Quick Hits: Reitz dominant showing in Toyota Classic

The Reitz High School boys’ basketball team went 4-0 over the holiday week with wins over Mount Carmel, Princeton, Lawrenceville, and Castle by an average scoring margin of +49.0. Here are some leftover topics of interest that didn’t make the Sunday print edition.

Where is Dru Smith?

After playing in the opening round of pool play against Mount Carmel in the Toyota Classic, the Reitz junior missed the final three games after undergoing surgery to remove bone fragments in his knee.

“God bless his heart,” Panthers head coach Michael Adams said. “He’s been playing with it and hasn’t been healthy all year. We thought it was tendinitis until a few games ago when it was really swollen. So they went and checked it out and removed bone fragments from his knee. We’re hoping on Thursday (Jan. 1) he’ll be released and can start rehab. But we don’t expect him to be out very long.”

Smith has been a vital cog atop of the Reitz vaunted 1-2-2 three-quarter court zone trap this season. He’s second on the team with an average of 4.5 steals per game in addition to scoring 10.6 points and 6.2 rebounds per contest.

The Class 4A No. 6-ranked Panthers (8-0) are coming off a week in which they averaged 103.5 points per game in capturing back-to-back Toyota Classic titles.

Can this team play any better?

Of course they can, according to Coach Adams.

“We’re basketball purists,” he said. “We play every possession where there’s a winner and a loser. Obviously, we aren’t holding teams scoreless. There are some possessions where our guys jumped the gun (on defense) trying to run the floor and get out in transition too soon. There’s some positioning issues. Fundamentally, not turning the ball over in spots you need to be more careful. And there’s some shot selection concerns. None of this is to say we’re not very pleased with what we’ve seen. As coaches, we want perfection knowing we’ll never get there. We just have to stay hungry.”

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