BENNETT'S MINUTES: Five WIC football teams alive; two win volleyball titles

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Lots of interesting outcomes over the weekend in an huge week for high school sports:


Class 3A, Sectional 29 — Greencastle will meet Danville on Friday night in the semifinals, after Danville defeated Indianapolis Northwest 53-12 on Friday night.

Greencastle is officially the winner of the state’s “most improved” award, having turned a 1-9 record from 2015 into a 9-1 mark (and counting). The Tiger Cubs had been tied with North Miami with a 1-8/8-1 improvement, but the Warriors lost their sectional opener 32-14 to Culver on Friday.

North Miami had won its first eight games of the year, but also lost its regular-season finale 34-0 to Northfield before falling on Friday.

The other half of the sectional bracket will have a rematch of last year’s sectional championship game, with Tri-West looking to get revenge from Indianapolis Chatard for last year’s 42-10 loss.

Tri-West senior quarterback Jake Hill had a huge game in his team’s 45-3 win over Guerin Catholic on Friday. Hill completed 25 of 29 passes for 334 yards. Chatard defeated Brebeuf Prep 28-7.

Class 2A, Sectional 39 — North Putnam and Monrovia figured to be the two best teams in this sectional entering the tourney, and their matchup on Friday would seem to be the true championship game.

Monrovia routed Southmont 44-6 on Friday, as the Cougars were beating Paoli 42-20. The other half of the bracket will have Mitchell (a 21-point winner over South Vermillion) battling Cascade (a 21-point winner over Cloverdale).

Western Indiana Conference — Five WIC teams remain alive after the first round of the playoffs.

Two were guaranteed to still be playing, the winners of the Greencastle-West Vigo and Cascade-Cloverdale games, and two others (besides North Putnam) also recorded victories.

Sullivan had a tougher-than-expected 35-29 win over a 4-4 Princeton team, while Indian Creek defeated Indianapolis Washington 49-6.

The rest of the conference teams all lost by at least 28 points. South Putnam fell 49-12 to Sheridan, Owen Valley lost 41-13 to Evansville Central, Edgewood lost 42-6 to Boonville, Brown County lost 62-0 to Brownstown Central and Northview lost 45-14 to Class 4A No. 1-ranked Indianapolis Roncalli.

Northview just can’t win geographically or on the field in the sectional. I kept stats for the football team while I taught there, and some very good teams always seemed to get paired up against state powers.

I saw some very good Knight teams lose badly to powers such as Jasper and Evansville Reitz, and a redistricting change to be included with Indianapolis private schools hasn’t proven any better for them.


Class 3A, Sectional 25 — After defeating Greencastle in the first round, Frankfort lost 3-0 to Western Boone. WeBo then defeated Tri-West (which had won 23 matches) 3-0 in the finals.

Class 2A, Sectional 44 — Cascade defeated North Putnam in the semifinals, while Monrovia beat Southmont in the other semifinal match. Cascade beat Monrovia in the finals, as the tourney finished with all five matches being decided by 3-0 scores for the second straight year.

Western Indiana Conference, neighboring schools — Only one other conference team besides Cascade won a sectional, and it was a shocker.

Northview defeated 20th-ranked Sullivan 3-2 in the opening round of the Sullivan sectional, then went on to beat Owen Valley 3-1 in the semifinals and Brown County 3-0 in the championship.

Other neighboring teams to win sectionals were Riverton Parke at Attica, Clay City at White River Valley and Linton at North Knox.

Linton’s win over Barr-Reeve was the biggest surprise of that bunch, as the Vikings entered the tourney with a 30-2 record.

Cross country

State record in jeopardy — Times were blazing at Shelbyville on Saturday, and a repeat performance in the boys’ race this weekend could shatter a long-standing mark.

Curt Carey of Owen Valley set the state record 36 years ago with a time of 14:42 in the state finals, and that mark has survived for more than three decades.

Shelbyville regional champion Curt Eckstein of Oldenburg Academy looks poised to snap that mark, however, after posting a state-best time of 14:35 on Saturday.

No Putnam County boys’ runners advanced to the state finals, but South Putnam sectional and Ben Davis regional champion Daniel Gerber of Danville was the sixth-fastest runner from non-advancing teams and will be moving on to race in Terre Haute.

The girls’ race was also full of intrigue.

Emma Wilson of Greencastle was 40 seconds behind defending state champ Sarah Leinheiser, and will look to cut that into that gap this weekend.

Somehow, Carmel lost to Noblesville in the regional meet a week ago. The Greyhounds were apparently motivated to change things in the semistate, and they pushed the first five runners across the finish line.

I’d be curious to know the specifics of the Carmel cross country program. It’s not quite to the level of the school’s girls’ swimming team, which has won 30 consecutive state titles, but it’s not far behind.

With an enrollment of just shy of 5,000, the Greyhounds obviously have a lot of potential team members.

Still, I would be curious to know where their most elite athletes attended elementary school. If they can legitimately take a group of Carmel-born runners from their adolescent days and train them to be this dominant, then their success is truly something special.

Do standout runners from nearby schools and communities magically appear there to be part of such a successful program? I would be shocked if that didn’t happen, and if so the magic would lose some luster.


State finals set — The final matches are set for this weekend in the two-class state tournament, with Brebeuf Prep meeting Penn in the girls’ 2A title match and Andrean battling Lawrenceburg in the 1A contest.

In boys’ action, Evansville Memorial will play Chesterton in Class 2A and Providence will play Mishawaka Marian in the 1A match.

That’s five private schools among eight finalists (not that I’m counting).

Terre Haute North’s girls made a great showing, earning the city’s first-ever final four appearance.

The Patriots defeated fellow Conference Indiana member Franklin Central 2-0 in the “elite eight” round, before losing 2-0 to Brebeuf Prep in the semifinals.

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