Tag Archives: Castle

Sectional championship roundup: Harrison’s dream season continues

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EMILY BROUWER / COURIER & PRESS Harrison High School students cheer for their team during the game against Jasper High School at Romain Stadium on Friday, Nov. 6.

Well, the closest game of the night in Southwestern Indiana was 28 points. Castle, Harrison, Gibson Southern and Mater Dei each advance to the regional round.

For the Southern Indiana Athletic Conference, this is the first time more than two schools have represented since 2012 (Castle, Mater Dei, Reitz). It also means all eight teams in the SIAC have won a sectional in the 21st century. With Harrison winning its first since 1997, North now has the longest drought (’00). Pressure is on, Huskies!

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EMILY BROUWER / COURIER & PRESS Harrison’s Ryan Hales prepares to throw the ball Friday against at Romain Stadium. Hales threw four first-half touchdowns.

Harrison was the real story of the night. I predicted on the TV they’d upset 4A fifth-ranked Jasper, but never would I have imagined a 48-13 final. They’re good, and they are red-hot right now. The Warriors will travel to a galaxy far, far away at East Central HS in Guilford, Indiana — 3 1/2 hour trek, about 30 minutes outside of Cincinnati — at 7 p.m. CST Friday. I’m honestly surprised Coach Brunson didn’t want the Saturday game, but a lot of times it’s best not to mess with your routine (plus, they’ll get out of school early). The Trojans (10-2) are ranked ninth in the AP and 11th in the coaches’ polls. Harrison (10-2) will continue to play with a chip on its shoulders as slight underdogs, being on the road.

Castle continued to make a statement, going on the road and beating Bedford North Lawrence 49-13. The Knights were near-flawless on both ends of the field in claiming their first sectional in three years — a long time in Paradise. Hypothetical’s are stupid, but this is a team playing like they could very well be 9-2 or 10-1 and ranked in 5A. Castle (7-4) will host No. 3 Bloomington South (11-0) in a matchup between the two for the first time since ’83 at 6:30 p.m. CST Friday.

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JASON CLARK / COURIER & PRESS Gibson Southern’s Cory Clem (50) breaks up a pass attempt by Princeton quarterback Lane Rumple during the second quarter of the Class 3A sectional at Gibson Southern Friday.

I’d have bet $10 that Gibson Southern would not be the closest game of the night, which isn’t saying much since they were all blowouts. The 3A top-ranked Titans continued to go untested and without noticeable flaws, cruising to a 49-21 win over county rival Princeton … Like Mater Dei, they were up 42-0 at halftime and really just outclassed the Tigers again. Gibson (12-0) will host Brownstown Central (10-2), who shutout Southridge 37-0, at 7 p.m. CST Friday.

After pummeling North Posey 49-7, Mater Dei (12-0) opted for the Saturday game next week, and No. 3 Monrovia (11-1) quickly decided 6 p.m. CST would be a good time, so no afternoon football. Mater Dei will now play three straight playoff games on the road out of four possible, which is puzzling considering, well, they’re the No. 1 team in 2A … Looking ahead (since I can), MD would meet the winner between Indianapolis east-side schools, No. 8 Howe (9-3) at unranked Scecina (7-5), in a semistate.

Not much high school football left until basketball starts heating up. What do you want to know about the four area teams left? Let me know at pat.hickey@courierpress.com.

Castle leaps into 4A baseball rankings; 2A well-represented in pocket

The monsoon has passed and (most) teams made their season-openers in week two. Castle was the local team to improve its stock the most, catapulting from receiving votes all the way to fourth in Class 4A in the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association poll. The Knights were 4-0 this past week with wins over Tecumseh, Jeffersonville, North, and Central.

I covered that North game on Saturday, which breezed by in just an hour and a half (recap here). It was one that honestly could have went either way. North junior Tyler Hagedorn was strong, allowing just four baserunners in a complete game effort while striking out seven and flipping 58 of a ridiculously-low 79 offerings for strikes (73.4 percent). But Castle righties Jon Blackwell and Sam Huff came up with some big pitches in critical situations and their defense behind them was lights out. You hope to see two more of those games.

We move on to the third week of the season, which features some intriguing matchups:

  • Two teams in the Southern Indiana Athletic Conference welcome Jasper into Evansville this week: Central (1-3) on Monday and surging Castle on Thursday. The Wildcats are off to a 2-0 start after junior Cal Krueger pitched a complete game one-hitter against Memorial in a 3-0 victory on Saturday. Last summer, the 6-foot-1 righthander was one of the first recruits—with Reitz sophomore outfielder Elijah Dunham being the first—under Indiana coach Chris Lemonis (not ironic that they both play for the Louisville-based Ironmen travel team. Lemonis spent eight years as an assistant at UL). Also a pretty good third baseman, Krueger works in the mid-to-upper 80s with his fastball and mixes in a mid-70s curveball and changeup around 78-80. Most recruiting sites have him listed primarily as a position player at the next level, though that kind of arm strength is definitely playable on a Division I team. I will be going out to Paradise later this week to watch.
  • Mater Dei (3-1), which moved down two slots to fourth in 2A, will face a tough early-season test when it hosts Hobart on Friday night. The Brickies (5-0) compete in the loaded Northwest Crossroads Conference, which also features 3A No. 1 Andrean and 3A No. 3 Griffith. Hobart is ranked No. 9 in 4A, has outscored its opponents 41-1 so far this season and carries a talented arm in junior Braden Niksich, a 6-1 righthander who can also dial it up to the upper-80s. Ideally, fans would be treated to a duel between Niksich (an Illinois State commit) and Mater Dei senior lefty Ben Sellers (a Western Illinois signee). But I would think the Wildcats throw Sellers in their SIAC opener against Reitz tonight at home. My partner in preps, Gordon Engelhardt, will be at the Westside rivalry game to tell us.
  • Speaking of Reitz (3-1), I was able to get somewhat of a glimpse of the Panthers this past Friday against Harrison. Level of competition aside, I view them as a team to surprise some this year—though I don’t know how much of a shock that would be. They’re obviously in a tough sectional with Castle and North, but it’s not hard to see the kind of potential offensive firepower they have with junior Blake Ruckman, senior Aaron Euler and Dunham atop of the lineup. Euler had himself a day against the Warriors, hitting a two-run homer, a grand slam and a double. Ruckman showed some pop and has some speed at the leadoff spot and in my first look at Dunham, I could see why Ironmen coach Mark Peters said he has progressed the most this past summer with his approach at the plate. He’s a very disciplined and selective hitter. Harrison gave him a steady dose of breaking balls, so it’s clear that he’s feared even as a sophomore. Reitz will turn around after the Mater Dei game to face Mount Vernon and Castle, so it has its work cut out.
  • Other notable games: Apollo, Ky. (13-4) at 2A No. 3 South Spencer (2-1) on Monday; 1A No. 8 Barr-Reeve (1-1) at Vincennes Rivet (2-2) and Memorial (2-1) at Heritage Hills (2-1) on Wednesday.

Follow the jump for the rest of the IHSBCA Top 10.

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