morristown (5-3) Wednesday for a girls-boys varsity-only doubleheader.

 

 

Morristown 38, Oldenburg Academy 31

At Morristown Saturday, Raegan Kleine scored a season-high 25 points to lead the Yellow Jackets over the Twisters (1-5).

Morristown trailed 12-6 after one quarter and 21-19 at halftime before taking a 30-29 lead into the final eight minutes.

Kleine also had three rebounds and three steals.

Gracie Laster finished with nine points and two rebounds.

 

 

Shelbyville 49, Southwestern 29

At Shelbyville Friday, three Golden Bears combined for 42 points to push the team’s record to 4-2 this season.

Kylee Edwards finished with a game-high 17 points for Shelbyville. Madison Bassett tallied 13 points – 12 in the first half -- and Ava Wilson had 12 points.

The Golden Bears maintained leads at the end of the first quarter (14-12) and second quarter (25-20) before outscoring the Spartans in the third quarter, 12-4, to get a double-digit lead.

 

 

Lily Rooks led Southwestern (2-3) with eight points. Lily Kerber and Kennedy Pile each had six.

The Spartans host Hauser tonight at 6 p.m.

Shelbyville hosts Pendleton Heights (5-1, 2-0 Hoosier Heritage Conference) Saturday at noon.

Rife signs National Letter of Intent to play baseball at Bellarmine University

Pen to paper changes nothing for Charlie Rife.

The Shelbyville High School senior signed his National Letter of Intent Thursday afternoon to play college baseball at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky.

“It’s crazy that something you’ve worked for all your life and all of a sudden you’ve reached it and it’s what do I do now?” said Rife after accepting congratulations from principal Brent Baker, baseball coach Royce Carlton and several SHS baseball teammates.

What Rife can do now is enjoy the rest of his senior year as a Golden Bear.

“I think (signing) means the same as when I once said, ‘I want to play college baseball,’” said Rife, who led the Golden Bears in batting average (.443), doubles (8), home runs (3) and runs batted in (28) as a junior. “Nothing will change. I will continue to work my butt off. I will continue working in the classroom and in the weight room and, hopefully, when I get to Bellarmine I will be able to step on the field as soon as I get there.”

In the baseball program’s first season as a Division I program, the Knights finished 13-36 overall and 8-16 as a new member of the Atlantic Sun Conference.

“I know he will be able to play right off the bat after talking to their coach,” said Carlton. “They are amazed by his physical stature and his weight room numbers are way above average. I think he will fit in right off the bat.”

That was one of Bellarmine’s selling points to Rife.

“One of the reasons I chose Bellarmine is because I think I can play pretty early,” said Rife, the son of April and Brady Rife. “I’m the guy they want and that’s what they told me.”

 

Charlie Rife, right, will join 2021 Shelbyville High School graduate Benny Thompson, left, as a college baseball player in the spring of 2023. Thompson is a freshman at Anderson University and will play for the Ravens in 2022.

 

While there were other options for Rife, a catcher, to pursue, one campus visit proved enough for him to make a selection.

“Once I visited Bellarmine and stepped on campus and talked to all the guys, I knew this was the place for me,” he said.

With his future secure, Rife can concentrate solely on leading the Golden Bears baseball program to a successful spring season.

“Now I am focused on winning,” he said. “It’s not about me anymore. It’s about getting the team going. I hope we have a pretty strong season. I hope we can compete for a conference championship and do more than that.”

While Rife is a leader on the field, his off-the-field work ethic is hard to match.

“I think the younger guys can learn from his leadership,” said Carlton. “He sets the expectations so high, the younger guys have to follow him.”

Rife will major in English or History with the goal of going to law school in his future.

Prep Report: Morristown stings Beech Grove for third straight victory

With a 40-20 win at Beech Grove Thursday, Class A Morristown has won three straight games against a 2A, 3A and 4A program.

Delaney Cornn and Raegan Kleine each scored 10 points to lead the Yellow Jackets (4-3).

Maggie Lutes had a team-high nine rebounds. Four Morristown players had two steals.

The Yellow Jackets jumped out to a 12-5 lead after one quarter, led 15-7 at halftime and 24-14 after three quarters.

Malone Moore led Beech Grove (1-5) with seven points.

Morristown hosts Oldenburg Academy (1-3) Saturday night at the Bee Hive.

In another prep event Thursday:

Girls swimming

Shelbyville 81, Indian Creek 36

At Shelbyville, the host Golden Bears won all three relay races and all but three individual events in their home opener.

Karissa Hamilton won the 200-yard freestyle (2:15.20) and 100 butterfly (1:13.47).

Madison Monroe touched the wall first in the 200 individual medley (3:05.58).

 

 

Marlee Rice won two events – the 50 freestyle (26.28) and the 100 freestyle (58.96).

Miriam Garringer took first in the 100 backstroke (1:12.91).

Garringer, Monroe, Hamilton and Kylie Stader combined to win the 200 medley relay in 2:15.78.

Lexi Dwiggins teamed with Garringer, Rice and Hamilton to win the 200 freestyle relay in 1:54.40.

Stader, Dwiggins, Monroe and Rice won the 400 freestyle relay in 5:06.71.

Shelbyville travels to Whiteland Tuesday as a full program with the meet serving as the season opener for the boys program.

Schedule change

Class 2A, No. 2 Triton Central has announced that tonight’s girls basketball game with Lutheran has been postponed until noon Saturday. There will be no junior varsity game.

 

 

Lutheran’s football team will compete tonight in the semistate round of the Class A state football tournament.

Class 2A, No. 2 Triton Central defeats Monrovia to stay unbeaten

Class 2A, No. 2 Triton Central raced out to an 18-2 lead after one quarter Wednesday and cruised to a 59-12 win over Monrovia.

The Tigers (4-0, 2-0 Indiana Crossroads Conference) extended the lead to 33-8 by halftime and held the winless Bulldogs (0-3, 0-1 ICC) scoreless in the fourth quarter.

Lizzie Graham topped Triton Central with 14 points.

Maddy Brown connected on three 3-pointers on the way to 13 points.

Hallie Schweitzer finished with nine and Olivia Faust and Maia Harris each had six.

Triton Central hit seven 3s in the win and was 8 of 13 from the free-throw line.

Emily Crouch led Monrovia with five points.

Triton Central will go for its third ICC win of the season Friday when Indianapolis Lutheran (1-1, 0-1 ICC) visits Fairland.

Collegiate Update: Chandler honored at Eastern Illinois volleyball's Senior Day

Bailey Chandler collected 20 assists and six digs in her final regular-season match for the Eastern Illinois volleyball program.

Austin Peay defeated Eastern Illinois Saturday, 25-22, 17-25, 25-20, 25-23 to close out the Panthers’ regular-season record at 11-17 overall and 4-14 in Ohio Valley Conference matches.

Chandler, a Triton Central graduate (photo, left with parents Michelle and Cary Chandler), was one of four seniors honored on Senior Day.

On Friday, Chandler had 16 assists, two aces and four digs in Eastern Illinois’ 25-13, 25-13, 21-25, 25-20 win over Austin Peay that qualified the Panthers for the conference’s postseason tournament.

Eastern Illinois will travel to Cape Girardeau, Missouri, for a Thursday match against Southeast Missouri in the OVC tournament.

Here is a look at other Shelby County graduates competing at the collegiate level.

 

 

Brooklyn Schiffli

The Triton Central graduate had five digs Sunday for Jacksonville State in a 19-25, 19-25, 25-22, 26-24, 15-8 loss in Nashville to Lipscomb.

Jacksonville State closed out the regular season with a 23-5 record (13-3 Atlantic Sun Conference) to earn the No. 1 seed in the conference’s West Division.

On Friday, Jacksonville State defeated Central Arkansas, 25-19, 25-10, 27-25. Schiffli had two aces and eight digs.

Jacksonville State opens the ASUN Tournament at 1 p.m. Thursday in Ft. Myers, Florida, against Stetson.

 

 

Hayden Kermode

The Triton Central graduate blocked a punt Saturday that was recovered for a touchdown in No. 9-ranked Concordia’s 37-7 victory at St. Francis (Ind.).

Kermode (photo, center with fellow TC graduates Phil Williams, left, and Matt Guhl) and Concordia moved to 8-1 this season and locked up a NAIA playoff spot with its largest margin of victory over St. Francis in program history.

Concordia hosts St. Xavier Saturday at Ferry Field at Cardinal Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in its NAIA tournament opener.

 

 

Nick Brokering, Kenneth Gipson

Brokering, a Shelbyville graduate, and Gipson, a Triton Central graduate, each started on the offensive line for their respective teams Saturday in the regular season finale for Mount St. Joseph and Rose-Hulman.

Gipson and his Rose-Hulman teammates defeated Mount St. Joseph, 58-21, to earn the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference title and a postseason berth.

Rose-Hulman will travel to DePauw Saturday for a noon kickoff in the Division III postseason tournament.

 

 

Cameron Baker, Nolan Davis

Franklin College’s swim and dive team secured dual meet wins Friday at Transylvania, 165-55, and Saturday at Centre, 153.5-87.5.

On Friday, Baker, a Shelbyville graduate, finished second in the three-meter diving event with 190.2 points and third in the one-meter event with 194.2 points.

Davis, also a Shelbyville graduate, won the 500-yard freestyle (4:58.88) and helped Franklin win the 200 medley relay and 200 freestyle relay.

On Saturday, Baker finished runner-up in both one-meter diving sessions.

Davis was second in the 200 freestyle (1:49.26) and 500 freestyle (5:01.27) and was part of Franklin’s runner-up finish in the 200 medley relay.

 

 

Maya Chandler

The Triton Central graduate finished with five points, one rebound, two assists and one steal for Loyola in an 87-53 loss Friday at DePaul.

The Ramblers are 1-1 this season.

 

 

Riley Stephens

The Triton Central graduate had four points, one rebound and one blocked shot Sunday for Evansville in a 100-59 win over Oakland City.

The Purple Aces are 2-0 this season.

 

 

Hayden Langkabel

The Morristown graduate had eight points, one rebound and one assist for Marian in an 88-68 win Saturday at Clarke (Iowa) in the championship game of the Clarke Holiday Inn Tipoff Classic in Dubuque, Iowa.

Langkabel scored 13 points and added one rebound and one assist Friday in Marian’s 81-48 semifinal victory over St. Ambrose University.

The Knights are off to a 4-0 start this season.

 

 

Taylor Heath

The Triton Central graduate had 12 points, three rebounds, three assists and one steal in her college basketball debut Friday for Hanover College in a 72-54 win at Elmhurst University.

 

 

Kenzie Ryle

The Triton Central graduate finished with six points and one steal Saturday for Earlham College in a 100-67 loss to Muskingum.

Earlham is 0-2 this season.

 

 

Jaxon Miller

The Triton Central graduate was part of Army Prep’s first undefeated football team.

On Friday, Army Prep scored the game-winning touchdown with 40 seconds left to defeat Navy Prep, 10-7.

With the win, Army captured the Commander in Chief’s trophy after already defeating Air Force, 16-7, on Oct. 30.

The United States Military Academy Prepatory School (USMAPS), or Army Prep, finished the season with an 8-0 record.

Prep Report: Shelbyville collects road win at Greensburg

Kylee Edwards connected on a trio of first-quarter three-pointers to stake Shelbyville to a 14-6 lead at the first break and the Golden Bears never relinquished the lead from there in posting a 44-41 victory Tuesday at Greensburg.

Edwards finished with a game-high 29 points after adding two more made 3s in the third quarter and made 6 of 9 free throws to push Shelbyville to 3-2 this season – the first time the program has been 3-2 in its first five games since the 2016 season.

Only three other Golden Bears scored in the win. Ava Wilson had seven points. Madison Phares finished with six. And Ella Johnson had a first-quarter field goal for two points.

Shelbyville led 19-14 at halftime and 33-24 after three quarters.

Greensburg dropped to 0-4 this season with a roster full of underclassmen. The eight players dressed Tuesday included five freshmen and two sophomores.

Freshmen Mylie Wilkison (19 points) and Leah West (10 points) led the Pirates in scoring.

There was no junior varsity game.

Shelbyville returns home to Garrett Gymnasium for a Friday night clash with Southwestern (2-2). The Spartans are coached by Jason West, the former Shelbyville coach who led the Golden Bears to a 3-2 start in 2016 and a 12-11 season that year.

In another prep event Tuesday:

Girls Swimming

Shelbyville 53, Lawrence Central 37

New Palestine 65, Shelbyville 34

At Lawrence Central, Shelbyville split a pair of dual meets in its season opener in the pool.

Senior Karissa Hamilton scored wins in the 50-yard freestyle (25.45 seconds) and the 100 backstroke (1:06.17) – two events in which she holds the Shelbyville program record.

Senior Marlee Rice secured the Golden Bears’ other individual win in the 100 freestyle (59.39).

Rice was runner-up in the 200 freestyle (2:13.7) while Madison Monroe was second in the 100 breaststroke (1:36.39).

Third-place finishes came from Miriam Garringer in the 50 free (27.85) and 500 free (6:18.7), Lexi Dwiggins in the 100 breaststroke (1:51.91) and Monroe in the 100 butterfly (1:38.26).

Shelbyville had runner-up finishes in the 200 freestyle relay with Bella Matney, Garringer, Rice and Hamilton touching the wall in 1:55.97 and the 400 freestyle relay with Monroe, Garringer, Rice and Hamilton finishing in 4:24.18.

Shelbyville hosts Indian Creek Thursday in its home opener.

Nolley makes commitment to Texas Woman's University's volleyball program official

Emma Nolley fervently pursued an opportunity to play collegiate volleyball. She just did not expect an offer to come from Denton, Texas.

Shelbyville High School’s senior defensive specialist realized her dream Monday night after signing her National Letter of Intent to play volleyball at Texas Woman’s University, located north of Dallas.

“One thing I preach to all the student athletes that I’ve coached is playing collegiate sports is not about the sport, it’s about the opportunity,” said Shelbyville volleyball coach Andrew Fuller, who was in attendance Monday for the signing ceremony. “You have to make sure the opportunity makes the most sense.”

Nolley has spent the better part of two years in the recruiting process. A message from Texas turned out to be quite intriguing.

Following  a strong club volleyball performance at an Atlanta tournament, Nolley was contacted by Jeff Huebner, the head coach at Texas Woman’s University.

“He thought I would be a good asset to the team,” she said Monday night at the Golden Bear Room at Shelbyville High School. “So we set up a phone call and talked and he got me on campus and I loved the campus. I met all the coaching staff and loved everything about it.”

 

 

With approximately 15,000 students, Texas Woman’s University is the largest university primarily for women in the country.

Nolley visited the campus in June and became convinced she found the next home for her educational and athletic experience.

“All the coaching staff and team were so nice and welcoming and that made me feel like I was at home,” she said. “I Ioved the campus and the academics are really good and it’s a good volleyball program.”

The Pioneers are a Division II program that competes in Kitty Winter Magee Arena at Pioneer Hall, which also houses the Department of Kinesiology, Nolley’s intended major.

“I always wanted to go into the medical field but I didn’t want to go to medical school,” she said. “I like the idea of being a physical therapist or something of that sort.”

The Pioneers finished the 2021 season with a 10-18 record and three seniors on track to graduate. Fuller does not believe the coaching staff would have pursued Nolley without the intention of utilizing her defensive skills immediately.

“Emma has always impacted teams and programs she has been around, always for the positive,” he said. “I think TWU got a steal, not only in a great player but in a great person.”

 

 

Over four years at Shelbyville, Nolley amassed 155 career service aces and 1,307 career digs. She finished with a career single-season high of 58 aces this past season for a Golden Bears squad that went 16-14.

“I think it was my best season so far,” said Nolley. “I know we were shooting for a sectional title and that didn’t happen which was disappointing but overall we had a really good season.”

One thing Fuller is sure of, Nolley will fight hard for a starting spot in 2022.

“I think the type of opportunity she was offered and the excitement that the program has developed around Emma, they obviously have a pretty impactful role for her right out of the gate,” he said. “If it is a position battle, I would hate to be the person that’s had the position because she accepts challenges and embraces challenges.”

“I have a shot to be the starting libero but I won’t actually know until I get there, but I will definitely be playing,” said Nolley.

Texas Woman’s University is a member of the Lone Star Conference, which consists of 18 schools located in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arkansas.

Indiana Grand Racing & Casino concludes 19th season with record numbers

The 19th season of Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing ended Thursday at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino, completing 123 days of racing.

Both breeds brought in record numbers for the season, showing a 47% increase in overall handle compared to similar dates in 2019.

With the shortened season in 2020 due to COVID-19, handle figures are compared to 2019 when a full schedule was conducted at Indiana Grand. Total handle for 2021 came in at $223,204,265 compared to the handle in 2019 at $151,791,334.

The highlight of the meet was another record-setting day for the Indiana Derby with total handle reaching $6,292,388. The 2021 running of the Indiana Derby marked the third straight year for an all-sources handle track record for a single program.

“Coming off a strong, but abbreviated 2020 season, we entered the 2021 meet with high expectations in terms of handle,” said Eric Halstrom, Vice President and General Manager of Racing. “We are very pleased that we were able to exceed all of our goals. We have so much to celebrate on the business end of our racing program, but more importantly, we were able to offer a strong racing program thanks to the support of both our Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred horsemen. Our partnership with both breeds allows us to provide promotions and events to complement our racing program. We are really looking forward to the 2022 racing season to continue the momentum.”

Four days during the season topped $3 million in handle, including the closing day program on Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11, featuring a seeded $50,000 Pick 5 and Charity Challenge with 20 handicappers submitting $250 tickets into the wager to raise funding for Homeless Veterans and Families of Indiana. Total handle for the day was $3,150,488, the highest handle ever recorded on a Thursday program in the history of Indiana Grand.

Quarter Horse racing also showed major increases in 2021. Handle for the sprinters topped $1 million twice with the Saturday, July 3, program setting a new Quarter Horse handle record of $1,201,604. A total of six all Quarter Horse racing days were offered in 2021.

Purse money also set new records. Both breeds combined included purses of $36,439,755 over the 123-day meet. A new record for daily purse distribution was also set offering an average of $298,686 per day.

The 20th season of Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing begins April 19 and runs through Nov. 23. For more information on events and racing, go to www.indianagrand.com.

Small, talented SHS girls swim team chasing sectional titles, state finals berths

Coen Weiler’s Shelbyville swim program will be numerically challenged this season. With just nine athletes in the girls’ program and 10 in the boys’ program, Weiler must be detail-oriented when creating lineups for meets this season.

The Golden Bears girls program debuts Tuesday at Lawrence Central in a three-team meet that includes New Palestine.

Weiler is not surprised by the low numbers, the girls program added just one freshman this season, but is confident the talent will shine when used correctly.

“I think we’ve had quite a few kids that with our third school year affected by COVID-19 and a second full season, they are exhausted and tired and we’ve lost a few along the way,” said Weiler. “I hope they straggle back eventually.

“We are in a little bit of a drop with the team but we have a really strong group at the middle school coming up, so that’s a bright spot for us.”

Shelbyville returns three swimmers that qualified for the 2021 State Finals in the 200-yard freestyle relay. In addition, senior Karissa Hamilton returns as a state qualifier in the 50 freestyle.

“These first three weeks have been interesting because we’ve been able to do more individualized practices … very specific things that we may not usually get to as much,” said Weiler.

Hamilton, fellow senior Marlee Rice and sophomore Miriam Garringer won the 200 freestyle relay sectional title in 2021 with Addisenn Weaver, who is now at Valparaiso playing college softball. Weiler expects to build meet lineups around that returning trio to create success up and down the meet schedule.

Sophomore Jordan Tobler, who battled Weaver last season for that fourth relay spot, moves into that coveted position.

“She will step right in to that role and improve that relay even more,” said Weiler.

Tobler also will be Shelbyville’s top swimmer in the 100 butterfly.

Rice was the 200 freestyle sectional champion in 2020 but finished runner-up last season which has provided offseason motivation for the senior.

“I am excited to see what she can do,” said Weiler. “I think she has a little bit of a fire in her right now after not being able to repeat as sectional champion from her sophomore to junior year. She has a little bit of a bad taste in her mouth and wants to prove herself and wants to start the year off really strong.”

Weiler plans to “turn her loose” Tuesday in the 200 freestyle to set the baseline of just how ready she is to return to the top spot of the sectional podium.

 

 

Garringer has already set a fast standard in practice and Weiler believes she will make Hamilton and Rice faster because of her growing presence in the pool.

“I think she is getting that confidence and getting things figured out,” said Weiler. “I think it will be huge to see her in those 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle and 200 freestyle (races) and figure out what she is swimming this year.”

Alexis Dwiggins, a junior, is another versatile swimmer gaining confidence and should have a strong season swimming breaststroke.

“Last year, she really grew into the sport,” said Weiler. “This year you can really tell team-wise she is into being with the girls and stepping into her leadership role as a junior, she is more confident in the water and with the team.”

Sophomore Isabella Matney was limited her freshman year to practices only and Weiler thinks she is ready to have a breakthrough season.

Madison Monroe, another junior, continues the theme of versatile swimmers on the roster for the Golden Bears.

“We struggled last year to find what event she really wanted to swim,” explained Weiler. “We can throw her in anything we need to but we haven’t found the event for her. It speaks to her ability as a swimmer and overall confidence that she is typically willing to swim every event. As she gets more comfortable and confident in herself and what she likes, she will establish herself and an event she wants to go after.”

Kylie Stader is the only freshman to join the program this season.

“She is one when she figures out how to use her height and her length, it’s really going to take off,” said Weiler. “I’ve seen it the first two weeks of high school practice. She is getting more and more comfortable with it, being longer, getting stronger and growing into her body. By the end of the season, she will be a huge impact on this team in whatever events we stick her in.”

And then there is Hamilton, who signed her National Letter of Intent last week to play college softball at the University of Kentucky.

“I think she could switch right over to the swim team at Kentucky,” said Weiler when asked how good she could be if swimming was her top priority.

Hamilton is a two-time state qualifier and holds the 50 freestyle record at the middle school as well as three high school individual records and is part of three record-setting relay teams.

“What she has done has been extremely impressive,” said Weiler. “When it’s your second tier sport and you are still qualifying as an individual for (the state meet), it really speaks to her athletic ability overall. Not every athlete can hop in and dominate in the pool like she does. It speaks to her ability to dedicate, be in the zone and be focused on the things she is doing at the time.”

Hamilton swam the 50 free in 24.71 seconds to win the New Palestine Sectional and lowered her time to 24.56 in the preliminary heats at the state finals. Still, she wants more.

“I want to do better … there is always room to improve,” said Hamilton. “I want to make the state in the 50 freestyle again. I am hoping to make it in the 100 backstroke. And I hope to break my 50 freestyle and 100 backstroke record.”

Maiah Helfer-Vazquez returns to the diving board for her junior season. As a sophomore, she finished fourth in the sectional and 14th at the Brownsburg Regional.

“The goal is to repeat as a regional qualifier and keep improving her school record and, maybe, move up in the regional a little bit and get closer to that state qualifying (position) so she can really go after it her senior year.”

Shelbyville’s first home meet of the season is Thursday against Indian Creek.

The first full meet with boys and girls is Nov. 23 at Whiteland.

The Shelby Relays is scheduled for Dec. 11. The Hoosier Heritage Conference Meet at New Palestine is Dec. 18.

The New Palestine Sectional championship races are Feb. 5.

Spiess Stable, Randy Klopp named Leading Owner at Indiana Grand

Spiess Stable and Randy Klopp teamed up for a great season of racing at Indiana Grand in 2021. The duo polished off the season with a win on closing night to bring their total win count to 31 to earn their first Leading Owner title.

Horses owned by the partnership finished in the money 59 percent of the time and earned in excess of $621,000. Top horses from their stable include Short Summer Dress, winner of four races, including the IU Hoosier Stakes earlier in the season and the seven-year-old veteran Polo Art, who also won four of six starts.

“Roger (Spiess) was willing to spend money to buy the horses to race this year,” said Klopp on his successful season with Spiess Stable. “Indiana Grand kept open last winter and that helped us. We appreciate all the opportunities to race that we have in Indiana.”

Spiess is a longtime owner and breeder in Thoroughbred racing. He is from Swanton, Ohio, in the northwest corner of the state and graduated from Ohio State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine in 1969. After a successful career as a veterinarian, he retired last year and is focused on his horses.

“We breed a few horses, but my interest is in racing more than breeding,” said Spiess.

Spiess and Klopp teamed up earlier this fall to buy the sale topper in the annual ITOBA sale, a yearling filly from the first crop of Bucchero. They already have eight yearlings ready to go into training for next year and several other horses turning three that have never raced, setting them up for potentially another great season in 2022 in Indiana.

Mr Michel named Leading Quarter Horse at Indiana Grand

What a year it was for Mr Michel. The two-year-old son of Kiss My Hocks turned in numerous outstanding performances to score the most wins of the meet and earn the title of Leading Quarter Horse of the 2021 racing season at Indiana Grand.

Trained by Claudio Barraza, Mr Michel won five of seven starts and purses of more than $210,000. That tally gives him the record for most purse money earned by a Quarter Horse in one season, topping the previous mark of $190,512 held by Stone Cold Leader.

 

 

Mr Michel (photo) polished off his 2021 season by winning four straight races, two of which were stakes wins in the Miss Roxie Little Futurity and the Leader of the Class Futurity. He is owned by Alberto Valadez and was ridden in his last four starts by Erik Esqueda. The two are undefeated together in 2021.

A blanket presentation was held for Mr Michel on the final night of racing at Indiana Grand. Rachel McLaughlin, on-air racing analyst, accepted the blanket on behalf of the connections of Mr Michel (pronounced Michael).

The sorrel gelding, bred by Mark Michel, is out of the mare Lovemelikethat, who was a stakes winner at Indiana Grand during her racing career.

Wildcard Prado earns Leading Thoroughbred Horse award at Indiana Grand

Wildcard Prado was nothing less than spectacular this season at Indiana Grand. The seven-year-old gelding led all Thoroughbred horses in wins with six trips to the winner’s circle.

Trained by Tianna Richardville, Wildcard Prado won four straight races from mid-July to mid-September for Don and Vickie House Thoroughbreds in Modoc, Indiana. The couple have been raising and racing Thoroughbreds at their farm since 1989, but Wildcard Prado has been a standout for them. They raised him from a baby and have had him during his entire racing career.

“He’s such a wonderful horse,” said Vickie during the blanket presentation for Wildcard Prado. “He is very easy going and lets you pet him and kiss on him all the time. He just loves it.”

Wildcard Prado completed his campaign at Indiana Grand for the 2021 racing season with six wins in 12 starts and purse earnings of more than $75,000. The son of Fort Prado now has 12 career wins and boosted his career earnings mark to just under the $200,000 mark. Richardville, who owns a farm in Shelbyville, Ind., took over training duties for the gelding this season.

“He’s been a lot of fun this year,” said Richardville. “He peaked at the right time and really enjoys his job. He has to be the first out of the barn in the morning. He will nicker at you until he gets your attention. I want to thank the Houses for the opportunity to train him this year.”

Marcelino Pedroza Jr. scores third Leading Jockey title at Indiana Grand

Marcelino Pedroza Jr. was on a mission the last week of racing at Indiana Grand. Already way ahead in the jockey standings, Pedroza completed the four-day work week with an additional 10 wins to earn his third Leading Thoroughbred Jockey Award in Indiana.

Pedroza was honored in the winner’s circle Thursday following the sixth race on closing day. He also brought home the title in 2017 and 2019.

“It’s always great to win races and it’s a great feeling to win the title,” said Pedroza, who was flanked by his family for the trophy presentation. “Thank you to all the owners and trainers that supported me and to my beautiful family, who have been with me when we weren’t winning races.”

Pedroza scored 105 wins during the meet, more than 20 more than second-place finisher DeShawn Parker. With purse earnings in excess of $3.2 million for the year, he moves into third place on the list of all-time leading riders at the track with more than 640 career wins. He also holds several riding records with most purse money in one season ($3.4 million in 2019), most wins by a jockey in one day (6 in 2019), and now joins Orlando Mojica, Leandro Goncalves and Rodney Prescott for most jockey titles at the track with three.

“I’ve been riding Fair Grounds and Indiana Grand the past few years and that’s worked out well for me,” added Pedroza. “I plan to go back to Fair Grounds (New Orleans, Louisiana) and hopefully do well there again and hopefully be back here again next year.”

A native of Panama, Pedroza attended the Laffit Pincay Jr. Jockey Academy before venturing to the United States in 2010. Now a Graded Stakes winning jockey, Pedroza celebrated his 1,000th career victory last year and has more than 1,200 career wins with earnings of more than $32 million.

Williams Racing wins second straight Leading Quarter Horse Owner title at Indiana Grand

It was another great year for Williams Racing at Indiana Grand.

The husband and wife team of Gwen and Randy Williams of LaCenter, Kentucky, topped the standings in the Leading Quarter Horse Owner category for the second straight year to earn the title.

Horses owned by Williams Racing won 11 of 36 starts and were among the top three in 23 of those outings. They earned a total of $371,794 in purse earnings and campaigned such standouts as WRs Apolliticalivory, WRs Valentino and WRs Moonin Thewagon, all home breds.

Randy is currently recovering from a recent illness and the Williams family could not attend to accept their award. Gwen sent a note via e-mail regarding the title.

“We wish we could be there,” said Gwen. “We love Indiana Grand and are so grateful we have such a wonderful place to race our horses. And so thankful for Randy and Debbie Smith and their team for all the hard work they do.”

Williams Racing now has 44 wins at Indiana Grand and are among the track’s top-five all-time winning Quarter Horse owners. They also went over $1 million in career earnings this season. Last year’s tally of 13 ties Tony Cunningham for  most wins in one season by a Quarter Horse owner.

Randy Klopp wins first Leading Trainer title at Indiana Grand

Trainer Randy Klopp knows it takes a village to achieve success, and he was surrounded by those who had a part in the success of his stable for the 2021 Leading Thoroughbred Trainer of the Year award at Indiana Grand.

Although Klopp has been among the track’s top five trainers for nearly a decade, the 2021 title is the first one for him.

“There are a lot of people to thank,” said Klopp. “I want to start off with Lesalene Pompell, my assistant. She does an outstanding job. And also thank you to all the help and to the riders who won races for us this year. That includes Andrea Rodriguez, Joe Ramos, Alex Achard, DeShawn Parker, and Tommy Pompell. And a special thank you to all the owners this season. It’s been a great year.”

Klopp and his wife, Liz, own a farm in Rushville, Indiana, and opted to bypass a trip to Florida last winter to stay at Indiana Grand to train. Horses from their barn have won 59 races and accumulated purse money of more than $1.2 million. Overall, Klopp has won 347 career Indiana training victories, which moves him into fifth place on the list of all-time leading trainers in the 19-year history of racing at Indiana Grand.

Klopp took out his trainer’s license in 1992 and has competed all around the Midwest with a focus on Indiana when pari-mutuel racing began in 1995. He is celebrating his biggest year as a trainer in 2021 and surged past $1 million in earnings for the first time. With more than $12 million in career earnings, the multiple stakes winning trainer has now won 672 races.

Klopp had several top performers throughout the season, including four wins apiece from Polo Art and Short Summer Dress.

“The stakes win by Short Summer Dress was probably our most memorable win from the year,” added Klopp.

With the conclusion of the 2021 racing meet, Klopp has already turned his attention to next season.

“We have 18 horses that will be three-year-olds next year that have never run,” said Klopp. Plus, we have eight two-year-olds so far for next year, so we have a lot to look forward to in 2022.”

Andrea Rodriguez wins Juan Saez Leading Apprentice Jockey at Indiana Grand

Andrea Rodriguez has worked many hours to become a jockey. Her hard work has paid off this year as she was the recipient of the eighth annual Juan Saez Leading Apprentice Jockey at Indiana Grand for 2021.

The award is named in honor of Juan Saez, who passed away following a racing incident in 2014. Saez was the Leading Apprentice at Indiana Grand that same year.

A native of Puerto Rico, Rodriguez attended her country’s famed Escuela Vocacional Hipica Agustin Mercado Reveron Jockey School at Camarero Race Track outside of San Juan. After winning her first race at Camarero, she ventured to the United States in 2019 with a short stint in the saddle before stopping and working as an exercise rider.

While galloping for trainer Ian Wilkes, she decided to give a career as a jockey one more try.

“Trainer Ian Wilkes is the one that pushed me back to riding at Turfway Park,” said Rodriguez. “Then, I came to Indiana Grand prepared to gallop and Bones (Kerry Wirth, her agent) and trainers Randy Klopp and Marvin Johnson told me to try to ride, so I did. It’s been so great for me to ride in my first year at Indiana Grand. It’s been an amazing experience. First, I have to thank God and then the trainers who have supported me.”

Working in the mornings has brought a special bond with several horses to Rodriguez, who places special posts about them on social media after her wins. But one horse has stolen her heart this year at Indiana Grand.

“I would have to say Polo Art is my favorite,” said Rodriguez, who won four races aboard the seven-year-old gelding this season. “He has such a big heart, and he tries so hard.”

Rodriguez was joined by her mother, Camille, who is visiting from Puerto Rico, for the trophy presentation as the track’s Leading Apprentice. She adds the award to a Leading Apprentice title she won at Ellis Park earlier this year. The young jockey follows in the footsteps of several family members who have been involved in racing in her home country.

“My grandfather was the first trainer from Puerto Rico to qualify and race in the Kentucky Derby,” added Rodriguez. “Also, my ‘auntie’ was the first female trainer in Puerto Rico.”

Rodriguez will move her tack to Turfway Park for the winter and plans to return to Indiana Grand when racing resumes April 19. Until then, she will continue to work at a career she thoroughly enjoys and continue to connect with horses that are her passion.

Rodriguez completes the 2021 racing season at Indiana Grand with 28 wins and a victory in her final race of 2021 aboard Double Advantage. She earned a spot among the track’s top 15 jockeys. Horses she had guided this season have earned in excess of $550,000.

The 20th season of Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing is set to resume April 19 and run through Nov. 23.

Prep Report: Morristown collects first-ever win over Shelbyville

Raegan Kleine and Gracie Laster combined for 30 points Saturday to lead Morristown to a historic 47-38 victory over visiting Shelbyville.

The Class A Yellow Jackets were 0-27 dating back to head-to-head meetings since 1976 against the Class 4A Golden Bears. Saturday’s meeting was the first since a Shelbyville 53-39 win on Dec. 14, 2010.

Kleine and Laster had 14 points in the first half and Emma Spahr connected on two three-pointers to stake the Yellow Jackets (3-3) to a 26-8 halftime advantage.

 

 

Kylee Edwards scored seven of her game-high 17 points in the third quarter to help the Golden Bears (2-2) close the gap to 36-23 entering the fourth quarter.

All 11 of Morristown’s fourth-quarter points came from the free-throw line. Laster connected on 7-of-10 over the final eight minutes to seal the win.

Kleine finished with 16 points, nine rebounds and five assists.

Laster had 14 points, six rebounds and four steals.

Spahr finished with seven points and four rebounds. Danika Rutledge had seven rebounds.

Madison Phares scored 10 points for Shelbyville – all in the second half.

Shelbyville’s junior varsity improved to 4-0 with a 26-20 victory Saturday at Morristown.

Shelbyville is at Greensburg (0-3) Tuesday night.

Morristown is at Beech Grove (0-4) Thursday.

In other prep events Saturday:

 

 

Triton Central 50, Eastern Hancock 41

Class 2A, No. 2 Triton Central improved to 3-0 with its third-straight win against a state-ranked opponent.

The 2A, No. 16 Royals built a 12-10 advantage after one quarter but were outscored 14-7 in the second quarter and never recovered in a road loss to Triton Central.

Olivia Faust scored nine points in the fourth quarter to finish with a game-high 18 points for Triton Central. Brooklyn Bailey came off the bench to score 14 points. Lizzie Graham had nine.

The Tigers were 8 of 10 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter against a potential sectional foe.

Sammie Bolding led Eastern Hancock with 17 points. She hit five 3s in the loss.

Emma Bolding had 12 points.

Triton Central hosts Monrovia (0-2) Wednesday in Fairland.

 

 

Southwestern 40, Oldenburg Academy 20

At Oldenburg, Lily Kerber topped the visiting Spartans with 12 points. Lilly Rooks added 10.

After an even first quarter, Southwestern (2-2) outscored the Twisters (1-2), 10-3, in the second quarter to establish a lead it would never relinquish.

Also for Southwestern, Faith Kelley had five points and McKinley Correll and Alison Muck each had four.

Emma Weberding topped the Twisters with six points. Hannah Haverkos had four.

Oldenburg Academy won the junior varsity game, 49-7. Addisyn Lambert had a game-high 10 points for the Twisters. Lilly Dennis and Gracie Ripperger each had eight.

Amber Benson led the Spartans with five points.

Southwestern returns to the hardwood Friday night at Garrett Gymnasium to take on Shelbyville.

Prep Report: Shelbyville, Waldron collect wins over MHC programs

Kylee Edwards scored a season-high 27 points to lead Shelbyville to a 57-48 victory Friday over visiting Edinburgh.

Abby Brenner scored all seven of her points in the second half and Ava Wilson, Madison Bassett and Ella Johnson each had six to get the Golden Bears to 2-1 this season.

Edinburgh (2-2) stayed close the entire game, trailing 12-11 after one quarter, 26-21 at halftime and 42-35 after three quarters.

Callie Hancock topped the Lancers with 17 points. Gracie Crawhorn finished with 10, Alyssa Funkhouser added 9 and Kyah Streeval had eight.

Shelbyville’s junior varsity improved to 3-0 this season with a 39-17 win.

The Golden Bears travel to northern Shelby County Saturday to face Morristown (2-3) in the Bee Hive. The JV game tips off at 6 p.m.

In another girls basketball game Friday:

 

 

Waldron 59, Southwestern 39

At Southwestern, Class A, No. 5 ranked Waldron utilized a balance scoring effort to pull away from the Spartans.

Five different Mohawks scored between eight and 12 points Friday. Megan Bogemann hit four three-pointers for a game-high 12 points.

Hadlie Ross had nine points and Nichole Garner, Hallie Ross and Bella Larrison each had eight.

Waldron (4-0, 1-0 Mid-Hoosier Conference) built a 12-5 lead after one quarter and extended it to 29-9 by halftime.

Cy Stockdale and Lily Kerber each scored 10 points to lead Southwestern (1-2, 1-1 MHC). Lilly Rooks finished with nine points.

Waldron won the JV game, 66-4.

Alivia Fischer scored a game-high 17 points. Audrey Hogg and Alyssa Benson each had 12.

Southwestern is at Oldenburg Academy (1-0) Saturday afternoon.

Waldron is off until Friday when it hosts Hauser (3-0).

Evansville Mater Dei overpowers Triton Central to capture regional title

The end was swift as a powerful Evansville Mater Dei squad overpowered Triton Central, 35-7, Friday in the Class 2A regional in Fairland.

Joey Pierre carried the ball 21 times for 211 yards and two touchdowns and the Wildcats’ offense amassed 314 total rushing yards while its defense limited the Tigers to 104 yards of total offense.

“Offensively, we sputtered,” said Able. “A key play in the game was the coin toss. If we would have won the toss we would have done what they did and deferred (the kickoff to the second half). The wind was a huge factor because we needed to throw. They are stronger than we are and we weren’t going to be able to run on them much. We needed the wind to throw and it’s a lot easier to throw when you have the wind.”

Triton Central could not get its running game going and throwing against the wind was problematic. Add in the difficulty punting into the wind and Evansville Mater Dei got rolling in a hurry.

The Wildcats took their first possession at the TC 38-yard line following a Jayden Mays 13-yard punt against the wind. Five Pierre runs later, the first touchdown was on the board.

Triton Central again went nowhere on its second possession and a better Mays’ punt rolled to midfield. Eight plays later, quarterback Mason Wunderlich connected with Eli McDurmon for a 14-yard touchdown strike and it was 14-0 just past the halfway point of the first quarter.

Wunderlich finished off a five-play drive with a plunge into the end zone from 1-yard out. Bryce Humphrey scored from three yards out to make it 28-0 and Pierre broke free for a 55-yard scoring run late in the second quarter to set up a running clock in the second half.

“Our kids kept playing hard,” said Able. “Their talent, size and strength were overwhelming and then you have a quarterback that can throw dimes and an all-state receiver that is a heck of a player. Their running backs are really strong. I told our kids to look at their legs. They are hard to take down. We have to get stronger in the weight room. That is what another year will do.”

Triton Central scored just before time expired in the game when quarterback Jace Stuckey hit Anthony Dunville in the back of the end zone.

Stuckey completed just 9-of-22 pass attempts for 61 yards, one touchdown and one interception. The sophomore also led the team in rushing yards with 27 on seven carries.

Ray Crawford was limited to five yards on four carries. Brad Schultz had six catches for 26 yards.

Triton Central finished the season 8-5 and a third-straight sectional title with just five seniors on the roster.

“We went through a lot of adversity. We lost our quarterback for two weeks. We lost our running back for a game. We lost Brad Schultz for about 40% of the season and 80% of practice time,” said Able.

Evansville Mater Dei (11-2) will travel north again for semistate competition at Scecina (10-3), a 34-13 winner over Lafayette Central Catholic Friday.

In the Class 2A northern regional championships, Andrean defeated LaVille, 35-7 and Eastside eliminated Eastbrook, 21-14.

 

Evansville Mater Dei 35, Triton Central 7

SCORE BY QUARTERS

EM   21  14   0   0  --  35

TC      0     0   0   7  --    7

First Quarter:
EM – Pierre 4 run (Sitzman kick), 9:40

EM – E. McDurmon 14 pass Wunderlich (Sitzman kick), 5:16

EM – Wunderlich 1 run (Sitzman kick), 1:34

Second Quarter:

EM – Humphrey 3 run (Sitzman kick), 4:58

EM – Pierre 55 run (Sitzman kick), 2:23

Fourth Quarter:

TC – Dunville 15 pass Stuckey (Dewey kick), :30

Rushing: Pierre 21-211, Humphrey 11-61, C. Stratman 2-17, W. Stratman 5-15, Wunderlich 4-8, Wiley 2-8, E. McDurmon 1-1, Mayer 1-(-7) (EM); Stuckey 7-27, Blake 2-8, Crawford 4-5, Schultz 2-1, Kemper 1-2 (TC).

Passing: Wunderlich 4-6-47 (EM); Stuckey 9-22-61, Emberton 0-1-1, Crawford 0-1-1 (TC).

Receiving: E. McDurmon 2-21, Stolz 1-16, L. McDurmon 1-10 (EM); Schultz 6-26, Compton 2-20, Dunville 1-15 (TC).

Hamilton fulfills dream to play college softball at University of Kentucky

Karissa Hamilton’s softball dream became a reality Thursday in the Golden Bear Room at Shelbyville High School.

Hamilton officially signed her National Letter of Intent to play softball at the University of Kentucky.

“I can’t believe we’re already here,” said Hamilton. “Everything went by so fast. My dream finally came true. I am so excited to officially be a Wildcat. I’ve been waiting for this for such a long time.”

Hamilton admitted Kentucky was her top choice for several years. And while she entertained playing at Big Ten schools Indiana and Michigan, the lure of playing in the Southeastern Conference at a school she has been attending camps at for several years was too much to pass up.

“I wanted to play SEC and Kentucky has been my dream school,” she said. “I’ve been going down there for camps since seventh grade and every time I go down there I fall in love with it more and more. They have amazing coaches, amazing teammates and the campus is so beautiful. It has the majors I want and it’s close to home and I love it.”

Hamilton, the daughter of an elementary teacher in Shelbyville, is considering majoring in Elementary Education with a minor in agriculture.

Already a well-known commodity on the travel softball circuit with her Indiana Magic Gold squad, Hamilton burst onto the state scene with a dynamic junior season with the Golden Bears.

In 29 games, she hit .604 with a program-record 22 home runs, 11 doubles and 55 runs batted in. She currently holds Shelbyville’s single-season and career home run records with another season on tap.

 

Karissa Hamilton (center) displays the three home runs balls she hit in one day for Shelbyville last season. (Above photo) Hamilton signed her National Letter of Intent Thursday to play college softball at the University of Kentucky. Her parents, David and Angie Hamilton, and her older sister, Elliana, joined her for the moment.

 

“I want to improve on what I did last year which is a very big challenge,” admitted Hamilton. “I am definitely up for it. I want to break the single-season state home run record.”

With her 22nd home run last season, Hamilton tied the state record held by her future Kentucky teammate Erin Coffel. That record was broken by Pioneer’s Hailey Cripe, who led her team to the Class 3A state softball title. The University of Kansas commit hit 23 home runs in 37 games last season.

Also a two-time state swim meet qualifier, Hamilton is about to embark on her senior season with the Golden Bears swim program where she holds three individual and three relay records.

Despite being ranked as one of the top 25 players in the country in the graduating class of 2022, Hamilton has no guarantee of playing time as a freshman at a Kentucky program that was 43-16 last season (13-11 in SEC games).

“Coach (Rachel) Lawson is very fair,” said Hamilton. “She does not give you guaranteed playing time. You have to work for your spot. I am very excited for that competition and see where I play. They see me as a catcher and an outfielder.”

Shelbyville’s swim season kicks off Tuesday at Lawrence Central.

The Golden Bears’ softball season is scheduled to start March 30 at Cathedral.

Prep report: Triton Central, Morristown collect conference victories

A strong second-quarter performance netted Class 2A, No. 2 Triton Central its first Indiana Crossroads Conference win of the season.

The Tigers outscored 2A No. 14 Cascade, 16-3, over the second eight minutes Thursday night then held off a comeback attempt in the fourth quarter for a 57-47 victory.

Lizzie Graham led Triton Central (2-0, 1-0 ICC) with 17 points.

Olivia Faust had 11 points and Brooklyn Bailey produced 10 points off the bench to get the Tigers a key ICC victory.

Christina Lamb finished with 11 points for Cascade (4-1, 1-1 ICC). Sydney Warran and Emma Parsons each had nine.

Triton Central won the junior varsity game, 29-22.

Allie Peterson led the Tigers (2-0) with nine points. Tatum Canter finished with six.

Chloe Smith led the Cadets with nine points. Kaylee Austin had seven points.

Triton Central hosts potential sectional opponent Eastern Hancock (3-0) Saturday night in its home opener in Fairland. The Royals are ranked No. 16 in the most recent 2A poll.

In other prep games Thursday:

 

 

Morristown 53, South Decatur 48

At Morristown, a strong first quarter propelled the host Yellow Jackets (2-3) to a win in their Mid-Hoosier Conference opener.

Morristown jumped out to a 17-6 advantage after the first eight minutes, saw the Cougars (1-2, 0-2 MHC) cut the lead to 25-21 by halftime then stayed solid over the final two quarters to earn the victory.

Reagan Kleine led Morristown with 18 points, seven rebounds and three assists.

Nevaeh Sanders had 13 points, three assists and two steals. Gracie Laster finished with 10 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Dakota Rutledge and Alexia Rogers each had six points.

Loryn Pate topped South Decatur with 16 points. Brook Somers and Kiley Best each had 11 points.

Morristown hosts Shelbyville (1-1) Saturday at the Bee Hive.

Halstrom honored by Indiana HBPA at Indiana Grand

As the 2021 racing season comes to a close at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino, the Indiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) made a surprise presentation to Eric Halstrom, Vice President and General Manager of Racing, with the “HBPA Excellence of Service Award.”

Brian Elmore, Executive Director of Indiana HBPA, was joined by several board members for the presentation in the winner’s circle to Halstrom, who is in his second year at the helm of the racing operations at Indiana Grand in Shelbyville, Indiana. Elmore noted the gratitude from the horsemen’s organization for Halstrom’s leadership and guidance during the 19th season of racing that has brought in a record-setting year in handle.

Elmore noted the best way to honor Halstrom (photo, center holding plaque) was to read the plaque, which said, “In recognition of your outstanding commitment and leadership toward the advancement of Thoroughbred horse racing in Indiana. Given on this day, Nov. 11, 2021.”

In addition to working closely with the horsemen this season, Halstrom has implemented several positive changes to the racing program, from lower takeout rates to unique wagering incentives, including a seeded $50,000 Pick 5 on closing day as a way to say “thank you” to all racing fans who watched and wagered on Indiana racing in 2021.

“We’ve had a tremendous year in racing and it’s thanks in part to the cooperation and support of the horsemen,” said Halstrom. “I am very honored to receive this award, and it has special meaning since it comes from the horsemen’s organization. We work very hard to put on a great show for them and are constantly looking for ways to create a fun and exciting backdrop to showcase our racing product.”

Joining Elmore from the HBPA for the presentation were Blaine Davidson, Randy Klopp, Katie Duran, Joe Davis, president of the Indiana HBPA, and Bruce Murphy. Rachel McLaughlin, on-air racing analyst, conducted the presentation.

Spa City wins Salute the Heroes Stakes at Indiana Grand

A win by Spa City in the inaugural running of the $75,000 Salute the Heroes Stakes at Indiana Grand was much bigger than the blanket and trophy. The win by the horse and Edgar Morales capped off a special Pick 5 Charity Challenge where 20 handicappers from across the nation placed wagers into the pool.

Of those tickets, three players, Ellis Starr, Dan Tordjman and Jimmy McNerney, hit to tally a total of $2,839.65. On top of that, trainer Tom Amoss called in and donated his trainer’s percentage from the race Thursday to the cause, bringing the total donated to Homeless Veterans and Families (HVAF) of Indiana to $7,362.65.

Assistant trainer Katy Allen took the call from Amoss as the horse was walking out of the winner’s circle to deliver the charitable news during the post-race interview. All proceeds will go to HVAF to assist with their various programs, from their food bank and housing for homeless veterans to their education and job search program. The organization is located in downtown Indianapolis and serves the region, which includes the local community around Indiana Grand in Shelbyville.

Spa City (photo) is a recent acquisition through a claim by owner Maggi Moss and trainer Tom Amoss. His new connections saw potential right away in the four-year-old gelded son of Street Sense and thought the Salute the Heroes Stakes was a good spot to test his skills.

Starting from post six in the seven-horse lineup, Morales saw early on that using early speed was not the ticket to the finish line and sat patiently in mid pack with Spa City. Around the final turn, the gelding came to life and used the stretch to rally home for the easy win by three and three-quarter lengths.

Bayou Cat and Rodney Prescott finished a comfortable second over Warrior in Chief and Marcelino Pedroza Jr. for third.

“I saw this horse came from off the pace before, so we thought that was the best way to go since there was so much early speed in this race,” said Morales. “The eight (Bybee) broke better than us so I stayed around him early. He ran a pretty good race at Churchill his last start. He is a nice and easy horse to ride with a big stride and when I asked him for more, he gave it to me.”

Spa City earned his fifth career win in 14 career starts and boosted his career earnings tally to nearly $200,000. He is now three for three at Indiana Grand over the dirt course. He was bred by Godolphin.

“This horse is so nice to be around,” added Katy Allen, who has collectively worked for the Amoss Stable for seven years. “He is so sweet in the stall and when Tom (Amoss) claimed him, I was so happy because he won that race very handily. We were hoping for a big run tonight and we are happy with his performance.”

Amoss, a six-time leading trainer at Indiana Grand, is the track’s all-time winning trainer in wins with more than 400 trips to the winner’s circle. He also holds several other training records, including most wins in one season by a trainer (81) and most purse earnings by a trainer in one season ($1.5 million), both set in 2013.

Triton Central, Evansville Mater Dei renew regional rivalry

For the fifth time in the last 11 seasons, Triton Central and Evansville Mater Dei will meet for a regional championship.

The Wildcats hold a 3-1 series lead with Triton Central’s only win coming in 2019 in Fairland, 13-7.

On Friday, the Wildcats (10-2) and head coach Mike Goebel, 246-78 in 25th year at Mater Dei, will make the three-plus-hour drive north to Shelby County once again with a semistate berth at stake.

Kickoff has been moved up to 6:30 p.m. Friday at Mendenhall Field.

A quick start will be key for a Triton Central squad (8-4) built around sophomore and junior playmakers. There are just five seniors on the roster for head coach Tim Able, 205-129 in 29 years of coaching.

“In high school games it is very important (to get off to a quick start),” said Able. “Two years ago we got off to a good start … we didn’t last year. We need to play from out front. We play better when we get off to a good start.”

Only one touchdown was scored in Evansville Mater Dei’s 16-6 victory in 2020 at the Reitz Bowl in Evansville. Mason Wunderlich connected with Eli Mcdurmon on a 39-yard strike in the second quarter to put the Wildcats up 10-3.

Jordan Atherton connected on field goals of 25, 39 and 36 yards to seal the win as Triton Central was limited to 233 yards of offense, no touchdowns and four turnovers.

Triton Central’s defense produced minus-14 yards of rushing for the Wildcats in the loss but quarterback Mason Wunderlich completed nearly 50% of his pass attempts for 161 yards and the lone touchdown of the game.

Wunderlich returns to lead an offense that has 2,264 passing yards and 1,490 rushing yards.

“They have the same quarterback and he is really good,” said Able. “They have real good receivers … three or four who are pretty good and a good running back.

“This is a very experienced team. They’ve got a lot of tools. I think we do too. We’re similar in the way we mix the run and the pass.”

Wunderlich has completed 153 of 285 pass attempts this season for 2,264 yards, 23 touchdowns and six interceptions.

Five different Wildcats have at least 12 receptions this season. Mcdurmon, now a senior, leads the way with 57 receptions for 958 yards and 10 TDs. Bryce Humphries, a senior, has 30 receptions for 368 yards and four TDs. Ethan Stolz, a junior, has 27 receptions for 384 yards and six TDs.

Junior running back Joey Pierre has 929 yards and eight TDs on 200 carries this season.

“We have to get to the quarterback,” said Able. “We’ve got to change up our looks and choose the blitz at the right time and catch them when they are not expecting it. And we have to control the run game so we know when they are going to pass.”

 

 

Triton Central counters with its own set of offensive weapons beginning with sophomore quarterback Jace Stuckey, who has completed 53% of his pass attempts this season for 1,340 yards, 11 TDs and five interceptions. He also has nine rushing TDs this season.

Sophomore Ray Crawford, who was limited to 46 yards on 22 carries in last season’s loss to the Wildcats, has 1,263 yards rushing this season and 11 touchdowns but also is more of a threat in the passing game this year. He has over 400 yards receiving and three touchdowns.

Stuckey has shorter passing routes for Crawford and junior Brad Schultz (nearly 500 yards receiving and five TDs), who can break loose and add yards after the catch, and can go deep to senior Devon Emberton (over 300 yards receiving and 3 TDs).

“They are going to mix up their defensive fronts and give you different looks,” said Able. “It will be an interesting matchup when it comes to that kind of stuff. It’s a chess game … and you don’t want to be playing checkers.”

Triton Central is banged up physically but will have senior all-conference selection Jayden Mays back on both offense and defense. Freshmen linemen Willie Baugh and Colton Crawford are both done for the season due to injuries but neither will require surgery, according to Able.

The regional winner Friday will face either Lafayette Central Catholic (8-4) or TC’s Indiana Crossroads Conference rival Scecina (9-3) in the southern Indiana semistate championship on Nov. 19.

If Scecina wins, it will host the semistate due to not hosting the sectional or regional championship game.

If Lafayette Central Catholic and Triton Central win, the semistate championship game will be played in Fairland.

In the 2A bracket in the north, LaVille (9-2) travels to Andrean (9-3) while Eastbrook (11-0) is at Eastside (12-0).

Collegiate Update: Chandler helps Loyola win season opener against Detroit Mercy

Maya Chandler scored 10 points and dished out two assists in Loyola’s 63-40 season-opening win Tuesday.

Chandler, a Triton Central graduate, was in the Ramblers’ starting lineup and played 22 minutes against Detroit Mercy.

Loyola is at DePaul Friday.

Here is a look at other Shelby County graduates competing at the collegiate level.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brooklyn Schiffli

The Triton Central graduate had five digs Friday in Jacksonville State’s 25-16, 25-15, 19-25, 25-21 victory at North Alabama.

Jacksonville State improved to 22-5 this season and 12-2 against Atlantic Sun Conference opponents.

 

 

Maggie Schweitzer

The Triton Central graduate finished with one kill, six assists, two aces and 11 digs for Hanover College in a 25-15, 25-17, 18-25, 25-23 loss to Earlham College Saturday in the semifinal round of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference postseason tournament.

Hanover reached the semifinals with a 25-15, 27-25, 25-11 victory Nov. 3 against Anderson. Schweitzer had nine digs in the win.

Hanover finished the season at 17-10.

 

 

Bailey Chandler

The Triton Central graduate, and older sister to Maya Chandler, collected 10 assists, one ace and three digs Saturday in Eastern Illinois volleyball’s 25-22, 22-25, 25-19, 25-21 loss at Tennessee Tech.

On Friday, Chandler had four assists, two aces and nine digs in a 25-18, 23-25, 25-21, 25-19 loss at Tennessee Tech.

With the two conference losses, Eastern Illinois dropped to 10-16 this season and 3-13 against Ohio Valley Conference foes.

 

 

Kenneth Gipson

The Triton Central graduate was part of Rose-Hulman’s starting offensive line Saturday in a 38-14 win at Franklin that clinched a share of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference title.

Rose-Hulman (7-2, 6-0 HCAC) will take on Mount St. Joseph (6-3, 5-1 HCAC) Saturday to clinch the HCAC title outright and earn a NCAA Division III playoff berth.

 

 

Riley Stephens

The Triton Central graduate played three minutes and went 0-for-2 from the field in Evansville’s season-opening 62-52 win Tuesday over Austin Peay.

 

 

Hayden Langkabel

The Morristown graduate had eight points, one rebound, one blocked shot and one assist for Marian in a 66-57 road win Saturday at No. 23 Thomas More University.

The Knights improved to 2-0 this season.

 

 

Drake Moore

The Morristown graduate made his collegiate debut Saturday in York College’s 113-79 win over Ozark Christian College. Moore scored six points, grabbed seven rebounds and had two assists.

On Tuesday, York lost to Midland, 71-67. Moore had one rebound and one assist for the Panthers (1-2).

 

 

Bailey Stamper

The Triton Central graduate had one rebound on Nov. 3 in Indiana University South Bend’s 68-55 conference loss to St. Francis (Ill.).

The Titans rebounded to defeat Midway Saturday, 80-71, to improve to 4-1 this season.

 

 

Kenzie Ryle

The Triton Central graduate had one rebound and one assist for Earlham College Monday in an 84-81 overtime loss to Olivet.

 

 

Cameron Baker

The Shelbyville graduate won the diving competition Saturday for Franklin College in a dual meet with Hanover. Baker accumulated 225.45 points.

On Friday, Baker finished third in a dual meet against Asbury. He finished with 213.70 points.

 

 

Nolan Davis

The Shelbyville graduate helped Franklin defeat Asbury (174-67) and Hanover (167-20) in dual swim meets Friday and Saturday.

On Friday, Davis was part of Franklin’s victorious 400-meter medley relay team. He also placed fourth in the 100 butterfly (54.91) and third in the 500 freestyle (5:08).

Against Hanover, Davis was second in the 200 freestyle (1:53.62) and helped the Grizzlies to a runner-up finish in the 200 medley relay and third-place finish in the 400 freestyle relay.

Class A, No. 5 Waldron stays unbeaten with road win at Shelbyville

Shelbyville wanted the win. Waldron needed the win even more.

In a battle of a Class 4A program trying to rebuild from the ground up and a Class A program on the verge of a milestone season, the small-school Mohawks prevailed 54-48 over the Golden Bears Tuesday with more composure over the final 17 minutes of the game at William L. Garrett Gymnasium.

With an 11-3 start to the third quarter, Shelbyville (1-1) built its first double-digit lead of the game over Class A, No. 5 Waldron, 36-26 and head coach Anthony Thomas called for a timeout.

The veteran Mohawks (3-0) regrouped and went on an 18-0 run that stretched nearly to the midway point of the fourth quarter.

“At that timeout, I told the girls we were getting the looks we wanted and it’s on you now,” said Thomas. “We leave here 2-1 or you go out and get it.”

 

 

Shelbyville’s run started with a 15-foot jumper from Madison Phares and four baskets on drives to the rim, the last from Kylee Edwards with five minutes, 10 seconds left in the third quarter.

Nichole Garner answered right away with a drive into the lane and score at the other end that cut the lead to 36-28. Bella Larrison followed with a 15-foot jumper, Mackenzie Shaw scored in the lane and Larrison got a shot off from an offensive rebound just before the quarter ended to cut the lead to two at the break.

Waldron set up a 3-point look for Megan Bogemann to start the fourth quarter and she nailed it.

“We changed it around a little bit for Bogemann to get us a corner three to get us going,” said Thomas. “A senior stepped up and hit it and that started to spread through the rest of the team, just like the misses spread through the rest of the team. Sometimes it’s just a matter of hitting one shot, it doesn’t matter where it is and it gets these girls going.”

Larrison followed with a 3-pointer from the top of the key. Hadlie Ross scored in the low post and Larrison went strong to the rim and converted to push the lead to 44-36.

“A lot of times our problem in the past with Bella (Larrison) is getting her to take the shot,” said Thomas. “Now she is looking for it and she needs to look for it.”

Shelbyville’s scoring drought ended at the 4:26 mark of the fourth quarter when Abby Brenner banked in an off-balance shot in the lane.

The Golden Bears cut the lead to 44-39 but Shaw scored two easy baskets off assists from Larrison and Bogemann and scored again with 2:19 on the clock for a 50-41 lead.

Shelbyville never found any offensive rhythm over the final quarter-and-a-half and the senior-laden Waldron squad never panicked down the stretch on the road.

“We are still a work in progress but I like how the kids share the ball and I like their moxie,” said Thomas, who is still getting the Mohawks up to speed after a delayed start to the preseason because several players were part of the school’s first volleyball regional appearance. “We’ve been down … Blue River had us down, (Shelbyville) had us down tonight and the girls stayed the course and I think that shows a lot for a group of kids in February if we can stay healthy.”

Larrison led all scorers with 22 points and she had a team-high 11 rebounds. Shaw scored 12 points off the bench and had six rebounds and three blocked shots.

Bogemann finished with nine points, all on 3s, and had four assists. Garner had nine points, five assists and four rebounds.

Ava Wilson and Edwards topped the Golden Bears with 12 points apiece. Edwards also had two rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocked shots.

Phares finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots.

Brenner had nine points and Cheyenne Eads scored five points off the bench.

Waldron is at Class A, No. 13 Southwestern (1-1) on Friday for its first Mid-Hoosier Conference game of the season.

Shelbyville hosts Edinburgh (2-0) Friday at Garrett Gymnasium.

Shelbyville won the junior varsity game, 38-27.

Addison Stieneker led the Golden Bears (2-0) with 11 points. Sydney Baker scored 10 and Lilly Johnson had nine.

Alivia Fischer and Lilli Rozier each scored nine points to lead Waldron (2-2).

 

Waldron 54, Shelbyville 48

WA – J. Larrison 0-4 2-2 2, Had. Ross 1-5 0-0 2, Bogemann 3-11 0-0 9, Garner 2-10 4-4 9, B. Larrison 9-22 2-3 22, Shaw 5-7 0-0 10, Fewell 0-0 0-0 0. Totals – 20-59 8-9 54.

SH – Edwards 4-11 3-5 12, Brenner 4-7 1-2 9, Wilson 3-9 4-5 12, Bassett 0-6 0-0 0, Phares 4-9 0-0 10, Johnson 0-1 0-0 0, Eads 2-2 0-0 5, Simpson 0-1 0-0 0. Totals – 17-45 8-14 48.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

WA (3-0)   9  14  11  20  --  54

SH (1-1)  15  10  11  12  --  48

Three-point field goals: WA 6-15 (Bogemann 3-9, Garner 1-1, B. Larrison 2-5), SH 6-19 (Edwards 1-4, Wilson 2-6, Bassett 0-2, Phares 2-6, Eads 1-1). Rebounds: WA 30 (J. Larrison 2, Had. Ross 5, Bogemann 2, Garner 4, B. Larrison 11, Shaw 6, Fewell 1), SH 25 (Edwards 2, Brenner 3, Wilson 1, Bassett 6, Phares 10, Johnson 3). Assists: WA 13 (J. Larrison 1, Bogemann 4, Garner 5, B. Larrison 1, Shaw 1, Fewell 1). SH 8 (Edwards 3, Wilson 2, Johnson 1, Eads 1, Simpson 1). Steals: WA 4 (Bogemann 1, Garner 2, B. Larrison 1), SH 4 (Edwards 2, Bassett 2). Blocks: WA 5 (Bogemann 1, B. Larrison 1, Shaw 3), SH 7 (Edwards 2, Phares 5). Totals fouls: WA 16, SH 15. Fouled out: Brenner (SH). Turnovers: WA 12, SH 14.

JV

Shelbyville 38, Waldron 27

WA – Fischer 9, Lozier 9, Price 3, Benson 3, Hogg 2, Ross 1.
SH – Stieneker 11, Baker 10, Johnson 9, Marshall 4, Simpson 2, Mummert 2.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

WA (2-2)   2  11  2  12  -- 27

SH (1-1)  12    9  8    9  -- 38

Titans pull away in second half to defeat Yellow Jackets

Morristown was doubled up in the scoring column in the third quarter Tuesday by Tri which led to a 56-42 defeat.

The Yellow Jackets (1-3) led 13-12 after one quarter and fell behind 27-25 at halftime before being outscored 16-8 in the third quarter and never recovered.

Raegan Kleine led Morristown with 12 points, seven rebounds, four assists and five steals.

Gracie Laster had nine points and four steals.

Tri improved to 2-1 this season – all against Shelby County opponents. The Titans defeated Southwestern, 51-31, to open the season and lost to Waldron, 51-42, on Saturday.

Morristown returns to action Thursday against South Decatur (1-1).

Waldron up to No. 5, TC holds steady at No. 2 in new ICGSA girls basketball poll

The four girls basketball teams ranked No. 1 in the Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association preseason poll remained on top in the first regular season poll.

Tecumseh (Class A), Tipton (2A), South Bend Washington (3A) and Crown Point (4A) are the top teams in each respective class.

Tecumseh leads the Class A poll ahead of Lanesville, Trinity Lutheran, Jac-Cen-Del, Waldron, Vincennes Rivet, Kouts, Morgan Township, Northeast Dubois and Blue River Valley.

Also receiving votes in the Class A poll were Greenwood Christian (ranked No. 12), Southwestern (No. 13) and Bethesda Christian (No. 18).

Triton Central remained No. 2 in the 2A poll behind Tipton. The remainder of the top 10 includes Andrean, Forest Park, University, Frankton, Eastern (Pekin), Linton-Stockton, Clinton Prairie and Winchester.

Also receiving votes in the 2A poll were Shenandoah (No. 11), Cascade (No. 14) and Eastern Hancock (No. 16).

The 3A top 10 includes South Bend Washington, Mishawaka Marian, Silver Creek, Garrett, Salem, Benton Central, Norwell, Jay County, Washington and Evansville Memorial.

In the 4A poll after Crown Point are Noblesville, North Central, Bedford North Lawrence, Franklin, Homestead, Penn, Hamilton Southeastern, Zionsville and Fishers.

Cascade captures both Kopper Kettle Classic tournament titles at Morristown

Morristown reached the championship game in both of its junior varsity and varsity hometown tournaments Saturday but failed to keep the Kopper Kettle Classic trophies in town.

Cascade captured both titles Saturday with a 44-36 victory over the host Yellow Jackets in the JV championship game and a 69-31 win over Morristown in the varsity championship.

The Class 2A, No. 14 Cadets improved to 3-0 at the varsity level.

Raegan Kleine led Morristown (1-2) with 10 points, six rebounds and five assists in the championship game. Danika Rutledge finished with seven points.

In the varsity semifinal rounds, Morristown defeated Henryville, 41-30, and Cascade topped Tri-Central, 60-30.

Nevaeh Sanders and Maggie Lutes led Morristown with eight points apiece. Lutes also had four rebounds. Kleine had seven points, a team-high nine rebounds and three steals.

Tri-Central defeated Henryville, 45-19, in the consolation game to improve to 1-2 this season. Henryville also is 1-2.

Morristown is 1-2 and will host Tri Tuesday at 6 p.m.

In the junior varsity semifinals, Morristown routed Henryville, 41-8, and Cascade cruised past Tri-Central, 48-22.

Tri-Central won the consolation game over Henryville, 37-22.

Class A, No. 5 Waldron opens season with pair of victories

Class A, No. 5 Waldron followed up a season-opening win over Class A, No. 10 Blue River Valley Friday with a 51-42 victory Saturday over Tri.

Waldron led 45-25 after three quarters over the Titans (1-1) but struggled from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter which allowed the visitors to rally. The Mohawks made just 4-of-12 from the charity stripe over the final eight minutes after hitting all six attempts through the first three quarters.

That allowed Bailey Parham, who scored 11 of her game-high 27 points in the fourth quarter, and Tri to close the gap. Parham did not have much scoring help, though. Amber Rich and Abi Clarke each scored six points.

Megan Bogemann connected on three 3-pointers and led Waldron (2-0) with 18 points.

Bella Larrison also made three 3s and finished with 17 points.

Nichole Garner followed with 10.

Waldron’s junior varsity squad improved to 2-1 with a 46-26 win over Tri.

Cendall Sheaffer led the Mohawks with 12 points. Alivia Fischer had eight.

On Friday, Waldron trailed 23-18 at halftime of its season opener but Garner caught fire in the third quarter, scored 10 of her team-high 18 points, and helped her team outscore the Vikings, 25-11, and take a 43-34 lead.

The Mohawks pulled away from there for a 59-41 win.

Bogemann splashed three 3s in the decisive third quarter and finished with 13 points.

Bella Larrison had 10 points and Hadlie Ross added eight.

Maci Chamberlin led Blue River Valley (0-1) with 11 points. Allyson Madden finished with eight and Samantha Loveless had seven.

Waldron makes the short trip to Shelbyville (1-0) Tuesday for a game at William L. Garrett Gymnasium.

Class 2A, No. 2 Triton Central routs Class A, No. 12 Greenwood Christian in season debut

Class 2A, No. 2 Triton Central blitzed Class A, No. 12 in the third quarter Saturday to cruise to a 79-41 season-opening victory.

The Tigers turned a 44-32 halftime lead into a 65-36 advantage after three quarters and Greenwood Christian (1-1) never recovered.

Lizzie Graham hit a trio of 3-pointers in the third quarter and finished with a game-high 21 points.

Olivia Faust had 20 points in her Triton Central debut. Maddy Brown had 10 points in the first quarter on the way to an 18-point performance.

Brooklyn Bailey added nine points.

Seniors Ellie Bigelow and Dani Simon each scored 13 to lead the Cougars. Sydney Waldron added eight points.

Triton Central opens Indiana Crossroads Conference play Thursday at 2A No. 14 Cascade (3-0).

Strong third quarter propels Southwestern over South Decatur

A 21-point third quarter propelled Southwestern to a 49-37 victory Saturday over South Decatur to give new head coach Jason West his first victory with the Spartans.

Alison Muck scored seven points in the third quarter to help Southwestern break open a 14-13 halftime advantage. Muck finished with nine points in the win.

Lily Kerber had a team-high 13 points for the Spartans (1-1). McKinley Correll added 12 and Lilly Rooks had 10 in a balanced scoring effort.

Brook Somers led South Decatur (1-1) with 17 points, including nine in the fourth quarter. Loryn Pate scored 11.

The Cougars were 12-of-22 from the free-throw line in the loss.

Southwestern hit 14 of 19 free throws, including 6 of 8 in the second half.

South Decatur rolled to a 51-14 win in the junior varsity game.

Sophomore Molly Eden led the Cougars with 15 points. Katie Gasper and Kiley Best each had nine.

South Decatur led 17-7 after one quarter and 41-9 at halftime.

Amber Benson led Southwestern (0-2) with eight points.

Class 2A, No. 2 Triton Central reloads with aggressive, athletic roster

Four of the five Triton Central seniors from the Class of 2021 are on college basketball rosters.

That alone attests to the talent head coach Bryan Graham has to replace as the 2021-2022 season is about to begin for his Tigers.

“This team has a chance to be very good,” said Graham, 262-55 in 14 seasons. “We are very deep and so fast and athletic at both ends of the floor.”

With the addition of Franklin Central transfer Olivia Faust and the return of veteran players like Lizzie Graham, Jenna Cox and Maia Harris, Triton Central landed at No. 2 in the Class 2A preseason poll following a 20-4 season.

With the graduation of Taylor Heath (14.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 9.5 apg, 3.3 spg), Cox, a five-foot, seven-inch junior, moves into the point guard role where she is a best fit, according to Graham.

“You are never going to place Taylor Heath,” said Graham of the Hanover College freshman. “We will fill the void as best we can.”

Cox will have multiple athletic options in the offensive sets with Graham (13.4 ppg, 5.1 rpg), Faust (10.7 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.7 spg), Riley Ross (2.5 ppg, 4 rpg) and Brooklyn Bailey (3.7 ppg, 2.2 rpg).

 

 

Faust (photo) is a 6-1 senior wing that can also run the point, according to Graham. She has already announced her college commitment to Marian University in Indianapolis.

“She could have went to a Division I school but Marian is a perfect fit for her,” said Graham.

Mix in Hallie Schweitzer (4.2 ppg, 2.2 rpg) and Maddy Brown (6 ppg, 5 rpg) and Graham believes this version of the Tigers is one of his most athletic.

“Rebounding will be key,” said Graham. “If we rebound and outlet , we will go so fast. That will translate into early and easier offense.”

Triton Central opens the season Saturday at Class A, No. 9 Greenwood Christian (1-0) – a semistate qualifier last season.

On Nov. 11, Triton Central travels to Class 2A, No. 23 Cascade for what Graham believes could be the Indiana Crossroads Conference championship game. The Cadets were 16-6 last season and lost at Triton Central in their season opener, 95-89 in double overtime.

“Cascade is very good,” said Graham. “The conference (title) could be decided in that game.”

Two days later, the Tigers will get a first look at a potential sectional foe in Eastern Hancock.

The November schedule includes three more home games against Monrovia, Lutheran and Greensburg and a road trip to Morristown for the annual girls/boys varsity-only doubleheader that marks the start of the boys basketball season for both programs.

Triton Central hosts Class A, No. 6 Waldron on Dec. 3 and travels to Greenwood for a Dec. 7 game.

The 2021 portion of the schedule concludes with Triton Central hosting an 8-team tournament in late December that includes Southport, Northeastern, Elkhart, Franklin County, Danville, Jac-Cen-Del and another potential sectional foe in Heritage Christian.

The Shelby County Tournament at Waldron this year kicks off Jan. 6. The semifinal pairings have not yet been announced.

Rock Creek Academy will travel to Fairland Jan. 21 for the Tigers’ annual “Pink Out” event.

The regular season concludes with a home game on Jan. 25 against Perry Meridian and a road trip Jan. 27 to Beech Grove.

Slow start leads to Morristown's first loss of the season

A two-point first quarter led to a season-opening loss for Morristown’s girls basketball program.

Eastern Hancock raced out to a 16-2 lead after the first quarter and rolled to a 63-33 victory Thursday in Morristown.

The Royals improved to 2-0 this season.

Dakota Rutledge led Morristown with eight points and eight rebounds.

Emma Spahr and Raegan Kleine each had seven points.

Morristown trailed 29-16 at halftime.

Eastern Hancock won the junior varsity contest, 34-30.

Morristown will host the Kopper Kettle Classic Saturday. The Yellow Jackets face Henryville (1-0) in one semifinal game.

Rodney Prescott scores career win 4,000 at Indiana Grand

Rodney Prescott, Indiana’s all-time leading jockey in wins, hit another milestone in his career Thursday recording his 4,000th career victory aboard We All See It at Indiana Grand in Shelbyville, Indiana.

Prescott came into the day needing one win to achieve 4,000 wins. He was scheduled to ride in five of the nine races, but it was a late pick-up that brought him the special win aboard We All See It for trainer Eddie Kenneally in the $34,000 Two-Year-Old Maiden in the fourth race of the day.

Starting from post seven, We All See It made his presence known early and was in contention for the lead in the one-mile event. Heading into the final turn, Prescott was able to take over and was on top of the field by more than four lengths at the head of the stretch. He extended his lead to over 11 lengths at the wire for the win over Ronnie’s Vice and Emmanuel Esquivel and Rowley’s Dream and Fernando De La Cruz for second and third, respectively.

We All See It is owned by Rick and Ron Rashinski’s Homewrecker Racing and Brad Anderson’s Anderson Stables. It was the third career start for the freshman son of Street Sense, who was purchased for $250,000 at the Fasig Tipton Select Yearling Sale last fall.

“They didn’t give me many instructions,” said Prescott, who has competed in more than 31,000 career races. “They said to let him break and put him where he’s comfortable and sit off the pace if we could. I knew we were in front quite a ways in the stretch before I uncocked my stick. I just wanted to keep his attention in case someone came flying up at us late.”

Prescott is currently among the top 10 riders this season at Indiana Grand. He has won three leading jockey titles at the track (2004, 2005, 2018) and has been among the top 10 in all 19 seasons of racing. A native of Portland, Indiana, he began riding in 1994 and has competed in all 27 years of pari-mutuel racing in the state of Indiana. In all, he has won more than 1,150 career races at Indiana Grand and purse earnings in excess of $23.8 million. He also has several leading rider titles to his credit at River Downs and Turfway Park.

“When I started off in 1994, I had no idea how long I would be riding and if you’d told me I’d still be riding 26 years later, I wouldn’t have believed it,” added Prescott, who is 47. “It’s a great feeling to have the career I’ve had. I plan on riding a few more years.”

Prescott was greeted in the winner’s circle by many of his fellow jockeys for the celebration. He was presented with a big sign to commemorate the 4,000-win milestone.

Prescott recently purchased a farm in nearby Franklin, Indiana. Earlier in the day, his Rottweiler has 12 puppies at the farm, so adding his 4,000th win to the afternoon completed a good day for Prescott.

 

Waldron 'all-in' with senior-dominated girls basketball roster

No girls basketball team in the state of Indiana is more “all-in” on a big season than the Waldron Mohawks.

Head coach Anthony Thomas, who has already announced this will be his final season coaching, has a varsity roster loaded with seniors coming off an 18-4 season.

“When I took over I didn’t know I would make it five years,” said Thomas, 58-35 in his first four seasons. “Five years is plenty. I am ready to get out of it after 20-plus years of coaching in some form or fashion. It feels good to know when I took over the program I built it stronger.”

Much of Thomas’ roster this season is filled with girls he has coached throughout the program. With eight seniors and a junior, Thomas does not have to do much coaching any more. Instead, he can afford to spend more time on smaller details that will reap the program greater rewards.

“We can polish on certain things,” said Thomas. “It makes it fun. The other side is there are a lot of years invested in that. We’ve been together quite a long time. Now we can throw more at them. We are quite confident in these kids.”

Waldron opens the season Friday night ranked No. 6 in the Class A preseason poll from the Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association. The Mohawks’ opponent is Class A, No. 5 Blue River Valley, 22-4 last season and a regional finalist. The Vikings’ feature Ally Madden, who averaged 17.8 ppg and 10.8 rpg last season.

Expectations are high in Waldron, but Thomas admits the basketball team is slowly getting up to speed due to the volleyball program winning its first-ever sectional title last month and making its first regional appearance.

Five of Thomas’ top nine were part of that historic volleyball season.

“Volleyball had a great run so we are probably a week behind,” said Thomas. “It’s a tough opening weekend but we will keep working.”

Waldron hosts Tri on Saturday. The Titans defeated Southwestern, 51-31, Tuesday in their season opener. A road trip to Shelbyville (1-0) Tuesday follows with the Mid-Hoosier Conference opener at Southwestern on Nov. 12.

Thomas has settled on seniors Megan Bogemann (8.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg in 2020-2021), Nichole Garner (10.2 ppg, 3.2 rpg), Hadlie Ross (5.4 ppg, 4.7 rpg) and Bella Larrison (12.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg) as the core group of starters with the fifth starter a “wild card” that will be determined by the opponent and matchup needs.

“That fifth starter will be whether we need to match up against size or not,” said Thomas. “It will be a revolving door. The plan is to play nine.”

Josee Larrison is the only junior on the roster to compliment seniors Cheyenne Lozier, Mackenzie Shaw, Shelby Fewell and Hallie Ross.

Following the Southwestern game, Waldron stays busy focusing on postseason opponents with Hauser, Rising Sun and Greenwood Christian closing out the November schedule.

The Mohawks visit Class 2A, No. 2 Triton Central on Dec. 3 then host Class A, No. 4 Jac-Cen-Del on Dec. 7 and Morristown on Dec. 10 – both potential sectional opponents.

Waldron closes out the 2021 schedule hosting a tournament on Dec. 28 featuring Batesville, Blackford and Union County. The Mohawks will face Batesville in the semifinal round.

The Mohawks ended a long drought by winning the Shelby County Volleyball Tournament in 2021 and will look to do the same in basketball in 2022, hosting the four-team tournament in which three teams are preseason state-ranked beginning Jan. 6.

Waldron will travel to Eastern Hancock, Lutheran and Edinburgh in January before the final home game on Jan. 27 against Milan.

Then the goal of winning a sectional title becomes the sole focus as February rolls in.

“We have not won one yet (with Thomas as coach) but we kicked in the door in volleyball,” said Thomas. “And if we kick that sectional door in, I know there is (an extended) run there.”

Familiar foe in Triton Central's path to collecting third-straight football sectional title

Despite being more than two hours apart, the football programs at Triton Central and Paoli are well acquainted.

Friday night’s Class 2A, Sectional 39 championship game is the fourth meeting between the Tigers (7-4) and Rams (7-2) in head coach Tim Able’s ninth season in Fairland. The programs have clashed five times in the postseason since 2011 with TC up 3-2 with wins in 2011, 2019 and 2020.

Able’s Tigers have ended Paoli’s season in consecutive years and now must do it a third time to collect a third-straight sectional championship.

“It’s going to take a nice effort to win,” said Able, 79-31 in nine seasons at TC and 204-129 over 29 years. “They are a much better team this year and they’ve got everybody back while we lost a lot (to graduation).”

Triton Central has won the last two postseason meetings 41-8 in 2019 and 35-12 in 2020 – both games at Paoli.

This year, the Rams head north to Fairland with senior quarterback Carson Little and sophomore fullback Trey Rominger seeking revenge.

Rominger is a “downhill runner” according to Able who has amassed over 1,200 yards rushing this season and 20 touchdowns. He is joined in the backfield by seniors Sawyer Livingston (48 rushes, 524 yards, 4 TDs) and Marcus McGuire (35 rushes, 300 yards, 1 TD).

“They are a run-oriented team but the QB can throw when they need him to,” said Able.

Little has only put the ball in the air 46 times this season with 17 completions (7 for touchdowns).

Paoli’s leading receiver, senior Ike Baker, has seven receptions and two TDs.

“They do a good job of what they do,” said Able. “It’s not overly complicated but they are very good.”

Triton Central reached the sectional championship game for the ninth consecutive year by keeping the state’s leading rusher in check on a wet Friday night in Fairland. Clarksville junior running back Robert Lamar gained 163 yards but needed 34 carries and scored just one touchdown.

Paoli will have as many as nine seniors on offense Friday against a young Triton Central squad.

“We’re trying to get our kids back down to earth,” said Able. “For many, it’s their first tournament run. We have a lot of young kids that don’t understand you can’t over celebrate. Distractions are easy for young kids. We have to get our mojo back and get ready to go.”

The weather kept Triton Central from showing off its aerial attack against Clarksville. It wasn’t needed, though, as sophomore running back Ray Crawford, who is over a 1,000 yards rushing for the second straight season, ran for 106 yards and two touchdowns while sophomore quarterback Jace Stuckey ended two more drives with touchdown runs in a 42-7 victory.

Stuckey will not have to battle adverse conditions in the championship game meaning Triton Central can get its offense firing on all cylinders.

The pre-game show on GIANT fm (96.5 FM) starts at 6 p.m. with kickoff set for 7 p.m.

The Sectional 39 champion will face the Sectional 40 champion in the regional championship game.

North Posey (9-2) is at Evansville Mater Dei (9-2) Friday for the Sectional 39 championship.

If North Posey wins, the Vikings are a 21-point underdog at Mater Dei, and Triton Central wins, TC will make the 3-plus-hour drive to North Posey on Nov. 12.

If Mater Dei and Triton Central win, TC is a 12-point favorite over Paoli, the regional championship game will be at Mendenhall Field in Fairland.

Collegiate Update: Langkabel, Knights rout Simmons College of Kentucky in season opener

In the starting lineup for his final season at Marian University, Morristown graduate Hayden Langkabel scored 10 points, collected four rebounds and had two assists in Marian’s 106-26 rout Saturday of Simmons College of Kentucky.

Langkabel, a senior, played 22 minutes and went 3-of-7 from the field (2-of-5 from three-point line) and hit both free-throw attempts.

Here is a look at other Shelby County graduates competing at the collegiate level.

 

 

Bailey Stamper

The Triton Central graduate missed her only shot attempt and had one blocked shot in Indiana University South Bend’s 94-70 win over Lourdes on Oct. 27.

The Titans are 3-0 this season after an 81-64 win at Concordia Saturday.

 

 

Mason Durrett

The Triton Central graduate had two rushing attempts for six yards Saturday in Wabash football’s 59-34 win at Kenyon College. Durrett also had two tackles.

The Little Giants racked up 604 yards of offense to improve to 6-2 this season (5-2 in conference).

 

 

Bailey Chandler

The Triton Central graduate combined for two assists and 11 digs in two wins over Tennessee State Friday and Saturday for Eastern Illinois volleyball.

The Panthers defeated Tennessee State Friday, 25-18, 24-26, 23-25, 25-20, 15-12, and won in four sets Saturday, 25-18, 25-18, 22-25, 25-22.

Eastern Illinois is 10-14 this season.

 

 

Maggie Schweitzer

The Triton Central graduate had 19 digs for Hanover in a 30-28, 25-15, 25-19 win at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Saturday to secure the No. 4 seed in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference postseason tournament.

On Oct. 27, Schweitzer finished with three aces and 11 digs in a 25-17, 25-17, 25-10 win over Franklin College.

Hanover takes on No. 3 seed Anderson tonight in the HCAC tournament.

 

 

Brooklyn Schiffli

The Triton Central graduate had two aces and nine digs Saturday in Jacksonville State’s 25-21, 25-18, 25-21 win over Eastern Kentucky.

The Gamecocks defeated Bellarmine Friday, 25-9, 25-20, 25-18. Schiffli finished with one assist and three digs.

Jacksonville State (21-5, 11-2 Atlantic Sun) closed out its home schedule with a 15-1 record – the most home wins in a single season.

 

 

Maddy Beaver

The Triton Central graduate closed out her freshman season at Goshen College Saturday with four kills, one ace, one solo block and three blocks assists in a 25-20, 25-22, 25-18 loss at Huntington University.

Goshen closed out the season with a 4-32 record.

Confidence, experience needed for young Morristown squad to succeed

The growing pains will be evident but Morristown girls basketball head coach Rachel Kleine does not see her young squad backing down from a challenge.

“We are getting better day by day,” said Kleine, entering her fifth season as Morristown head coach. “I think the kids believe in themselves. They are coming in early and staying late. They want to get better and they are putting the time in.”

Morristown graduated a trio of seniors that averaged 25 points per game. Kleine looks for that production to come from a variety of players ready for an opportunity.

“It really is going to be next man up,” said Kleine. “It’s time for some kids that are really capable of putting the ball in the hole and scoring.”

Senior guard Gracie Laster averaged 6.7 points and 3.1 rebounds per game last season in limited minutes because of an injury. Kleine believes with good time management practices, Laster can contribute more playing time which would lead to more offensive production.

“I think her past stats are not what you think because she only plays about half a game,” explained Kleine. “She had a great summer of basketball and has stepped up and taken on some of the scoring initiative.”

Junior Reagan Kleine was Morristown’s third-leading scorer last season behind older sister Rylee Kleine (12 ppg, 6 rpg) and Emma Theobald (11.3 ppg, 2.3 rpg).

“She ended the season on a high note playing really well in the sectional,” said Rachel Kleine. “She can get to the rim and she is extending her (shooting) range out past the three-point line. She is starting to see herself as an outside shooter.”

Delaney Cornn is the only other senior in the program. A defensive specialist in years past, Kleine sees Cornn (3.2 ppg, 2.5 rpg last season) taking on more offensive responsibilities this season.

“Over the summer she had some nice takes to the basket,” said Kleine. “She is more of a scorer now.”

Junior forward Maggie Lutes is another returning starter that may be the most improved player on the roster.

“She has been a defensive specialist who took on any assignment we’ve asked of her,” said Kleine. “This summer and fall, she has stepped up and chipped away at some of the points missing this season. She has been great working on her drive, her shot and her confidence.”

Sophomore Alexia Rogers will have an expanded backcourt role this season as the point guard and off guard.

Freshmen Nevaeh Sanders and Danika Rutledge will get varsity minutes early in the season.

Morristown has 14 players in the program which means time management will be key to shuffling players between junior varsity and varsity minutes.

The Yellow Jackets open the season Thursday at home against Eastern Hancock.

Morristown will host Henryville Saturday in its opening game of the Kopper Kettle Classic.

Seven more November games follow the tournament and includes a home game against Shelbyville on Nov. 13 and a girls/boys doubleheader with Triton Central on Nov. 24.

“We talk to the kids about fundamentally being disciplined,” said Kleine. “We’re young. We are trying to get some of these young girls to stay disciplined and learn. Right now we need to get game minutes in for these girls, learn our rotations and grow in confidence.”

Morristown will face Shelby County rivals Waldron on Dec. 10 and Southwestern four days later.

All three of its opponents in the Shelby County Tournament are state ranked in preseason polls.

Three teams also are preseason ranked in Morristown’s sectional tournament.

Prep report: Shelbyville wins season opener at Brown County

Shelbyville overcame a slow start with a strong second half to defeat Brown County, 47-36, in the season opener for both programs.

Kylee Edwards scored a team-high 22 points to lead the visiting Golden Bears. Ava Wilson had nine while Abby Brenner contributed six and Madison Phares finished with five.

Shelbyville jumped out to a 15-8 first-quarter advantage but struggled over the second eight minutes to trail 25-21 at halftime.

A 10-2 run in the third quarter put the Golden Bears back in control on the way to its first win of the season.

Shelbyville won the junior varsity game, 44-16.

The home opener at William L. Garrett Gymnasium is Tuesday for Shelbyville against Class A, No. 6 Waldron.

In other high school action Tuesday:

Tri 51, Southwestern 31

At Tri, the visiting Spartans took a 15-13 advantage after one quarter but were outscored 38-16 over the final three quarters.

Lilly Rooks led Southwestern with 13 points. McKinley Correll had six points.

Ashtyn Harvey topped Tri with 12points. Kenley Cornelius and Rylee Boyd each had eight.

Tri won the junior varsity contest, 54-8. Ellie Gosser led Southwestern with three points.

Southwestern hosts South Decatur Saturday for its home opener and Mid-Hoosier Conference opener.

Cathedral JV 35, Waldron JV 17

Waldron’s junior varsity squad opened the season with a loss to the Irish.

Audrey Hogg led the Mohawks with eight points. Alyssa Benson had four.

Kendal Bolen led Cathedral with 11 points.

Expectations on the rise for athletic Shelbyville girls basketball program

Shelbyville High School’s girls basketball program continues to grow from within as Rebecca Hoefler begins her third season as head coach.

With just two seniors lost to graduation from an 8-15 squad, the Golden Bears are primed to push for a .500 record or better – that has not happened since the 2015-2016 season -- as the 2021-2022 season starts tonight at Brown County.

“A couple more than eight (wins), that would be the goal,” said Hoefler, who was 4-20 in her inaugural season at Shelbyville. “We are always trying to improve our record each and every year. It’s a slow progression to where we can continually be above .500 every year.”

With 71% of last year’s scoring back in the lineup and a schedule that starts with four Class A programs in the first six games, Shelbyville can get off to a strong start.

After traveling to Brown County tonight, the Golden Bears host Class A, No. 6 Waldron Nov. 9, Edinburgh Nov. 12 and Class A, No. 16 Southwestern Nov. 19. Shelbyville is at Morristown Nov. 13 and at Greensburg Nov. 16.

The Hoosier Heritage Conference portion of the schedule starts on Nov. 27 against Pendleton Heights.

“This conference is one of the toughest conferences and you never know who is going to be where,” said Hoefler, who mentioned Mt. Vernon, Pendleton Heights and Yorktown as preseason favorites to win the HHC. “I would like to be in the middle of our conference on the higher side of it.”

Shelbyville was 2-5 against HHC teams last season.

Leading scorer Kylee Edwards (17.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2.3 apg, 2.9 spg) returns for her junior season. The softball standout recently announced her college commitment to Mississippi State University.

“The great thing about Kylee Edwards is she is a true competitor,” said Hoefler. “She won’t let anyone hold her down. Her mindset and being a tough athlete will help her through all these face guards and box-and-ones that will be on her.

“We are putting some things in place in our offense and our defense that will help her shine as well. We know everyone will be gunning for her when we come into their place.”

No other Golden Bear averaged double-digit points last season but look for senior Madison Phares (7.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg) to push to that point this season.

The only other senior in the program, Madison Bassett (4.9 ppg, 2.2 apg), also will have more offensive responsibilities this season with the departure of Jaidyn Tackett (9.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg), who opted not to play her senior season.

Sophomore Ava Wilson (5.8 ppg, 2.3 rpg). Fresh off a 14-goal soccer season for the Golden Bears, already has a year of varsity basketball experience to her credit which should benefit her this season.

“I’m expecting a really good season out of her,” said Hoefler.

Junior Abby Brenner (1.7 ppg, 2.1 rpg) also has an expanded role this season.

“She has taken her offseason very serious,” said Hoefler.

Sophomores Cheyenne Eads, who had a dynamic freshman softball season as a pitcher, and Ava Mummert and Ellie Simpson, both soccer players, bring athleticism to the roster in the backcourt.

“I have one of the most athletic teams that I have ever coached,” said Hoefler. “My preseason is very different from everyone else’s preseason because I don’t get my girls until the very first day of basketball because they are in volleyball and they are in soccer.”

Shelbyville’s December schedule features three conference opponents and a battle with what is expected to be one of the top teams in the state on Dec. 18 at Class 4A, No. 5 Franklin, a potential sectional opponent.

The Golden Bears will travel to Valparaiso again for the Viking Holiday Tournament that includes the host Vikings, Knox and South Central (Union Mills).

The 2021 portion of the schedule concludes Dec. 28 with a home game against another potential sectional opponent in Franklin Central.

The final home game of the regular season is Jan. 22 against Delta. The Golden Bears close out the regular season Jan. 27 at Hauser.

Franklin Central is the sectional host site this season.

“I tell the girls all the time we have high expectations this season,” said Hoefler. “What’s nice is the team is all on the same page this year. Our practices are super aggressive and very intense. Everyone has the mindset to win this year. You can see it in practice every day. I’m excited to see it in games and show people how hard these girls have been working.”

New coach, familiar names set to lead Southwestern in season opener

Jason West has been around the game of basketball his whole life. Even he can admit his ascension to head coach of the Southwestern girls basketball program is unusual.

West was on fall break vacation with family and friends in Alabama the day the girls basketball season officially kicked off just over two weeks ago. He had just been hired to replace Garrett Krieg, who abruptly departed for a boys basketball head coaching position at South Adams.

The son of Hank West, a well-known name in the Shelby County basketball coaching land, Jason West played high school basketball at Shelbyville and later returned to coach the girls basketball program for four seasons.

He has spent the last two years teaching at Southwestern and agreed to become the Spartans’ junior varsity coach this season until Krieg received an offer he could not turn down.

So with six varsity practices and a scrimmage complete, West and the Spartans, ranked No. 16 in the Class A preseason poll, embark on a new season tonight at Tri.

“I remember the grind but until it hits you full force, I just didn’t have time to prepare for the grind,” laughed West.

Southwestern, 18-8 last season with a regional championship game appearance, plays eight games in November. That fast start includes a pair of home games against Class A, No. 6 Waldron on Nov. 12 and Class A, No. 3 Trinity Lutheran on Nov. 27 as well as his first return trip to Shelbyville on Nov. 19.

“This early in the season, the terminology is different but the concepts are a lot of the same things I did in Shelbyville,” said West. “I will change and let them keep some of their terminology because that helps us get up to speed.”

While West is unfamiliar to the Spartans as a coach, he is not an unfamiliar face to the program since he teaches Math at the high school and served as a frequent volunteer at athletic events.

“I will be putting things in … things I want to do as the season goes along,” he said. “We just need to do what we do and continue to improve. Hopefully, by the end of the year we will have implemented everything.”

The names returning are familiar to Spartan fans despite four seniors graduating that accounted for 43 points and 20 rebounds per game.

“Experience wise, we have game experience just not necessarily all 32 minutes of game experience,” said West.

Senior Lily Kerber averaged 5.5 ppg and 5.5 rpg last season. Her versatility will be key to Southwestern’s success.

“She can do about anything,” said West. “She hit some outside shots last year. That’s not her main shot but she can shoot from out there and hit from out there. That gives us flexibility.”

Alison Muck, a senior forward, averaged 2.7 ppg and 2 rpg last season behind her older sister, Abby Muck (12 ppg, 6 rpg).

Two more seniors, Faith Kelley and Kennedy Pile, will be counted on heavily for more production this season.

“Kerber, Pile, Muck and Kelley will all be leaders. They are all good kids,” said West.

Lilly Rooks, an accomplished cross country runner and track and field athlete, moves into the starting five this season under West. The junior averaged 2.3 ppg and 1.6 rpg in a limited role last season.

Rooks and junior McKinley Correll, younger sister of Maggie Correll (7.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg last season as a senior), will share the ball-handling role but West concedes Muck and Kerber are versatile enough to fill in as well.

The Spartans will not have a “true” center on the roster which leaves concerns about rebounding.

“That’s our biggest issue,” he said. “This season starts with us learning how to box out.”

The schedule stays busy in December with a road trip to 2A No. 2 Triton Central on Dec. 11, a boys-girls doubleheader with Lutheran on Dec. 17 and an appearance in the Edinburgh Holiday Classic, an 8-team, two-day tournament starting Dec. 21 with a game against South Ripley.

Once the tournament is complete, West will have time to break down two months of action and then put his stamp on the program before the Shelby County Tournament kicks off Jan. 6 at Waldron.

Following the county tourney, Southwestern has a road trip to North Decatur on Jan. 13 followed by a home game against Class A, No. 4 Jac-Cen-Del.

The final home game of the regular season is Jan. 25 against Brown County. The regular season concludes with a road game two days later at Greenwood Christian, who defeated Southwestern in the 2021 regional championship game.

The Class A sectional at Waldron includes both the host Mohawks and Jac-Cen-Del, two of the three teams the Spartans defeated on the way to the 2021 sectional championship.

“I’m excited to get it going,” said West. “The girls are excited to get it going.”

Triton Central, Waldron earn top-10 rankings in girls basketball preseason poll

The preseason Indiana high school girls basketball state rankings are out as the 2021-2022 season is slated to begin.

All five Shelby County girls basketball teams will debut this week.

Shelbyville is at Brown County while Southwestern travels to Tri Tuesday for season openers. Morristown hosts Eastern Hancock Thursday. Blue River Valley travels to Waldron Friday. Triton Central opens its season Saturday at Greenwood Christian.

The Indiana Basketball Coaches Association poll ranks the top 20 regardless of class standing.

Crown Point, 25-1 last season, received the most points to take the top spot in the preseason poll. The rest of the top five is South Bend Washington (22-6 last season), North Central (24-3), Noblesville (21-5) and Carmel (15-7).

The second five are Bedford North Lawrence (22-3), Penn (21-4), Homestead (20-6), Westfield (16-5) and Zionsville (15-6).

The second 10 include Franklin (22-3), Fishers (17-5), Carroll (Fort Wayne) (25-3), Silver Creek (25-3), East Central (19-5), Mishawaka Marian (19-5), Lawrence North (17-9), Hamilton Southeastern (11-7), Salem (20-3) and Washington (19-2).

A bevy of schools also received votes including a pair of Shelby County programs. Both Triton Central (20-4) and Waldron (18-4) were included in the list.

Other notables were Center Grove (15-11), Columbus East (14-6), Columbus North (13-6), Franklin Central (5-13), Indian Creek (17-7), Mt. Vernon (19-6), New Palestine (15-10) and Rushville (18-9).

The Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association preseason polls for each of the four IHSAA classes also has been released with Triton Central and Waldron landing in the top 10.

Tipton is the preseason No. 1 in Class 2A with Triton Central sitting at No. 2 ahead of Andrean, University, Linton-Stockton, Northeastern, Forest Park, Frankton, Carroll (Flora) and Clinton Prairie.

 Waldron is No. 6 in the preseason Class A poll behind No. 1 Tecumseh, Lanesville, Trinity Lutheran, Jac-Cen-Del and Blue River. Of note, Blue River opens the regular season Friday at Waldron.

After Waldron in the top 10 are Vincennes Rivet, Kouts, Greenwood Christian and Bethesda Christian.

Southwestern is ranked No. 16. The Spartans, Greenwood Christian and Bethesda Christian were three of the four sectional champions that competed in the 2021 Southwestern Regional.

Crown Point is No. 1 in Class 4A with Noblesville, North Central, Bedford North Lawrence, Franklin, Penn, Carmel, Homestead, Westfield and Zionsville in the top 10.

Columbus East is ranked No. 11, Center Grove is No. 12 and East Central is tied for No. 13 with Brownsburg and Lawrence North.

South Bend Washington is the preseason No. 1 in Class 3A. Silver Creek is No. 2 ahead of Mishawaka Marian, Washington, Norwell, Salem, Evansville Memorial, Garrett, Benton Central and Jay County in the top 10.

Rushville is ranked No. 12 while Greensburg is No. 16.

Thirty-five regular season games on GIANT fm basketball broadcast schedule

A total of 35 regular season games are part of GIANT fm Real Radio’s 2021-2022 boys and girls basketball broadcast schedule.

Games can be heard this season on 96.5 (FM), 106.3 (FM), via internet at giant.fm and the GIANT fm App.

The broadcast schedule opens with a Shelby County-rivalry game on Nov. 9 at William L. Garrett Gymnasium between Waldron and Shelbyville.

Waldron was 18-4 last season and returns much of its roster. Shelbyville also has a large portion of the 2020-2021 roster back with expectations on improving on an 8-15 season.

Two days later, GIANT fm will broadcast Triton Central girls basketball’s Indiana Crossroads Conference opener at Cascade. The Tigers finished 20-4 last season. Cascade was 16-6.

Triton Central won 95-89 in double-overtime in its 2020 meeting with the Cadets.

On Nov. 19, Shelbyville hosts Southwestern with the return of Jason West to Garrett Gymnasium headlining the matchup. West was Shelbyville’s head coach from 2015-2019. He was just recently hired at Southwestern to replace Garrett Krieg, who resigned after being hired for a boys basketball head coaching position in northern Indiana.

Southwestern finished 18-8 last season under Krieg and advanced to the regional championship game.

Three boys basketball games in five nights closes out the November schedule.

Southwestern’s season opener Nov. 23 against Edinburgh will start the boys basketball broadcast schedule. Edinburgh finished 18-6 last season and swept a pair of regular-season games against the Spartans, who went 14-11 and made a regional championship game appearance.

One night later, Shelbyville hosts Rushville in a battle of longtime rivals. The Golden Bears were 8-14 last season and graduated a large senior class. Rushville went 1-20 and has a new coach this season in Ryan Ehm.

The December schedule kicks off with Waldron at Triton Central in a potential Shelby County Girls Basketball Tournament championship game preview. The two squads combined for 38 wins last season.

Shelbyville boys basketball travels east to the Spartan Bowl in Connersville on Dec. 4. The Spartans were 18-8 last season for head coach Kerry Brown, who is eight wins away from 200 wins as the Connersville coach and 26 wins from career win No. 300.

In what could be a Class A, Sectional 60 championship game preview, GIANT fm will broadcast the Jac-Cen-Del at Waldron game on Dec. 7. The Eagles finished 22-4 last season for head coach Scott Smith and lost in the sectional championship game to Southwestern. Smith has 366 career victories in 21 seasons as the girls basketball coach at Jac-Cen-Del.

The first girls-boys basketball doubleheader broadcast follows on Dec. 10 when New Castle visits Shelbyville.

The final broadcast of 2021 is Dec. 29 with a 4A Sectional 13 preview of Franklin at Shelbyville. The Grizzlies finished 7-15 last season and have a new head coach in former Franklin standout Adrian Moss.

The tradition-rich Shelby County Tournament opens the 2022 broadcast schedule. Waldron is the host site for girls semifinal games on Jan. 6 and boys semifinals on Jan. 7. The championship games follow on Jan. 8.

A quintet of Shelbyville boys basketball games closes out January with Pendleton Heights, Franklin Central, Greenfield-Central, Indian Creek and South Ripley taking on the Golden Bears.

Girls basketball sectional action starts the February slate of games. GIANT fm also will broadcast any regional, semistate or state final games.

The regular season schedule concludes with Shelbyville hosting Seymour on Feb. 22 and Batesville on Feb. 24.

Boys basketball sectional games run from March 1-5.

All broadcasts will go live approximately 30 minutes prior to the start of varsity games.

The schedule is subject to change.

 

GIANT fm Real Radio Broadcast Schedule

Nov. 9: Waldron at Shelbyville (G), 7 p.m. (approximate start time)

Nov. 11: Triton Central at Cascade (G), 7 p.m.

Nov. 19: Southwestern at Shelbyville (G), 7 p.m.

Nov. 23: Edinburgh at Southwestern (B), 7 p.m.

Nov. 24: Rushville at Shelbyville (B), 7 p.m.

Nov. 27: Shelbyville at Triton Central (B), 7 p.m.

Dec. 3: Waldron at Triton Central (G), 7 p.m.

Dec. 4: Shelbyville at Connersville (B), 7 p.m.

Dec. 7: Jac-Cen-Del at Waldron (G), 7 p.m.

Dec. 10: New Castle at Shelbyville (G/B), 5:30 p.m.

Dec. 11: Shelbyville at Whiteland (B), 7 p.m.

Dec. 14: Greenwood at Shelbyville (B), 7 p.m.

Dec. 17: Shelbyville at Mt. Vernon (B), 7 p.m.

Dec. 18: Shelbyville at Yorktown (B), 7 p.m.

Dec. 29: Franklin at Shelbyville (B), 7 p.m.

Jan. 6: Shelby County Tournament (G), 5:30 p.m.

Jan. 7: Shelby County Tournament (B), 5:30 p.m.

Jan. 8: Shelby County Tournament (G/B), 5:30 p.m.

Jan. 11: Shelbyville at Columbus East (B), 7 p.m.

Jan. 15: Pendleton Heights at Shelbyville (B), 7 p.m.

Jan. 19: Shelbyville at Franklin Central (B), 7 p.m.

Jan. 22: Greenfield-Central at Shelbyville (B), 7 p.m.

Jan. 28: Indian Creek at Shelbyville (B), 7 p.m.

Jan. 29: Shelbyville at South Ripley (B), 7 p.m.

Feb. 1-5: Girls Basketball Sectionals, TBD

Feb. 8: Edinburgh at Shelbyville (B), 7 p.m.

Feb. 11: Shelbyville at New Palestine (B), 7 p.m.

Feb. 12: Girls Basketball Regionals, TBD

Feb. 15: Triton Central at Monrovia (B), 7 p.m.

Feb. 18: Shelbyville at Delta (B), 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 19: Girls Basketball Semistate, TBD, OR Shelbyville at East Central (B), 7 p.m.

Feb. 22: Seymour at Shelbyville (B), 7 p.m.

Feb. 24: Batesville at Shelbyville (B), 7 p.m.

March 1-5: Boys Basketball Sectionals, TBD

Five Quarter Horse Stakes closed out Indiana Champions Day at Indiana Grand

The final stakes of the year for Quarter Horse racing brought in the state’s top sprinters with five stakes races Saturday on Indiana Champions Day at Indiana Grand in Shelbyville, Indiana.

Total purses for the day exceeded $1.3 million with Quarter Horse racing making up more than $700,000 of the tally.

Kicking off the Quarter Horse stakes for the day was the 13th running of the Miss Roxie Little Futurity. Mr Michel was the second fastest qualifier from the trials but all eyes were on the impressive looking son of Kiss My Hocks as the field entered the gate for the 350-yard dash.

Jockey Erik Esqueda had Mr Michel in contention early and fended off horses on both sides of him all the way to the wire for the win, his fourth in a row for trainer Claudio Barraza. High Rolling Seize and Shanley Jackson finished second over Stormi Spirits and Edgar Diaz for third.

Mr Michel, owned by Alberto Valadez, is now five for seven in his brief career. He will conclude his two-year-old season with earnings in excess of $220,000.

“I have to give a lot of credit to the trainer and family in Texas,” said Barraza, who was celebrating his birthday in a special way with the win by Mr Michel. “They broke him and told me he was something special, and he sure is. He’s going to get some time off now and he’s going to stay in Indiana.”

WRs Moonin Thewagon was also a strong contender on the card and didn’t disappoint, winning the 25th running of the QHRAI Derby by just a neck in a tight three-horse photo. Guided by Juan Marquez, the Moonin the Eagle gelding had a good break and led the entire 400 yards.

Rock the Candy Wagon and German Rodriguez finished second over On A New Note and Orlando Mojica. Jess Cindy, ridden by James Flores, finished fourth to complete a Randy Smith-trained superfecta in the race.

WRs Moonin Thewagon has now won seven straight races dating back to August 2020 for Gwen and Randy Williams of Williams Racing Stable of LaCenter, Kentucky. It was his third stakes win in that streak and he is now seven for nine in his career with earnings over $246,000.

The 13th running of the Sterlie Bertram Memorial also brought out a track favorite as Stone Lake was a gate-to-wire winner for jockey L.D. Martinez. The Escondido Beach sophomore was dominant in his effort, winning by one and one-half lengths in a stakes record time of 19.602 seconds.

Rock Candy Almighty and Jose Beltran finished second over Inseperable Blood and James Flores for third. Tony Cunningham trains the small chestnut gelding for owner Pattie Marshall.

“He’s just an incredible horse,” said Cunningham. “He had a little bit of a lull in the middle of the meet, but he’s come back better than we could have ever hoped for. He handled the muddy track well today and Danny (Martinez) did a great job riding him. I wish Pattie (Marshall) could have been here. They do a lot for us and are great owners.”

The ninth running of the Indiana Championships brought out some impressive horsepower with the return of Country Boy 123 on the outside and WRs Valentino on the inside. But it was WRs Apolliticalivory (photo above) and German Rodriguez from the center of the track that stole the show, winning by a neck over stablemate WRs Valentino.

There were close quarters coming out of the gate, but once they all got straightened up, WRs Apolliticalivory had the lead and held strong to the wire. Hooked on Jordan and Isidro Banuelos finished third.

“It was pretty bumpy the first jump,” said Rodriguez. “But once we got going, he was going and going. I saw Valentino catching up with us, but he held on to the wire for the win.”

WRs Apolliticalivory is owned by Williams Racing Stable and trained by Randy Smith. It was one of four wins on the card for Smith.

The final stakes of the day was the 25th running of the Governor’s Stakes and the race James Flores has traveled to Indiana for. He came up for the trials to ride for Jon and Brant Barley with Head Patron, winning his trial, and flew back in for the final. Head Patron had the lead early and never looked back, striding out to a two and one-half lengths win over El Rubio Corona and Sergio Ramirez. Count Down and Rolando Pina finished third.

 

 

It was the third win for Head Patron (photo), who is by Zoomin for Bux. Smith trains the chestnut gelding.

“We remembered a couple of horses racing by Zoomin for Bux that were pretty impressive,” said Jon Barley. “He’s an old timer and I talked to my uncle and we liked what we saw so I said, ‘Let’s breed a mare to him,’ and we did. Mike Gunner back home broke this colt and told us ‘don’t lose faith in him,’ and he was right.”

Flores has had a long-standing relationship with the Barleys who used to be in partnership with Larry Sharp before his death. Flores noted during the trials what an honor it was to ride this horse from the same farm that has produced so many stakes winners for the partnership.

“I want to thank and congratulate the owners,” said Flores. “When you ride a horse of this level and he runs this way, it makes you look like you know what you are doing. He is a very nice horse.”

Four Thoroughbred stakes highlighted during Indiana Champions Day at Indiana Grand

The state’s best Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses were in the spotlight Saturday during Indiana Champions Day, featuring purses in excess of $1.3 million at Indiana Grand in Shelbyville, Indiana.

Included on the card were four Thoroughbred Stakes, kicking off the day with the 24th running of the Indiana Stallion Stakes – Filly Division.

Unbridled Victory (photo) and Marcelino Pedroza Jr. made their presence known early and went straight to the lead in the six-furlong sprint over a very muddy track. The duo held tough throughout to win by one length at the wire over Everything’s Rosy and Eddie Perez. No Trust and Sammy Bermudez closed late for third.

Unbridled Victory is trained by Bernie Flint and owned by Miles Childers, Ed Wright Cattle Company and L.T.B. Inc. It was the second career win in the third start for the Unbridled Express freshman filly, who just broke her maiden in the start before in early October.

Joining Unbridled Victory as a two-year-old winner on the card was Mr Chaos in the 23rd running of the Crown Ambassador Stakes. Ridden by Rodney Prescott, the Turbo Compressor gelding was making his second career start in the event, but was an impressive winner in his racing debut to be tagged as the favorite. Prescott got away in mid pack before moving up into third to track the leaders a little closer as the field turned for home.

In the stretch, Mr Chaos got the lead and was a comfortable winner by one and three-quarter lengths, giving Prescott his 3,997th career win. Too Bad Justice and Joe Ramos held gamely for second while Me and Chili and Pedroza Jr. finished third.

“He stepped back a little at the break, but he finished strong and ran a real nice race,” said Prescott. “Rob (Dobbs) has done a really nice job with this horse.”

Mr Chaos is trained by Robert Dobbs Jr. and is owned by Judy Dorris and Ken Sentel. The freshman is now two for two in his brief career with earnings in excess of $80,000.

Older horses were featured in the second running of the $150,000 Unreachable Star Stakes. Cash Logistics and Alex Achard got away near the lead and sat along the outside of Barefootbootlegger and Eddie Perez early before moving on and opening up on the field in the stretch. The four-year-old son of Unbridled Express was a winner by five and three-quarter lengths at the wire over Uphold and Tommy Pompell. Max Express and Sammy Bermudez finished third.

Cash Logistics is trained by Genevieve Londono for owners James and Charlie Hancock. It was his fourth win of the year in eight starts with seven career wins now tallied. He moved his career earnings over $358,000.

The connections of Unreachable Star were trackside to provide a $500 donation to Friends of Ferdinand in honor of the former Indiana champion who was the 2009 Horse of the Year and earned more than $775,000 during his career. David and Loren Osborne have been big supporters of racehorse aftercare programs and wanted to do something to give back to Indiana racing during Indiana Champions Day.

Friends of Ferdinand is the only accredited Thoroughbred aftercare program and works directly with many trainers at Indiana Grand to retrain and rehome Thoroughbreds once their racing days have been completed.

The final Thoroughbred stakes race of the day also honored a former champion with the $150,000 Lady Fog Horn Stakes. The race, named in honor of Indiana’s all-time leading mare, Lady Fog Horn, who has in excess of $824,000 in earnings, brought out the state’s best older females.

 

 

Fireball Baby (photo) was the race favorite and she proved why she deserved so much support with an impressive win by four lengths, well under wraps by Pedroza Jr. The Noble’s Promise was behind horses for most of the one and one-sixteenth mile event, but found the room she needed along the inside, scooting through and exploding to the lead. Diamond Solitaire and John McKee were widest in the stretch to close for second over Expect Indy and Emmanuel Esquivel for third.

Fireball Baby is a homebred by Richard and Tammy Rigney’s Rigney Racing. It was her seventh career win and a repeat in the Lady Fog Horn. The win also catapulted her into the state’s top five all-time earners with a tally of nearly $550,000 in career earnings. Philip Bauer has handled the training duties for the flashy chestnut mare, who is now five.

“I had a lot of confidence in this mare today,” said Pedroza Jr., who scored three wins on the card. “I worked her earlier in the week and she worked amazing, so that gave me a lot of confidence coming into today. I told Philip (Bauer) she has a lot of heart, and she showed it today.”

The Thoroughbred portion of the afternoon was presented by the Indiana Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association with numerous giveaways and a reception in the first floor Derby Suite. The day brought a successful Indiana stakes season to a close, which offered more than $4 million in purses on the year throughout the 123-day racing season.

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