Engelhardt’s ballot for AP boys’ basketball poll

Here is my ballot for the latest AP boys’ basketball poll. The overall poll, from writers and broadcasters throughout the state, will appear in Wednesday’s Courier & Press on page 3B.

Class 4A
1. Southport
2. Indy N. Central
3. Carmel
4. Homestead
5. Reitz
6. New Albany
7. Columbus North
8. Brownsburg
9. Indy Ben Davis
10. Central
Class 3A
1. Mishawaka Marian
2. Guerin Catholic
3. Greensburg
4. Corydon
5. Hamilton Hts.
6. Bosse
7. Jasper
8. S. Bend St. Joseph’s
9. Gary Roosevelt
10. Memorial
Class 2A
1. Indy Park Tudor
2. Northeastern
3. Frankton
4. Indy Attucks
5. Indy Scecina
6. S. Knox
7. Crawford County
8. Winchester
9. Speedway
10. Indy Howe
Class A
1. Barr-Reeve
2. Liberty Christian
3. Covington
4. FW Blackhawk
5. Orleans
6. Wood Memorial
7. Lafayette Catholic
8. Mich. City Marquette
9. Christian Academy
10. Tri-County

Memorial’s Sullivan lands offer from Iowa State

The offers keep coming in for Memorial High School’s 6-foot-3 junior center Emily Sullivan. She received her fifth scholarship offer, from Iowa State. The others are the University of Evansville, Cal State Bakersfield, Indiana State and Valparaiso.
Sullivan has led the Tigers to an 8-0 record and the No. 5 ranking in Class 3A. She cannot sign a binding letter of intent until November 2015.

2014 Toyota Classic first-round pairings

First round
Reitz vs. Mount Carmel, 5:30 p.m., at Oakland City U.
South Central at Wood Memorial, 5:30 p.m.
Castle at Gibson Southern, 7:15 p.m.
Lawrenceville at Princeton, 7:15 p.m.
Mount Vernon at Gibson Southern, 5:30 p.m.
Lawrenceville at Princeton, 5:30 p.m.
South Central at Wood Memorial, 7:15 p.m.
Reitz vs. Mount Carmel, 7:15 p.m., at Oakland City U.
Pool A: Wood Memorial, Gibson Southern, Castle (boys), Mount Vernon (girls), South Central. Pool B: Princeton, Mount Carmel, Reitz, Lawrenceville
Note: Pool play continues on Tuesday and Friday with championship rounds on Saturday.

Memorial’s Sherwood honored; Valpo offers Sullivan

Memorial senior Stephanie Sherwood will be presented with a game ball before the Tigers’ boys’ basketball game against visiting Mount Vernon Friday night for breaking the 1,000-point barrier on Nov. 21 against Boonville.

Emily Sullivan, her 6-foot-3 junior teammate, was offered a full ride scholarship by Valparaiso after Memorial’s 72-41 victory over host Vincennes Rivet on Thursday. Scouts from Iowa State, Eastern Illinois and Illinois were also in attendance as Sullivan scored 23 points for the Tigers, ranked No. 5 in Class 3A. Rivet is No. 5 in Class A. Sherwood had 26 points.

Notre Dame latest college to watch Memorial’s Sullivan

Memorial High School’s 6-foot-3 junior center Emily Sullivan has drawn the attention of Notre Dame, which came down to watch her practice on Monday. Marquette and Northwestern watched her play in games for the Tigers last weekend.
Sullivan, who tied Princeton’s Jackie Young for IBCA District 3 Player of the Week honors, averaged 20 points, 13.7 rebounds and an amazing 8.7 blocks in lifting Memorial, 7-0 and ranked No. 5 in Class 3A, to three wins last week.
The University of Evansville, Indiana State and Cal State Bakersfield have offered Sullivan a scholarship. Other Division I schools who have shown considerable interest include Iowa State, Arkansas, Miami (Ohio), Michigan State and Louisiana State.

Engelhardt’s AP boys’ basketball poll submitted Dec. 15

Following is my boys’ basketball ballot submitted to The Associated Press. The overall AP poll, from writers and broadcasters throughout the state, should be on Page B3 in Wednesday’s Courier & Press.

Class 4A
1. Southport
2. Indy N Central
3. Carmel
4. Homestead
5. Reitz
6. Columbus North
7. New Albany
8. Brownsburg
9. Ben Davis
10. Pike
Class 3A
1. Guerin Catholic
2. Greensburg
3. Corydon
4. Brownstown
5. Mishawaka Marian
6. Memorial
7. Jasper
8. Hamilton Hts.
9. Batesville
10. Norwell
Class 2A
1. Park Tudor
2. Northeastern
3. Frankton
4. Indy Attucks
5. Speedway
6. S. Knox
7. Crawford County
8. Winchester
9. Indy Scecina
10. N. Knox
Class A
1. Barr-Reeve
2. Liberty Christian
3. Covington
4. Orleans
5. Fort Wayne Blackhawk
6. Rock Creek Academy
7. Laf. Central Catholic
8. Mich. City Marquette
9. Wood Memorial
10. Christian Academy

Everett Duncan joins Harrison’s 40-point club

When Everett Duncan broke loose for 41 points, hitting 22 of 24 free throws, in Harrison’s 86-80 boys’ basketball victory over Henderson County on Tuesday, he became the fifth member of the Warriors’ 40-point club.
I actually covered Calbert Cheaney’s record-setting 47-point performance, also against the Colonels, back in 1988-89. Calbert seemingly scored from every angle on the floor and made it look so effortless I had no idea he had 47 until after the game. He also eclipsed 40 with a 42-point effort that same season.

Harrison’s 40-point club:
1. Calbert Cheaney, 47, 1988-89
2. Reece Newman, 45, 1968-69
3. Calbert Cheaney, 42, 1988-89
4. John Risinger, 42, 1995-96
5. Everett Duncan, 41, 2014-15
6. Walter McCarty, 40, 1991-92.

–Gordon Engelhardt

Mater Dei picked to win semistate in a close one


No. 1 MATER DEI (13-0) at No. 6 MONROVIA (11-2), 2:30 p.m. CST Saturday
And then there was one…Mater Dei is the lone SIAC team still standing. Making their fourth Class 2A semistate appearance in the past five years, the Wildcats must try to contain Monrovia’s vaunted rushing attack if they want to have a chance to advance to Lucas Oil for the first time since 2011. Boasting three 1,000-plus rushers, the Bulldogs are 250 yards away from tying the single-season state record for rushing yards. Mater Dei has two 1,000-yard rushers of its own in Julian Weidner and Drayke Richardt. The teams last met in a regional in 1989, with Mater Dei coming away with the win. Monrovia runs a Wing-T offense like Southridge, but is a far superior team to the Raiders. Mater Dei hopes its more diversified attack with make the difference in the end. It should be a nail-biter.

Prediction: Mater Dei 28, Monrovia 24.

Last week: 2-0.
Overall: 48-8.

Thanks for reading.

–Gordon Engelhardt

Mater Dei predicted to advance to 2A semistate


No. 5 REITZ (11-1) at COLUMBUS EAST (12-0), 7 p.m. CST Friday
It’s sort of like old home week for Bob Gaddis and Andy Hape, who was an all-state offensive lineman playing for Gaddis at Reitz in the early 1990s. In recent years Hape had recruited some of Gaddis’ Columbus East players when Hape was an assistant at Earlham and Franklin College. Both have a wealth of respect for each other and each other’s standout running backs. Columbus East’s Markell Jones, who is headed for Purdue, has rushed for 3,072 yards rushing and scored an even more amazing 53 touchdowns. He is second in the state in rushing and first in scoring with 318 points.
Reitz’s Malik Higgins’ 1,819 yards rushing (14th in the state) and 23 scores seem tame by comparison. Gaddis joked that he’s been dreaming (having nightmares) about Higgins, who has been offered a scholarship by Ball State. Jones’ numbers are unreal, partly because he is running behind such a dominating O line. The Panthers surrendered 38 points to Jasper in their sectional championship game win, which could prove problematic against Columbus East. The defending state champion and ground-oriented Olympians were averaging 59.5 points before defeating East Central 28-9 in the sectional title game last week. Columbus East beat Reitz 35-21 in the 2012 regional at the Bowl. Reitz QB Paul McIntosh ran wild in the 2007 regional, leading the Panthers to a 61-60 win, also at the Bowl. If Reitz wins, it would either host Indianapolis Roncalli or play at No. 2 New Palestine in the semistate. John Harrell’s website predicts a 45-24 Columbus East victory.

My prediction: Columbus East 48, Reitz 35

No. 3 TRITON CENTRAL (11-1) at No. 1 MATER DEI (12-0), 7 p.m. CST Friday
Even though Wildcat slotback Julian Weidner is averaging 10.0 yards per carry in gaining 1,214 yards rushing, he was never truly at full speed until last week, due to a lingering groin injury. Entering last Friday’s 28-9 sectional final win over North Posey, Weidner had just 62 receiving yards all season. He had five catches for 114 yards against the Vikings, which bodes well for Mater Dei entering the regional, which could use all the diversity it can get. Wildcat coach Mike Goebel compared Triton Central’s Jonah Thacker to former Central standout Avion Sullivan. Thacker has gained 2,189 yards rushing on 309 attempts, a 7.1 average. He has scored 32 rushing TDs. MD routed Triton Central 48-14 in a 2011 regional at the Bowl, but Goebel says this year’s edition of the Tigers is far superior. John Harrell’s website predicts a 28-27 Wildcat victory. If MD wins, it will be on the road in the semistate, either at No. 6 Monrovia or Shenandoah.

My prediction: Mater Dei 24, Triton Central 21.

Last week: 2-0
Overall: 46-8.

Thanks for reading.

–Gordon Engelhardt

Basketball tourney proposal rejected

A proposal to basically cut Class 4A in Indiana high school boys’ and girls’ basketball in half was voted down unanimously (17-0) by the IHSAA Executive Committee on Friday.
The proposal, outlined by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association in cooperation with the IHSAA and the Indiana Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association, called for 64 schools to be in 4A and approximately 114 in Classes 3A, 2A and A, beginning with the 2015-16 season.
“I looked at the proposal and what the premise was designed to do and I just didn’t think it in the end benefited the game of basketball and the spectators’ experience with the tournament,” said Paul Neidig, an IHSAA board member from Evansville.
Under the current and continuing format, teams are equally distributed across all four classes with an average of 101 schools in each.
The proposal came about because of the far greater discrepancy in enrollments among the largest and smallest 4A schools, compared to ranges in other classes. The football state tournament was conducted, starting last year, using a similar model, with the top 32 making up Class 6A, with the next 34 making up 5A.
“I do think looking at it with the same lens as football would have been a big mistake,” Neidig said. “In football, you need 11 players on offense and 11 on defense.”
In basketball, you only have five players on the court and a standout player such as a Cody Zeller could help a smaller school beat a much-larger school, Neidig said.
If the basketball proposal had gone into effect, Castle and North still would’ve remained in 4A and would have probably been paired in a sectional with the Terre Haute schools, Neidig said. Central, Harrison and Reitz would’ve gone from 4A to 3A and possibly formed an eight-team sectional with schools such as Bosse, Memorial, Mount Vernon, Boonville, Princeton and Gibson Southern.
The proposal would have only affected basketball.
“I think we need to start looking at things from the perspective of all sports participating (in a four-class system),” Neidig said.
He said it is a mistake to single out basketball and differentiate it from the other sports.
IHSAA commissioner Bobby Cox said in a written statement that several salient points were raised during the conversations and those objectives will be considered during the next reclassification and realignment exercise, which will occur in April 2015.