Wolves vs. Miners at semistate? It could happen

Nov. 1—Could the Wabash Valley fill out a semistate this spring, winner advancing to Gainbridge Fieldhouse?

It wouldn't be impossible, because if Linton and Parke Heritage can take advantage of a pair of sectional nemeses, they could be on that collision course.

North Central will be a factor in a Class A sectional that could send the Thunderbirds on a tournament run and other teams could emerge from Wabash Valley competition in Indiana — as well as providing Linton a challenge (along with Eastern Greene) in the SouthWestern Indiana Athletic Conference.

Western Indiana Conference teams will still be chasing Indian Creek and 6-foot-4 Indiana University recruit Faith Wiseman, while Seeger looks to be the team Parke Heritage will have to beat to win the Wabash River Conference.

Here's what the Valley teams have to offer:

Western Indiana Conference

—Northview — Coach Zack Keyes' Knights were 16-9 last year and have two key players back in junior forward Brynlee Clark and sophomore guard Reagin White.

"We will be very young this year," Keyes reported, "but looking forward to the season and improving each week.

"We have a great group of kids who play with high motors. Should be a fun season."

—Sullivan — Vance Edmondson went from coaching the North Central boys to the Sullivan girls and inherited some talent from Julie Meeks' last team that finished 15-10.

"I am looking forward to this year," Edmondson said.

His team hosted Vincennes Lincoln on Tuesday and will be at Clay City on Saturday night.

"I think we have a nice mix of girls who can play different styles of basketball on both ends of the floor," Edmondson added.

The Golden Arrows will have some size and strength in 6-foot-1 junior Jacie Wilson and 5-10 senior Lexi Grindstaff, a dangerous shooter in 5-9 Lexis Drake and a capable backcourt led by three 5-7 sophomores — Avari Kelley, Ally McKinney and Katherine Sarver, the latter a transfer from Terre Haute South.

"I think we have a chance to contend for a conference championship," Edmondson said. "There are a lot of good teams in our conference and we will have to be ready to play each night."

Wabash River Conference

—North Vermillion — The Falcons, 9-15 last season, will be road warriors for awhile, opening at North Putnam on Thursday and with their first home game Nov. 28 against Seeger.

Veterans back for coach Wade Statzer include sisters Braxtyn and Cadence Dunham and Lauren Ellis.

—Parke Heritage — The Wolves, who open at home Saturday against North Montgomery, were 20-6 last year before losing to Greencastle in the sectional final with a starting lineup of five sophomores. There's unfinished business, and understandably some high goals.

"The Wolves look to have a breakout season with great promise for both conference and postseason play," coach Mark Harper said, led by all-conference returnees Emma Simpson and Raegan Ramsay.

More returnees are Cate O'Brien, Reaghan Benjamin and twins Addison and Addilee Jenkins — the latter Jenkins twin missed most of last season with injury — while depth comes from seniors Kenna Batty and Mia Myers, junior Lexi McCormick and freshmen Anesa Veseli, Addison Ramsay and Carly Newnum.

—Riverton Parke — Coach Jared Garman is hoping the Panthers' volleyball success carries over to the winter.

Riverton Parke was 10-11 last season and its graduates included the school's all-time leading rebounder in Bailey Duke (12 ppg, 15 rpg). Leading returning scorer is junior Haylee Mathas (10 ppg) and there are only two seniors: Sarah Brown and Kayleigh Nowicki.

Junior Jaleigh Inman returns after not playing last year, and a strong sophomore group is led by Emily Adams, McKenzie Nowicki, Jaylynn Nelson and Corinne Loomis.

"We'll be pretty young but look to compete in the WRC," said Garman, whose team won at Cloverdale on Tuesday and plays Saturday in the North Putnam Tournament.

—South Vermillion — There's nowhere to go but up for first-year coach Halea Chubb, a former Wildcat player. South Vermillion finished 0-24 a year ago.

"We are looking forward to improving our record this season," Chubb said. "The girls have shown a lot of improvement and we are excited to see what they can accomplish this season.

A couple of key returnees for South Vermillon are Dakota Fonner and Mikaitlyn Klyaic.

SouthWestern Indiana Athletic Conference

—Clay City — The Eels were 7-18 last year but should have some veterans available for coach Jason Sinders.

Kailyn Kirkling and Lulu Koehler were two of the team's top three scorers last year, while Megan Jackson, Abi Shearer and Lizzy Sinders were other regular contributors.

—Linton —The Miners were a state contender during their 19-4 season a year ago, but unfortunately Class 2A Final Four team North Knox was in their sectional.

Senior guards Bradie Chambers and Sydney Jerrells made contributions to the Miners' second state championship team three seasons ago and should have a deep, veteran group of teammates to work with when the Miners open Saturday afternoon against West Washington.

Since they've lost just one conference game in the past six years, the Miners would have to be considered a SWIAC favorite.

—North Central — Coach Joey Davidson's Thunderbirds might dispute that assumption, with most of their firepower back from a 19-6 season a year ago.

The junior trio of Jalyn Davidson, Shelby Seay and Samantha Secrest will continue to lead the way, while seniors Lilli Gaines, Kimber Ladson, Grace Scott and Maggie Scott provide a solid supporting cast. The T-Birds open Saturday night against Terre Haute North.

—Shakamak — Coach Chase Rhoten's team lost its opener to North Knox on Tuesday but have three starters back hoping to improve on last year's 13-9 record.

Elayni Stone leads the way for the Lakers, with Madelyn Kennett and Aubrie Lambermont the other returning veterans. "Our goal is to continue to push the program in the right direction and build from our 13-9 record last season," Rhoten said.

Little Okaw Valley

—Dugger Union — The Bulldogs were 8-14 last and returned to IHSAA sectional competition.

Coach Terry McKee can call on several veterans, including senior Brae Simpson and juniors Jordyn Smith and Arianna Frazee.


In Wabash Valley games played Tuesday:

—Edgewood 42, West Vigo 32 — At West Vigo, the Vikings dug too deep a hole in the first half of a Western Indiana Conference game Tuesday.

The visiting Mustangs led 30-10 after two quarters.

Delaney Marrs had 12 points and Rese Belleu eight for the Vikings, who are at home again Thursday against Shakamak.

Sisters Madi and Ally Bland combined for 22 points for Edgewood, which has another WIC game Friday at Greencastle.

—Mooresville 61, Northview 31 — At Mooresville, the visiting Knights had a 12-10 lead after one quarter but were handled after that.

Brynlee Clark had 13 points for Northview, which hosts Bloomington North on Thursday.

—Sullivan 52, Vincennes Lincoln 49 — At Sullivan, the Golden Arrows had three double-figure scorers in winning a nonconference game against a possible sectional opponent.

Ally McKinney had 16 points, Jacie Wilson 13 and Katherine Sarver 11 for Sullivan, while plays Saturday night at Clay City.

—North Knox 49, Shakamak 25 — At Jasonville, the visiting Warriors won a nonconference game.

The Lakers will play Thursday at West Vigo.