Sports News

Bob Knight special edition bobbleheads unveiled

Today, the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum unveiled two limited-edition bobbleheads of legendary college basketball coach Bob Knight.

The first bobblehead features Knight wearing his signature red sweater, while the second bobblehead commemorates Knight’s iconic chair-throwing incident. The special edition bobbleheads are being produced by the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum in conjunction with Knight Legacy. Founded by Coach Knight’s son, Pat Knight, Knight Legacy’s mission is to honor, promote, and preserve the Coach Knight Legacy and the footprint that Hall of Fame Coach Bob Knight has made in the history of basketball.

Standing on a circular base bearing his name, the first Knight bobblehead is wearing a red sweater and dark pants. The top of the base features a facsimile of Coach Knight’s autograph. Standing on a replica hardwood floor base bearing his name, the second Coach Knight bobblehead is wearing a red and white striped short-sleeved shirt like the one worn during Indiana’s game vs. rival Purdue on February 23, 1985, when Knight threw a chair across the Assembly Hall court objecting to a call. The chair throwing incident which has come to be known as “The Chair Game” is still remembered and even celebrated today on its anniversary and when the Hoosiers face Purdue. Knight, who apologized for his actions the next day, joked about throwing the chair since the incident, saying that he saw an old lady standing on the opposite sideline and threw her the chair so she could sit down.

The standing bobblehead is individually numbered to 2,023 while the chair-throwing bobblehead is numbered to 19,850. The bobbleheads are currently available for pre-order exclusively through the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum’s Online Store. The standing Knight bobbleheads are $30 each, while the chair-throwing bobbleheads are $40 each, plus a flat-rate shipping charge of $8 per order. A set of two is available for $65 and both bobbleheads are expected to ship in December.

In his coaching career, Knight finished with an overall record of 902-371. The 902 NCAA Division I victories was a record at the time of his retirement, and currently ranks fifth all-time. He is best known for winning three national championships as the head coach of the Indiana Hoosiers in 1976, 1981 and 1987. In addition to coaching the Hoosiers from 1971 to 2000, he was also the head coach at Army from 1965 to 1971 and Texas Tech from 2001 to 2008.

Known as one of college basketball’s most successful and innovative coaches, having popularized the motion offense, Knight also won a National Invitation Tournament championship and 11 Big Ten Conference championships along with his three national titles. Knight received National Coach of the Year honors four times and Big Ten Coach of the Year honors eight times. In 1984, he coached the USA men’s Olympic team to a gold medal, becoming one of only three basketball coaches to win an NCAA title, NIT title and an Olympic gold medal. Knight was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1991 and was a member of the founding class of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006. He was also inducted into the Army Sports Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Indiana Hoosiers Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009.

Born in Massillon, Ohio, on October 25th, 1940, the only child of Pat and Hazel Knight grew up in nearby Orrville. His life in athletics began as a tall first baseman for the Mizer Tykes. He switched to basketball in the sixth grade and became a local star. An excellent student, Knight once won the Orrville Library’s competition for what child could read the most books between June and September. Knight went on to Ohio State where he played for Hall of Fame coach Fred Taylor. He was a reserve forward on the 1960 NCAA championship team that featured future Hall of Famers John Havlicek and Jerry Lucas. The Buckeyes lost in each of the next two NCAA championship games, of which the sharpshooting Knight also played a part of off the bench. One year after graduating from Ohio State with a degree in history and government in 1962, Knight enlisted in the United States Army and served two years of active duty. Knight, who was a private first class, also served nearly four years in the Army reserves. While in the service, Knight was an assistant coach for the Army Black Knights basketball team. As a 24-year-old in 1965, he was named Army’s head coach and compiled a record of 102-50 in six seasons there before going to Indiana.

When asked about the bobbleheads, Coach Knight’s son and Founder of Knight Legacy, Pat Knight said, “We’re thrilled to be honoring my father’s legacy with these limited edition bobbleheads in collaboration with the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum. I think these bobbleheads are a great tribute to my dad’s legacy and the passion that he had for basketball and life.”

"We’re excited to team up with Knight Legacy to create these bobbleheads celebrating the legendary coach,” National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum co-founder and CEO Phil Sklar said. “One of the most successful coaches in the history of college basketball, and we think fans will love these new bobbleheads!”

About the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum:
The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum, which is located at 170 S. 1st St. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, opened to the public on February 1st, 2019. The HOF and Museum also produces high quality, customized bobbleheads for retail sale as well as organizations, individuals, and teams across the country. Visit us 
online and on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Line judge procedure modified in high school volleyball

Line judges will be required to change sides of the court between sets when teams remain on the same bench. The change in officiating procedure highlights the 2024-25 high school volleyball rules changes.

In all, four rules changes were recommended by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Volleyball Rules Committee at its annual meeting January 7-9. All rules changes were reviewed and approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

Rule 5-9-2b, which outlines line judge responsibilities, includes the new note requiring that they switch sides of the court when, by state association adoption, teams remain on the same bench throughout the match. The corresponding item on the state association adoption chart was also amended to add the requirement, which was added to promote fair officiating.

“Since the pandemic many state associations have adopted the rule to require teams to remain on the same bench throughout the match,” said Lindsey Atkinson, NFHS Director of Sports and liaison to the Volleyball Rules Committee. “The unintended consequence of this adoption is that the same line judge officiates the same lines for the same teams throughout the match. This change allows teams to see both line judges and promote equity in officiating.

In other rules changes, Rule 11-4-1b now allows teams to substitute for a replacement player during a referee’s time-out when the libero is injured or ill, allowing the team to avoid playing the replacement out of position.

Two rules dealing with uniforms and rosters were amended to address when a uniform is damaged or has blood on it. Rule 4-2-3 Note was added to allow a player to change uniforms and for the roster to be adjusted accordingly with no penalty when a uniform is bloodied or damaged. Rule 7-1-1 Note was also changed to specify that blood on or damage to the uniform are acceptable reasons to change uniforms.

The first referee’s responsibilities were modified in Rule 5-4-3c(1) to direct players to the end lines prior to the first set and then direct starting players onto the court for play. Previously, only starting players were directed to the end lines for prematch announcements. The rule now allows but does not require teams to include more team members in the prematch ceremony.


Home team uniform requirements clarified in high school football rules

Language in the 2024 NFHS Football Rules Book will be changed in an effort to ensure consistent interpretation of the rule regarding requirements for home team uniforms in high school football. Next season, all home team jerseys must be the same dark color(s) that clearly contrasts with white. 

This uniform change in Rule 1-5-1b(3) was recommended by the NFHS Football Rules Committee at its January 14-16 meeting in Indianapolis and subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors. The Football Rules Committee is composed of one member from each NFHS member state association that uses NFHS playing rules, along with representatives from the NFHS Coaches Association and NFHS Officials Association.

Previously, the rule regarding home team jerseys stated that the jerseys of the home team “shall be a dark color that clearly contrasts to white.” The revised rule will state that the jerseys of the home team “shall all be the same dark color(s) that clearly contrasts to white.” 

“We kind of had a loophole in the rule that we didn’t specify that everyone on the home team had to wear the same color dark jersey,” said Richard McWhirter, chair of the NFHS Football Rules Committee and assistant executive director of the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association. “Even though you didn’t see a major issue with it, it was a loophole in the rule that could possibly be a major issue in the future if it wasn’t corrected.”

McWhirter noted that while this was the only rules proposal that was approved by the committee, there was considerable discussion related to the other eight proposals that advanced to the full committee. He said there was considerable discussion dealing with sportsmanship, particularly unsporting acts in dead-ball situations.

“There was solid agreement by the committee that the rules of the game are in good shape,” McWhirter said. “There was great discussion regarding the need for consistent enforcement of the existing rules specifically in regard to equipment and sportsmanship. Several proposals garnered substantial interest and discussion and may merit further consideration in future committee meetings.”

Three Points of Emphasis were identified by the committee for the 2024 season, including Player Equipment and Enforcement, Sportsmanship and Protocols, and Formation Requirements.

 A complete listing of the football rules changes will be available on the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org. Click on “Activities & Sports” at the top of the home page and select “Football.”

Caston eliminated from girls basketball state tournament by Marquette Catholic

22 wins.

The program’s second ever sectional title.

And first regional title.

But the hope of extending the Caston Lady Comets historic run came to a close in the semi-state semifinal at Frankfort’s Case Arena. Seventh-ranked Marquette Catholic took a three point lead into the fourth quarter and then held Caston to just four points over the final eight minutes to end the Comets season, 41-34.

Head coach Josh Douglass said his team fought until the end but couldn’t overcome Laniah Davis. The sophomore guard scored 26 to pace Marquette Catholic.

 

 

Isabel Scales was Caston’s only double digit scorer with 13.  Annie Harsh scored nine points on three shots from beyond the arc.

 

 

Caston struggled from the field shooting 14-of-46 (30%). Free throw shooting also hampered the Comets scoring efforts finishing 4-of-12.

Douglass says there’s pain with the end.  But it’s a special memory that will bring more smiles than tears.

 

 

Marquette Catholic (24-4) went on to defeat second-ranked Clinton Central in dramatic fashion in the semi-state championship, 72-70. Freshman Marissa Pleasant sank a three-pointer with 1.1 second remaining to seal the win.

The Blazers will play top-ranked and defending state champion Lanesville in the 1A state championship at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.


Brant and Brady Beck place third, fifth at state wrestling finals

Rochester sophomore Brant Beck came up one win short of reaching the state championship wrestling match Saturday at the Ford Center in Evansville.

Beck, competing at 165 pounds, scored decision wins over Cowan’s Levi Abbott, 5-1, and Bloomington South’s Evan Roudebush, 4-3, to reach the semifinal round.

Warren Central sophomore Waylon Cressell knocked Beck out of state title contention with a 13-5 victory. Cressell went on to win the state title. 

Beck returned to the mat and defeated Crown Point’s Anthony Rinehart in the third-place match. Beck finished the season with a 46-2 record.

Rochester senior Brady Beck closed out his career with a fifth-place finish at the state finals. He scored a 7-3 win Friday night over Leo’s Isaiah Coolman in the opening round matches at 285 pounds.

On Saturday, Beck was defeated by Center Grove’s Nate Johnson, who went on to capture the state title. Beck rebounded to get wins over Heritage Hills’ Hayden Smith and Bluffton’s Juan Cruz to secure fifth place in the bracket.

Beck went 46-2 this season.

Three more Rochester wrestlers lost opening round matches Friday in Evansville. Freshman Grant Holloway was defeated by Delta’s Jensen Boyd at 106 pounds. Sophomore Layne Horn lost to Jay County’s Cody Rowles at 126. And senior Alex Deming’s career ended with a loss to Cathedral’s Jackson Weingart.

Rochester to open sectional with tough challenge; Tippecanoe Valley, Caston receive byes

The Indiana High School Athletic Association announced the sectional pairings Sunday for the 114th Annual Boys Basketball State Tournament.

Sectional games will be played Feb. 27-28 and March 1-2.

Regional championship games follow on March 9. Teams will be assigned to one of eight regional sites following the conclusion of the sectional round.

Northern regional host sites this season are Michigan City, Logansport, South Bend Washington, New Castle, North Judson-San Pierre, Lapel, Triton and Frankfort.

The semistate semifinal and championship games are March 16.

The state championship games will be played a week later this year due to Gainbridge Fieldhouse, site of the IHSAA championship games, hosting the NCAA Men’s Basketball First and Second Round tournament games.

The 2024 IHSAA state champions will be crowned on March 30.

Lewis Cass Sectional

Rochester (8-11) drew the only team in the Class 2A, Sectional 36 field with a winning record in the tournament opener. The Zebras face Wabash (16-5) on Feb. 27. The winner advances to take on Pioneer (8-12) in the semifinal round on March 1.

In the other half of the six-team bracket, North Miami (3-18) gets Winamac (10-11) in the other quarterfinal matchup. The winner gets the host, Lewis Cass (8-11), in the semifinal round.

The sectional championship game is March 2.

Tippecanoe Valley Sectional

The host Tippecanoe Valley will wait until March 1 for its first sectional game.

On Feb. 27 in the Class 3A, Sectional 18 opener, Culver Academy (7-12) takes on John Glenn (10-11), with the winner returning March 1 to face Bremen (8-12) in the semifinal round.

In the other semifinal, Tippecanoe Valley (14-7), the only team in the sectional with a winning record, will battle Knox (6-13) for a spot in the March 2 championship game.

Triton Sectional

Class A, Sectional 50 features seven teams competing at No. 8-ranked Triton.

In the sectional opener on Feb. 27, Trinity Greenlawn (6-13) faces Marquette Catholic (8-13). The winner advances to meet Oregon-Davis (4-16) in the semifinal round on March 1.

On Feb. 28, quarterfinal games are Triton (14-5) taking on Culver (8-11) and Argos (10-10) battling Westville (10-12). The winners return March 1 for a semifinal contest.

The championship game is March 2.

Caston Sectional

The host Comets drew a bye in Class A, Sectional 51. Caston (9-11) will take on either West Central (3-16) or North White (5-16) in a semifinal round contest on March 1.

In the other quarterfinal, South Newton (3-17) opens against Tri-County (10-11). The winner meets Frontier (6-14) in the semifinals on March 1.

The sectional championship game is March 2.


The NBA and Pacers Sports & Entertainment announce statue honoring Hall-Of-Famer Oscar Robertson, Indy's first All-Star

The NBA, in partnership with Pacers Sports & Entertainment, has commissioned a statue to honor Indianapolis Crispus Attucks legend and Naismith Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced at The Tip-Off at Bicentennial Unity Plaza.

The Commissioner welcomed Robertson to the stage and shared the news before thousands of fans celebrating the official beginning of NBA All-Star 2024.
From design to completion, the statue will take approximately one year until it is unveiled to the public. Once finished, it will be permanently placed at Crispus Attucks High School in Indianapolis and will be unveiled during a ceremony in 2025.
“Oscar Robertson’s legendary basketball journey began in Indianapolis where he led Crispus Attucks High School to the first state championship in the country won by an all-Black team,” said Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner.  “We are thrilled to join the Pacers in commissioning a statue in recognition of Oscar’s extraordinary impact on the game and his hometown.”
Indianapolis artist Ryan Feeney has been commissioned to create the statue, which depicts Robertson in his NBA All-Star jersey atop a basketball-shaped base made by scanning the actual 1955 Crispus Attucks State Championship Trophy. The metal for the bronze piece was sourced from Casting Art & Technology in Cincinnati, where Robertson was a three-time NCAA All-American at the University of Cincinnati and where he began his professional career with the Cincinnati Royals.
Robertson, widely considered one of the NBA’s all-time great players, is the first Indiana high school basketball player to be named an NBA All-Star. He was selected to the All-Star team 12 straight times during his 14-year career, earning All-NBA honors 11 times and winning the League MVP for the 1963-64 season. Robertson has also been credited with revolutionizing the point guard position, holding the record for most triple-doubles in League history until 2021 and being the first-ever NBA player to average a triple-double for an entire season.
For many Hoosiers, Robertson’s most significant legacy is the important impact he and his Crispus Attucks teammates had on Indiana high school basketball history. In 1955, the Tigers became the first all-Black team in the country to win a state championship, following it up with a second-consecutive IHSAA state championship in 1956. Robertson was named Indiana Mr. Basketball and the ’56 team was the first in state history to finish undefeated, posting a 31-0 record with a 22-point championship game victory over Lafayette Jefferson High School.
“It is important to immortalize the impacts Oscar has had on the court and well beyond the game of basketball, and this wonderful tribute will ensure generations to come can celebrate his remarkable legacy,” said Rick Fuson, PS&E’s Chief Executive Officer. 
The Robertson statue adds to an impressive list of commissioned pieces Feeney has created for landmarks throughout Indianapolis and beyond, including the impressive 9-foot sculpture of Indianapolis Colts Hall of Famer Peyton Manning that sits outside Lucas Oil Stadium. His other works include the bronze eagle atop the Indianapolis 9/11 memorial, the metal piano for the Hoagie Carmichael statue on Indiana University’s Bloomington campus, and the bronze cast of a sheriff deputy located outside the front doors of the Sheriff’s Department.
“It is an honor to have been chosen to sculpt a lasting tribute of the greatest basketball player ever to come from Indianapolis, Oscar Robertson,” said Feeney. “My hope is to make Mr. Robertson and the city of Indianapolis proud.”

Boys basketball sectional pairings announcement Sunday on GIANT fm WROI

The Pairings Show, hosted by Bob Lovell and Greg Rakestraw, will stream exclusively at IHSAAtv.org and air on affiliates of the IHSAA Champions Network which includes the GIANT fm radio station in Rochester (92.1 FM or the GIANT fm app).

Rochester will be part of the six-team Class 2A sectional at Lewis Cass. In the field are Wabash (15-5), Pioneer (7-11), Lewis Cass (8-11), Rochester (8-10), Winamac (9-11) and North Miami (2-17).

Wabash is 3-0 against teams in Sectional 36.

The Zebras’ last sectional title came in 2021.

In Class 3A, Sectional 18, Tippecanoe Valley is the host school for the five-team sectional that includes the host Vikings (13-6), John Glenn (10-10), Culver Academy (7-11), Bremen (7-12) and Knox (6-11).

The Vikings are 3-0 against potential sectional foes. They last cut down the sectional championship nets in 2019.

In the Class A Caston Sectional (52), the Comets (9-10) will battle Tri-County (10-9), Frontier (6-13), West Central (3-15), North White (4-15) and South Newton (3-16).

Half of Tri-County’s wins this season are against teams in Sectional 52. Frontier is 4-1 against sectional teams.

The Comets are seeking their first sectional title since 2021.

Argos will travel to Class A, Sectional 50, hosted by Triton. The seven-team field features No. 8 Triton (14-4), Marquette Catholic (7-13), Argos (9-9), Culver (7-10), Oregon-Davis (4-15), Westville (10-11) and Trinity Greenlawn (6-12).

Triton is 4-0 against potential sectional opponents.

Argos’ last sectional championship came in 2020.

 


Caston wins 1A girls basketball regional, headed to Frankfort semistate

The Caston Lady Comets had to wait until mid-afternoon Sunday for the IHSAA draw to find out where, who and when they would play at this Saturday’s girls basketball semistate.

On Saturday, Caston didn’t allow for much mystery or drama in defeating Bethany Christian, 44-29.

Caston’s defense dominated the defending 1A state runners-up. Senior leading scorer Zoe Willems reached her season average of 20 points but she got little offensive help.  Fellow senior Mariah Stoltzfus scored six and Morgan Chupp made a late-game three pointer to round out the Bruins scoring.

Caston held Bethany Christian to 9-of-38 shooting from the field (23%) and outrebounded the Bruins by 10, 29-19. 

Up by ten at halftime, Caston increased the lead to 18 at the end of the third quarter, 37-19.

Caston head coach Josh Douglass said after holding down the Bruins offense the fourth quarter became a game of keep-away.

 

 

Douglass won a regional at Riverton Parke in 2012. He said winning the regional at Caston is extra special.

 

 

Addison Zimpleman led the seventh-ranked Comets (22-3) with 14 points. Madisyn Douglass scored 11 and Isabel Scales added 10.

On Sunday, Caston was slotted into the 1A brackets at Frankfort’s Case Arena for Saturday’s semistate. The Comets will play in the second semifinal and will face fifth-ranked Marquette Catholic (22-4).

The first semifinal at Frankfort will feature second-ranked Clinton Central (24-1) and Union City (14-12).

 

 

Caston hopes home court a plus in Saturday's girls basketball regional

The Caston Lady Comets have had a week to get back to work after capturing the program’s second ever sectional title last Saturday at South Newton High School.

Now, the defending 1A girls basketball runner-up is coming to town to play the Comets for a berth in the semistate.
Seventh-ranked Caston (21-3) will host Saturday’s 1A regional against #15 Bethany Christian (18-6). Last year, the Bruins made their first state championship game appearance and lost to top-ranked Lanesville, 60-41. The 24-4 season by Bethany Christan provided the program with its first sectional title since 2016 and first ever regional title.

The Bruins defeated Tri-County at the Caston regional, 38-30.  Caston just edged Tri-County by a point last Saturday to win the program’s only other sectional title since 1985.

Caston was scheduled to play Bethany Christian near the end of the regular season but it was canceled by weather. Comets head coach Josh Douglass isn’t disappointed that game failed to happen.

Bethany Christian returns its top scorer from last season, 5’7” senior Zoe Willems.  Willems has upped her scoring average from just over 17 points per game last season. Now, Willems averages 20.6 ppg to go with 9.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists.

Senior Mariah Stoltzfus is the only other double-digit scorer at 11.5 ppg.

Bethany Christian won the Caston Regional last season but it was a neutral court game. This time, it’s expected to be anything but.

Comets head coach Josh Douglass.

Caston senior Addison Zimpleman.

Caston senior Isabel Scales looks forward to being on the home floor but does realize some pressures.

Even though this is a first for this class of Caston basketball players, several comparisons have been drawn to the softball run to the state championship last season. Coach Douglass says this offers some different daily challenges.

GIANT fm Sports WROI coverage of Saturday’s regional begins at 6:30 p.m. The game is scheduled to tip at 7 p.m.

At 4 p.m., the Caston gym will host a 3A regional between #7 Benton Central (25-3) and #2 Norwell (20-4). It’s the first meeting between the programs since a Norwell regional victory over Benton Central in 2021.

 

 

 

 


70th anniversary celebration of the "Milan Miracle" to take place March 23

A 70th anniversary celebration of Milan High School’s legendary 1954 Indiana Basketball State Championship will be held on Saturday, March 23 in the town of Milan.

Festivities will take place in the Milan High School gymnasium beginning at 11 a.m. and admission is free and open to the public.

The celebration will include remarks from dignitaries and feature a panel discussion with the Milan players. Greg Rakestraw, of the ISC Sports Network in Indianapolis and the 2023 “Indiana Sportscaster of the Year”, will moderate the discussion.

Following the formal ceremony, the Milan players and actors from the movie Hoosiers will sign autographs and food trucks will be on hand. Merchandise from the Milan ’54 Hoosiers Museum will be available for purchase and the museum, located at 201 West Carr Street, will be open to the public prior to ceremony from 8 - 10 a.m. and then following the ceremony from 2 - 4 p.m.
 

*Note, those planning to attend must RSVP via the following link:
https://forms.gle/WQGtzm2jMnfWCB9D7

 
On March 20,1954, the Milan Indians became the smallest school in Indiana history to capture the state championship. With time running out, Milan guard Bobby Plump hit the game-winning shot to defeat powerhouse Muncie Central by a score of 32-30. The following day, 40,000 people descended on Milan (population: 1,150) as the team returned home from Indianapolis, lining State Road 101 for thirteen miles to congratulate the Indians.

In 2016, the Indiana Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association and Indiana Sports History Properties LLC – unveiled the 25 greatest stories in Indiana sports history. The “Milan Miracle” ranked number one on the list. In 1986, Milan’s state championship run was portrayed in the movie Hoosiers which is regarded as one of the best sports films ever made.
“As someone who was born and raised in Milan, Indiana, I find it hard to believe that we will be celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Milan Indians’ iconic victory in the 1954 Indiana State High School basketball championship game. We hope to have a tremendous crowd on hand to honor the team on March 23 in the Milan High School gymnasium. Featuring remarks from several dignitaries and interviews with players and actors from the movie Hoosiers, this day will also be a historic one for the town of Milan.  We welcome all who have a love for the "Milan Miracle", the movie Hoosiers, and Indiana basketball and look forward to seeing you on March 23!” said Tom Kohlmeier, Board Chairman of the Milan ’54 Hoosiers Museum.
 
 
“Indiana and basketball go hand-in-hand, and the sport is forever ingrained in our rich, historic proud past. The Milan Miracle of 1954 was key in solidifying Indiana’s reputation as the state that grew the game. From Bobby Plump to Bobby Knight, Oscar Robertson to George McGinnis and Larry Bird to Reggie Miller, Indiana’s history is full of Hoosier legends. While many theories exist on what is a Hoosier, to me the word Hoosier will always be tied a deep love and respect for the game,” said Eric Holcomb, Governor of the State of Indiana.
 “Growing up, I can recall that each year, prior to the state tournament, our local newspaper would pull out the story of the mighty Milan Indians vanquishing the Muncie Central Bearcats. No doubt our paper was not unique in this regard. Most other small or medium-sized towns were doing the same to inspire the local team that they, too, could pull off a miraculous tournament run. Of course, that game would become the core story representing the special relationship between the people of Indiana and basketball. As Milan’s mythic journey has inspired countless players and coaches in the past 70 years, it too inspired me 40 years ago to write the movie Hoosiers. I look forward to celebrating the 70th anniversary of the greatest game in Indiana high school history with the very special members of that team,” said Angelo Pizzo, Screenwriter for the movie Hoosiers.
"It's hard to believe that it's been 70 years since we achieved our goal of winning the Indiana State High School Basketball Championship. My teammates and I are thrilled to reunite in Milan on March 23rd to relive so many great memories and celebrate with our family members, friends, dignitaries, and others who appreciate our story and the rich history of Indiana basketball. It's most meaningful that the celebration will occur in Milan-it's where our journey began and remains a place that we hold dear to our hearts."  Bobby Plump, Guard on the 1954 Milan Indians team
For more information on the Milan ’54 Hoosiers Museum, please visit the website at https://milan54.org/

 

 

 

 

 Maconaquah junior Josiah Ball named a Week-14 IBCA Franciscan Health Players of the Week.

Last week, more than 390 girls’ basketball programs around the state began postseason play in hopes of something as simple as a single victory, or as complicated as a state title. By the time the dust settled late Saturday night, just 64 teams remained as sectional champions.

Meanwhile, in between the boys were entertaining as well, and below we will celebrate a 50-point outing, a 45-point outing, plus several records being set. All in all, seven hoopers have been selected as the Week-14 IBCA/Franciscan Health Players of the Week.

Maconaquah Junior Josiah Ball, Marquette Catholic Sophomore Laniah Davis, Wapahani Senior Isaac Andrews, Kokomo Senior Flory Bidunga, Eastbrook Senior Sophia Morrison, Providence Senior Noah Lovan, and Bedford North Lawrence Senior Madisyn Bailey have been selected For Jan. 29-Feb. 3 in the recognition program coordinated by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association. Ball, a boys’ winner, and Davis, a girls’ winner, represent District-1. Andrews and Bidunga share boys’ honors, while Morrison picks up girls’ honors, in District-2. Lovan is the boys’ recipient, and Bailey is the girls’ recipient in District-3.

Maconaquah Junior Josiah Ball has put together an outstanding season, and it continued last week in a 98-78 victory over Western. The 6-5 forward erupted for 50 points on 19-35 shooting, which included a 4-8 performance from deep and an 8-10 outing from the free throw line. In addition to his explosive scoring effort, the Junior forward also managed to pull down 9 rebounds, he handed out a pair of assists, and he collected a pair of steals at the defensive end of the floor.

Sophomore Laniah Davis has been an explosive scorer for two seasons now, and last week she scored her 900th point in just the 48th game of her career. Additionally, the 5-8 guard helped Marquette Catholic to a Sectional 50 crown. Tuesday, Marquette took care of host Culver Community by an easy margin, Friday it was Oregon-Davis, 66-44, and while Saturday was a bit tougher, they knocked off Triton, 52-39. For the week, the youngster averaged 23.3 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 5.7 steals per game, with a double-double against Oregon-Davis and 30 points versus Triton.

Wapahani Senior sharpshooter Isaac Andrews has been strong all four years of his career, and last week he set the school’s single-game scoring record with a 45-point effort in their hard-fought, 81-73 triple overtime win against Cowan Thursday night. The 6-1 guard added 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 5 steals, plus a blocked shot to his effort. Saturday, in an easy victory over Union (Modoc), Andrews managed another 30 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 4 steals in limited time.

 In his only game last week, Kokomo Senior Flory Bidunga reached the 1400-point plateau, plus he collected his 1000th rebound, joining the rare 1000-point/1000-rebound club. Even more impressive, the 6-10 University of Kansas commit has done it in just three seasons. The Wildkats won their eighth game in a row by defeating Cathedral, 91-74. Bidunga finished 9-10 from the field, he scored 23 points, pulled down 17 rebounds, handed out 5 assists, and blocked 5 shots in the triumph.

Senior Sophia Morrison helped Eastbrook to their second consecutive Sectional 39 title, but it wasn’t all easy for the Panthers. Tuesday, they knocked off the host Elwood Panthers with ease. Friday, in the Sectional Semi-Final, it was more of the same against Madison-Grant. But in Saturday’s title game, it took Eastbrook four overtimes…yes, four…to avenge a loss to Blackford from the week prior, 62-58. All in all, Morrison, a Grace College commit, was outstanding, averaging 25.7 points, 2.3 assists, and 5.0 steals per game. She poured in 32 points versus Blackford, plus she surpassed the 1400-point mark.

Providence Senior Noah Lovan was critical for the Pioneers in a pair of games last week, but none more so than a 30-point performance in a 67-34 win over now 12-5 South Central (Elizabeth) on Thursday night. Lovan buried 14-19 shots, including knocking down two of his three 3-point attempts. He followed that Saturday with a 28-point outing in a 75-40 success against Henryville. The 6-3 guard was highly effective at the charity stripe this time, making 11-12 shots from 15-feet. He added 9 rebounds and 6 assists in the win, helping move the Pioneers to 14-3 on the year.

The Bailey name is synonymous with Bedford North Lawrence basketball, and last week Senior Madisyn Bailey helped the Lady Stars to a huge upset and a Sectional 15 crown. The Stars began their week Wednesday night with a 58-24 win against New Albany. It continued Friday, as they took care of a very good Silver Creek program, 60-41. But Saturday was the big one, as Bedford avenged a 17-point loss from earlier this season, this time using key defensive stops to knock off IBCA #6 Jennings County, 43-39. The 5-9 Bailey was a huge catalyst each game defensively, often defending the other team’s best player, limiting them to single digits. Additionally, the Marian University commit averaged 18.0 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 3.7 steals per game,plus she was 19-29 from the field and an impressive 8-11 from downtown.

This is the 16th season for the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association Player of the Week program, andthe fourth season it is being presented by Franciscan Health, a corporate sponsor of the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association.

Player of the Week winners are chosen each week from each of the IHSAA’s three districts. Girls’ winners will be chosen through the Monday following the IHSAA Girls State Finals. Boys’ winners will be chosen through the Monday following the IHSAA Boys State Finals.

Rochester and Caston advance with girls basketball sectional quarterfinal wins Tuesday

Rochester advanced in opening round girls basketball sectional action and set up another meeting with rival Tippecanoe Valley.

 

 

Bremen’s win over John Glenn Tuesday avenged a November 21 regular season 13-point loss.

 

At South Newton, #7 (1A) Caston defeated West Central, 62-37.  Addison Zimpleman scored 24 points to go with five rebounds and five assists.  Isabel Scales added 12 points and eight steals. Caston also had Madi Douglas iin double figures with 12.

In Tuesday’s other quarterfinal, Tri-County dominated Frontier, 62-13.

 

In 2A at North Miami, Winamac head coach Tony Stesiak earned his 275 coaching win and a berth in the semifinal by getting by Wabash, 52-46.  Maggie Smith led Winamac with 15 while teammates Kandace Kroft and Marisa Iverson each scored 11.

Wabash was led by 10 points each from Bryleigh Boggs and Kierra Wilson.

 

At Culver, the home team saw its season end at the hands of the fifth ranked team in 1A.  Marquette Catholic advanced by defeating Culver, 59-19.

 

 

 

Rochester claims fourth consecutive wrestling sectional title, Robbins and Duvall advance for Caston

Rochester placed ten wrestlers into the finals of 14 weight classes at the Plymouth sectional and claimed six individual titles as the Zebras captured the team title Saturday.

Rochester's 256.5 points was good enough for the program's fourth consecutive team title.

Plymouth was second with 238.5 followed by third place Warsaw with 205.

Rounding out the field:

Winamac, 166.5

Triton, 104

Bremen, 81

Culver Acad., 75

North Judson, 66

Caston, 58

Culver Community, 6

 

Rochester individual championships included

126: Layne Horn (38-0)

165: Brant Beck (37-0)

175: DeClan Gard (32-3)

190: Colin Weiand (32-6)

215: Alex Deming (38-0)

285: Brady Beck (37-0)

Also qualifying for the Penn Regional from Rochester:

106: Grant Holloway (15-3) - lost in championship

157: Ethan Amezquita (22-14) - lost in championship

150: Wyatt Davis (27-4) - lost in championship

144: Kale Shotts (21-10) - won 3rd place

132: Devin Basham (28-11) - lost in championship

 

For Caston, freshman Jackson Robbins (106) and senior Pete Duvall (190) both placed third and advanced to the regional. Robbins is 27-6 on the season with Duvall 22-7.

 

 

 

2024 NBA All-Star Game uniforms revealed

For the seventh consecutive year, Jordan Brand will outfit the league’s stars for the 2024 NBA All-Star Game in Indianapolis, which will be available for purchase beginning tonight on NBAStore.com, Nike.com, and through select retailers around the country, following the NBA All-Star Starters  announcement on TNT at 7pm ET.

The Jordan Brand NBA All-Star 2024 uniforms, which feature Nike Dri-FIT ADV technology, will make  their on-court debut at the 73rd NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 18 at 8 p.m. ET in Indianapolis  airing on TNT in the United States and reaching fans in more than 200 countries and territories in more  than 50 languages.

In the return of the East vs. West format, the uniforms celebrate the league and rich basketball history of  Indiana. The 2024 NBA All-Stars will also be outfitted in Jordan Brand old-school, Hoosier-inspired  warm-ups.

Designed from the idea that basketball was raised in Indiana, the uniforms are rooted in a nostalgic,  heritage look that feature a tonal twist on the classic red and blue uniforms with cream lettering. The  pinstripes are inspired by the iconic Pacers uniforms in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Design details include the following: 

  • The 2024 NBA All-Star logo is featured prominently on the front of the jersey under “All-Star,”  which weaves in racing stripes to pay homage to the host city. 
  • The five stars on each side of the jersey represent the five players on each team playing on the  court at any given time.
  • The logo is also featured on the side of the short with a large circle around it, honoring downtown  Indy’s Monument Circle which surrounds the proud Soldiers and Sailors Monument at the center  of the “Circle City.” 
  • The six stars rotating the NBA All-Star logo on each side of the short represents the 12 All-Stars  on each roster. 
  • “73rd Annual” is highlighted on the jersey as the anthem graphic above the black jock tag. 
  • The “ASG” ligature mark on the belt buckle is inspired by the graphical origins of basketball.  

Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton named to 2024 USA Men's National Team player pool

USA Basketball announced that Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton is among the 41-athlete player pool for the 2024 USA Basketball Men’s National Team.

The players were selected by USA Basketball Men’s National Team managing director Grant Hill and is subject to change.
The 12-member 2024 USA Men’s National Team, which will represent the United States at the 2024 Olympic Summer Games in Paris, will be announced at a later date.
In addition to Haliburton, the pool features 28 players who have represented the USA in Olympics and/or FIBA Men’s World Cup and who together have collected 23 Olympic or World Cup gold medals: Bam Adebayo, Jarrett Allen, Paolo Banchero, Desmond Bane, Scottie Barnes, Devin Booker, Mikal Bridges, Jaylen Brown, Jalen Brunson, Jimmy Butler, Alex Caruso, Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, Anthony Edwards, Joel Embiid, De’Aaron Fox, Paul George, Aaron Gordon, James Harden, Josh Hart, Tyler Herro, Jrue Holiday, Chet Holmgren, Brandon Ingram, Kyrie Irving, Jaren Jackson Jr., LeBron James, Cam Johnson, Walker Kessler, Kawhi Leonard, Damian Lillard, Donovan Mitchell, Chris Paul, Bobby Portis, Austin Reaves, Duncan Robinson, Jayson Tatum, Derrick White and Trae Young.
The 2024 USA Men’s National Team will be led by head coach Steve Kerr (Golden State Warriors), who is assisted by Mark Few (Gonzaga University), Tyronn Lue (L.A. Clippers) and Erik Spoelstra (Miami Heat). Last summer, the quartet coached the 2023 USA Basketball Men’s National Team to a fourth-place finish at the 2023 FIBA Men’s World Cup in Manila. Kerr is a 2020 Olympic gold medalist after serving as an assistant coach to Gregg Popovich in Tokyo.
The USA officially qualified for the 2024 Olympics as one of the top two nations from the FIBA Americas zone at the 2023 FIBA World Cup in September. The American men will compete for their fifth straight – and 17th overall – Olympic gold medal.

Rochester, Caston, Tippecanoe Valley locked into sectional brackets for girls bball postseason

Rochester girls basketball will play on the opening night of Class 3A, Sectional 18 on its home court.

The Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) announced the sectional pairings Sunday for the 49th Annual Girls Basketball State Tournament. Sectional games begin on Jan. 30 with sectional champions crowned on Feb. 3. Regional championship games are slated for Feb. 10.

There will be a pair of sectional quarterfinal games on Jan. 30 at Rochester. In the opener, John Glenn (11-10) will take on Bremen (9-11).

Rochester (10-10) will follow against Knox (7-15). The two teams have not met this season.

The first game winner will return to Rochester on Feb. 2 for a semifinal contest with Culver Academy (12-7).

A Rochester win sets up a rematch with Tippecanoe Valley (16-3) in the semifinals. Tippecanoe Valley defeated the Zebras, 42-16, on Nov. 21.

The winner of the Rochester Sectional will face the Highland Sectional champion on Feb. 10 at a yet-to-be-determined regional site. One of eight sites – Bellmont, Caston, Jimtown, Lapel, LaPorte, Marion, Wes-Del and Winamac – will be announced as the host at the conclusion of the sectional tournament.

Class A, No. 2 Caston (18-1) is seeking its first sectional championship since 1985. The only team Caston has lost to this season is in the same South Newton Sectional but on the other side of the bracket.

At Sectional 52, Frontier (4-14) opens the tournament on Jan. 30 against Tri-County (14-6), the only team to defeat the Comets. The winner returns Feb. 2 for a semifinal game against North White (2-17).

Caston follows on Jan. 30 against West Central (11-8). The two teams have not met this season. The winner returns Feb. 2 to face South Newton (1-14).

The South Newton Sectional champion will face the Lakewood Park Christian Sectional champion in a one-game regional championship on Feb. 10.

Class A, Sectional 50, hosted by Culver, features seven teams including Argos.

In the sectional opener on Jan. 30, No. 3 Marquette Catholic (18-2) faces Culver (4-14). The winner advances to Friday’s semifinal game against Oregon-Davis (5-13).

On Jan. 31 in the first quarterfinal game, Triton (8-12) battles Trinity Greenlawn (5-12).

The second quarterfinal pits Argos (8-11) against Westville (7-8). The two teams did not meet this season.

The Culver Sectional champion will face the Morgan Township Sectional champion on Feb. 10 in the regional championship.

Former Rochester HS golfer to lead Grace College program

Grace College's athletic department announced Trey Stoll as the next head coach for the men's golf program.

Stoll is a familiar face at Grace. He currently serves in Grace's admissions department.

Stoll graduated from Grace in 2014 and finished his career as the most accomplished golfer in team history. He won seven tournaments during his time as a Lancer, a program record he accomplished in three years.

He was an NAIA All-American in 2013 and was a two-time All-Crossroads League performer (2013, 2014).

Stoll was runner-up in 2009 behind Winamac's Keagan Scott at the Logansport Sectional at Dykeman Park GC. Scott won the title by three strokes.

Rochester finished runner-up to Twin Lakes at the 2009 sectional.
"We are excited for Trey to lead our men's golf program. His experience with our golf program and his ability to recruit at a high level will serve him well in this new position," said Grace Director of Athletics Chad Briscoe. "Trey's vision and passion to use golf to impact young men for Christ matches the Grace mission, and we look forward to the continued growth of the program under his leadership."

Stoll takes the reins from Denny Hepler, who retired this winter following 11 years guiding the Lancers.

"To say that I'm excited for the opportunity to lead this program would be an understatement," Stoll said. "Grace College is a special place that helped mold me into the man that I am today. I'm thankful for Chad's leadership and belief in me to continue building this program and to lead these young men."

The Lancers completed the fall portion of their season by placing fourth at the 2023 NCCAA National Championships. It marked the third straight season that Grace has qualified for the national tournament.

Girls Basketball State Tournament Pairings Show to air on GIANT fm

The Indiana High School Athletic Association will air the 49th Annual Girls Basketball State Tournament Pairings Show Sunday.

The pairings show will set the pairings for girls basketball sectionals in all four IHSAA classes.

Bob Lovell and Greg Rakestraw will host the show that will air exclusively on IHSAAtv.org at 5 p.m. Sunday.

The show also can be heard on the affiliates of the IHSAA Champions Network which includes GIANT fm (92.1 fm or the GIANT fm app) in Rochester.

Class 3A, Sectional 18

Rochester is the host site for a balanced Sectional 18 field.

Tippecanoe Valley (14-3) holds wins over four of the other five teams in the sectional.

John Glenn (10-9), Culver Academy (10-7) and Rochester (10-9) all have 10 wins.

Bremen (8-11) and Knox (7-14) complete the field.

Class A, Sectional 52

Class A, No. 2 Caston (17-1) will seek its first sectional championship since 1985 at the South Newton Sectional.

The Comets’ biggest challenge will come from Tri-County (14-6), who pinned the first loss of the season on Caston, 47-42, on Jan. 11.

Also in the sectional are West Central (11-7), Frontier (4-13), North White (2-17) and South Newton (1-12).

Class A, Sectional 50

The seven-team sectional hosted by Culver features just one team with a winning record – Class A, No. 3 Marquette Catholic (17-2).

Argos (8-11) and Triton (8-11) follow in the wins category.

Rounding out the field are Culver (4-13), Oregon-Davis (5-13), Westville (7-8) and Trinity Greenlawn (5-11).  

Pacers add 2-time All-NBA player Pascal Siakam

The Indiana Pacers announced on Wednesday the team has acquired forward Pascal Siakam from the Toronto Raptors in exchange for guards Bruce Brown, Jr. and Kira Lewis, Jr., forward Jordan Nwora, two first-round picks in 2024, and a conditional first-round pick in 2026.

Siakam, 29, has spent all eight seasons of his career in Toronto.  He's averaging 22.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists.
“We’re incredibly excited to welcome Pascal to Indiana,” said President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard. “As a two-time All-NBA selection and two-time NBA All Star, Pascal is a player that our organization has long admired and respected. We feel that his unique offensive skillset will complement our style of play, while his defensive versatility will be a valuable asset to our team.”
Siakam will wear number 43 for the Pacers.

Argos' Redinger and Culver's Rodgers among the IBCA's Players of the Week

Ballplayers from all parts of the state have begun 2024 strong, posting explosive scoring outputs, as well as big assist and rebounding numbers each night.

Though Northern Indiana saw postponements throughout the weekend, a 55-point performance on the girls’ side heated things up earlier in the week, while Southern Indiana saw a young man rewrite his school’s record book, surpassing a prior mark set by a Hall of Famer you are sure to know.

Culver Community senior Jack Rodgers, Argos senior Samantha Redinger, Greenfield-Central junior Braylon Mullins, McCutcheon freshman Lillie Graves, Springs Valley junior Deion Edwards, and South Knox junior Ella Bobe have been selected for Jan. 8 - Jan. 13 in the recognition program coordinated by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association. Rodgers is the boys’ winner and Redinger the girls’ winner in District-1. Mullins and Graves take home boys’ and girls’ honors, respectively, in District-2. Edwards was selected as the boys’ recipient, while Bobe is the girls’ recipient, in District-3.

In his only game of the week last week, Culver Community's Jack Rodgers helped the Cavaliers to a 78-56 victory over Community Baptist Tuesday evening. The 6-0 point guard set a career high by scoring 39 points in the win. Additionally, Rodgers posted a double-double with 12 rebounds, 6 of which came at the offensive end of the floor. For good measure, the senior guard added 7 assists and 4 steals to his stat line.

Argos senior Samantha Redinger is making her second appearance here this season. She is currently leading all Hoosier ladies with a 32.0 point per game scoring average through 18 games, and last week she was well above that mark. In a 79-54 win against Oregon-Davis on Thursday, the 5-7 wing erupted for 55 points on an efficient 18-of-34 shooting, including a 10-of-20 performance from 3-point range. In addition, Redinger added 9 rebounds, 6 steals, and a pair of assists in the triumph.

Greenfield-Central picked up a pair of nice wins over the weekend, and junior Braylon Mullins was a huge part of their success. On Friday, the Cougars took a big Hoosier Heritage Conference win, 70-50, against New Castle. Then Saturday, in their return to the court, they took care of Hancock County rival Eastern Hancock, 64-31. To begin his weekend, Mullins put together an all-around effort against New Castle, scoring 26 points, pulling down 8 rebounds, handing out 4 assists, and collecting 5 steals. Saturday, the 6-5 guard was even better, pouring in 44 points on 16-26 shooting, including 8-15 from deep. In doing so, the Junior’s 44th point also represented his 1000th point of his career. In this memorable outing, Mullins added 7 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals, helping the Cougars to a perfect 13-0 record thus far.

Freshman Lillie Graves is certainly making her mark early in her career for McCutcheon. Last week she managed a pair of 30-point scoring games, as the Mavericks moved to 17-2 on the season, already six wins better than in 2022-2023. In a big win Tuesday against Carroll (Flora), 56-49, the 6-0 wing posted a double-double with 34 points and 15 rebounds. She was 12-of-14 from the charity stripe, plus she added a pair of assists and 4 steals. Saturday, in a comfortable win at Muncie Central, Graves followed that up with 30 points on 12-of-21 shooting, she pulled down 10 rebounds, 6 of which were offensive, posting her second double-double of the week, plus she contributed 3 assists and a pair of steals.

Springs Valley is having a nice season so far with a 10-4 record, plus they are winners of seven games in a row. Last weekend was exciting for the Blackhawks, as they won a pair of games in overtime. Friday night, they traveled to West Washington, escaping by a 60-58 margin for the Patoka Lake Conference win. Junior Deion Edwards didn’t shoot it great in this one, but he still managed to contribute, adding 13 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists in the nail-biter. It was the next day’s game that was one to remember for the 6-4 forward. Saturday, both teams were dropping buckets as quickly as the temperature outside, forcing the Blackhawks to win another overtime thriller, 101-98, over Austin. In this particular game, Edwards was 19-of-31 from the field, 2-of-5 from downtown, and 16-of-18 from the free throw line, scoring 56 points. In addition, the junior forward broke the single-game school record set by a gentleman you might have heard of…Larry Bird. Edwards also posted a double-double with 14 rebounds, hauling in an impressive 11 of them at the offensive end of the floor. He also handed out 4 assists and collected 3 steals in the high-scoring affair.

Junior Ella Bobe has helped South Knox to an 18-1 record this year, with their only loss coming in overtime. Last week, the Spartans posted a 3-0 mark, and Bobe was great across the board in all three games. Tuesday, in a 77-47 Blue Chip Conference win at Wood Memorial, the 5-9 guard scored 26 points on 11-of-18 shooting, she grabbed 8 rebounds, handed out 3 assists, and she stole the ball 3 times. Tuesday, at home, the Spartans picked up an easy win against North Daviess. In limited time, Bobe scored 23 points on 10-of-12 shooting, she dished out 8 assists, collected 5 rebounds, and picked up 2 steals. Saturday was more of the same, as South Knox traveled to Vincennes Lincoln, winning in impressive fashion, 75-37. The Junior guard scored another 24 points, this time on 10-of-15 shooting, plus she added 9 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals to her weekly totals. For the week, she shot a blistering 69% from the field, while averaging 7.3 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game.

This is the 16th season for the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association Player of the Week program, andthe fourth season it is being presented by Franciscan Health, a corporate sponsor of the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association.

Player of the Week winners are chosen each week from each of the IHSAA’s three districts. Girls’ winners will be chosen through the Monday following the IHSAA Girls State Finals. Boys’ winners will be chosen through the Monday following the IHSAA Boys State Finals.

2 of 3 Rochester wrestlers grab top 5 finish at state

Rochester wrestling produced a pair of top-five finishes at the Indiana High School Girls Wrestling State Finals Friday in Kokomo.

Senior Grace Hiroms won her first two matches at 155 pounds before being defeated in the semifinal round. She returned to the mat and won the third-place match with a decisive pinfall victory.

Hiroms scored pinfall victories in her first two matches to set up a semifinal round showdown with Eastside’s Rhaigyn Trenary. The freshman secured a pinfall win over Hiroms.

In the third-place match, Hiroms pinned Monrovia’s Josie Hause.

At 145 pounds, Rochester sophomore Laine Peppler overcame a Round of 8 loss to win two more matches and finish fifth in the bracket.

Peppler narrowly defeated Columbus East’s Eden Knight, 8-6, in her opening match to get into the Round of 8. There she suffered an overtime 4-2 loss to North Montgomery’s Hailey Kunz.

Peppler then pinned Boonville’s Paige Cook to get into the fifth-place match where she pinned New Palestine’s Ella Morris.

Rochester freshman Makenna McKee lost her opening round match at 125 pounds to Southport’s K’yla Johnson.

Basketball official Casey Gaynor has worked in every Indiana high school gymnasium

Asking Casey Gaynor for a detailed list of the Indiana high schools where he’s officiated at least one varsity basketball game isn’t advisable.

That is, unless one has serious free time on his or her hands.

Requesting that Gaynor either alphabetize those schools, name them in order of games worked, or, worse, break the list down geographically, and you might as well bring a pillow, prop up your feet and get cozy.

It’s going to take a while.

The 57-year-old Gaynor, a Plainfield resident who grew up on Indianapolis’ Westside, accomplished his profession’s version of hitting for the cycle when he worked the boys game between Indianapolis Tech and host Herron on January 2.

Competitively speaking, well, let’s just say the Titans rolled to an 83-22 victory.

 

Casey Gaynor photo 4

Casey Gaynor has officiated basketball at 404 different IHSAA member schools (Photo provided by Landon Ringler).

Historically, however, the four quarters of action proved significant as Gaynor running the Herron court represented the 404th different high school Gaynor has been to officiate either a girls or boys during the course of his 26-year career.

For those counting at home, that’s everywhere, meaning Gaynor knows his Oregon-Davis from his Jac-Cen-Del. His South Bend Clay from his Clay City. His Boone Grove from his Center Grove.

You get the idea.

Gaynor’s start to whistling personal fouls, traveling violations and the like, while somewhat unorthodox, lit the fuse to what’s been an impressive career.

“I referred bitty ball with a buddy in college for beer money,” said Gaynor. “I also played in adult leagues when I was in my 20s. In my Cardinal Ritter alumni league, I was always the guy complaining about the officiating. Bill Nester ran the league.

“After a particularly grueling loss, I went nuts on the two refs. Bill stepped in and told me, ‘Since you’re always complaining about the reffing, I’m putting you down to ref next year.’ I was so mad that I said, ‘Fine.’ The following year started my career. I found that I loved it.”

So much, in fact, that Gaynor eventually began piecing together his own type of game plan regarding officiating as his career evolved: Get your plays right, manage the personalities in a game, study tape and be open to being told that you’re wrong.

Certainly, an official who over the years has made the drive to as many cities and small towns as Gaynor must have his favorite gymnasiums to work. And some that, shall we say find themselves much further down on the list.

He’ll happily share the former.

“New Castle (Chrysler Fieldhouse) and Connersville (Spartan Bowl) because those are the mecca of high school gyms,” said Gaynor, who also mentions Washington Catholic, Tyson Auditorium in Versailles – where the legendary 1953-1954 Milan squad played its home games – and the since-closed Anderson Wigwam.

 

Casey Gaynor photo 3

Casey Gaynor, a Plainfield resident, has been a licensed IHSAA official for 26 years (Photo provided by Landon Ringler).

Gaynor’s time exhaling into whistles, explaining calls to coaches (and their assistants, in many cases) and just flat-out immersing himself into this state’s prep sports scene includes officiating 22 boys basketball and five girls basketball sectionals.

Moreover, he’s been on the court for 17 boys regionals and three more on the girls side, and one boys hoops semi-state. Gaynor has worked 14 seasons as a high school baseball umpire in Indiana, and officiated volleyball for five.

One of Gaynor’s favorite officials to work games with is Lance Ringler, 53, who lives in Ellettsville, and has been at it since the age of 19. Ringler has officiated games in five other states (California, Idaho, Minnesota, Nevada, and Washington) with a variety of other officials.

He places Gaynor in his own category.

“With Casey, I would say we’ve worked close to 30 games this season, and we’re probably over 100 games over the last seven years or so. Mostly boys games,” said Ringler. “Working with Casey . . . I’ve learned a lot from him. The thing about Casey is he’s all business.

“When we go on the road, we have a lot of fun, but every ‘I’ is dotted and every ‘T’ is crossed. He’s there to do his job, and he’s made me a much better official because of his approach. You better bring your ‘A’ game, or he’s going to let you know about it. His focus for the whole basketball game, he’s always on.”

Gaynor has no precise timetable regarding when he’ll hang up his black- and white-striped official’s shirt. Still healthy and enjoying the weekly interaction he has with players, coaches, administrators – and, yes, even fans – Gaynor plans to finish out this basketball season and looks forward to those ahead.

“I want to make 30 years, then see how my body feels,” said Gaynor. “My first licensed high school year was the 1998-1999 season. I’ve seen too many guys who are hanging on way too long. I promise, I won’t be that guy.”

Rochester High School's girls wrestling program will send three to Friday's State Championship Meet at historic Kokomo Gymnasium

Freshman Makenna McKee, sophomore Laine Peppler and senior Grace Hiroms advanced out the Rochester Semistate last Friday. The top four finishers in each of 14 weight classes qualified for the Indiana High School Girls Wrestling State Finals in Kokomo.

Peppler produced Rochester’s top finish – placing runner-up at 145 pounds to New Haven junior Olivia Bohde.

Peppler’s semistate started with a quick pinfall over West Noble’s Jazmyne Espinoza. In the Round of 8, she pinned Angola’s Mia Walker in the second period to earn her state finals berth.

In the semifinal round, Peppler again scored a pinfall victory over Blackford’s Addison Flores.

Bohde secured the semistate championship with a third-period pin of Peppler.

Hiroms placed third at 155 pounds with a pinfall win over New Haven’s Kaily Bussard.

Hiroms collected two quick pins to get to the semifinal round where she lost to Eastside’s Rhaigyn Trenary.

McKee won her first two matches at 125 pounds to qualify for the state finals before falling to Angola’s Nevaeh Wilson in the semifinals and Prairie Heights’ Christian Lewis in the third-place match.

STATE FINALS

McKee opens the state finals against Southport’s K’yla Johnson. A win would set up a Round of 8 match against either North Posey’s Adelyn Gamblin, the third-place finisher at the Mooresville Semistate, or Tri-County’s Rylee Sheldon, the third-place finisher at the Penn Semistate.

Hiroms’ state finals appearance begins with a match against Madison’s Maylie Skinner, the runner-up at 155 pounds at the Mooresville Semistate. A win would set up a match against either Tri-County’s Kylie Kleist, the fourth-place finisher at the Penn Semistate, or Greenfield-Central’s Jasmine Camacho, the Muncie Central Semistate champion.

Peppler will face Columbus East’s Eden Knight, the third-place finisher at the Mooresville Semistate, in her first state finals match. A win would create a Round of 8 match against either North Montgomery’s Hailey Kunz, the Muncie Central Semistate champion, or Highland’s Kate Robinson, the fourth-place finisher at the Penn Semistate. 

Plymouth holds on for road win at Rochester in Wednesday girls basketball

Plymouth used a seven point advantage at the free throw line and fourth quarter turnovers by the host Zebras to steal a road win at Rochester Wednesday, 44-39.

For Rochester, the turnover statistic was almost a non-factor until the timing of them impacted the game. Rochester (9-8) had 12 total turnovers but five came in the final period.

Rochester head coach Joel Burrus appeared on the GIANT fm Sports Postgame Report.

Plymouth, coming off a difficult weekend against #4 (3A) Hamilton Heights and Huntington North, bounced back down the stretch to break a two-game losing streak in the series.

The Pilgrims (7-8) were led in scoring by Lena Jones with 11 points to go along with seven assists. Teammates Sophie Miller and Rylee Mann each scored 10.

Plymouth head coach Micaela Shalliol.

Rochester (9-8) was led in scoring by Riley Clevenger with 11 and Jadyn Field with 10.

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