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Thunderbirds move up to No. 6Posted Monday, December 27, 2010, at 6:42 PM
After finally squeezing into the Associate Press Class 2A poll earlier this week at No. 10 for the first time since 2001 I would guess, the Eastern Greene Thunderbirds wore their new label well as they spanked an overmatched Cloverdale team 71-30 Tuesday night.
The Thunderbirds had seven turnovers, actually the starters committed only three in 24 minutes and none in the first 11 minutes.
EGHS, who doesn't play again until Jan. 4 when they face North Central at the Greene County Invitational, had 20 assists on 30 baskets, four players scored in double figures and nine of 14 scored.
Zach Ingram led with seven rebounds in a reserve role.
"We continue to get solid contributions from our bench," said Eastern Greene coach Andy Igel, who picked up his 202nd career win with the Thunderbirds. "We will give them some time off and have a little break.
"We will come back and start practicing Monday (Dec. 27) and step up our intensity. We have to continue to work and improve. But nothing that I have seen makes me believe otherwise."
In this week's poll, the 6-0 T-Birds moved up four spots to No. 6.
Igel said he looks at being ranked from both sides of the tracks.
"It's an honor, no question about that," he said. "But you can't read much into it. It is good for the program, community and the school.
"But you can't stop working. You can't believe that just being ranked makes you a good team. You have to come out and prove that ranking. If you do that, rankings can be beneficial."
The rankings are announced on Monday afternoon, but Igel didn't find out until later in the day.
"To be honest, I did not know until one of my assistant coaches sent me a text message," said Igel. "The kids have talked about it, but I have not talked with them about it yet. But being ranked comes with victories and margin of victory.
"The challenge for us is to be consistent at both ends for 32 minutes. We are going to be pushed coming up really soon. Because of the Union (Dugger) game being rescheduled, we play eight games in January."
Starting center Ray Darnell said they are trying to take all of the accolades in stride.
"We have a slogan this year -- Stay hungry and humble," said Darnell, who contributed 13 points, two blocks, four rebounds, two steals and three assists against the Clovers. "Our eyes are wide open.
"We would like to crack the Top Five. We just have to keep working and have to stay aggressive."
Senior guard Davis Russell, who is in his fourth season in the Eastern Greene starting line-up, said the recognition is nice, but they have to keep it in check.
"We cannot get the big head about it," said Russell, who had 14 points, two steals and two rebounds against CHS. "We cannot let our egos get away from us too much."
After losing to WRV for the fourth straight time Saturday night, Bloomfield bounced back with a one-point victory over Owen Valley at home Wednesday night in a make-up game.
The Cards shot 51 percent -- making 18 of 35 attempts. The missed 6 of 13 free throws, a 54 percent clip.
Curtis Hasler and Kyle Doane, who both played off the bench, combined for six points and six rebounds against OV.
"I thought our bench players came in and did a fantastic job," Bloomfield coach John Bucher told Daily World sports reporter Rick Curl after the game. "I thought Doane and Hasler coming in off the bench did an exceptional job for us.
"Not everybody had their best game, but that's what being a part of a team is about."
The Cards will take a 5-3 record into their opening game of the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic Monday at Terre Haute South. Bloomfield will play Casey-Westfield, Ill. at 11:30 a.m.
"Casey is a big team too," said Bucher. "They are a football school and they have some good athletes and good sized kids.
"We have to continue to work at getting better. Other than Eastern and Edgewood, we have been in every game. They have all been close."
They met in the same tournament three years ago, with the Cards winning 53-47.
The Warriors prevailed 68-60.
White River Valley boys basketball J.B. Neill had flu-like symptoms Saturday before the Bloomfield game.
"I was sick on the couch all day," said Neill, who is now 2-0 against Bloomfield. "I didn't even come to the jv game."
Neill, who appeared less than 100 percent during the post game interview, did seem to find enough energy to let the officials know about all the calls that went against the Wolverines at Glover Gymnasium.
WRV is the lone area boys team to play next week, but not in a tournament. They will play Wednesday, Dec. 29 at North Putnam. I am not sure, but I believe this will be the first meeting for those two schools.
Union (Dugger), whose game with Eastern Greene was called off because of weather Dec. 17, will not play until next year, when they face Clay City at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 4 in the GCI.
Linton-Stockton (2-3) has lost 3 of 4 since opening the season with a victory at North Knox. Coach Joey Hart's Miners will begin play at the WVC at 10 a.m. Monday against Riverton Parke (3-2).
Dess Fougerousse is the lone scorer in double figures -- 14.4 points per game -- for the Miners. Caleb Stuppy and Austin Karazsia each contribute 8.4 ppg.
A friend of mine once told me, "When you shoot good, you look good."
The Miners missed 9 of 12 3-point attempts and shot 44 percent overall at Jasonville.
The Miners beat RP 66-61.
Northview (1-5) will take on Shakamak (2-2) at 1 p.m. Monday in the third game at Terre Haute South. It will be the second consecutive season they have met in the Wabash Valley Classic.
Former Laker coach Ernie Maesch and his Knights lost to Shakamak 64-60 a year ago.
The Lakers shot .568 in a 54-44 victory against Linton-Stockton Dec. 17.
Brock Dowell, Brodie Crowe and Justin Crody combined for 40 points on 16 of 26 shooting in that win.
Laker coach Steve Brett said he can remember when holiday break meant holiday break.
"I can remember when nobody played over the holidays," said Brett. "It was not a good thing to have that much time off between games. This tournament is a good thing for players, coaches and fans.
"There are good teams and everybody gets to see a lot of basketball."
The Lakers lost 60-41 to Northview.
With Eastern Greene hosting the Toby Yoho Classic, Union (Dugger) at the Red Hill (Ill.) Holiday Tournament and Shakamak and Linton-Stockton at the Vincennes Rivet Tournament next week, girls basketball fans also should have plenty of chances to watch their teams compete.
The ladies at Bloomfield and WRV don't play over the holidays. The Lady Cards game at Springs Valley has been rescheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 15.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours.
B.J. Hargis is the sports editor of the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached at (812) 847-4487, ext. 12 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Indiana High School
By The Associated Press
The Associated Press Top 10 Indiana high school boys basketball teams, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through games of Dec. 26, rating points and previous rankings:
Others receiving votes: Indpls Cathedral 39. Castle 29. Bedford N. Lawrence 14. Richmond 9. Jennings Co. 6.
Others receiving votes: Culver Academy 32. Rushville 22. Hamilton Hts. 18. Leo 14. Andrean 10. Rochester 8. Wawasee 7. Western Boone 6. Greencastle 6. Charlestown 6.
Others receiving votes: N. Judson 44. Guerin Catholic 42. N. Posey 27. Eastern (Howard) 7.
Others receiving votes: Loogootee 27. Whiting 27. Vincennes Rivet 19. Lakewood Park 8. Blue River 7. Rockville 7. Howe Military 6. Springs Valley 6.
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