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Sunday, Apr. 26, 2015

Local roundball season gets underway

Posted Tuesday, November 20, 2012, at 7:17 PM

As I write this Tuesday afternoon, 96 boys basketball teams are preparing to tip off the 2012-13 high school season in Indiana tonight, including Eastern Greene, which is hosting Owen Valley as the Thunderbirds and Patriots begin their campaigns.

Most of the rest of the state, with the exception of Shakamak, Linton-Stockton and North Knox locally, and state football finalists Fort Wayne Snider, Lawrence Central, Mishawaka, Indianapolis Cathedral, Hamilton Heights, Indianapolis Chatard, Fort Wayne Luers, Indianapolis Ritter, Lafayette Central Catholic and Indianapolis Scecina, will begin the season Wednesday night.

Shakamak does not play at all this week, opening the season Friday, Nov. 30 at Bloomfield with their home opener the next night against Sullivan.

The Miners will make the quick turnaround from football and play at North Knox Saturday as they begin this season with hopes of winning the school's first boys hoop sectional since 1982.

The girls have had a two-week start on the boys. After Tuesday, White River Valley, Eastern Greene, Bloomfield, Union and Linton-Stockton will have all played four games, with varying results. Shakamak will have played 1/4th of its 20-game schedule by Nov. 20.

The one thing that struck me about the rosters of the local teams is how young a lot of teams are.

Aubrey Adams, Averi Workman, Shelby Patton, Marissa McIntosh, Emily Bucher, Meaghan Bond, Kylee Moody, Mariah Long and Madison Toon are nine freshmen among 15 that are playing for the Bloomfield girls basketball team.

Coach Chris Hitchcock said they will end up winning some games they shouldn't and losing some games they should win.

EGHS girls basketball coach Zack Stevens has eight freshmen on a roster of 17, including Abbi Shell, Amanda Butler, Miranda Blocher, Katie Igel, Lauren Miller, Kelsey Fleener, Katie Morguson and Lexy Burleson.

Brad McKinney's Lady Miners of Linton-Stockton has just one senior in Joie Gadberry. He has six freshmen among 16 players.

Shakamak girls coach Troy Fougerousse has four seniors, four juniors, two sophomores and five freshmen on his Lady Laker roster. They have already defeated three-time defending sectional champion Clay City, who has started 2-2.

WRV is off to another quick start at 3-0 before entertaining 3-1 Edgewood as I speak.

Maddy Dyer and Megan Lemmons are the lone seniors on the Lady Wolverine roster.

Union coach Benji Boyd is again in charge of the Lady Bulldog girls basketball fortunes. They lost three tough games before defeating Eminence lately. Conner Kendall is the only senior playing for Union, which has a roster of 10 players and does not have a junior varsity team.

Eminence could be in for a long girls hoop season as the Lady Eels have started 0-4, losing those games by a combined 152 points. North Central beat them 64-16 as the Lady Thunderbirds have started the year 2-3 after go winless last season.

Coach Matt Britton of Bloomfield starts the second year of his rebuilding project with 14 players on the varsity roster.

"Everybody will have a chance to earn playing time," said Britton, who has Drake Frederick, Logan Bucher, Eli Combs and Brandon VanSant as freshmen that will have a chance to contribute.

Eastern Greene has the most seniors of anybody around, but they don't have a ton of varsity experience. Tyler Brough, Logan Frye, Zak Eckerle, Jacob Henderson, Kurtis Stille, Nathan Sparks, Braydon Crowe and Michael Hartman are the eight seniors vying for time for new coach Levi Carmichael.

Austin Karazsia, Dess Fougerousse and Sam Dyar will be among the starters returning for coach Joey Hart's Linton-Stockton Miners. Rumor has it that Koye Kaiser will not be playing basketball after a standout football campaign.

Karazsia and Fougerousse each scored over 15 points per game last year, the top two returning boys scorers.

Shakamak coach Steve Brett does have Brodie Crowe, Patrick Green and Braden Cox as returning seniors with Kyle Schubla, Christian Burris, Brandon Morin and Mark West as juniors.

Brett has seven sophomores and seven freshmen in the Laker program.

Union boys basketball coach Chip Langley has seniors Ethan Fettig, Zac Birdsong, Darrell Faulkner and Sterling Langley on a seven-man varsity roster. All will be asked to step up to try and replace the scoring of Tyler Talpas, who end his career with 1,160 points, 32nd best all-time among area players.

White River Valley coach J.B. Neill, whose Wolverines begin the season Wednesday night at home against Shoals, begins his fourth season in charge of the Wolverines.

Cade Hill, Michael Fisher and Luke Mowery are among several key returning players for the Wolverines.

The local schedules have a similar but different look. The Lady Lakers have already played Martinsville, a new addition.

The BHS boys will host the Bloomfield Classic Saturday, featuring Paoli, Owen Valley and Vincennes Rivet. The Cardinals are no longer part of the Wabash Valley Classic (which still has Linton-Stockton and Shakamak in the 16-team field) and will play for the first time in the Greene County Invitational at WRV.

Britton said he likes the idea of playing in the evening and a chance to play local rivals instead of playing day games at Terre Haute.

The GCI will be a day shorter because of New Year's Day falling on Tuesday to start 2013. The teams in the losers bracket will just get to play just two games, with consolation games on Saturday morning Jan. 5.

EGHS will host its own girls tournament over the holidays, Union will play in the Red Hill (Ill.) Tournament and Linton-Stockton girls will again play in a tournament at Vincennes University in late December.

WRV will again host the Class A boys basketball sectional while North Knox will be the site of the Class 2A boys sectional while Sullivan will host the Class 2A girls hoop sectional.

Clay City will again be the location for the Class A girls basketball sectional tournament in February.

The alignment is still the same for 2A, which includes Eastern Greene, Bloomfield, Linton-Stockton, Sullivan, North Central, North Knox and South Knox.

Clay City, Eminence, Shakamak, White River Valley and Union will be the field for the local Class A tournaments.

It should be another interesting year. Good luck to all. Happy holidays and happy hooping.

B.J. Hargis is the sports editor at the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached at (812) 487-4487, ext. 12 or at hargisbj@gmail.com.

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