Sports News

Boys basketball sectionals open tonight

The Rochester Zebras basketball team can grab a seat with the fans tonight and watch the opening quarterfinals from the 2A sectional site.


Rochester received a first round bye and will play in the late game semifinal on Friday against the winner of tonight’s matchup between Pioneer (5-18) and Lewis Cass (15-7).


Lewis Cass knocked off Pioneer on January 13, 56-42.


Strangely, Cass has dominated the all-time series by winning 49 of the last 61 meetings.  But the series is much closer in postseason play where Cass and Pioneer have split 12 meetings.


Cass has a one-two punch offensively and is led in scoring and rebounding by 6’5” 230 pound senior forward Lucas Chambers with 16.5 ppg and 9.6 rebounds.  Fellow senior shooting guard Tyson Good is second in both categories (14.6 ppg, 4.4 reb) while leading the team in assists at 3.4 / game.


Rochester did not play either of those programs this season.  Last year, Lewis Cass dominated the Zebras in a sectional encounter to end the Rochester season, 74-40.


In tonight’s 6 p.m. quarterfinal, Winamac (8-15) plays North Miami (1-21).  It’s the first meeting between the programs since the 2013 regular season.


North Miami is trying to snap a 21- game losing streak.  The Warriors haven’t won since beating North White in the season opener.


The Winamac – North Miami winner will meet Wabash (16-6) in 6 p.m. semifinal on Friday.


Other Tuesday quarterfinals


1A, at West Central

Frontier (10-12) vs Caston (8-14)

Frontier defeated the Comets on December 10, 52-46 (OT)


3A, at Knox

John Glenn (13-10) vs #11 Tippecanoe Valley (18-5)

The Vikings downed Glenn on December 10, 55-43


1A, at Triton

Trinity Greenlawn (6-16) vs Culver (10-12)

The Cavaliers defeated Trinity on December 17, 44-29.


3A, at Peru

Peru (14-7) vs Mississinewa (6-16)

First meeting between the programs since a 2013 regular season matchup

Ticket cost, availability announced for boys basketball sectional at Rochester

Ticket sales information has been released for next week's 2A boys basketball sectional hosted by Rochester.


All Session tickets will be on sale on Monday, 8:00 - 3:00 pm.  Cost is $15.


Single Session tickets will not be pre-sold. They are $7 and will be available at the door for cash only.


Both types of tickets will be available at the door Tuesday.


Rochester received a first round bye and will play in a Friday semifinal against the winner of Tuesday's quarterfinal, Pioneer vs Lewis Cass.





Brackets set for boys sectional basketball next week

Rochester doesn't have to get on a bus to play in the boys sectional tournament next week.


In fact, Rochester can take most of the week off.


The Zebras will host 2A Sectional 36 and wait for a semifinal foe to be decided in Tuesday's quarterfinals.


On Tuesday, Winamac (8-14) will play (1-19) North Miami at 6 p.m.  The two teams did not meet in the regular season. The winner will play Wabash (15-6).


The second quarterfinal on Tuesday has Pioneer (5-17) trying to avenge a January 13 loss to Lewis Cass (13-7).  Cass won that matchup, 56-42.


Rochester (11-8) will host the winner in Friday's late semifinal. 


In 3A at Knox, #10 Tippecanoe Valley (17-4) sports the best record in the field and will play John Glenn (13-8) in the only game on Tuesday night.  On December 10, Tippy beat the visiting Falcons, 55-43


The winner will be heavily favored in the Friday semifinal against Bremen (1-19).


The other semifinal on Friday has Culver Academies (14-6) vs Knox (12-9).


1A Sectional 52 will be played at West Central.  On Tuesday, it's Caston (7-14) taking on Frontier (9-11).  It was an overtime game in their meeting December 10 won at home by Frontier, 52-46.


The winner will play Tri-County (9-12) in a Friday semifinal.


On the other side of the bracket, West Central (7-14) plays South Newton (1-19) in the late Tuesday quarterfinal.


The winner will meet North White (5-16) in a Friday semifinal.


Triton will host 1A Sectional 50.  The opening game at 6 p.m. Tuesday will feature Culver (10-10) against Trinty Greenlawn (4-16). Culver was a 15-point winner, 44-29, when they played at Trinity on DEcember 17.


The winner advances to a Friday semifinal to play Oregon-Davis (2-20)


On Wednesday, the 6 p.m. quarterfinal is a rematch of an overtime game from February 2.  Argos (13-7) won that home game against visiting Triton (11-9).


The second quarterfinal on Wednesday will have two teams with 15-7 records squaring off as Marquette Catholic plays Westville. They did not have a regular season meeting.


Two of Rochester's wrestlers eliminated by half of Crown Point's state champs

Rochester wrestlers Brady Beck and Alex Deming won their opening round matches at the IHSAA state championships at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.


Those were the final wins of the season for Zebra wrestlers as the season closed in Indianapolis.


For Deming, it was a first round victory over Cael Albaugh (39-12) at 195 pounds.  Deming then fell in a match with Gunner Henry of Brownsburg, 10-4.


Deming then dropped a consolation round match to Luke Hansen of Roncalli, 7-3.

Deming ended his junior season with a 46-4 record.


Teammate Brady Beck was also victorious in opening round action.  At 220, Beck outlasted Austin Hastings of Noblesville, 3-2.  Then, Beck was defeated in the second round by the eventual state champion, Will Clark of Crown Point, 7-4.


Beck’s day ended with a consolation round  loss to Devin Kendrex from Mt. Vernon (Fortsville), 3-1.


Beck posted a 44-5 record this season.


At 106, Layne Horn (39-3) was defeated by Nathan Rioux of Avon, 4-2.


At 160, Rochester’s Brant Beck fell in the opening round match to Sam Goin of Crown Point, 14-6.  Goin went on to win the state title at 160.


Beck finished the season 37-7.


The Zebras dropped two matches to half of the Crown Point wrestlers who won state titles. Crown Point finished a perfect 4-for-4 under the finals’ spotlight.


The defending champion Crown Point Bulldogs had two goals heading into the 85th annual Indiana High School Athletic Association wrestling state finals in downtown Indianapolis.  They achieved both in dominating fashion inside Gainbridge Fieldhouse, claiming both a program-record four individual weight class championships and a second straight wrestling team title with 167.0 points.


Center Grove finished second with 131.0 points, followed by Brownsburg at 129.5 and Warren Central in fourth.


The Bulldogs’ third state wrestling team title in program history (2009, 2022, 2023) was spearheaded by a quartet of champions in senior Sam Goin (39-2) at 160 pounds, senior Cody Goodwin (25-4) at 170, senior Orlando Cruz (35-2) at 182 and junior Will Clark (38-3) at 220.


“Just an incredible night for our guys,” Crown Point head coach Branden Lorek said. “In the medal rounds and in the finals, we had nine places and they all won.


When the Bulldogs are enjoying the moment, they thrive, and it was necessary with 11 state qualifiers compared to a state-record 12 for Center Grove, which had eight wrestlers medal and one win it all in 113-pounder junior Charlie LaRocca (42-2).


Center Grove advanced five wrestlers into the championship finals with eight place-winners overall.


“It’s historic for us. We’ve never won a back-to-back title in wrestling, and we’re only the second team in our school history to win back-to-back titles,” Lorek said. “At the end of the day, you come down to Indy, and this means a lot to our area.”


Crown Point is the first program to win multiple team titles consecutively since Indianapolis Cathedral won three straight from 2018-2020.



Four Zebras to compete at state wrestling finals at Gainbridge Fieldhouse

Four Rochester wrestlers can already see what is at stake Friday at the IHSAA Boys Wrestling State Championships.


The cover for the 2023 IHSAA program features Rochester’s first-ever state champion Marshall Fishback.


Layne Horn, Brant Beck, Alex Deming and Brady Beck will attempt to follow in Fishback’s shoes when they take to the mats Friday at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in downtown Indianapolis chasing their own state finals dreams.


Horn will compete in the first session Friday, beginning at 2 p.m., needing a win to advance to Saturday’s quarterfinals at 106 pounds.


A freshman ranked No. 1 in the state with a 39-1 record, Horn will open against Avon freshman Nathan Rioux (36-5), ranked No. 4. The winner will meet either Lake Central junior Mason Jones (39-1, ranked No. 6) or Mt. Vernon sophomore Connor Bayliss (37-8, ranked No. 19) in the quarterfinal round.


Eight of the 16 wrestlers at 106 pounds are freshmen.


Horn suffered his first defeat of the season at the Fort Wayne Semistate to Delta sophomore Ayden Bollinger (39-0, ranked No. 3). Bollinger is in the other half of the 106-pound bracket.


The second session Friday starts with the 152-pound weight class.


Rochester freshman Brant Beck (37-5, ranked No. 10) opens with top-ranked Crown Point senior Sam Goin (35-2) – the 152-pound state champion in 2022.


The winner advances to Saturday’s quarterfinal round to battle either Zionsville junior Chase Wagner (35-5, ranked No. 11) or Center Grove senior Andre Merritt (36-5, ranked No. 8).


At 195 pounds, Rochester semistate champion Alex Deming (43-0, ranked No. 6) may have to go through the top two ranked wrestlers in his weight class just to reach the state championship match.


Deming, a junior, will take on Clinton Central senior Cael Albaugh (39-10) in his opening-round match. A win would set up a quarterfinal-round match against either Brownsburg sophomore Gunner Henry (31-8, ranked No. 2) or Wawasee junior Donovan Blair (29-13).


Top-ranked John Purdy (40-1) of Castle and Roncalli’s Luke Hansen (40-0), ranked No. 4, are potential semifinal-round opponents.


Rochester junior Brady Beck (41-1), ranked No. 2 at 220 pounds, opens against No. 4 Austin Hastings (37-4) of Noblesville. Beck has defeated Hastings twice this season – 3-1 in overtime and 9-6.


Top-ranked Will Clark (34-3), of Crown Point, will wrestle Tri-West’s Spencer Watson (33-7) with the winner pairing up with the Beck-Hastings winner in the quarterfinals.


The state championship matches are slated for 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Rochester wrestlers look to take next step to state championship weekend

A record-setting 10 Rochester wrestlers will compete for a berth in the IHSAA State Championships Saturday at the Fort Wayne Semistate.


Each Zebra needs to win their first two matches to advance. Despite winning a second-straight regional team title, Rochester will have stiff competition to reach the state finals on Feb. 17-18 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.



Rochester produced three individual champions at the Peru Regional, which slotted them into more favorable early-round matches at the semistate.


Brady Beck (38-0), a junior ranked No. 2 at 220 pounds, captured his third regional title and will open the semistate Saturday against Wes-Del freshman Luke Powers (31-10).


The winner of the that match will face either Jimtown senior Connor McPhee (25-14) or Fort Wayne Concordia Lutheran senior Chance Harris (30-5) in the “ticket round” to advance to the state finals.


Rochester regional champion Layne Horn (36-0), a freshman ranked No. 1 in the state at 106 pounds, makes his semistate debut against Winchester junior Quentin Keen (28-7).


The winner draws either Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger freshman Javier Henry (28-12) or East Noble sophomore Kealan Fuller (24-6), ranked No. 16.


Senior Aaron Swango (36-5, ranked No. 25), Rochester’s third regional champion at 126 pounds, opens the semistate against Whitko sophomore Jonathan Courter (25-14). The winner faces either Jay County junior Cody Rowles (35-1, ranked No. 8) or Northridge junior Graysen Beasley (32-7).


Senior Ethan Holloway (36-2, ranked No. 8 at 120) battles New Haven sophomore Timmy Rocha (35-7) in his opening match. The winner faces either Delta junior Neal Mosier (35-0, ranked No. 5) or Northwood sophomore Calix Truex (23-6, ranked No. 20).


At 152, senior Grayson Gard (33-3, ranked No. 11) opens against DeKalb senior Elijah Knepper (32-9). The winner gets Bellmont sophomore Gavin Davis (38-5, ranked No. 8) or Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger senior Eric Delaney (26-13).


Tenth-ranked Brant Beck (35-3 as a freshman) has his semistate debut against Daleville junior Reazon Davenport (23-6) with the winner facing either Garrett junior Chase Leach (36-1, ranked No. 4) or Northridge senior Cael Arroyo (22-6).


At 170, junior Colin Weiand (31-10) takes the mat first against DeKalb sophomore Dominic Dunn (21-16). The winner faces Columbia City senior Tanner Reed (36-2, ranked No. 9) or Bluffton senior Levi Kahn (32-7).


Senior Gavin McKee (10-4) needs to defeat Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger senior Lukas Alderice (28-11) to get a “ticket round” match at 182 pounds with either Northwood senior Kaden Lone (38-4, ranked No. 8), or Norwell’s Stuart McCabe (16-10).


If junior Alex Deming (39-0, ranked No. 6) gets by Lakeland junior Noah Owsley (11-9) in the 195-pound bracket, he will face either Leo junior Eli Coolman (29-9) or Adams Central junior Trevor Currie (38-4, ranked No. 14) for a trip to the state finals.


And Rochester senior Carlos Orduno (18-8) will try to extend his career at 285 pounds against Heritage’s Parker Hennessey (27-7). The winner faces either Elkhart senior Brayden Jellison (28-4, ranked No. 8) or Delta junior Isaac Moss (25-14).

Zehner steps down from Culver football sidelines while continuing on as AD and Dean of Students

Mike Zehner is stepping down as head football coach at Culver.


He will continue as the school's athletic director.  That position became full time in 2019 when the Culver School Board decided to separate the AD's position from the assistant principal position. However, Zehner was named the Dean of Students for the school corporation last year.


Zehner spent seven seasons as head coach of his alma mater.  The 2001 Culver graduate is 35-42 as the Cavaliers head football coach.  


Culver was 7-5 this past season. The Cavaliers have been eliminated from postseason play four consecutive seasons, three of those in the sectional championship game.


Before going home to Culver, Zehner compiled a 27-16 record and three winning campaigns as the head football coach at Rochester.


Zehner played his college football at Manchester University.

Leasure tops 1000 career points but Zebras drop Tuesday game to Plymouth

Rochester's Paul Leasure topped 1000 career points but the Zebras suffered a home loss to a Tuesday matchup with Plymouth.



Tuesday boys basketball scoreboard


Argos 70, Caston 61

For Argos, J.J. Morris 25, Luke Stults 20

For Casto, Cain Schanlaub 18 points, Caleb Stinson 15, and Rowan Jellison, Talon Zeider 11 each


Maconaquah, 76, Twin Lakes 55

Central Noble 60, Whitoko 49

Lakeland Christian 52, Northfield 43

Logansport 40, Winamac 30

North Judson 64, Gary West 59

Culver Academy 67, Victory Christian 61 (OT)

Warsaw 62, Marion 55

Wawasee 58, Elkhart Christian 30

Knox 55, Pioneer 38

Jimtown 33, Bremen 32

Argos and Tippecanoe Valley claim girls bball sectionals while Caston falls in semis

It wasn't supposed to end this way.  Not on this weekend.  Not in the first game of the postseason.


But the IHSAA basketball state tournament doesn't always go as predicted.  That's why, as the old saying goes, "they play the game."


#3 (1A) Caston was eliminated Friday by a team the Comets defeated back in November.  Defending sectional champion North White survived Caston in overtime, 42-39.


It was nip and tuck throughout.Caston led 6-5 at the end of one period but trailed by one at the half, 16-15.


The Comets regained a one point lead going to the fourth quarter only to see North White win the final eight minutes by one, 8-7, and force overtime.


North White (8-18) won the extra session to upset Caston.


Isabel Scales led Caston (20-3) with 19 points to go with six rebounds.


Bailey Harness contributed  8 points and 7 rebounds.  Addison Zimpleman also scored eight and added six rebounds.


North White's season ended in the championship with a loss to Tri-County, 42-31.



At Bremen, Tippecanoe Valley captured a 3A sectional title by downign John Glenn, 44-38.

Tippecanoe Valley will play Mishawaka Marian at 1p.m. on Saturday inthe regional at Jimtown.



Argos completed back-to-back girls basketball sectional titles by defeating Triton in overtime, 53-49.  Samantha Redinger scored 22 points.

Argos will travel to Caston for a regional matchup with Washington Twsp on Saturday.


Also Saturday

Southwood 59, Lakeland Christian 39

Southwood wins first sectional title since 2003.


North Miami 46, #10 Pioneer 44

Play Andrean at Winamac in 2A Regional







Argos survived 3 OT to get by Culver and advance to sectional semifinal

Argos beat Culver twice by a total of five points in the girls basketball regular season.


If someone thought it couldn't get closer than that as they prepped for Wednesday's third meeting in the Culver 1A sectional quarterfinal they found out how wrong they could be.


The Dragons and Cavaliers played three overtimes before Argos prevailed to advance to Friday semifinals, 62-58.


Culver outscored Argos 15-10 in the fourth period to force the first overtime tied, 47-47.


The game remained tied at 51 at the end of the first overtime session and went to the third overtime tied at 53.


Argos (11-12) won the final period 9-5 to advance.


Baleigh Binkley topped all scorers for Argos with 18.  Teammates Emma Dunlap with 16 and Samantha Redinger with 14 also reached double figures.


Isabelle Stults scored six points to go with 12 rebounds.


Culver (10-13) closed its season with 15 points each from Rose Peterson and Kennedy Jackson.  Jackson matched Stults for a game-high 12 rebounds.


Also at Culver Wednesday, Westville got by Trinity Greenlawn, 38-29.


Zebras girls basketball season ends with first round sectional loss at Bremen

If Rochester could have reached its season scoring average of 32 points per game the Zebras might have found a way to steal a road win in sectional play. 


But offensive woes and Bremen’s defense held Rochester to just 21 points in a Sectional 18 loss to the host Lions Tuesday, 34-21.



In Tuesday's other quarterfinal at Bremen, John Glenn downed Culver Academy 35-27.


Sectional 52, Tri-County

Tri-County 63, Frontier 34

North White 56, West Central 38


#3 (1A) Caston (20-2) will play North White (7-17)



Sectional 50, Culver

Marquette Catholic 67, Oregon-Davis 49



Sectional 36, Lewis Cass

#10 (2A) Pioneer 58, Wabash 57



Sectional 23, Norwell

Peru 44, Maconaquah 42