Bloomfield will graduate five players from the team that won three straight sectional titles and gave North Central all it wanted last Saturday night in a 44-39 loss in the Bloomfield Sectional championship.
Malea Toon, who has scored about 1,388 points in her career, Nicole Kilzer, Kayla Pinnick, Katie Small, and Julie Hudson will all leave after this spring.
“I’m really proud of them and what they’ve done for the program,” said coach Ron Knepp.
He added he isn’t too discouraged by the losses.
Knepp noted the team will return sophomores Kylee Shelton and Ilana Horning and freshman Gracie Lowry. Shelton’s a two-year starter and Lowry really improved her game in the last third of the season, scoring 10 points and pulling down nine rebounds against North Central. Horning also gave Bloomfield valuable minutes in the sectional. Sophomores Thaida Uland and Violeta Crespo saw some varsity action this past season. Knepp said Bloomfield fielded the best JV team he’s seen in his four years as coach of the Lady Cards.
“You’ve got a good nucleus coming back,” he said. “We’ll just reshuffle and put some kids in and keep going forward.”
Visiting the Alma Mater
Doing the feature on Ethan Helton for the Feb. 1 paper was a blast. Although I’ve taken classes at Bloomington, my degree came from Indiana University Southeast. It was a hoot to go back to the ol’ Alma Mater.
Not only did I get to see the campus, it was a pleasure just to sit back and watch a basketball game, especially when it was a pretty good contest. East won 89-74 thanks to 20 points from Nate Niehoff, 18 from Bishop Smith, and 14 from Aaron Thomas.
East coach Mark Hester said the Red Wolves are a championship-caliber team. Last year, they reached the NAIA semifinals only to fall 75-72 to 31-7 Indiana Wesleyan, the eventual NAIA champion. Considering their record is 20-7, 12-2 in the River States Conference, I’d say they have a good chance to go far this year. Hester urged county basketball fans to make the trip to Richmond and howl for the Red Wolves.
“Come watch the kids play,” Hester said. “We‘d like to have more guys from Eastern-Greene come and watch the Red Wolves.”