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Wabash Valley Classic preview: first-round postponed, moved from Wednesday to Thursday

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Linton-Stockton center Austin Karazsia (21) goes up for two of his 21 points against Sullivan's Jake Kinnaman in a 60-55 overtime victory over the Golden Arrows on Dec. 15 at Sullivan. The two teams will square off at 8:30 p.m. Thursday in the opening round of the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic at Terre Haute South. (By B.J. Hargis/Greene County Daily World). [Order this photo]
The Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic high school boys basketball tournament has been postponed Wednesday, according to Terre Haute South athletic Brian Mancuso.

Playing will begin on Thursday, Dec. 27 at South with Shakamak taking on Owen Valley at 10 a.m.

Linton-Stockton will meet Sullivan at 8:30 p.m. Thursday.

The Shakamak Lakers open the 2013 Wabash Valley Classic when they take on Owen Valley at 10 a.m. on Thursday. Above, Dylan Collins of drives the baseline and tries to get around an Eminence defender in the Lakers recent win over the Eels at Jasonville. (By Shad Cox).
The second day will be Friday and the third day of the tourney will now be Saturday.

The last day of the tournament, featuring four games, will now be Monday, Dec. 31.

The Linton-Stockton Miners (5-0) and Shakamak Lakers (2-3) return from their holiday hiatus to take part in the Wabash Valley Classic at Terre Haute South Vigo High School.

The opening night of the tournament wraps up with the rematch between Linton-Stockton and Sullivan.

The two teams last played on Dec. 14 when the Miners posted a 60-55 overtime win over the Golden Arrows and for Miner coach Joey Hart, it really didn't matter when the pairings were announced in November if his team won the first meeting or not.

"For one of us it's a really good draw because either one of us will probably be favored in the second round game," Hart said. "The brackets are very balanced and if we play well we're going to have an opportunity."

The upper half of the bracket also includes Riverton Parke and South Vermillion squaring off prior to the Miners and Arrows -- the game that will determine the opponent for both teams in the second day of action.

Hart admitted that just because the two squads have already met there's no reason to think the game will be any less intense or will feature anything less than a full-on charge by either squad.

"You don't play any different," Hart said. "And to be honest we don't want them to ever score and I'm sure they don't want us to ever score -- I expect it to be a hard fought game."

Wednesday's contest is the second of a possible three the two teams could play. They are both in the Class 2A sectional.

So does that mean Hart or Sullivan coach Jeff Moore will change anything when it comes to the second showdown?

"We won't do anything much different," Hart said. "I think for them they'll probably play us differently both times and then try to play us differently if we play in the sectional I would guess -- but we'll see."

The Miners come into the tournament sporting an unblemished 5-0 mark.

Aside from their win over the Arrows they've notched victories over North Knox, Owen Valley, Bloomfield and Shakamak to get off to their best start since the 2006-07 season when they jumped to a 7-1 opening spurt under then-head coach Darren Clayton.

While the Miners and Arrows will have to wait until well into the night for their game -- 8:30 p.m. Thursday -- the Shakamak Lakers won't have to be nearly as patient.

They face off against the Owen Valley Patriots in the first game of the day at 10 a.m. Thursday in a tournament that Laker coach Steve Brett says is one of the best to be involved with as team.

"I really love the tournament," Brett said. "It is great to be able to compete in a one-class tournament, with big schools and small schools from the Wabash Valley, including several from Illinois. It has the feel of an old-fashioned tournament when there wasn't class basketball."

Brett believes with the bulk of the larger schools at the top of the bracket, the balance is there for a small school to make a run.

But there's also the time condensed timeframe of the event that adds to the intrique according to Brett.

"I think it was a very balanced draw," he said. "North, South and Robinson are in the top bracket and you have Linton, Sullivan and Rockville in the bottom bracket.

"Everybody gets to play at least three games in three days, with half of the 16 teams getting to play four games in four days. I think the fans, coaches and players really love playing up there.

"I know people that get there and stay all day. They might have someone save their seat when they go to the bathroom, but they keep their seat because you could lose it and not be able to get back in."

Owen Valley, who has one game remaining with Eminence prior to the tourney, has had some difficulties of the gate.

But that doesn't mean that Brett -- who's own team has struggled early -- will take anything for granted.

"Owen Valley has struggled some early, but they will be a tough challenge for us,"the dean of Greene County coaches admits. "We have to be able to play smart on both ends of the floor, defend, hit the boards and execute on offense."

Brett is also looking to build a foundation for future tournament situations and says the condensed format makes it a great teaching tool for his players.

"We are looking forward to the challenge of playing a lot of games in a short period of time without any rest," he said. "This can help you prepare for what you will have to face when the state tournament starts."

The tournament features a total of 28 games over the four-day span of the event.

After the Lakers and Patriots face off Monrovia and Northview will meet in a game that will decide who will be the Lakers second-day opponent.

If they win, Shakamak will play on day No. 2 at 1 p.m. and if they lose they will be relegated to the 10 a.m. contest on Thursday.

NOTES: Terre Haute North is the two-time defending champion. They will open play at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday against Turkey Run. Turkey Run is coached by former Clay City boss Grant McVay. Terre Haute South is led by Sullivan graduate Scott Ridge...Robinson, Ill. is playing in the tournament for the first time. Aaron Siler, a guard for the Maroons, has been tabbed as an All-State candidate in Illinois...Rockville, who played for a Class A state championship last year, will face Casey, Ill. at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. The Rox are led by former South Vermillion coach Dave Mahurin...Daily tickets will be $7 and a pass for all four days can still be purchased for $20, good for all 28 games.

Sports writer B.J. Hargis contributed to this story.




At Terre Haute South

Thursday, Dec. 27

First round

Game 1 -- Shakamak vs. Owen Valley, Shakamak wins by forfeit

Game 2 -- Monrovia vs. Northview, 11:30 a.m.

Game 3 -- Robinson (Ill.) at Terre Haute South, 1 p.m.

Game 4 -- Turkey Run vs. Terre Haute North, 2:30 p.m.

Game 5 -- West Vigo vs. Marshall (Ill.), 4 p.m.

Game 6 --Casey-Westfield (Ill.) vs. Rockville, 5:30 p.m.

Game 7 -- Riverton Parke vs. South Vermillion, 7 p.m.

Game 8 -- Sullivan vs. Linton-Stockton, 8:30 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 28

Consolation bracket

Game 9 -- Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 10 a.m.

Game 10 -- Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 11:30 a.m.


Game 11 -- Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 1 p.m.

Game 12 -- Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4, 2:30 p.m.

Consolation bracket

Game 13 -- Loser Game 5 vs. Loser Game 6, 4 p.m.

Game 14 -- Loser Game 7 vs. Loser Game 8, 5:30 p.m.


Game 15 -- Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6, 7 p.m.

Game 16 -- Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 29

Consolation bracket

Game 17 -- Loser Game 9 vs. Loser Game 10, 10 a.m.

Game 18 -- Loser Game 13 vs. Loser Game 14, 11:30 a.m.

Game 19 -- Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 10, 1 p.m.

Game 20 -- Winner Game 13 vs. Winner Game 14, 2:30 p.m.

Game 21 -- Loser Game 11 vs. Loser Game 12, 4 p.m.

Game 22 -- Loser Game 15 vs. Loser Game 16, 5:30 p.m.


Game 23 -- Winner Game 11 vs. Winner Game 12, 7 p.m.

Game 24 -- Winner Game 15 vs. Winner Game 16, 8:30 p.m.

Monday, Dec. 31

Consolation Championship -- Winner Game 19 vs. Winner Game 20, 2 p.m.

Fifth place -- Winner Game 21 vs. Winner Game 22, 3:30 p.m.

Third place -- Loser Game 23 vs. Loser Game 24, 5 p.m.

Championship -- Winner Game 23 vs. Winner Game 24, 6:30 p.m.

Wabash Valley Classic

Past Champions

2000 -- Hamilton Southeastern

2001 -- Northview

2002 -- Northview

2003 -- Terre Haute North

2004 -- Terre Haute South

2005 -- Terre Haute North

2006 -- Terre Haute North

2007 -- Terre Haute South

2008 -- Marshall, Ill.

2009 -- Sullivan

2010 -- Terre Haute North

2011 -- Terre Haute North

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The '06-'07 Miner team that started 7-1 then lost their next 7 in a row (and 9 of the next 11) and finished the season 11-11...

Someone posted on here the last time the Miner's started 5-0 was in the 1930's?

-- Posted by agastro on Thu, Dec 27, 2012, at 7:48 AM

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