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College signing day: ISU keeps talent close to home

By Todd Golden
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE April 16, 2009

Indiana State coach Kevin McKenna bolstered the Sycamores' guard depth and cut down on the expense report to boot.
"When you look at the whole recruiting for this year. It's not like we weren't recruiting outside of 30 miles," ISU coach Kevin McKenna jested.
Yet each of the four players who signed letters-of-intent on Wednesday - Terre Haute's Jake Odum, Marshall, Ill.'s Lucas and Logan Eitel, along with one-time Marshall and Vigo County resident Jake Kelly - all hail within a stones' throw of the Hulman Center.
Kelly and Odum earned scholarships to play for ISU. The Eitel's come as walk-ons.
The local talent - Rockville's R.J. Mahurin signed last fall - means a lot more to the Sycamores than the gas savings. All four are guards and will bolster ISU's backcourt depth significantly and help the team play McKenna's desired style, which involves pressing and a quicker offensive pace. All of the recruits have their legion of fans in the area and have created more buzz for the ISU program than its had in the last decade. McKenna wants to hone that energy in the right direction - recognizing the potential of the players, while not wanting to create "too much, too soon" expectations that could sidetrack any one of them.
"We're excited to have local players join our program. Time will tell whether these guys develop into productive players, but they're quality kids, and I think they're a good fit for our program. We're glad to have them," McKenna said.
Kelly transferred to ISU after two years at Iowa, stating a desire to play closer to home after his mother died in 2008 (see related story). Odum, the Eitel's and Mahurin all showed an early desire to become Sycamores.
Mahurin made a verbal commitment during his sophomore season with the Rox. Odum committed as a walk-on last fall. The Eitel's both committed as walk-ons in January.
Odum's case was the most fluid. He was eventually offered a scholarship by ISU after a sterling senior season where he averaged 22 points, 6.4 assists, 5.8 rebounds and 3.4 steals. There was conjecture that he might head elsewhere to seek a scholarship, but he ultimately earned what he wanted from the Sycamores.
"My senior year, it was huge," Odum said. "Obviously I impressed the coaches enough to get that scholarship. It's a huge honor for me. I grew up watching Michael Menser and Matt Renn. Its been in my head to work hard to get that scholarship."
McKenna was also swayed by Odum's fine senior campaign.
"The more I watched him, the more he grew on me," McKenna said.
McKenna also likes the way the Eitel twins fit into the program. Marshall's system is similar to ISU's, and the Eitel's ability to score, rebound and pass is one thing McKenna liked about them.
"They fit in real well with the way we play. They pass, handle, shoot. They need to get bigger, stronger, faster. But I say that about every player we bring in. They're very, very well-coached," McKenna said.
The influx of guards begs several questions. For starters, how are all of the backcourt minutes going to be doled out? McKenna believes his system will allow for players to play the kind of minutes he prefers.
"We play four perimeter guys anyway, so I consider the 1-to-4 spots interchangeable. Jake [Kelly] can play 1-3, Dwayne Lathan is a 2-4, [Carl] Richard is a 3-4, Koang Doluony is a 3-4, [Aaron] Carter is a 3-4, [Jordan] Printy is a 1-3. [Rashad] Reed and Harry [Marshall] are both 1-2's," McKenna said.
"I think we have enough versatility. I don't want Marshall playing 38 minutes, I don"t want Printy playing 37. I want them to play less minutes, but be able to play them harder when they're in. If they can, their production should be about the same," McKenna added.
It also raises the possibility that the incoming freshman could be redshirt candidates, though McKenna said he doesn't approach player expectation that way.
"I tell all of our players, work like you're going to play. Regardless of whether redshirting is a possibility, be ready - you're going to work out and get ready for season," McKenna said. "I've never forced anyone to redshirt. For example, Koang wanted to redshirt, it was best for him developmentally, it was best for him and best for our program.
"We haven't had any conversations with R.J. or Jake [Odum], but do they have some need to get stronger? Yes they do, along with the Eitels," McKenna added. "Very few freshman are ready-made big-bodied, strong athletic players. Our selling point is to develop them as players - as far as any set thing? Plan on playing and we go from there."


BREAKING NEWS: Kelly, Odum, Eitels officially join Sycamores

By Todd Golden
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE April 15, 2009

Indiana State's men's basketball program received signed letters-of-intent from Jake Kelly, Jake Odum, Logan Eitel and Lucas Eitel today, the first day of the NCAA men's basketball signing period. It means the quartet are officially part of the ISU program.
Each of the players come from within 20 miles of the ISU campus. Odum lives in Terre Haute and played at Terre Haute South. The Eitel's hail from Marshall, Ill. and played for Marshall High School's IHSA Class 2A third-place team. Kelly, who is transferring from Iowa, played at Marshall during the first two years of his high school career.
They're joined by Rockville's R.J. Mahurin, who signed last fall.
"When you look at the whole recruiting for this year. It's not like we weren't recruiting outside of 30 miles," ISU coach Kevin McKenna jested. "But we're excited to have local players join our program. Time will tell whether these guys are quality players and a fit for our program, but they’re quality kids and we're glad to have them."
McKenna said interest on the part of local players to come to ISU was a combination of a desire by the coaching staff to have them along with desire on the part of the players to be at ISU.
"They see the potential that we have, they see the players we have and the coaches who will work hard to make them better. They all kind of just came to us and there was mutual interest," McKenna said.
For more on men's basketball signing day, see Thursday's Tribune-Star and


What team did you make on the Amey Awards?

April 03, 2009

We’ve already talked about what a wonderful season of high school basketball we were blessed with recently, so while the Amey family is packing its bags for spring break — look for a recap of central Missouri in a couple of weeks — you can enjoy the Amey Awards.
One captain of the Clutch Team had already been selected by the end of December, for the many different things he accomplished and for the fact that he’d do all of them at the most crucial moments of the game. That Mike Conley-like performance was turned in by Jordan Pearson of West Vigo, whose co-captain — to no one’s surprise — is Jake Odum of Terre Haute South.
But as good a way as any to evaluate the recent season is to look at this list of clutch performers who weren’t captains: Donnie Abrams and Bobby Swaby of North Central; Austin Akers of Northview; Chase Brinkley of Paris; Colin Brown and Jake Weaver of Turkey Run; Tyler Collier and Randy Lientz of Owen Valley; Jacob Duncan and Lucas Eitel of Marshall; Jordan Hickam and Wade Huber of Greencastle; B.J. Howard of Union; Ben Jones and Meyers Leonard of Robinson; Zach Jumps and Jacob Rankin of North Vermillion; Will Kennedy and Kyler Rhodes of Clay City; R.J. Mahurin of Rockville; Billy Newton of Shakamak; and Josh Wilson of Riverton Parke. Those are some pretty good players.
He wasn’t the best player on his team, but he was the indispensable one. West Vigo can’t win 19 games unless somebody like Jeremy Lucas plays big around the basket, which is why he and another undersized but never outhustled inside player, Jarrid McLaughlin of Riverton Parke, are captains of the Competitors Team.
Other battlers were Thomas Anderson and Daniel Gabbard of Terre Haute North; Chris Babcock of Bloomfield; Justin Bartrum and Tyler Lewis of Greencastle; Jordan Borders, Jordan Langford, Ethan Stanifer and Jarred VanHorn of Shakamak; A.J. Boyll and Dylan Walker of North Central; Seth Brewer, Riley Scales, Kirk Shawver, Mitch Snyder and Chris Unzicker of Casey; Ryan Buchhaas, Jacob Harrison and Kody Lenhart of North Vermillion; Logan Chesterfield and Dustin Howard of Union; Keith Cunningham, Jordan Tharp and Jake Tibbett of Linton; Jordan Defore and Levi Seymour of Clay City; Taylor Duncan, Logan Eitel and Dalton Sanders of Marshall; Derek Hannahs of Robinson; Logan Henness and Avery Mason of Paris; Jeremy Hudson, Cody Meyer and Jake Montgomery of Tri-County; John Michael Jarvis and Chris Rose of South; Josh Karr of Turkey Run; Matt King and David Parsons of Rockville; Trent Lancaster and Hunter Robertson of Northview; Dustin Lawson and Kyle Yeargin of Riverton Parke; Cody Mumaw, Dylan Reyher and Andy Walsh of South Vermillion; Zach Roth of Owen Valley; Thad Thompson of Sullivan; and Tyler Wampler of West Vigo.
You wouldn’t think it would be easy — by definition — to pick a captain of the Unsung Team, but Rockville’s Josh Reed set the perfect example for role-players everywhere.
Others like him included Kaleb Barnhart, Kruz Kusterman and Clinton Scott of Casey; Billy Bettis, Tyler Bradburn and Aaron Bridge of Rockville; Tyler Bishop, Trey Brashear, Dustin Morey, Jake Tucker and Austin Wetnight of Marshall; Blane Boyd, Jacob Phegley, Tanner Reynolds and Michael Talpas of Union; Dreyson Boyd, Dalton Hiatt, Austin Nash and Jordan Turner of Sullivan; Ethan Clark and Scott Leigh of North Vermillion; Austin Cook and Jathan Davies of Turkey Run; Ryan Crowther and Brodey McCalister of West Vigo; Derrik Enstrom and Storm Lindsay of North Central; Andrew Gauer and Jordan Mauk of North; Ross Gentry, Chase Rhoten and Stefan Sparks of Linton; Dayton Gobert, Sean Hollows and Cody Vest of Owen Valley; Jarret Hastings of South Vermillion; Orry Heffner and Logan Higgins of Clay City; Graham Helms, Ricky Tally and Gavin Thompson of Bloomfield; Jeremy Helton of Riverton Parke; T.J. Hill of Shakamak; Jason Hollis of Paris; Stephen Jones, Brandon Shaw and Austin Siler of Robinson; Bobby McKenna and Ike Worrell of South; Patrick Miller and Curtis Washburn of Tri-County; Griffin Moore and Kyle Nobles of Greencastle; and Clint Reynolds of Northview.
Captains of the Unselfish Team are a pair of seniors who were team-first all the way, one of them — Jake Smith of Sullivan — for four years of varsity play. His co-captain is Zach Walls of Paris.
Other selfless players included Jacob Allen and Carter Morgan of North Vermillon; Jordan Allen, Jordan Keller and Brad Wilson of Northview; Jordan Arford and Mitch Hobson of Bloomfield; Adam Austin and Nate Housley of South; Ryan Cash and Logan Spung of Paris; Jordan Caylor of South Vermillion; Jared Clapp, Jimmy Clifton and Jacob Richardson of Tri-County; Phil Compton and Jarrod Wrightsman of Turkey Run; Ethan Delp of Marshall; J.D. Fish of Linton; Kyle Herbert, Brandt Warner and Woody Worland of Owen Valley; Keaton Langley and Jacob Wilkes of Union; Eric Lear of Rockville; Brett Livvix and Ryan Shull of Casey; Graham Shuee of Greencastle; Jacob Stevenson of Shakamak; Brett Taylor and Scott Weatherford of North; and Derek Watson of Robinson.
Most self-explanatory this season are the captains of the Most Improved Team, who merely stepped in as seniors with little varsity experience and played huge roles in teams that won 40 games — Ian McIntyre of South and Joel Modesitt of West Vigo.
Others who got better were David Bedwell of Sullivan; Jonathan Bradshaw, Jacob Musgrave and Trent Sims of Northview; Fred Brust of Union; Sean Burton, Lucas Mackey and Scott West of West Vigo; Lucas Clark of North Vermillion; Jordan Crowe, Tyler Richardson and John Smith of Shakamak; Spencer Davies, Seth Marshall and Jon Sowers of Turkey Run; John Dayton, Taylor Haddix and Zach Henn of Paris; Justin Gant, Zach Harrison, Chase Jones and Jerrel Thompson of North; Braxton Griffith and D.J. Newton of Clay City; Dylan Haltom, Patrick Harpenau and Logan Laswell of South Vermillion; Daniel Hardesty of Riverton Parke; Kyle Harlan and Ashton Marshall of Greencastle; Logan Hennecke, Corbin Rehmel and John Stefancik of North Central; Drew Kelley, Caleb McMullen and Sam Wake of Rockville; Evan Magni of Linton; Anthony McGill and Jacob Tanoos of South; Ian Mitchell and Eric Vaughn of Riverton Parke; Ross Rhoades of Tri-County; Kurt Schulte of Bloomfield; and Aaron White of Owen Valley.
I’d been looking forward to seeing this year’s captain of the Most Promising Team for a long time, and he was much better than I’d expected. That’s Rhett Smith of Sullivan, of course.
Others who could be great are Tommie Bolden, Jordan Marshall and Ross Sponsler of North; Logan Cannady and Jordan Grooms of Marshall; James Craigmyle and Kevin McMasters of South Vermillion; Trent Collins and Tyler Talpas of Union; Lance Elliott, James Lisman and Caleb Turner of Sullivan; Tyler Gilstrap of Owen Valley; Josh Griffin and Dalten Temples of Paris; Jacob Hayn of Turkey Run; Jordan Houser and Cody Thornton of West Vigo; Nick Hutcheson, Spencer Moore and Keegan Remsburg of Greencastle; Damon Hyatt, Caleb Mershon and Jordan VanHorn of Northview; Cody Jeffries and Clint White of Rockville; Gary Secuskie and Cody Vauters of Riverton Parke; Jermaine Smith and Lemuel Young of South; Caleb Stuppy of Linton; DeJohn Walden of Holy Cross; and Brandon Wilson of Tri-County.
And for captain of the Left-handed Team (remember, all of us can shoot) I’ll take the guy who hit one of the biggest shots in the big Marshall season, Taylor Duncan. He’ll team with Ryan Crowther and Cole Lydick of West Vigo; Zach Henn of Paris; Jordan Hickam of Greencastle; Jordan Keller of Northview; Seth Marshall and Jarrod Wrightsman of Turkey Run; Austin Nash and Caleb Turner of Sullivan; Cory Slaven of Bloomfield; Bobby Swaby of North Central; and Jarred VanHorn of Shakamak.


ABV All-South Teams

Marshall’s coach Brannan: Put the ball in Jake Kelly's hands and let him go

By Craig Pearson
The Tribune-Star

April 1, 2009

Marshall (Ill.) High School coach Tom Brannan connected with Jake Kelly on the phone about once a week during the future Sycamore’s two-year career at Iowa, and he had an inkling Kelly might dazzle Hawkeye fans late in the season when he heard Kelly would be moving from shooting guard to point guard.
“I was really intrigued just to see what he would do once he was given that opportunity to play that position,” said Brannan, who inserted Kelly as his starting point guard as a freshman at Marshall. “Put the ball in his hands. We knew what he could do. I just wish he could’ve done it here for a couple more years. He was awesome when he had the ball in his hands. Sometimes I caught myself as more of a fan in awe of what he could do.”
Kelly averaged 20.4 points over Iowa’s last seven regular-season games, and had games of 11 assists and nine assists during that span.
“I can see [ISU coach Kevin McKenna] putting that ball in his hands and letting him go,” Brannan said of Kelly’s potential at Indiana State. “I think he will fit in real well to the system. I respect coach McKenna. I think sometimes coaches have to adapt their system to the players they have and vice versa. Players have to adapt their style to the coach’s system.”
Brannan first saw Kelly play when the now 6-foot-6 guard moved to Marshall, Ill., as a sixth grader; he knew right away he had a future varsity standout.
“He just loves the game, and he loves playing the game. Every time I saw Jake, it didn’t matter where he was, he was dribbling a basketball up and down the sidewalk … working on that crossover, which I think has definitely paid off for him.
“That’s what I remember seeing as a young kid, was how well he could handle the ball, how well he could set up teammates. You could tell he was going to keep getting better.”
As a sophomore, Kelly impressed fans and opponents alike in the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic in Terre Haute, and he led the Lions to a 25-4 record. His importance to that team was substantiated by what happened when he wasn’t on the court. Kelly suffered in a broken hand in the first play of a Class 2A regional championship game against Paris, and Brannan’s squad went down much earlier than anticipated.
Brannan, a point guard who led small Carrollton High School to Peoria for the state finals 25 years ago, sensed he could make a return trip with Kelly running the show.
“That team was just beginning to play its best baskteball,” Brannan said. “As a coach, I thought this is my shot at going to Peoria, a state championship.”
It turns out, this year’s 2008-09 Marshall squad was that team.
Future ISU walk-ons Lucas and Logan Eitel were in junior high when Kelly was playing with their older brother Derek Eitel, now the quarterback and standout pitcher for Rose-Hulman in Terre Haute.
“He always got me excited. I went to all their games,” Lucas Eitel said. “I loved watching all of them play. Their team inspired me as much as anything for us to get better.”
The Eitel twins will now have a chance to play with Kelly, who has two years of eligibility left at ISU.
Kelly went on to finish his high school career at Carmel. He stepped right in as a starter as a junior and helped two balanced Greyhounds teams to a 17-8 record in 2005-06 and a 14-7 mark in 2006-07.
In addition to his offensive skills, Kelly offers a long wingspan on the perimeter. Brannan wishes he had two more years of Kelly at Marshall.
“I’m a defensive minded coach,” Brannan said. “I just though wow, this kid could just dominate games with his length. What I was always envisioned was him playing the top on our 1-3-1.”
Iowa coach Todd Lickliter told the Tribune-Star in mid-January that Kelly was developing into a solid Big Ten defender.
“Every game, he draws the other team’s best perimeter player on defense,” Lickliter said. “He’s doing a great job of one-on-one defense. He’s made good progress over the last year and a half.”
Kelly plans to help pass along some of his skills at a Marshall basketball camp this summer, said Brannan.
“I’m going to have a lot of young excited Marshall Lions after our success — what a great year — now you’ve got Jake coming back,” Brannan said.
Kelly’s addition to the Sycamores — he’s applying for an NCAA waiver to play right away due to his mother’s death in June of last year — will make for a crowded backcourt at Indiana State.
“I just think a lot of competition like that is good for a team,” said Lucas Eitel. “I think people sometimes sit back and do the minimum. With so much competition, no one can do that. Not only is [Kelly] going to help with depth in games.
“I think this summer’s going to be huge for everybody to earn a position or keep a position. I think it’s going to be a really fun year.”


LIC picks up rare victory over NTC

Effingham Daily News

March 30, 2009

TOLEDO — The Little Illini Conference picked up a rare victory in Saturday's Central Illinois All-Star boys' basketball game at Cumberland High School's Waldrip Gymnasium, winning the 16th annual event for just the fourth time in the series by a 99-88 final over the National Trail Conference's senior all-stars.
Cumberland's Jeremy Jansen, who missed the Pirates' last few games with a knee injury, was named the MVP of the LIC seniors on his home floor; the 6-5 forward racked up 17 points along with Cumberland teammate Dalton Sowers and Casey-Westfield's Mitch Snyder.
The LIC, which got 24 points from Logan Eitel, Lucas Eitel and Trey Brashear of Class 2A state runner-up Marshall, led 50-39 at halftime and opened the second half on a 14-0 run.
Trailing by as many as 25 points, the NTC club rallied back within an 89-86 margin before the LIC closed it out on a 10-2 run.
Teutopolis' Tony Zerrusen was named the NTC MVP with a game-high 23-point effort; Zerrusen knocked down five three-pointers as he scored 13 in the first half and 10 after the break.
Neoga's Austin Robinson chimed in with 11 of his 16 after halftime, and another Wooden Shoe, Brian Haskenherm, was the third double-figure scorer with 12 for the NTC.
The NTC squad was coached by Neoga's Jason Hanson and Cowden-Herrick's Brett Boehm.
Lone Cowden-Herrick representative D.J. Hovis tallied seven points, while Macaulay Mason, the only Beecher City eagle on roster, scored a second-half basket for two points.
Altamont, which along with Neoga reached a sectional semifinal for the conference's deepest postseason run, was represented by Devin Frailey, Keiffer McCarron, Landon Duckwitz and Greg Sperry.
Frailey, who also won the slam dunk contest prior to the game, led the Altamont contingent with nine points, while McCarron had seven, Duckwitz hit a free throw and Sperry was scoreless.
T-town had two other players on the team; Jeremy Schumacher scored five and John Runde had four.
From Stewardson-Strasburg, Josh Tabbert scored two and Travis Ballinger didn't score; Windsor's Jake McIlwain also didn't score. St. Anthony's John Steppe didn't play.
Logan Eitel of Marshall also scored 11 for the LIC, while twin brother Lucas added nine. Lucas also won the three-point competition; the duo heads to Indiana State University next year to walk on to the men's basketball team there.
16th Annual Central Illinois All-Star Game
At Waldrip Gymnasium
Cumberland High School

Mitch Snyder (Casey-Westfield), 7-0 — 17, Kirk Shawver 1-0 — 2, Dalton Sowers (Cumberland) 7-0 — 17, Jeremy Jansen (Cumberland) 8-0 — 17, Zach Bolin (Cumberland), 1-0 — 2, Jacob Columbia (Edwards County), 1-0 — 3, Jeremy Wallace (Flora) 0-0 — 0, Ethan Blankenbaker (Hutsonville/Palestine), 0-0 — 0, Josh Hawkins (Red Hill) 1-2 — 4, Josh Potts (Lawrenceville) 3-0 — 7, Logan Eitel (Marshall), 3-4 — 11, Lucas Eitel (Marshall), 4-1 — 9, Trey Brashear (Marshall), 2-0 — 4, Kendrick Greathouse (Oblong), 2-0 — 4, Elliott Smith (Oblong), 2-0 — 4. TOTALS 41 FG 7 FT.
Macaulay Mason (Beecher City), 1-0 — 2, D.J. Hovis (Cowden-Herrick) 3-1 — 7, Devin Frailey (Altamont), 3-0 — 9, Landon Duckwitz (Altamont), 0-1 — 1, Kieffer McCarron (Altamont) 3-0 — 7, Greg Sperry (Altamont) 0-0 — 0, Tony Zerrusen (Teutopolis), 9-0 — 23, Brian Haskenherm (Teutopolis), 4-3 — 12, John Runde (Teutopolis), 1-2 — 4, Jeremy Schumacher (Teutopolis), 2-1 — 5, Josh Tabbert (Stewardson-Strasburg), 0-2 — 2, Travis Ballinger (Stewardson-Strasburg), 0-0 — 0, Austin Robinson (Neoga), 6-2 — 16, Jake McIlwain (Windsor), 0-0 — 0. TOTALS 32 FG 12 FT.
Little Illini Conference------50---49---—---99
National Trail Conference---39---49---—---88

3-point FG — LIC 10 (Snyder 3, Sowers 3, Jansen 1, Columbia 1, Potts 1, Lo. Eitel 1), NTC 12 (Frailey 3, McCarron 1, Zerrusen 5, Haskenherm 1, Robinson 2).
NTC MVP — Tony Zerrusen, Teutopolis
LIC MVP — Jeremy Jansen, Cumberland
Slam Dunk Champion — Devin Frailey, Altamont
Three-Point Champion — Lucas Eitel, Marshall


IU great Ray Tolbert talks faith, hoops with Marshall Lions

By Brian Boyce
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE March 30, 2009

Hometown heroes heard from an old-school great Sunday at the New Life New Beginnings Church in Marshall.
“You guys think I’m big,” Ray Tolbert joked to the congregation, recalling his time on the New York Knicks with Patrick Ewing. “He was the original beast, trust me.”
Tolbert served as guest speaker as the church honored the Marshall High School Lions boys basketball team, which finished this year’s season 32-1, placing third in the Illinois State Tournament.
Tolbert’s career spanned more than 260 NBA games, but the Anderson native got his start at Indiana University under Bobby Knight as a four-year starting forward, where he played on the 1980-1981 NCAA Championship team before being picked as a first-round draft pick by the Knicks.
Tolbert’s 6-foot-9, 290-pound frame towered over the Lions as he held all of their framed congratulatory certificates in one of the hands that were once “the biggest in the Big 10.”
He joked he’s “shrunk” a little from his 6-foot-10 playing days, but moved up from 225 lb..
“But I can still dunk it, easily,” the 50-something former Slam Dunk Contest champ said.
The Rev. Tim Foster praised the Lions as they and coaches Tom Brannan and Pat Duncan accepted certificates, bookmarks and DVDs containing a 3-minute video of their season’s highlights.
“You can do great things with this small army,” Foster said, asking for a few words on how they made school history by going further into the state tournament than any other Marshall team.
Brannan and Duncan were quick to return the thanks back to the community.
“One of the reasons we do what we do is things like this,” Brannan said, noting the community’s support for the team.
But the answer to how they won is work.
“We’re the hardest-working team around here. We have the hardest practices of anyone around here,” Brannan said.
Duncan said good parents help build the foundation of kids’ success. “Parenting means everything,” he said. “You can tell the ones that have great parents.”
Tolbert coaches youth organizations and works with inner-city teens these days, and he offered a firsthand perspective of life in the NBA’s fast lane during the 1980s and 1990s.
Self-described “trade bait,” Tolbert saw a lot of court time in the pros, but as he explained, he was always “good enough to play and good enough to trade,” meaning his contract was often used as a bargaining chip to get younger players.
Tolbert recounted his first trade from the Knicks to Seattle which occurred halfway into a long season full of road games. After one road game with the Knicks, he was literally told to go from one hotel to another to meet up with the Supersonics staff for whom he’d be playing the next night.
He didn’t even have time to go back to his apartment in New York before the move.
And for most of his career, Tolbert joked that he rarely unpacked his bags, always expecting the next trade.
From Seattle he went to Detroit, where he played again with former Hoosier teammate Isaiah Thomas on the Pistons, and then for Pat Riley in the glory days of L.A. Lakers’ teams with Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, A.C. Green and James Worthy.
Tolbert’s career took him to a number of NBA teams as well as to Europe and the CBA.
But it was Green, whom Tolbert said “talked the talk and walked the walk,” who helped bring him to become a “fighter for Christ.”
Green asked him one morning over breakfast if he was a Christian, and if he had a personal relationship with Christ.
The conversation and work that ensued helped change his perspective on life in professional sports, and when he was traded from the Lakers, Tolbert said he didn’t worry so much.
Like Duncan and Brannan, Tolbert emphasized the importance of role models and parents for kids, and advised the team that “you got third place, and that’s great. But in Christ, you’re number-one.”
And that relationship lasts longer than the roomfuls of trophies and newspaper clippings, he said, joking that he too sees pictures of himself doing things at 25 that he can’t do anymore.
“…yeah, you guys can beat me now one-on-one,” he grinned. “Well, maybe not.”
Brian Boyce can be reached at 812-231-4253 or


NTC wins girls all-star game; LIC wins boys

TOLEDO -- The first girls' Central Illinois basketball all-star game between the National Trail Conference seniors and the Little Illinois Conference seniors was won by the NTC, 54-47 and Neoga's Megan Kramep was named the NTC Most Valuable Player with 12 points.  The LIC MVP was Chauncey Leonard of Flora, while Nicole Gardner of Cowden-Herrick/Beecher City won the 3-point contest.

The LIC won the 16th annual Central Illinois All-Star boys' basketball game 99-88 as Cumberland's Jeremy Jansen earned MVP honors for the LIC. Cumberland's Dalton Sowers also had 17 points as did Casey-Westfield's Mitch Snyder. Teutopolis' Tony Zerrusen, who scored 23 points was the NTC MVP. Marshall's Lucas Eitel won the 3-point contest and Altamont's Devin Frailey won the slam dunk contest.

The LIC led 74-49 with 11:47 left in the game. The NTC battled back to within two on three different occasions in the final 3:47, including 86-84 with 2:15 left. The LIC scored 10 of the last 12 points for the 11-point win, its first since 2006 and just the fourth ever.


Central Illinois All-Star Basketball game set for today at Cumberland

TOLEDO -- For the first time a Central Illinois All-Star girls’ basketball game is to be at 5:30 p.m. today at Walrdip Gym at Cumberland High School.

The game is to be followed by the 16th annual Central Illinois All-Star boys’ basketball game at 7:30 p.m.

A boys’ 3-point contest is to be at 7 p.m. and a girls’ 3-point contest is set for 5 p.m. The finals are to be at halftime of their respective games along with the boys’ slam dunk contest. Both games feature senior players from the National Trail Conference against seniors from the Little Illini Conference.

“The boys have done it for all those years and we have good girls in the conference and it is time to celebrate them too,” said Cumberland girls’ basketball coach Roy Clapp who helped with the organization of the girls’ game. “It gets the girls’ names out there also. The boys have been successful and their games are fun to watch. Hopefully the girls can relax and have some fun. All of the coaches have been great at organizing it and hopefully we can continue to have it in the future.”

Fifteen players are on the NTC boys’ team, coached by Cowden-Herrick’s Brett Boehm and Neoga’s Jason Hanson, the Journal Gazette/Times-Courier Coach of the Year.

Four area players are on the NTC, including Josh Tabbert and Travis Ballinger from Stewardson-Strasburg; Neoga’s Austin Robinson and Windsor’s Jake McIlwain. Four other players were named to the first team all-conference in Tony Zerussen and Brian Haskenherm of Teutopolis along with Effingham St. Anthony’s John Steppe and Altamont’s Kieffer McCarron.

The LIC boys’ team includes Honorable Mention All-State players Logan Eitel and Lucas Eitel along with Trey Brashear of the third=place team in Class 2A.

Casey-Westfield’s Mitch Snyder along with Kirk Shawver are on the team as well as Cumberland’s Dalton Sowers, Jeremy Janson and Zach Bolin. Red Hill’s Josh Hawkins a first team all-conference player is also on the team coached by Justin Roedl. A total of 16 players are on the roster.

“It will be fun,” said Roedl, the all-star games director, who said the team practiced last Sunday. “It would be really nice to have those 16 guys as a team all year.”

The NTC has won 12 of the games, including last year’s 84-74 contest.

Thirteen players are on the NTC girls’ team, which is to be coached by Teutopolis’ Laurie Thompson and Josh Cattrill. This includes four from Neoga in Megan Krampe, Jaimee Roy, Kristin Jansen and Tara Hotze and also is to include first team all-NTC players Courtney Heuerman of Teutopolis as well as Nicole Gardner of Cowden-Herrick/Beecher City.

Fifteen players are on the LIC girls’ team, which is to be coached by Oblong’s Tim Johnson. This includes four area players in Cumberland’s Cherode Sowers, Cheyenne Glidewell as well as Casey-Westfield’s Samantha Schutlz and Nicole Lewis. Red Hill’s Jordan Tucker, Flora’s Hillary Johnson, Marshall’s Keisha Sweitzer and Lawrenceville’s Ashley Lynch, all first team all-conference players are also on the LIC squad.

A MVP for the NTC and one for the LIC, are to be selected with the winners receiving a plaque as well as the 3-point champion for both boys and girls and a Slam Dunk Contest winner. All players are to also receive a plaque for participating.

Admission is $5.

Girls’ Central Illinois All-Star Basketball game

Little Illini Conference team

Traci McCaslin, Red Hill; Jordan Tucker, Red Hill; Chauncey Leonard, Flora; Hillary Johnson, Flora; Keisha Sweitzer, Marshall; Jordan English, Marshall; Cherode Sowers, Cumberland; Cheyenne Glidewell, Cumberland; Ashley Lynch, Lawrenceville; Camille Andrews, Lawrenceville; Ashley Rich, Oblong; Jalyne Goss, Oblong; Samantha Schultz, Casey-Westfield; Nicole Lewis, Casey-Westfield; Tanya Reid, Edwards County

Coach: Tim Johnson, Oblong

National Trail Conference team

Courtney Heurman, Teutopolis; Beth Kreke, Teutopolis; Jenna Funneman, Teutopolis; Megan Krampe, Neoga; Jaimee Roy, Neoga; Kristen Jansen, Neoga; Tara Hotze, Neoga; Kelsey Myers, Cowden-Herrick/Beecher City; Megan Moore, Cowden-Herrick/Beecher City; Nicole Gardner, Cowden-Herrick/Beecher City; Kathleen Rebbe, Brownstown; Jessica Behrends, Brownstown; Emily Strobel, Brownstown

Coaches: Laurie Thompson, Teutopolis; Josh Cattrill, Teutopolis

16th annual boys’ Central Illinois All-Star Basketball game

Little Illini Conference team

Mitch Snyder, Casey-Westfield; Kirk Shawver, Casey-Westfield; Dalton Sowers, Cumberland; Jeremy Jansen, Cumberland; Zach Bolin, Cumberland; Jacob Columbia, Edwards County; Jeremy Wallace, Flora; Ethan Blankenbaker, Hutsonville-Palestine; Zach Manley, Lawrenceville; Josh Potts, Lawrenceville; Logan Eitel, Marshall; Lucas Eitel, Marshall; Trey Braschear, Marshall; Kendrick Greathouse, Oblong; Elliott Smith, Oblong; Josh Hawkins, Red Hill

Coach: Justin Roedl, Cumberland

National Trail Conference team

Macaulay Mason, Beecher City; D-Jay Hovis, Cowden-Herrick; Devin Frailey, Altamont; Landon Duckwitz, Altamont; Keiffer McCarron, Altamont; Tony Zerrusen, Teutopolis; Brian Haskenherm, Teutopolis; John Runde, Teutopolis; Jeremy Schumacher, Teutopolis; John Steppe, Effingham St. Anthony; Josh Tabbert, Stewardson-Strasburg; Travis Ballinger, Stewardson-Strasburg; Austin Robinson, Neoga; Jake McIlwain, Windsor

Coaches: Brett Boehm, Cowden-Herrick; Jason Hanson, Neoga


2008: NTC 84, LIC 74: NTC scoring leader: Colton Booher, St. Elmo 15, Ben Giertz, Stewardson-Strasburg 15; LIC scoring leader: Logan Boyd, Casey-Westfield 19; NTC MVP: Colton Booher, St. Elmo; LIC MVP: Logan Boyd, Casey-Westfield; Dunk Contest champ: Ian Ridge, Flora; 3-point champ: Chris Wampler, Red Hill

2007: NTC 164, LIC 98: NTC scoring leader: Wade Koester, Teutopolis 25; LIC scoring leader: Robert Petty, Red Hill 20; NTC MVP: Wade Koester, Teutopolis; LIC MVP: Robert Petty, Red Hill: Dunk Contest champ: David Massengill, Neoga; 3-point champ: Bart Holsapple, Cumberland

2006: LIC 135, NTC 123: NTC scoring leader: Cody Rincker, Stewardson-Strasburg 17; LIC scoring leader: Aaron Warner, Casey-Westfield 25; NTC MVP: Cody Rincker, Stewardson-Strasburg; LIC MVP: Aaron Warner, Casey-Westfield; Dunk contest champ: Joe Hill, Oblong; 3-point champ: Andy McLeod, Effingham St. Anthony

2005: NTC 112, LIC 107: NTC scoring leader: Brandon Thompson, Neoga 19; LIC scoring leader: Blaine Headlee, Flora 13 and Lucas Brown, Cumberland 13: NTC NVP: Brandon Thompson, Neoga; LIC MVP: Lucas Brown, Cumberland: Dunk contest champ: Casey Leinberger, Marshall; 3-point champ: Eric Adamson, Red Hill

2004: NTC 99, LIC 95: NTC scoring leader: Tony Golding, Cowden-Herrick 17; NTC MVP: Tony Golding, Cowden-Herrick; LIC scoring leader: Ryan Kull, Lawrenceville, 21 MVP: Ryan Kull, Lawrenceville; 3-point contest winner: Lowell Beaven, Marshall

2003: NTC 120, LIC 91: NTC scoring leader: Chris Bochtler, Effingham St. Anthony, 26; NTC MVP Chris Bochtler, Effingham St. Anthony; LIC scoring leader: B. J. Crozier, Casey-Westfield, 20; LIC MVP: Ryan Blankenbaker; 3-point contest winner: Mike Hardiek, Effingham St. Anthony; Slam Dunk champ: Zac Morgan, Cumberland

2002: LIC 129, NTC 112: NTC scoring leader: Doug Swingler, Teutopolis, 23; NTC MVP: Doug Swingler, Teutopolis; LIC scoring leader: Tyler Claypool, Marshall, 32; LIC MVP: Tyler Claypool, Marshall; 3-point contest winner: Jon Braden, Neoga

2001: NTC 136, LIC 98: NTC scoring leader: Jason Ludwig, Effingham St. Anthony, 23; NTC MVP: Kurtis Bryant, Neoga; LIC scoring leader: Craig Martin, Martinsville, 21; LIC MVP: Craig Martin, Martinsville; 3-point contest winner: Jason Ludwig, Effingham St. Anthony

2000: NTC 140, LIC 122: NTC scoring leader: Nick Braden, Neoga, 22; NTC MVP; Nick Braden, Neoga; LIC scoring leader: Dustin Chapman, Casey-Westfield, 17; LIC MVP: Dustin Chapman, Casey-Westfield; 3-point contest winner: David Scott, Marshall

1999: NTC 116, LIC 100: NTC scoring leader: Kevin Hoene, Effingham St. Anthony, 21; NTC MVP: Kevin Hoene, Effingham St. Anthony; LIC scoring leader: Brad Carrell, Casey-Westfield, 17; LIC MVP: Drew Kusterman, Casey-Westfield; 3-point contest winner: Tony Hodge, Casey-Westfield

1998: LIC 123, NTC 119: NTC scoring leader: Sam Irving, Windsor, 21: NTC MVP: Sam Irving, Windsor; LIC scoring leader: Ben Huffington, Marshall, 24; LIC MVP; Josh Walker, Edwards County; 3-point contest winner: Josh Clark, Casey-Westfield

1997: NTC 116, LIC 110: NTC scoring leader: Kyle Weber, Teutopolis, 22; NTC MVP: Todd Wente, Effingham St. Anthony; LIC scoring leader: Dallas Richardson, Hutsonville, 25; LIC MVP: Dallas Richardson, Hutsonville; 3-point contest winner: T.J. Holmes, Marshall

1996: NTC 118, LIC 89: NTC scoring leader: Jeff Maxey, St. Elmo, 18; NTC MVP: Greg Fearday, Neoga; LIC scoring leader: Jerod Hallam, Edwards County, 19; LIC MVP: Jerod Hallam, Edwards County; 3-point contest winner: Greg Fearday, Neoga

1995: NTC 125, LIC 104: NTC scoring leader: Sam Plum, St. Elmo, 30; NTC MVP: Sam Plum, St. Elmo; LIC scoring leader: Erik Stepp, Marshall, 18; LIC MVP: Kyle Pennington, Cumberland; 3-point contest winner: Adam Crumrin, Martinsville

1994: NTC 110, LIC 107: NTC scoring leader: Curtis Schwarm, Brownstown, 28; NTC MVP; Curtis Schwarm, Brownstown; LIC scoring leader: Mack Thompson, Marshall, 23; LIC MVP: Mack Thompson, Marshall; 3-point conference winner: Carl Hartke, Effingham St. Anthony


South’s standout guard Jake Odum leads talented All-Wabash Valley boys team

By Andy Amey
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE March 25, 2009

Jake Odum wrapped up his high school basketball career at Terre Haute South without ever recording a quadruple-double.
So, of course, did or will virtually every other prep player in the country. But considering that the Braves’ point guard had double-figure totals in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals at various points in the 2008-2009 season — and that he averaged 22 points, 5.7 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 3.4 steals per game — the thought of him combining all those stats in one monster game wasn’t as far-fetched as it would be for a lot of players.
For that reason, and because he also led the Braves to a 21-5 season and a Class 4A top-10 ranking most of the season, Odum was a unanimous choice by the Tribune-Star sports staff as its Player of the Year for the All-Wabash Valley boys team.
He’s also been named Winter Sports Male Athlete of the Year, although the competition was tough. Addison Bray, also of South, earned Swimmer of the Year honors and was in the running for a state championship in breaststroke, and Wade Bohannon of South Vermillion, this year’s Wrestler of the Year, reached the state finals for a second consecutive time.
For that matter, the 2008 Male Athlete of the Year was a returnee: R.J. Mahurin of Rockville closed out a record-breaking career with the Rox and joins Odum — his future college teammate at Indiana State — on the all-Valley first team along with Marshall’s Logan and Lucas Eitel (two more future Sycamores) and West Vigo’s Tyler Wampler.
Even the all-Valley basketball second team is loaded, with Northview’s Austin Akers, Marshall’s Taylor Duncan, Terre Haute North’s Justin Gant, South’s John Michael Jarvis and Robinson’s 6-foot-11 Meyers Leonard. All 10 basketball players figure to be Division I athletes soon, although Wampler could do so in baseball and Duncan in football.
But it was Odum’s year, and not even a severely injured ankle late in the season slowed him much.
“[A quadruple-double] definitely crossed my mind,” Odum said, semi-seriously, this week. “I might have gotten a triple-double one time. But it would be a great thing to do.”
“We’ve got good kids coming back [to South next season], but the loss of Jake to our team would be like the loss of Magic Johnson to the [Los Angeles] Lakers,” coach Mike Saylor of the Braves said recently. “He was our leading scorer, but he was also helping someone else score [with his assists]. And he was our leading rebounder.
“I think he wound up in the top five in the state in steals and assists, was in the top 25 in rebounding and the top 15 in scoring,” Saylor added. “It’s hard to get all that stuff done.”
The reason Odum would like to get stats like that is because they’d be helping his team be successful. South’s 39-10 record the past two years, he indicated this week, was a lot more important to him than his individual accomplishments.
“It’s obviously a great honor to be selected as Player of the Year,” he told the Tribune-Star, “but I give it to my teammates and coaches; they helped me do what I did … it’s such a team sport; this is more of a team thing than anything I did.
“It was a great year for Terre Haute South. We had kids stepping up who didn’t get a lot of playing time the previous year.”
Odum’s first varsity contributions for the Braves came during a nine-win season his sophomore year. Although the Braves finished strong that season, reaching the sectional championship game, the year as a whole was one he and his teammates didn’t want to experience again.
“It took hard work to turn things around,” he said. “Nobody wants to be on a losing team; everybody in the whole South program didn’t like that feeling. But guys stepped up, and we doubled our win total in one year [finishing 18-5 in 2007-2008].”
“He’ll be tremendously missed,” Saylor said, “but we’re appreciative of the impact he had. Our last two teams were 39-10, and that’s the best two years a Terre Haute team has had since we joined the [Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference] and since the class system started.
“He was one of those players who can do it all. Sometimes it seemed the weakest part of his game was free throws — until it came time to win a game, and then he made those too.”
Kevin McKenna and the rest of the ISU coaching staff probably won’t be surprised to hear that Odum isn’t ruling out a quadruple-double sometime in his Sycamore future. They probably also hope that his vision of that ISU future, after spending time with his 2009-2010 teammates in open gyms recently, is correct.
“[The Sycamores] finished strong this year too. I think [Indiana State] is kind of like where we were [at South] between my sophomore and junior year,” Odum said this week.
Let’s see, doubling 11 wins would mean …

All-Wabash Valley boys high school basketball
First team
Jake Odum, Terre Haute South, Player of the Year
Logan Eitel, Marshall
Lucas Eitel, Marshall
R.J. Mahurin, Rockville
Tyler Wampler, West Vigo
Second team
Austin Akers, Northview
Taylor Duncan, Marshall
Justin Gant, Terre Haute North
John Michael Jarvis, Terre Haute South
Meyers Leonard, Robinson
Special mention — Chase Brinkley, Paris; Zach Harrison, Terre Haute North; Ben Jones, Robinson; Will Kennedy, Clay City; Billy Newton, Shakamak; Jordan Pearson, West Vigo; Mitch Snyder, Casey; Dylan Walker, North Central.
Honorable mention — Donnie Abrams and Bobby Swaby, North Central; Thomas Anderson, Terre Haute North; Jonathan Bradshaw and Trent Lancaster, Northview; Aaron Bridge, Matt King and Josh Reed, Rockville; Colin Brown, Spencer Davies, Josh Karr and Jake Weaver, Turkey Run; Ryan Buchhaas, Zach Jumps and Jacob Rankin, North Vermillion; Blake Callaway, Hutsonville-Palestine; Jordan Defore, Braxton Griffith, Kyler Rhodes and Levi Seymour, Clay City; Derek Hannahs and Stephen Jones, Robinson; Patrick Harpenau, Logan Laswell, Cody Mumaw and Andy Walsh, South Vermillion; Jared Higginbotham and Ryan Slater, Martinsville; B.J. Howard, Union; Jeremy Lucas, West Vigo; Anthony McGill and Ian McIntyre, Terre Haute South; Jarrid McLaughlin and Josh Wilson, Riverton Parke; Rhett Smith and Thad Thompson, Sullivan; Dalten Temples, Paris; Jordan Tharp, Linton.


Casey's Snyder, Jansen first team all-LIC

MARSHALL -- Casey-Westfield senior Mitch Snyder, who finished his career with over 1,000 points, was named to the 10-member first team all-Little Illini Conference boys’ basketball team along with Cumberland senior Jeremy Jansen.

Snyder led the Journal Gazette/Times-Courier area in scoring with 20 points per game. He led the 10-14 Warriors in steals (two per game) and assists (three per game).

Jansen averaged 14.1 points per game for the 17-11 Pirates.

Both Snyder and Jansen were also on the first team last year and Snyder received honorable mention as a sophomore.

Marshall, the IHSA Class 2A third place team, had three players on the first team (most of any team in the conference) in Logan Eitel, a unanimous selection, Lucas Eitel and Taylor Duncan. The Lions finished 32-1.

Cumberland’s Silas Gabel and Dalton Sowers were on the five-member second team, while Casey’s Kirk Shawver was one of the eight players to receive honorable mention selection.

2008-09 All-Little Illini Conference boys’ basketball team

First team

Logan Eitel, Marshall*; Lucas Eitel, Marshall; Taylor Duncan, Marshall; Mitch Snyder, Casey-Westfield; Jeremy Jansen, Cumberland; Paul Knapp, Flora; Drew Morecraft, Oblong; Zach Manley, Lawrenceville; Dane Kelly, Lawrenceville; Josh Hawkins, Red Hill

Second team

Silas Gabel, Cumberland; Jacob Columbia, Edwards County; Jeremy Wallace, Flora; Matt Wirth, Red Hill; Dalton Sowers, Cumberland

Honorable mention

Kirk Shawver, Casey-Westfield; Chad Smith, Edwards County; Bryton Krustinger, Flora; Nick Potts, Lawrenceville; Trey Brashear, Marshall; Kendrick Greathouse, Oblong; Ethan Blankenbaker, Palestine-Hutsonville; Trevor Albertson, Red Hill


Marshall Lions finish 32-1, third place in state

Marshall head coach Tom Brannan addresses the media following his team's third place finish in the IHSA Class 2A state finals on Saturday in Peoria as players Logan Eitel, Lucas Eitel and Taylor Duncan and son Kobe, listen in the background. Terri Cox Photo

By Terri Cox
Contributing Writer
Published: Monday, March 16, 2009
     PEORIA – The Marshall Lions bounced back from their sub-par effort on Friday night and defeated Winnebago 66-55 in the IHSA Class 2A third place contest in the Peoria Civic Center.

    “We played much better,” Lions head coach Tom Brannan said after the win. "We finally put the ball in the hole. I think I heard a collective sigh from everyone in our stands when Lucas hit his first basket.

     “This is just a credit to the young men on this team. We were upset (about the loss to Massac County on Friday), but we were not crushed by the defeat. We still felt like we were a good ball club and we had confidence that we'd have a better showing.

     “The guys on this team are all winners so (Saturday), it was about winning. The 'big three' (Lucan and Logan Eitel and Taylor Duncan) really stepped up and made the shots we needed for them to make. Winnebago is a very talented club, but we were able to play our game and that proved to be the difference.”

     Taylor Duncan came up with the huge steal and took a pair of charges that helped swing the tide in Marshall's favor.

     “Anything on defense rolls over into the offense for me," Duncan said. "Taking the charges really motivated me and got me going offensively. It was really hard (after the loss on Friday) but we were able to focus on what we wanted to do (against Winnebago) and then do it.”

     Lucas Eitel was happy to get back on track after a sub-par game.

     “I just had to keep that shooter's mentality and have confidence that the next shot I took was going to go in. The entire team did a good job of picking each other up and was key to our success. I feel a little better; it feels good to go out with a win, not only for ourselves, but for the school, our fans and the community.”

     Logan Eitel also expressed his thoughts following the final win of his career as a Marshall Lion basketball player.

    “I am so proud to be here, so proud to wear this (Marshall) uniform. This season has just been incredible and I can't even really describe it other than incredible.”

      Things started out a little rocky for the Lions in the opening quarter of play. Russell Fiori posted the first points of the night for Winnebago for an early 2-0 lead. Trey Brashear answered for Marshall to knot things up at 2-2 only to see that effort bested by Brad Reinke with a trey on the Indian end of the court. Taylor Duncan cut the lead to one, 5-4 with a bucket in the paint.

     A three by Winnebago widened the gap to 8-4 then a deuce by Cross made it 10-4 with 4:37 remaining in the quarter. Taylor Duncan hit the first of two charity tosses and another Cross basket upped the Indian lead to seven, 12-5 before a basket by Morey and a layup by Taylor Duncan narrowed the gap to three, 12-9.

     A.J. Thomas hit a pair of buckets for the Indians and Cross added another two to make the score 18-11 as the first quarter came to a close

    As the second quarter got underway, Lucas Eitel tallied his first points of the game to narrow the lead to five, 18-13 only to see that effort matched by Seth Gustafson on the opposite end of the court. Winnebago got the largest lead of the night after five consecutive points by Reinke made the score 25-16 in the Indians favor.

    A Taylor Duncan basket and  back-to-back buckets by Logan Eitel narrowed the lead to three, 25-22 with 1:54 in the half. Thomas hit a deuce and Chuck Misuraca converted a pair of tosses from the stripe to extend the lead back to four, 27-23. Logan Eitel then hit both attempts from the free throw line then blocked a shot that was rebounded by Taylor Duncan who rewarded Logan's effort with a perfect pass that resulted in a layup to cut the lead to one, 27-26.

     Winnebago added the final points of the half when Jeff Sartoruis converted a lay up and the Indians took a 29-26 lead at the intermission.

     Following the break, Misuraca extended the lead to five, 31-25 before Lucas Eitel rattled off five straight points to deadlock things at 31-31. Cross hit the first of two attempts from the free throw line but Lucas Eitel struck again to put the Lions on top for the first time of the night, 33-32.

     The lead then went back to Winnebago on a jumper by Cross, 34-33. Back-to-back buckets by Taylor Duncan and Logan Eitel put Marshall up by three, 37-34 with 3:43 on the clock. A trey by Thomas deadlocked things at 37-37. Logan Eitel then connected on a pair of charity tosses then got the feed from Taylor Duncan to give the Lions a 41-38 lead. Logan then extended the lead to five only to see his effort bested on a pair of shots from beyond the arc that put the Indians up 44-43 heading into the fourth quarter.

     Taylor Duncan put the Lions back on top with a pair of tosses from the line at the 7:40 mark and it was a lead that Marshall refused to relinquish. The Lions kicked it into overdrive, hitting for 23 points in the final eight minutes of action to seal the double digit victory and earn a third place finish.

    Lucas Eitel and Taylor Duncan shared high point honors, hitting for 21 apiece and pulling down 10 and eight rebounds respectively while Logan Eitel was right in step, added 20 points of his own and tallied eight caroms.

    For Winnebago, Chas Cross led the Indians with 14 points while Brad Reinke chipped in 11 in the loss. The two also led their team in rebounds with a respective six and four rebounds. The Indians finished the season with a 31-2 record.

    The Lions finished with a 32-1 record and secured their place in Marshall High School history with their third place finish.

Marshall      11  15  17  23  -66

Winnebago  18  11  15  11  -55

MARSHALL: Lo. Eitel 8-4-20; Brashear 1-0-2; Lu. Eitel 7-5-21; T. Duncan 7-7-21; Morey 1-0-2; Delp 0-0-0; J. Duncan 0-0-0; Wetnight 0-0-0; Grooms 0-0-0; Tucker 0-0-0; Cannady 0-0-0; Sander 0-0-0; Francis 0-0-0; Bishop 0-0-0; TOTALS 24-16-66

WINNEBAGO: Reinke 4-0-11; Cross 6-1-14; Doty 0-0-0; Misuraca 3-2-9; Fiori 1-0-2; Clinite 1-0-2; Mann 0-0-0; Gustafson 1-0-2; Johansson 0-0-0; Sartorius 2-1-6; Bronkema 1-0-2; Draves 0-0-0; DeMars 0-0-0; Thomas 3-0-7; TOTALS 22-4-55

3-point Goals: Marshall 2-14 (Lu. Eitel 2), Winnebago 7-18 (Reinke 3, Cross 1, Misuraca 1, Thomas 1)

Team Rebounds: Marshall 37 (Lu. Eitel 10, Lo. Eitel 8, T. Ducan 8); Winnebago 35 (Cross 6, Mann 6, Misuraca 5)

Team Fouls: Marshall 14, Winnebago 20

Team Turnovers: Marshall 8, Winnebago 14

‘Marshall community has been unreal,’ coach Brannan says

By Brian M. Boyce
The Tribune-Star

Marshall, Ill. March 16, 2009

The gravel parking lot outside Marshall’s Don G. McNary Gym began to fill up about 1 p.m., an hour before Sunday’s pep rally.
Vehicles full of red and white T-shirts and the fans wearing them made their way around the lot, loaded with banners, as the Marshall Lions returned home from Peoria with a third-place finish in the Illinois Final Four.
They always said Marshall has great fans. Coach Tom Brannan, decked out in his commemorative T-shirt with a medal around his neck, stood to the packed house with a table full of trophies by his side.
“Number one, the Marshall community has been unreal,” he said to cheers. “These guys will never, never, ever forget this, what you’ve done.”
Banners with “32-1” and “You Made History” waved outside in the sunshine as temperatures neared 70 degrees, and it was a Clark County Sheriff’s deputy’s sirens that alerted the crowd that the Turner bus with its team was entering the parking lot.
Brad Bartrum, wearing a Marshall letter jacket with “73” on the sleeve and a conference championship badge for track on the chest, clapped for the ’08-’09 Lions.
“I watched them all the way up,” the old Lion said. “These guys are tough.”
Inside, the cheerleaders had a crowd of all ages on its feet, “Get on your feet and yell...Red and white!”
“Red and white!” the crowd cheered back. “We are Marshall!”
Brannan told the audience, “we had the best crowd there. Hands down.”
Conditioning coach Pat Duncan, father of teammates Taylor and Jacob, said, “What a ride.”
Duncan lauded Brannan’s “passion for basketball” and remarked that how one handles adversity explains their character.
“It’s a really neat feeling to sit on the bench as a coach and a parent,” he said, thanking Brannan.
And one by one, the players thanked a crowd that traveled the Land of Lincoln to watch them play a season the likes of which they’d never seen.
Marshall’s last regional championship was 17 years ago. It had never been to the Final Four.
“We have the best fans of any team we played,” said senior Logan Eital.
“There is no team in Illinois that works harder than the Marshall Lions,” Brannan said, recounting how his players spelled out Peoria during conditioning drills last year. “Twenty-five years ago I played, and I thought it was the greatest moment of my life. But man, this is awesome,” he said through tears.
This year’s Marshall boys basketball team went further into the Illinois tournament than any in school history.
The team went undefeated into the Final Four before losing 60-43 to Massac County Friday night. They came back Saturday to beat Winnebago 66-55 for third in the state.
And though senior twins Lucas and Logan Eital hope to play for Indiana State University next year, the Marshall community is certain its stock of underclassmen, including junior Taylor Duncan, will be ready again in the fall.
“One more thing...I think we’re going back,” Brannan told the crowd before joking, “Open gym begins Monday.”
Brian M. Boyce can be reached at 812-231-4253 or


From the Press Box: Duncan keeps the future bright at Marshall

By Todd Golden
The Tribune-Star

Peoria, Ill. March 16, 2009

The future for Marshall twin brothers Logan and Lucas Eitel is blue — Sycamore blue. Both will be walk-ons for Indiana State’s men’s basketball program next season.
Even though the Eitels stamp on the Marshall boys basketball program is massive — no Lions team has ever gone as far in a rich basketball history — there’s no reason for Marshall to be blue just because the Eitels will be.
Taylor Duncan will see to that.
He’s the only part of Marshall’s “big three” that returns next season. The junior will be the fulcrum as the Lions work in some new contributors next season. Starter Dustin Morey returns as well as Jacob Duncan, Logan Cannady, Jake Tucker and several other Lions, all of whom had big moments in their own right during Marshall’s third-place run.
But Marshall coach Tom Brannan made it clear in Saturday’s press conference that Duncan is going to be the Lion in the spotlight in 2010.
“Taylor Duncan has arrived on the scene. I’m prejudiced, but he’s going to be one of the best players in Illinois next season. I’m prejudiced, but he’s already one of the best defenders in the state. He’s a real player,” Marshall coach Tom Brannan said.
Duncan took Brannan’s comments in stride.
“It’s great when you get mentioned with those two. They’re great players. I’m proud to be a part of that with Marshall and its school history,” Duncan said.
And that’s about all Duncan had to say about it. No surprise. Duncan has the same quiet grit that seems to be part of the DNA among Marshall’s best players.
Duncan’s exploits are hardly news to Marshall’s faithful; he’s been a rock all season. There’s a big reason Brannan calls his primary contributors “the big three” and Duncan doesn’t have to hold anyone’s candle as far as where he fits in the Lions’ triumvirate.
Yet ... Duncan can be overlooked.
Even though they’re two-thirds of “the big three,” Logan and Lucas Eitel cast a long shadow. They grab plenty of local media attention because they’re future Sycamores and they’re intelligent, well-spoken ambassadors for Marshall’s program and town. The Eitel family itself has been such a huge part of Marshall’s success in several sports past and present, boys basketball just being one of them. It’s hard to fathom a time when there wasn’t an Eitel kicking tail for Marshall’s teams in the last half-decade ... at least.
Basketball-wise, the Valley and the rest of the state of Illinois is understandably captivated by the unique story of the twin brothers who play so smart and complement each other so very well on the court.
The attention the Eitels get is well-earned. Expect that attention to be funneled Duncan’s way now that he’s the Lions’ focal point.
Duncan does many of the same things the Eitel brothers do and adds a few other wrinkles. He’s Marshall’s go-to defender. He’s probably Marshall’s best finisher in a double team. He can score inside and out.
He was Marshall’s most consistent player in the two state finals games. The junior averaged 19.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.2 steals in games against Massac County and Winnebago. He was the only Lion to score with any regularity against Massac County — he was 6 of 19 in that game and scored 18 points — as no other Lion made more than two shots on a collective off-night from the field.
Duncan also made some of the key plays that got Marshall untracked in its third-place game against Winnebago, including a steal that helped start a fourth-quarter 9-0 run that helped Marshall put Winnebago down for good on Saturday.
“Taylor Duncan had a few steals, he had a few coast-to-coast plays. He played a whale of a game,” Brannan said.
That he did. And his presence will continued to be felt at Marshall as it tries to make Peoria trips more frequent in the future.

Todd Golden is sports editor of the Tribune-Star. He can be reached at (800) 783-8742 or Please check out Golden’s blog at


‘Big three’ lead Marshall to third place in Illinois 2A

By Todd Golden
The Tribune-Star

Peoria, Ill. March 15, 2009

The Marshall Lions can play in Peoria.
It took a half to get untracked, but the Marshall good-shooting, fundamentally sound Lions that area fans came to know made their presence felt in a dominant second half. The Lions pulled away from Winnebago late to post a 66-55 victory to claim third place in the IHSA Class 2A boys basketball state finals Saturday at Carver Arena. The victory ended the careers of storied twins Logan and Lucas Eitel, as well as starter Trey Brashear, on a winning note as Marshall went further than it ever had in school history.
“I’m proud to wear this jersey, I’m going to be proud to take it off. This is one of the best moments of my life. To get third in the state, not many teams can say they did that. I’m just proud to be here,” Logan Eitel said.
It was a familiar story for the Lions as its “big three” led the way once again.
Lucas Eitel and Taylor Duncan had 21 points apiece, with Logan Eitel adding 20 points. Lucas Eitel had 10 rebounds, Logan Eitel and Taylor Duncan had eight boards each. It was a return to form for the “big three” after all but Duncan struggled in Friday’s loss to Massac County.
“I refer to them as the Big Three when I talk to the team. ‘The Big Three have to do this, the Big Three have to do that.’ They really stepped up tonight. They made shots, they played with a lot of heart,” Marshall coach Tom Brannan said.
Marshall’s victory was historic in other ways. No team from Clark County had ever won a state finals game. It had been since 1951 (Robinson) since a team from either the Apollo or Little Illini Conference from Edgar, Clark or Crawford Counties had won a state finals game.
Marshall was just happy they could leave Peoria with a win. It took some sting out of Friday’s semifinal defeat.
“It feels real good to go out on a win. Not many teams get to come back and redeem themselves after a loss and get a W. It feels really good, it’s really a good way to cap off your career to get third place and make some history within your school,” Lucas Eitel said.
Saturday’s game started much as Friday’s game did as Marshall had trouble making shots. The Lions started 3 of 15 from the field as Winnebago — who also entered the state finals unbeaten — built an 18-11 lead. The problems were particularly acute from 3-point range as Marshall came up empty from beyond the arc for the entire first half. Winnebago had no such issues as the Indians (31-2) drained three 3-pointers in the first 11 minutes. The last one, a Brad Reinke bomb, gave Winnebago its biggest lead at 25-16 midway through the second quarter.
Marshall couldn’t rely on its offense, so it turned to defense. Down 25-18, a Lucas Eitel block might have been a turning point. It led to a Logan Eitel bucket-and-foul, and even though Logan Eitel missed the free throw, there was a change in the Lions’ intensity from that point on.
Marshall eventually cut the lead to 27-24 when another defensive play — a block by Taylor Duncan — led to a Logan Eitel turnaround jumper to make it 27-26. Winnebago got its bearings to take a 29-26 halftime lead, but momentum seemed to be in the Lions’ corner.
The Lions kept the pressure on in a close third quarter. Marshall tied the game at 31 on a Lucas Eitel 3-pointer — the Lions’ first 3-pointer of the game — and took the lead a possession later on a Lucas Eitel layup to make it 33-32.
“The biggest turning point was for Lucas to hit that shot. He hit that three. The whole coaching staff, the whole team said, ‘Yes!’ finally,” Brannan said.
The lead changed hands six more times with Winnebago taking its final lead at the end of the third quarter. There was no doubt, however, which team owned the fourth quarter.
Marshall regained the lead for the final time on a pair of Taylor Duncan free throws to start the period. Duncan then stole the ball on Winnebago’s subsequent possession and turned it into a layup to make it 47-44. After Winnebago was called for a charge, Lucas Eitel buried a 3-pointer with 6:36 to go to make it 50-44.
“Our defense really rolled over to our offense tonight. It got us going, it motivated the players, it got the crowd into. Those defensive plays were big plays for us,” Duncan said.
Winnebago had little answer the rest of the way. Marshall’s lead reached double-digits with 3:53 left on a Lucas Eitel bucket. Winnebago’s last gasp came when Reinke made a 3-pointer to pull the Indians within five with 3:14 left, but Marshall put the hammer down for good with a 10-0 run, nearly all of it gained at the line.
“These guys are winners and its all about winning. We were pretty loose today. We were upset, but I don’t think we were crushed by our defeat [60-43 on Friday] to Massac County. I had the confidence in these three guys to carry us,” Brannan said.
South Holland Seton Academy won the Class 2A championship, beating Massac County 83-63.
n Pep rally — There will be a pep rally for the Marshall team at 2 p.m. (CDT) at the Marshall High School gym.

Marshall 66
Player fg 3pt ft r s pf tp
Lo. Eitel 8-16 0-3 4-5 8 1 4 20
Brashear 1-3 0-1 0-0 4 0 1 2
Lu. Eitel 7-16 2-7 5-7 10 0 4 21
T. Duncan 7-11 0-1 7-11 8 3 2 21
Morey 1-5 0-0 0-0 2 0 0 2
Delp 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
J. Duncan 0-2 0-2 0-0 2 0 2 0
Wetnight 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Grooms 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Tucker 0-0 0-0 0-0 2 0 1 0
Cannady 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Sanders 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Francis 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Bishop 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Totals 24-54 2-14 16-23 37* 4 14 66

Winnebago 55
Player fg 3pt ft r s pf tp
Reinke 4-11 3-8 0-1 4 0 2 11
Cross 6-9 1-1 1-3 6 2 5 14
Doty 0-1 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 0
Misuraca 3-6 1-1 2-3 5 3 1 9
Fiori 1-5 0-2 0-1 0 1 0 2
Clinite 1-2 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 2
Mann 0-5 0-1 0-0 6 0 0 0
Gustafson 1-2 0-0 0-0 2 2 5 2
Johansson 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Sartorius 2-6 1-4 1-2 2 4 2 6
Bronkema 1-1 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 2
DeMars 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Thomas 3-4 1-1 0-0 4 0 5 7
Totals 22-53 7-18 4-10 35* 5 20 55
Winnebago 11 15 17 23 — 66
Marshall 18 11 15 11 — 55
FG pct. — W .444, M .415, 3P pct. — W .143, M .389. FT pct. — W .696, M .400. Blocks — W 2 (Lo. Eitel, Lu. Eitel 1), W 1 (Mann 1). Turnovers — W 8, M 14. Team rebounds* — W 1, M 3.
Next — Marshall finished its season 32-1 and claimed third place in IHSA Class 2A. Winnebago finished its season 31-2.


Marshall boys top Winnebago 66-55 in 2A third-place game

Sunday, March 15, 2009

PEORIA -- Marshall defeated Winnebago 66-55 Saturday to capture the boys Class 2A consolation crown in a battle of two teams previously unbeaten before arriving in Peoria this weekend.

Both teams had been 30-0 on Friday before losing in semifinal action. Marshall lost to Metropolis Massac County 60-43, and Winnebago was trounced by Seton Academy 83-58.

Marshall was powered by twins Logan and Lucas Eitel, senior guards who are not only identical in looks but turned in nearly identical scoring lines.

Lucas Eitel scored 21 while Logan Eitel had 20 points. Junior guard Taylor Duncan also scored 21 points for Marshall. Lucas Eitel led the team with 10 rebounds.

Winnebago was led by Chas Cross, who had 14 points and six rebounds.


Marshall 66, Winnegabo 55

Marshall 66, Winnegabo 55: All of the Winnebago players hung their heads as they walked off the court after their final game of the season Saturday.

But there were three in particular — Jake Doty, Chuck Misuraca and Russ Fiori — who were the most emotional after Winnebago’s 66-55 loss to Marshall.

“It’s tough, knowing it’s our last game ever,” Misuraca said. “It’s really hard.”

The three seniors are the only three who won’t use this year’s state tournament as a learning experience, who won’t get another crack at a state title, and who won’t be in uniform if the Indians make another run next year.

The rest of the Indians seemed to understand this, as they patted the seniors on the back and offered them words of encouragement as they walked slowly back to the locker room.

“It was a really great year for them,” junior Brad Reinke said.

It was a great year, but not the ending they were hoping for. Winnebago lost its second game of the state tournament and finished fourth in Class 2A with its loss to Marshall in the third-place game at the Peoria Civic Center.

One day after falling to Seton Academy in the semifinals, Winnebago (31-2) ran into a Marshall team led by senior trio Taylor Duncan (21 points) and identical twins Logan (20 points) and Lucas Eitel (21 points).

“I refer to them as my Big Three,” Marshall coach Tom Brannan said. “They really stepped up tonight.”

Winnebago started with the momentum, led by as much as nine points in the second quarter, and owned a 29-26 halftime lead. Marshall’s Lucas Eitel hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 31 apiece early in the third, but Winnebago finished the third with back-to-back 3-pointers from Chas Cross and Jeff Sartorius and led 44-43 heading into the fourth.

That was the last lead the Indians owned. Winnebago went 0 for 3 in its one-and-one free-throw chances in the fourth quarter, and leaders Cross, A.J. Thomas and Seth Gustafson all fouled out.

“We’ve been up-and-down at the free-throw line all year,” Winnebago coach Joe Murphy said. “Even our best free-throw shooter missed a one-and-one tonight, and as a coach you hope that never happens, but it happens.”

Cross, who was in foul trouble for both of this weekend’s state tournament games, finished with 14 points and six rebounds. Reinke added 11 points, Mike Mann had six rebounds, and Sartorius had four assists.

With just three seniors on the team, the future looks bright for next year’s Indians.

“I definitely like our chances,” Reinke said. “I think we should learn from this and make it back here next year and go for the state title.”

And even though they won’t be wearing a uniform, the trio of Doty, Misuraca and Fiori said they will also be back.

“I can’t wait to come back and see this team play here next year,” Doty said. “I think they have a lot to look forward to.”

- Emily Tropp,

Marshall 66, Winnegabo 55
Winnebago High School's Chas Cross (left) and Mike Mann (right) guard Marshall's Taylor Duncan as he drives to the basket in the first quarter Saturday, March 14, 2009, during the third-place final of the IHSA Class 2A basketball tournament at the Peoria Civic Center in Peoria.

Winnebago finishes fourth at state

Mar 15, 2009

All of the Winnebago players hung their heads as they walked off the court after their final game of the season Saturday.

But there were three in particular — Jake Doty, Chuck Misuraca and Russ Fiori — who were the most emotional after Winnebago’s 66-55 loss to Marshall.

“It’s tough, knowing it’s our last game ever,” Misuraca said. “It’s really hard.”

The three seniors are the only three who won’t use this year’s state tournament as a learning experience, who won’t get another crack at a state title, and who won’t be in uniform if the Indians make another run next year.

Go to Hardwood for complete report and photo gallery


Trio accounts for almost all of Lions' points as they come back to win third

Journal Star
Mar 15, 2009


Winnebago might have been able to handle high-scoring identical twins on the Marshall roster in the Class 2A third-place game Saturday night.

But the Lions might as well have had triplets on the basketball floor, thanks to the performance of a non-sibling who proved just as potent.

Marshall had all but four of its points from three players and used a second-half comeback to beat Winnebago 66-55 at Carver Arena.

Lucas Eitel and Taylor Duncan led the Lions (32-1) in scoring, with 21 points each. Logan Eitel scored 20 to give Marshall its best finish in the state tournament.

Lucas Eitel also led the team in rebounds, with 10. His twin had eight rebounds and four assists, and Duncan had eight boards, three assists and two steals.

"These guys are winners," Marshall coach Tom Brannan said. "It's all about winning, and they wanted to do that."

Both teams entered the state finals unbeaten, but both lost in Friday's semifinals.

"We were kind of upset, but I don't think we were crushed by the defeat," said Brannan, whose team lost to Metropolis Massac County. "The ball just didn't go down. We still feel like we're a pretty good ballclub and can play with anybody up here in the state."

But it was the Indians (31-2) who grabbed the early advantage. They led by as many as nine points in the first half.

Winnebago took a 25-16 lead with 5:19 left in the second quarter, on a 3-pointer from the left wing by Brad Reinke.

"I think we jumped out well, shot the ball and got things going right from the start," Winnebago coach Joe Murphy said. 'I don't think they were into the game emotionally."

Winnebago led 29-26 at intermission.

Marshall, however, started to take control of the game in the third quarter. Its first lead was 32-31, with 5:48 left in the period, thanks to a layup by Lucas Eitel.

The Lions then led by as many as five until Winnebago got a pair of late 3s by 6-foot-7 Chas Cross and 6-3 A.J. Thomas to lead 44-43 going into the fourth quarter.

"I was hoping the momentum would change and we'd kick it up a notch," Murphy said. "But I knew we were struggling.

"We hit those shots and it gave us a lift, but we weren't moving our feet well on D. So I knew we were in trouble."

Murphy was right on. Marshall scored the first seven of the fourth to take the lead for good, boosted by Lucas Eitel's regained shooting touch.

With 6:36 left in the game, Eitel hit a 3 from the right wing to put Marshall ahead 50-44 and give its fans a big lift.

"The biggest turning point in the game, and what I've been waiting for for a couple of days now, is for Lucas to hit a shot," Brannan said. "When he hit that 3, there was a collective ‘Finally!' from the fans."

Winnebago also was hurt when Cross picked up his third foul and headed for the bench with 4:14 left in the first half. Cross finished with 14 points and six boards before he fouled out with 1:31 left in the game.

Johnny Campos can be reached at 686-3214 or




A disappointing loss

Marshall’s first loss of the season comes during semi-finals

By Terri Cox
Contributing Writer
Published: Saturday, March 14, 2009
    PEORIA -- Every team suffers from an off night once in a while, but for the Marshall Lions, it came at the most inopportune time -- the semi-final game of the state finals at Carver Arena in Peoria on Friday night as the Lions lost their first game of the season by a 60-43 score to Massac County.

     "The basketball gods just weren't smiling on us," said a disappointed Tom Brannan following the loss. "We had a lot of good looks, but we just couldn't get the shots to fall. It was our wost nightmare when we started missing shots.

     "I felt we came in with a good game plan and we came in believing we could win. We did a pretty good job of stopping transition baskets but we had a lot of fouls called and that hurt us.  Really, (Massac Co.) is a mirror image of our team. They are very athletic and quick; I was very iimpressed with them."

    The Lions were just as dumbfounded by the lack of offensive production.

     "We had 10 steals to their one and four turnovers to their 13, it just doesn't make any sense," said Logan Eitel as he shook his head following the post-game news conference. "We executed our game plan, we did what we needed to do, everything that could go wrong went wrong."

    Brother Lucas echoed that sentiment.

     "It's going to be very hard, but we have to let this one go and refocus (on the third place game)," Lucas said. "It's very frustrating that we didn't make more shots; we have to take over as leaders and do what we need to do (against Winnebago)."

     Taylor Duncan, the game's high point man with 18, felt the Lions now have something to prove.

    "We are much better than we showed on the court tonight," Duncan said. "We have to come together and put it back together (on Saturday). We are all disappointed, but we can still end the season with a win."

     The Lions posted the first points of the game with a bucket by Taylor Duncan at the 7:16 mark in the opening quarter. The Patriots responded, hitting for seven unanswered points for a 7-2 lead. Duncan added the next two Marshall points from the charity stripe to cut the lead to three, 7-4.

    A deuce by Zack Kester widened the lead to five, but a Lucas Eitel basketnarrowed the lead to three, 9-6.  Massac County then rattled off seven straight points before a pair of free throws by Taylor Duncan at the 1:07 mark closed out the scoring with the Patriots on top 16-8.

     In the second quarter, Jacob Duncan opened things up with a trey only to see that effort bested by their opponent as the Patriots put together a 12-0 run to up the ante to 28-11 with 3:25 in the half. A basket by Jake Tucker and four points by Logan Eitel cut the lead to 28-17 but a basket by Dustin Korte and Jarelle Johnson widend the lead to  32-17 at the break.

    During the first half of play, the Lions shot a mere 18.5 percent from inside the arc and 11.1 percent from the perimeter while Massac County hit 66.7 percent of their field goal attempts and hit 1-of-4 from three point land.

    In the second half, Marshall battled hard, cutting the lead to nine at the 3:27 mark, but every point was bested by the Patriots on their end of the court and they converted 12-of-16 attempts from the stripe to seal the win.

      Taylor Duncan led the Lion scoring effort with a game high 18 points and three boards while Logan Eitel added nine points and seven boards.

     Four Patriots finished in double figures led by Dustin Korte who tallied 15 points followed by Bailey with 13 and Kester and Johnson with 11 each. Corey Ayala pulled down 10 boards and Kester nine for Massac Co.

     The Lions now stand 31-1 on the season and will battle Winnebago, who fell to Seaton Academy 83-58 in the first semi-final contest, for third place.

     "We'll be playing for pride," Brannan added. "We are a much better team than we showed (on Friday) and we want to come back out and play well. We've not had to rebound from a loss, especially one like this, so we'll see what we are made of."

Marshall’s unbeaten run ends with 60-43 loss in Illinois state semifinals

By Todd Golden
The Tribune-Star

PEORIA, Ill. March 14, 2009

The iron wasn’t just unkind, it was cruel to Marshall and its undefeated boys basketball dream.
The Lions made 5 of 27 from the field in the first half, while Massac County countered with a 12-of-18 shooting performance. Marshall trailed by 15 at halftime and it was too big a hole to dig out of as the Lions lost 60-43 in the IHSA Class 2A state semifinals at Carver Arena.
“Everything went wrong,” Logan Eitel said. “It was there, we could have had it. Everything started bad and it kept rolling.”
Marshall made 27.3 percent overall from the field. The Lions were 2 of 18 from 3-point range. Massac County shot 46.3 percent overall and was 19 of 25 at the line.
“We’ve always said it would be our worst nightmare if we started missing shots,” Marshall coach Tom Brannan said. “Last year, we shot similar in our regional and it was the same today. We had real good looks, we took the ball to the basket, we had wide-open shots, they just didn’t fall. The basketball gods just weren’t looking at us tonight.”
Taylor Duncan led Marshall (31-1) with 18 points. Dustin Korte led Massac County (33-1) with 15 points and Byron Bailey added 13, despite sitting out most of the first half. Two other Patriots reached double-figure scoring.
“It’s frustrating for sure. You look at it and we had more steals, we came in with our game plan, we did everything we wanted to do except make shots,” said Lucas Eitel, who had four points. “It’s good to know that if we would’ve knocked down shots we could have played with them. We just didn’t finish.”
Marshall’s nightmarish shooting hurt from the start. After Taylor Duncan scored the first bucket of the game, Marshall would only make one more for the remainder of the first quarter on their way to 2-for-16 first-period shooting. Massac County did a good job defending Marshall on its perimeter handoffs, but the Lions also missed a lot of open looks.
“If we shoot like we normally shoot, these numbers are flip-flopped. We shoot 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from the 3-point line. We were 2 of 18 from three and we had open looks,” Brannan said.
Meanwhile, Massac County couldn’t miss. The Patriots were 5 of 8 in the first quarter and started 9 of 12 from the field. Many of the buckets were scored in transition off of Marshall’s missses. Massac County built a 28-11 lead at the 3:26 mark of the second quarter.
“That’s probably the most defensive pressure they’ve seen all year,” Massac County coach Joe Hosman said. “Our team did a great job locking them down. We held their starters to 38 points.”
Marshall didn’t see it the same way.
“We had four turnovers and 10 steals. They had 13 turnovers and one steal,” Logan Eitel observed. “It all came down to making shots; we just didn’t make them.”
Marshall closed to within 11 with 1:40 left in the second quarter, but couldn’t escape their shooting woes as they missed the last three shots of the half. Massac County scored the final two buckets to take a 32-17 lead at the break.
Marshall fought back in the third quarter, cutting its deficit to eight at one point. Marshall did a better job keeping Massac County from scoring in transition and forced turnovers in its half-court defense. A technical foul on Hosman also helped as Marshall scored four points as a result of the call.
Marshall trailed 38-28 when an intentional foul call on a Massac County breakaway restored the Patriots’ gap. Byron Bailey made three of four free throws as a result of the possessions as Massac County took a 41-28 lead.
A 9-2 run to start the fourth quarter put the game out of reach. Massac County’s lead was stretched to 53-34.
“You can’t really focus on one play that got it away from us. We just didn’t knock down shots and that’s what it came down to,” Marshall guard Taylor Duncan said.
Logan Eitel, who played a taped right thumb, scored nine points. He said his injury didn’t have a major impact.
Marshall will play Winnebago in today’s third-place game. The game begins at 6:30 p.m. (CDT), 7:30 p.m. (EDT). It will be televised on WFXW-38.
“I think we’ll be all right. We’ll show our Marshall pride tomorrow,” Brannan said.
• Robinson’s Leonard wins dunk contest — Robinson’s Myers Leonard won the Class 2A dunk contest on Friday night. The junior scored 44 points in the final round, besting Greenville’s Rutger Neece by a one point.
“It was a pretty awesome experience. It was fun to show my skills in front of a bunch of fans. It was fun,” Leonard said.
Leonard got off to a good start. He bounced the ball between his legs and slammed the ball one-handed. He also did a tomahawk off a bounce, a windmill, an off-the-shot clock stuff and a standard two-handed stuff. He whiffed on only one attempt.
“I missed a couple of dunks I wanted to make, but I made the dunks I thought I could make,” Leonard said.
Leonard had some support as Marshall’s fan contigent backed their eastern Illinois cohort.
Leonard advanced to the finals on Thursday by scoring 32 points to win his group. Teammate Derek Watson also won his group with 29 points, but other dunkers scored more in other groups. Paris’ John Dayton competed but failed to score. Marshall’s Logan Eitel was entered, but did not compete.
• 3-point contest — None of the local players in the state 3-point showdown advanced past the group stage.
Dalten Temples of Paris, a sophomore, made seven 3-pointers during his Class 2A session. Eleven makes were needed to advance to the finals.
Two players who advanced out of the Robinson Regional — Olney’s Brandon Berry and Effingham St. Anthony’s James Jensen are among the Class 2A final four.
Hutsonville’s Blake Callaway, a junior, made eight 3-pointers during his Class A group. Thirteen makes was the cutoff in Class A.

Marshall 43
Player fg 3pt ft r s pf tp
Lo.Eitel 2-12 0-2 5-7 7 0 3 9
Brashear 0-2 0-0 0-0 1 2 4 0
Lu.Eitel 2-11 0-6 0-0 7 3 4 4
T.Duncan 6-19 0-4 6-6 3 2 2 18
Morey 1-4 0-1 0-0 3 1 3 2
J.Duncan 1-2 1-2 0-0 1 0 3 3
Tucker 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 2
Cannady 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 1 0
Delp 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 1 0 0
Wetnight 1-1 1-1 0-0 1 0 0 3
Grooms 1-1 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 2
Sanders 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 0
Francis 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0
Bishop 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Totals 15-55 2-18 11-13 *26 10 20 43
Massac County 60
Player fg 3pt ft r s pf tp
Kester 5-6 0-0 1-1 9 1 4 11
Lang 3-4 0-0 0-0 2 0 1 6
Bailey 2-5 0-0 9-14 8 0 2 13
Ayala 2-6 0-0 0-0 10 0 1 4
Johnson 3-9 1-3 4-5 3 0 1 11
Korte 4-7 2-4 5-5 2 0 1 15
Henry 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Morse 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Maxie 0-2 0-1 0-0 1 0 0 0
Sommer 0-2 0-0 0-0 2 0 1 0
McManus 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Totals 19-41 3-8 19-25 *40 1 12 60
Marshall 8 9 15 11 — 43
Massac County 16 16 10 18 — 60
FG Pct. — Marshall .273, MC .463. 3-pt FG Pct. — Marshall .111, MC .375. FT Pct. — Marshall .846, MC .760. (*) Includes team rebounds — Marshall 1, MC 3. Turnovers — Marshall 4, MC 13. Assists — Marshall 6 (Lu.Eitel 4), MC 14 (Ayala 5). Blocks — Marshall 5 (T.Duncan 2), MC 3 (Bailey 2). Technical foul — Massac County team.


Marshall will take these two

Twin brothers, headed to Indiana State, become the face of once-beaten team

Journal Star
Posted Mar 14, 2009


It's easy to tell apart Logan and Lucas Eitel. Just grab a Marshall boys basketball roster.

Logan sports No. 10, and Lucas is No. 23. Put the senior guards in street clothes, however, and it's almost impossible to distinguish who is whom.

"I've been around them long enough now that I can tell them apart," Marshall coach Tom Brannan said about the 6-foot-4, 180-pound identical twins.

"My wife (Sarah, a teacher at Marshall) still has trouble when they're walking down the hallway when they're not in their uniforms."

Despite a 60-43 loss Friday night to Metropolis Massac County in the Class 2A semifinals, the brothers — who combined for 13 points on 4-for-23 shooting — will look to end their careers on a high note Saturday. Marshall (31-1) will play Winnebago at 6:30 p.m. for third place.

According to Logan Eitel, the twins usually are misidentified at least once a day. They are used to the confusion and usually just roll with it.

"I answer to Logan, he answers to Lucas," Lucas Eitel said jokingly. "We don't care anymore."

The Eitels' games differ as much as the 18-year-old brothers look alike.

Lucas Eitel runs the point. Logan Eitel is more of a shooting guard.

"We're both better at different things, I would say," said Lucas Eitel, who is a minute older than his twin.

"I think I'm a better shooter, probably a better ball handler. We're both good passers. He's probably a better rebounder, inside guy and probably a better post defender than I am."

Now, turn back the clock to summer days not cluttered with AAU ball and camps. Back to when the first-team all-staters honed their skills with vicious games of one on one.

All those skills come back to the hours upon hours on the driveway. Countless best-of-5 series have made the Eitels smooth, polished players.

"It just depends on the night," Logan Eitel said about who would win. "Whoever wants it usually more, whoever gets down on defense a little more. It goes back and forth."

Said Lucas Eitel: "We've always been competitive with each other and made each other better. Now, we just complement each other on the court; just knowing where each other are all the time and knowing how each other play."

Both have received academic scholarships from Indiana State, where they plan to walk on to the basketball team. Junior colleges and Division II schools called. But the Division I opportunity at a school just 18 miles from Marshall was too hard for the Eitel brothers to pass up.

"It was pretty easy decision once they put the offer on the table to walk on," Lucas Eitel said. 'We didn't have any other offers and we thought that was a good place to go. Nobody actually said, "Here, we want you; here's a scholarship.' "

This season has been all business for the Eitels. They take it one game at a time and will focus on awards and accolades a week from now.

Despie Logan Eitel's nine points and just four from Lucas Eitlel against Massac County, the duo has become the face of Marshall hoops.

"They've been Marshall basketball for the last four years," Brannan said. "As they've grown, as they've matured, as they've become better basketball players, Marshall basketball has gotten better."

Adam Duvall can be reached at 686-3214 or


Massac Co. foils Marshall's plan

Quick start combines with opponent's field woes in Class 2A semifinal

Journal Star
Posted Mar 14, 2009


There will be more than just the Final Four for Metropolis Massac County.

A quick start and rugged shooting by its opponent led Massac County to a 60-43 victory against Marshall in the Class 2A semifinal nightcap at Carver Arena.

With its 14th consecutive victory, Massac County (33-1) moves to the championship game at 8:15 p.m. Saturday against South Holland Seton (30-2) — an 83-58 semifinal winner over Winnebago.

"The biggest thing is, I thought we just played tremendous defensively," said Massac County coach Joe Hosman, whose team will be making its first appearance in a title game. "Defensively, we probably gave them more pressure than they've seen all year long."

Marshall (31-1) suffered its first loss, thanks to 15-for-55 shooting from the field — including a combined 4-for-23 from twins Lucas Eitel (four points) and Logan Eitel (nine).

"The two twins just didn't get anything to look at,'' Hosman said.

The Lions, who entered shooting 40 percent on the season from 3-point range, were 2-for-18 beyond the arc.

"Their shots went in and our just didn't," Marshall coach Tom Brannan said. "We had a lot of good looks, we just didn't make shots. We've been a real good shooting team, and all along we've said it would be our worst nightmare if we didn't start making shots."

The nightmare began early for Marshall.

With Marshall struggling from outside, Massac County went on a 9-2 run late in the first quarter.

An old-fashioned three-point play by sixth-man Dustin Korte (15 points) and a layup by Corey Ayala pushed the Massac County lead to 14-6 with 2:05 in the first quarter and led to a Marshall timeout. Byron Bailey (13 points) capped the spurt with a layup and a 16-6 lead. Two free throws by Taylor Duncan stopped the run as Massac County took a 16-8 lead after one quarter.

Duncan, who had a team-high 18 points, started the second quarter with a 3-pointer. But Marshall's shooting woes continued and Massac County went on a 12-0 push to take command.

James Lang and Dustin Korte accounted for 10 of the Patriots' points in the spurt. Lang capped the scoring on a baseline jumper that put Massac County ahead 28-11 with 3:22 left in the quarter.

Marshall finally had six unanwered points, but Massac County closed the half with an Ayala layup and a nifty drive by Jarelle Johnson to take a 32-17 lead into the break.

The final seconds typified the first half for Marshall. Logan Eitel picked up a loose ball and drove the length of the floor, only to come up short on a layup.

Marshall made just 5 of 27 shots (18.5 percent) in the first half. Massac County, meanwhile, made 12 of 18 shots (66.7 percent).

Marshall cut its deficit to eight in the third quarter but came no closer. Massac County, which outrebounded Marshall by 14 (40-26), led by as many as 22 points midway through the fourth quarter.

"We have to get it together, regroup and play for pride (Saturday)," Brannan said.

Stan Morris can be reached at 686-3214 or


Massac County boys beat Marshall 60-43 in 2A semis

Saturday, March 14, 2009

PEORIA -- Senior forward Dustin Korte scored 15 points and sophomore guard Cory Ayala grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Metropolis Massac County past Marshall 60-43 in a 2A semifinal on Friday night.

Massac County will meet South Holland Seton Academy Saturday night for the Class 2A championship.

Junior guard Taylor Duncan led Marshall with a game-high 18 points and senior guard Logan Eitel, a first-team All-Stater, grabbed seven rebounds.

Massac County was in charge throughout and led by 22 points late in the game. Marshall led only once, briefly in the first quarter.

Massac County shot 46.3 percent from the field while holding Marshall to 27.3 percent shooting. Marshall was 2-for-18 from 3-point range and Massac County was 3-for-8.


Patriots have little trouble with Marshall in Class 2A

By Scott Mees, The Southern

PEORIA - The Massac County Patriots proved just how good of an overall team they are in Friday's IHSA Class 2A State Tournament semifinal at Carver Arena.

Byron Bailey, a second-team all-state selection, is the Patriots best player but he missed the end of the first quarter and all of the second because of foul trouble.

It didn't matter.

Massac County pushed its lead from eight to 15 with Bailey on the bench and knocked off previously unbeaten Marshall 60-43.

"We're where we dreamed to be and we worked to be," said Massac County coach Joe Hosman. "I'm so happy for these guys, our community and our former players."

Zack Kester, a 6-4 forward, played a tremendous game for the Patriots (33-1). The senior tallied 11 points and pulled down nine rebounds. He nailed a baseline jump shot to start a 12-0 Massac County run in the second quarter.

"Well if he didn't do something he's not going to get to date my daughter anymore," Hosman said of Kester. "Zack's a competitor and when it's a big game Zack has stepped up every time."

Forward James Lang drained the nearly the same shot to cap off the streak as the Patriots led 28-11.

The Patriots played superb defense, especially in the first half. They held the Lions to just 5-of-27 shooting from the field. Massac County went to the locker room at halftime with a 32-17 advantage.

Massac County put the clamps down on Logan Eitel and Lucas Eitel. The twins average 33 points per game but were held to just 13 in this contest on 4-of-23 from the field.

"The biggest thing is I just think we played tremendous defensively," Hosman said. "The two twins did not get any easy looks."

After Hosman was called for a technical foul early in the third quarter Marshall ripped off six straight points to pull within eight. However, the Patriots were simply too quick and too deadly with their transition offense.

"You always worry that you put your team in jeopardy," Hosman said of receiving the technical. "That's the first technical I've gotten in three yearas. I used to get way too many, but I try not to get any. My kids responded and kind of saved the day for me again."

Dustin Korte added 15 points for Massac County and Jarelle Johnson chipped in 11. Bailey scored 13 points in just 21 minutes of action.

Seton Academy whipped Winnebago in the other 2A semifinal, 83-58. The Patriots and Sting clash for the state championship at 8:15 p.m. today.

Marshall 8 9 15 11 - 43

Massac County 16 16 10 18 - 60

MARSHALL (43) - Eitel 2 5-7 9, Eitel 2 0-0 4, T. Duncan 6 6-6 18, Morey 1 0-0 2, J. Duncan 1 0-0 3, Wetnight 1 0-0 3, Grooms 1 0-0 2, Tucker 1 0-0 2. Totals 15 11-13 43.

MASSAC COUNTY (60) - Kester 5 1-1 11, Lang 3 0-0 6, Bailey 2 9-14 13, Ayala 2 0-0 4, Johnson 3 4-5 11, Korte 4 5-5 15. Totals 19 1-25 60.

3-Point Goals - Marshall 2 (Duncan, Wetnight), Massac County 3 (Korte 2, Johnson). Team Fouls - Marshall 20, Massac County 12. Technicals - Massac County Bench. Records - Marshall finishes 31-1. Massac County is 33-1.


Marshall's Logan Eitel still bothered by thumb injury

By Todd Golden
The Tribune-Star

Marshall, Ill. March 13, 2009

It’s the most talked-about thumb in the Wabash Valley.
Unfortunately for Marshall guard and leading scorer Logan Eitel, the only way his right thumb can talk back is via pain that has dogged him since Tuesday night.
Eitel injured his right thumb during the Lions’ Macomb Super-Sectional 65-62 victory over Stanford Olympia on Tuesday. Eitel jammed it early in the game while chasing down a loose rebound. He was held scoreless, though he did manage five rebounds.
Eitel didn’t have any tape on the thumb as he departed for Peoria, Ill., on the team charter Thursday morning, but he admitted that the injury is still bothersome.
“It’s all right, but I don’t think I’m 100 percent, but I’ll do the best I can. It’s a little painful, but I have to play, it’s [the season] all I left,” Eitel said.
Eitel was asked how the injury most affects his game.
“Ball-handling, catching, shooting … everything,” Eitel said.
Marshall coach Tom Brannan said he does not plan to change the way Eitel is used in tonight’s IHSA Class 2A state semifinal against Metropolis Massac County.
“It’s still a day-to-day thing. He’s going to play, nothing is broken, but it’s jammed,” Brannan said.


Daunting state field for Lions

By Todd Golden
The Tribune-Star

Marshall, Ill. March 13, 2009

Cinderella won’t be in Peoria, Ill., this weekend for the IHSA Class 2A boys basketball state finals this weekend. … she won’t be close.
Only the big dogs need apply for this tournament field — unbeaten Marshall among them.
There are only three losses among four teams in the Class 2A state tournament at Carver Arena this weekend. Joining Marshall among the unbeaten is Winnebago — also 31-0. Metropolis (Massac County) (32-1) — Marshall’s opponent tonight — and South Holland Seton Academy (29-2) round out the field.
By contrast, the Class A field being played the same weekend at Carver Arena has 16 losses among its four teams.
It’s a given that Marshall is going to be challenged, starting tonight against Massac County in an 8:15 p.m. (CDT) state semifinal. As they have all year long, the Lions are depending on their team-oriented brand of basketball and good defense to see them through to what would be their first-ever state championship.
“I don’t know where it came from, but everyone on this team has it in their heads that this is a team game, no one cares about individual goals or statistics, we just care about the W. Some teams have more talent than us, but we get it done with defense and teamwork,” Marshall guard Lucas Eitel said.
Brannan had a Marshall representative at Carbondale on Tuesday to make sure he had sometimes hard-to-obtain tape on Massac County, who defeated Breese Central 62-59 in Tuesday’s Carbondale Super-Sectional.
The tape revealed a familiar style for Brannan.
“Probably the best way to describe them is that they’re a mirror-image of us. They’re very quick, athletic, they like to play a lot of man-to-man with a little zone. They want to use their quickness to guard you. They want to push the ball up the floor and attack you as much as they can,” Brannan said.
Massac County, whose only loss was to Carbondale on Jan. 23 in a tournament, has four scorers averaging double-figures. Guard Byron Bailey is the Patriots’ most versatile threat. He averages 18.1 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game.
Taylor Duncan, who has often guarded the other team’s best player throughout Marshall’s season, will be on Bailey.
“It’s looking that way,” said Duncan, when asked about whether he’d defend Bailey. “He’s left-handed, he can jump, he’s quick, he looks like a really good player.”
He’s not the only one. Guard Corey Ayala (12.9 ppg), forward Dustin Korte (11.2) and guard Jarelle Johnson (10.2, 4.3 assists) are all capable contributors. The Patriots like to score in transition, so getting back on defense is a priority for the Lions.
“We’re going to have to get back on defense as much as we can, they get a lot of points off turnovers. We can’t let them get out ahead of us,” Marshall guard Logan Eitel said.
Of course, Marshall can counter with plenty of its own firepower. Logan Eitel (17.8 ppg, 6 rpg) will play despite a jammed right thumb (see related story). Lucas Eitel (15 ppg, 5.9 apg, 4.3 rpg, 47.5 percent from 3-point range) will need to continue to be versatile. Taylor Duncan (16 ppg, 4.5 rpg) provides grit and defense.
Other contributors, Dustin Morey (7.9 ppg, 2.1 rpg), Trey Brashear (5.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg), Logan Cannady (4.1 ppg) and Jacob Duncan (4.1 ppg), have all had their moments in Marshall’s postseason run.
Brannan noted that the bundle of nerves and excitement that comes along with playing in the state tournament shouldn’t faze the Lions. Marshall has played in big tournaments this year, notably its championship in December’s Pizza Hut Classic.
However, few teams make it to the level, especially for the first time, and burn up the nets.
“At state tournament time, teams tend to not shoot 85 percent from the field, they tend to go the other way and not shoot well … the floor, the nerves, I think rebounding is at a premium,” Brannan said.
As for what Marshall faces after Massac County? Brannan said he hasn’t even looked at either Winnebago or South Holland Seton Academy.
Winnebago had rode its defense (46.3 points allowed, a shade better than Marshall’s 46.5 average) and forward Chas Cross (16.9 ppg, 10.4 rpg) to an unbeaten mark.
Seton Academy — located in South Holland, a southside Chicago suburb — has only been co-ed since 2003, but is a major threat.
The Sting boast plenty of size with 6-foot-7 forward Jordan Walker (13.6 ppg, 5.6 rpg) and 6-foot-6 forward Corbin Thomas (11.6 ppg, 7.5 rpg). Guard D.J. Cooper, who will be one of Armon Bassett’s teammates at Ohio University, averages 13.7 points, 4.5 assists and 4 rebounds per game. Another member of the Sting, forward Tony Nixon (10 ppg) is headed to Northern Illinois.

Class 2A IHSA State Finals
At Carver Arena, Peoria, Ill.
Winnebago (31-0) vs. South Holland Seton Academy (29-2), 6:30 p.m. (CDT)/7:30 p.m. (EDT)
Metropolis (Massac County) (32-1) vs. Marshall (31-0), 8:15 p.m. (CDT)/ 9:15 p.m. (EDT)
Third place game, 6:30 p.m. (CDT)/7:30 p.m. (EDT)
Championship game, 8:15 p.m. (CDT)/9:15 p.m. (EDT)
TV: WFXW-38. Web stream:
Radio: WMMC-FM (105.9)

1911 — Paris (20-5, 1-2 at state)
1916 — Robinson (21-4, runner-up, 2-1 at state)
1928 — Hutsonville (27-5, 0-1 at state)
1933 — Hutsonville (28-4, 0-1 at state)
1936 — Paris (18-9, 0-1 at state)
1938 — Paris (34-4, third place, 3-1 at state)
1939 — Paris (37-3, runner-up, 3-1 at state)
1940 — Paris (31-6, 1-1 at state)
1940 — Casey (20-9, 0-1 at state)
1941 — Paris (31-4, 0-1 at state)
1942 — Paris (39-1, runner-up, 3-1 at state)
1943 — Paris (36-2, state champions, 4-0 at state)
1944 — Paris (23-9, 0-1 at state)
1946 — Robinson (31-3, 1-1 at state)
1947 — Paris (40-2, state champions, 4-0 at state)
1948 — Robinson (30-4, 0-1 at state)
1949 — Robinson (25-7, 0-1 at state)
1950 — Paris (26-5, 0-1 at state)
1951 — Robinson (29-5, 1-1 at state)
1955 — Paris (27-7, 0-1 at state)
1971 — Paris (30-1, 0-1 at state)
2002 — Robinson (29-3, 0-1 at state)
Note: Teams included are teams in the Tribune-Star’s coverage area.

10 Logan Eitel G 6-4 Sr.
12 Ethan Delp G 5-9 Sr.
13 Jacob Duncan G 6-0 Fr.
20 Austin Wetnight G 5-10 Jr.
21 Jordan Grooms G 6-0 So.
22 Trey Brashear G 6-2 Sr.
23 Lucas Eitel G 6-4 Sr.
24 Jake Tucker G 6-2 Jr.
30 Logan Cannady G 6-0 Fr.
32 Taylor Duncan G 6-3 Jr.
33 Dallton Sanders C 6-4 Jr.
34 Dustin Morey G 6-5 Jr.
40 Joey Francis G 5-11 So.
44 Tyler Bishop F 6-1 Jr.
Coach — Tom Brannan
Nickname — Lions
Record — 31-0
Postseason — Defeated Casey 77-49 and Teutopolis 55-49 in the Effingham St. Anthony Regional. Defeated Robinson 77-70 and Paris 62-30 in the Robinson Sectional. Defeated Stanford Olympia 65-62 in the Macomb Super-Sectional.
Leading scorers — Lo. Eitel (17.8 ppg), T. Duncan (16 ppg), Lu. Eitel (15 ppg).
Leading rebounders — Lo. Eitel (6), T. Duncan (4.5), Lu. Eitel (4.3).
Leading in assists — Lu. Eitel (5.9), T. Duncan (3.2), Lo. Eitel (3.0).
Previous state tournament experience — none.
Fun fact — Marshall is the first team from the area to go to the state finals unbeaten since Paris made it in 1971 with a 30-0 mark. The Tigers lost 63-61 to Danville in the first round.

Metropolis Massac County
5 Byron Bailey G 6-4 Sr.
10 Corey Ayala G 6-1 So.
11 Jarelle Johnson G 6-0 Jr.
12 Zack Kester F 6-4 Sr.
14 Zac Henry G 6-0 So.
21 Calvin Morse G 5-10 Sr.
22 Dustin Korte F 6-2 Sr.
24 Archie Maxie G 6-0 Sr.
33 Quincy Glass G 6-0 So.
40 Tyler Sommer F 6-3 Jr.
42 Zach Bremer F 6-3 Sr.
44 Malcolm Amos G 6-0 Fr.
45 James Lang F 6-3 Jr.
50 Adam McManus F 6-2 Jr.
52 Jalin Thigpen G 6-0 Jr.
Coach — Joe Hosman
Nickname — Patriots
Record — 32-1
Postseason — Defeated Carterville 67-40 and Murphysboro 69-66 in the Anna Regional. Defeated Herrin 66-50 and McLeansboro 60-49 in the West Frankfort Sectional. Defeated Breese Central 62-59 in the Carbondale Super-Sectional.
Leading scorers — Bailey (18.1), Ayala (12.9), Korte (11.2), Johnson (10.2).
Leading rebounders — Bailey (8.2), Ayala (5.8), Kester (5.5).
Leading in assists — Johnson (4.3), Bailey (3.4), Ayala (2.3)
Previous state tournament experience — In 2004, Massac County was beaten by Peoria Christian 79-65 in the Class A state finals.
Fun fact — Massac County is the southernmost team in either the Class 2A or Class A field. Metropolis is a small town on the Ohio River.

3 Chuck Misuraca G 5-11 Sr.
10 Brandon Clinite G 5-10 Jr.
11 Russell Fiori G 5-11 Sr.
12 Mike Mann G 6-1 Jr.
13 Seth Gustafson G 5-9 Jr.
14 Alex Johansson G 5-10 Jr.
15 Jeff Sartorius G 5-11 Jr.
22 Marcus Posley G 5-10 Fr.
23 Joe Bronkema G 5-10 Jr.
42 Brad Reinke F 6-4 Jr.
43 Jake Doty C 6-6 Sr.
50 Zach Draves F 6-3 Jr.
51 Derek DeMars F 6-2 Jr.
53 Chas Cross F 6-7 Jr.
55 A.J. Thomas C 6-3 Jr.
Coach — Joe Murphy
Nickname — Indians
Record — 31-0
Postseason — Defeated Oregon 64-38 and Byron 35-30 in the Winnebago Regional. Defeated Morrison 57-45 and Springfield Lutheran 58-38 in the Plano Sectional. Defeated Princeton 69-41 in the DeKalb Super-Sectional.
Leading scorers — Cross (16.9), Reinke (8.8), Misuraca (8.5).
Leading rebounders — Cross (10.4), Reinke (4.5), Thomas (3.9).
Leading in assists — Misuraca (2.9), Reinke (2.2), Gustafson (2.2.)
Previous state tournament experience — Two appearanes. In 2004, Winnebago was runner-up in Class A, beaten 67-55 by Chicago Leo. In 2005, Winnebago was Class A runner-up, beaten 78-62 by Chicago Hales Franciscan.
Fun fact — Cross, who also averages 4.5 blocks per game, is a third generation player at Winnebago. Illinois State is among the schools he’s considering to continue his playing career.

South Holland Seton Academy
2 D.J. Cooper G 5-10 Sr.
4 Brandon Merriweather F 6-4 Jr.
10 Toryan Smith G 5-9 Sr.
11 Khameron Harper G 6-3 Jr.
12 Andre Jackson G 5-10 Jr.
15 Murray Hayes G 5-10 Jr.
21 Kenny Stevenson G 6-2 Jr.
24 Tavares Ingram G 6-2 Jr.
32 Kendall Lett F 6-4 Jr.
33 Jordan Walker F 6-7 Sr.
35 Corbin Thomas F 6-6 Sr.
45 Chris Olivier F 6-8 Jr.
52 Tony Nixon F 6-5 Sr.
Coach — Ken Stevenson
Nickname — Sting
Record — 29-2
Postseason — Defeated Manteno 80-37 and Momence 70-37 in the Kankakee McNamara Regional. Defeated Herscher 64-57 and Westmont 64-49 in the Momence Sectional. Defeated Chicago Hales Franciscan 69-52 in the Romeoville Super-Sectional.
Leading scorers — Cooper (13.7), Walker (13.6), Thomas (11.6), Nixon (10.0).
Leading rebounders — Thomas (7.5), Walker (5.8), Cooper (4).
Leading in assists — Cooper (4.5), Stevenson (2.8), Harper (1.5).
Previous state tournament experience — none.
Fun fact — Seton Academy was an all-girls school until it went co-ed and began fielding boys teams in 2003. The Sting are 96-57 since it began boys basketball that season.
— Capsules by Todd Golden


Marshall turns out to send basketball team to Illinois State Finals

By Todd Golden
The Tribune-Star

MARSHALL, Ill. March 13, 2009

“We are Marshall!”
That’s the rallying cry of all Marshall High School athletic teams … heard at all Marshall sporting events.
The chant is especially thunderous for the undefeated boys basketball Lions, who are headed to Peoria to play in the Final Four of the Class 2A IHSA State Finals beginning tonight at 8:15 p.m. (CDT). Marshall meets Metropolis Massac County at Carver Arena.
“We are Marshall!” could just as easily be a mission statement as it is a rallying cry.
Although the Lions have been an area powerhouse in several sports, this is their first trip to Illinois’ brand of boys basketball March Madness (a phrase originally coined in 1939 for the IHSA tourney) in school history.
While Marshall’s basketball prowess is well-known on both sides of the state line in the Wabash Valley, the small city is not located near any Illinois population centers.
Media coverage beyond Marshall’s home area inside its home state has been scant. The Lions have an air of mystery about them … their 31-0 record notwithstanding.
“We’re not in the middle of nowhere, but we’re not up north where all of the cities are either. I’m real proud because Marshall’s never gone this far. Hopefully we’ll represent them well,” Marshall guard Taylor Duncan said.
Marshall hasn’t had a losing record since 1993 and has had nine 20-win seasons since then. But Marshall hasn’t made its presence felt outside of its regional since 1994.
“It feels good to put us on the map. We’ve always had a good program here, but we never made it as far as we could,” Marshall guard Lucas Eitel said. “It’s good for the future because we have a lot of good guys coming up. I think in the future we’ll have more runs like this.”
Not all of the Lions are in a reflective mood just yet, as evidenced by Logan Eitel.
“I wouldn’t want to represent another town, but right now I’m just focused on the game. All the other stuff is in the back of my mind,” he said.
The “other stuff” included a send-off from Marshall High School on Thursday morning. Led by the Marshall drum corps, the team paraded through the halls of the school. The players boarded a chartered bus for Peoria as well-wishers lined Sixth Street in front of the school.
Tonight’s game will be televised by WFXW-TV 38. The IHSA TV feed will be picked up at 8 p.m. (CDT).
If Marshall wins tonight, the team will play in the state championship game at 8:15 p.m. (CDT) on Saturday. If the Lions fall, the third-place game is at 6:30 p.m. (CDT).
If Marshall wins even one game in Peoria, the Lions will end a long area state tournament drought.
No team from the Wabash Valley (in the Tribune-Star’s coverage area) has won an Illinois boys basketball championship since Paris won the 1947 title.
No area team has won a game in the state championship at all since Robinson defeated Chicago Parker in the 1951 tournament.

Todd Golden can be reached by e-mail at or by phone at 1-800-78308724, ext. 276.


Tribune-Star/Joseph C. Garza Lions' roar: Marshall, Ill., students cheer as the bus taking the boys basketball team to Peoria approaches on North Sixth Street Thursday in Marshall. The Tribune-Star

Tribune-Star/Joseph C. Garza 31 and O yeah!: Marshall grade school students hold up a sign touting the high school boys basketball team's record as the bus taking them to Peoria drives by Thursday in Marshall, Ill. The Tribune-Star


Massac County, Woodlawn ready for state

By Scott Mees, The Southern

The Massac County Patriots and Woodlawn Cardinals each picked up victories at the Carbondale super-sectional Tuesday and compete today at the IHSA State Tournament at Peoria's Carver Arena in boys prep basketball.

The Patriots (32-1) knocked off Breese Central Tuesday and take on Marshall (31-0) at 8:15 p.m. with a berth in the Class 2A state title game on the line.

Massac County won its first 19 games of the season before falling to Class 3A Carbondale, 89-84, in late January. After that misstep the club ripped off 13 consecutive victories.

"They've just handled the pressure," Massac County coach Joe Hosman said of his players. "I've never seen them panic all year long."

The Patriots face a tough opponent in the Marshall County Lions. They've pretty much destroyed every team they've faced this season. The Lions' average margin of victory is 28 points.

Logan Eitel, a 6-foot-4 senior guard, averages 17.8 points per game, and Lucas Eitel (6-4) scores nearly 15 per contest.

Massac County will counter with 6-4 guard Byron Bailey. The senior scores 18 points per game and leads the team in rebounding as well. Corey Ayala, a 6-1 sophomore guard, is the team's defensive standout but he also tallies 13 points per game.

Look for senior guard Dustin Korte to come off the bench and shoot from downtown. Korte torched Breese Central for 18 points, including four 3-pointers in the super-sectional.

Seton Academy (29-2) takes on Winnebago (31-0) in the other Class 2A semifinal at 6:30 p.m.

Woodlawn (29-1) pulled away from Okawville in the second half for a 47-30 win in the Class 1A super-sectional. The Cardinals battle Lewistown (25-7) at noon in the Class 1A semifinals.

Jase Green, a 6-3 senior forward, tallied all 13 of his points in the second half of the super-sectional for Woodlawn. Dawson Verhines, a 6-foot sophomore, added 11 for the Cardinals.

One impressive aspect of Woodlawn's 17-point victory is that its two leading scorers were held to single digits. Bronson Verhines and Casey Hammond average 26 points combined and were held to just 13 in the super-sectional.

Quentin Hatfill and Brent Burrows, a pair of guards, lead Lewistown in the scoring column. The duo combines to score 28 points per game.

Macon Meridian takes on Annawan in the 1:45 p.m. Class 1A semifinal.


Area Hoops Notes: Macomb has special meaning for Brannan

Posted Mar 12, 2009

Twenty-five years after he was a senior guard in the Carrollton High School Hawks’ first and only boys basketball supersectional triumph at Western Hall in Macomb, Tom Brannan was back for another Macomb Supersectional — this time as a coach — on Tuesday night.

The outcome was the same as it was in 1984, but Brannan just wished one more person could have been there.

Brannan, in his 17th season as the boys coach at Marshall on the southeastern edge of Illinois, saw his Lions climb to 31-0 Tuesday with a 65-62 overtime victory over Stanford Olympia in the Class 2A Macomb Supersectional.

A quarter-century before, Brannan scored 12 points for Carrollton in a 67-58 supersectional victory over Havana at WIU. It gave the Hawks their first Class A Elite Eight appearance in Champaign, where they fell to Lena-Winslow 83-53 in the state quarterfinals.
“When I was a high school kid, that place was so darn big,” Brannan said Wednesday, referring to Western Hall. “When you’re older, things change. As a kid, you’re caught in a whirlwind and you pay no attention to what’s going on around you. We just knew we were playing in this big place.

“I’m a little older now, but I’m not sure if I’m any wiser. But it’s really neat.”

Marshall led Olympia 17-2 early but needed a game-tying 3-pointer from junior Taylor Duncan with 5 seconds left in regulation to force overtime. The Lions proceeded to shut out Olympia in the extra 4 minutes.

Tuesday marked Brannan’s second time as an active participant in a Macomb Supersectional, but he has earlier memories of the big fieldhouse on the WIU campus.

“My dad (Joe Brannan) took me to the Macomb Super four or five times before I got to play there,” Brannan said. “He died in 1991. He was the ultimate IHSA fan. He went to every state tournament. I went to my first one when I was in fifth grade, and I didn’t miss one after that.

“Some of my uncles and cousins were there (Tuesday night), and they gave me a big hug. They said, ‘Your dad would be proud of you.’”

For the record, Brannan fouled out of that game against Havana in 1984.

“Stupid reaching fouls,” he said with a laugh.

Heavyweight 2A field

Marshall, No. 6 in the final Associated Press Class 2A state poll, is part of a final four with a combined record of  123-3.

The Lions, making their first final four state appearance in boys basketball, will meet No. 5 Metropolis Massac County (32-1) in the second Class 2A semifinal at 8:15 p.m. Friday in Peoria. No. 2 Winnebago (31-0) faces No. 3 South Holland Seton Academy (29-2) in the first game at 6:30 p.m.

“And they say the team with two losses is the favorite,” said Brannan, referring to a Seton Academy team led by all-staters Jordan Walker (a 6-foot-7 senior) and D.J. Cooper (6-1 senior).

Class 1A Lewistown is the only team making a repeat appearance in Peoria this weekend. The Indians (25-7) meet southern Illinois entry Woodlawn (29-1) at noon on Friday, followed by top-ranked Macon Meridian (29-2) against Annawan (27-6) at about 1:45 p.m.

Rockets search for coach

Rochester principal Dennis Canny said Wednesday that the search continues for a boys basketball coach to succeed Jim Egan, who made this his 14th and final year with the Rockets.

Canny said he hopes to have a candidate to recommend to the Rochester board of education at its April 20 meeting. He was uncertain how many applications have been received by the school district, but applications are still being accepted.

Canny noted there are no teaching positions currently open, although there is an opening for athletics/activities director after Arnie Spiker announced he would not return next year.

“That’s one discussion we’ve been having,” said Canny, referring to an A.D. also serving as head coach. “It could be a possibility.”

Macomb coach Dan Watson, whose name has been connected with the Rochester job ever since Egan announced plans to step down, said Wednesday he has not applied for the job. But Watson, a Williamsville High School graduate, indicated he hasn’t closed the door on the possibility.

“I haven’t ruled it out,” Watson said. “But I have not spoken to anybody at Rochester . . . nobody who’s in charge. I think I’d have to have a couple of conversations with people before I decided (to apply).”

Watson, a physical education teacher at Macomb, said he’s in the process of earning certification to be hired as an athletics director.

Josh Eberling, a mathematics teacher at Rochester who was Egan’s varsity assistant this season, said Wednesday he has applied for the position.

Dave Kane can be
reached at 788-1544.


Marshall and the LIC renaissance

MARSHALL -- The 1980s are fondly remembered by some as a strong era in the Little Illini Conference, a time when several programs were churning out consistently good results in several sports. One of those teams, Martinsville, was cavorting through a regular season undefeated and another, Casey-Westfield’s football and softball teams were bringing home state championships.

In just a few months, the 2008-09 season is doing something for the league’s image that has never been done before. In virtually any other year, Marshall’s basketball rise would be the undisputed highlight. It may yet turn out to be, but for the time being it’s one of many.

Casey advanced to the state football championship for just the second time in school history. Cumberland was in the state volleyball tourney for the first time. One can only imagine what will happen during the spring when a quartet of softball contenders already ranked in the preseason – Casey, Cumberland, Edwards County and Oblong – reach the postseason in separate classes.

Four-class basketball may do wonders for the exposure of previous unknowns, but anyone who has watched Marshall this season realizes that the Lions aren’t your average team. No one in conference history has gone 31 wins into a season without a loss. And the following they have produced goes beyond their northeasternmost location.

Denis Bennett, the coach at Hutsonville-Palestine, played at Marshall and coached at Martinsville. It became clear to him that once Marshall’s unbeaten season took off, a large bandwagon would pursue.

“The one thing that strikes you right away is that they’ve got three players (6-4 senior twins Logan and Lucas Eitel and 6-3 junior Taylor Duncan) that can play anywhere from a point guard position to a center position,” Bennett said. “All three can handle it. They distribute, they can drive, they score in and out, they defend. It was obvious it was going to be a matchup nightmare for anybody who plays this team.”

Bennett is one of those headed to Peoria’s Carver Arena when the Lions face Massac County in the second semifinal at 8:15 p.m. today.

“People from all around the area, you can’t help but get excited for an area school – especially when they get into territory where Marshall’s at,” he said. “It rarely happens. During football, a lot of people got excited about Casey. It’s such a great accomplishment. You don’t just get excited for the community. It’s something to hang their hat on.”

Strikingly, though, Marshall has been one of Class 2A’s most well-kept secrets. It barely ventured into the top five in the state’s poll despite beating one of the most highly regarded teams in the state of Indiana, Terre Haute South, on its home floor in December.

Part of the reason, no doubt, is the school’s location. Few media members from the area participate in the Associated Press’s polling every week. Moreover, it isn’t the first time a unique team from the area has been overlooked.

Nellie Bennett, Denis’s father, coached the 1973 Marshall squad that toppled third-ranked Effingham St. Anthony and top-ranked Lawrenceville to reach the Sweet Sixteen. He fielded a call from a Chicago newspaper expressing surprise after the first win, then a second one before Venice finally ended the run.

Even though he is unable to get to as many games as he used to, Nellie has watched the current group with interest.

“We kept beating everybody for two or there years and we ended up seventh or eighth in the poll and everybody was wondering where we were,” Nellie said. “It was a different situation then. We didn’t have 3-pointers and (Howie) Johnson could make them from everywhere. But these kids are really good and they play so well together. It brings back a lot of memories.”

Kevin Ross has an interesting perspective on current prep basketball events. The former basketball coach, now the principal at Shelbyville High School, played on a 20-win team at Marshall just prior to current coach Tom Brannan’s arrival 17 years ago. He went to college at Millikin, teaming with Shannon Cloyd and Eric Smith, former members of powerful teams at Findlay before its consolidation. Findlay won the state title in 1992; Shelbyville in 1996.

For once, he can share the March Madness experience with his alma mater – although he finds it not unusual to run into people in the hallways who are keeping up with the Clark County school, too. Even his small kids are interested.

He’s seen the guestbook on the “Marshall Assist Club” Web site, organized by Fred Eitel, the father of the twins, and the number of widespread entries it has amassed.

“The best attendance we’ve had at a game (at Shelbyville) since then – there’ve been a few trips to regional finals – the best was the 10-year reunion game that we played on a Sunday afternoon,” Ross said. “The place was packed. Communities want to get a taste of that. They want to see that one more time. The players are community icons, really.

“People were just interested to see those guys that gave them so much joy. It didn’t matter that they were 10 years older and hadn’t laced them up for 10 years.”

He imagines that in 25 years the 2008-09 team will earn something akin to local superstar status. And the fact that its survival has never been guaranteed helps.

When Martinsville soared through its perfect regular season in 1986-87, reaching as high as third in the rankings, it beat the likes of eventual state runnerup Okawville and Madison on the road. But that didn’t prevent it from a heartbreaking loss to Flora in the sectional.

Marshall conquered one historical hazard along the way. In the past, it always seemed, National Trail or North Egypt powers stood in the way. This year it was Tetutopolis. The Lions’ regional championship win was a benchmark.

“The timing has to come together,” Ross said. “The same thing in ‘95-96 at Shelbyville with (Mike) Steers and (Kevin) Herdes and (Todd) Wilderman and (Rich) Beyers and that crew. You can have that kind of success and you’re still going to need a little luck. Take that parallel to Taylor Duncan’s 3 that sent the super-sectional to overtime. (Shelbyville’s) Roger Jones had to hit a turnaround 3 against Nokomis or they were going to be out of the regional. You have these ultra-talented groups, you put yourself in position, you do everything right — you still have to have a little bit of luck on your side.”

Brannan is 339-137 through 17 seasons, suffering just one losing season in 1992-93, his first at the school. In one sense, the community of Marshall has Kevin Ross’s father, Russell, to thank for his presence at the school.

Russell grew up in Carrollton and played with Brannan’s uncle Mike. When Tom turned to coaching after his own prep career at Carrollton, Marshall might have been the furthest thing from his mind, if not for the fact that Russell was the superintendent here.

“My brother recommended Tom when we had a basketball opening,” said Russell, who attends the same church as the Eitel twins, Dustin Morey and freshman Logan Cannady.

Yet it wasn’t the start of Brannan’s prep coaching career. When he first applied at Marshall, he was turned down. Still, he came from a basketball family that lived in Elder, and the Brannan name was legendary in Carrollton. He quickly got another shot.

“He was a little too young at the time, just out of college,” Russell said. “When the opening occurred two or three years later we felt Tom was ready and would be the right man for the job. I knew the potential of the school being a Class A powerhouse at the Class A level. The talent pool was here, the facility was good, the community support was there. It was just ripe for the pickings. It’s been fun to watch him mature over the years.”

Twenty-five years to the day of the 2009 super-sectional at Macomb, Tom Brannan played on the same court when Carrollton advanced to the state finals, a neat aside to the team’s trip to Peoria this year.

Several people from Carrollton made the trip to Macomb to see Marshall and Ross expects “many, many more” at Carver Arena this weekend.

For Brannan himself, it’s been quite the season on more than one level. Few may realize that all of Marshall’s high school programs went unbeaten during the regular season. Some of Marshall’s players have been constants on the Terre Haute AAU circuit. One can only wonder where the school’s first basketball trip to state is about to carry it.

The most important fact in the birth of traditional state powers like Teutopolis or Pinckneyville was their ability to develop players at younger levels. No one is about to confuse Marshall with those longtime powers just yet, but they are heading in the right direction at least.

“That’s pretty elite company,” Brannan said. “That’s great praise. If we can continue to have seasons like this . . . that’s kind of what we strive for.

“As coaches you always catch yourself thinking about the future. Our coaching staff has talked about this is an unbelievable year. This is a great team that we have right now. But I think we’re going to be all right next year.”

Contact Rick Dawson at or 238-6855.


Marshall hopes to buck unbeaten IHSA trend

By Todd Golden
The Tribune-Star

March 12, 2009

Don’t tell the Marshall boys basketball team the odds.
Chances are … they don’t care.
Marshall (31-0) is joined by fellow Class 2A qualifier Winnebago (31-0) as IHSA teams to take an unbeaten record into the state finals in two seasons.
The last team to go to March Madness unbeaten was Nashville in 2007 in the last year of the two-class Class A state finals. The Hornets lost to Teutopolis in the quarterfinals and suffered a fate familiar to unbeaten teams, especially in recent seasons.
Since 1946, when reliable records are available, 43 teams have gone to the IHSA state finals with an unbeaten record regardless of class. Only 16 have emerged unscathed, and only one — Seneca in 2006 — has pulled it off since 1993. A total of 27 teams have had their unbeaten seasons end oh so close to the finish.
Eight of the last nine unbeaten teams to go to Peoria or Champaign have lost.
Marshall coach Tom Brannan isn’t concerned. He said the Lions have not made the unbeaten record a part of their mission as they head to Carver Arena and the state finals for the first time in school history.
“I’ll be totally honest, we know we’re unbeaten, but we don’t talk about it. It’s the furthest thing from our minds,” Brannan said. “We’ve focused on what’s at hand. Defensively, guys are focused on how and who they’re guarding. Offensively, we’re focused on the gameplan. It’s hard not to think we’re unbeaten, but the guys have done a good job dealing with it.”
Brannan credited the intelligence of the Lions in helping them deal with the distractions of being unbeaten. Marshall is also an experienced team that has had success in recent seasons, even if this is their first taste of state-level success.
“If all of that undefeated stuff was the focus, it could get real hairy in your mind,” Brannan said. “These guys have focused on the small things and they’re good at it. I’ve told them if they can do the small things, it takes care of a lot of big things.”
From a local perspective, Marshall will break a long local drought if they win the Class 2A state championship. No team from Clark County has ever won a boys basketball state title. The closest Marshall ever got until now was a supersectional appearance in 1973.
Robinson’s 2002 team that lost in the quarterfinals of the Class A state finals is the only team from Clark, Crawford or Edgar Counties’ Apollo or Little Illini Conference schools that has made it to the state finals since class basketball was adopted in Illinois in 1972.
Between 1956 and 1971, when Illinois had a one-class system with supersectionals, only one area team — Paris in 1971, one of the unbeaten teams that lost in the state finals — made it to the state finals.
Prior to the supersectional era, area teams were frequent visitors to the state finals. Paris won state championships in 1943 and 1947 as the Tigers were a state power in the years before, during and after World War II. The Tigers made 12 of their 13 state finals appearances when it was a 16-team state finals field.
They weren’t alone. Robinson went to the state finals five times in that era, Hutsonville made it twice, Casey went once.
Marshall will leave for Peoria this morning from Marshall by charter. The school will be hosting a sendoff for the team.

Class 2A IHSA State Finals
At Carver Arena, Peoria, Ill.
Winnebago (31-0) vs. South Holland Seton Academy (29-2), 6:30 p.m. (CDT)/7:30 p.m. (EDT)
Metropolis (32-1) vs. Marshall (31-0), 8:15 p.m. (CDT)/9:15 p.m. (EDT)
Third place game, 6:30 p.m. (CDT)/7:30 p.m. (EDT)
Championship game, 8:15 p.m. (CDT)/9:15 p.m. (EDT)

Unbeaten IHSA champions
1944 — Taylorville (45-0)
1950 — Mt. Vernon (33-0)
1953 — LaGrange (29-0)
1958 — Chicago Marshall (31-0)
1961 — Collinsville (32-0)
1970 — LaGrange (31-0)
1972 — Dolton Thornridge (33-0, AA)
1978 — Lockport Central (33-0, AA)
1981 — Quincy (33-0, AA)
1982 — Lawrenceville (34-0, A)
1983 — Lawrenceville (34-0, A)
1984 — McLeansboro (35-0, A)
1986 — Teutopolis (33-0, A)
1990 — Chicago King (32-0, AA)
1992 — Proviso East (33-0, AA)
1993 — Chicago King (32-0, AA)
2006 — Seneca (35-0, A)


Bailey, Korte lead the way for Patriots

By Scott Mees, The Southern
Wednesday, March 11, 2009

CARBONDALE - The Massac County Patriots have been the Class 2A team to beat in the south all season. But they'll be heading north this weekend to Carver Arena in Peoria for the IHSA Class 2A State Boys Basketball Tournament.

The Patriots grabbed a small lead late in the first quarter and never trailed again in a 62-59 victory over Breese Central Tuesday at the Carbondale Class 2A Super-sectional at SIU Arena.

Massac County held a five-point lead at halftime and opened up a double-digit advantage in the third quarter. Dustin Korte buried a triple as Massac County led by eight, 30-22. Moments later, Byron Bailey stole a pass and outraced everyone down the court for a monstrous dunk and a foul.

"We just put together the pieces and pulled it off," Bailey said. "This means everything, and I just can't describe it right now."

Central's Keaton Scheer scored in transition to cut the Massac lead to 10, but Korte followed and hit a 3-pointer from the top of key to give the Patriots a 13-point advantage.

Korte shot 6 of 8 from the field and racked up 18 points in the victory.

"It's really just a mental thing for me," Korte said of nailing 4-of-6 3-point attempts. "I'm really overwhelmed right now."

The Cougars didn't back down and seemed to score at will in the paint at certain points of the game. David Wiegmann, a 6-6 center, stuck in a shot down low to trim the Patriot lead to 49-44 with 3:25 to play.

However, Central couldn't contain Bailey. The senior stuck back his own miss and banked in a shot to put Massac County up by seven with two minutes left in the game.

"They made some runs at us but our kids just seemed to make plays when they needed to," said Massac County coach Joe Hosman. "The biggest key (Tuesday) is they did not kill us on the boards."

Massac County won the rebound battle, 27-22, against a much taller Central squad.

Garrett Gaffner converted a traditional three-point play to pull Central within four points with 1:25 left. But Jarelle Johnson raced past two defenders and passed to Zach Kester in transition. Kester found Corey Ayala for a layup.

"We did make school history but this was still just another game," Johnson said. "We want to win that state championship."

Massac County qualified for the state tournament in 2004. Back then, eight teams from each of the two classes advanced to the event. The Patriots are now in the final four and can do no worse than the fourth-place trophy this weekend.

"I'm just really happy for our community that stuck with me for this many years," Hosman said. "We've had good basketball success. But we've had some teams that I probably should've gotten them there and didn't get there."

Bailey led the Patriots with 19 points, Johnson had 12 and Ayala chipped in 11.

Massac County (32-1) takes on Marshall (31-0) at 8:15 Friday in Peoria.

Massac County 15 10 18 19 - 62

Breese Central 10 10 13 26 - 59

MASSAC COUNTY (62) - Kester 1 0-3 2, Bailey 7 5-9 19, Ayala 3 5-7 11, Johnson 4 4-6 12, Korte 6 2-2 18, Totals 21 16-27 62.

BREESE CENTRAL (59) - Book 4 0-0 10, Gaffner 8 3-5 19, Wiegmann 9 2-3 20, Scheer 4 1-2 10, Totals 25 6-10 59.

3-Point Goals-Massac County 4 (Korte 4); Breese Central 3 (Book 2, Scheer). Team Fouls-Massac County 13, Breese Central 20. Records-Massac County is 32-1.


Seton beats Hales, earns Class 2A Final Four berth

Downstate berth a first since Seton turned coed in '03

By Bob Sakamoto


March 11, 2009


The scene was special Tuesday night as Seton students mobbed their players in celebration at Lewis University in Romeoville.

Seton will be making its first appearance Downstate in any sport since turning coed six years ago after a 69-52 victory over Hales in a Class 2A supersectional.

Seton (29-2) will face Winnebago (30-0) in the 6:30 p.m. semifinal Friday at Carver Arena in Peoria.

"We knew Hales would make a run, so I had to answer back," said Corbin Thomas, who led Seton with 25 points and 12 rebounds. "This is a great feeling — a chance to make history."

Seton has never won a state championship in any sport, boys or girls.

Patrick Miller (21 points, six steals) and Kenneth Rhymes (16 points) ignited a 10-2 run late in the third quarter that brought Hales (13-17) within 51-43. But the Spartans got no closer.

"This is the most excitement I've had in my whole life," said Jordan Walker, who came away with 12 points and 12 rebounds. "We won because of all the teamwork, everyone stepping up as one."

Tony Nixon contributed 12 points and three assists for Seton, while point guard D.J. Cooper added nine points, five assists and five steals.

"I've never had a feeling like this before," Cooper said. "For the four senior starters, this was our last chance to go Downstate."


Lions roar into Final 4

By Gabe House
Macomb Journal


March Madness indeed.
An incredible overtime victory was the exclamation mark on a hard-fought game between the Marshall Lions and the Olympia Spartans. The score alone - a 65-62 slobber knocker - is little indication of the IHSA 2A super sectional played at Western Hall.
"I don't know what to say," said Gerry Thornton, the emotional head coach of Olympia, which finished its season with a 27-5 mark. "That's a great high school basketball game. I'm incredibly proud of these men."
Tom Brannan, Marshall's head coach, was just as flabbergasted.
"Wow. We're going to Peoria," Brannan said breathlessly during the post-game press conference. "I'm caught up here, don't want to cry. We take pride in how hard we work, and we had a goal all year long. I'm so excited for these young men."
The work ethic of the Lions (31-0) was never matter of question. Despite allowing Olympia to rebound from a 19-9 first-quarter deficit, Marshall made the big shots at the right moments, particularly in the case of Taylor Duncan.
Duncan, a junior guard who led the Lions with an astounding 26 points, was the young man who knotted the game at 62 points with just six seconds left in regulation. He would also give Marshall the lead by scoring the first basket in the overtime period.
"I caught the ball ... turned, saw I was open and just fired," Duncan said. "I just took it all in, and that's what a good shooter does."
Duncan's timely shooting kept Marshall's perfect season alive, while Olympia was held scoreless in the overtime period. Brady Cremeens - who gave the Spartans a 58-56 lead on a trey with 3:22 left in the game - had a several open looks in the final four minutes but could not find the bottom of the net.
"They weren't as good of shots as we should have had," Thornton said. "They got the first basket, and then we were back on our heels."
In spite of Olympia's ice-cold opening quarter, the Spartans turned it into a shooter's game with 21-of-49 (43 percent) nailed from the field. Marshall, however, held the edge with a 51-percent, 25-of-49 effort and three players in double-digits. Lucas Eitel (19 points) and Trey Brashear (13) joined Duncan in that vaunted little club.
"These guys have been awesome at playing composed," Brannan said. "They can still do what they need to do."
The Spartans were paced by Cremeens with 17 points, while Trevor Strubhar (13 points), Spencer Pratt (12) and Matt Flynn (11) followed behind with double figures.
As Brannan pointed out, Marshall gets a chance to extend its perfect record in the Final Four in Peoria, while the Spartans of Olympia witnessed a tough end to its season. The Lions, despite the road ahead, may have already played their toughest game of the season - at least, according to Eitel.
"They're in the top five ... no actually the top three," Eitel said. "They played us close, and they have a lot of good shooters. They didn't get down, and they came back. Those are the traits of a good team."


OLYMPIA (27-5) - Frahm 3 3-5 9, Strubhar 6 1-2 13, Pratt 4 2-2 12, Cremeens 5 2-2 17, Flynn 3 3-6 11, Stroud 0 0-0 0, Gaither 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 11-17 62.
MARSHALL (31-0) - Lo. Eitel 0 0-0 0, Lu. Eitel 7 5-8 19, Morey 2 0-1 4, Brashear 5 2-2 13, T. Duncan 10 4-6 26, J. Duncan 1 0-0 3, Cannady 0 0-0 0. Totals 25 6-10 65.
Marshall   19   16   17   10     3  -  65
Olympia     9    24   14   15    0  -  62
Three-point baskets - OHS 9 (Cremeens 5, Pratt 2, Flynn 2), MHS 9 (Lu. Eitel 5, T. Duncan 2, Brashear 1). Fouls - OHS 12, MHS 13.
Officials - Dough Strohm, John  McAvoy Jr., Robert Engel Jr


Marshall wins Super-Sectional in O.T.

THE MARSHALL LIONS won their IHSA 2A Super-Sectional Championship against Stanford-Olympia Tuesday night, 65-62. (T. Cox)

By Terri Cox
Contributing Writer
Published: Wednesday, March 11, 2009
     MACOMB – You can call it destiny or fate. You can say it was luck or that they are just that good. However you say it, the Marshall Lions have advanced to the Final 4 in the IHSA Class 2A state basketball finals, defeating the Spartans of Stanford Olympia Tuesday night in a thrilling 65-62 contest that took an extra period to decide the victor on the campus of Western Illinois University.

    "Wow," said an very emotional Tom Brannan after his team's 31st consecutive win of the season. "We're going to Peoria!"

    "We take a lot of pride in our conditioning and how hard we work throughout the season. When we run our touches during practice, we spell out P-E-O-R-I-A, not in an over confident kind of way, but in a way that we always kept what we were working for in perspective...and here we are.

    "(Stanford) is a great ball club and are tremendous perimeter shooters. We knew they would make runs at us (after we got up by 12 in the first quarter). We kind of played in spurts; we'd let down, then push the pedal, let down, then push the pedal all night long."

    It looked as though the wheels might have fallen off the Mashall Lion Express as the final seconds were ticking quickly off the clock and the Lions were trailing by three points, 62-59. The season was rescued by an offensive board by Trey Brashear with nine seconds on the clock and Brannan quickly called a timeout.

    The coaches drew up a play designed for Lucas Eitel and while he factored heavily in the basket, it was his points. Eitel drew a double team which left Taylor Duncan with a wide open shot; after getting the perfect feed, he found nothing but net to deadlock things at 62-62. A pair of timeouts by the Spartans with :00.6 showing on the clock did not garner any offensive production and an extra frame would be needed.

    Over the next four minutes of play, only three combined points would be scored and all of them came from the hand of Taylor Duncan.

    "I caught a good look," the elder Duncan said of his shot that kept the Lion's season alive. "As a shooter, I just have to know that it's going to go in."

    Logan Eitel, who did not score in the contest, showed exactly how far he was willing to go for his teammates.

    "Logan played the entire game with a possibly broken and dislocated thumb," said Brannan after the game. "We needed his presence on the floor because he calms things down, especially my nerves, when he's out there.

    "When (Lucas and Logan) both had four fouls on them, they played with great composure and were very smart about what they did on the floor. Trey Brasher also stepped up big for us tonight; he is a very good ball player and has a very nice looking shot. During shoot around (before the game) he looked very confident in all he did and that carried over.

    "We've relied on our defense all year and tonight, that's what got us to where we are now. I just can't say enough about this team."

    Olympia coach Gerry Thornton truly believed after his Spartan squad took the lead with just nine second left, they had it won.

    "We had a three point lead and fouls to give," Thornton said. "(Duncan) got the shot off before we could foul him. This was a great high school basketball game and was truly a state tournament level game.

    "It came down to the fact that great players make great plays and (Marshall) did that. I had heard that the Duncan boy was as good or better than the ISU kids, but I really didn't believe it. Based on what I saw tonight, I'd say he's every bit as good and may be better."

    Things started fast and furious for the Lions as they opened up an early 8-0 lead on threes by Lucas Eitel and Brashear and a deuce by Taylor Duncan. A basket by Matt Flynn at the 5:09 mark put the Spartans on the board but a pair of charity tosses by Brashear upped the lead back to eight, 10-2.

    A pair of Taylor Duncan baskets and five consecutive points by Lucas Eitel upped the lead to 19-4 with under two minutes to play in the opening quarter. Olympia closed out the scoring, rattling off five unanswered points to cut the lead to 19-9 after one complete.

    As the second quarter got underway, Flynn started to turn the tides for Olympia, hitting for consecutive threes cut the lead to four, 19-15. Jacob Duncan got in on the action, draining a trey of his own but a jumper by Trevor Strubhar narrowed the led to eight, 22-17. A three ball by Taylor Duncan was matched by Brady Cremeens but a bucket by Brashear made it a seven point Marshall lead with 5:05 in the half.

    The Spartans hit for back-to-back threes by Spencer Pratt and Cremeens then Frahm hit the second of a pair of tosses from the stripe deadlocked things at 27-27, as Brannan signaled for a timeout.

    Following the break in the action, Lucas Eitel hit a pair of shots from beyond the arc to widen the gap to six, 33-27 lead. Olympia's Cremeens matched Eitel's effort and a pair of Taylor Duncan freethrows proved to be the difference in the half as Marshall took a slim 35-33 lead into the locker room.

    Following the break, Marshall came back to the court very focused and got big play out of Dustin Morey and Brasher in the third quarter. Morey converted a pair of offensive boards for points while Brashear added six of the Lions 17 points as Marshall extended their lead to five, 52-47 heading into the final quarter of regulation.

    But Olympia refused to go quietly as they opened up the fourth quarter with five unanswered points to deadlock things at 52-52. The Spartans outscored the Lions 15-10 over the eight minute span, but Taylor Duncan refused to be denied as the junior tallied all 10 points for Marshall including the three pointer that sent the game into overtime.

    Duncan led all scorers with a game high 26 points and handed out seven assists while Lucas Eitel tallied 19 points, seven boards and four blocked shots and Brashear added 13 in the win.

    For Olympia, who concludes their season with a 27-5 record, four players finished in double figures led by Cremeens with 17, followed by Strubhar, Pratt and Flynn who contributed 13, 12 and 11 points respectively. Strubhar pulled down a team high eight caroms in the loss.

    Marshall will now face Metropolis (who defeated Breese Central 62-59) in the 8:15 p.m. semi-final Friday at Carver Arena in Peoria. The winner of that contest will play for the state title at 8:15 p.m. Saturday while the loser will participate in the third place game at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

Marshall  19  16  17  10  3  -65

Olympia    9  24  14  15  0  -62

MARSHALL: Lo. Eitel 0-0-0; Lu. Eitel 7-0-19; Morey 2-0-4; Brashear 5-2-13; T. Duncan 10-4-26; J. Duncan 1-0-3; Cannady 0-0-0; TOTALS 25-6-65

OLYMPIA: Frahm 3-3-9; Strubhar 6-1-13; Pratt 4-2-12; Cremeens 5-2-17; Flynn 3-3-11; Stroud 0-0-0; Gaither 0-0-0; TOTALS 21-11-62

3-point goals: Marshall 9-17 (Lo. Eitel 0-1, Lu. Eitel 5-8, Morey 0-1, Brashear 1-1; T. Duncan 2-4, J. Duncan 1-1; Cannady 0-1); Olympia 9-21 (Frahm 0-2; Pratt 2-3; Cremeens 5-11, Flynn 2-5)

Team Rebounds: Marshall 29 (Lu. Eitel 7, Lo. Eitel 5, Morey 5, Brashear 5, T. Duncan 4); Olympia 26 (Strubhar 8,, Frahm 6, Flynn 5, Pratt 3)

Team Fouls: Marshall 13, Olympia 12

Team Turnovers: Marshall 10, Olympia 10

Olympia falls short

Marshall ends Spartans’ season in Class 2A Macomb Supersectional

Journal Star
Posted Mar 11, 2009


Perfection was too much Olympia.

Marshall (31-0) got all it could handle from the Spartans in winning the Class 2A Macomb Supersectional 65-62 in overtime on Tuesday night at Western Hall.

The Lions will play Metropolis Massac County (32-1) in the 8:15 p.m. semifinal at Carver Arena on Friday night.

“We’re going to Peoria,” said Marshall coach Tom Brannan, who was already wearing a red Marshall Final Four t-shirt in the post-game press conference.

That perfection was tested late in the game by Olympia (27-5). The Spartans took their first lead of the game at the 3:22 mark of the fourth quarter when Brady Cremeens buried a 3-pointer from the right corner.

After Marshall’s Taylor Duncan split a pair of free throws, Trevor Strubhar’s rebound putback gave Olympia a 60-57 advantage with 2:02 remaining.

But the Lions would pull back within 60-59 with 1:31 left thanks to a bunny by Duncan.

With just 37.2 seconds left in regulation, Olympia extended its lead back to three (62-59) off a pair of freebies from Cremeens.

“I thought we had the game won,” Olympia coach Gerry Thornton said. “You’re up three and have two fouls to give. You can foul, foul, foul.”

Olympia would never get a chance to foul. Duncan knocked down a three from the right corner with seven seconds to play.

“I got a pretty look,” the 6-foot-3 junior said. “Turned, saw I was open, fired. You got to know every thing’s going in; that’s what a good shooter does.”

Said Branan about the out of bounds play that got Duncan open, “To be honest, we’ve never ran that play. Ever.”

Spencer Pratt’s baseline jumper fell just off the rim for the Spartans as time expired.

“He got a pretty good poke at it,” Thornton said of Pratt’s last second shot.

In overtime, Olympia went 0-for-5 from the field but still managed to have the ball with :00.6 seconds left. Jordan Gaither’s inbound pass was deflected then stolen as the clock ran out.

It seemed that this game wouldn’t even reach overtime as the Lions jumped ahead 17-2 with just 4:19 into the game. However, the Spartans and Cremeens, in particular, closed that gap in a hurry.

Shooting 0-of-2 from behind the arc in the opening quarter, Olympia turned its long distance plan on in a hurry. Five of the Spartans’ first six field goals came from 3-point land.


Olympia boys come back, fall in overtime of super-sectional

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

MACOMB -- In the words of Olympia High School basketball coach Gerry Thornton, Tuesday’s Western Illinois University Class 2A Super-sectional was a great game ... if you didn’t care who won. | Box scores, schedules and stats

But, alas, a lot of blue-clad fans in the crowd of 1,841 cared deeply, which explained the sting left by a 65-62 overtime loss to unbeaten and No. 6-state ranked Marshall.

No. 10 Olympia heroically dug itself out of a 17-2 hole and twice had a three-point lead in the final two minutes of regulation only to watch Marshall’s Taylor Duncan make like Superman.

Duncan scored his team’s final 13 points en route to a game-high 26. The dagger Olympia will remember was Duncan’s 3-pointer to tie it at 62 with :07 left to force overtime.

The extra-period was all Marshall as the Spartans missed all five of their shots and committed one turnover.

Brady Cremeens, who led Olympia with 17 points, sank two free throws with :37.2 left in regulation to put his team in front, 62-59.

“We’re up three with nine seconds to go, we had four team fouls and two fouls to burn and they got it off before we could get them fouled,” Thornton said. “Duncan made a great shot. Duncan is a tremendous player.”

Thornton had heard Duncan, who came in averaging 16 points, was better than 6-foot-4, Indiana State-bound twins Lucas and Logan Eitel. Lucas Eitel had 19 points, seven boards, four assists and four blocks. Logan Eitel, who played despite a possible broken hand, was held scoreless.

Marshall took control of overtime when Duncan drove the baseline for a basket. He ended the scoring with a free throw with :10.5 left.

“We didn’t get as good of shots in overtime as we should have,” Thornton said. “A lot of times in overtime the first score is so critical. They got us back on our heels a little bit.”

Marshall (31-0), which won its first super-sectional, advanced to face No. 5 Metropolis Massac County (32-1)in Friday’s 8:15 p.m. state semifinal at Peoria.

Olympia ended its second straight Elite Eight trip at 27-5.

“It’s the best season I’ve been a part of,” said Spartan forward Trevor Strubhar, who had 13 points and a game-high eight rebounds. “We have great guys and we all realize the sun is going to come up tomorrow.”

“I’m just amazed at the quality of that basketball game,” added Thornton, whose team shot 43 percent from the field compared to 51 percent for Marshall. “That was truly a state tournament level basketball game.

“I’m incredibly proud of these young men. They are very good basketball players. They are good human beings. They’ve been a joy to coach for three years.”

Marshall had never run the play it used to force overtime.

“We just drew it up,” said Marshall coach Tom Brannan. “He (Duncan) got the look. He buried it. It was awesome.”

Marshall didn’t get the opening tip, but it got hot immediately, sinking seven of its first nine shots to grab a 19-4 lead. Olympia responded with an 11-0 run featuring back-to-back 3-pointers by Matt Flynn to pull within 19-15.

The teams traded baskets until Spencer Pratt and Cremeens drained back-to-back 3-pointers before a Matt Frahm free throw created the first tie at 27-27 with 3:14 left in the half.

On the sprint to intermission, Lucas Eitel converted back-to-back 3-pointers for the Lions before Cremeens sandwiched a pair of 3-pointers around a Duncan free throw as Marshall took a 35-33 lead to the locker room.

Both teams were 7 of 11 (63.6 percent) from 3-point range the first half. Marshall finished 9 of 17 and Olympia 9 of 21.

“They are such a great perimeter shooting team,” Brannan said. “That’s what they’ve done the last couple years.”

The Lions led all of the third quarter with help from six points by Trey Brashear, who finished with 13, seven over his average.

Olympia got its first lead when Cremeens’ 3-pointer made it 58-56 with 2:00 left. He was joined in double figures by Pratt with 12 and Flynn with 11. Frahm added nine points, six boards and four steals.

“They played us real close even though we started out really well,” Lucas Eitel said. “That’s the trait of a really good team that they came back. They’ve got a lot of really good shooters. I would say they are definitely top three (among teams we’ve played), maybe the best.”


Illinois Class 2A Super-sectional; Lions move to 31-0 with 65-62 victory; reach Final Four in Peoria

By Craig Pearson
The Tribune-Star

Macomb, Ill. March 11, 2009

Marshall High School’s boys basketball players spelled the name of the city hundreds of times this season, saying each letter as they reached the progression of lines on the court for suicide drills.
Marshall needed overtime Tuesday against Stanford Olympia, but the Lions prevailed 65-62 to reach the Class 2A state semifinals in Carver Arena at Peoria. Marshall (31-0) will face Massac County on Friday night.
“We finally got our goal,” senior Logan Eitel said on the court in Western Hall on Tuesday after putting on a pre-made “Marshall Final Four” T-shirt.
Junior Taylor Duncan made the victory possible by swishing a 3-pointer from the corner with five seconds left in regulation to send the contest to OT. Marshall’s team defense stepped it up a notch in overtime, holding the Spartans without a point in the extra period.
“We’ve never run that play,” Marshall coach Tom Brannan said of the game-tying shot. “We just drew it up. We had a double screen. We had Lucas coming up through the double [to the top of the key] and we had Taylor coming off. Taylor got the look and he buried it, baby. That was awesome.”
“I caught it, got a pretty good look, Logan gave me a good pass. You’ve got to know everything’s going in. That’s what a shooter does,” Duncan said.
Duncan scored eight points in the final four minutes of regulation and he came up with the only field goal of overtime by anyone in an otherwise well-executed offensive contest. The left-handed Duncan spun to his right toward the baseline and laid it in with 3:10 left in OT. Duncan knocked down the first of a one-and-one to give the Marshall a 3-point cushion, but neither he nor Dustin Morey could hit another foul shot to make it a two-possession game.
Still, the Marshall defense stood its ground, pressuring Stanford Olympia sharpshooter Brady Cremeens.
Lucas Eitel led the Lions out to an outstanding first quarter as both teams settled in at well above 50-percent shooting in the first half.
After pulling ahead 17-2 by the 2:44 mark of the first period, Marshall allowed Cremeens to catch fire. Cremeens pulled the Spartans within 27-26 midway through the second quarter.
After Lucas Eitel drilled his fourth triple of the first half, Cremeens hit his third of the half to make it 35-33 at the break.
Both teams played outstanding first halves offensively: The Lions went 12 for 21 from the field for 57.1 percent and the Spartans 12 for 22 for 54.5 percent. Lucas Eitel’s 14 points and Taylor Duncan’s 11 accounted for 25 of the Lions’ 35 in the half.
“They’ve got a lot of great shooters,” Lucas Eitel said. “They’re definitely top three as far as teams we’ve played [this season].”
Logan Eitel was held scoreless throughout the game. He played through an injured thumb that he hurt in the game’s opening minutes going for a loose rebound. The senior still contributed four assists, including the in-bound pass to Duncan for the game-tying basket.
“I jammed my thumb like the third or fourth play on defense. I swiped up on a rebound and jammed it into the ball,” Logan Eitel said. “The rest of the game I was struggling to catch the ball, I just tried to stay in there and do what I could, grab some rebounds, play some defense.”
Senior Trey Brashear also knocked down several clutch shots from the outside. Brashear was perfect all-around Tuesday, hitting all five of his field-goal attempts and both free throws. One of Marshall’s defensive stalwarts, Brashear also clamped down on Cremeens in the overtime as Olympia tried in vein to get him free.
Taylor Duncan, whose brother Jacob Duncan added a first-half 3-pointer, also held Olympia’s leading scorer Matt Frahm to nine points on 3-for-8 shooting.
“It’s just great team defense, but I do take a lot of pride in shutting down an opponent’s top scorer,” Duncan said.
Duncan, whom Olympia coach Gerry Thornton said he was warned about being every bit as talented as the Indiana State-bound Eitel twins, was not surprised how Olympia battled back and played better defense in the second half.
“They’re a good team and they stepped it up defensively in the second half. In the end, we just played tougher, I guess,” Duncan said.


Marshall’s success is a family affair

By Craig Pearson
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE March 10, 2009

In four years as starters for coach Tom Brannan at Marshall, twin brothers Lucas and Logan Eitel have compiled a 90-25 record (.783).
A majority of the losses came during a 16-14 campaign during the twins’ sophomore season, and that season also included what Brannan refers to as a “turning point” for the program.
In a game at Lawrenceville, Brannan and assistant coaches Pat Duncan and Chris Kessler blasted the Lions at halftime.
“It was a game we won, but we played unbelievably soft so there was kind of a blow-up at halftime,” Brannan recalled this weekend as his team prepared for tonight’s super-sectional game at Macomb, Ill. On the bus ride home, Brannan, Duncan and Kessler talked about the future.
“We are going to start playing tough basketball. We are going to be the best-conditioned team,” Brannan said of that conversation.
“The time [for playing soft] is over. From that point on, we made it a prerogative to play intense, fierce tough, tough basketball.”
In addition to the role Pat Duncan would fill in piloting the return to an emphasis on conditioning, Duncan’s two sons have helped make this the best season in Marshall basketball history.
A letterwinner for the Indiana State football team from 1983-86, Pat Duncan went on to become a drill instructor in the U.S. Army.
“Conditoning’s a factor you can control,” assistant coach Duncan said. “We did a lot more running, more full-court drills, lots of push-ups, weight lifting. We started kettle-bell conditioning [a popular total-body cardio/muscle workout].”
“When [Brannan] was a younger coach, he had put more emphasis on conditioning,” Duncan added. “We just got to talking about how we were pretty athletic and we needed to start playing more man-to-man, running the court and getting out of the half-court game.”
These days, the Lions break from every team huddle with “play tough.”
Taylor Duncan, a junior averaging 16 points, five rebounds and two steals, and Jacob Duncan, a freshman sharpshooter averaging 6 ppg, fit right into that mode of the toughness Marshall has shown to become an undefeated basketball team.
Taylor, a left-handed shooter who’s already getting college attention for his ability to throw a football, is listed as one of Marshall’s four starting guards, but his strength and athleticism make him a versatile defender.
“I believe he is the best defender in the state,” Brannan said. “No. 1, his versatility: he can guard big, he can small. No. 2, his toughness: he’s physical, he’s determined to stop his man.”
Brannan saw that determination in action last week in the first-round regional game against Robinson. With five seconds left, Marshall led by nine and Ben Jones of Robinson sized up Taylor and tried to drive to the hoop.
“Taylor was bound and determined to stop him, he barely fouled him,” Brannan said. “I just love that mindset of ‘I don’t care if we’re up nine, I’m going to stop him.”
In that game, Duncan drew four charging calls on the Maroons: two on 6-foot-11 Illinois recruit Meyers Leonard, one on Stephen Jones and one on Ben Jones.
On the offensive end, Taylor has the deft passing skills that all the Lions seem to possess, but it’s his ability to penetrate that causes the most problems for defenses.
“I try to attack the basket,” Taylor Duncan said. “I’m not a bad outside shooter, but I like trying to muscle around a little bit. I just try to use my strength — I wouldn’t consider myself a big man.”
“Me and the twins been playing together for how many years in the summers and everything,” Taylor added. “It just comes with experience and knowing what each other can do. We just try to spread it out, get to the basket.”
As for the youngest Duncan, Jacob has not lost a basketball game since 2007. His eighth grade team suffered just the one loss to Charleston early in that season, going on to win a state championship.
The freshman was unsure how big a role he would play as he watched the Lions’ varsity squad rack up 25 victories last season.
But Jacob had his coming out party on a big stage, drilling five 3-pointers in a tightly contested matchup with Rockville in the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic. It was Lucas Eitel’s runner at the buzzer that allowed Marshall’s tourney run to continue, but without Duncan’s poise under pressure, Brannan wonders how things would be different if Marshall had lost that game to Rockville.
“That’s a turning point in our season,” Brannan said. “[The Rox] had us on the ropes … Jacob made some huge shots.
“What’s happening now might not have ever happened. We probably wouldn’t be ranked and [wouldn’t be] undefeated.”
Jacob drained three 3-pointers in the final three minutes of the first quarter of Friday’s sectional title victory over Paris. He had his feet set and ready to shot all three times without hesitation.
“In practice before that, I said ‘Jacob, you’re doing a good job, but it looks like you’re not prepared to shoot. You’re a shooter, you can’t be catching it and thinking about it before you shoot,’ Brannan said. “In the game the next day [against Paris], you saw those feet were set. He was ready to go.”
Jacob credits his smooth accurate release to “repetition.”
“What I’m amazed about is the confidence level that Jacob comes in and plays with,” Brannan said. “He’s not afraid to take the big shot, and he will make the big shot. When that shot goes up you know [if it’s good] — and it echoes around the bench — ‘that one’s in.’ ”
More than anything else, Jacob is impressed by the ability of the Marshall upperclassmen to “keep everybody on the same page and keep everybody calm.
“It’s really fun to play with them,” he said. “We all play so good together, have really good chemistry and can read each other really well.”


Tigers lose sectional championship to undefeated Marshall Lions, 62-30

Avery Mason (A. Kennedy)

Sports Editor
Published: Monday, March 9, 2009
    ROBINSON – The Marshall Lions defeated the Paris Tigers in the IHSA 2A Robinson sectional championship game Friday night, 62-30.

    Marshall broke the game open early, scoring 24 points in the opening quarter, while knocking down five 3-pointers in the period. The Lions hit four 3-pointers in a row, turning a 5-1 lead halfway through the quarter into a 14-1 lead just two and a half minutes later. 

    Lucas Eitel got the run going, making the first Marshal three with 4:21 left in the first. After Paris turned the ball over on a travel call, Taylor Duncan hit another 3-pointer for the Lions. Paris sophomore Dalten Temples attempted to answer with a three of his own, but missed. Marshall’s Jacob Duncan then knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers in a span of 25 seconds, prompting a Paris timeout. The younger Duncan would add another 3-pointer before the period ended, capping a 10-point run for the Lions.

    Marshall was up 24-5 after one quarter of play.

    The Tigers were not able to climb out of the early hole, scoring just seven points in the next two quarters while the Lions built a 47-19 lead by the end of the third.

    “They have seven or eight guys who can score,” Paris head coach Terry Elston said after the game. “That’s hard to defend. Most teams maybe have two or three guys, but when they bring guys off the bench that are hitting those outside shots, you’ve got to guard everybody. You’ve got two Missouri Valley Conference players [Logan and Lucas Eitel] going to the rim and then kicking it out. That makes it tough for us.”

    The Tigers struggled to get anything going on offense. The two leading scorers for the Tigers in their semifinal win over Unity, Chase Brinkley and Temples, combined for only three points Friday night.

    The loss to Marshall was a departure from the excellent basketball the Paris Tigers played to end their season. Paris survived an early scare to the Westville Tigers in the first round of the Bismarck regional, to go on and beat a tough St. Joseph team in overtime for the championship. The Tigers then dismantled a good Tolono-Unity team in the first round of the Robinson sectional.

    Paris was eliminated from the playoffs in the sectional championship round against an undefeated Marshall team that won 29 straight going into the contest, and had been ranked in the top 10 of Illinois 2A schools for most of the season.

    I can’t express enough how proud I am of our kids,” Elston added. “To be in the sweet 16 and be 17-12 and, in my opinion, we played the best team in the state tonight... We gave it our best. They are just a phenomenal team, and we wish them the best as they go forward.”

    Marshall will now travel to Western Illinois University in Macomb Tuesday, March 10 to face Olympia at 7:30 p.m. in the IHSA 2A super-sectional round.

    The sectional title is the first captured by the Marshall Lions since 1973.

    “Everybody stepped up,” Marshall head coach Tom Brannon said of his team’s win. “If you put in the work in the summertime and if you shoot thousands of shots, we’re going to give you the time to shoot, and that’s what we did. If you’re open, shoot it. That’s kind of our philosophy, but you’ve got to put the work in to do that.”

    The Lions were connecting when they did shoot, hitting nearly 50 percent from the field and making eight of 20 3-point attempts. Paris struggled, making just eight of 36 attempts from the field and one 3-pointer out of 16 attempts. The poor shooting percentages were a direct result of a harassing Marshall defense, that recorded 10 steals in the game.

    Paris was led in scoring by senior Johnnie Dayton, who had seven points. Zach Henn added six points and Taylor Haddix added four.

    “It’s a sad deal,” Elston said of coaching his nine seniors for the last time. “Those seniors have given their all to the program these last two years. They’ve done everything that I’ve asked them to do. They’ve been very good with our underclassmen and gracious in helping them. You hate to lose seniors, especially this group. This is a special group,” Elston emphasized. “They made the playoffs in football for the first time. It’s been several years since Paris has made a ‘Sweet 16’ appearance, so they’re going to go down in school history for doing that. We know that we’re going to have to work with the younger kids that got some experience today. They got a taste of that sectional final, so that’ll help us build for next year, so we can get our program to where Marshall is at now.”

    Lucas Eitel led the Lions with 16 points, followed by Logan Eitel with 13. Taylor Duncan added another 13 points, while Jacob Duncan finished with nine.

    Before the start of Friday’s championship game, Temples made the cut for the next round of the IHSA 3-point Showdown. Temples made 10 of his 15 attempts. Olney’s Brandon Berry had the best score of the round, making 13 threes.


PHS       5    7      7    11    -30

MHS    24    8    15    15    -62

PARIS                 MARSHALL

J. Dayton    7        Lu. Eitel    16

Z. Henn    6          Lo. Eitel    13

T. Haddix    4       T. Duncan    13

A. Mason    2       J. Duncan    9

D. Temples    2    T. Brashear    4

J. Griffin    2        D. Morey    4

L. Henness    2    L. Cannady    2

E. Mason    2

C. Brinkley    1

J. Ball    1

J. Hollis    1

Undefeated Marshall takes its show to Macomb, Ill., on Tuesday to face Olympia

By Andy Amey
The Tribune-Star

March 09, 2009

Tom Brannan and Gerry Thornton agreed on at least two things in separate telephone conversations Sunday with the Tribune-Star.
The Illinois Class 2A Macomb Super-Sectional high school basketball game at 7:30 p.m. CDT Tuesday night between Brannan’s Marshall Lions and Thornton’s Stanford (Olympia) Spartans will be a lot of fun.
And it might even be more fun if it weren’t at Macomb.
Marshall will leave at 10 a.m. Tuesday by chartered bus for the long ride to Western Illinois University, breaking up the trip with a lunch stop at Springfield. The Lions will have a walk-through practice at Macomb High School, then have a place to rest prior to the game that sends the winner to Friday’s Class 2A Final Four at Peoria.
The Lions will be fed on the bus during their ride home, Brannan added. Although their arrival at Marshall isn’t expected to be until at least 3 a.m. Wednesday, the team has been given permission to delay its arrival at school that day until 10.
But at least it’s not supposed to snow.
“We played Olney last year [at the Macomb Super-Sectional], and there was a blizzard that day,” Thornton recalled. “It took them eight hours to get here.”
Although Stanford is a mere 90 minutes from Macomb, Thornton — whose team lost that game to Olney a year ago — isn’t a fan of the site either.
“I just wish we were playing somewhere besides Western Illinois,” he said Sunday. “Last year we had to take our own balls [for practice], and there was only one shower.”
The Spartans were something of a surprise participant in last year’s super-sectional, Thornton noted.
“We’d finished fifth in our league [the Corn Belt Conference] and had only one senior, but we caught lightning in a bottle,” the coach said. “This year [and its success] was kind of expected; we had five of the top six kids back, and we won our league for the first time in 15 years.”
Olympia’s five starters are led by 6-foot-6 guard Matt Frahm, 6-0 guard Brady Cremeens and 6-0 guard Matt Flynn, all seniors and all double-figure scorers. Frahm also leads the team in rebounds and ranks second in assists.
Junior point guard Spencer Pratt, another 6-footer, and 6-2 center Trevor Strubhar complete the starting lineup, and all five of its members were also members of the 2008 Class 2A state championship baseball team at the school.
“They’ve been in big games, and played better in the sectional atmosphere [last week],” Thornton said. “We’re very balanced; all five have been the leading scorer at one time or another.”
Tuesday’s matchup looks intriguing, with nine of the 10 expected starters all listed as guards. Marshall, with 6-4 senior twins Logan and Lucas Eitel plus 6-3 junior Taylor Duncan, 6-2 senior Trey Brashear and 6-5 junior Dustin Morey, calls its lineup a five-guard unit and three more backcourt players — 6-0 freshmen Jacob Duncan and Logan Cannady and 5-9 senior Ethan Delp — are first off the bench.
“[The Spartans] are a perimeter-oriented team,” Brannan agreed. “Four guys who can score on the perimeter, who can put the ball on the floor and who can shoot 3-pointers. Frahm is the school’s all-time leading scorer, so he’s been doing it for awhile, and they are well coached and disciplined.”
Marshall, at 30-0, has the better record of the two, and one of the losses by the 27-4 Spartans came against a St. Joseph-Ogden team that the Lions beat handily.
“[The Lions] know what the scores are; anybody can get on the internet and find them,” Brannan said, “but we know that’s now how things work.
“We have to play the way we’ve been playing, play the right way,” he continued. “Defending is our No. 1 priority, and rebounding will be a determining factor. We have to keep [the Spartans] off the glass and take care of the ball.”
The Lions responded to their own sectional test in fine fashion, overcoming a deficit that lasted the first three quarters to beat Robinson on its own court, then throttling a red-hot Paris team.
“That’s what has to happen this time of year,” Brannan said, “different people stepping up in different ways … it was definitely a team effort that put us where we are now.”
“I told people last week [before the sectionals were played] that [the Lions] might be the best 2A team in the state,” Thornton said. “It’s a real honor to play such a great team.”


 Spartans Super: Olympia boys advance to 2A super-sectional

Saturday, March 7, 2009

RIVERTON -- Coach Gerry Thornton and his Olympia High School basketball team just want to spend as much time together as possible. By playing together in Friday night’s Riverton Class 2A Sectional final to down Decatur St. Teresa, 68-58, the Spartans are guaranteed another four days of fun. | Box scores, schedules and stats | Olympia season photo gallery

“I just want to spend one more week with them,” Thornton said. “I told them before the game started, I was proud to be their coach and wanted one more week. So we’ve got a half a week. Now we have to work on a full one.”

No. 10-state ranked Olympia (27-4) will face 6-foot-4, Indiana State-bound twins Logan and Lucas Eitel and No. 5 Marshall (30-0) in Tuesday’s 7:30 p.m. Macomb Super-sectional.

“We’ve been there before,” said Thornton, whose Elite Eight team last year lost to Olney East Richland in the Macomb Super-sectional. “Marshall has an outstanding ballclub. They might be the best team in the state. They are tremendous, but we’ve got a lot of guts and heart ourselves.”

Olympia, which won its fourth sectional in school history, displayed its usual balance as Matt Frahm, now up to a school record 1,431 career points, scored 22 to go with 13 rebounds while Brady Cremeens had 16 points, Spencer Pratt 13 and Trevor Strubhar 12. Cremeens sank five 3-pointers.

“I’m just thrilled for our kids,” Thornton said. “It’s been a joy this year.”

Olympia got off to a slow start as it did in Wednesday’s win over Pleasant Plains, falling behind 11-6 and 14-9 before Pratt followed his 3-pointer with a three-point play to put the Spartans in front, 15-14, at the quarter break.

The defensive pressure displayed early by the Bulldogs (22-7) was at a level few teams could maintain.

“They really came at us hard early,” Thornton said. “I told the kids at halftime, I thought we’d score (well) the second half. It’s hard to try to sustain that kind of defensive energy for 32 minutes.”

St. Teresa, led by 10 first-half points from Nick Sanford, stayed with Olympia and even led, 21-20, after the last of Preston Shelley’s three first-half 3-pointers.

The Spartans used a zone to open some daylight with a 9-2 run to end the second quarter. Frahm, who scored eight second-period points, led off with a driving 4-footer.

Pratt then made back-to-back steals to set up his own three-point play ahead of a Frahm rebound basket. Sanford and Frahm traded baskets to end the half with Olympia up, 29-23.

“These kids are gritty,” said Thornton, whose team scored a dozen points on putbacks and finished with a 28-24 advantage on the boards.

Sanford finished with 19 points while St. Teresa’s lone senior, Chris Harter, had 12 and Shelley 11.

“They have six guys and they can all shoot, do drives, kicks ...,” said St. Teresa coach Bill Ipsen. “They hit some big 3s. We knew they were going to hit 3s.

“When they went to the zone at the end of the second quarter, that’s where I thought we kind of lost it.”

“I thought we came out with a little more power,” Strubhar said. “I thought we wanted it more.”

Frahm opened the second half with back-to-back 15-foot jumpers to make it 33-23.

St. Teresa never got closer than 35-29 in the third quarter and never got closer than 64-56 in the fourth.

“None of us want to end it,” said Frahm, who guarded Sanford part of the second half.

“I thought Matt Frahm was special tonight,” Thornton said. “I thought he played like a first-team all-state player, offensively, defensively and on the boards.”

Olympia finished 12 of 22 at the line, which included a shaky 5 of 8 stretch the final 2:22.

“The only real disappointment was we missed so many free throws down the stretch,” Thornton said. “We are good free throw shooters.”


Olympia feels super after sectional

Spartans defeat St. Teresa, 68-58, to make Macomb Supersectional

of the Journal Star
Posted Mar 07, 2009


Matt Frahm could not keep from smiling.

But the Olympia senior forward was nearly at a loss for words Friday after the Spartans powered to a 68-58 boys basketball victory over Decatur St. Teresa in the Class 2A Riverton Sectional championship.

"It feels great — almost indescribable right now,'' said Frahm, who had 22 points and 14 rebounds to help Olympia to its second consecutive sectional title. "We played hard, and everybody deserves it."

With the victory, Olympia (27-4) advances to a Macomb Supersectional date Tuesday with Marshall, a 62-30 Robinson Sectional winner against Paris.

Frahm, who became the Spartans' all-time scoring leader in the sectional semifinals, played big when it counted against St. Teresa (22-7).

After missing his first three shots, Frahm finally got on the board with 2:27 left in the second quarter with a bucket that gave Olympia a 22-21 advantage. He capped the 9-2 spurt to end the half with a fallaway jumper that gave Olympia a 29-23 cushion at the break.

Frahm, who made eight of his last nine shots, scored the first four points of the second half as Olympia pushed the lead to double figures. Then teammate Brady Cremeens went to work from the outside. Cremeens (16 points) hit a trio of 3-pointers, the last of which gave Olympia a 51-37 edge heading into the final period.

"They really came at us hard early and had great defensive intensity," Olympia coach Gerry Thornton said about St. Teresa, which forced nine Olympia first-half turnovers. "I told our kids at halftime I thought we'd score a little more in the second half. It's hard to sustain that defensive energy for 32 minutes.''

Frahm scored 14 of his game-high total in the second half and frustrated St. Teresa scoring leader Nick Sanford (19 points), who had just three points in the third quarter after going 5-for-5 from the field early.

"I thought Matt Frahm was special tonight,'' Thornton said. "He played like a first-team all-state player offensively, defensively and on the boards, his leadership — the whole package.''

St. Teresa managed to pull to 64-56 with 1:32 on a Preston Shelley (11 points) bucket but could get no closer — despite Olympia missing seven fourth-quarter free throws.

"I thought we came out with a little more power, and I thought we wanted it more," said Olympia senior Trevor Strubhar, who finished with 12 points and nine boards.

Strubhar particularly praised Frahm's efforts.

"He's amazing," Strubhar said of Frahm, who was a member of Olympia's Class 2A state championship baseball team last spring. "He just gets better every game. He's a workaholic. He's our team leader, and he'll continue to be our team leader, hopefully to Peoria (for the state finals)."

Stan Morris can be reached at 686-3214 or


Marshall rolls over Paris for Sectional crown

Daily News

Monday, March 09, 2009

The undefeated season continues for the Marshall Lions, as they blitzed Paris, 62-30, to win the Class 2A Robinson Sectional Friday night.

With the win, the Lions, who are 30-0 now on the season, advance to Tuesday night's Macomb SuperSectional on the campus of Western Illinois University, where they will meet Stanford Olympia, a 68-58 winner over Decatur St. Teresa in the Riverton Sectional final. The SuperSectional appearance is just the second in school history for Marshall, with the other coming in the 1972-73 season. Also, this year's Lions squad has now advanced further than any other in school history, as they are among just eight teams remaining in Class 2A, while the Lions' other SuperSectional team was a Sweet 16 squad in the old two-class system.

Both teams got off to a bit of a sluggish start, as the game was tied, 1-1, for the first few minutes, but it was all Marshall after that. The Lions built an 8-1 advantage with just over three minutes to play in the opening quarter, but then went on a 16-4 run over those final three minutes to build a 24-5 bulge after the first eight minutes.

The game was never in doubt after that, as Marshall outscored Paris 8-7 in the second quarter to take a 32-12 lead at halftime and the Lions erased any thoughts of a Paris comeback by outscoring the Tigers 15-7 in the third quarter for a 47-19 cushion after three quarters en route to the blowout win.

Marshall made nearly half of their shots in the game, as they connected on 23-48 field goals (48 percent), including 15-28 (54 percent) from two-point range and eight of 20 (40 percent) from three-point range. The Lions were also eight of 13 (62 percent) from the free throw line. Paris, meanwhile, struggled to find the hoop all night, as they made just eight of 36 shots from the floor (22 percent), including a paltry one of 16 (6 percent) from beyond the arc. The Tigers made 13-24 attempts (54 percent) from the charity stripe.

Three players reached double figures for the Lions, led by Lucas Eitel with 16 points. He also had five assists, four rebounds and four steals. His twin brother, Logan Eitel, posted 13 points, three rebounds, two assists, one steal and one blocked shot, while Taylor Duncan netted 13 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals. Jacob Duncan, a freshman, added nine points, all on three-pointers, and two rebounds, Dustin Morey registered five points and two rebounds, Trey Brashear chipped in four points, five rebounds, three steals and an assist and Logan Cannady had two points, three rebounds and one assist.

No player scored in double digits for Paris, as they were led by John Dayton with seven points, two assists and one rebound. Zach Henn accounted for six points and one assist, Taylor Haddix totaled four points and four rebounds, Avery Mason recorded two points, six rebounds and one assist and Josh Griffin and Logan Henness had two points and two rebounds apiece. Dalten Temples chipped in with two points and one rebound, Ethan Mason scored two points, Chase Brinkley had one point, two rebounds, one assist and one steal, Jason Hollis had one point and one rebound and Logan Spung had one point and one steal.

The Tigers finished the season 17-12.

2009 Class 2A

Boys Basketball Sectional

At Robinson

Paris 5 7 7 11 - 30

Marshall 24 8 15 15 - 62

PARIS (30)

John Dayton 1-3 1-3 2-2 7, Zach Henn 3-5 0-0 0-0 6, Taylor Haddix 0-1 0-2 4-7 4, Avery Mason 1-2 0-0 0-1 2, Dalten Temples 0-2 0-7 2-2 2, Josh Griffin 1-2 0-0 0-0 2, Logan Henness 1-1 0-0 0-0 2, Ethan Mason 0-0 0-1 2-2 2, Jason Hollis 0-0 0-0 1-2 1, Chase Brinkley 0-2 0-3 1-3 1, Logan Spung 0-0 0-0 1-2 1, Zach Walls 0-2 0-0 0-0 0, Jordan Ball 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Kody Waggoner 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Josh Cary 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, TOTALS 7-20 2FG, 1-16 3FG, 13-24 FT, 30 TP.


Lucas Eitel 4-8 2-5 2-2 16, Logan Eitel 3-6 1-3 4-6 13, Taylor Duncan 5-6 1-2 0-0 13, Jacob Duncan 0-0 3-4 0-0 9, Dustin Morey 0-2 1-2 2-4 5, Trey Brashear 2-3 0-1 0-0 4, Logan Cannady 1-3 0-1 0-1 2, Ethan Delp 0-0 0-1 0-0 0, Jake Tucker 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Jordan Grooms 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Joey Francis 0-0 0-1 0-0 0, Tyler Bishop 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Dalton Sanders 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, TOTALS 15-28 2FG, 8-20 3FG, 8-13 FT, 62 TP.

Turnovers - PHS 16, MHS 12. Team fouls - PHS 17, MHS 20. Fouled out - none. Technical foul - none. Rebounds - (PHS 23) A. Mason 6, Haddix 4, Griffin 2, Henness 2, Brinkley 2, Ball 2, Dayton, Temples, Hollis, Walls. (MHS 30) T. Duncan 6, Brashear 5, Lu. Eitel 4, Lo. Eitel 3, Cannady 3, J. Duncan 2, Morey 2, Tucker 2, Francis. Steals - (PHS 3) Brinkley, Spung, Walls. (MHS 10) Lu. Eitel 4, Brashear 3, T. Duncan 2, Lo. Eitel. Assists - (PHS 6) Dayton 2, Henn, A. Mason, Temples, Brinkley. (MHS 12) Lu. Eitel 5, T. Duncan 3, Lo. Eitel 2, Brashear, Cannady. Blocked shots - (MHS 1) Lo. Eitel.

Next game - Marshall (30-0) will play Stanford Olympia in the Macomb SuperSectional on the campus of Western Illinois University Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. Paris finished the season 17-12.

Three-Point Showdown Advancers - Brandon Berry (Olney) 13, Paul Knapp (Flora) 10, James Jansen (Effingham St. Anthony) 10, Dalten Temples (Paris) 10.

Undefeated Marshall Lions take Sectional Championship

The IHSA Class 2A Sectional Champion Marshall Lions capture the moment for posterity after earning their first Elite 8 basketball berth in school history Friday night, defeating the Paris Tigers 62-30 in Robinson. (Terri Cox Photo)

Travel to Western Illinois University Tuesday to face Stanford Olympia

By Terri Cox
Contributing Writer
Published: Saturday, March 7, 2009
ROBINSON -- The Marshall Lions made it perfectly clear from the opening tip that their sectional championship match-up against Paris would only have one thing in common with their semi-final game -- it was a win.

After falling behind and struggling to catch up for three quarter of their thrilling 79-70 win over Robinson, it was as though the Lions had vowed to not make that mistake twice in one week. And they didn't.

Dustin Morey hit for 2-of-4 attempts from the stripe in the opening minutes of play as the Lions clung to a slim 2-1 lead. But over the next 2:14, Marshall drained four treys, including a pair by freshman Jacob Duncan to build a solid 14-1 lead and they never looked back.

Even as impressive as the offense appears to have been it was the defense that had people talking as Marshall contested nearly every shot and battled for every board on both ends of the court. In an almost business like approach, the Lions stayed far away from the peaks and valleys that often accompany high school sports.

"Our goal was to jump out on them early," said senior Trey Brashear. "We knew if we could get them frustrated, they'd get away from their game plan and that would open the door for us."

That course of action proved successful for the Lions as their defense was relentless, holding a productive Paris offense to a mere five points in the first quarter and only 12 points in the first half.

And unlike Tuesday's edge of your seat performance by the Lions in the second half, Friday night's final 16 minutes of regulation were anti-climatic in comparision as Marshall looked for ways to run down the seconds instead of putting up points. When the final buzzer sounded both sides had emptied their benches giving everyone the opportunity to experience the feel of the court in a sectional championship game.

While the Marshall crowd was savoring the moment for all it was worth as they stood collectively around the gym floor as group pictures were snapped and the nets were cut down, coach Tom Brannan, his staff and the Lion players were already turning their sights to the next task at hand.

"It's just another step," added Logan Eitel in between requests for pictures and amid autograph requests. "Every game is just about getting to that next game."

Brannan's son, Kobe, was walking around the gym floor with one of the nets hung around his neck and his hands firmly holding the sectional plaque.

"What an awesome feeling," Brannan said as he surveyed the scene with the game ball tucked securely under his arm. "I don't think there are words to truly describe it.

"Our defense was definately 'lights out' tonight and that's what brings home the big trophies. We're going to enjoy this one tonight, and tomorrow, we'll be hunting down game film on Standford Olympia (the Lion's next opponent.)"

After the game, as the group posed for one last group picture, there was very little show of emotion because they understand there is still much to be accomplished.

"Tomorrow, it's back to work," Brashear concluded.

The Lions will travel to Western Illinois University in Macomb on Tuesday where they will face Stanford Olympia at 7:30 p.m. for the right to play in the trophy round at Peoria's Carver Center next weekend in the state finals. For those unable to make the trip, the game will be broadcast live on WMMC 105.9.

Dream season continues: Marshall wins sectional

By Craig Pearson
The Tribune-Star

ROBINSON, ILL. March 07, 2009

Paris could count on one hand the number of open shots it had Friday against Marshall in high school basketball, the Tigers seeming to constantly hear footsteps of a Marshall defender approaching.
The result was an 8-for-33 shooting night for Paris and a Marshall rout by the score of 62-30 in the Class 2A Robinson Sectional title game. The Lions improved to 30-0 on the season, and coach Tom Brannan’s squad is one of just eight remaining in Class 2A — the farthest a Marshall team has ever gone in an IHSA tournament. The 1973 squad reached the Charleston Super-Sectional, but that was the final 16 teams in a two-class system.
The Lions have absolutely bought into a team defense.
“When I get done [with halftime speeches], that’s what they say to one another: ‘Come on, let’s go out, let’s guard.’ Nobody’s saying ‘Hey, I’m open, give me the ball here on the wing ‘cause I’m open.’ They’re saying ‘Hey, you’ve got to do a better job guarding that guy and we’ve got to hedge on that.’ It’s all about defense,” Brannan said.
In front of a sold-out crowd, Marshall showed off some offensive skills as well, mostly during a short stretch late in the first quarter.
Marshall and Paris felt one another out in the opening minutes as both team’s employed zone defenses.
Senior guard Trey Brashear blocked two shots and made a steal in the game’s first four minutes, but Lucas Eitel’s 3-pointer was the only field goal by either team until Taylor Duncan knocked down a triple to make it 8-1 with 3:05 left in the first quarter.
Then Marshall exploded with a 16-4 run in the final three minutes to take a 24-5 lead after one period.
Freshman Jacob Duncan drilled all three of his 3-point attempts in that three-minute spurt. Taylor Duncan converted on a drive and Lucas Eitel made one of his five steals and broke away for a layup to account for the other points during the game’s decisive run.
Paris guard Chase Brinkley, one of nine seniors, was held scoreless in the opening half as Marshall went into the locker room with a 32-12 advantage.
“There was some big shots by a lot of people,” Brannan said. “We’ve got trust in them. To get that trust, you’ve got to put the work in. When you shoot thousands of shots in the summertime, we’ll let anyone shoot.”
Brinkley was held to one point, a free throw at the 3:12 mark of the third quarter, which is about 19 points below his season average.
Lucas Eitel finished as the game’s high scorer with 16 points and added five assists.
Fresh off a 41-point night Tuesday, Logan Eitel added 13 points. Taylor Duncan also had 13 to go with a game-high eight rebounds.
The adage goes that defense wins championship.
“That’s why we’re undefeated right now,” Brashear said after cutting down his share of the net. “Our emphasis all year has been defense. We like to fly around on the perimeter and that’s the focal point of our team defense. It feels good to be moving on.”
Paris finished 17-12, and coach Terry Elston left the Robinson gym optimistic about the direction of the program.
“I think we probably played the best team in the state tonight,” Elston said. “We’ve had a lot of young guys at your games all year. I hope that continues to build excitement about this program.”

Paris 30
Player fg 3pt ft r s pf tp
Brinkley 0-5 0-2 1-3 3 1 3 1
Haddix 0-4 0-3 4-7 4 0 0 4
A.Mason 1-2 0-0 0-1 6 1 2 2
Temples 0-7 0-4 2-2 2 1 0 2
Hollis 0-0 0-0 1-2 1 0 1 1
Henn 3-5 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 6
Henness 1-1 0-0 0-0 2 0 3 2
Dayton 2-5 1-3 2-2 1 0 0 7
Walls 0-2 0-0 0-0 1 2 0 0
Griffin 1-2 0-0 0-0 3 0 1 2
E.Mason 0-0 0-0 2-2 0 0 0 2
Spung 0-0 0-0 0-2 1 1 0 0
Ball 0-0 0-0 1-4 1 0 0 1
Totals 8-33 1-12 13-25 *25 6 10 30
Marshall 62
Player fg 3pt ft r s pf tp
Lu.Eitel 6-13 2-5 2-2 5 5 2 16
Lo.Eitel 4-7 1-3 4-6 4 2 3 13
Brashear 2-4 0-1 0-0 4 2 3 4
T.Duncan 6-9 1-2 0-0 8 2 3 13
Morey 1-4 1-1 2-4 2 0 1 5
J.Duncan 3-4 3-4 0-0 1 0 4 9
Cannady 1-4 0-2 0-1 2 0 1 2
Delp 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 1 0
Tucker 0-0 0-0 0-0 2 0 1 0
Bishop 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 1 0
Francis 0-1 0-1 0-0 1 0 1 0
Grooms 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Wetnight 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Sanders 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Totals 23-48 8-20 8-13 *30 11 21 62

Paris 5 7 7 11 — 30
Marshall 24 8 15 15 — 62

FG Pct. — Paris .242, Marshall .479. 3-pt FG Pct. — Paris .083, Marshall .400. FT Pct. — Paris .520, Marshall .615. Assists — Paris 7 (Dayton 2), Marshall 11 (Lu.Eitel 4, T.Duncan 3). Turnovers — Paris 17, Marshall 14. Blocks — Paris 1 (Hollis), Marshall 4 (Brashear 2, Lo.Eitel 2). (*) Includes team rebounds — Paris 0, Marshall 1.
Next — Marshall (30-0) plays Tuesday at the Class 2A Macomb Super-Sectional. Paris finished 17-12.


Big sectional night on both sides of border

By David Hughes
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE March 06, 2009

Whether you’re a boys high school basketball fan in Indiana or Illinois, the word “sectional” is likely to carry special meaning this weekend.
In Indiana, the Class 4A sectional will resume at Terre Haute North tonight with Terre Haute South (18-4) making its postseason debut against Plainfield (13-8) at 6 o’clock. Don’t be surprised if recently injured South standouts Jake Odum and John Michael Jarvis try to play.
On a history note, Plainfield knocked the Braves out of the state tournament last season. If it makes any difference, and it probably doesn’t, South eliminated a good Plainfield squad from the sectional two years ago.
Following that matchup will be Martinsville (8-12) vs. Mooresville (13-8) at about 7:30. The sectional title contest is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday.
If Plainfield reaches the championship game, the Quakers can feel confident because they defeated Martinsville (75-63) and Mooresville (58-56) in the regular season. On Dec. 6, South slipped past Mooresville 67-57.
In Class 3A action at South Vermillion, Edgewood will put its 14-7 mark on the line against the host Wildcats (7-14) in a battle of Western Indiana Conference foes at 6 p.m. today. Then in another WIC reunion, West Vigo (18-5) will take on Owen Valley (12-11) at about 7:30.
The winners will clash at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
On Wednesday, Owen Valley edged Greencastle 51-48 and West Vigo outlasted Brown County 88-76 behind Tyler Wampler’s 29 points. Edgewood advanced to the semifinals by nipping Sullivan 59-55 in overtime Tuesday. South Vermillion received a first-round bye.
If the favorites win tonight, an Edgewood-West Vigo rematch would give the Vikings an opportunity to avenge a 52-42 home loss Feb. 4.
Turning to Class 2A, the Eastern Greene Sectional will feature Bloomfield (11-10) vs. South Knox (17-4) and Linton (4-17) vs. Eastern Greene (10-12) tonight for the right to meet for the championship at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Class A No. 4-ranked Rockville (19-3) continues to be the heavy favorite to cut down the nets Saturday night at North Vermillion, especially after it knocked off the host Falcons 95-52 Tuesday behind Aaron Bridge’s career-high 29 points. But first, the Rox must get past Wabash River Conference opponent Attica (9-11) at 6 p.m. today.
Then Turkey Run (15-8) will try to build on its momentum from a 66-57 double-overtime triumph over Covington on Tuesday by challenging Riverton Parke (4-17) in today’s nightcap.
For the record, Rockville has defeated Attica (64-47), Turkey Run (59-45 and 45-28) and Riverton Parke (89-46 and 60-37) this season.
In Class A action at White River Valley, Clay City (15-7) will face Union (6-15) at 6 tonight.
Early in the regular season, the Eels lost to Union 46-45. But they’ve won 10 of their last 12 games to earn considerable respect throughout the Wabash Valley.
On Tuesday, Clay City eliminated Terre Haute Holy Cross 88-50. Union received a first-round bye.
In the second semifinal game tonight, White River Valley (9-12) will square off against Shakamak (12-10). On Tuesday, Shakamak beat North Central 53-41.
Over in Illinois, where folks are accustomed to seeing the sectional follow the regional instead of the sectional-regional order used in Indiana, familiar rivals Marshall (29-0) and Paris (17-11) will tangle for the Class 2A Robinson Sectional crown at 7:30 p.m. CST today.
In the first sectional semifinal Tuesday, Marshall survived a scare from the host Maroons before pulling out a 79-70 victory as Logan Eitel led the Lions with 41 points. The next night, Paris routed Tolono Unity 63-44.
Way back in early January, Marshall overpowered Paris 69-57 at Paris, but it’s a safe bet that the Tigers have improved significantly since then.
Tonight’s survivor will move on to the Macomb Super-Sectional on Tuesday.


NEW: Marshall-Paris game to be streamed online

March 05, 2009

Friday night’s Class 2A Robinson Sectional championship boys basketball game between Paris and Marshall will be broadcast on the Internet.
Log on to to view the game. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m. CST.
The Marshall Lions are undefeated and bidding to make a run toward the state finals. Paris is also peaking in March, improving to 17-11 with a 63-44 thumping of Tolono on Wednesday to advance to Friday’s championship battle.
The game will also be broadcast on WMMC-FM 105.9.


Marshall Basketball Pride
Thursday, 05 March 2009

Fans in Marshall say you'll definintely hear them roar at the game on Friday; this town is pumped up!

The varsity boys basketball team is undefeated, and Friday they take that winning record to Robinson for the state sectional championship.

Tickets for this game went fast, and even the town's mayor had a hard time finding one!

It only took 40 minutes for this game to sell out.

It's a game the Lions hope to come out of as Kings of the Jungle.

When you ask any of the Marshall basketball players, they'll tell you they've worked for their whole lives for this.

They've set records.

They've made their town proud.

And they've done it together.

For the Marshall High School basketball team, winning isn't all the Lions are trying to do.

The team is undefeated this season, and they say it almost feels unreal.

Marshall takes on the Paris Tigers Friday night in Robinson.

The sectional championship game starts at 7:30.
Sports Watch will be at the game and have a complete wrap up on our Monday edition.

Inside the Lions...

The Marshall Lions basketball team takes a break from their traditional practice location as they study game film Wednesday after school, preparing for Friday night's IHSA Class 2A sectional title game against the Paris Tigers. The winner will travel to Western Illinois University on Tuesday, March 10 and face the winner of the Riverton sectional. (Photo By Terri Cox)

A look at the undefeated Marshall boys basketball team

By Terri Cox
Contributing Writer
Published: Thursday, March 5, 2009
    MARSHALL – It's 2:45 on a Wednesday afternoon. Fourteen students and three teachers are preparing for class while the majority of the students and staff prepare to call it a day. Their normal classroom is 84 feet long and 50 feet wide, but today, they are settling for the standard educational classroom setting.

    So just who are these individuals who are so dedicated that they willingly stay after school on a daily basis to not only learn, but to exert an enormous amount of physical energy as well? They are the members of the IHSA Class 2A regional champion Marshall Lions boys basketball team along with their head coach Tom Brannan and assistant coaches Chris Kessler and Pat Duncan.

    After Tuesday night's impressive win over a very talented Robinson team, Coach Brannan and the team were preparing to watch the game film before attending Wednesday night's semi-final between the Paris Tigers and the Tolono-Unity Rockets to see who they would face in the championship game Friday night.

    Always students of the game, the Lions were ready to critique themselves on their most recent performance and were satisfied to be spectators of the game, at least until Friday night.

    Brannan, who is in his 17th season as the head coach of the Lions, has amassed an impressive 337-140 record heading into Friday's title game and this year's squad is the first since 1994 to capture a regional crown. If Marshall is successful on Friday, they will be the first team since the 1972-73 team to earn a Sweet 16 appearance.

    So to go along with their sparkling 29-0 season, the 2008-09 Lions have already won the Little Illini Conference regular season and tournament titles along with the Wabash Valley Classic title, and the top honors from both the Kessler Shootout and the Capital Classic. But Brannan is quick to point out that 'the fun has just begun'.

    “After we won the Wabash Valley Classic in December, a number of fans were very excited and talked about (winning that tournament) being the most exciting thing,” Brannan recalled. “I felt we were destined for more this season so I made the off the cuff comment that 'the fun has just begun' and it stuck.”

    In fact, that is the slogan printed on the back of the Lions' regional champion t-shirts that flooded the Robinson gym in a sea of red Tuesday night. But even though the Lions are amidst a tremendous season, Brannan admits that he wasn't always sure it would be the case.

    “To be honest, I really thought last year's team was 'the team',” Brannan said. “I truly believed that the way (last year's) team played together, that was our shot. After we lost (to St. Anthony in the regional championship game), I was really in a funk. That was something we had waited for and I really felt we had something special.

    “But in retrospect, that really put a chip on our shoulder for this season and this year is really different. I took a lot of flack four years ago when I started the twins (Logan and Lucas Eitel) as freshman, but I truly felt it would pay off in the future.”

    And pay off it has. The Eitels are formidable in their own right, but when you add senior Tray Brashear, juniors Taylor Duncan and Dustin Morey along with freshmen Logan Cannady and Jacob Duncan to the mix, the Lions have accepted every challenge and won every battle thus far.

    “We went into the season with the expectation to win every game” said Lucas Eitel without the slightest hint of arrogance in his voice. “We have taken it one quarter at a time, one game at a time and that's how we've gotten where we are.”

    Taylor Duncan added, “We are just lucky to have a lot of weapons on our team and we have confidence that any one of us can step up when needed.”

    That statement was never more true than when Cannady hit three consecutive three point baskets for Marshall at a pivotal time in the third quarter Tuesday night when the Lions rallied from a double digit deficit. The first two came with Robinson players in his face, the third, however, caught the Maroons off guard as they were looking towards their bench for the defensive call when the ball was quickly inbounded to Cannady in the corner. Marshall was heading down to play defense before Robinson even knew what hit them.

    “(Robinson) was really confused on defense and we were able to take advantage of it,” Cannady noted with a confidence that is usually reserved for upper classmen. “I really wasn't nervous at all, I just did what I knew how to do. I'm a shooter and I just shoot.”

    When asked if he thought about what would happen if he would of missed, Cannady smiled and said “I never thought about missing.”

    The perfect shooter's mentality.

    With two sets of brothers on the team, one has to wonder if sibling rivalry ever factors into the equation. The Eitels and Duncans both look at each other and grin.

    “It was an issue a few times,” Brannan said to break the silence. “But they have all matured and that has truly made the difference. As a whole, this group really enjoys being around each other.”

    While basketball regulations limit the number of players on the court to just five per team, Brannan is quick to add that every player in the program is responsible for the success they have enjoyed. So while the efforts of senior Ethan Delp, juniors Austin Wetnight, Jake Tucker, Dalton Sanders and Tyler Bishop, sophomore Joey Francis and freshman Jordan Grooms may not show up in the stat book, they are an integral part of the team.

    “We are all in this together and our goal is to make each other better, which happens in practice every day,” Brannan said.

    When asked why they thought the team has been so successful this season, a single word was spoken: Defense. Then they also added their ability to rebound and their adaptability to the list.

    “Defense has been our major focus all year,” said Taylor Duncan, the player who is likely to draw their opponents biggest threat.

    Against Robinson, the elder Duncan was matched up against 6'11” Meyers Leonard and held the U of I recruit to a mere nine points in the contest and was a major force in his early foul trouble. With Leonard seeing sparse minutes early in the second half, Brannan and his staff made the decision to put Duncan on Ben Jones, whose lightening quick speed was posting points seemingly at will.

    “Taylor is willing to take on those challenges, they all are,” Brannan said. “That is the single biggest reason we have had this level of success.

    “This group is very unselfish in all aspects of the game and are always willing to do whatever we feel they need to do for us to be successful as a team.

    “They also have a very high level of maturity and overall they are a group of extremely high morals and character.”

    “We've been playing together for so long that we know how we are going to react to different situations,” Logan Eitel added. “At this point everything is just a reaction and second nature, we don't have to guess.”

    Brannan also added that this group has earned the respect of the coach staff to the point that in many instances, they simply let the kids play.

    “Most of the time, there isn't a whole lot of coaching going on,” Brannan said. “They have all been around the game and around me long enough that they know what I expect and they just do it without me having to say a word.

    “That's not something that you just give a team, because you can't give high school kids a free reign and maintain control, but this group has earned the right to have a little more latitude on the floor.”

    Another huge bonus for Brannan is that about 75 percent of the squad is on the honor roll.

    “As a coach, that sure makes it easier for me to focus on other things and not have to worry about someone's grades and being eligible,” Brannan noted. “It's a great feeling to know that you can rely on every one of them to be ready to play.”

    The coaches and players also realized the responsibility that playing at a high level brings within not only the school district, but the community as well.

    “Our fan support has been nothing short of phenomenal for us,” Brannan noted. “It's good for the kids to have that support, but it is also important for them to realize that they are playing for more than each other, they are playing for our entire community.”

    One thing is for certain, when the Lions take on the Paris Tigers, who defeated Unity 63-44, Friday night in the sectional final, Marshall will put it all on the court. And win, lose or draw, this Lions team has secured their place in school history, not only as excellent basketball players, but as excellent students and good citizens.

B-SIDES: Boys high school hoops team gives struggling town a reason to smile

By Mark Bennett
The Tribune-Star

MARSHALL, Ill. March 05, 2009

Folks in Clark County know all about the law of supply and demand right now.
The unemployment rate has hit 10.7 percent. The stalled U.S. automotive market has forced significant layoffs at the county’s largest employer, TRW in Marshall.
One commodity in record demand has given Marshall residents a welcome chance to smile, over and over again — their undefeated boys high school basketball team.
The school’s allotment of 706 tickets to Friday night’s Class 2A Robinson Sectional championship game went on sale to students at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday. They were gone in 40 minutes.
Down at Robinson High School, all 1,800 seats sold by 11 a.m.
Even the mayor of Marshall couldn’t get one.
“I got [to Marshall High School], and I saw there was no line, and I thought, ‘This can’t be good,’” Mayor Ken Smith said, with a chuckle.
In the midst of an economic crunch unlike any in recent memory, Marshall is blessed with a basketball season just as rare. Coach Tom Brannan’s Lions have won all 29 of their games. They won the Capital Classic in November. They beat powerful Terre Haute South in the Wabash Valley Pizza Hut Classic title game in December. They won the Effingham St. Anthony Regional last Friday. And they beat tall and talented host Robinson 79-70 in the sectional semifinal Tuesday night, sending the Lions into Friday night’s final against either Paris or Tolono Unity.
That incredible run “came at a really nice time,” said Nancy Claypool, director at the Marshall Public Library, where use of computers to file unemployment claims has increased. “You can never have enough good news.”
The town is on a first-name basis with the Lions. Fans, still bleary-eyed from traveling to watch Tuesday’s thriller, showed up at Bishop’s Cafe at 4:30 Wednesday morning to eat bacon, eggs and pancakes and talk some more about the exploits of Logan, Lucas, Taylor and Co.
The café officially opens at 5 o’clock.
“They were pretty excited about it,” said Donna Behrens, cook at Bishop’s.
It shows. “Go Big Red” banners hang in windows at several businesses on the town square. The high school hallways buzzed with energy Wednesday morning. Brannan arrived a little late, caring for his 10-year-old son, Kobe, “just a little tired” after watching his dad’s team the night before. The coach’s U.S. history class cheered him as he walked up with one arm full of their papers and a mega-sized cup of soda in the other.
Brannan’s family is a success story, too. Kobe received a heart transplant when he was just 7 weeks old, and now plays basketball for his fifth-grade team. Brannan’s wife, Sarah, teaches geometry at the high school, and serves as sort of a community liaison for the basketball team. She helped organize a benefit fish fry last month, where 500 fans ate and donated funds to buy the Lions a device to practice shooting.
“She has been awesome,” Brannan said, rubbing his short-cropped hair and shaking his head in wonder.
Lots of town residents used that word to describe his team and their season.
“Any basketball season that ends in a zero or a one is pretty unbelievable,” said Marshall resident Curt Smith, as he helped an older fellow jump-start his truck in the VFW parking lot. “That’s what these guys have earned.”
Smith, 38, graduated from Marshall High in 1988. He works at the Robinson Correctional Facility, and realizes he’s fortunate to be in a fairly recession-proof line of work. “Like most anywhere, a state or federal job is a good job to have,” he said.
His father, the mayor, emphasized that the town of Marshall has several promising employment projects under way. Yargus Manufacturing has expanded. Doric Products, a burial vault maker, is building a $1.5-million facility north of the fairgrounds. Mayor Smith also mentioned Heartland Labels, Custom Films, and other small businesses that recently opened or expanded.
The county’s heavy employment hits included the closing of Casey Tool & Machine, and the layoffs at TRW, an electronic auto parts manufacturer. TRW’s work force is now around 650, down from more than 800 last year.
The national recession’s impact on Marshall is statistically rare. The town’s average annual unemployment rate steadily hovered around a healthy 5 percent throughout this decade, according to Vicki Niederhofer, labor market analyst for the Illinois Department of Employment Security.
Then, as the recession spread throughout the country, the TRW and county job losses began rising. In December, the unemployment rate reached 10.7 percent. The January figures are due out March 13, and IDES labor market economist Dennis Hoffman expects rates in counties such as Clark “to be even higher than it’s been for the past couple months.”
People feel the effects. “Tips are going down,” said Kelly Davis, a waitress at the Marshall Family Restaurant. “People, instead of getting that ribeye, are getting a sandwich instead.”
They’re also getting into high school basketball, more deeply than ever, even for an avid prep sports town.
It’s been a pleasant diversion for townspeople, and Brannan understands that value. “Sports can do that,” he said. “When times are tough, you can still go to watch a ball game, and for a short period of time, a game can take your mind off things.
“It’s amazing how it can bring people together,” he added, “sometimes people who’ve never been together in the same room. You can make a friend, sitting at a ball game.”
Tim Pearison, a 1978 Marshall grad, returned to his hometown to become principal at his alma mater this school year. He’s seen so many former teammates, townsfolk and coaches at games, he’s lost count. In his own senior season, Pearison and his Marshall teammates finished a stellar 24-3. He grins when asked about the 2008-09 season.
“There’s nothing you can’t like about it,” Pearison said, “and they have really given our community something to be proud of. And they’re not done.”
On Tuesday, Brannan spoke to the Marshall Rotary Club hours before the sectional semifinal. Listeners got a sneak preview of the game plan. That night, the Lions uncharacteristically fell behind Robinson early, then battled back and fought off a tough challenge to win.
“They never gave up on their game plan,” Mayor Smith said, “even when they got behind.”
Right now, that’s a quality to admire.


Sectional Championship tickets on sale at PHS

Published: Wednesday, March 4, 2009 10:33 PM CST
Beacon-News Report

     Reserve seating tickets for the sectional championship game between the Paris Tigers and the Marshall Lions will be sold at the Paris High School library starting Thursday morning.    

     Tickets will be sold to friends and family of the Paris Tigers players and staff from 7:30 to 8 a.m. Tickets will be sold to the general public after 8 a.m.

     The sectional championship game between the Tigers and the Lions will tip-off at 7:30 p.m. Friday night in Robinson.

Tigers run away from Unity, 63-44, to advance to sectional championship game

TAYLOR HADDIX looks over the Unity defense in the second half of the Tigers’ 63-44 sectional win over the Rockets. The Tigers were able to put together an outstanding game on offense and defense Wednesday night. (Beacon-News Photo/A. Kennedy)

Sports Editor
Published: Thursday, March 5, 2009 12:23 PM CST
    ROBINSON – The Paris Tigers are headed to the championship game of the IHSA 2A Robinson sectional after defeating Tolono Unity Wednesday night, 63-44.

    Paris was down 24-22 at the half but went on a 12-0 run in the third quarter and a 11-0 run in the fourth to pull away from an unraveling Unity team.

    “All year long we’ve been playing, and we haven’t had that game where I thought that we put it all together. We at least did it for a half tonight,” said Paris head coach Terry Elston after the game. “We came out and did a really good job defensively and that led to transition baskets, and we ran the floor. We played a lot of guys too,” Elston added. “When you play a lot of guys, you are able to wear the other team down a little bit, and I felt that we did that. We went a little ‘small ball.’ We took our really big guys out in the second half to try and get a little quicker against them. Zach Henn stepped up and did a great job playing the center position at roughly 6’3”.”

    The first quarter of the game had the look of the two team’s last meeting, as both team’s scored just eight points each in the quarter.

    A Zebo Zebe 3-pointer helped Unity sustain a lead in the second quarter, but Paris got a huge lift before the half when senior guard Chase Brinkley was fouled with a second left on the clock. Brinkley had been attempting a 3-pointer when the foul was called and was able to convert all three of his free throws, turning a possible five-point halftime deficit into a manageable, two-point gap.

    The Tigers owned the second half.

    Sophomore Paris guard Dalten Temples had posted the highest score in the 3-point Showdown before the game, and used those skills to spark a 12-point run halfway through the third quarter. Temples drained a 3-pointer in front of the Tigers’ bench that brought Paris within a point at 30-29. After a Unity turnover, Johnnie Dayton hit another Paris 3-pointer. With the Dayton three, Paris led for the first time since early in the second quarter. Henn added two more points, helping build on the spark created from his teammate’s deep shots, and two Temples’ steals led to break away scores for himself and then Zach Walls. By the end of the third quarter, Paris had built a 40-32 lead.

    The Tigers shut the door on the Rockets by scoring the first nine points of the final period, continuing a run that was started by Henn at the end of the third. Henn and his fellow underclassman, Temples, were a key part of the Paris surge. Both young players created turnovers and kept the ball alive for second and third looks on the offensive side of the court.

    Paris hit 10 of their final 11 free throws down the stretch as the game slowly reached it’s conclusion.

    The Tigers hit 50 percent of their shots from the field, while holding Unity to just under 29 percent. Paris hit four of their 10 shots from beyond the arc, while the Rockets connected on only four of their 22 attempts from deep. Paris also out-rebounded their opponent 36-23 and scored 18 more points in the paint.

    “That’s the best half we’ve played all year long,” Elston noted. “I’m just really ecstatic that we’re peaking at the right time here.”

    Brinkley led the Tigers with 17 points, followed by Temples with 16 and Henn with 12. Zach Walls added seven points, including a three that gave Paris a lead in the second period. Dayton finished the game with five points, Taylor Haddix added four and Jason Hollis had two.

    The top scorers for Unity were Zebe and Dylan Sturgeon with 10 points each.

    The Paris Tigers will face the Marshall Lions at 7:30 p.m. Friday night in Robinson for the sectional championship. Tickets for the game are available at the Paris High School library.

    Two Paris shooters advanced to the next round of the IHSA 3-point showdown. Temples was very impressive, hitting 13 of his 15 attempts to lead the field. Haddix also made the final cut of four, making nine of his 15 attempts.



PHS    8    14    18    23    -63

UHS    8    16      8    12    -44

Paris                     Unity

C. Brinkley    17     Z. Zebe    10

D. Temples    16    D. Sturgeon    10

Z. Henn    12          S. Gooch    9

Z. Walls    7            K. McFall    6

J. Dayton    5          C. Siuts    5

T. Haddix    4          K. Brown    2

J. Hollis    2             A. Perry    2

Unity falls short

Thursday March 5, 2009

ROBINSON – The Paris Tigers won 14 regular season games and the Bismarck- Henning Regional title behind a stifling 2-3 zone and just enough offensive firepower.

Then they showed up Wednesday at sectionals and scrapped their whole plan.

The Tigers scored 32 points in the paint and fast-breaked Unity until the Rockets were blue in the face, coasting to a 63-44 win in a Class 2A boys' sectional semifinal.

"It just seemed like the whole game, our heads weren't quite right," Unity coach Jarrett Brown said. "I don't get it in a sectional game, but we just weren't right."

Though Unity led 24-22 at halftime, the Rockets never looked comfortable against the Tigers' zone. So when Paris began to rally in the third quarter, it didn't take the Tigers long to grab the momentum.

A 14-2 run gave Paris a 40-32 lead entering the fourth quarter, and its offensive outburst continued until the final buzzer.

"Since we've been playing we haven't had that game where we put it all together, and we at least did it for a half tonight," Tigers coach Terry Elston said. "We came out and did a really good job defensively getting after it and we ran the floor."

Brown thought his team could have handled Paris' run better.

"They made some shots and we couldn't stop them, and then we couldn't score," he said. "It was a terrible combination."

Chase Brinkley had 17 points and Dalton Temples added 16 points for the Tigers (17-11), who had 16 players see action.

"When you play a lot of guys you can wear the other team down a little bit, and I felt like we did that," Elston said.

Zebo Zebe and Dylan Sturgeon had 10 points each to lead Unity (21-7).

Brown said it will be hard for him to go to school today knowing his day won't end in practice.

"I think the biggest compliment I can give this team is that aside from spending time with my family at home, they are the highlight of my day," he said. "I love being around them, and I didn't want the season to end."

Paris will play undefeated and fifth-ranked Marshall (29-0) in Friday's sectional final.

"I'm not going to worry about Marshall until tomorrow morning," Elston said. "Right now I'm just glad we're playing our best basketball at this time in the season."


Illinois 2A Sectional: Paris tops Tolono 63-44, will face undefeated Marshall

By Dennis Clark
The Tribune-Star

Robinson, Ill. March 05, 2009

Paris coach Terry Elston’s halftime speech had the similar effect to a powerful time-released medicine. It took a while to take hold, but when it did, it was certainly a doozy.
Paris is feeling quite well now, thank you, after reeling off a 23-2 run beginning late in the third quarter and continuing well into the fourth quarter. As a result, the Tigers throttled Tolono Unity 63-44 to win their Illinois Class 2A Robinson boys high school basketball sectional semifinal game Wednesday.
“That’s the best half we’ve played by far,” Elston stated afterward. “I’m really ecstatic about how we’re peaking at the right time here.”
Next up for Paris (17-11) is a rematch with undefeated Marshall (29-0) in the Robinson Sectional championship game at 7:30 p.m. CST Friday. The winner of that game will head on a loooong road trip to Macomb, Ill., for a super-sectional matchup with the Riverton Sectional winner Tuesday.
While the Tigers were ultimately an easy victor, it was not smooth sailing for them in the first half — and at the outset of the second half either.
The two teams battled through six ties and a three lead changes, the last tie at 15-15 midway in the second quarter. Tolono Unity scored the next five points — a jumper by Kyler McFall and 3-pointer by Zebo Zebe — to assume a 20-15 lead.
Paris managed to get within 24-22 by intermission, thanks to Chase Brinkley sinking three free throws with 0.9 seconds remaining after being fouled on a 3-point attempt in front of the Tolono bench.
That momentum was shortlived however, as Tolono quickly pushed back in front 28-22 at the outset of the second half.
But the worm turned dramatically for Paris soon after, beginning at the 3:22 mark in the third quarter. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Dayton Temples and reserve John Dayton erased a 30-26 Tolono lead, shooting the Tigers quickly in front to stay 32-30.
The Tigers quickly extended the lead by scoring the next six points, then tallied the first nine points of the fourth quarter. Suddenly, with 4:40 to go in the game, Paris enjoyed a commanding 49-32 advantage.
Tolono utilized a pressure defense to get within 14 points, but Paris stifled that strategy by scoring 10 straight points to take its largest lead at 63-39.
“You play a lot of guys, you’re able to wear the other team down,” Elston said, describing his second-half strategy. “I felt we did that. We got contributions from a lot of guys … hit our free throws down the stretch.
“We took our really big guys out in the second half, tried to get a little quicker. Zach Henn stepped up to play the center position.
“I told the guys at halftime we’re right where we want to be. We knew it was going to be a dogfight. Just instilled some confidence, told them ‘this is what we expected, we’re going to be all right’. We got on a run there … it was just exciting.”
Brinkley, Temples and Henn paced the Tigers with 17, 16 and 12 points respectively. The Tigers outrebounded Tolono 34-27 and shot 88.2 percent at the free-throw line. Defensively, Paris limited Tolono to just 29.8 percent shooting from the field.
Dylan Sturgeon and Zebe topped Tolono with 10 points apiece.
• • •
• 3-Point Showdown — Paris’ Temples and Taylor Haddix advanced to Friday’s round in the 3-Point Showdown by making 13 and 9 shots out of 15 attempted prior to the game.

Paris 63
Player fg 3pt ft r s pf tp
Haddix 2-6 0-1 0-0 3 1 1 4
A.Mason 0-1 0-0 0-0 2 0 0 0
Hollis 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 2 2
Temples 4-12 2-5 6-7 5 3 3 16
Brinkley 2-8 0-1 7-7 6 0 3 17
Griffin 0-0 0-0 0-0 2 0 1 0
Henn 6-10 0-0 0-1 6 0 3 12
Henness 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Walls 2-3 1-2 2-2 1 1 0 7
Dayton 2-2 1-1 0-0 2 1 1 5
Spung 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
E.Mason 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Waggoner 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Totals 22-45 4-10 15-17 34* 7 14 63
Tolono Unity 44
Player fg 3pt ft r s pf tp
Perry 0-0 0-0 2-2 1 0 0 2
Sturgeon 3-8 0-0 4-6 3 1 2 10
Gooch 2-7 1-2 4-6 5 1 5 9
Zebe 4-16 2-5 0-0 5 0 4 10
McFall 2-8 0-6 2-2 3 2 4 6
Mannon 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 0
Brown 1-4 0-2 0-0 4 0 1 2
McNeely 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 2 0
Ferguson 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 0
Siuts 2-3 1-2 0-0 0 0 0 5
Messman 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Buhnerkemper 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Totals 14-47 4-18 12-16 27* 4 18 44

Paris 8 14 18 23 — 63
Tolono Unity 8 16 8 12 — 44

FG Pct. — P .489, TU .298. 3-pt FG Pct. — P .400, TU .222. FT Pct. — P .882, TU .750. (*) Includes team rebounds — P 7, TU 4. Turnovers — P 10, TU 10. Blocks — P 1 (Griffin), TU 0.
Next — Paris (17-11) will oppose Marshall (29-0) in the Class 2A Robinson Sectional championship game at 7:30 p.m. CST Friday. Tolono Unity concluded its season at 21-7.


Trojans, Lions advance

Effingham Daily News

March 04, 2009

MATTOON — Charleston High School came back after trailing Salem early in the Class 3A Mattoon Boys Basketball Regional and upset the top seed 56-53 to advance to the championship game Friday evening.
Ryan Hale guided the Trojans with a 24-point effort, his highest of the season. The Trojans trailed 21-11 after the opening quarter and 27-22 at halftime. Charleston came back to knock down 65 percent of its shots in the second half, outscoring the Wildcats 18-9 in the third quarter.
Hale gave the Trojans a 28-27 lead with a basket and then tallied 10 points in the third period run as the Trojans led 40-36 going into the final quarter.
Charleston lost to Salem 66-59 on Dec. 19 and 70-49 on Feb. 3 and is 9-17. Salem finishes the season with a 13-15 record.
Charleston, who has now won four straight, will face either Effingham or Mattoon in Friday's championship game. Those two teams square off tonight at 7:30.
Class 3A Mattoon Regional

Miller 4-0 — 9, Rose 2-0 — 5, Hale 9-1 — 24, Nead 0-2 — 2, Parker 1-0 — 2, Johnson 6-1 — 14, Wheeler 0-0 — 0, Doughty 0-0 — 0. TOTALS 22 FG, 4 FT.
SALEM (53)
Robb 2-2 — 6, Tolliver 2-0 — 5, Lusch 2-0 — 4, Harris 1-1 — 3, Light 7-6 — 25, Conklin 4-2 — 10, Brendel 0-0 — 0, Petrea 0-0 — 0. Totals 18 FG, 11 FT.

3-point FG — Charleston 8 (Hale 5, Miller 1, Rose 1, Johnson 1), Salem 6 (Light 5, Tolliver 1).
At Robinson
Marshall continues to roll along. The Runnin' Lions handed host Robinson a 79-70 loss to advance to the championship game of the Class 2A Robinson Regional Friday evening.
The Lions trailed Robinson 20-14 after the opening quarter and by the same six-point margin at halftime, 41-35. But Marshall started its comeback with a 19-13 third quarter run and a final period 25-16 lead fueled by 27 of 30 free throws for the game.
Logan Eitel led the Marshall attack with 40 points, 19 coming from the free throw line as he connected on 19 of 20 attempts. He also hit 10 of 15 field goals, which included two of three from three-point range. Also in double figures were Taylor Duncan with 13 and Logan Cannady with 11. Lucas Eitel led in rebounds with six.
The Lions remain undefeated with a 29-0 record.
Robinson finished with a 20-8 mark. The Maroons were led by Ben Jones with 24 and Stephen Jones with 19. Meyers Leonard led in rebounds with 10 and had nine points. The Maroons coughed up the ball 11 times compared to seven for Marshall.
Marshall will take on the winner of the Paris vs. Tolono Unity contest Friday at 7:30 p.m. Paris and Tolono Unity square off tonight.
Class 2A Robinson Sectional

Lu. Eitel 2-3 — 7, Lo. Eitel 10-19 — 41, Brashear 1-0 — 3, J. Duncan 1-0 — 3, T. Duncan 5-2 — 13, Cannady 3-2 — 11, Morey 0-1 — 1. TOTALS 22 FG, 27 FT.
Hannahs 3-1 — 9, Leonard 3-3 — 9, Shaw 3-0 — 8, B. Jones 10-3 — 24, S. Jones 4-10 — 19, Watson 0-1 — 1, Siler 0-0 — 0, Hodson 0-0 — 0. TOTALS 23 FG, 18 FT.

3-point FG — Marshall 8 (Cannady 3, Lo. Eitel 2, Brashear 1, T. Duncan 1, J. Duncan 1), Robinson 6 (Hannahs 2, Shaw 2, B. Jones 5, S. Jones 1).


No. 5 Marshall ends Maroons' season, 79-70

Daily News

Thursday, March 05, 2009

The third time wasn't the charm this time for the Robinson Maroons.

After defeating two opponents for the third time to claim their first Regional title in seven years, Robinson was looking to knock off fifth-ranked and undefeated Marshall, a team they lost to twice during the regular season, in the semifinals of the Class 2A Robinson Sectional Tuesday night.

But it wasn't meant to be, as the unbeaten Lions rallied in the second half to beat the Maroons, 79-70.

"That was high school basketball at its best," RHS head coach Bob Coffman said. "It was back and forth, a game of runs. There were good, tough shots made on both ends and good defensive plays by both teams."

Everything seemed to be going the Maroons' way in the first half, as Robinson stormed out to a 13-4 lead near the midway point of the opening period. Two minutes later, a jump shot by Ben Jones gave the Maroons their biggest lead of the game, 18-8, with 2:23 to play in the quarter. However, Marshall countered with six straight points before a pair of free throws by Jones gave Robinson a 20-14 advantage after the first eight minutes.

The Lions pulled to within four, 20-16, on a layup by Logan Eitel at the outset of the second quarter, but Robinson quickly pushed the lead back to nine, 25-16, on a three-pointer by Ben Jones and a layup by Stephen Jones, with 6:27 left in the half. The Maroons maintained an eight-point lead, 41-33, with 5.8 seconds remaining after senior Derek Watson made one of two free throws, but Marshall's Taylor Duncan grabbed the rebound after Watson misfired on the second free throw and went coast to coast for a layup at the buzzer to cut the deficit to six, 41-35, at halftime.

Marshall continued to cut into Robinson's lead in the third quarter, as they started the period with an 11-6 spurt to close the gap to one, 47-46, with 4:17 to play. The Maroons responded with a 5-0 burst on a three-pointer by senior Brandon Shaw and a layup by Meyers Leonard, to give the Maroons a 52-46 edge with 3:26 remaining. The Lions would counter with an 8-2 run to end the period, thanks to a pair of three-pointers from freshman Logan Cannady and two free throws to knot the score at 54 with eight minutes to play.

"We shot the ball extremely well in the first half and they didn't shoot very well," Coffman said. "They started making shots in the second half and it turned things around for them."

As Robinson's two main ball handlers, Ben Jones and Derek Hannahs, sat on the bench to start the fourth quarter due to having four fouls apiece, Marshall continued its run, as Logan Eitel got into the open court for a slam dunk to give the Lions their first lead of the game, 56-54, with 7:15 left. Leonard was then called for his fourth foul on a questionable charge call with 6:39 to play and Eitel buried a three-pointer for a 59-54 Marshall lead with 6:23 to go. The Maroons would answer, as a 6-2 run by the Jones brothers pulled Robinson to within one, 61-60, with 4:21 remaining. Freshman Jacob Duncan then drained a three-pointer from the corner to put Marshall back up by four, 64-60, with 3:56 to play. Leonard, who remained in the game despite having four fouls, made two free throws to cut the deficit in half, but Eitel came back with a free throw of his own for a 65-62 Marshall lead with 3:37 showing on the clock. Ben Jones was fouled on Robinson's next possession, but he missed the front end of a one-and-bonus. After a missed shot by Marshall, Hannahs was fouled, but could make only of his two free tosses, to trim the Marshall lead to two, 65-53, with 3:13 left. Two foul shots by Lucas Eitel extended the Marshall lead to four, 67-63, with 3:10 to go, but Ben Jones countered with a layup to pull the Maroons within two, 67-65 with 2:52 remaining. After Logan Eitel missed a couple of point blank shots for Marshall, Robinson was able to secure the rebound and Jones hit a jumper in the lane to tie the game at 67 with two minutes to play. Logan Eitel missed a three-pointer on Marshall's next possession and Robinson rebounded. Leonard received the ball in the post but left his turnaround shot short and then was called for going for over the back of Logan Eitel on the rebound, which sent him to the bench with his fifth foul. Eitel made two free throws to put Marshall ahead to stay, 69-67, with 1:28 left. Hannahs would misfire on a three-pointer on the Maroons' next possession and Eitel hit two more free throws to make it 71-67 with 1:10 to play. Eitel would hit eight more free throws in the final minute to seal the game, as he was a remarkable 13-14 from the charity stripe in the final period.

"We played well. We put together a good four quarters and Marshall put together a good four quarters and they came out on top," Coffman said. "The toughest part of the game was the foul trouble we got into. We still played well when we had to make adjustments, but when we needed some baskets we couldn't get them and we missed some free throws as well."

Both teams shot the ball well, as Robinson made 23-39 field goals (59 percent), including 17-27 (63 percent) from two-point range and six of 12 (50 percent) from three-point range. Marshall, meanwhile, made 22-42 shots from the field (52 percent), which included a 14-30 effort (47 percent) from inside the arc and an eight for 12 performance (67 percent) from long range. The Maroons connected on 18-23 free throws (78 percent), while the Lions were an incredible 27-30 (90 percent) from the charity stripe.

The Jones brothers paced the Maroons efforts, as Ben netted 24 points, while older brother Stephen clicked for 19. With his point total Tuesday night, Ben eclipsed the 1,000-point plateau for his career. His career total now stands at 1,010 points.

"That is pretty impressive for your junior year to already by at 1,000 points," Coffman said. "He's really matured over his three years for us."

Ben also added two rebounds, one steal and one assist for Robinson, while Stephen registered two assists, one rebound, one steal and a blocked shot in the final game of his career. Leonard posted nine points, 10 rebounds, three blocked shots and an assist, Hannahs recorded nine points, four rebounds, four assists and a steal, Shaw had eight points, three rebounds, three assists and a steal in his final game for the Maroons and Watson totaled one point, two rebounds and a blocked shot in his last game for RHS.

"I'm just really proud of our guys," Coffman said. "Our focus over the last month had us playing well. We made improvements in our game that put us in position to knock off the fifth-ranked team in the state. The seniors have stuck with it for four years. We had some tough times, but they stayed true and helped get Robinson basketball to where it is now."

Logan Eitel topped all scorers in the game, as he poured in 41 points, including a amazing 19-20 performance at the free throw line. He also had six rebounds, one assist and a blocked shot. Taylor Duncan posted 13 points, four rebounds, three assists, one steal and one blocked shot, Cannady accounted for 11 points, three rebounds and one steal and Lucas Eitel added seven points, 10 assists, three rebounds and three steals. Jacob Duncan chipped in with three points, two rebounds, two assists and a steal, Trey Brashear netted three points, one rebound and one steal and Dustin Morey had one point and two rebounds.

Despite the loss of five seniors from this year's team - Stephen Jones, Brandon Shaw, Derek Watson, Ryan Black and Zach Hodson - the future looks bright for the Maroons.

"We have a very good nucleus coming back and some good underclassmen to go with them," Coffman said. "Our goals and expectations for next year again are to win a championship. That starts with the offseason and summer work."

Robinson finished the season 20-8. Marshall (29-0) will play the winner of tonight's Tolono Unity-Paris semifinal in the Sectional championship game Friday at 7:30 p.m.

2009 Class 2A

Boys Basketball Sectional

At Robinson

Robinson 20 21 13 16 - 70

Marshall 14 21 19 25 - 79


Derek Hannahs 1-2 2-3 1-2 9, Brandon Shaw 1-3 2-3 0-0 8, Austin Siler 0-0 0-2 0-0 0, Ben Jones 9-12 1-3 3-5 24, Meyers Leonard 3-5 0-0 3-4 9, Derek Watson 0-0 0-0 1-2 1, Stephen Jones 3-5 1-1 10-10 19, TOTALS 17-27 2FG, 6-12 3FG, 18-23 FT, 70 TP.


Logan Eitel 8-16 2-3 19-20 41, Jacob Duncan 0-0 1-3 0-0 3, Trey Brashear 0-1 1-1 0-0 3, Lucas Eitel 2-5 0-0 3-4 7, Logan Cannady 0-1 3-3 2-2 11, Taylor Duncan 4-6 1-2 2-2 13, Dustin Morey 0-1 0-0 1-2 1, TOTALS 14-30 2FG, 8-12 3FG, 27-30 FT, 79 TP.

Turnovers - RHS 14, MHS 10. Team fouls - RHS 23, MHS 20. Fouled out - Leonard, S. Jones, T. Duncan. Technical foul - none. Rebounds - (RHS 22) Leonard 10, Hannahs 4, Shaw 3, B. Jones 2, Watson 2, S. Jones. (MHS 21) Lo. Eitel 6, T. Duncan 4, Lu. Eitel 3, Cannady 3, J. Duncan 2, Morey 2, Brashear. Steals - (RHS 4) Hannahs, Shaw, B. Jones, S. Jones. (MHS 7) Lu. Eitel 3, J. Duncan, Brashear, Cannady, T. Duncan. Assists - (RHS 11) Hannahs 4, Shaw 3, S. Jones 2, Leonard, B. Jones. (MHS 16) Lu. Eitel 10, T. Duncan 3, J. Duncan 2, Lo. Eitel. Blocked shots - (RHS 5) Leonard 3, Watson, S. Jones. (MHS 2) Lo. Eitel, T. Duncan.

Next game - Robinson finished the season 20-8. Marshall (29-0) will play the winner of tonight's Tolono Unity-Paris semifinal in the Sectional championship game Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Three-Point Showdown Advancers - Brandon Berry (Olney) 12, Paul Knapp (Flora) 11, Ben Jones (Robinson) 10, James Jansen (Effingham St. Anthony) 9.

Logan Eitel scores 41 as Lions eliminate Maroons from 2A sectionals, 79-70

By Terri Cox
Contributing Writer
Published: Wednesday, March 4, 2009
    ROBINSON – After capturing their first regional title since 1994, the Marshall Lions were slated to face the Robinson Maroons in the opening game of the sectional Tuesday night in Robinson. Having faced the Maroons twice already this season, getting that third win appeared elusive as Robinson jumped out early and held on for the better part of the contest.

    But there are four quarters of play for a reason and the Lions made the most of the second half as they outscored their host 44-29 in the final 16 minutes of regulation to take a 79-70 win.

    "Robinson is a super talented team and with (Meyers) who is 6'11", getting the ball to him in the post is what (Robinson) wants to do," said coach Tom Brannan after his team's 29th consecutive victory. "Taylor Duncan really did a super job on (Meyers) and held him to just nine points; we made a coaching decision to switch him over to Ben Jones because Jones was shooting so well and it was a great strategic decision.

    "Offensively, we executed very well and ran the offense we needed to run effectively. Logan Cannady hit some big shots and got some big boards for us and Jacob Duncan gave us quality minutes. Everyone contributed to this win for us, Lucas (Eitel), Trey (Brashear)  and Dustin (Morey) did a lot of the intangibles that don't show up on the stat sheet."

    Senior Logan Eitel posted a career high 41 points in the win for the Lions and Brannan just might have had something to do with it.

    "I was talking to the coaching staff just the other day and I made the comment that we didn't really have anyone who would just go out score 39-40 points for us." Brannan said with a chuckle. "Then Logan goes out tonight and hits 41 and was 19-of-20 from the free throw line. I think that might be because I ribbed him a lot as a sophomore when he only shot about 66 percent from the line, he was shooting about 86 percent going into the game."

    Things got started a little shaky for the Lions as Taylor Duncan drew his first foul of the game in the opening second and a deuce by Ben Jones put the Maroons up 2-0 early. Logan Eitel evened things up after drawing the foul by Meyers Leonard and calmly sinking both shots to deadlock things at 2-2.

    The Maroons then went on a six point scoring spree to widen the margin to 8-2 before a beautiful backdoor pass from Lucas Eitel to brother Logan ended the scoring drought for the Lions. Leonard responded with a resounding dunk on the Robinson end of the court then Stephen Jones converted a steal into a layup to extend the lead 13-4 with 4:10 on the clock.

    Lucas Eitel nailed a deuce only to see his effort bested by a three-pointer by Derek Hannahs on the other end of the floor. In the final 3:09 of the first, five points by Taylor Duncan and three by Lucas Eitel cut the lead to four, 18-14 just to watch a pair of charity tosses by Ben Jones find nothing but net to put the lead back at six, 20-14 after one complete.

    The two squads traded baskets over the next eight minutes of play as they both posted 21 points through the second quarter to keep the Robinson lead at six, 41-35, heading into the intermission.

    Following the break, began to turn the tide as Cannady, a freshman, hit for three 3-pointers in a little over two minutes of action to pull the Lions to within two points, the closet they'd been to Robinson since the opening minutes of the first quarter. On the Maroon's ensuing possession, Stephen Jones was called for the offensive foul putting the ball back in Marshall's hands. Logan Eitel drove to the hole and was fouled for his effort. The ISU bound senior calmly sank both shots to deadlock things at 54-54 with 1:26 on the clock.

    Robinson attempted to run the clock down for a final shot, but an errant pass sailed out of bounds and back into the Lions court. Marshall wasn't able to post a score as the quarter came to a close, but it remained even at 54-54 with the final quarter of regulation remaining.

    Logan Eitel set the tone early for those final eight minutes as Jacob Duncan picked up a steal and sent the ball down court to Eitel. His two hand dunk brought the Marshall masses to their feet and gave the Lions their first lead of the night. On their next possession, the Maroons looked to knot things up, but an offensive foul on Leonard negated the basket and sent him to the bench with his fourth foul.

    The Lions took full advantage of the situation as Logan Eitel hit the next five Marshall points to extend their lead to five, 61-56 with 5:40 remaining. Stephen Jones nailed a pair from the stripe and Ben Jones hit a runner in the lane to pull the Maroons to within one, 61-60 only to see that effort matched by freshman Jacob Duncan who drained a three to widen the lead to four, 64-60.

    With 3:45 on the clock, Leonard cut the lead back to two, 64-62 after connecting on a pair of charity tosses but Logan Eitel hit the second of two attempts from the line to keep the lead at three, 65-62.

    In the final three minutes of play, Logan Eitel literally took over the game for the Lions as he hit 12 consecutive free throws to seal the win for the Lions. 

    Logan Eitel was the game's high point man, hitting 41 in the win and pulling down a team high six rebounds while Taylor Duncan and Cannady posted 13 and 11 points respectively for the Lions and pulled down three boards each as well.

    For Robinson, it was hard to keep up the with Jones' as Ben hit a team high 24 points and Stephen 19 for the Maroons and were the only two to finish in double figures. Hannahs and Leonard chipped in nine points apiece and grabbed eight and four caroms respectively.    

    The Lions (29-0) await the winner of tonight's matchup between Paris and Tolono Unity in the sectional championship game slated for a 7:30 p.m. tip off Friday night in Robinson. Robinson ends the season with a fine 20-8 record. Three of their losses came at the hands of Marshall.

Robinson  20  21  13  16  -70

Marshall   14  21  19  25  -79

ROBINSON: Hannahs 3-1-9; Shaw 3-0-8; B. Jones 10-3-24; Leonard 3-3-9; Watson 0-1-1; S. Jones 4-10-19; TOTALS 23-18-70

MARSHALL: Lo. Eitel 10-19-41; J. Duncan 1-0-3; Brashear 1-0-3; Lu. Eitel 2-3-7; Cannady 3-2-11; T. Duncan 5-2-13; Morey 0-1-1; TOTALS 20-27-79

3-Point goals: Robinson 6 ( ), Marshall 8 (Lo. Eitel 2, J. Duncan 1, Brashear 1, Cannady 3, T. Duncan 1)

Team Turnovers: Robinson 9, Marshall 10

Team Rebounds: Paris 16 (Leonard 8, Hannahs 4, B. Jones 3, Shaw 1), Marshall 17 (Lo. Eitel 8, Cannady 3, T. Duncan 3, Lu. Eitel 2, J. Duncan 1, Morey 1)

Illinois 2A Sectional: Logan Eitel’s 41 points help Marshall stay perfect

By Todd Golden
The Tribune-Star

Robinson, Ill. March 04, 2009

Logan Cannady gave Marshall a lifeline in its Illinois Class 2A Robinson Sectional semifinal against the host Maroons on Tuesday.
Logan Eitel pulled the Lions to safety.
Cannady made three 3-pointers in the third quarter to cut into a Robinson lead that peaked at nine. With the game tied going into the final period, Eitel outscored the Maroons himself in the fourth quarter as Marshall claimed a hard-fought 79-70 victory in front of a packed house to keep its perfect season intact.
Eitel scored 19 of his 41 points in the final period — 13 were scored at the free throw line.
“It’s all about perseverance. We didn’t give up, we know how to win,” Logan Eitel said.
It was anything but easy for the Lions as the Maroons fought every step of the way. The game was tied 67-67 with 1:28 left, but 6-foot-10 Robinson center Meyers Leonard fouled out on a charging call — his third offensive foul of the game.
Logan Eitel scored Marshall’s last 12 points — all at the free throw line. Robinson made just one field goal in the final two minutes as the Maroons finally ran out of gas after they had presented a formidable challenge with or without Leonard on the floor.
“You might think I’m crazy, but I thought everything in this game was in their favor. They were on their home floor, they were playing well, they were moving in the right direction. I was thinking we had to answer them,” Marshall coach Tom Brannan said.
Ben Jones led Robinson with 24 points. Stephen Jones added 19, making all 10 of his free throws while missing just one field goal attempt.
The Maroons shot 58.9 percent from the field, but were hurt by 15 turnovers. The Lions shot 61.5 percent from 3-point range and were 27 of 30 at the free throw line.
Robinson got off to a fast start as the threat of Leonard opened things up for the Maroons’ other scorers. Ben Jones, Derek Hannahs and Stephen Jones all made big buckets as Robinson had an early 13-4 lead.
Leonard, however, picked up his second foul with 3:09 left in the first quarter, and with the big man absent, Marshall’s press gave the Maroons major problems. A 6-0 Lions run made it 18-14.
It was the Maroons’ only dry spell of the first half. Leonard returned right before the first quarter ended and Robinson’s offense came back with him. The Maroons pushed their lead back to 29-21 with 5:26 left in the half. To that point in the game, Robinson was 11 of 16 from the field.
Taylor Duncan drew Leonard’s third foul on a charge with 2:48 left in the half, but this time there was no falloff from the Maroons. Robinson attacked Marshall’s defense and actually increased its lead to 40-31 late in the half before the Maroons settled for a 41-35 halftime advantage.
Robinson shot 65.2 percent (15 of 23) in the first half.
Marshall squared its circle in the third quarter, thanks primarily to Cannady’s trio of 3-pointers that got the Lions within two and its pressure which kept the Maroons off-kilter a bit. Cannady, a freshman, scored nine of his 11 points in the period.
“I wanted to be the one to hit those shots. I was open and it was awesome. I got going and just kept trying to keep the team going,” Cannady said.
Marshall had a lifeline, and from there, Logan Eitel took it and ran with it. He went on a personal 7-0 run via a pair of free throws, a breakaway dunk and a 3-pointer to put the Lions up 59-54.
“Robinson had to get out of their zone and then we started going to the rim, we got a couple of fouls, and the big guy couldn’t contest us. That was our whole modus operandi,” Brannan said.
Marshall kept Robinson at arm’s length, but could not pull away. Consecutive buckets by Ben Jones tied the game at 67 with 2:03 left. After an empty Marshall possession, Leonard’s final offensive foul was called with 1:28 left.
“We talked about the different areas we could [draw charge calls]. We talked about a lot of different scenarios where we could get him. On the block, when he’s spinning,” Brannan said.
Leonard, a junior who will play at Illinois, had nine points and nine rebounds.
Marshall will play the winner of tonight’s Paris-Tolono Unity game in Friday’s championship game.
• Three-point shootout — Olney’s Brandon Barrett (12 makes), Flora’s Paul Knapp (11 makes), Robinson’s Ben Jones (10 makes) and Effingham St. Anthony’s James Jenson (9 makes) made it to Friday’s final round of the 3-point shootout.
Jenson won a playoff 5-4 over Marshall’s Lucas Eitel to advance.

Robinson 70
Player fg 3pt ft r s pf tp
Hannahs 3-6 2-4 1-2 5 0 4 9
Shaw 3-6 2-3 0-0 1 1 3 8
Leonard 3-5 0-0 3-4 9 0 5 9
B.Jones 10-15 1-3 3-5 2 1 4 24
S.Jones 4-5 1-1 10-10 0 1 5 19
Watson 0-0 0-0 1-2 1 0 1 1
Siler 0-2 0-2 0-0 0 0 1 0
Totals 23-39 6-13 18-23 *21 3 23 70
Marshall 79
Player fg 3pt ft r s pf tp
Lo.Eitel 10-18 2-3 19-20 4 0 4 41
Brashear 1-2 1-1 0-0 0 2 2 3
Lu.Eitel 2-5 0-1 3-4 3 2 3 7
T.Duncan 5-10 1-2 2-2 3 1 4 13
Morey 0-1 0-0 1-2 1 0 3 1
J.Duncan 1-3 1-3 0-0 2 2 1 3
Cannady 3-4 3-3 2-2 3 1 1 11
Totals 23-43 8-13 27-30 *18 8 18 79

Robinson 20 21 13 16 — 70
Marshall 14 21 19 25 — 79

FG Pct. — Robinson .589, Marshall .535. 3-pt FG Pct. — Robinson .462, Marshall .615. FT Pct. — Robinson .783, Marshall .900. (*) Includes team rebounds — Robinson 3, Marshall 2. Turnovers — Robinson 15, Marshall 8. Blocks — Robinson 4 (Leonard 2), Marshall 2 (Lu.Eitel, T.Duncan).
Next — Marshall (29-0) plays Paris or Tolono Unity in Friday’s championship game. Robinson finished 20-8.


Undefeated Marshall’s next test: Robinson and its big man

By Andy Amey
The Tribune-Star

March 03, 2009

Marshall is hoping for history to repeat itself. Robinson wants to be the perfect example of how hard it is to beat a team three times in the same season. Paris? The tough-in-the-clutch Tigers might just want a close game.
Those are storylines for three Wabash Valley teams remaining in the Illinois Class 2A boys basketball tournament, all of them heading to Robinson this week for sectional play.
Unbeaten Marshall and the host Maroons play at 7:30 p.m. CST today, with Paris facing Tolono Unity at the same time Wednesday. The championship is Friday, its dubious prize a trip to the Macomb — yes, Macomb — Super-Sectional, although any of the four teams will be thrilled to make that long, long trip next week.
Marshall and Robinson will be meeting for the third time, although the Lions’ two victories over the Maroons came in the teams’ first and third games of the season back in November.
The Lions will have to find a way to contain Robinson center Meyers Leonard, while the Maroons will need to slow down a host of Marshall weapons.
“He’s a 7-footer and he’s pretty good,” coach Tom Brannan of Marshall said of Leonard, “a legitimate Division I prospect with an NBA-type body.
“Our guys have done a great job of team defense against him [in the previous two meetings],” Brannan continued. “Taylor Duncan will probably take the brunt of [guarding Leonard], but it’s a team project.”
“About every position is a threat,” coach Bob Coffman of Robinson said of the Lions. “They are good shooters and good at getting to the basket.”
Marshall’s abilities to drive the ball may have made the difference in the two early games. “They were good battles, but [the Lions] got to the free throw line and we didn’t,” Coffman recalled. “But since then, we’re averaging 18 to 20 free throws a game … we had a good week last week [in winning the Olney Regional, Robinson’s first regional championship in seven years].”
“[The Maroons] may be the most talented team we will play,” Brannan said. “They have outside shooters, guys who can put it on the floor, a post presence and good role players.”
It’s Marshall’s first trip to a sectional since 1994, with some unbelievable sets of circumstances thwarting the Lions in recent regionals. Some of those bad-luck thoughts may have entered the heads of the Lions last week, before they fought off a stiff challenge from Teutopolis to win the Effingham St. Anthony Regional.
“There was a lot of pressure,” Brannan acknowledged. “We’ve had a lot of things happen, and luck was not always on our side [during recent regional weeks]. But these boys persevered, stuck with it, believed it would happen and it happened.”
Brannan is optimistic his Lions have better basketball ahead of them as a result.
“Now let’s go out and play,” he said. “Give it your all, fly around and have fun.”
Paris has had fun lately, although in a narrow-escape kind of way. The Tigers upset top-seeded St. Joseph-Ogden in overtime to win the Bismarck-Henning Regional and earn another game with Unity; Paris won the regular-season meeting between those two teams 33-31 on Feb. 14, hitting two game-winning free throws with 1.5 seconds left.
Nothing unusual about those games, coach Terry Elston of the Tigers told the Tribune-Star.
“We’ve won five of our last six, all in the last 10 seconds,” Elston said. “We’re pretty battle-tested, and we’re playing well right now.”
The recent game between the two teams should mean there will be few surprises when they battle Wednesday.
“We’ve got film on them, and they’ve got it on us,” Elston noted. “For us it starts on the defensive end; if we can force them to take bad shots, good things happen.”


Paris Tigers prepare for sectional game versus Tolono-Unity Rockets

Chase Brinkley (L) and head coach Terry Elston (R) (A. Kennedy)

Sports Editor
Published: Tuesday, March 3, 2009
    The Paris Tigers have spent their recent practices preparing for their sectional first round game against the Tolono-Unity Rockets.

    Paris will face the Rockets 7:30 p.m. Wednesday night in the first round of the Robinson sectional.

    The Tigers faced Unity, defeating them 33-31 just over two weeks ago. Paris played one of their best defensive games of the season that night and will use the same approach Wednesday.

    “This late in the season, we are not really trying to change anything,” Paris head coach Terry Elston said during practice Monday. “We’re just trying to execute what we’ve been doing all year a little bit better. As you move forward in the tournament, the teams you are playing have been the top teams throughout the year. Unity’s no exception to that,” Elston reminded. “They’re very well coached, they’re very disciplined. They play hard and get after it. We are looking forward to the challenge of playing in a sectional game. One of the advantages we have is that we are an hour closer than they are to Robinson. We played down in that gym in the summer in a shoot-out down there and won that tournament and, of course, playing in the Apollo Conference, we’re used to playing in that gym. So, we are going to go out, give it our best shot and do the best that we can.”

    Reserve seating tickets for Wednesday night’s game can still be purchased at the Paris High School office during normal school hours Tuesday and Wednesday.

    The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. at Robinson High School. Paris shooters Dalten Temples, Chase Brinkley and Taylor Haddix will compete in the IHSA 3-point Shootout around 6:40 p.m.

    The Tigers expect to have a good crowd Wednesday night in Robinson, including their biggest fan, John Marrs.

    Marrs, an eighth grader at Crestwood, was the MTXE (Mental Toughness and Extra Effort) winner during the Tigers’ basketball camp last summer. He has since been a fixture with the Paris Tigers basketball program.

    Before the start of the Tigers’ regional championship game against St. Joe, Marrs wrote a letter for the team. In the letter he expressed his admiration for the guys’ determination to “keep working and fighting.” Toward the end of the letter he states “You guys do this... I know you will do this tonight, and you will be proud of yourselves when you walk off the floor. I will be proud too.”

    The letter was read to the team in the locker room just before their overtime regional championship win.

Robinson 68, Olney 48
Maroons roll to first Regional title since 01-02

Daily News

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The old adage of "it's difficult to beat a team three times in a season" did not hold true for the Robinson Maroons this week, as they steam rolled through the competition at the Olney Class 2A Regional on their way to the first Regional championship since the 2001-02 season and the 16th in school history.

The week culminated with a 68-48 whitewashing of host Olney in the title game Friday night.

"I thought this was as close to putting 32 minutes of basketball together as we have had all season," RHS head coach Bob Coffman said. "To beat this team in their place, as good as they are, just shows the improvements we've made throughout the season."

It was the third win for the Maroons in four matchups with the Tigers this season. Robinson previously defeated Olney 72-45 at the Capital Classic in Lawrenceville Nov. 29 and at Olney, 44-42, on Feb. 10, while the Tigers edged the Maroons, 49-48, at Robinson Jan. 9.

The Maroons also defeated another Apollo Conference rival, Newton, for a third time in the semifinals in order to reach the championship game.

Early on, the game looked like it was going to be another nail biter, as the two teams traded baskets throughout the first period, resulting in a 9-9 tie after the first eight minutes.

However, the Maroons would take control in the second quarter. After Olney's Brandon Berry scored at the 6:40 mark of the second period to give the Tigers an 11-9 lead, Robinson scored the next nine points on baskets by Meyers Leonard, Ben Jones and Stephen Jones and a three-pointer from Derek Hannahs and held Olney scoreless for nearly four minutes. Christian Kabbes finally broke the drought for Olney, but the Maroons were still ahead, 18-13, with 2:23 remaining in the first half and they would never trail again. Robinson ended the half on a 7-2 run thanks to a layup by Leonard, a steal and layup by Brandon Shaw and another three-pointer by Hannahs to take a 25-15 lead at halftime.

"We always preach defense and our effort tonight on the defensive end was spectacular," Coffman said. "We forced some turnovers and controlled the defensive boards, which created some good stuff for us on offense."

Even with the double-digit halftime advantage, the Maroons could not relax, because they knew Olney would not go down without a fight. The Tigers came out of the gate quickly to start the second half, as they went on an 11-4 run to pull within three, 29-26, with 3:30 left in the third quarter.

"I said at halftime they were going to come out in the second half and Berry and (Charlie) McDowell were going to try to take the game over," Coffman said. "We did a fantastic job containing them when they were on offense. We were so quick to defend on the catch and they struggled to get open shots. They earned everything they got."

Robinson would counter the Olney run with an 11-4 spurt of their own, highlighted by Leonard and Shaw converting traditional three-point plays, Stephen Jones hitting a three-point basket and a layup, to push the lead back to 10, 40-30, with 44.8 seconds remaining. Mitch Schonert would then score for the Tigers with 18 seconds left in the frame to pull Olney to within eight, 40-32 after three periods.

The Maroons would then run away from the Tigers in the fourth quarter, as Shaw began the period with a three-pointer to increase the margin to 11, 43-32, and Olney would never threaten again. Robinson outscored Olney 27-16 in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.

While the Maroons were stingy on defense, they were very unselfish with the basketball on the offensive end. Four players scored in double figures for the Maroons, who handed out 18 assists on 23 made baskets. Robinson was 23-39 from the field (59 percent), which included a 17-27 effort (63 percent) from two-point range and a six of 12 performance (50 percent) from three-point territory. The Maroons also connected on 16-18 attempts (89 percent) at the free throw line.

"I thought we were very diligent in our decision making on the offensive end," Coffman said. "We knew when to force the issue on the breaks and when to slow it down in the half-court."

The Tigers struggled to find the basket most of the night, as they made just 18-51 shots from the floor (35 percent), including a dismal two of 21 (9 percent) from beyond the arc. The one bright spot was at the charity stripe, as the Tigers made 10-13 (77 percent) free tosses.

Leonard was dominant in nearly every aspect of the game for the Maroons, as he led the way with 16 points, nine rebounds, six assists, four blocked shots and a steal. Ben Jones also had a solid outing with 15 points, six rebounds and five assists, Derek Hannahs posted 14 points, one rebound and one assist, Stephen Jones had 12 points, four rebounds, four steals and three assists and Brandon Shaw chipped in with eight points, three rebounds, one steal and one assist. Scott Kirkwood accounted for the only bench points for the Maroons, as he canned a three-pointer in the late stages, while also grabbing a rebound. Austin Siler registered a rebound and an assist, Derek Watson had a rebound and Cody Chamblin had an assist.

Berry led three players in double figures for Olney with 14 points, while he also recorded three rebounds, two steals and an assist. Schonert netted 12 points, seven rebounds and one steal, while McDowell added 12 points, four steals, four assists and three rebounds. Blake Pampe accounted for six points, three rebounds and one steal, Christian Kabbes chipped in four points and four rebounds and Jordan Pottorff had two rebounds and an assist.

The Regional championship appearance was the second in three years for the Maroons, as they lost to Effingham St. Anthony at Marshall two years ago, and were within a St. Anthony buzzer-beater of reaching the title game last season. The win snapped a two-game Regional championship game losing streak for the Maroons, who had lost their previous title tilts to St. Anthony to end the 06-07 season and to Mt. Carmel in the 02-03 season.

"When I look in the stands and see Kyle Hardiman, Brad Shaner and others that I had in my first year here, I would tell them that when we win a championship, they won it as well," Coffman said. "This win was for every player to ever play for Robinson. Now we want to continue to win and push for another championship."

Now that they have a Regional championship under their belt, the Maroons are looking to take that next step when Sectional play starts next week.

"I told the guys that this is not what we want the final result to be," Coffman said. "We have more goals and more expectations for this team this year. We will have to play as hard as we did tonight and even better Tuesday night against a very tough Marshall team."

Robinson (20-7) will play undefeated and fifth-ranked Marshall (28-0), who was a 55-49 winner over Teutopolis in the Effingham St. Anthony Regional, in the first semifinal of the Robinson Sectional Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. Olney finished the season 18-12.

2009 IHSA Class 2A

Boys Basketball Regional

At Olney

Olney 9 6 17 16 - 48

Robinson 9 16 15 27 - 68

OLNEY (48)

Totten 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Petty 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Bl. Pampe 3-5 0-0 0-0 6, McDowell 3-5 1-12 3-4 12, Van Gundy 0-0 0-2 0-0 0, Schonert 2-4 1-3 5-6 12, Pottorff 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Berry 6-12 0-1 2-3 14, Kabbes 2-4 0-3 0-0 4, Shipman 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, TOTALS 16-30 2FG, 2-21 3FG, 10-13 FT, 48 TP.


Derek Hannahs 2-2 2-6 4-4 14, Brandon Shaw 2-2 1-2 1-1 8, Austin Siler 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Jimmy Stevens 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Devan Dirks 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Cody Chamblin 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Warren Whithaus 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Ben Jones 2-5 1-2 8-8 15, Meyers Leonard 7-11 0-0 2-3 16, Scott Kirkwood 0-0 1-1 0-0 3, Derek Watson 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Stephen Jones 4-7 1-1 1-2 12, TOTALS 17-27 2FG, 6-12 3FG, 16-18 FT, 68 TP.

Turnovers - ERHS 11, RHS 14. Team fouls - ERHS 14, RHS 12. Fouled out - none. Technical foul - none. Rebounds - (ERHS 22) Schonert 7, Kabbes 4, Berry 3, McDowell 3, Bl. Pampe 3, Pottorff 2. (RHS 26) Leonard 9, B. Jones 6, S. Jones 4, Shaw 3, Hannahs, Siler, Kirkwood, Watson. Steals - (ERHS 8) McDowell 4, Berry 2, Bl. Pampe, Schonert. (RHS 6) S. Jones 4, Leonard, Shaw. Assists - (ERHS 6) McDowell 4, Pottorff, Berry. (RHS 18) Leonard 6, B. Jones 5, S. Jones 3, Hannahs, Shaw, Siler, Chamblin. Blocked shots - (RHS 4) Leonard 4.

Next game - Robinson (20-7) will play Marshall in the first semifinal of the Robinson Sectional Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

Three-Point Showdown Advancers - Brandon Berry (Olney) 10; Paul Knapp (Flora) 9; Peyton Wyatt (Newton) 9; Ben Jones (Robinson) 9.

Undefeated Marshall draws Robinson in sectionals

Tribune-Star staff report

March 01, 2009

The field was set Friday night for the Class 2A Robinson Sectional for Illinois high school boys basketball teams.
Marshall defeated Teutopolis to win the Effingham St. Anthony Regional and will face Robinson, the winner over Olney at Olney.
Paris defeated St. Joseph's-Ogden to win at Bismarck-Henning and will meet Tolono Unity, which defeated Sullivan 53-44 to win at Monticello.
The winner at Robinson will advance to the supersectional at Macomb.
In Class A regional finals, Catlin defeated Chrisman 60-51 at Danville Schlarman and Neoga bested Stewardson-Strasburg 62-51 at Cumberland, while Red Hill defeated Clay City 61-41 to advance to the second round.

Robinson Sectional
(all times CST)
Tuesday — Robinson vs. Marshall, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday — Paris vs. Tolono Unity, 7:30.
Friday — Championship, winner advances to Macomb Supersectional on March 10.


Marshall ends T-town bid for regional title

Dustin White
Effingham Daily News

February 28, 2009

Top-seeded and undefeated Marshall High School started off like a cannon shot in the championship of the Class 2A St. Anthony boys basketball regional, and even though the Lions pulled out a 55-49 win over No. 3 Teutopolis they surely knew they'd passed one of their toughest tests yet.
After falling behind 21-11 after one quarter and by as many as 16 points in the second quarter, the Wooden Shoes (24-4) battled all the way back to a 46-46 tie only to have freshman Jacob Duncan bury a three-pointer from the corner to break the deadlock for good with 2:58 left in the final period.
T-town had two more possessions to try and cut into that lead, but came up short both times before eventually fouling Marshall into the bonus.
The Lions (28-0) responded the way great teams do, hitting just enough free throws down the stretch to pull out their closest victory a 44-42 decision Jan. 23 at West Vigo (Ind.) and just their sixth single-digit triumph of the year.
Another one of those single-digit wins was against T-town in the championship of the Lawrence County Capital Classic all the way back on Nov. 29.
Like Friday night, the Shoes found themselves down double-digits in that contest and came up short in a comeback bid, although they didn't quite have Marshall's back to the wall the way they did at the jam-packed Enlow Center.
"We dug ourselves way too big of a hole," said Teutopolis coach Andy Fehrenbacher. "Marshall is such a great team with so many weapons, but I cannot be prouder of the effort we showed in coming back."
Early on, it looked like it might be a slaughtering as the Shoes committed nine first-half turnovers that led to 14 Marshall points.
Lucas Eitel, who ended up with 14 points, 12 rebounds and three assists, was especially hot before halftime; the senior was 5-for-5 with 11 first-quarter points as the Lions turned turnovers and long rebounds into runouts and easy scores.
Taylor Duncan, a junior and Jacob's older brother, scored seven of his 11 before intermission as well.
Marshall was 16-for-23 (70 percent) from the floor before intermission, while T-town spent the first quarter and a half settling for jumpers and not attacking the rim.
"You can't do that against Marshall," said Fehrenbacher. "You've got to get into a team like that and try to get to the line and get some fouls called."
Luckily, senior Tony Zerrusen hit three first-half three-pointers to keep it manageable, and T-town drew some shooting fouls and hit five of six charity tosses.
Fortunate to be down only 10 at the break, T-town clearly outplayed Marshall for a bulk of the second half as the Lions showed some signs of being back on their heels while a raucous Wooden Shoe crowd worked itself up to a fever pitch.
"We were a lot more aggressive in the second half," said Fehrenbacher, whose club hit seven of nine free throws in the third quarter to get within six.
"They also hurt us on the offensive boards and we committed too many unforced turnovers. In a game like this, one or two possessions can end up costing you everything. The little things add up by the end of the game."
After his twin brother ran the show in the first half, Logan Eitel took over in the second half and took 10 of Marshall's 22 shots. He ended up leading the Lions with 17 and also had a team-high four steals.
The score everyone will remember, however, was Jacob Duncan's triple.
"You may think I'm full of it, but I knew that shot was in as soon as he let go of it," said 17-year Marshall coach Tom Brannan, who last guided a team to a regional championship in 1994.
"That was a dagger," said Fehrenbacher. "(Leaving Duncan open) was a gamble we talked about. We denied both Eitels and the older Duncan kid, so we knew somebody was going to be open."
By and large the strategy still worked as T-town got itself back into the game by switching things up and slowing things down.
"Our guys did a great job, but a whole lot of credit goes to T-town and Andy," said Brannan. "They were the biggest reason this game got close again. I just had to keep telling my kids they were ahead and to play like it. When you play with confidence, good things happen."
Zerrusen wound up with a game-high 18 points and also had five rebounds in his final game. He and fellow seniors Brian Haskenherm, Jeremy Schumacher, Kendall Giles and John Runde will be moving on.
"Tony does everything you ask of him," said Fehrenbacher. "When the game is on the line, you want him to have the ball in his hands. He's a winner, plain and simple, and he left it all out there tonight. It's what he's done all year."
Haskenherm, T-town's second-leading scorer, didn't find his way into the scoring column, but did lead all players with five assists.
"Brian has been such a pleasure to coach," said Fehrenbacher. "You can't ask for a better kid. He didn't score much in this regional, but he does so many other things."
J. Schumacher had 10 points along with sophomore Nick Schumacher.
"Jeremy didn't start for us at the beginning of the season, but he's worked his way into it," said Fehrenbacher. "He always knew his role and what he needed to do to be important to this team.
"Giles didn't play as much as some of the others, but he was always in the game and like another coach for us. He always did his part.
"Runde is just such a warrior. I think he's the poster boy for Wooden Shoe basketball. He doesn't have the most talent, but he works harder than anybody else out there."
Marshall moves on to the Robinson Sectional, where it will take on the host Maroons after they defeated Olney to win the Olney Regional. That semifinal is set for Tuesday, while Tolono Unity and Paris square off in the Wednesday contest. Championship action is set for Friday.
Dustin White can be reached at 217-347-7151 ext. 123 or
Class 2A St. Anthony Regional
At The Enlow Center

Niebrugge 0-5 0-0 0, Zerrusen 5-12 4-5 18, Thompson 0-0 0-0 0, Haskenherm 0-5 0-0 0, J. Schumacher 3-6 4-4 10, N. Schumacher 2-3 5-8 10, Giles 1-2 0-0 2, Runde 1-3 3-4 5, Sandschafer 2-2 0-0 4. TOTALS 14-38 FG (36.8) 16-21 FT (76.2).
Lo. Eitel 7-16 2-4 17, J. Duncan 3-5 0-0 8, Brashear 0-2 1-2 1, Lu. Eitel 6-13 1-4 14, T. Duncan 4-7 2-2 11, Morey 2-2 0-0 4. TOTALS 22-45 FG (48.9) 6-12 FT (50.0).

3-point FG — Teutopolis 5-13 (Zerrusen 4-9, Haskenherm 0-2, N. Schumacher 1-2), Marshall 5-14 (Lo. Eitel 1-3, J. Duncan 2-4, Brashear 0-1, Lu. Eitel 1-4, T. Duncan 1-2). Rebounds — Teutopolis 26 (N. Schumacher 6, Zerrusen 5), Marshall 24 (Lu. Eitel 12, Brashear 5). Offensive Rebounds — Teutopolis 6 (J. Schumacher 2, N. Schumacher 2), Marshall 8 (Brashear 5, Lu. Eitel 2). Second-Chance Scoring — Teutopolis 4, Marshall 5. Team Rebounds — Teutopolis 1 (1 off.), Marshall 0. Total Fouls — Teutopolis 15, Marshall 12. Fouled Out — none. Assists — Teutopolis 11 (Haskenherm 5, Niebrugge 3), Marshall 8 (Lu. Eitel 3). Blocked Shots — Teutopolis 1 (N. Schumacher), Marshall 3 (Lo. Eitel, J. Duncan, T. Duncan). Steals — Teutopolis 3, Marshall 10 (Lo. Eitel 4). Turnovers — Teutopolis 14, Marshall 11. Points Off Turnovers — Teutopolis 11, Marshall 20. Officials — Jim Wagner, Mike Jones, George Martin.
Three-Point Qualifiers — Lucas Eitel (Marshall), Riley Scales (Casey-Westfield), Logan Eitel (Marshall), James Jansen (St. Anthony).


Marshall wins first boys regional title since 1994

By Andy Amey
The Tribune-Star

EFFINGHAM February 28, 2009

Lucas Eitel put on a show Friday night at the Effingham St. Anthony Regional 3-point contest, and got Marshall’s Lions off to a similar start when the real game started.
But the Lions’ first regional championship since 1994 wouldn’t come easy. After squandering all of a 16-point second-quarter lead, Marshall got a clutch 3-pointer with three minutes left by freshman Jacob Duncan and held on for a 55-49 win over gutty Teutopolis.
“Give a lot of credit to T-town,” coach Tom Brannan of Marshall said after the game. “Their tandem 2-3 zone [defense] kind of hurt us.”
It didn’t appear for a while like anything was going to hurt the Lions. With Lucas Eitel scoring 11 first-quarter points and heading toward a potential triple-double, Marshall closed out the first quarter with a 14-2 run for a 21-11 lead — Lucas Eitel was 5-for-5 fron the field — and built that margin to 28-12 early in the second period.
“We were out there to prove something,” said Lucas Eitel — who hit 12 of his 15 3-point shots in the preliminary — after the game. “Last year [when the Lions lost the Robinson Regional final to Effingham St. Anthony] we were kind of humiliated.”
But then, despite Marshall’s 70-percent first-half shooting from the field, momentum jumped off the Lions’ bus and never really got back on.
Teutopolis cut the lead to 37-27 by halftime, and finished the third quarter on a 9-3 run that brought the Wooden Shoes within 44-38.
“We came out kind of cold [in the second half], and [the Shoes] got in their zone defense,” Lucas Eitel said.
“For a while we went back in a funk,” Brannan said. “We were not attacking the basket with confidence, and playing not to get beat … we were attacking [the Teutopolis zone], but not getting the shots we wanted — but I’m not sure they got the shots they wanted either.”
“Defense was the difference this year,” Lucas Eitel agreed. “We kept [the Shoes] from scoring points too.”
A trade of baskets early in a deliberate fourth quarter kept the margin at six points, but then T-town’s Jeremy Schumacher scored inside. The Shoes came out of a timeout and ran a play for Tony Zerrusen, who hit a 3-pointer that cut the lead to 46-45, and with 4:20 left one of many second-half fouls by the Lions sent Nick Schumacher to the line.
He hit the first, tying the score for the first time since 9-9, but missed the second. Both teams failed on chances to take the lead, but then the younger of the Duncan brothers — “Ice water in his veins,” Brannan said later — connected from the corner. His older brother Taylor Duncan added two free throws with 55.3 seconds left, and the Lions survived despite three missed free throws in the final minute.
Logan Eitel led Marshall with 17 points, getting 10 of the Lions’ 18 in the second half. Lucas Eitel had 14 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists — six of the feeds in the quicker first half — while Taylor Duncan scored 11, Jacob Duncan eight, Trey Brashear had six rebounds and his usual good defensive work and Dustin Morey had three steals.

Teutopolis 49
Player fg 3pt ft r s pf tp
Runde 1-3 0-0 3-4 3 3 2 5
Haskenherm 0-5 0-2 0-0 4 0 4 0
Sandschafer 2-2 0-0 0-0 2 0 1 4
J.Schumacher 3-6 0-0 4-4 4 2 4 10
Zerrusen 5-12 4-9 4-5 5 0 2 18
Niebrugge 0-5 0-1 0-0 2 0 0 0
Giles 1-2 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 2
N.Schumacher 2-3 1-2 5-8 5 0 1 10
Thompson 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 1 0
Totals 14-38 5-14 16-21 *29 5 15 49
Marshall 55
Player fg 3pt ft r s pf tp
Morey 2-2 0-0 0-0 0 3 0 4
T.Duncan 4-7 1-2 2-2 4 1 4 11
Lo.Eitel 7-16 1-3 2-4 3 4 3 17
Lu.Eitel 6-11 1-3 1-4 13 1 2 14
Brashear 0-3 0-2 1-2 6 1 1 1
J.Duncan 3-5 2-4 0-0 0 0 3 8
Cannady 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Totals 22-44 5-14 6-12 *28 10 13 55
Teutopolis 11 16 11 11 — 49
Marshall 21 16 7 11 — 55
FG Pct. — Teutopolis .368, Marshall .500. 3-pt FG Pct. — Teutopolis .357, Marshall .357. FT Pct. — Teutopolis .762, Marshall .500. (*) Includes team rebounds — Teutopolis 3, Marshall 2. Turnovers — Teutopolis 13, Marshall 12. Assists — Teutopolis 13 (Haskenherm 5), Marshall 13 (Lu.Eitel 7). Blocks — Teutopolis 1 (N.Schumacher), Marshall 2 (Lo.Eitel, J.Duncan).
Next — Marshall (28-0) plays Robinson on Tuesday at the Class 2A Robinson Sectional. Teutopolis finished 24-4.


Zebe, Unity make fourth quarter count

Saturday February 28, 2009

MONTICELLO – It was physical. It was intense. It was loud.

It was everything you would expect with the season on the line.

Unity claimed its ninth regional title in 12 years after defeating Sullivan 53-44 on Friday night at the Class 2A Monticello Regional.

"This is what you do everything for" Rockets coach Jarrett Brown said. "All the offseason work and weight training. It's really a great moment. The kids kept their composure and played with a lot of courage tonight."

The win wasn't easy for Unity, which trailed 27-24 at intermission after an all-around sloppy first half that featured 17 turnovers and 16 fouls.

"We didn't play well" said Brown of the Rockets' first half. "We played hard and competed, we just weren't sharp. We had some careless turnovers and were a little bit hesitant."

The struggles extended early into the third quarter before Unity went on a 7-0 run.

With the game tied at 35 after three quarters, Sullivan's Chance Typer hit a jumper in the opening minutes of the fourth.

It was the last lead Sullivan would see.

After trading turnovers on the next two possessions, Unity's Zebo Zebe kicked off a 6-0 run, converting a steal into a three-point play on a fast break.

"Being a senior, you have that sense of urgency" Zebe said. "I knew this could be the last time I'm on the floor, so I had to give it everything I had."

With momentum on their side, the Rockets took full control on the next possession.

After getting blocked from be-hind on a fast break off a Sullivan miss, sophomore Seth Gooch pulled out a little trickery, scoring an easy layup after inbounding the ball off Chris Marrs to give Unity a 40-37 lead with about six minutes to play.

"I just kind of looked at the court to see what was there" Gooch said. "I saw the kid turn his back and thought, heck, I'll try it. I missed a few layups earlier in the game, so it felt great to pop it off his backside and get to the rim. It really swung the momentum our way."

After a pair of misses and an offensive foul on Marrs during Sullivan's next three possessions, Unity forced the game into its strength.

"We always try to get to the four-minute mark with the lead" Brown said.

Like they've done throughout the season, the Rockets iced the game in the final minutes, connecting on 11 of 16 from the free throw line to cap an 80 percent night.

"We've been really strong in that area all year" Brown said. "I felt confident when the game reached that point. There is no question our guys expect to make them. We didn't hit them all, but we made just enough."

Zebe finished with a game-high 14 points and seven rebounds, and junior Kyler McFall added nine points and three steals.

For Sullivan, Typer and Marrs each finished with a team-high 12 points. Marrs grabbed eight rebounds.

Unity is scheduled to play Paris on Wednesday in the Robinson Sectional.

"I feel like when we play with energy and enthusiasm we can play with anyone," Brown said. "We've proven that. I hope we bring that energy to sectionals. If we do, I think we have a chance."


Paris Tigers win regional championship in O.T.

CHASE BRINKLEY scores in the second half of the Tigers’ overtime win over the St. Joseph Spartans. The senior guard led his team with 21 points, four steals and five rebounds. (B. Cunningham)

Sports Editor
Published: Saturday, February 28, 2009
     BISMARCK – The Paris Tigers captured their first regional championship in four years with an exciting, 52-49 overtime win against the St. Joseph-Ogden Spartans Friday night.

    St. Joseph led 43-39 with a minute left in the game, when Tigers senior Chase Brinkley was fouled and went to the line to shoot two. Brinkley hit the first free throw but missed his second attempt. The miss led to the biggest play of the game, as sophomore guard Dalten Temples came up with the rebound for Paris and found Brinkley on the other side of the court. Brinkley took the pass from Temples and knocked down a 3-pointer with 43 seconds on the clock, tying the game at 43-43.

    The Spartans took the ball across midcourt and let the clock run down as they looked to take the final shot. Vaughn Duitsman got a look from deep, but missed. St. Joseph scrambled for a put-back, but two attempts fell short and time expired.

    Paris had been attacking the basket all game and had St. Joe in foul trouble. Temples scored the first two points of the extra period from the line. St. Joe tied the game back up at 45-45 with two free throws from Spartans center Jake Firkins. The Tigers kept the pressure on, attacking the basket with Temples and Brinkley. The two Paris guards scored the next five points from the line, giving Paris a 50-45 advantage. Visar Arslani cut that lead by a point when he hit a foul shot.

    In what almost proved to be a disastrous series of plays for Paris, the Spartans’ Jared Orcutt stole the resulting Paris inbound pass and the ball found Duitsman. Duitsman, a good shooter from the perimeter, connected on a 3-pointer that brought St. Joe within a point with 16 seconds to go.

    St. Joe was forced to foul Johnnie Dayton, who made one of his two shots from the line. With the gap now at three points and with 13 seconds to go, the Spartans looked for another 3-pointer. An attempt from beyond the arc went up but didn’t find its mark. Zach Henn brought down the rebound for Paris and got the ball out to Temples, who was quickly fouled. Temples added the final two points, sealing the first Paris regional championship win since 2005.

    “We’ve won five out of six games now in the closing minutes of the game,” Paris head coach Terry Elston said after the win. “That’s a sign of a good team. Guys are believing in their roles and what they have to do. We’re finding ways to win, and that’s what great teams do.”

    One of the ways the Tigers won was by shutting down the Spartans’ center, Firkins, who scored just four of his 11 points from the field.

    “That was our strategy,” Elston pointer out. “They hit some threes out there on us, but it’s a lot harder to do that when the game’s close and getting down to the final minutes. If we were going to get beat, we were going to get beat outside. We weren’t going to get beat in the paint. The kids believed. I said they were going to hit some threes out there, but you have to trust the game plan, and we did that. I was really pleased with how we executed down the stretch. I couldn’t be more proud of this group.”

    The starting guards did most of the scoring for the Tigers, with Brinkley scoring 21 points and Temples finishing with 14. Temples also recorded five steals and seven rebounds, while Brinkley had four steals and five rebounds. Zach Henn played a big part in the win, scoring five points while helping defend the larger Firkins. Taylor Haddix had six rebounds and a big 3-pointer, while Zach Walls and Johnnie Dayton also scored three points each. Logan Henness and Josh Griffin scored two points each while helping deny the inside.

    With the regional championship now under their belt, the Tigers will travel to Robinson Wednesday, March 4 to face a familiar opponent in the first round of sectionals.

    The Tolono Unity Rockets defeated Sullivan 53-44 in the championship game of the Monticello regional. Paris will face the Rockets Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., after defeating them in Eveland Gym two weeks ago.

    “They’re going to be ready for us,” Elston pointed out. “We have tape on them and they have tape on us. I’m sure it’s going to be a great game.”

    Paris had three shooters competing in the final regional round of the IHSA 3-Point Showdown Friday, and all three will be advancing to the next round in Robinson. Temples had the highest total of the night, making 12 shots. Brinkley was next with 10 and Haddix also made the cut with eight. The Paris sharpshooters will compete in Wednesday’s sectional round at approximately 6:40 p.m.


IHSA Bismarck-Henning 2A Regional Championship

PHS        9    13    14      7    9    -52

SJHS    12      7    13    11    6    -49

Paris                     St. Joseph

C. Brinkley    21    V. Duitsman    12

D. Temples    14    J. Firkins    11

Z. Henn    5           V. Arslani    9

T. Haddix    3         V. Imeri    8

J. Dayton    3         J. Dees    5

J. Griffin    2          C. Starr    2

L. Henness    2      J. Koehler    2

Six area squads to play for regional titles

Dustin White
Effingham Daily News

February 27, 2009

By the time tonight's Class 1A and 2A boys basketball regional championship games are through, there could be as many as three National Trail Conference teams moving on to sectional play.
At the Class 2A St. Anthony Regional, NTC champion Teutopolis High School will face one of its greatest challenges all year as it is set to take on undefeated Marshall with a berth in the Robinson Sectional on the line.
In Class 1A, the St. Elmo Regional final is between top-seeded Altamont and No. 2 Dieterich. While former Midland Trail Conference member Dieterich has spent the season playing as an independent, it will join Altamont in the NTC next year.
Over in Toledo, Neoga and Stewardson-Strasburg will square off for the hardware at the Cumberland Regional; the second-seeded Indians battered the top-ranked Comets 76-57 when they last played 10 days ago.
Moving south, more Class 1A championship play will be going on in Woodlawn as the top-ranked host tries to beat No. 2 South Central for the second time this year and also end retiring Coach Gary Shirley's long tenure on the Cougars' bench.
The winners from St. Elmo, Cumberland and Woodlawn all move on to the Red Hill (Bridgeport) Sectional along with the winner of the Edwards County (Albion) Regional, which will be decided between No. 3 Clay City and No. 1 Red Hill.
Tonight's games are all set for 7:30 p.m. tipoffs.
Class 2A St. Anthony Regional
Only five teams have played Marshall (27-0) to a final margin of fewer than 10 points all season, and one of those teams is Teutopolis (24-3).
That was a 63-54 decision way back on Nov. 29 in the championship of the Lawrence County Capital Classic, and it took a late run for the Wooden Shoes to cut that final margin to nine.
It really doesn't matter — one way or another, T-town is one of the few schools that has actually given the Lions a game.
Marshall had an impressive championship run at the Wabash Valley Pizza Hut Classic in Terre Haute, handing losses to Rockville, Terre Haute South and Terre Haute North for a Christmas tourney title.
There's also a nice 44-42 win over West Vigo to Marshall's credit, but that was a Jan. 23 game. Since then, the Lions haven't won a game by fewer than 28 points.
Sure, most of that is due to the undeniable fact that Marshall is an absolutely outstanding team. Playing much weaker conference opposition hasn't hurt, though; the Lions have rolled Little Illini Conference opposition by an average of 36 points this season.
Seems reminiscent to the quarterfinals of the 2007 Class 1A state tournament, when the battle-tested Wooden Shoes came up against a Nashville club that had won its postseason games by an average of almost 28 points.
T-town, which had lost by 14 to Nashville just a month earlier, was pegged as the Hornets' next victim after going down to the wire in its regional and sectional championship games and needing overtime to win the sectional semifinal, but it got the last laugh in a 43-38 win and eventual third place finish.
Does tonight's matchup between the No. 3 Shoes and No. 1 Lions parallel that Nashville game at all? Maybe, maybe not.
One thing is for certain, however. If Coach Tom Brannan's ultra-talented Marshall club takes Andy Fehrenbacher's T-town squad lightly, it will be going home.
It's incredibly unlikely Brannan will allow that to happen, and tonight's game shapes up to be one of the better regional finals the state has to offer.
Class 1A St. Elmo Regional
Three of Altamont's four losses this season have been against teams playing for a regional title; Teutopolis got the Indians twice, while Stew-Stras also won the first of their three meetings when they clashed at the Vandalia Holiday Tournament.
St. Anthony is the only other team to beat the Indians (24-4), but Dieterich would like nothing more than to hang a fifth loss on the state's eighth-ranked Class 1A team tonight.
The Movin' Maroons (20-8) won their first-ever regional title last year and eventually bowed out in the sectional final against Nokomis.
It has been four years since these schools have faced off, although it will become a regular occurrence when Dieterich officially joins up with the NTC next year.
Altamont and Dieterich have 11 common opponents. The Indians have won 16 of 18 games against those opponents, while Dieterich has gone 10-5 against the same field.
The only teams both Altamont and Dieterich have lost to are St. Anthony and Stew-Stras.
Class 1A Cumberland Regional
Neoga had one of its poorer nights offensively in beating Cumberland 37-35 in a Wednesday semifinal, but it can also hang its hat on the fact it held the Pirates to their lowest point total of the year and 25 below their average.
That's in stark contrast to its 76-57 win at Strasburg on Feb. 17, when the Indians hit 67 percent (30-for-45) of its field goal attempts.
Stew-Stras had its way with Oblong as it pasted the Panthers in a 62-34 semifinal, even though junior starter Will Rincker's play was limited by a sore ankle.
The last time these two met for a regional championship game, it was at Pana in 2006. The higher-seeded Indians were 84-44 winners and went on to play in the championship game of the Shelbyville Sectional.
That was Coach Jason Hanson's first year on the Neoga bench, and the championship at Pana broke a six-year regional drought for the school.
Class 1A Woodlawn Regional
The last time South Central took a loss, it was a 50-25 shellacking at Woodlawn with the Midland Trail Conference West Division Title.
It snapped a stretch of 18 wins in 19 outings for the Cougars (23-6), who got things turned around after a 2-3 start.
Senior post man Isaac Grapperhaus has scored at least 30 points in each of his last two games and would like to do the same after being held to 10 the last time he faced the Cardinals (25-1).
Tanner Bushue, the Cougars' other senior standout, was the focus of Odin's box-and-one scheme in Wednesday's semifinal victory, a 47-40 overtime triumph in which he scored just five.
It is often said you never want to face a Shirley-coached team a second time, especially after handing the Cougars a loss.
Twenty-five points are a lot to make up, but if anyone can do it . . . the smart money is on South Central's hall-of-fame mentor with over 500 career victories and 10 regional titles under his belt.
Class 1A Edwards County Regional
Clay City (17-12) beat North Clay (Louisville) in a 46-41 Thursday semifinal to get to the title game at Albion, knocking off the Cardinals to split their season series at 2-2.
That quartet of games was decided by a grand total of 18 points, and that included Clay City's 63-53 win on Dec. 9.
Now, the Wolves face Red Hill (14-10) for a shot at their first regional crown in over 40 years.
According to the IHSA Web site, the last time Clay City won a regional was in the 1965-66 season.
Effingham High School basketball fans ought to know a little about Clay City's coach back then . . . it was none other than Jim Maxedon, who later took the Flaming Hearts to the state tournament.
Dustin White can be reached at 217-347-7151 ext. 123 or


Hughes, News and Views: How does Marshall's unbeaten season stack up?

February 27, 2009

Regardless of how Marshall fares against Teutopolis in tonight’s championship game of the Class 2A Effingham St. Anthony Regional, there’s no denying that the 27-0 Lions have treated their fans to one of the most memorable boys basketball seasons in recent Wabash Valley history.
Checks of the Web site for Indiana high schools and site for Illinois schools revealed few seasons with even close to as good of records as Marshall has compiled in 2008-09.
The site lists every Indiana school’s boys basketball record since 1993-94.
Some of the best include:
n Terre Haute North went 22-3 (18-2 in the regular season) in 1994-95, 21-6 (15-5) in 1995-96, 20-5 (16-4) in 1993-94 and 17-5 (16-4) in 1997-98.
n Terre Haute South went 22-6 (17-5) in 2004-05, 18-5 (18-4) in 2007-08 and 17-4 (17-3) in 1995-96. Digging a little deeper, a Tribune-Star microfilm search reminded me that South finished 23-2 (19-1) in 1988-89, Tony McGee’s senior year.
Also worth noting is that the Braves have won at least 18 games in three of the past five seasons (including this season), an impressive accomplishment in the Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference era of North and South athletics.
n That 1995-96 sure was a dandy season around here. You probably noticed North and South posting outstanding marks then, but West Vigo also went 19-3 (18-2).
n Northview went 21-3 (20-2) in each of the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons.
n Staying in Clay County, Clay City went 18-5 (17-4) in 2002-03.
n Back to 1995-96 again, Turkey Run finished 18-3 (18-2).
n Sullivan ended up 24-3 (20-2) in 2000-01 and 22-3 (18-2) in 1998-99.
n A former small-school power, Union went 24-4 (18-3) in 1999-2000, 21-4 (18-3) in 1996-97 and 20-4 (18-3) in 1997-98.
n A more recent memory is Rockville going 23-4 (19-3) in 2007-08.
n Also last season, Shakamak finished 19-6 (16-5).
n North Central ended up 18-6 (16-5) in 2006-07.
n Riverton Parke concluded 1997-98 at 14-5 (14-4). Incidentally, not every Valley team enjoyed an outstanding ’95-96. That season, the Panthers went winless in 21 games.
You’re starting to get the point by now: Wrapping up a season with one or zero losses is next to impossible.
As for Illinois schools in our area, goes back farther than the Indiana site, but it also skips a few seasons at some schools, probably because records were unavailable. Also, does not provide a game-by-game listing of scores for any seasons, so determining regular-season records is more difficult.
With that in mind, here are some of the best Illinois records from the past 40 years (with no regular-season records in parentheses):
n Before now, Marshall’s best seasons were 26-3 in 1972-73, 25-3 in 2007-08 and 23-4 in 1993-94.
n Also in Clark County, Martinsville posted impressive marks of 28-1 under coach Steve Bennett in 1980-81, 25-1 under Randy Bishop in 1986-87 and 18-9 in 1993-94.
n Casey went 25-3 in 1998-99 and 24-3 in 1996-97.
n Paris finished 30-1 under Bret Brown in 1970-71 and 24-6 in 2002-03.
n In 2001-02, Robinson ended up 29-3.
n Formerly in the Tribune-Star’s coverage area, Chrisman compiled records of 26-1 under Roger Beals in 1991-92, 27-4 in 1994-95 and 23-5 in 2006-07.
n Finally, Palestine went 19-9 in 1984-85. But what really grabbed my attention was a 0-23 campaign for the Pioneers in 1995-96.
All these numbers are fun for sports reporters to write about and fun for fans to talk about, but they’re not what Marshall coach Tom Brannan is focused on this week.
“To be honest, I haven’t really thought too much about it,” he said Thursday. “I have to say, we really are just taking it one game at a time.”
Still, it looks like 30 — Paris’ number of triumphs in ’70-71 — is a reasonable goal for the 2008-09 Lions.
“I’ve got a great feeling,” Brannan admitted. “I hope we’ve got a few more [wins] to put on there.”
But first things first. Marshall vs. Teutopolis is slated for 7:30 CST tonight. The winner will advance to the Robinson Sectional next week.
Back in November, Marshall defeated Teutopolis 63-45 in the championship game of the Capital Classic at Lawrenceville. A victory would give the Lions their first regional title since 1994.

David Hughes can be reached by phone at 1-800-783-8742, Option 4, or at (812) 231-4224; by e-mail at; or by fax at (812) 231-4321.


Shoes Edge Bulldogs; Face Marshall for Regional Title Friday Print
Written by Greg Sapp   
Wednesday, 25 February 2009


You knew someone's season was going to end Wednesday night at St. Anthony's Enlow Center, and you knew it would be a shame regardless of who lost.

That's because both teams, St. Anthony and Teutopolis, went into the game with 23 wins on the season.  When it was all over, Teutopolis had defeated St. Anthony, 61-52.  The game was heard on WXEF (97.9) and on the Web at

It was a game befitting the teams' gaudy records and the biggest crowd on hand in the history of the Enlow Center.  The scoring started slowly, with the Shoes in front 10-6 after one quarter.  Things picked up in the second period, though, with T-Town outscoring the Bulldogs 21-17 in the quarter to lead things 31-23 at halftime.  The third quarter was the difference, though, as the Shoes outscored St. Anthony 17-8 to take a 48-31 lead. 

The Bulldogs weren't done, though.  Gradually chipping away at the deficit, St. Anthony got back to within 56-52 with a couple of minutes remaining, but T-Town got some foul shots down at the end to post the nine-point win, scoring the last five points of the game.

Two Shoes stood out offensively, Jeremy Schumacher in the first half and Jeremy Niebrugge in the second half.  Schumacher scored 13 before intermission; Niebrugge came in halfway through the third quarter and scored 14 points the rest of the way.  Schumacher finished with 20 to lead all scorers last night.

St. Anthony's lone senior, John Steppe, led the Bulldogs with 16 points to close out a brilliant career on the North Side.  Taylor Worman added 15 while being heavily guarded all night.

T-Town shot 47% from the field on 25 of 53 shooting, while St. Anthony hit 19 of 42 shots for 45%.  The Bulldogs made all 10 of their foul shots, while the Shoes hit seven of 12 tries.  Turnovers were a big factor; the Bulldogs committed 17 turnovers to just nine for T-Town.  The Shoes outboarded the Bulldogs, 27-23.

St. Anthony sees a great season end at 23-5 along with the National Trail Conference Tournament championship.

Teutopolis improves to 24-3 on the campaign with two losses at the Thanksgiving tournament and the one-point loss to the Bulldogs in the conference tournament championship game.  The Shoes will take on undefeated Marshall Friday at 7:30pm for the St. Anthony Regional championship and the right to move on to the Robinson Sectional Tuesday night.

Here's ticket information for Wooden Shoe fans:

Tickets for the regional championship will be sold Thursday at Teutopolis High School and are $4 each, a price set by the IHSA.  Tickets will be sold between 7:45-8:10am to tournament players, managers, other boy basketball players, cheerleaders, pomerettes and girl basketball players in the high school office.  Tickets will be sold to students over the lunch hour in the gym; seniors, then juniors, sophomores, and freshmen; one ticket per student.  From 3:45-4:45pm, tickets will be sold to reserved gold seat holders, immediately followed by family pass holders and the general public on a first-come, first-served basis, in the high school office.  A reminder; no admittance to the high school building to start forming lines until students are dismissed from school at 3:30pm.

Congratulations to the four players who advanced to Friday's regional final in the Country Insurance Three-Point Showdown; Taylor Worman and Kit Koerner of St. Anthony and Jeremy Schumacher of Teutopolis each made eight shots, and James Jansen of St. Anthony made five shots.  They'll shoot just ahead of the championship game.


Niebrugge, Schumacher power T-town to win

Millie Lange
Effingham Daily News

What did Jeremy Niebrugge and Jeremy Schumacher have for breakfast Wednesday morning? Was it Post Toasties . . . maybe Wheaties . . . or did they skip breakfast and go straight to the basketball court?

Whatever the Wooden Shoes players did must have had quite an impact as witnessed at Wednesday's Class 2A Effingham St. Anthony Regional semifinal featuring Teutopolis against the homestanding Bulldogs.

Niebrugge, a 6-foot-2 junior who came in off the bench and didn't score in the opening half, went crazy in the second half, scoring 14 points as he guided the No. 3 Wooden Shoes to a 61-52 win over No. 2 St. Anthony. Before he got started, Schumacher, a 6-foot-4 senior, kept the Shoes on track in the opening half. He knocked down three straight trifectas and scored 13 of his total 20 points as the Shoes held a 31-23 halftime lead.

"Jeremy Schumacher was able to take his man off the dribble and thank goodness, came out with a hot hand," said T-town Coach Andy Fehrenbacher. "Jeremy Niebrugge had the hot hand in the second half. He's quick and gets a first step on you. After struggling last week against Madison, I told him to just keep shooting and I'm certainly glad he did."

T-town edged out to a 10-6 opening quarter lead. Both teams had to put aside some nerves in the opening quarter before a packed house. T-town's Brock Sandschafer hit the first basket for the Shoes then it was turnover time as the Bulldogs coughed up two straight. Finally a steal by James Jansen and a layup tied the score at 2-2. Then it was turnover time once again before a three-pointer by J. Schumacher. Schumacher and Sandschafer provided the scoring for the Shoes.

St. Anthony came roaring back in the second quarter as Myles Baker connected before Ryan Schmitt hit a basket and Taylor Worman knocked down a three-pointer and the Bulldogs had the lead.

T-town moved ahead again, but another steal and layup, this one by John Steppe, pushed the Bulldogs ahead 19-17. The last lead for the Bulldogs came with 4:08 on the clock when J. Jansen hit a basket. The Shoes knotted the score at 21-21 on a bucket by John Runde and went ahead when J. Schumacher hit a shot. But Schumacher picked up his second foul and exited the game.

That didn't seem to stop the Shoes as Nick Schumacher stepped up with a basket and Derek Thompson hit a shot for a 27-21 lead. Both scores came off Bulldog turnovers. The lead went to eight when Tony Zerrusen hit a basket. T-town led 31-23 at halftime.

"We had too many turnovers and gave up too many offensive rebounds," said St. Anthony Coach Matt Britton. "They got too many second chance points. I think the kids panicked a little bit early and again in the third quarter.

"We had some good looks at the basket in the first half, but the shots just didn't go in for us."

The lead for the Shoes went to 10 at the start of the third quarter. St. Anthony pulled it down to seven with 4:28 showing on a basket by Worman. But the Shoes' N. Schumacher nailed a trifecta before Niebrugge started on a run.

The junior hit a basket at the 2:05 mark before connecting with back-to-back baskets at 1:10 and 41.2. He was fouled as the buzzer sounded and calmly stepped to the line, putting in two free throws as everyone else headed to the bench. That gave T-town a 17-point lead at the quarter's end, 48-31.

But if you think the Bulldogs were out of it, you're wrong. After being down by 17, St. Anthony mounted a furious rally in the final quarter. Niebrugge hit three straight shots to keep the Shoes going before a three-pointer by Worman started the St. Anthony run.

The Bulldogs' Derek Rohlfing connected on two free throws. With 3:36 showing, T-town threw the ball out of bounds and turned it back over to the Bulldogs. St. Anthony took advantage when Steppe connected for two straight baskets that pulled the Shoe lead down to eight at the 2:32 mark.

T-town's Runde hit a bucket before Worman hit a basket and Kit Koerner put in a shot and suddenly the lead was down to six. That came down even further when St. Anthony's Koerner connected on two free throws with 41.3 showing and the Bulldogs were within 56-52. But free throws down the stretch carried T-town to the win as J. Schumacher hit five of six at the line.

"The kids never quit," said Coach Britton. "We just dug ourselves too big a hole. As the game wore on, we just took too long to get that sense of urgency. Give T-town a lot of credit, especially Schumacher and Niebrugge. When you have a rivalry like our two teams, there are always going to be some kids step up that you don't expect and that happened tonight."

Schumacher finished with 20 and Niebrugge with 14 to lead the Shoes. Runde pulled down eight rebounds as the Shoes had a 26-19 margin, 16-9 in the opening half. T-town also had seven fewer turnovers than the Bulldogs.

St. Anthony was led by Steppe with 16 and Worman with 14. Rohlfing and Koerner had four rebounds each.

"Steppe is just a warrior," said Coach Fehrenbacher of St. Anthony's lone senior. "I love that kid. He's been a joy to watch and I knew he wasn't going to lay down because it was his last game.

"We finally outrebounded St. Anthony after letting them lead the last two times we've played. Runde was a man on the boards. I think the third quarter decided the game. I thought we had guys who played aggressive on both ends. Our defense was solid the whole night. We had guys step up that third quarter and play aggressively. Jeremy Schumacher just got us going early and carried us. Then Jeremy Niebrugge came in off the bench to play a phenomenal second half. "

"I thought we did a great job on Haskenherm and Zerrusen tonight," said Britton. "We didn't put too much of an effort on the defensive end the last time we played them and I thought we did a nice job tonight. But T-town also did a great job defensively, especially on Taylor. We're going to hate to see John Steppe go. He's been a leader all year and has really had a great career here at St. Anthony.

"I expect T-town to play quite awhile. Marshall has a great team, but we've seen a lot of T-town and I'll be surprised if they don't make it a long run."

St. Anthony ended the season with a 23-5 mark. T-town (24-3) now advances to face Marshall (27-0) at 7:30 p.m. Friday for the regional championship. The Shoes faced Marshall at the beginning of the season, losing to the Lions 63-54 at the Capital Classic.

Millie Lange can be reached at 217-347-7151 ext. 123 or

Class 2A St. Anthony Regional


Zerrusen 4-10 0-1 8, Haskenherm 1-5 0-1 2, Sandschafer 2-4 0-0 4, J. Schumacher 6-9 5-6 20, Runde 3-9 0-2 6, Thompson 1-4 0-0 2, Giles 0-0 0-0 0, N. Schumacher 2-2 0-0 5, Niebrugge 6-8 2-2 14. TOTALS 25-51 FG (49.0) 7-12 FT (58.3)


J. Jansen 2-4 0-0 4, Worman 4-9 4-4 14, Sudkamp 1-1 0-0 2, Steppe 7-15 2-2 16, Baker 3-5 0-0 6, Rohlfing 1-2 2-2 4, Lustig 0-0 0-0 0, Koerner 13 2-2 4, M. Jansen 0-1 0-0 0, Schmitt 1-1 0-0 2. TOTALS 20-41 FG (48.7) 10-10 FT (100.0)


St. Anthony----6---17----8---21---—---52

3-point FG — Teutopolis 4-9 (Zerrusen 0-3, Haskenherm 0-1, J. Schumacher 3-4, N. Schumacher 1-1), St. Anthony 2-11 (J. Jansen 0-1, Worman 2-5, Steppe 0-4, Koerner 0-1). Rebounds — Teutopolis 26 (Runde 8), St. Anthony 19 (Rohlfing 4, Koerner 4). Total fouls — Teutopolis 12, St. Anthony 14. Fouled out — none. Turnovers — Teutopolis 10, St. Anthony 17. Officials — Martin, Jones, Wagner.

Three-Point Qualifiers

Kit Koerner (St. Anthony), Jeremy Schumacher (Teutopolis), Taylor Worman (St. Anthony), James Jansen (St. Anthony)

Marshall cruises into St. A title game

Dustin White
Effingham Daily News

February 25, 2009

Undefeated Marshall cruised to the title game of the Class 2A St. Anthony boys basketball regional Tuesday, holding off a strong Casey-Westfield start for a 77-49 regional semifinal win over the Warriors.
The Lions, ranked fifth in the latest Class 2A Associated Press poll, led just 21-15 after one quarter, but outscored No. 4 Casey-Westfield 17-5 in the second period and never let it get any closer than 12 when the Warriors opened the second half with a quick 6-0 run.
Answering with an 8-0 run of its own, Marshall (27-0) had things well in hand by the midpoint of the third stanza and pulled its starters early in the fourth quarter.
Logan Eitel's 19 points and nine rebounds were both game highs, and for good measure the senior added five assists.
Twin brother Lucas added 13 points, seven assists and four rebounds, but junior Taylor Duncan had the ultimate hot hand as he went 8-for-8 from the field to contribute 18 points.
Duncan led all rebounders with five offensive boards; he finished up with eight rebounds and four assists.
Marshall ran a patient attack at Casey-Westfield early on, carving up the Warriors' zone and consistently finding open looks on the way to a 31-for-62 (50 percent) shooting clinic.
The Lions hit nine of 23 three-pointers, but were only 3-for-11 after intermission as shot selection suffered a bit for the top-seeded squad. They made up for it with 11 of their 19 second-chance tallies coming in the second half.
Casey-Westfield (10-14) got 15 from senior Kirk Shawver, while the only other senior, Mitch Snyder, was held to four. Junior guard Brett Livvix managed seven fourth-quarter tallies in garbage time, while Riley Scales, Kruz Kusterman and Clinton Scott each chipped in a half-dozen.
Even though the Warriors weren't bad taking care of the ball (13 turnovers), Marshall still managed 19 points off turnovers while taking excellent care of the ball (seven turnovers) itself.
Four of those Lion giveaways came in the fourth quarter with the bench cleared.
While Casey-Westfield's season is complete, the highly-touted Lions await the winner of tonight's second semifinal between No. 2 St. Anthony and No. 3 Teutopolis.
Game time for the rubber match between St. Anthony and T-town is 7:30 p.m. Both squads received votes in the newest AP poll, but neither cracked the top 10.
St. Anthony and Marshall have not met this season, although last year the Bulldogs tripped the Lions 59-51 in the championship of the Robinson Regional.
T-town played Marshall on Nov. 29 for the championship of the Lawrence County Capital Classic and suffered a 63-54 loss.
Marshall also won the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic during the holiday season, beating Terre Haute South Vigo and Terre Haute North Vigo — each with enrollments in the neighborhood of 2,000 — on the way to that title.
Of course, the Lions also ran away with the Little Illini Conference championships in both the tournament and regular season. They defeated Casey-Westfield 80-52 in league play on Feb. 10, the second-closest conference game for Marshall all season.
Dustin White can be reached at 217-347-7151 ext. 123 or
Class 2A St. Anthony Regional
At The Enlow Center
Game Two

Livvix 3-5 0-0 7, Lu. McVey 0-1 1-2 1, Lo. McVey 0-0 0-0 0, Unzicker 0-0 0-0 0, Scales 2-5 2-2 6, Shawver 7-13 1-2 15, Shull 0-2 0-0 0, Brewer 1-1 0-0 2, Barnhart 0-3 0-0 0, Snyder 1-9 2-4 4, Kusterman 2-5 2-2 6, Thais 1-1 0-0 2, Scott 2-4 2-5 6. TOTALS 19-49 FG (38.8) 10-17 FT (58.8).
Lo. Eitel 8-19 0-1 19, Delp 0-2 1-2 1, J. Duncan 1-1 0-0 3, Wetnight 0-1 0-0 0, Grooms 0-0 0-0 0, Brashear 2-4 0-0 4, Lu. Eitel 4-13 2-2 13, Tucker 1-1 0-0 2, Cannady 1-5 0-0 3, T. Duncan 8-8 1-1 18, Sanders 1-1 0-0 2, Morey 3-4 2-3 8, Francis 1-2 0-0 2, Bishop 1-1 0-0 2. TOTALS 31-62 FG (50.0) 6-9 FT (66.7).

3-point FG — Casey-Westfield 1-12 (Livvix 1-3, Lu. McVey 0-1, Scales 0-1, Shawver 0-2, Barnhart 0-1, Snyder 0-4), Marshall 9-23 (Lo. Eitel 3-7, Delp 0-1, J. Duncan 1-1, Wetnight 0-1, Brashear 0-2, Lu. Eitel 3-6, Cannady 1-4, T. Duncan 1-1). Rebounds — Casey-Westfield 26 (Scott 6), Marshall 34 (Lo. Eitel 9, T. Duncan 8). Offensive Rebounds — Casey-Westfield 7 (Kusterman 2), Marshall 11 (T. Duncan 5). Team Rebounds — Casey-Westfield 5 (2 off.), Marshall 1 (0 off.). Total Fouls — Casey-Westfield 11, Marshall 15. Fouled Out — none. Assists — Casey-Westfield 5, Marshall 17 (Lu. Eitel 7, Lo. Eitel 5, T. Duncan 4). Blocked Shots — Casey-Westfield 1, Marshall 5. Steals — Casey-Westfield 4 (Scales 2), Marshall 7 (Lu. Eitel 2, Cannady 2). Turnovers — Casey-Westfield 13, Marshall 7. Points Off Turnovers — Casey-Westfield 5, Marshall 19. Second-Chance Scoring — Casey-Westfield 15, Marshall 19. Officials — Martin, Wagner, M. Jones.
Three-Point Qualifiers — Trey Brashear (Marshall), Lucas Eitel (Marshall), Logan Eitel (Marshall), Riley Scales (Casey-Westfield).


Prep Roundup: Marshall opens postseason play with 77-49 victory

Tribune-Star staff report

Effingham, Ill. February 25, 2009

Marshall was a winner in its first game of the Illinois high school boys basketball postseason Tuesday night, defeating Casey 77-49 in the Effingham St. Anthony Class 2A Regional.
The 27-0 Lions earned the right to play for the regional championship Friday night, meeting the winner of tonight’s game between Effingham St. Anthony (23-4) and Teutopolis (23-3).
Marshall set another school record by winning for the 27th time, eclipsing the old mark of 26 wins set by the 1972-73 team.
Junior Taylor Duncan keyed the Marshall offense and defense. He had a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds and held Casey's leading scorer, Mitch Snyder, to four points.
Logan Eitel had 19 points for the winners and Lucas Eitel tallied 13.
Marshall led most of the way, leading 21-15 at the first stop, 38-20 at the half and 58-33 after three periods. Reserves from both teams finished the game.
Kirk Shawver led the Warriors with 15 points as they finished 10-14.
The winner of Friday's game will be in the Robinson Sectional next week.

Casey 15 5 13 16 — 49
Marshall 21 17 20 19 — 77
Next — Marshall (27-0) plays in the championship game Friday night. Casey concludes a 10-14 season.
• • •
In other high school action:
• Washington Catholic 59, Union 58, OT — At Dugger, the host Bulldogs came up short on Senior Night despite four seniors reaching double figures.
B.J. Howard led the way with 17 points, followed by 12 from Blane Boyd and 10 apiece from Logan Chesterfield and Michael Talpas.

WASHINGTON CATHOLIC (59) — Deem 0 2-2 2, Costello 3 2-4 8, Stuart 2 1-2 5, Joyce 2 2-4 6, Jarrett 15 5-6 36, Holmes 1 0-0 2. Totals 24 FG, 12-18 FT, 59 TP.
UNION (58) — B.Howard 6 3-4 17, Collins 2 0-0 5, Chesterfield 4 1-2 10, Talpas 3 4-6 10, Boyd 5 0-0 12, Brust 2 0-0 4, Wilks 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 FG, 8-12 FT, 58 TP.
Washington Catholic 14 15 10 9 11 — 59
Union 11 17 11 9 10 — 58
3-point goals — B.Howard 2, Boyd 2, Chesterfield, Collins, Total fouls — WC 15, U 14. Fouled out — Deem.
JV — Union 47, WC 26.
Next — Union (4-15) plays host to Holy Cross on Thursday.

• North Putnam 72, North Vermillion 65 — At Roachdale, the visiting Falcons crept back to within 50-49 after three quarters, but were outpointed 22-16 in the fourth quarter of this nonconference game.
For NV, Ryan Buchhaas, Jacob Rankin and Zach Jumps scored 20, 15 and 13 points respectively.

NORTH VERMILLION (65) — Buchhaas 9 2-2 20, Rankin 6 0-0 15, Clark 4 1-1 9, Jumps 4 4-10 13, Allen 3 2-2 8, Leigh 0 0-0 0. Totals 26 FG, 9-15 FT, 65 TP.
NORTH PUTNAM (72) — Crum 5 3-3 18, Alcorn 0 1-2 1, Ban 2 0-0 4, Hunt 1 6-6 8, Bean 1 2-2 4, Adams 5 2-2 12, Dahlstrom 3 1-1 7, Jones 1 1-2 3, Hedrick 4 3-5 13. Totals 22 FG, 19-23 FT, 72 TP.
North Vermillion 20 17 12 16 — 65
North Putnam 25 18 7 22 — 72
3-point goals — Rankin 3, Jumps, Crum 5, Hedrick 4. Total fouls — NV 20, NP 18. Fouled out — Buchhaas.
JV — North Putnam 66, North Vermillion 37.
Next — North Vermillion (4-15) travels to Seeger on Friday.

• Chrisman 58, Shiloh 21 — At Danville, Ill., Chrisman easily defeated Shiloh in a first-round game of the Class A Schlarman regional on Tuesday.

SHILOH (21) — Hawkins 2 1-4 6, Biggs 2 0-2 4, Graves 0 0-0 0, Young 1 0-0 3, Dodge 0 0-0 0, Ross 2 0-0 4, Bruce 1 0-0 2, Cummings 1 0-0 2, Carrington 0 0-0 0, Tweedy 0 0-0 0. Totals 9 FG, 1-6 FT, 21 TP.
CHRISMAN (58) — G. Gardner 0 0-0 0, Tre. Burmood 2 5-6 9, Johnson 0 0-0 0, McCormick 1 0-0 2, Tra. Burmood 1 1-1 3, L. Ross 3 5-6 11, B. Gardner 0 0-0 0, Anderson 3 0-0 7, Owen 5 0-0 12, Parsons 1 0-0 2, Morris 4 0-0 10, Dixson 1 0-0 2, Humrichous 0 0-0 0, N. Ross 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 FG, 11-13 FT, 58 TP.
Shiloh 5 0 10 6 — 21
Chrisman 13 16 17 12 — 58
3-point goals – Hawkins, Young, Owen 2, Morris 2, Anderson. Total fouls —S 8, C 9. Fouled out — none.
Next — Chrisman takes on Villa Grove vs. Fithian-Oakwood winner in the semifinals today. Shiloh finished its season at 3-26.

• Other Illinois results — In a Class 2A regional at Olney, Robinson defeated Apollo Conference-rival Newton 69-57, advancing to Friday’s championship game.
The winning Maroons were paced by Ben Jones and Meyers Leonard with 21 points apiece, while Derek Hannahs added 20 points. Scott Mammoser led Newton with 23 points.
In a Class 2A regional at Bismarck-Henning, Paris nipped Westville 42-40. Paris will face St. Joseph’s-Ogden in the championship game on Friday.
In a Class 1A regional at Cumberland, host team Cumberland easily defeated Martinsville 78-33. In today’s semifinals, Oblong takes on Stewardson-Strasburg, followed by Neoga vs. Cumberland.


Casey-Westfield falls to Marshall

EFFINGHAM -- The Casey-Westfield Warriors ended their season with 77-49 loss to the undefeated Marshall Lions at the IHSA Class 2A Effingham Regional on Tuesday.

“We came in with a game plan to be plan that worked for about a quarter and a half,” said Casey coach Chris Seaton. “The kids responded well when asked to do something they were not comfortable with. We didn’t rebound well at times, but hats off to Marshall they are a team that plays well together and has many weapons.”

Kirk Shawver was the leading scorer for the Warriors with a total of 15 points.

Casey’s record for the season is 10-14. Marshall, 28-0, is to play the winner of tomorrow’s St. Anthony vs. Teutopolis matchup in the regional title game on Friday.

Marshall 21 17 20 19—77

Casey 15 5 13 16—49

MARSHALL: Lo. Eitel 8-0-18; Delp 0-1-1; J. Duncan 1-0-3; Brashear 2-0-4; Lu. Eitel 4-2-13; Tucker 1-0-2; Cannady 1-0-3; T. Duncan 8-1-18; Sanders 1-0-2; Morey 3-2-8; Francis 1-0-2; Bishop 1-0-2; Totals 31-6-77

CASEY: Livvix 3-0-7; Lu. McVey 0-1-1; Scales 2-2-6; Shawver 7-1-15; Brewer 1-0-2; Snyder 1-2-4; Kusterman 2-2-6; Thais 1-0-2; Scott 2-2-6; Totals 19-10-49

3-point goals: Marshall 8 (Lo. Eitel 2, J. Duncan, Lu. Eitel 3, Cannady, T. Duncan); Casey 1 (Livvix)


Ramblin' Reck: Former Marshall player Kelly stepping up his game

By Tom Reck
Tribune-Star Correspondent

February 24, 2009

Players from the Wabash Valley had another great weekend in college basketball, particularly former Marshall, Ill., and Carmel player Jake Kelly.
The sophomore at Iowa really stepped up his game Sunday against Michigan with three teammates sidelined with injuries, and the Hawkeyes bested the Wolverines in overtime 70-60.
Kelly nearly had a triple-double with career highs of 23 points, eight rebounds and nine assists.
He handled the basketball much of the time and had just two turnovers in playing all 45 minutes. Nine of his points came as the Hawkeyes dominated the overtime.
Former Terre Haute North player Nate Blank nearly scored a point a minute for Gardner Webb against James Madison, notching 18 points in 23 minutes.
And Northview grad Julia Whitted had another double-double at IUPUI with 14 points and 11 boards against Oakland.
• Tom-Cattin’ It — Terre Haute South grad Tad Meyer has been doing quite well in long-distance runs in the Virginia area.
He most recently was second in his division of the Icy 8 event, running 44.7 miles.
• Major league baseball teams have begun spring training.
Former Indiana State players on 40-man rosters are Joe Thatcher (San Diego), Clint Barmes (Colorado) and Mitch Stetter (Milwaukee).
• Former Terre Haute North baseball player Ryan Nevill was honored recently for making the dean's list at Dayton. He had a 3.6 average, majoring in chemistry and biology. He plays third base for the Flyers.
• Bradley has won its 500th Missouri Valley Conference basketball game. Of the current members, only Drake has won more.
Illinois rebounded to beat Ohio State on the road Sunday after having lost to Penn State in an ugly 38-33 game. That 33 points was the lowest for an Illinois team since 1947 when the Illini lost 33-31 to Minnesota.
• Matt King of Rockville has earned another honor in football. The ISU signee was named a High School Scholar-Athlete by the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame.
• South Vermillion winter sports teams did well in Western Indiana Conference championships.
The Wildcats took wrestling and boys swimming titles and were second in girls swimming.
The boys basketball team defeated Riverton Parke last week and lost a one-point game to South Putnam and a two-point game to Covington.
• A proposal for Indiana prep teams to go from four to three classes in most sports is dead after a majority of principals favored staying with the four classes in a survey.
• Big wins — Some big high school basketball games were played last week. Bloomington South and Marshall boys and the Owen Valley girls were three winners.
Bloomington South was ranked No. 5 in the USA Today prep boys poll last week, just behind Detroit Country Day in the No. 4 slot.
South defeated the Michigan team 73-67 on Saturday in a sold-out Bloomington South gymnasium. IU recruit Jordan Hulls had 23 points for the Panthers as they remained unbeaten for the season.
One of the players for the Detroit team was Ray McCallum Jr., son of the former IU aide who now is the Detroit coach. Two other players are 6-foot-8 Donovan Kirk and 6-foot-11 Da Shante Riley, two NCAA Division I recruits, and Jordan Dumars, son of Joe Dumars of NBA fame.
Marshall and other Illinois high school teams closed out the regular season last week. The Lions won twice to finish 26-0, tying the school record for wins in a season that had been set by the 1972-73 team that was 26-3 and advanced to the supersectional.
Starters on that team coached by Carrol “Nellie” Bennett were Howie Johnson, Tom York, Joe Ferris, Mike Volk and Karl Prevo. Key reserves included Jeff Mallory, Steve Wilson and Fred Eitel, father of Logan and Lucas, seniors on this year's team.
That team beat No. 3 Effingham St. Anthony and No. 1 Lawrenceville in the sectional and lost to Venice in the super sectional at Charleston.
Finally, the Owen Valley girls defeated ranked Gibson Southern and Vincennes teams to win the tough Class 3A Jasper Regional and will face Crawfordsville in the semistate. Mooresville won the 4A regional at Bedford North Lawrence and will take on No. 1 Ben Davis this week. Ben Davis bested Carmel and Lawrence North to take regional honors.


Illinois 2A’s No. 2 Marshall still perfect

By Andy Amey
The Tribune-Star

February 23, 2009

A 26-0 record makes Marshall a target for most of the Class 2A boys high school basketball teams in east-central Illinois as regional play begins today, but the Lions have a target of their own to shoot at.
“We’ve probably been everybody’s target since about Christmas,” coach Tom Brannan of the Lions said Sunday evening.
The Lions’ first chance to play is Tuesday at the Effingham St. Anthony Regional, against the winner of tonight’s opening game there between Casey and Shelbyville.
The first team that would like to play the Lions, obviously, is Casey.
“Definitely,” coach Chris Seaton of the Warriors said when asked if his team would like another crack at its traditional rival, which won handily at Casey during the regular season. That works both ways, he added in reference to Casey vs. Marshall in anything.
“[The Lions] may be secretly rooting for us to win to get another crack at us too,” Seaton said with a laugh.
Casey, 9-13, has a better seed and a better record than Shelbyville. “We hope we can take advantage of our size a little bit,” Seaton noted.
Casey is only a secondary target for Marshall this week, however. Should the Lions survive their opening game Tuesday, they’ll be interested in the outcome of the game the following night between Teutopolis and the host team — the team that knocked the Lions out of last year’s regional at Robinson.
“We’ve had this target on our minds since last year,” Brannan said when asked about St. Anthony. “We played with a little chip on our shoulder — but a good chip. [Last year’s loss] has been our motivation all year.”
Obviously the motivation has worked out pretty well.
“That’s awesome,” Brannan said when congratulated on his team’s unbeaten regular season, “but I’ve said over and over, it’s all about the boys. This is just a great group of young men; they’re committed to the game, they play the right way and they do everything they’re asked to do.”
There’s very little chance the Lions will be resting on their laurels this week either, their coach predicted.
“We want to prove to ourselves that we can get it done,” Brannan said.
Should the Lions win the regional they’d advance to the Robinson Sectional and play the winner of the Olney Regional. Robinson, 18-7 with two of those losses to Marshall, is the top seed there, but coach Bob Coffman said his team is not looking ahead just yet.
“All five teams [at Olney] are quality teams and all have had pretty good seasons,” said Coffman, whose Maroons play Tuesday against the winner of tonight’s game between Newton and Flora. The other semifinal of that regional would pit Olney, a team that’s beaten Robinson once in three tries, against Lawrenceville, which beat Robinson in overtime during the regular season.
That’s one reason why Coffman doesn’t expect his team to have any thoughts yet about playing Marshall.
“We’re taking one game at a time,” he said. “Both sites are packed with quality teams.”
Paris, after completing a 15-11 season, could get a chance for revenge against either Marshall or Robinson, but the second-seeded Tigers have work to do to reach the championship game of the Robinson Sectional.
They play at the Bismarck-Henning Regional on Tuesday against Westville, with top-seeded St. Joseph-Ogden considered the favorite.
In Class A regionals, both Oblong and Hutsonville-Palestine play tonight at Cumberland — the Panthers against Windsor, the Tigers against second-seeded Neoga. Martinsville plays the host Pirates in a first-round game Tuesday, with Stew-Stras the top seed.
Chrisman and Shiloh play Tuesday at the Danville Schlarman Regional; Catlin is the top seed and Chrisman the second seed there.


12 small schools get postseason under way

It has been since 2005-06 since an area Class 1A or 2A boys’ basketball team has won a regional title. Arthur and Stewardson-Strasburg are the top seeds in the Class 1A Regionals at Arcola and Cumberland respectively.

A total of 12 area teams are to play between today and Wednesday in four different regional games in the second year of the four-class system.

The Cumberland Regional features the most area teams with five, while Arcola has four. Competing at Cumberland are area teams Windsor, Neoga, Martinsville, Cumberland and Stew-Stras.

The Arcola Regional has five Little Okaw Valley Conference teams, including Arcola, Okaw Valley, Arthur and Tri-County from the area.

In Class 2A Casey-Westfield and Shelbyville are to compete at Effingham St. Anthony, while Sullivan is the only area team at Monticello.

The only non-area teams competing in the seven-team Cumberland regional are Oblong and Hutsonville-Palestine, while Tuscola, Lovington and Atwood-Hammond are the non-area teams set to compete in the seven-team Arcola Regional.

Marshall, Teutopolis and Effingham St. Anthony are the non-area teams in the five-team St. Anthony Regional, while St. Thomas More, Urbana University High, Unity and Monticello are the others in the five-team Monticello Regional.

Four area teams are to play today, including one involving two area teams as Casey-Westfield is to play Shelbyville at 7:30 p.m. at Effingham St. Anthony. Windsor is to play Oblong at 6 p.m. and Hutsonville-Palestine is to play Neoga at 8 p.m. today at Toledo in the Cumberland Regional.

A total of 232 Class 1A and 158 Class 2A teams enter the postseason with 32 different regionals in each class. The sectional tournaments are to be March 3, 4 and 6 with four super-sectionals set for March 10. The state finals (final four teams in both classes) are set for March 13-14 at Carver Arena in Peoria.

Cumberland Regional

Windsor has lost eight straight games, but has done a lot of things it has not done in a while. The Blue Devils, coached by Bruce Austin, snapped a 29-game losing streak with a 53-51 overtime win over Brownstown and won back-to-back games for the first time since 2005-06 with a 59-58 win over Arcola. Windsor has gone 5-6 in games decided by 10 points or less. The Blue Devils have lost their last four games by an average of five points, including a 57-52 loss to Arthur, a team that is 19-6, last Friday. Windsor is having its best season since going 15-11 in 2000-01.

Kyle Floyd leads Windsor in scoring with an average of 12.2 points per game. The sophomore also averages 3.7 assists per game, while Torey Leasher is tops in rebounds with an average of 7.3 per game. Floyd is shooting 49 percent from the field.

Windsor is to play Oblong with the winner to take on Stew-Stras.

Oblong is coming off a 49-30 win over Hutsonville-Palestine after having lost to Lawrenceville 60-51. Drew Morecraft leads the Panthers.

Stew-Stras is coming off an 82-78 double overtime loss to Altamont, the No. 5 team in Class 1A. The Comets are 3-6 in its last nine games and went 1-2 last week.

“I like being the No. 1 seed,” said Stew-Stras coach Mike Walker. “It is fortunate that we just have to play one game to get to the title game. They were all physical games last week, especially the last two (a 72-61 win over Newton and a 76-57 loss to Neoga). Even though we went 1-2 during the week I think our team improved. I think we grew from it and got a bigger glimpse of what we need to do to be successful. I am sure everyone is a little banged up at this time and I am hoping to be at full strength when Wednesday comes around.”

Jaden Widdersheim, a junior, leads the Comets with an average of 18.2 points per game and is tops in assists and steal as well with 4.1 and 2.3 respectively. Josh Tabbert, a 6-6 senior, scores 15 points and pulls down a team-leading 7.4 rebounds per game, while Will Rincker also averages double figures at 11.4 points per contest.

“We are dong a lot of things right,” said Walker. “The one area we struggle in is taking care of the basketball. We gave Altamont 11 extra possessions just on turnovers. If we can tighten that up I like our chances against anybody.”

Stew-Stras beat Windsor 82-31 and 69-41 earlier this season, but other than Neoga, has not played anyone else in the regional.

“I kind of like not having any preconceived things about the other teams,” said Walker. “I know we will have to play well against Oblong if they beat Windsor. It looks like they (Oblong) have some decent size with a 6-8 foreign exchange student from Germany.”

The other side of the bracket features Neoga, a team that has split its last eight games and lost to Marshall, a team that is undefeated and ranked No. 5 in Class 2A, 79-48 Friday.

The Indians average 57.6 points per game, while allow 51.6 per contest. Austin Robinson, Cody Boarman and Dalton Robinson lead coach Jason Hanson’s team with averages of 13.9, 12.1 and 10.8 points per game.

Hutsonville has lost three straight and seven of its last eight games and average 46.7 points per game, while allowing 57 per contest. The Tigers are led by Blake Callaway, a 6-3 junior, who was on the All-Tri-County Holiday Tournament team. Callaway averages 12.7 points per game, while Austin Callahan, a 6-9 freshman, averages 10.7 points per contest. Jevon Pearse, a 6-4 junior, pulls down 4.7 rebounds per contest.

Martinsville, a team that just completed its first year in the Little Okaw Valley Conference, is to face a team it used to play every year in Cumberland, a Little Illini Conference team.

Cumberland has won five of its last six games with the only loss being to Marshall 81-48. The Pirates are coming off a 57-51 win over Brownstown, while Martinsville fell to Tri-County 81-66. The Bluestreaks have lost seven of their last eight contests.

The Pirates, coached by Justin Roedl, average 58.7 points per game compared to 53.3 for Martinsville. Cumberland’s defense allows 58.7 per game, while the Bluestreaks allow an average of 63.7 per contest.

Dalton Sowers, Jeremy Jansen and Silas Gabel lead the Pirates with average of 13.8, 13.6 and 13 points per game.

Martinsville is led by Jared Higginbotham and Ryan Slater, who average 18.4 and 16 points per game. Higginbotham also is tops in assists, rebounds and steals with 4.8, 9.5 and 1.9 respectively.

The seven teams combine for a 76-101 (.429) record with three teams entering with winning records.

Arcola Regional

Atwood-Hammond is coming off a 56-51 loss to Arcola, a team Lovington beat Feb. 17, 55-52. Atwood and Lovington played Jan. 23 with Atwood winning 68-62. It is the second straight game that Lovington is facing a former coach as the Rajahs are coached by Rich Wilson, who was coach at Lovington from 1992-93 through 2000-01.

The Panthers are just one win away from its second straight 20-win season. Last year Lovington won its won regional by beating Arthur, Tri-County and Sullivan. Lovington has won three straight games and are led by Dan Bolsen, 6-3, who averages 21. 7 points and 10.3 rebounds per game and is one of eight seniors on the team, coached by Ray Duncan.

Atwood is led in scoring by 5-11 sophomore guard Randy Crist, who averages 14.5 points per game.

The winner is to face Arthur; a team that is coming off a 57-52 win over Windsor and has won three of its last four contests.

“I would rather play before Wednesday,” said Arthur coach Dale Schuring. “We are going into a game where the other team will have their jitters out of their system. The days off maybe are a slight advantage, but I would rather be playing.”

Arthur played Lovington and Atwood back-to-back in mid January, beating the Panthers 48-41 and the Rajahs 75-52.

“I don’t think you can look at those games,” said Schuring. “A lot of things have changed in the last month. We have to do what we do. I think we got caught up in worrying too much about the other team or their players and it didn’t work for us. For me we have to focus on what do and do our best and go from there.”

The fact that the Knights had to come-from-behind to beat Windsor is a good thing to Schuring.

“Windsor played really well and it was their Senior Night,” said Schuring. “We had not faced a zone in forever. It was a good challenge for us. We had to come from behind again. A little bit of adversity was good for us. Our kids stepped up when they had to. We made mistakes that we can’t make and hopefully we will learn from it.”

Schuring was talking about turnovers in particular.

“We had too many turnovers and some of it was basic fundamentals,” said Schuring.

Arthur is not only one win away from reaching the regional championship, but also the 20-win mark, which would be Schuring’s fourth in the last five years.

The seven teams combine for a 98-92 (.516) record with four teams with winning record.

“That was part of our pre-game talk Friday to put ourselves in position to win 20 games,” said Schuring. “That was our goal at the start of the season and it is a nice number to hang your hat on, but when it is all said and done it is not a big goal because I think we can win the regional. There are four or five teams that can win this regional. Twenty wins would be nice, but it is a stop on the way.”

Tim Wilson, a 6-3 senior, leads the Knights with an average of 16.6 points per game, while Bobby Aikman, a 6-0 junior scores 11.2 points per game.

The other side of the bracket pits Arcola against Tuscola and Okaw Valley against Tri-County. Arcola is coming off a56-51 win over Atwood-Hammond, while Tuscola is coming off a 65-42 loss to Argenta-Oreana, a team that is 6-18.

Arcola averages 56.5 points per game compared to 41.3 for the Warriors. The Purple Riders allow 50.7 per game, compared to 55.0 for Tuscola.

The Warriors last win was a 48-37 win over Argenta and have dropped four straight, including a 44-35 game to Unity, a team that is 19-6.

Kenneth East, David Myers and Nicholas Lindenmeyer all score between 10 and 11.7 points per game with East leading the way at 11.7, Myers at 11.3 and Lindenmeyer at 10.

Tri-County lost to Okaw Valley 49-40 Feb. 6 after beating them 64-38 in the conference tournament. The Titans are coming off an 81-66 win over Martinsville, while the Timberwovles lost to Lovington 59-48.

Okaw Valley scores 49.6 points per game as Dallas Kirkwood and Kyle Pierce lead the way with averages of 12 and 11 points per game respectively.

Tri-County, coached by first-year coach Adam Clapp, is scoring 64 points per game as Patrick Miller, Cody Myer and Jake Montgomery lead the way with averages of 15.9, 13.7 and 13.2 points per game respectively.

The Titans allow 57 points per game compared to 56 for Okaw Valley, coached by former Lake Land assistant Mark Tovey.

“I truly believe five or maybe six teams have a chance to win it,” said Schuring. “That is how close this regional is. It all comes down to whoever is playing well, who makes the shots, who stays out of foul trouble and a lot of it is simply matchups. Who matches up well. Other teams are gong to be easier to guard than others because of the players they have.”

Effingham St. Anthony Regional

Casey is coming off a 76-50 loss to Effingham St. Anthony, but has won four of its last six games. The only other loss was to Marshall, a team that 26-0.

“I feel like we are playing better in the last third of the season than were,” said Casey coach Chris Seaton. “I think we have some confidence going into the first round. It is a 4 seed against a 5 seed and gives us an opportunity to face Marshall again should we win. Our kids are excited about that. It is a rival game and we would like to play them closer (lost 80-52).

Shelbyville is coming off a 57-35 loss to Unity and a 55-54 setback to Hillsboro. The Rams have lost six games by 10 points or less.

Casey is led by the area’s top scorer in Mitch Snyder, Snyder scores 20 points per game, while Clinton Scott is next at 9.6 per game. The Warriors average 62.1 per game compared to 46 .8 for Shelbyville. Casey’s defense allows 60.7 points per game compared to 58.4 for the Rams.

“We are more worried about what we can do than Shelbyville,” said Seaton who said he doesn’t know much about the Rams. “It usually doesn’t take long to see who the opponents’ better players are. We need to try and play our game.”

Casey has one advantage over Shelbyville and some other teams in the regional in that they played at St. Anthony Friday.

“I hope it is an advantage,” said Seaton. “We are more acquainted with it. I had not coached there before Friday. The back drop can affect the shooters’ depth perception.”

The Rams are led by Nick Nugent and Caine Cloe who average 11.1 and 10.9 points per game.

The five teams, which includes, three 20-game winners, combine for an impressive 85-41 (.675) record.

“There are three teams that might be good enough to go to Peoria,” said Seaton. “The regional is stacked. It is pretty solid.”

The other side of the bracket has two National Trail Conference rivals facing off as Teutopolis takes on St. Anthony in the semifinals.

Monticello Regional

Sullivan is coming off a 74-64 loss to Maroa-Forsyth just three days after pulling off a 61-58 win over Meridian, the top ranked team in Class 1A. The Redskins have gone 3-3 since the conference tournament.

Sullivan is assured of its second straight winning season. The Redskins, coached by Scott Bales, are scoring 59.6 points per game and allowing 56 per contest. Chris Marrs leads the team in scoring at 15.2 per game.

Sullivan is to play fellow Okaw Valley Conference team, Monticello, a squad it lost to 72-66 Jan. 23.

Monticello coached by Neoga graduate Kevin Roy, average 61.9 points per game and allows 50.9. The Sages have won three straight and are coming off a 62-41 win over Warrensburg-Latham, a team that is 17-9.

Cale Huisinga and Clint Brubaker lead Monticello in scoring with averages of 15.7 and 14.8 points per game, while Jacob Kissaw pulls down 7.9 rebounds per game.

The winner advances to the regional championship.

The other side of the bracket has St. Thomas More facing University High of Urbana with the winner taking on Unity, a team that is 19-6.

The five teams all have winning record and combine for an 83-41 (.669) record.


PREP ROUNDUP: Marshall finishes regular season undefeated

February 21, 2009

Marshall faced a first-quarter deficit in its final regular-season high school basketball game Friday night, but dominated the second and fourth periods for a 79-48 win over visiting Neoga that wrapped up the school’s first unbeaten regular season in history.

NEOGA (48) — Snively 0 0-0 0, Russell 0 3-4 3, Cornell 1 0-0 2, Boarman 6 0-0 16, Price 2 0-0 4, D.Robinson 2 2-2 6, Letiza 0 0-0 0, A.Robinson 4 4-4 12, McClellan 0 0-0 0, Massengill 2 1-1 5. Totals 17 FG, 10-11 FT, 48 TP.
MARSHALL (79) — Lo.Eitel 8 9-10 27, Delp 2 2-2 7, J.Duncan 1 0-0 2, Grooms 0 0-0 0, Brashear 3 2-3 11, Lu.Eitel 6 2-2 17, Tucker 0 0-0 0, Cannady 2 2-2 7, T.Duncan 1 3-4 5, Sanders 0 0-0 0, Morey 1 1-2 3, Bishop 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 FG, 21-25 FT, 79 TP.
Neoga 15 5 20 8 — 48
Marshall 13 18 26 22 — 79
3-point goals — Boarman 4, Brashear 3, Lu.Eitel 3, Lo.Eitel 2, Delp, Cannady. Total fouls — Neoga 18, Marshall 13. Fouled out — none.
JV — Marshall 52, Neoga 27.
Next — Marshall (26-0) plays Tuesday at the Effingham St. Anthony Regional against the winner of Monday’s game between Casey and Shelbyville.


Four face ranked teams in regular season finales

Tuesday Sullivan upset Meridian, the top ranked team in Class 1A. Today, four Journal Gazette/Times-Courier teams get a chance to knock off a ranked team in the final regular season boys’ basketball games.

Stewardson-Strasburg is to play host to Altamont, the No. 5 ranked team in Class 1A in a National Trail Conference game, while Neoga is to travel to Marshall, the No. 5 team in Class 2A in a non-conference game. Shelbyville is to travel to Tolono to face Unity, the No. 11 team in Class 2A in an Okaw Valley Conference contest, while Casey-Westfield is at Effingham St. Anthony, the No. 16 team in Class 1A in a non-conference game.

In the Little Okaw Valley Conference barring a Shiloh upset of Cerro Gordo at Hume Arcola could finish in a tie for second with Arthur and Heritage, a team that is to play Bement. The Purple Riders travel to Atwood to face Atwood-Hammond. Tri-County is to play at Martinsville. With a win the Titans could finish in fourth place. Okaw Valley is to play at Lovington.

Sullivan is to travel to Maroa-Forsyth in an Okaw Valley Conference game.

Windsor is to play host to Arthur in a non-conference game.

The Okaw Valley Conference games are to start at 6 p.m. with the junior varsity followed by the varsity. All other games are to start at 6:15 p.m. with the junior varsity followed by the varsity.

Cumberland is to play host to Brownstown Saturday at 1 p.m. in a non-conference game.

Sullivan (13-10, 6-4) at Maroa-Forsyth (14-12, 5-5)

Sullivan is coming off arguably the biggest win in school history since the Redskins beat the Mark Edmundson led Arthur Knights (entered with a 27-0 record) in the 1986 Class A Regional championship game.

Is Sullivan coach Scott Bales worried about a let down?

“You have to be concerned about a let down,” said Bales. “As well as we played against Meridian it was the exact opposite against Maroa (the first time they played was Feb. 4 with Maroa winning 51-41 in the conference tournament). We didn’t find their shooters the last time and that is something we have to do this time. We can’t let them have uncontested shots.”

Maroa lost to Bloomington Central Catholic (16-6) 70-53 Wednesday and fell to Monticello 51-40 last Tuesday. The Trojans are led in scoring by Jordan Zelhart, a 6-1senior, who averages 13.6 points per game.

Sullivan is led in scoring by Chris Marrs with an average of 15.3 points, while Chance Typer averages 9.8 points per game.

The Redskins average 59.5 points per game, while Maroa scores 52.2 per game. Defensively, the Trojans allow 47.6 per game, while Sullivan gives up 55.2.

As for the win against Meridian, which occurred on Senior Night, Bales said, “First I think they had to be overlooking us. Why not, they are the No. 1 team in the state (and were coming off a 51-43 win over Seneca, the No. 7 team in Class 2A at the Riverton Shootout). That helped a little bit. There was a good crowd for Senior Night and that helped. They key to the game was stopping Trent Swigert (a 6-0 junior guard (who entered the game with an average of 13.9 points per game) to no points. That was huge. We switched guys on him and kept fresh legs on him (Typer, Tyler Frerichs, Jordan Marks and Seth Bowman). We did a tremendous job of keeping him in check. Dakota Getz got his points (led the 23-2 Hawks with 28 points), but you could be 30 years old and he would still finish with 15 points.”

Meridian led 17-12 after the first quarter and 32-31 at the half. Sullivan was ahead 44-42 heading into the final quarter.

“We were up by 10 at one point in the second half, but we had back-to-back turnovers and they converted,” said Bales. “We rebounded well and followed the game plan like we wanted to do and that was a huge key. They kept coming at us and we ran our offense and got a little lucky I guess.”

Jacob Shasteen was the only other player in double digits for Meridian, who had won 14 straight games with its only previous loss being to Peoria Christian (the No. 1 team in Class 2A), 53-49. The last conference loss for the Hawks was to Warrensburg-Latham Feb. 9, 2008. Meridian had won 11 straight conference games and entered the game averaging 67 points per game with an average margin of victory of 21 points.

Clay Winskill led Sullivan with 15 points, while Frerichs had 12 and Bowman a season-high nine points for the Redskins, who entered the game having gone 2-4 in their last six games.

“Clay Winskill had the beat game all year and maybe of his career,” said Bales. “He was guarding Getz, who got his points. He did a great job of controlling the glass.”

For Frerichs, Dalton Shasteen, Paul Hrvol, Mead Flannell, Typer, Marrs, Winskill and Colton Henderson it was a Senior Night they won’t forget.

Neoga (15-10) at Marshall (No. 5 Class 2A) (25-0)

Neoga is coming off an impressive 76-57 win over Stewardson-Strasburg. Now the Indians face a team that averages a 74-46 victory in Marshall and on top of that is Senior Night for the Lions.

Marshall is led by 6-3 junior Taylor Duncan, who averages 16.3 points per game. Twins Logan and Lucas Eitel, who are headed to Indiana State to play next year, average 16 and 15.1 points per contest. Both players are 6-4.

Neoga averages 58 points per game and allows 50.5 per contest. Austin Robinson (6-2), Cody Boarman (6-4) and Dalton Robinson (6-0) lead the way with averages of 14, 12 and 11 points per game respectively.

Altamont (No. 5 Class 1A) (21-4, 6-2) at Stewardson-Strasburg (15-10, 4-4)

This is the third meetings between the two schools with Stew-Stras having won 81-78 Dec. 29 in the Vandalia Holiday tournament and Altamont winning 79-67 in the third place game of the NTC tournament.

The Indians are coming off a 60-47 loss to Effingham St. Anthony Tuesday on Altamont Senior Night. It is the final home game for the three Comets seniors in Travis Ballinger, Jonathan Becker and Josh Tabbert.

Stew-Stras averages 65.1 points per game and allows 57.3. Jaden Widdersheim, Tabbert and Will Rincker lead the way for the Comets with averages of 18.2, 16.1 and 12.5 points per game respectively. Widdersheim averages three 3-pointers per game as well as a team-leading 4.1 assists and 2.3 steals per game. Tabbert pulls down a team-high 7.4 rebounds per game and averages one blocked shot per contest.

Keiffer McCarron leads Altamont, who had won five straight prior to the loss to the Bulldogs, in scoring with 14.9 points per game, while 6-6 junior Brian Suckow scores 11.3 and Landon Duckwitz averages 11.1 points per game.

Arcola (16-11, 8-3) at Atwood-Hammond (12-15, 5-6)

Arcola needs a win to assure itself of at least second place in the conference. The Purple Riders had a four-game winning streak snapped against Lovington 55-52.

Atwood, coached by former Lovington coach Rich Wilson, is coming off a big 69-66 victory over Villa Grove, which knocked the Blue Devils from second place in the conference. The Rajahs are 6-4 in their last 10 games.

Randy Crist, a 5-11 sophomore, leads Atwood in scoring and rebounding with 14.5 and 7.7 respectively. Matt Lee, a 6-2 junior, averages 6.4 rebounds, while Scott Fifer, a senior, is tops in assists and steals with 2.4 and 3.2 respectively.

“We have not played them this year,” said Arcola coach Chad Graves. “I know they like to shoot 3-pointers so we will have to guard the three-point line. They play a 1-2-2 zone so we will have to take care of the basketball. The main thing is for us to be healthy. The flu is gong around.”

Arcola is led in scoring by Kenneth East and Nicholas Lindenmeyer, who average 11.6 and 10.1 points per game.

“We didn’t play well against Lovington,” said Graves. “We were flat and we didn’t shoot free throws well (5-of-11). Hopefully we will find a way to win.”

Arthur (18-6) at Windsor (6-18)

Arthur is coming off a 73-66 loss to Tri-County, which prevented them from clinching at least a tie for the conference title. The Knights average 59.2 points per game compared to 45.1 for Windsor. Arthur’s defense allows 50.3 per game, while the Blue Devils allow 58.9 per contest.

Windsor is hoping to snap a seven-game losing streak on the final home game for seniors Dylan Wiltermood, Trevor Warner and Jake McIlwain. Kyle Floyd is the team’s top scorer with an average of 12.3 points per game.

Shelbyville (4-19, 0-10) at Unity (No. 11 Class 2A) (18-6, 8-2)

Unity is coming off a 44-35 win over Tuscola, after they lost to Paris 33-31 and to Meridian 61-42. The Rockets are led in scoring by Zebo Zebe, who averages 18 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game.

Shelbyville is led by Nick Nugent and Caine Cloe with averages of 11.3 and 11 points per game respectively.

Casey-Westfield (9-12) at Effingham St.Anthony (No. 16 Class 1A) (22-4)

Casey has won four of its last five games and is led by Mitch Snyder with an average of 20.4 points per game.

St. Anthony is coming off a 60-47 win over No. 5 Altamont as Taylor Worman scored a career-high 30 points. It is Senior Night for the Bulldogs, who have one senior in John Steppe, a 6-3 guard. St. Anthony has won 10 of its last 11 contests.

Tri-County (17-10, 7-4) at Martinsville (7-18, 5-6)

Tri-Count played the spoiler Tuesday, knocking off Arthur 73-66 to prevent the Knights from clinching at least a tie for the conference crown. The Titans enter the game averaging 63.4 points per game, while Martinsville scores 52.8 per contest. On defense the Bluestreaks allow 63 per game, while Tri-County allows 56.7 per contest.

Jared Higginbotham and Ryan Slater lead Martinsville with averages of 18.3 and 15.3 points per game, while the Titans are led by Patrick Miller, Cody Meyer and Jake Montgomery with 16, 13.5 and 12.9 points per game.

Tri-County beat Martinsville 76-47 in the Tri-County Holiday Tournament Dec. 29.

Okaw Valley (9-17, 2-9) at Lovington (18-9, 6-5)

Okaw Valley has won two straight and averages 49.6 points per game, while allowing 55.8. The Timberwolves are led by Dallas Kirkwood and Kyle Pierce with averages of 12.8 and 10.8 points per game respectively.

Lovington has won seven of its last 10 games, including Tuesday’s 55-52 win over Arcola. Dan Bolsen leads the Panthers in scoring and rebounding with averages of 21.7 and 10.3 per game respectively. Lucas West averages 4.6 assists per contest.


Area boys' basketball rounup
Marshall beats Cumberland
By JG/T-C Staff

TOLEDO – With three players scoring in double-digits and commanding 32 point second quarter, the Marshall Lions rolled their way to an 81-48 Little Illini Conference basketball win against Cumberland on Tuesday.

Marshall, the No. 5 team in Class 2A defetaed Cumberland 75-46 earlier in the LIC tournament.

Dalton Sowers and Silas Gabel led Cumberland with 11 and 10 points respectively.

Cumberland, 15-10 overall and 4-4 in the LIC, is to play host to Brownstown on Saturday in a conference game.

Marshall 13 32 15 21—81

Cumberland 10 10 12 16—48

MARSHALL: Lo. Eitel 5-5-15; Delp 0-4-4; J. Duncan 3-1-9; Wetnight 0-0-0; Groone 3-0-8; Lu. Eitel 1-0-2; Tucker 0-0-0; Cannady 8-0-19; T. Duncan 5-4-17; Sanders 1-0-2; Morey 2-1-5; Bishop 0-0-0; Totals 28-15-81

CUMBERLAND: Cizek 0-0-0; Gabel 3-3-10; Miller 1-0-2; Parker 1-0-2; Draper 3-0-7; Co. Carlen 2-3-9; Kuhn 0-0-0; Matteson 2-1-5; McMechon 0-0-0; Sowers 4-2-11; Cl. Carlen 0-0-0; Bolin 1-0-2; Totals 17-9-48

3-point goals: Marshall 10 (J. Duncan 2, Groone2; Cannady 3, T. Duncan 3); Cumberland 5 (Gabel, Draper, Co. Carlen 2, Sowers)

Marshall pushes record to 25-0 with big win over Cumberland

Tribune-Star staff report

Toledo, Ill. February 18, 2009

Marshall extended its record to 25-0 Tuesday night in Illinois high school boys basketball, defeating Cumberland 81-48.
The Lions won its third straight regular-season Little Illini Conference championship and its second without a defeat, finishing 8-0.
They will go for an undefeated season Friday, meeting Neoga in a Senior Night contest.
Marshall trailed twice in the first period but had a 13-10 lead after one quarter.
The Lions trailed 17-16 in the second stanza but took control with a 22-0 run to go up 38-17 and held a 45-20 lead at the intermission, outscoring the Pirates 32-10 in the second quarter.
Marshall took a 60-32 lead into the final frame and led by as many as 37 points in the last period.
Freshman Logan Cannady started in place of Trey Brashear, out with the flu, and led the Lions with 19 points, scoring nine in a row in that 22-0 run. He also had four rebounds and two steals.
Taylor Duncan tallied 19 points and Logan Eitel had 15 and seven rebounds.
Two other freshmen, Jacob Duncan and Jordan Grooms, scored nine and eight points, respectively, while Lucas Eitel had two points, five rebounds and five assists.
Jeremy Jansen, one of the top scorers for Cumberland, was sidelined with a knee injury. Dalton Sowers led the 15-10 Pirates with 11 points and Silas Gabel had 10.
The Marshall junior varsity also remained unbeaten, winning 57-54. Jake Tucker had 18 points.

Marshall 13 32 15 21 — 81
Cumberland 10 10 12 16 — 48
JV — Marshall 57 (Jake Tucker 18), Cumberland 54
Next — Marshall (25-0, 8-0 LIC) winds up the regular season Friday at home against Neoga. Cumberland is 15-10.


Ramblin' Reck: There’s a lot on the line this week for Valley prep basketball teams

February 17, 2009

It doesn’t seem possible, but high school boys basketball seasons are winding up in the Wabash Valley.
Illinois teams conclude the regular season this week, while teams in Indiana are down to the final two weeks.
In Illinois, Marshall hopes to put the cap on an undefeated season with two games, playing at Cumberland tonight and at home against Neoga on Friday. The Lions have already clinched their third straight regular-season Little Illini Conference championship and earlier won the conference tournament for the third year in a row. They have won 19 titles combined in coach Tom Brannan’s 16 years as coach.
Regional play commences next Monday, with Casey and Marshall both playing at Effingham St. Anthony. Casey plays St. Anthony in its last game Friday.


Marshall improves to 24-0

The Tribune-Star

February 14, 2009

Marshall cruised to its 24th victory 91-46 Friday at home as Logan Eitel, Lucas Eitel, Jacob Duncan and Taylor Duncan all reached double figures.

HUTSONVILLE-PALESTINE (46) — Blankenbaker 1 0-0 2, Webster 2 0-0 4, Kiger 0 0-0 0, Martin 6 2-2 16, Callaway 3 0-0 8, Otte 3 0-0 9, Knoblett 0 0-0 0, Green 0 0-0 0, Pearse 0 0-0 0, McDaniel 2 1-2 5, Callahan 1 0-0 2. Totals 18 FG, 3-4 FT, 46 TP.
MARSHALL (91) — Lo.Eitel 6 2-2 14, Delp 0 0-0 0, J.Duncan 5 0-0 13, Wetnight 0 0-0 0, Grooms 3 0-0 8, Brashear 2 0-0 5, Lu.Eitel 8 0-0 18, Tucker 2 0-0 4, Cannady 2 2-2 6, T.Duncan 5 2-2 13, Sanders 1 0-0 2, Morey 3 0-0 6, Francis 0 0-0 0, Bishop 1 0-0 2. Totals 38 FG, 6-6 FT, 91 TP.
Huts-Pal. 14 9 10 13 — 46
Marshall 24 22 22 23 — 91
3-point goals — J.Duncan 3, Grooms 2, Brashear, Lu.Eitel 2, T.Duncan, Martin 2, Callaway 2, Otte 3. Total fouls — H-P 6, M 7. Fouled out — none.
JV — Marshall 64, Hutsonville-Palestine 33.
Next — Marshall (24-0) plays Tuesday at Cumberland.


Illinois Prep Basketball Roundup: No. 5-ranked Marshall runs record to 23-0

Tribune-Star staff report

Casey, Ill. February 11, 2009

The Marshall Express kept rolling Tuesday night in Illinois boys high school basketball action.
Marshall won its 23rd straight game, defeating Clark County rival Casey 80-52.
Casey had the lead twice in the first period but Marshall closed with a 10-0 run for a 21-12 lead after eight minutes. The Lions had another 10-0 run in the second stanza and had a 41-21 lead at the halftime.
Marshall took a 66-35 lead into the final frame and had a 33-point lead at the start of the fourth quarter when reserves for both teams ended the contest.
Four Marshall players were in double figures as the Lions improved to 23-0 and 6-0 in the Little Illini Conference.
Logan Eitel had 27 points, Lucas Eitel 17, Logan Cannady 13 and Taylor Duncan 11 while Jacob Duncan had nine and Dustin Morey six.
Trey Breshear returned to the lineup after missing two games with an ankle injury.
Kirk Shawver led the Warriors with 20 points. Leading scorer Mitch Snyder was held to nine points; he was guarded by Taylor Duncan most of the time.

Marshall 21 20 25 14 — 80
Casey 12 9 14 17 — 52
JV — Marshall 51, Casey 37
Next — Both teams have home games against LIC opponents Friday. Marshall (23-0, 6-0 LIC) meets Hutsonville-Palestine and Casey faces Red Hill in Senior Night action.
• • •
In other Illinois boys action:
• Edwards County 61, Hutsonville-Palestine 37 — At Hutsonville, Ill., Chad Smith led the winners with a game-high 21 points.

EDWARDS COUNTY (61) — Columbia 0 0-0 0, Vallette 2 0-0 4, Harris 3 0-1 6, Smith 7 4-4 21, Aaron 4 1-2 10, Winemiller 3 1-2 7, Pertl 0 0-0 0, Head 1 1-2 4, Fisher 3 3-4 9, Goble 0 0-0 0, Beadles 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 FG, 10-15 FT, 61 TP.
HUTSONVILLE-PALESTINE (37) — Blankenbecker 2 0-0 5, Webster 0 0-0 0, Kiger 0 0-0 0, Martin 1 0-0 2, Callaway 2 5-7 9, Otte 2 0-0 4, Knoblett 0 0-0 0, Green 0 0-0 0, Pearse 0 0-0 0, Callahan 7 3-3 17. Totals 14 FG, 8-10 FT, 37 TP.
Edwards County 10 23 17 11 — 61
Hutsonville-Palestine 8 12 6 11 — 37
3-point goals — Smith 3, Aaron, Head, Blankenbecker. Total fouls — EC 12, H-P 13. Fouled out — none.

• Chrisman 63, Salt Fork 53 — At Chrisman, Ill., Logan Ross scored 24 points to lead the host Cardinals to a victory. Cody Owen and Matt Morris scored 18 and 14 points respectively.


Casey-Westfield boys fall to Marshall, 80-52

CASEY -- The Marshall Lions lived up to their state ranking Tuesday night as they posted their 23rd consecutive victory with an 80-52 boys’ basketball win over the Casey-Westfield Warriors.

Lucas Eitel got things started for the Lions, hitting his first three point attempt of the night for a 3-0 lead. Kirk Shawver answered for the Warriors to cut the lead to one, 3-2 before Logan Eitel converted an offensive board to move the lead to three.

Shawver hit a trey to deadlock things at 5-5 only to see that effort bested by Taylor Duncan who posted four straight points for Marshall to put them back in the lead 9-5. Shawver again kept the Warriors within striking distance, hitting the first of a pair of charity tosses before Mitch Snyder got in on the action with consecutive buckets to put Casey on top 10-9 with 4:05 in the first.

The two teams traded leads over the next several possessions, but Marshall rattled off 10 unanswered points to close out the quarter and take a 21-12 lead.

In the second quarter, Shawver opened the scoring with a  deuce only to see the Lions go on their second scoring spree of the night, hitting for 12 consecutive points to build a 33-14 advantage with 3:15 left in the half. Shawver provided the next three Warrior points, but threes by the Eitel brothers extended the lead to 20 at the break, 41-20.

In the third quarter, Marshall continued to dominate as Marshall continued to post big offensive numbers while holding the Warriors at bay, outscoring them 25-14 in the eight minute span.

The fourth quarter saw the Warriors outscore their guests, but it was too little, too late as Marshall kept their perfect season intact.

Logan Eitel led all scorers with a game high 25 points while brother Lucas tallied 17 points and Jacob Duncan 13 in the Marshall win.

For the Warriors, Kirk Shawver was the lone Warrior to post in double figures with a team high 20 points in the loss.

Casey, 7-12, will host Red Hill Friday night for the traditional Senior Night festivities; Marshall improves to 23-0.

Marshall   21  20  25  14  —80

Casey    12  9  14  17  -52

MARSHALL: Lo. Eitel 10-4-25; J. Duncan 3-2-10; Lu. Eitel 6-2-17; Cannady 5-1-13; T. Duncan 3-3-9; Morey 3-0-6; TOTALS 30-12-80

CASEY: Lu. McVey 1-0-2; Unzicker 1-0-3; Scales 2-1-5; Shawver 7-5-20; Barnhart 0-2-2; Snyder 3-3-9; Kusterman 1-0-3; Thais 0-1-1; Scott 3-1-7; TOTALS 18-13-52

JV SCORE: Marshall 51, Casey 37


Ten area games set for tonight

Ten area boys’ basketball games are set for tonight, including two against teams that are ranked in the latest Associated Press rankings and another two involving area teams against each other.

Casey-Westfield is to face undefeated Marshall, a team that is ranked No. 6 in Class 2A in a Little Illini Conference contest, while in the National Trail Conference Altamont, the seventh ranked team in Class 1A is to play at Neoga. The Little Okaw Valley Conference has Arthur playing host to Okaw Valley, while Martinsville is to play host to Arcola.

Cumberland is to play host to Oblong in a LIC game, while in the Okaw Valley Conference Sullivan is to travel to Tuscola and Shelbyville travels to Central A&M.

No. 6 (Class 2A) Marshall (22-0, 5-0) at Casey-Westfield (7-11, 3-3)

Casey enters the game having won its last two games, while Marshall has had only five games decided by 10 points or less and the Lions are coming off a 68-36 LIC tournament title win over Lawrenceville Saturday at Casey scoring 29 unanswered points at one time to take a 47-7 lead. For the second time last week Marshall kept its opponent scoreless in a quarter.

The Warriors are coming off a 68-51 win over Oblong as Mitch Sndyer, who averages 20.3 points per game, scored 30 points. It was the third time Snyder has scored 30 points or more this season. Kirk Shawver and Clinton Scott followed with 10 points each.

Marshall’s last regular season loss was a 62-44 Casey win Feb. 6. Since then the Lions have won 25 straight regular season contests.

Oblong (10-11, 2-3) at Cumberland (13-9, 3-3)

Oblong is coming off a 68-51 loss to Casey-Westfield, a team Cumberland beat 73-63 in the LIC tournament. The Pirates have won two straight, including 73-42 over Flora in the third place game of the conference tournament Saturday at Casey.

The Panthers are led by guard Drew Morecraft.

Cumberland has three players that average double digits in Dalton Sowers, Jeremy Jansen and Silas Gabel who score 14.4, 14.1 and 12.8 points per game.


Marshall smashes Indians in LIC title game

Monday, February 09, 2009

Lawrenceville's Zach Manley puts up a shot.
LHS coach Jason Green watches the action.

CASEY - There's no shame in finishing second in your conference tournament when Marshall is in your conference.

The undefeated Lions, ranked sixth in the most recent Illinois Class 2A poll, hammered Lawrenceville High School's basketball team, 68-36, in championship game of the Little Illini Conference Tournament Saturday at Casey High School.

The contest was never in doubt as Marshall (22-0) built a 20-7 lead at the end of the opening stanza, then held the Indians (15-6) scoreless in the second period, on way to a 43-7 lead at halftime. Marshall maintained a 62-23 lead after three quarters, and the clock ran continuously during the final period, thanks to the tournament's 30-point mercy rule.

It was the Lions' third win over the Indians this season, but both of the others - by 29 and 27 points, respectively - were on the LHS floor. Lawrenceville coach Jason Green, whose team fell to 15-6 and saw an eight-game winning streak snapped, said his team was intimidated by Saturday's setting.

"Marshall's crowd erupted when they announced the starting lineups, and the (players) were looking at me like 'Oh, boy,' " Green said. "This is the type of atmosphere we want to play in. But we really haven't been in this type of situation. I think they were kind of shell-shocked at first. We never really got going."

The second half was better, as the Indians actually outscored the Lions, 29-25, although reserves for both teams saw the bulk of the action in the final period.

"The first half was pretty poor," said Green, whose team had 22 turnovers at the break. "But in the second half we played a lot better. We took it at them. Our goal (after halftime) was to beat them in the second half, and we did. We were at least able to take something away from this game."

Dane Kelly scored eight points, all in the second half, to pace the Indians. Nathan Waldroup added seven points and a team-high five rebounds.

Marshall's Logan Eitel topped all players with 18 points and nine rebounds. Taylor Duncan added 15 points and eight boards for the Lions, while Dustin Morey added 11 points.

Earlier in the day, Cumberland claimed third place by blitzing Flora, 73-42.

The Indians will travel to Red Hill Tuesday for a Little Illini Conference game.

Marshall 68,

Lawrenceville 36


Kelly (f) 3-3 2-3 8, Waldroup (c) 3-10 0-0 7, Klein (f) 3-8 0-0 6, Manley (g) 0-3 5-6 5, J. Potts (g) 1-3 0-0 2, Sweeten 1-1 0-0 2, N. Potts 1-2 0-2 2, Leighty 1-3 0-0 2, Benson 1-1 0-0 2, Kitchell 0-0 0-0 0, Kraft 0-0 0-0 0, McCullough 0-0 0-0 0, Seed 0-0 0-0 0, McKinney 0-0 0-0 0, Goins 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 14-34 7-11 56.


Logan Eitel (g) 9-19 1-2 19, T. Duncan (c) 4-15 6-7 15, Morey (f) 5-8 0-2 11, Lu. Eitel (g) 4-6 1-1 9, Cannady (f) 2-3 2-2 8, J. Duncan 1-2 2-2 4, Grooms 1-3 0-0 2, Delp 0-4 0-0 0, Tucker 0-0 0-0 0, France 0-0 0-0 0, Bishop 0-0 0-0 0, Wetnight 0-0 0-0 0, Sanders 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-56 13-16 68.

3-point shooting: Lawrenceville 1-8 (Manley 0-2, Klein 0-1, J. Potts 0-1, Waldroup 1-4), Marshall 3-20 (Lo. Eitel 0-4, Lu. Eitel 0-2, T. Duncan 1-5, Morey 0-2, Cannady 0-3, J. Duncan 0-1, Delp 0-2, Grooms 0-1). Rebounds: Lawrenceville 21 (Waldroup 5), Marshall 28 (Lo Eitel 9, T. Duncan 8). Turnovers: Lawrenceville 28, Marshall 12. Fouls: Lawrenceville 15, Marshall 11.

Lawrenceville 7 0 16 13 - 36

Marshall 20 23 19 6 - 68

Officials: Dana Anderson, Carl Repking, Bob Schlechte.


Marshall runs away from LIC field

February 07, 2009

Three was a constant number for the Marshall Lions as they defeated Lawrenceville 68-36 in Illinois boys basketball action Saturday afternoon at Casey-Westfield High School.
Playing their third game of the week, the Lions won the Little Illini Conference tournament for the third straight year by beating the Indians for the third time this season and won their third tournament championship of the season in hiking their season record to 22-0.
The Lions were in command from the start and wrapped up the victory early as the Indians went about 10 minutes without scoring, not scoring a point from late in the first period until early in the third quarter.
In that stretch, Marshall tallied 29 points to take a 47-7 lead, outscoring Lawrenceville 23-0 in the second stanza, turning some of the 22 turnovers into easy baskets.
It was the second time this week that the No. 6-ranked Class 2A team in Illinois has shut out an opponent in one quarter.
“That’s not a bad habit to have. And Lawrenceville is a good basketball team, beating Robinson and winning at Pinckneyville. I am really pleased,” said Marshall coach Tom Brannan.
Read Sunday's Tribune-Star for a complete report.

LIC tournament scores
Girls division
Red Hill 35. Marshall 31, third place
Flora 63, Cumberland 44, championship
Boys division
Cumberland 73, Flora 42, third place
Marshall 68, Lawrenceville 36, championship

Duncan’s 30 pace Marshall in LIC action

The Tribune-Star

MARSHALL, Ill.    February 07, 2009

Marshall won its second boys high school basketball game of the week Friday, defeating Edwards County 94-51 in Little Illini Conference action.
The Lions are 21-0 and 5-0 in the conference. They will go for their third straight LIC tournament championship today, meeting Lawrenceville at Casey. Tipoff is slated for 2:30 p.m. CST.
Marshall had a 32-10 lead at the first stop and was up 53-21 at halftime. The Lions' biggest lead was 46 late in the contest with the starters out of the game.
Trey Brashear missed the game because of an ankle injury incurred Tuesday night and he is not expected to play today. Freshman Logan Cannady got his first start and scored eight points, getting five of the first seven for the Lions.
Taylor Duncan led the No. 6 Class 2A team with 30 points — one shy of his season high — and had four steals, three rebounds and two assists.
Logan Eitel was next with 17 points and Lucas Eitel had 14 points along with nine assists and five steals. Cannnady and Dustin Morey each had eight points.
The Marshall junior varsity also won, improving to 12-0 for the season.

EDWARDS COUNTY (51) — Columbia 4 2-2 13, Vallette 1 0-0 2, Harris 0 0-0 0, Smith 2 4-4 8, Aaron 2 0-0 6, Winemiller 2 0-0 4, Pertl 0 0-0 0, Head 2 0-0 4, Fisher 5 0-0 11, Goble 0 0-2 0, Beadles 0 0-0 0, Schonomen 1 0-0 3. Totals 19 FG, 6-8 FT, 51 TP.
MARSHALL (94) — Lo.Eitel 7 2-2 17, Delp 2 0-0 6, J.Duncan 1 0-0 3, Wetnight 0 0-0 0, Grooms 2 0-0 5, Lu.Eitel 5 2-2 14, Tucker 0 0-0 0, Cannady 2 3-4 8, T.Duncan 13 0-0 30, Sanders 1 1-2 3, Morey 4 0-0 8, Francis 0 0-0 0, Bishop 0 0-0 0. Totals 37 FG, 8-11 FT, 94 TP.
3-point goals — Lo.Eitel, Delp 2, J.Duncan, Grooms, Lu.Eitel 2, Cannady, T.Duncan 4, Columbia 3, Aaron 2, Fisher. Total fouls — EC 11, M 11. Fouled out — none.
Edwards County 10 11 15 15 — 51
Marshall 32 21 22 19 — 94
JV — Marshall 75, EC 34.
Next — Marshall (21-0, 5-0 LIC) plays Lawrenceville in the LIC tournament championship today at Casey. Edwards County is 7-13.


Tribe to take another shot at Lions in LIC finals

Friday, February 06, 2009

LAWRENCEVILLE - Fully two weeks after it started, the Little Illini Conference basketball tournaments will come to a conclusion Saturday, with the top two seeds meeting for the title in both events.

Red Hill High School's girls basketball team will open the day against Marshall, at 10 a.m., in the third-place game. That will be followed by the third-place boys game between Flora and Cumberland and the girls title game between Flora and Cumberland, before Lawrenceville and Marshall are set to meet at 2:30 in the boys title tilt.

The tournament started on Jan. 24, and was slated to conclude Jan. 30. Foul weather intervened, and the consolation bracket was canceled. Finally, the semifinal games have been completed and things are set to finish Saturday, with 50-degeree temperatures, to boot.

The Indians (15-5) cemented their berth in the finals with Wednesday's 47-26 semifinal win over visiting Flora. It was their eighth consecutive victory, dating to a 50-49 loss to Red Hill on Jan. 6.

Anything less than reaching the finals, says second-year coach Jason Green, would have been disappointing.

"We wanted to be in the championship game of this tournament, and I don't think we let anybody know any different," he said. "We felt like if we didn't make it there, it would have been a downer."

Again, Green stressed that progression is important. He notes that the Indians played in the fifth-place game at the season-opening Basketball Capital Classic, and claimed third-place in the Duster Thomas Hoops Classic at Pinckneyville over the Christmas Break.

"We're excited about this opportunity," he said. "We talk about progression every day. We've talked about it all season. We've made it to where we wanted to be."

Marshall (20-0) punched its ticket to the championship game last Friday, with a 75-46 win over Cumberland. The Lions blasted Oblong, 85-30, in a regular season game on Tuesday. Tonight, they host Edwards County.

Eleven of the Lions victories have been by 27 points or more. Two of those were games at Lawrenceville - an 82-53 decision in the Capital Classic on Nov. 27, and a 75-48 regular season win on Dec. 5. The second game was close throughout the first half, although the Lions rallied to take a 33-26 lead at the break.

"That game was a long time ago, but I think it may have been the turning point in our season," Marshall coach Tom Brannan said. "I think at halftime of that game was when our boys realized they had to play this way or that way. I think that was the point where they decided to play basketball, and play basketball right."

The Lions feature a trio of scoring threats in 6-4 senior Logan Eitel (17.0 ppg), 6-3 junior Taylor Duncan (16.0 ppg) and 6-4 senior Lucas Eitel (16.0 ppg). Other starters are usually 6-2 senior Trey Brashear (6.5 ppg) and 6-5 junior Dustin Morey (5.0 ppg). However, Breashear sustained an ankle injury during Tuesday's conquest of Oblong, and was on crutches as of Thursday afternoon. If he can't start, the Lions will turn to one of two 6-0 freshmen, Logan Cannady or Jacob Duncan.

"We'll have to play as hard as we can, and hope to contain their shooters," said Green. "It's going to take a defensive effort much like we had (Wednesday against Flora) to bother them. If we can keep them outside and they're making 3-pointers, there's not much we can do about it. But when you let them get inside, that's when you really get into trouble."

The Indians will likely counter with a lineup that includes 6-1 senior Zach Manley (9.1 ppg), 5-11 senior Ryan Klein (6.6 ppg), 5-11 senior Josh Potts (7.9 ppg), 6-2 senior Nathan Waldroup (11.5 ppg) and 6-6 junior Dane Kelly (9.6 ppg). Off the bench, the Indians turn to 6-5 junior Nick Potts, who is averaging 9.1 points a game.

"We wanted another shot at Marshall," Green said. "It'll be a good way to see where we stand. They're an excellent team. They haven't lost yet. We wouldn't mind being the team to change that."

Game notes: Saturday's game will be broadcast on Lawrenceville radio station WAKO, 103.1 FM ... Lawrenceville has a record of 15-7 in LIC Tournament games, since joining the league in 2001-2002 ... Saturday will mark the fourth time the Indians have played in the tournament championship game. LHS reached the finals in 2003 and fell to Marshall, 70-55. The Indians beat Flora for the title in 2005, 60-42, and Red Hill the following year, 64-60 ... Marshall is seeking its third consecutive title and 15th overall. The only time Marshall has won three straight was from 1971-73, the first three years of the tournament. The last team to win three in a row was Casey, which claimed the crown every year from 1991 through 1996 ... Green is 20-27 in his second season at LHS, while Brannan is 328-137 in his 17th season coaching the Lions.



Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Panthers dominated by state-ranked Lions

Daily News

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Class 2A No. 6 Marshall showed Oblong just why they hold that distinction Tuesday night, as the undefeated Lions dominated the Panthers, 85-30, in Marshall.

Oblong hung around and was able to keep the game close early, as the Panthers trailed by just four, 14-10 after the first quarter. Marshall was able to open things up a bit in the second quarter, as they doubled up the Panthers, 26-13, to take a 40-23 halftime lead. The Lions ran away from Oblong in the second half, as Marshall outscored the Panthers 45-7 in the second half, including 22-0 in the third quarter, en route to the lopsided win.

The Panthers made just 11 field goals in the game, six two-point baskets and five three-pointers, and were a mere three of 13 (23 percent) from the free throw line. Marshall poured in 35 field goals, including seven from long range, and made eight of 10 (80 percent) attempts at the charity stripe.

Drew Morecraft was the lone player in double figures for the Panthers with 13 points, while Kendrick Greathouse added eight. Curtis Legg scored five points and Joey Harder had two to round out the scoring.

Logan Eitel topped four players in double figures for Marshall with 22 points, while Taylor Duncan netted 18. Logan Cannady clicked for 14 points and Lucas Eitel added 12. Trey Brashear and Dustin Morey chipped in four points, Ethan Delp scored three and Jordan Grooms, Dalton Sanders, Jacob Duncan and Joey Francis had two points apiece to complete the scoring for the Lions.

Marshall also took the junior varsity contest, 74-36.

Sean Morecraft led Oblong with 10 points, while Karch Knollenberg, Devin Aikman and Logan Mendenhall posted six points apiece. Ryan Cheek, Tyler Kessler, Ethan Mendenhall and Justin Wartsbaugh added two points each for the Panthers.

Oblong (10-10, 2-2 LIC) will play host to Casey-Westfield in a Little Illini Conference contest Friday at 6:15 p.m.

At Marshall

Oblong 10 13 0 7 - 30

Marshall 14 26 22 23 - 85


E. Mendenhall 0 0-0 0, Aikman 0 0-0 0, Hoalt 0 2-3 2, Smith 0 0-0 0, Wartsbaugh 0 0-0 0, Morecraft 5 0-0 13, Greathouse 3 1-5 8, Legg 2 0-2 5, L. Mendenhall 0 0-0 0, Harder 1 0-3 2. Totals 11 FG, 3-13 FT, 30 TP.


Lo. Eitel 8 5-6 22, Delp 1 0-0 3, J. Duncan 1 0-0 2, Wetnight 0 0-0 0, Grooms 1 0-0 2, Brashear 1 2-2 4, Lu. Eitel 6 0-0 12, Tucker 0 0-0 0, Cannady 5 1-2 14, T. Duncan 8 0-0 18, Sanders 1 0-0 2, Morey 2 0-0 4, Bishop 0 0-0 0, Francis 1 0-0 2. Totals 35 FG, 8-10 FT, 85 TP.

3-point goals - Morecraft 3, Greathouse, Legg, Cannady 3, T.Duncan 2, Lo.Eitel, Delp. Team fouls - OHS 9, MHS 16. Fouled out - none. Technical foul - none.

Junior Varsity

Oblong 13 4 13 6 - 36

Marshall 26 14 22 12 - 74

Highlights - (OHS) Ryan Cheek 2 points; Tyler Kessler 2 points; Ethan Mendenhall 2 points; Karch Knollenberg 6 points; Devin Aikman 6 points; Logan Mendenhall 6 points; Justin Wartsbaugh 2 points; Sean Morecraft 10 points.

Next game - Oblong (10-10, 2-2 LIC) will play host to Casey-Westfield in a Little Illini Conference contest Friday at 6:15 p.m.


Prep Roundup: Boys basketball

Tribune-Star staff report

February 05, 2009

• Marshall 85, Oblong 30 — At Marshall, Ill., the host Lions made it 20-0 for the season in Illinois high school boys basketball action.
The Lions outscored the Panthers 22-0 in the third period as they hiked their Little Illini Conference record to 4-0.
Oblong made it close for about 14 minutes, trailing 14-10 at the first stop and 23-17 in the second quarter but the Lions closed the first half with a 10-3 run and had a 40-23 lead at the intermission.
Marshall scored the first 27 points of the second half including the 22 in the third quarter and outscored the visitors 45-7 in the last half.
Logan Eitel had a double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds and also had four steals to lead the Lions.
Lucas Eitel had 12 points and five rebounds while Taylor Duncan scored 18 points and had four rebounds and freshman Logan Cannady tallied 14 points, hitting three 3-pointers.
Drew Morecraft led the Panthers with 13 points.
Marshall began a busy week with the game. The Lions will meet Edwards County in another home game Friday and are scheduled to meet Flora or Lawrenceville in the championship game of the LIC tourney Saturday afternoon at Casey.

OBLONG (30) — E.Mendenhall 0 0-0 0, Aikman 0 0-0 0, Hoalt 0 2-3 2, Smith 0 0-0 0, Wartsbaugh 0 0-0 0, Morecraft 5 0-0 13, Greathouse 3 1-5 8, Legg 2 0-2 5, L.Mendenhall 0 0-0 0, Harder 1 0-3 2. Totals 11 FG, 3-13 FT, 30 TP.
MARSHALL (85) — Lo.Eitel 8 5-6 22, Delp 1 0-0 3, J.Duncan 1 0-0 2, Wetnight 0 0-0 0, Grooms 1 0-0 2, Brashear 1 2-2 4, Lu.Eitel 6 0-0 12, Tucker 0 0-0 0, Cannady 5 1-2 14, T.Duncan 8 0-0 18, Sanders 1 0-0 2, Morey 2 0-0 4, Bishop 0 0-0 0, Francis 1 0-0 2. Totals 35 FG, 8-10 FT, 85 TP.
Oblong 10 13 0 7 — 30
Marshall 14 26 22 23 — 85
3-point goals — Morecraft 3, Greathouse, Legg, Cannady 3, T.Duncan 2, Lo.Eitel, Delp. Total fouls — Oblong 9, Marshall 16. Fouled out — none.
JV — Marshall 74, Oblong 36; Marshall is 11-0.
Next — Marshall (20-0) has a home game Friday against Edwards County. Oblong is 10-10.

LIC Tourney Finals Rescheduled for Saturday

CASEY – Finals of the postponed Little Illini Conference basketball tournament are now scheduled for Saturday.

Semifinal games between Red Hill and Flora in the girls’ tournament and Flora and Lawrenceville in the boys’ tourney are still to be played.

This is the schedule for the finals on Saturday at Casey-Westfield High School:

10:00 a.m. – Girls’ third-place game, Marshall vs. Red Hill-Flora loser

11:30 a.m. – Boys’ third-place game, Cumberland vs. Flora-Lawrenceville loser

1:00 p.m. – Girls’ championship game, Cumberland vs. Red Hill-Flora winner

2:30 p.m. – Boys’ championship game, Marshall vs. Flora-Lawrenceville winner



PREP ROUNDUP: Marshall rolls to Little Illini tourney semifinals

Staff Report
The Tribune-Star

January 31, 2009

Marshall reached the semifinals of the Little Illini Conference boys basketball tournament Friday, defeating Cumberland 75-46 with a blowout third quarter.
The 19-0 Lions will meet either Flora or Lawrenceville in the championship game, seeking their third straight championship. The date for the title tilt is uncertain since Flora and Lawrenceville will not play until next week.
Cumberland stayed close with the Lions for a half, trailing 16-15 after one period and 32-29 at the intermission.
The Pirates cut the lead to one point at the start of the second half and then the Lions scored 15 unanswered points for a 47-31 lead; they took a 64-33 lead into the final frame, outscoring Cumberland 32-4 in the third period.
All of the Marshall starters scored in double figures, playing just over three quarters.
Logan Eitel had 20 points, giving him 48 for the tournament, and added four rebounds and three assists to his totals. Lucas Eitel had 16 points with four steals, eight assists and three blocks.
Trey Brashear hit four 3-pointers and finished with 14 points while Dustin Morey had 12 points and Taylor Duncan 11, getting eight in the third period. Duncan also had three assists, three rebounds and two blocks.
Jeremy Jansen scored 15 points for the 10-8 Pirates, getting all his points in the first half.

CUMBERLAND (46) — Goble 3 0-0 8, Miller 0 0-0 0, Parkes 0 0-0 0, Draper 0 0-0 0, Jansen 7 1-1 15, Carlen 0 0-0 0, Kuhn 0 0-0 0, Matteson 0 2-2 2, McMechan 3 3-3 10, Sowers 4 0-0 9, Carter 1 0-0 2. Totals 18 FG, 6-6 FT, 46 TP.
MARSHALL (75) — Lo.Eitel 9 1-2 20, T.Duncan 4 3-4 11, Brashear 5 0-0 14, Lu.Eitel 7 0-0 16, Morey 5 2-3 12, J.Duncan 0 0-0 0, Delp 0 0-0 0, Wetnight 0 0-0 0, Grooms 0 0-0 0, Tucker 0 0-0 0, Cannady 1 0-0 2, Sanders 0 0-0 0, Bishop 0 0-0 0. Totals 31 FG, 6-9 FT, 75 TP.
Cumberland 15 14 4 13 — 46
Marshall 16 16 32 11 — 75
Next — Marshall (19-0) is host to Oblong on Tuesday and to Edwards County on Friday. Cumberland is 10-8.

n Cumberland 32, Marshall 18 — In a girls semifinal game, the Lions were outscored 14-1 in the fourth quarter.
Keisha Sweitzer had eight points and Bailey Lycan six rebounds for the Lions, while Kennedy Gabel scored 16 for the Pirates.

CUMBERLAND (32) — Gabel 7 2-4 16, Shupe 2 3-5 7, Holsapple 0 0-0 0, Weaver 0 0-0 0, Sowers 0 1-2 1, Swingler 2 0-0 4, Glidewell 0 0-0 0, Willenborg 0 0-0 0, Jansen 0 4-6 4. Totals 11 FG, 10-17 FT, 32 TP.
MARSHALL (18) — Lycan 0 0-1 0, G.Kuhn 0 0-0 0, English 2 2-2 6, Sweitzer 2 4-5 8, Strohm 1 1-2 4, Sandefer 0 0-0 0, Hamilton 0 0-0 0, Bishop 0 0-0 0. Totals 5 FG, 7-10 FT, 18 TP.
Cumberland 4 7 7 14 — 32
Marshall 6 7 4 1 — 18
3-point goal — Strohm. Total fouls — Cumberland 13, Marshall 16. Fouled out — none.
Next — Marshall (13-10) has a home game Monday against Palestine-Hutsonville.


Lady Pirates win in Little Illini tourney

CASEY-- The Little Illini Conference tournament resumed Friday night in Casey, albeit in an abbreviated form. The consolation bracket has been eliminated due to the recent winter weather and the only two games on tap were the semi-final contests between Cumberland and Marshall in both the girls and boys tournament brackets. The boys’ semi-final contest between Flora and Lawrenceville and the girls’ semi-final game between Flora and Red Hill are still on tap and the championship games will be set following the completion of those contests.

Marshall 75, Cumberland 46

The Cumberland Pirates held the Lions of Marshall at bay for the first 16 minutes of play, but Marshall proved their worthiness of the top seed as they exploded for 32 points in the third quarter as they cruised to a 75-46 win.

"I am very happy with how we played the first half," said Cumberland coach Justin Roedl. "I was worried about their 1-3-1 but we concentrated on that in practice and forced them to play man to man.

"Dalton (Sowers) got into foul trouble early and that really hurt us. (Marshall) has such a deep bench that they can keep bringing people in and stay effective; they wore us down in the second half and stepped up their level of play. I am very proud of how hard we played and I hope that level of play will carry over as we get into tournament play."

Marshall converted a steal into a layup by Taylor Duncan for the first points of the night only to see that effort matched by Jeremy Jansen on the Cumberland end of the floor. Logan Eitel hit for his first of 20 points in the contest to put the Lions back on top 4-2. Sowers nailed a three for the Pirates and a 5-4 lead.

Lucas Eitel got in on the scoring to make it 6-4 Marshall before Silas Gabel hit a trey for a 7-6 Cumberland advantage. The Lions’ Dustin Morey hit for four consecutive points before Jansen converted an offensive board to deadlock things at 10-10.

Marshall extended the lead to six on a three by Trey Brashear, a basket by Lucas Eitel and one of two from the line by Duncan to take a 10-16 advantage. Jansen converted another rebound for two and Jaton McMechan completed a conventional three point play to narrow the lead to one, 16-15 after one quarter of play.

Lucas Eitel opened the second quarter with a three only to see that effort matched by McMechan for Cumberland. Back-to-back baskets by Logan Eitel and Morey extended the Lion lead to five, 23-18. The two squads traded baskets with Jansen putting on a high-light reel of defensive steals and offensive put-backs to pull Cumberland to within three, 32-29 at the break.

Following the intermission, however, it was Marshall that came out with a vengeance, racking up 32 points in the eight minute span of the third quarter while holding the Pirates to just four points to take a 64-33 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Pirates continued to battle, but the Lions built a wall too high for them to get over as Marshall cruised to the 75-46 final score.

Logan Eitel led all scorers with a game high 20 points while three other Lions finished in double figures including Lucas Eitel with 16, Brashear with 14 and Dustin Morey with 12.

Two Pirates finished in double figures led by Jansen with 15 points and nine rebounds and McMecan with 10; Sowers finished with nine points in the loss.

Cumberland falls to 10-8 and will travel to Vandalia today where they will face Clay City; Marshall remains perfect on the season, 19-0.

Cumberland 15 14 4 13 -46
Marshall: 16 16 32 11 -75

CUMBERLAND: Gabel 3-0-8; Draper 0-0-0; Jansen 7-1-15; McMechan 3-3-10; Sowers 4-0-9; Matteson 0-2-2; Cl. Carlen 1-0-2; TOTALS 18-6-46
MARSHALL: Lo. Eitel 9-1-20; Brashear 6-0-14; Lu. Eitel 7-0-16; Cannady 1-0-2; T. Duncan 3-3-8; Morey 5-2-12; Delp 0-0-0; J. Duncan 0-0-0; Tucker 0-0-0; TOTALS 31-6-75
3-Point goals: Cumberland 4 (Gabel 2, McMechan 1, Sowers 1), Marshall 7 (Lo. Eitel 1, Brashear 4, Lu. Eitel 2)
Team rebounds: Cumberland 26 (Gabel 6, Draper 3, Jansen 9, McMechan 1, Sowers 3, Matteson 3, Cl. Carlen 1), Marshall 18 (Lo. Eitel 5, Brashear 4, Tucker 2, Cannady 2, T. Duncan 5)
Team fouls: Cumberland 10, Marshall 10
Team turnovers: Cumberland 15, Marshall 9

Cumberland 32, Marshall 18

For the first time, the Lady Pirates of Cumberland will play in the LIC tournament’s championship game; but the who, when and where aspect are yet to be determined. Cumberland turned in a strong second half performance to earn a 32-18 win over the Lady Lions of Marshall Friday night in Casey.

"Our defense has carried us all year and tonight was no different," said Coach Roy Clapp following the win. "Our shot was a little off tonight and we knew it probably would be because of the time off with the snow. The defense stepped up and was a catalyst for our offense.

"Kennedy (Gabel) played tough and took the ball to the basket for us tonight and Katie (Swingler) had a good night in the post and was a spark for us in the fourth quarter."

The Lady Lions got on the board first as Kiesha Switzer hit a pair of charity tosses for a 2-0 Marshall lead. Jordan English added a bucket to extend the lead before Gabel hit her first of a game high 16 points to cut the lead in half. Switzer matched that effort to push the lead back to four but a pair of free throws by Macy Shupe in the closing seconds of the first quarter narrowed the Marshall lead to two, 6-4.

As the second quarter got underway, Kendra Jansen hit the first of two tosses from the line then Gabel rattled off four straight points to give Cumberland their first lead of the night, 9-6. Marshall battled back, rattling off seven straight points to regain the lead 13-9. With :24 in the half, Shupe hit a deuce to put the Lady Pirates to within two, 13-11 at the half.

Following the intermission, it was Cumberland who regained the lead after outscoring the Lions 7-4 in the third quarter of play to take a one point, 18-17 lead into the final period of regulation.

It was in that last eight minutes of play that the Lady Pirates’ defense held their opponent to one mere point while Gabel posted six points en route to the 32-18 victory.

Gabel led all scorers with a game high 16 points and pulled down five boards while Shupe chipped in seven points and Holsapple grabbed six boards in the.

The Lady Lions were led by Switzer with eight points and six rebounds.

Cumberland improves to 18-6 and will travel to Dieterich on Tuesday; Marshall falls to 13-10.

Cumberland 4 7 7 14 -32
Marshall 6 7 4 1 -18

CUMBERLAND: Gabel 7-2-16; Shupe 2-3-7; Holsapple 0-0-0; Weaver 0-0-0; Sowers 0-1-1; Swingler 2-0-4; Jansen 0-4-4; TOTALS 11-10-32

3-point goals: Cumberland 0, Marshall 1 (Strohm)
Team rebounds: Cumberland 27 (Gabel 5, Shupe 2, Holsapple 6, Weaver 4, Sowers 2, Swingler 5, Jansen 3), Marshall 21 (G. Kuhn 2, Strohm 2, English 2, Lycan 6, Switzer 6, Hamilton 1, Sandefer 1, Bishop 1)
Team fouls: Cumberland 13, Marshall 15
Team turnovers: Cumberland 12, Marshall 13


Prep Roundup

Tribune-Star staff report

January 30, 2009

LIC reset III — Changes again have been made in the Little Illini Conference basketball tourney being played at Casey, Ill., due to road conditions in the southern part of the conference.
All consolation-bracket games have been cancelled. Semifinals of the boys and girls tournament will be played tonight, weather permitting.
No date has been set for championship games.

Tonight's games (All times CST)
Boys at Casey-Westfield high school
6 p.m. — Marshall (18-0) vs. Cumberland (10-7)
7:30 — Flora vs. Lawrenceville
Girls at Monroe Gym
6 p.m. — Red Hill vs. Flora
7:30 — Marshall vs. Cumberland

Prep Roundup: Valley sporting events postponed due to winter storm

Tribune-Star staff report

TERRE HAUTE January 29, 2009

• LIC reset II — The Little Illini Conference boys and girls tournaments continue play today with changes in schedule as follows:

Boys LIC Tournament
Today (All times CDT)
At Casey-Westfield High School
5 p.m. — Red Hill vs. Casey, consolation bracket
6:30 p.m. — Flora vs. Lawrenceville, winner’s bracket
7:30 p.m. — Cumberland vs. Marshall (at Cumberland), winner’s bracket
8 p.m. — Edwards County vs. Oblong, consolation
5 p.m. — Boys third-place game
6:30 p.m. — Boys consolation championship (at Monroe Elementary)
8 p.m. — Boys championship game

Girls LIC Tournament
At Monroe Elementary
5 p.m. — Palestine-Hutsonville vs. Lawrenceville, consolation bracket
6 p.m. — Marshall vs. Cumberland (at Cumberland High School), winner’s bracket
6:30 p.m. — Edwards County vs. Casey, consolation bracket
8 p.m. — Red Hill vs. Flora, winner’s
5 p.m. — Girls consolation championship
6:30 p.m. — Girls championship (at Casey-Westfield High School)
8 p.m. — Girls third-place game


LIC Tournament Games Postponed

CASEY — The Little Illini Conference boys’ basketball tournament games scheduled for tonight (Marshall vs. Cumberland and Flora vs. Lawrenceville in the semifinals) have been postponed due to the snow.  In addition the girls’ LIC tournament semifinal games of Flora vs. Red Hill and Marshall vs. Cumberland have been postponed.  All four games set for tonight are rescheduled for Wednesday and the tournaments have been pushed back a day with the championship games now set for Saturday.



Tribune-Star Prep Podcast No. 1

Prep Roundup: Marshall boys tip off LIC tournament semifinals tonight

Tribune-Star staff report

Casey, Ill. January 27, 2009

Semifinals of the Little Illini Conference tournaments are scheduled tonight.
Boys action is at the high school and girls games are in Monroe Gym.
Marshall’s boys and girls teams both are in the semifinals. The state-ranked boys team defeated Edwards County 81-42 on Saturday for an 18-0 record and meets Cumberland, a winner over Casey in the first round, in the semis.
Consolation-bracket games will be played Wednesday and Thursday with boys and girls championship games set for Friday at the high school.

All times CST
6 p.m. — Marshall vs. Cumberland
7:30 — Flora vs. Lawrenceville
6 p.m. — Flora vs Red Hill
7:30 — Marshall vs. Cumberland


Cumberland upends Casey in Little Illini boys tournament

CASEY -- Cumberland avenged an earlier loss beating Casey-Westfield 73-61 in Saturday’s opening round of the Little Illini Conference boys’ basketball tournament.

  That was one of two wins by lower seeds as No. 6 Flora knocked off No. 3 Red Hill 56-53.

  Top-seeded Marshall defeated Edwards County 81-42 and No. 2 Lawrenceville handled Oblong 70-50 to advance to the semifinal rounds slated for Tuesday.

  Oblong is to play host to Hutsonville-Palestine at 6:30 p.m. today in the only game on the schedule.

On Tuesday, Marshall is to face Cumberland at 6 p.m. and Flora and Lawrenceville are to square off at 7:30 p.m. On Wednesday, Edwards County is to take on the winner of Monday night’s contest at 6 p.m. and the Casey Warriors are face Red Hill at 7:30.

Cumberland 73, Casey 61

The Cumberland Pirates scored early and often en route to a 73-61 win over the Warriors of Casey-Westfield in a game where they never trailed.

     “They were ready to play and show that the last game that wasn’t necessarily the way they are,” Cumberland coach Justin Roedl said of his Pirates, who lost to Casey 67-37 in December. “They kind of had a chip on their shoulder. Even after the game they said they wanted to play them again.”

    The Pirates made the most of their chance and this time Casey had no answer.

    “We expended a lot of energy (against Teutopolis and Newton) and we just fell behind early,” said Casey coach Chris Seaton following the loss. “Cumberland came out with the energy early on and they had revenge on their mind (from an earlier loss).

      “We got down early, but were able to cut the lead to six a couple of times. We couldn’t get the loose ball or the defensive stop when we needed it and couldn’t get over the hump. Foul trouble also hurt us. Seth (Brewer) played very spirited for us and gave us a spark and Kruz (Kusterman) continues to raise his level of play.      

    The Pirates opened up with a 6-0 lead on back-to-back threes by Dalton Sowers and Silas Gabel. Casey’s Kirk Shawver converted an offensive board to get the Warriors on the board 6-2. Jaton McMechan responded for Cumberland with a pair of baskets that upped the lead to nine, 11-2.

     Kusterman converted an offensive board only to see that effort bested by Sowers with a pair of baskets and Jeremy Jansen with a deuce to give Cumberland a 17-4 advantage.

    The Warriors strung together a few points off a basket by Brewer and a charity toss by Chris Unzicker to cut the lead to 10 with under a minute to play in the opening quarter. Sowers and McMechan closed out the scoring with a pair of Pirate baskets to take a 21-7 lead.

    As the second quarter got under way, Snyder caught fire for the Warrior, hitting for his team’s first nine point in the first two minutes of action including a pair of treys and a conventional 3-point play to cut the lead to nine, 25-16. The two teams traded  baskets over the middle portion of the quarter with Casey cutting the lead to seven, 33-26 on a basket by Clinton Scott and a pair of charity tosses by Kusterman. With under a minute left in the half, Reed Draper drained a three to give the Pirates a double digit, 36-26 halftime advantage.

     Following the break, Cumberland rattled off a pair of threes to widen the lead to 41-26 before Casey hit for eight straight points to pull within seven, 41-34. Then for every basket the Warriors would make, the Pirates would match and best that effort on their end of the floor to take a 53-39 lead into the fourth.

     In the final quarter the two squads continued to trade baskets in the early going. Casey took a run at the midway point when the Warriors hit for nine unanswered points to narrow the Pirate lead to eight, 61-53 with just under three minutes to play.

     That’s when Sowers took the team on his shoulders as the senior rattled off eight of his game high 22 points during the final 1:22 of the game to seal the Cumberland victory.

   Sowers led all scorers with 22 points while four other Pirates finished in double digits including Jansen with 15,   Mechan with 12 and Draper and Gabel with 10 each.

  This still wasn’t a perfect Cumberland performance.

  “We were 13-for-31 from the free-throw line and we let them have tpo many offensive rebounds but hopefully they saw that just playing hard, good things will happen,” Roedl said. “I think this was the first game everyone came out playing hard the whole game.”

    For Casey, Snyder and Scott tallied 13 points each while Brewer pulled down a game high 18 boards and finished with nine points. Kusterman added eight points and eight rebounds and Unzicker chipped in eight points as well.


Marshall rallies to slip past West Vigo

By Andy Amey
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE January 24, 2009

Host West Vigo did everything it had to do to win an interstate high school basketball game Friday night.
Marshall won anyway, coming from nine points down in the third quarter and eight behind entering the final period to pull out a 44-42 decision.
And the season’s first standing-room-only crowd for a junior varsity game went home drained after another classic battle in a season that’s already been full of them — many involving Lions or Vikings.
“All the credit in the world goes to West Vigo,” coach Tom Brannan of the Lions said after the game. “I thought [the Vikings] played with a lot of composure … and we kind of got away from what we do.”
“The kids executed the game plan almost to perfection,” said coach Joe Boehler of the Vikings. “I’m disappointed we lost … but the kids played so hard.”
Besides what athletic director Mike Miller said was West Vigo’s biggest home crowd of the season, the evening included some move-your-car-or-we’ll-tow-it warnings, some references to fire marshals, and even a fire alarm in the first quarter that interrupted the game briefly.
West Vigo’s student section jumped on that opportunity with a “We’re on fire” cheer — but they weren’t very accurate.
The Vikings shot 26 percent in the first half, 19 percent in the first quarter, and stayed close only because of dogged rebounding and some first-quarter Marshall turnovers. It was 14-8 at the first stop, 22-16 at halftime. But it was the kind of game Boehler and his team wanted.
“[The Lions] are averaging over 70 points a game,” Boehler explained later. “If the game is in the 70s, we weren’t going to have much of a chance … in the first quarter we missed about three layups, but even though we were losing it was the kind of game we wanted to play. We told [the Vikings] to keep plugging away.”
And the Lions — in a statement that won’t be news to a lot of their potential postseason opponents — don’t always play well at a slow tempo. Although they didn’t commit a second-quarter turnover, they stopped hitting too.
“Maybe we got too aggressive, taking some shots too early,” Brannan said.
The third quarter started slowly for both teams — but then the Vikings caught fire.
A 3-pointer by Jordan Pearson that cut the lead to 22-20 seemed to open the floodgates, and then he and Tyler Wampler stole the ball on consecutive possessions to set up scores that put West Vigo ahead. Marshall didn’t score for the first five minutes of the second half, allowing West Vigo to go on a 13-0 run, and a Taylor Duncan free throw was answered by Wampler’s three-point play at the other end to stretch the Viking lead to 32-23.
For Brannan, it was an uncomfortable reminder of a similar game nearly a year ago that knocked last year’s Lions out of postseason play. “We kind of laid down, and this team hasn’t done that all year,” he admitted.
But this Marshall team does some things better than it did a year ago, and the fourth quarter was more evidence of that. Baskets by Lucas Eitel, Logan Eitel and Lucas Eitel again cut the 38-30 third-quarter lead to 38-36, and then Duncan knocked a ball away and took a pass from Trey Brashear for the layup that tied the score with 5:55 to play.
“We just try to play our game — up-tempo, attack the rim, tough defense,” Duncan said later, “and this year hard defense is our real signature.”
Duncan missed the free throw for the lead, however, and Wampler took a pass from Scott West at the other end to put West Vigo ahead 40-38 with 5:10 left. The Vikings got the ball back too, and spread the court. West Vigo forced Marshall out of its trapping 1-3-1 zone into man-to-man defense, but missed a one-and-one opportunity with 3:23 left.
“We play our 1-3-1 a whole bunch, and sometimes we almost forget how to play man-to-man,” Duncan said later. “Tonight we really stepped it up. Each guy took responsibility for guarding their man.”
Lucas Eitel got the ball to his twin brother in the post, and Logan Eitel tied the game again with 1:47 to play. The Vikings regained the lead at 1:10 on a basket by Joel Modesitt, but Modesitt couldn’t draw a charging foul at the other end and Logan Eitel had a three-point play for a 43-42 lead with 49 seconds left.
West Vigo held the ball until the final seconds, but couldn’t hit a baseline jumper. Lucas Eitel rebounded with two seconds left, and hit one of two free throws for the final margin.
“We got a great look,” Boehler said.
Logan Eitel had 15 points and seven rebounds for Marshall, while Lucas Eitel had 13 points and five assists and Duncan 12 points and three steals. “I thought our defense was tremendous,” Boehler said. “We did a great job containing their ‘three-headed monster.’ ”
Pearson had 13 points for the Vikings, while Jeremy Lucas had 11 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Wampler and Modesitt had nine points each, Modesitt also grabbing eight rebounds in the unsung-hero performance of the evening, and West had five assists.
“We couldn’t have played any harder,” Boehler said. “I feel this game is something to build upon.”
For the Lions, it might be even more.
“To step up and win a game like this is huge; it’s got to be big for our confidence,” Brannan said. “We stepped up, we hit a couple big shots … to persevere like this is huge.”
“This will be very important going into postseason,” Duncan noted. “This kind of competition helps in the long run.”
“It’s all about building character,” Brannan concluded. “I’ll take these guys to battle every night.”

Marshall 44
Player fg 3pt ft r s pf tp
Morey 1-3 0-0 0-0 4 1 3 2
T.Duncan 5-9 1-2 1-3 3 3 1 12
Lu.Eitel 4-12 1-4 4-8 4 0 1 13
Lo.Eitel 6-12 0-3 3-3 7 0 3 15
Brashear 0-0 0-0 0-0 2 1 2 0
J.Duncan 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 0
Delp 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 1 0
Cannady 1-2 0-1 0-0 1 0 1 2
Totals 17-39 2-10 8-14 *24 6 12 44

West Vigo 42
Player fg 3pt ft r s pf tp
Lucas 4-11 0-2 3-4 10 1 2 11
Burton 0-0 0-0 0-2 1 0 0 0
Pearson 5-9 1-3 2-2 4 1 1 13
Wampler 4-10 0-1 1-3 4 1 2 9
West 0-3 0-2 0-0 0 0 2 0
Modesitt 2-5 0-0 5-5 8 0 3 9
Mackey 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Houser 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Thornton 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Totals 15-38 1-8 11-16 *32 3 10 42

Marshall 14 8 8 14 — 44
West Vigo 8 8 22 4 — 42
FG Pct. — Marshall .436, WV .395. 3-pt FG Pct. — Marshall .200, WV .125. FT Pct. — Marshall .571, WV .688. (*) Includes team rebounds — Marshall 3, WV 5. Turnovers — Marshall 8, WV 10. Assists — Marshall 8 (Lu. Eitel 5), WV 11 (West 5). Blocks — Marshall 4 (Lo.Eitel, Brashear, Morey, Lu.Eitel), WV 1 (Lucas.)
JV — Marshall 59 (Logan Cannady 22, Joey Francis 15), West Vigo 28 (Jordan Houser 8); Marshall is 10-0.
Next — Marshall (17-0) plays Edwards County at 7:30 p.m. today at Casey in the Little Illini Conference Tournament. West Vigo (11-3) has a home game next Friday against Edgewood.


For What It's Worth
'Parity' is the word in the Little Illini

By Bill Richardson

Parity is a word Little Illini Conference basketball coaches often use, when talking about this year's teams.

According to Webster's, parity means "equality, as in amount, status, or character."

Certainly that defines this year's LIC race, but only when one takes unbeaten Marshall out of the mix. It would be impossible for there to truly be parity in a league with a team that's been as dominant as the Lions have been.

As of right now, coach Tom Brannan's outfit is 16-0, rated seventh in Illinois Class 2A, and awaiting Friday's showdown at West Vigo, Ind., which is 11-2 and rated seventh in Indiana's Class 3A poll. Only after that game will the Lions be able to concern themselves with their LIC brethren.

Use Lawrenceville, the No. 2 seed in the LIC tournament, as Exhibit A for the argument. The Indians have won five straight games, and eight of nine. Their only loss during that stretch was a 51-50 setback to Red Hill, which is seeded third.

Speaking of the Salukis, they're another good example. They suffered a 64-40 setback Friday night at Oblong, a team they had defeated earlier, 52-50.

On and on it goes. Flora had a horrible start to the season, but had played really well until Tuesday's 56-36 loss at Lawrenceville. Cumberland had a flying start, but has slipped recently, and is currently 9-7. Casey has had more downs than ups, but nearly pulled off a monumental upset Tuesday. Powerful Teutopolis escaped with a 57-51 win over the Warriors.

Says Flora coach Phil Leib: "A lot of teams are peaking right now. There are no underdogs, so to speak, and there are no top dogs, with the exception of Marshall. Seeds two trough eight are dangerous. Every night you'll have to be focused and ready to go."

Adds Red Hill coach Bryan Havill: "I think our conference is crazy, in that on any given night, the second through eighth seeds could beat anybody. We don't presume to be head and shoulders above any of the rest, and on a particular night, we could lose to any of them."

Says Lawrenceville coach Jason Green: "It all depends on who comes to play. If you don't come ready to play, you're going to get beat. Period."

Evan Marshall coach Brannan agrees: "I believe this year's truly unique. The second through seventh seeds, and maybe even the eighth or ninth, could beat anybody. It all depends on what happens that night."

The bottom line is, all of this should lead to an interesting tournament. While the quarterfinal games on Saturday usually feature an abundance of lop-sided affairs, don't expect that to happen this year.

Can Cumberland take down Casey on the Warriors own floor? Can Lawrenceville stretch its winning streak to six by eliminating Oblong? Red Hill beat Flora early in the season, but can the Salukis prevail once more against a Wolves team that has probably improved more than any other in the league?

Only Saturday's finale, which will pit Marshall against either Edwards County or Hutsonville, figures to be a laugher. But then again, some will tell you that just watching the Lions is worth the price of admission.

At this juncture, it's important to note that the tournaments are an important source of revenue for the league. All-conference awards for all LIC sports are funded from the gate receipts. So are the scholarships, which the league awards on an annual basis.

If all goes to form, Tuesday could be quite a night in Casey, from a rivalry standpoint. If Red Hill and Lawrenceville both win, the Lawrence County foes would square off at 6 p.m., in the first semifinals. A potential Clark County showdown could materialize in the second semifinal, if Marshall and Casey are triumphant on Saturday.

That's only if everything goes to form, though. Remember, this is the LIC, where parity reigns.



This weekend's Vigo County boys basketball matchups

The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE   January 23, 2009

Marshall at West Vigo
The action — The undefeated and No. 7-ranked Class 2A Marshall Lions visit border rival and No. 4-ranked Class 3A West Vigo (11-2).
The time — 7 p.m.
The airwaves — WMMC-FM 105.9, WBOW-AM 1300.
The coaches — Joe Boehler is 11-2 in his first year at West Vigo. Tom Brannan is 308-137 in 16 years at Marshall.
Probable starting lineups — For Marshall, 6-4 senior Lucas Eitel, 6-4 senior Logan Eitel, 6-2 senior Trey Brashear and 6-3 junior Taylor Duncan at guards and 6-5 junior Dustin Morey at center.
For West Vigo, 5-11 junior Tyler Wampler and 5-10 sophomore Scott West at guards, 6-1 senior Jordan Pearson and 6-2 senior Jeremy Lucas at forwards and 6-3 senior Sean Burton at center.
Key reserves — For Marshall, 6-0 freshman guard Jacob Duncan. For West Vigo, 5-7 freshman Jordan Houser, 6-0 freshman Cody Thornton, 6-1 senior Joel Modesitt and 6-0 senior Lucas Mackey.
Team leaders — For Marshall, Taylor Duncan, Lucas Eitel and Logan Eitel all average more than 15 points. For West Vigo, Tyler Wampler (16.4 ppg) and Jordan Pearson (13.2 ppg) lead the Vikings in scoring.
Coaches’ quotes — Brannan: “Everybody’s waiting to see if we’re going to have a bad game. Every night, we come to play defense. That’s been the calling card for this team.
“I think we are eerily similar in that we’ve got several guys who can handle the ball. Both teams use their quickness to put pressure on the ball. Both teams like to get up and down the floor.
“We’ve been looking forward to this game for a while now, kind of after the Pizza Hut Classic. We knew they’d be a very formidable opponent. We’ve had our eye on this game.”
Boehler: “They’re so balanced and capable of doing so many things. The Eitel twins are D-I players and [Taylor] Duncan complements them so well. They do such a nice job of penetrating and getting to the rim. It really fits their personnel.”
— Compiled by Craig Pearson

Terre Haute South at Carmel
Evansville Central at Terre Haute South
The action — The Class 4A No. 4-ranked Terre Haute South’s Braves (11-1, 3-0) hit the road for a Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference matchup against the Carmel Greyhounds (7-4, 1-1) tonight. On Saturday, the Braves return home to face the Evansville Central Bears (6-6) in a nonconference game.
The time — Both varsity tip-offs will be approximately 8 p.m.
The airwaves — No local broadcasts are scheduled.
The coaches — Mike Saylor is 67-44 in his fifth year at South. Mark Galloway is 110-41 in his seventh year at Carmel. Brent Chitty is 135-116 in his 12th year at Evansville Central, 178-136 overall.
Probable starting lineups — For South, 6-2 senior Jake Odum, 6-1 junior John Michael Jarvis, 6-1 senior Ian McIntyre, 5-10 sophomore Anthony McGill at guards, 6-2 senior Adam Austin at forward.
For Carmel, 6-4 senior Morgan Newton and 6-5 junior Scott Laskowski at forwards, 6-6 sophomore Robert Kitzinger at center, 5-7 senior Paris SMith and 6-1 senior John Michael Polley at guards.
For Central, 6-0 senior Josh Chamberlain, 5-11 sophomore John Bonkamp, 6-2 junior Justin Ahlbrand, 6-2 senior Blake Wathen at guards, 6-3 senior Phil Schumacher at center.
Key reserves — For South, 6-2 junior Jacob Tanoos, 6-4 junior Ike Worrell, 6-1 senior Nathaniel Housley, 6-1 junior Chris Rose, 6-2 junior Lemuel Young.
For Carmel, 6-4 senior Brandon Wojcik, 6-10 freshman A.J. Hammons, 5-8 senior Connor Lowe.
For Central, 6-4 sophomore Alex Barker, 5-11 sophomore Mitch Ferguson, 6-1 senior Eric Kempf.
Team leaders —Individually, Odum averages 21.4 points, 7.8 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 steals per game, Jarvis averages 15.3 ppg, McGill averages 10.4 ppg, Ian McIntyre averages 10.3 ppg.. Jarvis, McIntyre and McGill have 45, 30 and 26 3-pointers respectively.
For Carmel, Newton averages 14.7 points, 9.4 rebounds, 3.9 assists and is a 62 percent field goal shooter, Laskowski averages 8.3 boards, Hammons averages 2 blocks.
For Central, Ahlbrand averages about 11 ppg, while the rest of the starting five average between 7-8 ppg.
Coaches’ quotes — Saylor on his Braves: “Jake Odum had the best practice I’ve seen [Monday]. Maybe having our last game postponed is a good thing. We’ll be well rested. Hopefully, we’ll play well the rest of the season.”
Saylor on Carmel: “Always a great opponent. They shoot very well, solid fundamentally. We’ll have to play excellent basketball. Not going to dwell on it [when asked if never winning at Carmel might be a factor].”
Saylor on Evansville Central: “Evansville Central always plays like their coach, they play smart and hard. We expect a battle from them. Teams like that [four guard starting lineup, like South] give us trouble. Like West Vigo, Marshall that are highly mobile. We’d rather face the big teams.”
Galloway told the Indianapolis Star after Carmel lost in overtime vs. Cathedral on Jan. 16: “For two quarters, I thought we played really well. We took three or four bad shots, and that just got them going. They got a lot of momentum, and we played tentative instead of aggressive. We wanted to get layups by attacking their pressure, and we just took a lot of tough 3s in that second half and that led to easy baskets for them at the other end.”
Chitty on his Bears: “We are a team that has to work hard, rebound of course … we have to tend to the glass. Try to defense people and defensive rebounds is a key for us. Good shot selection is what we work hard on every day.”
Chitty on the Braves: “Some coaches I’ve talked to say they are the best team in the state. They shoot well, have a good press scheme and like to mix it up. Their shooters can strike from many directions. We have to stay focused from the get-go. I know we’ll have our hands full.”
— Compiled by Dennis Clark

Terre Haute North at Warren Central
Terre Haute North at Brebeuf

The action — Terre Haute North’s Patriots (7-5, 1-0 in Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference) make back-to-back trips to Marion County this weekend, facing Warren Central’s Warriors (8-6, 1-2) in a conference game tonight and Brebeuf’s Braves (6-5 going into a game tonight against Guerin Catholic) on Saturday.
The time — Tonight’s varsity tipoff is approximately 7:30 p.m. Saturday’s game is varsity only, beginning at 7 p.m.
The airwaves — No broadcasts of either game are scheduled.
The coaches — Todd Woelfle is 7-5 in his first season at North. Greg Graham is 8-6 in his first season at Warren Central. Andy Fagan enters tonight’s game 12-19 in his second year at Brebeuf.
Probable starting lineups — For North: 6-8 sophomore Justin Gant and 6-3 junior Andrew Gauer at forwards, 6-6 junior Thomas Anderson at center, 6-2 senior Zach Harrison and 5-10 sophomore Chase Jones at guards.
For Warren Central: 6-5 senior Javon Brown at forward and 6-2 junior Demetrius Cowherd, 5-8 senior Jordan Kennedy, 6-3 junior Willie Rhodes and 6-4 senior Derrick Spight at guards.
For Brebeuf: 6-3 senior Jack Dillon at forward, 6-9 senior Mike Barton at center and 5-11 junior Evan Kroot, 6-3 junior Brad Altum and 5-8 junior Austin Bruen at guards.
Key reserves — For North: 6-1 freshman Ross Sponsler, 6-3 senior Jerrel Thompson, 6-1 senior Scott Weatherford.
For Warren Central: 6-9 senior Ed Hazelett, 5-10 sophomore Brandon Smith.
For Brebeuf: 6-3 junior Trent Hoffman, 6-6 senior Noah Plews.
Team leaders — For North, Gant and Harrison are both averaging about 16 points per game and Anderson almost 15. For Warren Central, Rhodes scored a total of 33 points and was leading scorer in the Warriors’ last two Marion County Tournament games and Brown, Cowherd and Spight are also double-figure threats. Kroot leads Brebeuf at 12 points per game, while Hoffman and Altum combine for 20 points per game between them.
Coaches’ quotes — Woelfle on the Patriots: “For not being able to practice for two days [because of school cancellations], I thought we came out [against Wirt] with a lot of energy and enthusiasm and played a pretty solid game, both offensively and defensively.”
Graham on the Warriors: “We had a good draw [in the county tournament] and got to the championship game. We played North Central pretty good; I thought we could’ve beaten them, but we didn’t do some things. We know in the back of our minds we can do better.”
Woelfle on the Warriors: “They are very quick and athletic … strong. They really pursue the basketball.”
Fagan on the Braves: “We’ve definitely improved from last year. [Having played Lawrence North, Indianapolis Cathedral, Zionsville and Warren Central] we’ve proven we can play with anybody in the state; now we need to take the next step.”
Woelfle on the Braves: “They are very well coached, very disciplined. They run a lot of good offensive sets and are a good man-to-man defensive team.”
Fagan on the Patriots: “I know they have the two big kids back from last year, and I know they’ll be well coached and very disciplined. It ought to be a heck of a game, like it was last year.”
— Compiled by Andy Amey


Border Battle: Marshall at West Vigo BLOG


Marshall Twins SCORE Attention on the Basketball Court
Tuesday, 20 January 2009

For some schools, producing a Division #1 college athlete is a huge accomplishment. 

But, in Marshall Illinois there is a set of talented twins who have been setting the local basketball world on fire.

The Eitel twins look alike, sound alike and play alike!

Whether on the basketball court or in the classroom, Marshall's Lucas and Logan Eitel have always excelled.

For the Eitel twins, their athletic talent came naturally; however, it's their work ethic which has always set them apart from the competition.

All of their hard work and success has finally paid off, as the duo recently fulfilled a life long dream of playing Division #1 basketball.

The twins recently signed letters of intent to continue their athletic and academic careers at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Lokk for the Eitel twins on the court again Friday when the undefeated Marshall Lions travel to "the Green Dome" to take on the West Vigo Vikings.

The J.V. games starts at 5:45pm with the varsity game to follow.


Ramblin' Reck: Undefeated Marshall has tough test Friday at West Vigo

By Tom Reck
Tribune-Star Correspondent

TERRE HAUTE January 20, 2009

Weather permitting, a biggie in boys high school basketball will be played Friday night in Vigo County.
The undefeated Marshall Lions will be at West Vigo to play the 11-2 Vikings. Both teams have been ranked in the top 10 in the Illinois and Indiana polls in their classes.
Marshall is 16-0 and won the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic and also won the Capital Classic earlier in the season. The Lions account for Terre Haute South’s lone defeat and are one of two teams to defeat Teutopolis, which plays at Casey tonight.
Lawrenceville and Robinson are two other teams having banner seasons in Illinois. Marshall has beaten both of those teams twice.
West Vigo has accounted for one of Rockville’s defeats and finished 3-1 in the Classic, losing to South.
The Vikings were slated to play Terre Haute North last week but that game was called due to the weather; thus West Vigo will be coming off a layoff in Friday’s game.
Marshall, meanwhile, has beaten Sullivan (Ill.) and St. Joseph-Ogden by impressive margins in two games away from home.
The Green Dome should be packed early for this one. Marshall fans already have been challenged to have as many or more fans than the host team in the stands.
It ought to be a fun night.


1/16/09 - Full Court Friday Part Two

Double trouble for SJ-O

Saturday January 17, 2009

ST. JOSEPH – Marshall's basketball team is led by a pair of twins – and the St. Joseph-Ogden Spartans likely will see double for a while.

The Lions' duo of Logan and Lucas Eitel combined for 26 points and Taylor Duncan chipped in with 19 as undefeated Marshall handed SJ-O its biggest loss of the season, 68-32 in nonconference boys' basketball Friday.

"They're an outstanding team and the best we've seen ... but the disappointing thing tonight to me was the complete lack of effort we gave," Spartans coach Brian Brooks said. "We really didn't give them a good look and didn't give ourselves a chance at all."

SJ-O needed a chance against a Marshall team with something to prove.

"We wanted to come up here and show people what we could do," Lions coach Tom Brannan said. "Our guys were talking about that in the pregame, and they came out with a lot of energy."

That energy resulted in a 29-4 first-half run that shocked a big Spartans crowd.

SJ-O made four field goals on 18 attempts in the game's first 16 minutes, and Marshall made 17.

The Spartans finished 11 of 43 (26 percent) from the field.

"Our execution on offense was bad, and our decision-making was very poor," Brooks said. "When you don't correct that against a good team, this is exactly what happens."

SJ-O went with an assortment of lineups in the second half, but nothing seemed to work.

For a team with a seven-man rotation, the Spartans used 13 players.

Marshall (16-0) made one substitution in the first half, and all five of the Lions' starters scored at least nine points.

"The thing that was most impressive to me was how much they really care about each other," Brooks said. "They are a very good team, and they have goals to achieve and they played like that tonight."

Jake Firkins was the only Spartan to score in double figures with 15 points and nine rebounds. Justin Koehler added six points off the bench.


Prep Roundup: Marshall Defeats St. Joseph-Ogden

Staff report
The Tribune-Star

Marshall 68, St. Joe-Ogden 32 — At St. Joseph, Marshall dominated the home team to run its record to 16-0.

The No. 7 Class 2A team in Illinois will go for a 17-0 record next Friday at West Vigo.

The Lions closed the first period with an 11-0 run to take a 19-8 lead and had a 37-12 advantage at halftime.

Marshall's biggest lead of the contest was 37 points with most of the starters on the bench.

Junior Taylor Duncan sparked the Lions with 19 points, eight assists, eight rebounds and five steals.

Lucas Eitel added 15 points to the totals and Logan Eitel had 11, while Trey Brashear and Dustin Morey each tallied nine points.

The Marshall junior varsity also was a winner, improving to 9-0 for the season.

Marshall 19 18 14 17 — 68
St. Joseph-Ogden 8 4 10 10 — 32

JV -- Marshall 66, SJO 37

Next -- Marshall (16-0) is at West Vigo next Friday. St. Joe-Ogden is 11-6.

Tribune-Star Prep Top 10 basketball teams

The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE January 16, 2009

Team (1st-place votes) record Pts. Pvs.
1. Marshall, Ill., (7) 15-0 70 1
2. Terre Haute South 11-1 63 2
3. West Vigo 11-2 55 3
4. Terre Haute North 6-5 45 4
5. Rockville 7-2 44 5
6. Robinson, Ill., 11-4 26 6
7. North Central 6-1 20 7
8. Shakamak 7-4 19 9
9t. Sullivan 8-5 17 10
9t. Owen Valley 7-4 17 —

Little Illini Conference Tournaments Set

CASEY -- Marshall's boys and Flora's girls are top seeds in Little Illini Conference basketball tournaments set for Jan. 23-30.

The boys' tournament is to be played at Casey-Westfield High School and the girls' tournament at Casey's Monroe Elementary School with the exception of the title game at Casey-Westfield High School.

Casey-Westfield is the No. 4 seed in the boys'  tournament, while Cumberland is No. 5. The two area teams are to play each other Jan. 24 at 3 p.m.

Casey-Westfield and Cumberland are also to play each other in girls' basketball. Cumberland is No. 2, while Casey is No. 7. Game time is set for 6 p.m. Saturday.

2009 Litttle Illini Boys' Conference Tournament
Jan. 23:
Game 1: Hutsonville-Palestine (9) at Edwards County (8), 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 24 at Casey:
Game 2: Casey-Westfield (4) vs. Cumberland (5), 3 p.m.
Game 3: Red Hill (3) vs. Flora (6), 4:30 p.m.
Game 4: Lawrenceville (2) vs. Oblong (7), 6 p.m.
Game 5: Marshall (1) vs. winner of game one, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 26:
Game 6: Loser of game 4 vs. Loser of game 1 (at higher seed), 6:30 p.m.

Jan. 27 at Casey:
Game 7: Winner of game 5 vs. Winner of game 2, 6 p.m.
Game 8: Winner of game 3 vs. Winner of game 4, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 28 at Casey:
Game 9: Winner of game 6 vs. Loser of game 5, 6 p.m.
Game 10: Loser of game 3 vs. Loser of game 2, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 29 at Casey:
Game 11: Winner of game 9 vs. Winner of game 10, 6 p.m. (consolation championship)
Game 12: Loser of game 7 vs. Loser of game 8, 7:30 p.m. (third place)

Jan. 30 at Casey:
Game 13: Winner of game 7 vs. Winner of game 8, 8 p.m. (championship)

2009 Little Illini Girls' Conference Tournament at Monroe Elementary in Casey
Jan. 23:
Game 1: Oblong (9) at Edwards County (8), 6 p.m.

Jan. 24 at Casey:
Game 2: Red Hill (4) vs. Palestine-Hutsonville, 3 p.m.
Game 3: Marshall (3) vs. Lawrenceville (6), 4:30 p.m.
Game 4: Cumberland (2) vs. Casey-Westfield (7), 6 p.m.
Game 5: Flora (1) vs. Winner of game 1, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 26:
Game 6: Loser of game 4 vs. Loser of game 1 (at higher seed), 6:30 p.m.

Jan. 27:
Game 7: Winner of game 5 vs. Winner of game 2, 6 p.m.
Game 8: Winner of game 3 vs. Winner of game 4, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 28:
Game 9: Winner of game 6 vs. Loser of game 5, 6 p.m.
Game 10: Loser of game 3 vs. Loser of game 2, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 29:
Game 11: Winner of game 9 vs. Winner of game 10, 6 p.m. (consolaiton championship)
Game 12: Loser of game 7 vs. Loser of game 8, 7:30 p.m. (third place)

Jan. 30:
Game 13: Winner of game 7 vs. Winner of game 8, 6 p.m. (championship at Casey-Westfield High School)


Zebe reaches milestone at Kesslers Shootout

Prep Roundup: Eitels combine for 49 as Marshall rolls to 15-0

Tribune-Star staff report

Tolono, Ill. Marshall outscored Sullivan 51-32 in the second half Saturday night to defeat the Redskins 76-49 in Tolono Shootout action for Illinois boys high school basketball teams.

The Eitels combined for 49 points and 12 rebounds. Logan had a double-double with 25 points and 10 boards while Lucas had 24 points, two rebounds, five assists and four steals.

Taylor Duncan added 15 points and seven rebounds to the Marshall totals, scoring 12 points in the second half.

Marshall 18 7 28 23 — 76
Sullivan 12 5 14 18 — 49

Next — Marshall (15-0) is at St. Joe-Ogden on Friday. Sullivan is 5-4.


Undefeated Marshall Lions roar past rival Paris

By Craig Pearson
The Tribune-Star

Paris, Ill.   January 07, 2009

Marshall stayed unbeaten for the season by defeating rival Paris 69-57 in Illinois boys high school basketball action Tuesday.
On a pair of Logan Eitel free throws, the Lions took a 67-40 lead with 3 minutes, 42 seconds left in the contest. Logan and twin brother Lucas Eitel, who recently committed themselves to playing for Indiana State, had a seat on the Marshall bench at that point.
But Paris kept scrapping and clawing at Marshall’s junior varsity to pull the outcome close.
Against Paris’ 2-3 zone defense, Lucas Eitel found Logan Eitel with two alley-oop passes resulting in layups in the game’s first two minutes. Junior Taylor Duncan scored seven straight Lions’ points to make it 31-13, and Lucas Eitel hit his second of two first-half 3-pointers to make it 36-13 with 1:35 to go before halftime.
Lucas Eitel finished with 15 points, eight assists, four steals and two blocked shots. Logan Eitel and Duncan both had 18 points, and senior guard Trey Brashear chipped in 14 points.
Marshall was without starting forward Dustin Morey due to the flu, coach Tom Brannan said.
The Lions had spurts of the outstanding play that have helped them to their unbeaten start, which includes victories against Terre Haute South, Terre Haute North and Rockville. They also had moments of “lackadaisical” play, committing 10 second-half turnovers.
“We had some possessions where we were lackadaisical with the ball,” Brannan said. “We weren’t as sharp as we want to be. But to be up on Paris by 27 points ... If you asked me five years ago, if I thought we’d be here, I’d take it.”
Paris coach Terry Elston was proud that his Tigers took on his challenge of winning the third quarter, which they did by a 17-14 margin.
“Credit Marshall. Coach Brannon does a phenomenal job down there. They’re a phenomenal team,” Elston said of the Lions. “The best team I’ve seen in 2A in the state.”
The Tigers got electric scorer Chase Brinkley back from a three-week bout with mononucleousis for Tuesday’s game. Brinkley showed rust in the first half before tallying 17 of his 19 points in the second half.
Paris committed many unforced turnovers in the first half, finishing with 12 turnovers at halftime.
“They do such a great job of disgusing their defenses,” Elston said of Marshall. “We had a tough time seeing what they were running.
“We’re trying to get the pieces together.”
Marshall just hopes to continue to get better in preparation for the IHSA state tournament. With a lineup filled with guards, one thing to work on is post defense.
“We allowed very few points in the paint, if any [Tuesday],” Brannan said. “We just have to stay focused and we should keep on rolling and keep on getting better.”

Marshall 69
Player fg 3pt ft r s pf tp
Lu.Eitel 4-8 2-4 5-6 5 4 1 15
Lo.Eitel 6-11 0-3 6-7 7 2 2 18
T.Duncan 8-12 2-4 2-3 3 3 0 18
Brashear 4-8 2-3 4-4 3 1 1 14
J.Duncan 1-3 0-2 0-0 1 0 0 2
Delp 0-3 0-2 0-0 0 1 0 0
Cannady 0-2 0-1 0-0 3 1 0 0
Tucker 1-1 0-0 0-0 1 0 2 2
Grooms 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Bishop 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0

Totals 22-47 6-19 17-20 24 12 7 69

Paris 57
Player fg 3pt ft r s pf tp
Haddix 2-8 1-3 2-2 2 1 1 7
Dayton 4-6 1-1 0-0 2 1 0 9
Brinkley 7 -13 2-6 3-4 7 2 4 19
Henn 2-4 0-0 0-0 3 1 3 4
Henness 0-3 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 0
Hollis 1-2 0-0 2-2 0 0 0 4
Griffin 0-1 0-0 0-0 2 0 0 0
Walls 0-0 0-1 0-0 1 0 0 0
Temples 3-4 2-3 0-0 2 0 4 8
A.Mason 2-3 0-1 0-0 2 0 1 4
Cash 1-1 0-0 0-0 3 0 0 2

Totals 22-45 6-15 7-8 27 5 14 57

Marshall 19 17 14 19 — 69
Paris 11 4 17 25 — 57

FG Pct. — M .468, P .489. 3-pt FG Pct. — M .316, P .400. FT Pct. — M .850, P .875. Assists — M 13 (Lu. Eitel 8), P 8 (Temples 2). Turnovers — M 12, P 16. Blocks — M 2 (Lu. Eitel 2), P 0. (*) Includes team rebounds — M 1, P 2.
JV — Marshall 34 (Francis 10, Tucker 10, Cannady 10), Paris 32 (Griffin 7).
Next — Marshall (14-0) plays Sullivan, Ill., on Saturday in the Tolono Unity Shootout. Paris (6-6) plays Salem on Friday in Apollo Conference action.


Marshall Lions defeat Tigers, 69-57

CHASE BRINKLEY attempts to shoot over Marshall's Taylor Duncan in the second half of the Tigers' 69-57 loss to the Lions Tuesday night in Eveland Gym. Brinkley scored 19 points in the game, after missing the past three games with an illness.(Beacon-News Photo/A. Kennedy)

Sports Editor
Published: Wednesday, January 7, 2009 12:13 PM CST
   The Paris Tigers were defeated by a tough Marshall Lions team in front of a large crowd Tuesday night, 69-57.

    A large contingent of Marshall fans saw four Lions score in double figures, led by Logan Eitel and Taylor Duncan, who scored 21 and 18 point respectively. Tigers fans saw the return of Chase Brinkley who scored 19 points after missing the last three games with mono.

    “We had a packed house here tonight. Chase Brinkley looked pretty good for one night of practice in three weeks,” Paris head coach Terry Elston said after the game. “We left him out there, but he’s got to get back in shape. I was pleased with his play.”

    The Lions scored first in the game on a 3-pointer from Taylor Duncan. Senior Paris guard Taylor Haddix answered with a quick score on the other end and, after a score by Logan Eitel, tied the game at 5-5 with a 3-pointer of his own.

    Marshall’s Eitel twins showed their talent early on.

    First Lucas Eitel broke the only tie of the game with a 3-pointer. Then he stole the ball from a Paris guard and threw up an ally-oop to his brother, Logan, to give Marshall a sudden, 10-5 lead.

    Brinkley scored his first basket in nearly a month to get the Tigers back within three points, but Trey Brashear answered with another Marshall three and scored again a minute later to extend the Lions’ lead to 15-7. Johnnie Dayton and Jason Hollis scored for Paris in the final two minutes and the opening quarter ended with Marshall up 19-11.

    The Lions separated themselves from the Tigers in the second quarter, thanks to a 15-0 run that lasted over five minutes. A Lucas Eitel three capped the Marshall scoring run and set the score at 36-13, before Hollis ended the Paris drought with 1:05 left in the half.

    Marshall led Paris 36-15 at halftime.

    Paris recovered in the third quarter and found some offense. Brinkley scored 10 of his 19 total points in the period, including two from beyond the arc, as the Tigers outscored Marshall 17-14 in the quarter.

    The 18-point deficit going into the fourth quarter was too much for the Tigers to overcome. Marshall rotated most of their bench in the second half of the fourth quarter and Paris cut the lead to 12 points by the final buzzer.

    Brinkley led the Tigers in scoring with 19 points, followed by Dayton with nine and Dalten Temples with eight. After Logan Eitel and Taylor Duncan, the Lions got 14 points from Brashear and 12 from Lucas Eitel.

    “Right now I think that they have to be one of the top teams in class 2A,” Elston said of the Lions. “Coach Brannan down there does an excellent job with those guys. The Eitel twins and Duncan are just phenomenal. They’re aggressive, but they don’t foul being aggressive. That’s the sign of a good basketball team. He’s [Brannan] done a good job down there for 16 years with that program and he’s a good friend.”

    The junior varsity Tigers lost a close game to the Marshall JV squad earlier in the night, 36-34. Paris led the JV game at the end of the third quarter, 24-19, but a 17-10 fourth quarter for Marshall cost them the game.

    Jordan Ball and Josh Griffin led Paris with seven points, followed by Brandon Garcia with six.

    The Paris Tigers (6-6, 1-4 Apollo) host the Salem Wildcats Friday, Jan. 9 with the varsity game scheduled to start at 7:45 p.m.

    “Salem’s got the guard that’s a junior, who’s averaging about 25 points per game,” Elston said of the Wildcats. “Then they have a big post player inside as well. So, we’ll have our hands full on Friday, and you do every night in the Apollo.”


PHS     11      4    17    25    -57

MHS    19    17    14    19    -69

Paris                     Marshall

C. Brinkley    19    Lo. Eitel    21

J. Dayton    9        T. Duncan    18

D. Temples    8     T. Brashear    14

T. Haddix    7         Lu. Eitel    12

Z. Henn    4           #13    2

A. Mason    4        J. Tucker    2

J. Hollis    4

R. Cash    2

Junior Varsity

PHS    7    5    12    10    -34

MHS    6    4     9    17    -36

Paris                          Marshall

J. Ball    7                   J. Tucker    10

J. Griffin    7                L. Cannady    10

B. Garcia    6              J. Francis    10

C. Bess    5                 J. Grooms    3

E. Mason    4              A. Strohm    2

C. Cunningham    4    J. Boyll    1

J. Cary    1


52-7 run leads Marshall boys past Tri-County

By Andy Amey
The Tribune-Star

Marshall, Ill. January 04, 2009

The thought of a post-Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic letdown by his Marshall Lions was one that had crossed even the mind of Tom Brannan, the Lions’ high school basketball coach admitted late Saturday night.
“I think [a possible letdown] was a pretty realistic thought,” he said. “I didn’t think it would happen, but it was a concern.”
So when visiting Tri-County responded to an early Marshall blitz with an 8-2 run midway through the first quarter of a nonconference game Saturday, those thoughts may have reappeared.
Very briefly.
The Lions responded to their only threat of the game with runs of 32-2 and 52-7, eventually cruising to a 93-38 win over a team that had come in with a glittering record of its own.
“That says something about their character, about who they are,” Brannan said after his undefeated team refused to rest on the laurels of its tournament championship earlier in the week and answered the call once again. “They came out with energy.”
Defense set the tone in the first quarter, as the Lions forced seven turnovers. Taylor Duncan had three steals that helped him score eight points, and Logan Eitel had 10 points and five rebounds in the first eight minutes.
Those two finished as the game’s high scorers with 24 points each, with Logan Eitel grabbing nine rebounds and Duncan getting seven rebounds and seven steals.
Lucas Eitel, the third member of Marshall’s trio of leaders, had just six points but also matched his brother’s nine rebounds and handed out nine assists. All three players sat down for good with more than two minutes left in the third quarter.
“They played hard and they were unselfish. How many extra passes were there?” Brannan pointed out. “That’s what’s nice about this team, and I hope it’s contagious.”
Trey Brashear and Dustin Morey, the two Marshall starters less often in the spotlight, stayed on the floor a little longer and dominated the game themselves once Duncan and the Eitels left the court; they finished with 10 points each. And three members of a vaunted freshman group — Jacob Duncan, Logan Cannady and Jordan Grooms — combined for 15 more points.
Jake Montgomery led the Titans, a potential Class A powerhouse, with nine points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots, while Patrick Miller also scored nine.

Tri-County 38
Player fg 3pt ft r s pf tp
Washburn 1-5 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 2
Montgomery 3-8 1-2 2-6 8 1 5 9
Miller 4-11 0-2 1-5 5 1 2 9
Meyer 2-11 0-9 0-0 3 1 1 4
Hudson 0-2 0-2 0-0 2 0 5 0
Rhoades 1-2 0-1 3-5 3 0 2 5
Ji.Clifton 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 2 0
Clapp 2-5 0-1 1-3 1 0 1 5
Wilson 1-2 0-0 0-0 2 0 0 2
Richardson 1-1 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 2
Maxedon 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Kustowski 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0
Veach 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Je.Clifton 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Totals 15-49 1-18 7-19 *36 4 19 38

Marshall 93
Player fg 3pt ft r s pf tp
Morey 4-4 2-2 0-0 1 0 4 10
T.Duncan 8-12 2-4 6-9 7 7 0 24
Lu.Eitel 3-7 0-3 0-0 9 2 0 6
Lo.Eitel 9-13 0-2 6-8 9 2 1 24
Brashear 5-10 0-2 0-0 3 1 3 10
Delp 0-5 0-1 0-0 3 0 2 0
J.Duncan 1-2 1-2 0-0 2 0 4 3
Cannady 1-3 0-0 2-2 2 1 1 4
Bishop 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Tucker 1-4 0-1 0-0 3 0 1 2
Grooms 1-5 0-1 6-6 2 0 0 8
Sanders 1-5 0-0 0-0 5 0 2 2
Wetnight 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Totals 34-70 5-18 20-25 *51 13 18 93

Tri-County 14 2 8 14 — 38
Marshall 22 23 29 19 — 93

FG Pct. — TC .306, Marshall .486. 3-pt FG Pct. — TC .056, Marshall .278. FT Pct. — TC .368, Marshall .800. (*) Includes team rebounds — TC 10, Marshall 5. Turnovers — TC 21, Marshall 11. Assists — TC 7 (Meyer 2, Montgomery 2), Marshall 26 (Lu.Eitel 9). Blocks — TC 6 (Montgomery 4), Marshall 1 (Lu.Eitel).
JV — Marshall 84 (Jared Boyll 12, Andrew Davidson 11, Jake Tucker 10), Tri-County 22 (Brandon Wilson 8).
Next — Marshall (13-0) plays Tuesday at Paris. Tri-County is 8-5.


Marshall's Eitel brothers commit to Indiana State

By Todd Golden
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE January 3, 2009

Raise your hand if you live in the Wabash Valley and you think you had a bigger week than Marshall High School boys basketball players Logan and Lucas Eitel.
No one’s going to accuse you of lying, but the Eitel twins have enjoyed a week that will be difficult to top for the rest of their lives.
With their team unbeaten and fresh off an eye-opening Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic championship Tuesday, Logan and Lucas Eitel of Marshall, Ill., sweetened their week by committing to play men’s basketball at Indiana State.
Both Eitels confirmed to the Tribune-Star on Friday night that they are bound for ISU, where they will walk on next season.
“It’s kind of been a blur over the last week or so. Winning games, winning tournaments, it’s unbelievable. And now we’re playing basketball at ISU? It’s a dream come true,” Lucas Eitel said.
Both Eitels made a visit to ISU on Friday and made their decision after consultation with friends and family. Both have been fixtures at ISU games. They attended ISU’s loss to Creighton on Wednesday, even before they were sought by the ISU coaching staff to play there.
“We’ve always wanted to go there. Division I has been our goal all the way through high school. [Friday] we talked to the coaches, players and went to the practice. We really liked what we saw. We think it’s a great fit,” Logan Eitel said.
Lucas Eitel said he’s been in Hulman Center for some of ISU’s most memorable recent victories.
“We were real little when [Michael] Menser and [Matt] Renn were there. But we remember a lot of [David] Moss and [Tyson] Schnitker. I watched them beat Indiana [2005] and beat Purdue [2006] once. We’ve always watched games there and have followed them for a long time. We ultimately wanted to play at the highest level possible. We wanted to stay pretty close and ISU was perfect for that, perfect in so many ways,” Lucas Eitel said.
Both Eitels are 6 foot 4, 180 pounds. Lucas Eitel averages 17.3 points per game, while Logan Eitel averages 15.1 points.
They play all over the floor in Marshall’s balanced attack, but project as guards at the collegiate level, with the possibility of playing the three in a small lineup.
They would seemingly be a very good fit in ISU coach Kevin McKenna’s spread offense. Both are adept outside shooters who cut well to the basket and can score inside. Both also have rebounded well at the high school level.
“One of Logan and I’s strong suits is … I guess you’d say we play pretty smart,” Lucas Eitel said. “The way they play over there, you have to play smart because you have to run a lot of sets. It’s not necessarily the same as what we run at Marshall, but we’re familiar with it.”
ISU beat out Eastern Illinois, Southern Indiana, the University of Indianapolis and McKendree for the Eitels, in addition to junior colleges Vincennes, Olney Central and Lincoln Land.
According to Logan Eitel, the twins did not present themselves as a package deal to potential recruiters.
“No, I’d say it was more than likely going to happen out of circumstance, we’d like to play together, and we thought that was the way it was always going to turn out to be, but it didn’t have to turn out that way,” he said.
The week has been nearly as gratifying for Marshall coach Tom Brannan — not only for the Eitels, but for the Lions’ program, which currently stands at 12-0 going into tonight’s home game against Tri-County.
“Number one, I’m excited for them. They put in a lot of hard work. It just shows that hard work pays off,” Brannan said. “It’s good for them, but it’s also good for the basketball family, by that I mean the Marshall basketball family. To have kids come through, grow, and get better each year … not only is it a feather in their cap, but it’s a feather in the cap of the program. Hopefully, young kids around Marshall will see what they’ve done and want to be a part of it.”
The Eitels join Rockville’s R.J. Mahurin and Terre Haute South’s Jake Odum as local products slated for the ISU roster, starting next season.
Not to be overlooked in the Eitels’ growing Terre Haute-based family athletic footprint is brother Derek Eitel, the starting quarterback on Rose-Hulman’s football team.


NEW: Marshall's Eitel brothers commit to Indiana State

By Todd Golden
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE January 02, 2009 09:45 pm

Marshall High School boys basketball players Logan Eitel and Lucas Eitel have confirmed that they will play men's basketball at Indiana State starting next season.
The twins told the Tribune-Star they will walk-on at ISU next season. They made their final decision after a visit Friday and after consultation with friends and family.
"We’ve always wanted to go there. Division I has been our goal all the way through high school. [Friday] we talked to the coaches, players and went to the practice. We really liked what we saw, we think it's a great fit," Logan Eitel said.
Brother Lucas Eitel said playing for the Sycamores is a dream come true.
"We were real little when [Michael] Menser and [Matt] Renn were there. But we remember a lot of [David] Moss and [Tyson] Schnitker, I watched them beat Indiana and beat Purdue once. We’ve always watched games there and have followed them for a long time. We ultimately wanted to play at the highest level possible. We wanted to stay pretty close and ISU was perfect for that, perfect in so many ways," Lucas Eitel said.
The twins are part of an unbeaten Marshall team that won the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic tournament on Tuesday.
For more on this story, please see Saturday's Tribune-Star sports section.

Committed: Lucas Eitel and his Brother Logan have committed to play basketball for Indiana State University. The Tribune-Star

Floor commander: Logan Eitel directs his teammates in the Lions game against Terre Haute North last week. The Tribune-Star


Sidelines: When it comes to the Classic, it’s better late than never…

By Mike Lunsford, The Tribune-Star, January 03, 2009

I’m normally pretty punctual. Despite having to slip into the back pew at church on the occasionally tardy Sunday morning, I’m not in the habit of paying late fees on bills, standing at the back of any buffet lines, or being the last guy in the neighborhood to mow grass. As a matter of fact, I’m often the first employee to pull into the parking lot every morning.
But reading the sports section last week was as depressing as could be for me: Not only did Tom Reck, Craig Pearson, and Andy Amey beat the pants off me in their efforts to get columns in the newspaper about the latest installment of the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic, those fine and very capable souls also managed to scoop me on much of what I too had recorded in that little reporter’s notebook of mine.
But “no blood, no foul,” as we used to say in my pick-up game days; I still have plenty of observations from my time at the Classic, so I had better get started…
• All dressed up and someplace to go — I was pleased to see two entrants at the PHWVC brought their mascots along for the ride. As far as I could tell, of the 16 teams in the field, only Shakamak and Sullivan have a mascot, although a number of fans took it upon themselves to dress the part in support of their teams. The Lakers have a smartly outfitted student in Native American dress; the Golden Arrows are represented by a leather and tights-clad archer worthy of Errol Flynn.
• Perchance to Dream — I’m no rumor monger, but I keep my ear to the ground when I go to the Classic. I was rewarded with a whopper too, one, that according to tournament director Gary Fears, has no basis in fact. The story is that in the not-so-distant future, the Classic will expand to 32 teams. One 16-team tourney will take place at Terre Haute South; another 16-team field will play it out at North with the winners squaring off at one or the other gyms.
Gary wants everyone to know that although it is an “intriguing idea,” it’s not going to happen. “I don’t think we could get 16 more schools to commit to us”, he says. Oh, despite the standing-room-only crowds at this year’s tournament, the Classic isn’t moving to Hulman Center either. High school basketball is played in “gyms”; gyms are supposed to be crowded and hot, so this year’s tournament was perfect.
• Houston, we have a problem — Call it weather related, but South’s staff had a difficult time getting the temperature in the Braves’ gym adjusted during the Classic. The huge crowds may have contributed to the global warming in the gym, but it was a bit odd to see every door in the building open in January in an attempt to cool it off. Some fans took it upon themselves to dress accordingly… a number of folks were spotted in shorts and tank tops by the second day of the tournament, including a few in this humble reporter’s opinion that merited reviving the stocks as proper punishment for improper public attire. There are people who can wear shorts, and then there are some who should NEVER wear shorts…
• Lose one; win the big one — It’s been widely reported on television and by at least two Tribune-Star sportswriters, but one of the best human interest stories to come out of this year’s Classic was delivered when Linton’s coach, Darren Clayton, asked his girlfriend, Kim Frederick, to marry him just moments after his Miners had lost to Turkey Run on Saturday. Clayton definitely did it the right way with ring and roses on hand.
Not only did Kim say “yes,” Clayton’s team then went out and got its first win of the year two days later. “These kids are so important to me,” Clayton said of his team, “that I wanted to make them a part of this. They’re like a second family to me.”
• A pleasant problem — In what had to be the most pleasant problem a tournament director can have, Fears was faced with a dilemma as the evening wore on in Day 2 of the Classic: He had more people wanting in the gym than he had seats. I noticed that the crowds at this year’s tournament arrived early and stayed late. It can almost always be counted on that many fans will leave the gym after their favorite team has played, but this was the least fluid group I have ever seen at the PHWVC — people stayed in their seats and watched the games, game after game.
Fears confirmed that attendance records were broken, starting on Day 1 with the 10 a.m. game that pitted Shakamak against Turkey Run.
• This is “IT” — I usually spend the bulk of my time at the tournament at one end of the gym sitting in a nice comfortable chair, but on occasion I like to stand and gab with passersby. One of those transients, an older gent who should be able to recall, grabbed me by the arm at halftime of the South-Marshall semi-final game to let me know, “The old Valley wasn’t any better than this. This is it. This is the way it should be.”
• The Hymera Flash — I met Tom McClanahan for the first time at this year’s Classic. Well known locally for his work at WTWO, Tom was also a Hymera Shakamak who played in the old Valley in the mid-60’s. We spent a while chatting about old school nicknames — we agreed that it was Ashboro’s Shamrocks who could call themselves “Gym-less Wonders” — and he recalled his days facing Patricksburg and Rosedale on the hardwood. Okay, Tom: What was the nickname for Klondike High School? Get that one and we’re friends for life!
• I can’t believe I ate the whole thing — It appears as though seats weren’t the only things that were hard to find at this year’s Classic; Fears confirmed that one of his biggest challenges was keeping the faithful fans in pizza, particularly since the delivery vans (surely considered emergency vehicles) couldn’t find a place to park. Gary says that over 9,500 slices of pizza were consumed in four days at the tournament by the teams, hospitality room visitors, and fans. Keep in mind that all of the proceeds from the pizza sold during the Classic goes to the host school’s booster club.
• Old Friends and “Old School” — If there is one thing I most love about the Classic, it’s that it’s a reunion of sorts. I can’t possibly list all of the good people I spoke with over the course of the 21 games I was able to take in, but certainly seeing John Benton, Mike McCormick, Brian Miller, Chuck Culp, Brent Compton, Betty Harrison, Jeff Fisher, Bill Pastorius, Murray Melton, Doug Hawkins, the Roundtree boys, and so many others certainly made the Classic great fun for me.
I ran into Larry Adamson on Day 3. Larry, a local boy who “done good,” and who recently retired from the United States Golf Association, often sends late-night nostalgic basketball musings from his Tennessee home to a number of us e-mail junkies. In one portion of his last letter, which came on New Year’s Day, Larry was so impressed with the Classic that he said, “When I left each night, I felt I should stop by the ticket window and pay another fee as we all had gotten much more for our money than the price of a ticket.”
He summed up: “While I believe the class system that has been added to the program in Indiana has had a negative effect on the game, I still must say that the quality of play and the interest on the part of many is still alive. The patient is far from dead, or even in some locations, seriously ill. So before we say that ‘back in my day,’ maybe we need to stop and think.”
Now, weren’t Larry comments worth waiting for?

Amey Takes Aim: Recapping the greatest four days in the history of high school basketball

By Andy Amey
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE High school basketball coaches and administrators have different wishes about 11 months from now, when pairings for the 2009 Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic are drawn.

Playing late in the day has always been the ideal. Former Terre Haute North coach Jim Jones seemed to get the 8:30 p.m. game every season, which he loved because it enabled his team to have a shootaround before its game.

Now, however, the 10 a.m. game is looking better and better — because for that game, your fans will probably be able to find a place to park. Maybe next winter fans heading to Terre Haute North can set out furniture or kitchen appliances for “dibs” on parking spots, the way it’s done in Chicago on snowy, congested streets.

This year’s Classic at Terre Haute South had its biggest crowds ever, it’s first-ever requests for fans to leave the gym so the teeming masses in the lobby might have a place to sit — my suggestion was, and still is, some kind of auction; I’ll leave the gym and this seat for this amount of money, some of it going to the host school of course — and, as confirmed by Classic historian Brian Mancuso, its first counterfeit tickets and its first marriage proposal. More on those later.

A lot of people also say the games were the best the Classic has ever had. I think that’s inadequate.

Until somebody can show me evidence to the contrary, I’m saying it was the best four days of high school basketball in the history of the world. There were at least nine games that somebody might call the best one they’ve ever seen, and the folks in Marshall will be willing to add three more to that list.

I’m writing this before talking to Pizza Hut exec and tournament director Gary Fears about the groundswell of opinion about moving to a bigger facility, but I think I know what he’s going to say.

One, this year was probably the perfect storm in terms of outstanding teams whose fans turned out in force.

Two, having fans needing to practically fight their way into the gym — like sectionals us old folks remember — is exactly what Gary had in mind. His baby is all grown up.

No further evidence of the latter fact is needed than the ticket “scandal.” When people are trying to enter your event illegally, you must be putting on a good show.

And a lot of the show is about more than basketball. For example:

• Romance — Linton coach Darren Clayton is one of the nicest guys in the business, but I’ve never thought of him as a hopeless romantic. Until now.

But the first day of the Classic was also the second anniversary of his relationship with Kim Frederick. In the bleachers at South, each of his 10 players presented her with a rose — “I wanted to make the kids a part of it,” he said — and he completed the dozen with two roses of his own, plus the unexpected question.

• Reunions — The four days of basketball is also turning into a time for the Wabash Valley to see old friends and make new ones. It’s where I get to see my friend Amelia Walker every year, for example.

It’s also time for former players to come back and hang around the gym, this year’s crowd including Armon Bassett, Nate Blank, Jeremy and Seth Harrold, Toby Stephens, Drew Aff, Cogan Keith, Jared Modesitt, Les Miller, Matt Myers, Kyle McFadden and Shay Stephens, among others. Which leads us to …

• Wardrobe envy — On the first day of the Classic, Armon was wearing an urban-script Cubs jacket; I’m advising him, for his own good, not to leave that lying around where I might happen to pick it up. I’d say that same thing for the Matt Forte jersey the son of Sullivan principal Chris Stitzle was wearing, but I’m not sure it would fit me.

• The usual spot — Despite the crowd, I saw Clyde Funkhouser at his usual perch in the South gym for awhile, although I think he got moved later in the tournament. Not so Lew Drake, who watched his annual 28 games at the top of the bleachers.

• The usual treat — It’s great to have fans, and not the one like Terry the janitor tried to give me. Once again I got some extremely good homemade candy from my favorite couple of South supporters.

• The kids — Again this season freshman players made names for themselves in less than a week. Marshall’s Jacob Duncan was a huge reason that his team won the championship, but what do you say about Sullivan’s Rhett Smith, or Riverton Parke’s Cody Vauters, or West Vigo’s Jordan Houser or Cody Thornton? Virtually every roster had a ninth-grader or two or three ready to make a contribution.

• Funniest moments — Ordinarily, coach Joe Boehler’s admonition to the Vikings of “layups only,” followed approximately one second later by Houser burying a 3-pointer against Sullivan, would be a winner.

But that pales by comparison to Rockville’s David Parsons — a player oblivious to pressure — who, after hitting two baskets in a row during a game against Marshall that had all but one person in the gym tensed up, got trapped along the baseline and tried to escape by shooting. Over the backboard. From behind it.

• Separated at birth? I wouldn’t go so far as to say they look all that much alike, but their size, their styles of play and their roles for their respective teams are virtually identical.

No, I’m not talking about Jake Odum of South and Tyler Wampler of West Vigo. This reference is to Mitch Snyder of Casey and Josh Wilson of Riverton Parke.

• Who wins? The team that may have grown the most from its participation the last few days is probably South Vermillion, although Linton is in the discussion too.

But maybe it’s Marshall that has gained the most. The Lions have won a lot of games the last couple of years with dazzling offensive displays, and had one of those in the championship game. But they got to the final game with grit and defense, and that kind of play is a lot more reliable in the postseason.

“Our defense is progressing every game,” said Trey Brashear, one of the reasons for that, after the championship game.

Given to Fly: A classic in every sense of the word

By Craig Pearson
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE December 30, 2008 11:55 pm

What tournament director and co-founder Gary Fears had in mind when creating the tournament came to fruition Tuesday. Marshall, with an enrollment of 438 students, became the smallest school to win the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic in the ninth season of the tourney.
Bloomfield was runner-up twice, Turkey Run once and Marshall bounced back from a runner-up finish and a 64-33 loss to Terre Haute South in last season’s title game. The Lions came back on a mission this year, avenging that loss to coach Mike Saylor’s Braves team that he feels can compete with any team in the country. The Braves did defeat Lawrence North, a team ranked among the top 32 in the nation by
Marshall pulled away from Terre Haute North on Tuesday for a 64-48 triumph.
“It feels great to get over that hump,” said Marshall coach Tom Brannan. “It’s all about the players. Players and effort.”
Marshall’s current enrollment isn’t far removed from when it won the original Wabash Valley Tournament in consecutive seasons in 1971-72. According to Dean Kendall’s book “The Wabash Valley High School Basketball Tournament,” Marshall had 416 students in 1972, the last year for the old tournament, which grew to as large as 128 teams during its span from 1916 to 1972.
The new version includes just a fraction of those teams — the 16 allowed by the IHSAA in a tournament — but that doesn’t take away from the excitement that has built around the new Classic.
Fans were turned away from Terre Haute South on Saturday and Monday as the late-night matchups approached tip-off.
“It’s the way I remember the old Wabash Valley for many years,” Fears said. “We wish we had a bigger gymnasium, we don’t. We love the full gym and the atmosphere that creates. When class basketball came into the state of Indiana, we lost that. The kids and players love to perform in front of a full house, and that’s what this tournament’s re-created.”
The tournament’s third-place game and championship game have been televised on WTWO for the last four years for more fans to witness the high-quality basketball on display.
“Small schools” such as Switz City, Monroe City, even Flat Rock (enrollment 82 in 1940) used to win the old Wabash Valley Tournament, but all of the previous eight Pizza Hut champions have been Class 4A or Class 5A schools.
Fears has re-created the tournament because of his love of the sport, and he seemed to enjoy the possibility of Marshall becoming the first to break through for the small schools. He gave high fives to Marshall captains Lucas Eitel, Logan Eitel and Taylor Duncan when delivering the championship trophy amid chants of “We are Marshall” from the Lions’ faithful.
The idea of the Pizza Hut tournament when he and Jim Jones and Pat Rady discussed was to re-create the days when small communities could put a team together that could be giant killers in a tournament setting.
“When class basketball came in, meeting with Pat Rady and Jim Jones, we all kind of reminisced about the good old days and how we could bring that back,” said Fears, who was a starting guard for Honey Creek High School in 1959 and 1960.
The tournament has been a phenomenal success, providing entertainment at the perfect time with high schools and colleges on winter break.
“Every year seems to surpass the last one,” Fears said. “The quality of play this year, from team play to the individual players; you know, we had several Division I players this year.”
South coach Mike Saylor, who has two future Division I players on his team, was very impressed with the turnout of fans wanting to see all the quality basketball this year. Rockville, Marshall and Terre Haute South all came in undefeated, and the Lions beat the other two on the way to the title.
“It’s a great testimony to this region. There’s so many good fans. [Athletic Director] Mr. [Tony] Brewer, [principal] Mr. Mauk, everybody on the South end put up a great tournament,” he said. “There was talk of doing it in Hulman Center, but what’s the chance you’re going to have all these undefeated teams coming in again?”
Well, with some of the freshmen and sophomores fans were treated to the past five days, there’s definitely that chance.
Marshall will lose the Eitel twins, who have been starters for four years. Brannan also coached two of the Eitels’ older brothers.
“They’re like family. They’re family. It feels great. I’m so happy for these guys,” said Brannan, who is fortunate that he’ll have the Duncan brothers around for a while still. Freshman Jacob Duncan hit 5 3-pointers against Rockville.
There’s plenty more young players that will make fans arrive at the Terre Haute North or Terre Haute South gym in coming years.
Terre Haute North’s Justin Gant, a 6-foot-8 sophomore, is going to become a more dominant force as he moves into his final two years of high school.
West Vigo has a couple freshman in Jordan Houser and Cody Thornton and a sophomore in Scott West that will make them a force. And Sullivan will be a team that could contend for a title as 6-6 freshman Rhett Smith matures.
“The goal is to please the students and fans of the Wabash Valley,” Fears said.
Mission accomplished.


Lion Kings: Marshall Claims Pizza Hut Crown by Dismantling Terre Haute North

By Craig Pearson
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE December 31, 2008 12:17 am

Even in the fourth quarter, after Elvis had left the building and Marshall’s championship of the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic was all but assured, the student fans from Terre Haute North were still doing their best to come up with witticisms.
So the adult fans from Marshall — yes, Terre Haute, there are places where people besides the students actually cheer for their teams — had a comeback of their own.
“You can’t guard us,” they chanted repeatedly, and the Lions’ eventual 64-48 high school basketball victory had been summed up in four words.
“Marshall is a very fine basketball team, a very deserving champion, and they played extremely well,” said coach Todd Woelfle of the Patriots after the game. “They are hard to guard.”
The Patriots actually had some nice numbers of their own. They shot 53 percent from the field, won the rebound battle and committed just 10 turnovers.
But the Lions were even better — 61 percent from the field and just three turnovers of their own, which offset the rebound deficit considerably.
There were three ties and one lead change in the first quarter, the last deadlock at 12-12 after Justin Gant, on his way to a nine-point first quarter, converted a three-point play.
Marshall broke the tie with 2:15 left in the quarter on a 3-pointer by Lucas Eitel, then answered another Gant basket with the second first-quarter 3-pointer for unheralded Trey Brashear.
Although Brashear’s six first-quarter points were big, however, his best work was at the other end of the floor. His defense was pretty much eliminating Zach Harrison from North’s offense, and Gant — who had 15 of his team’s first 22 points — could only hold up for so long.
“Trey Brashear has been a huge player for us since the get-go,” coach Tom Brannan of the Lions said afterward. “He adds so much to this team; I don’t know what we’d do without him.
“He played awesome defense [Monday] on [Terre Haute South’s John Michael] Jarvis, and tonight he did a good job on Harrison too.”
“We knew we had to stay defensively composed,” Brashear said after the game. “We knew who [among the Patriots] could shoot, and we wanted to make it evident that their 3-point shooting wouldn’t be a factor.”
“We played great team defense,” said Dustin Morey. “Everybody had to guard Gant; he was playing great.”
Marshall broke away from the 18-16 first-quarter lead with a 12-2 run to open the second quarter. Then North had to change defenses, and Marshall’s three slashers — Taylor Duncan and the Eitel twins — took over.
“It was very important for us to get off to a good start and play with the lead,” Woelfle said later. “When we got behind, we had to trap [defensively], and that’s not our strength right now.
“Good teams make you pay, and [the Lions] made us pay. They spread us out … they’re good.”
Duncan wound up as Marshall’s leading scorer with 21 points, while Logan Eitel scored 19 and Lucas Eitel 13. Each of the twins had seven assists.
Gant was the only double-figure scorer for North with 21 of his own, and in a game with very few missed shots the leading rebounder for the night was North’s foul-plagued Thomas Anderson with five. Chase Jones had five assists for the Patriots.
“I’m a little prejudiced, but I think we may have had one of the toughest routes [to a Classic championship] ever,” said Brannan after the game, noting the Lions’ wins over consolation-bracket champion Owen Valley, Indiana’s top-ranked Class A team (Rockville) and its third-ranked Class 4A team (Terre Haute South, also ranked 97th nationally by one service). “Then we have to come back and play these guys [the Patriots]. That’s unbelievable. I’m super-proud of the boys; they’re great kids.”
“It was an awesome feeling at the end, up there getting that trophy,” said Taylor Duncan. “All that hard work really pays off … we knew we had to play hard; North is a reallay good team, but we played hard and came out.”
“It was just an awesome game,” said Lucas Eitel. “We played good from the first guy to the last guy.”
“We knew [the Patriots] were oversized with [6-foot-8] Gant and [6-6] Anderson, and at first they took advantage,” said Logan Eitel. “But we kept coming and were aggressive; we were confident tonight. Trey Brashear played great and Taylor Duncan [an omission from the all-tourney team] had a great tournament.”
“[The Patriots are] a good team,” said freshman Jacob Duncan. “We focused on boxing out, trying to stop their big guys. We had to play our game and push the ball up the floor.”
As the Lions look toward the rest of their season, they’ve probably acquired a new off-the-bench sparkplug in the younger Duncan, who drained meaningful 3-pointers in each of the last three games.
“I gained a lot of experience,” he agreed. “This was a really good atmosphere, and it will help us when the regionals come around.”
“It was awesome … the biggest crowd I’ve ever played in,” said Morey. “We’ve had an eye on this tournament the whole year; now we have to win the regional and the sectional.
“Playing these teams was unreal. We won’t see teams like this for a long time.”
“This tournament is great,” Lucas Eitel agreed. “You can’t get this kind of atmosphere [anywhere else]. It prepares you for the big stage, not to mention the caliber of teams we were playing.”
“It definitely helps us [for the future], knowing we can play in big-stage games,” said Brashear.
“We have so much confidence right now,” said Logan Eitel. “Hopefully this ended doubts in everybody’s mind [about potential postseason success].”
“I hope [winning this tournament] is huge for us [later in the season],” Brannan said. “It gives us confidence, and that’s what you have to have in March.”
The Lions won’t be the only team gaining from the experience, Woelfle said.
“I’m disappointed in the loss tonight, but I’m very happy with the way we played in this tournament and grew as a team,” the North coach said. “We’ll take the positives from this, and work to correct the mistakes.”

Terre Haute North 48
Player fg 3pt ft r s pf tp
Gant 9-12 0-0 3-3 4 0 1 21
Weatherford 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 0
Anderson 3-6 0-1 2-4 5 0 4 8
Harrison 3-8 2-4 0-0 2 0 0 8
Jones 0-1 0-0 0-0 2 1 2 0
Gauer 3-6 0-1 1-2 4 1 0 7
Thompson 1-2 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 2
Sponsler 0-2 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 0
Bolden 1-1 0-0 0-0 2 0 0 2
Shipley 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 1 0
Taylor 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Totals 20-38 2-9 6-9 *23 2 8 48

Marshall 64
Player fg 3pt ft r s pf tp
Morey 0-1 0-0 0-0 1 1 2 0
T.Duncan 9-11 3-3 0-0 3 2 3 21
Lu.Eitel 5-7 3-4 0-0 4 2 2 13
Lo.Eitel 8-15 0-2 3-3 4 2 1 19
Brashear 3-3 2-2 0-0 2 0 1 8
J.Duncan 1-4 1-4 0-0 0 0 1 3
Delp 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Cannady 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Tucker 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Grooms 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 1 0
Bishop 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Wetnight 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 0
Totals 26-43 9-16 3-3 *15 8 11 64

Terre Haute North 16 8 9 15 — 48
Marshall 18 16 15 15 — 64

FG Pct. — THN .526, Marshall .605. 3-pt FG Pct. — THN .222, Marshall .563. FT Pct. — THN .667, Marshall 1.000. (*) Includes team rebounds — THN 3, Marshall 1. Turnovers — THN 12, Marshall 5. Assists — THN 12 (Jones 5), Marshall 20 (Lu.Eitel 7, Lo.Eitel 7). Blocks — THN 3 (Anderson, Gant, Thompson), Marshall 1 (Lo.Eitel).
Next — North (5-5) plays Saturday at Evansville North and Marshall (12-0) has a home game that night against Tri-County.

Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic all-tournament team
Austin Akers, Northview
Logan Eitel, Marshall
Lucas Eitel, Marshall
Justin Gant, Terre Haute North
Zach Harrison, Terre Haute North
John Michael Jarvis, Terre Haute South
R.J. Mahurin, Rockville
Jake Odum, Terre Haute South
Jordan Pearson, West Vigo
Mitch Snyder, Casey-Westfield


Marshall and TH North Avance to Classic Title Game

Day three of the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic


Pizza Hut semifinal: Marshall Lions roar back, upset South to reach title game

By Andy Amey
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE December 29, 2008 11:46 pm

In the past 366 days, the outcome and scoring margin of Terre Haute South’s 64-33 win over Marshall for the 2008 Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic high school basketball championship may have come up a time or two in Marshall.
“We mentioned it some way or another,” coach Tom Brannan of the Lions admitted Monday night, after his team had avenged that loss exactly one year ago (it’s Leap Year, remember) by getting four free throws from Taylor Duncan in the final four seconds of the game for a 46-42 win over the host Braves.
“We really circled [the Classic dates] on the schedule,” Brannan added. “Last year we played scared basketball.”
“We wanted to prove we could do it.”
Mission accomplished, and that 31-point margin a year ago might be as good a reason as any to explain the Lions’ comeback from an eight-point deficit in the fourth quarter.
“We worked so hard, but we came up on the short end [last year],” said Duncan. “We kind of had a chip on our shoulder after that. We worked hard in the offseason, knowing we’d probably face [the Braves] again.”
All that work was threatening to be good only for a nice-try moral victory midway through the second half. South’s Jake Odum yo-yoed the ball near midcourt for the better part of a minute before draining a 3-pointer at the third-quarter buzzer for a 36-31 South lead, and John Michael Jarvis opened the fourth period with another trey.
Marshall wasn’t about to go away, however. Freshman Jacob Duncan drained his own 3-pointer, his older brother hit one of two free throws after a scrum that left South’s Adam Austin sprawled on the court for a minute or two, and Lucas Eitel fed Logan Eitel for a basket that cut the lead to 39-37.
It was past the midpoint of the fourth quarter in the hard-nosed defensive struggle when Lucas Eitel recovered a South fumble and started a fast break, Taylor Duncan converting at the other end. He missed a free throw for a three-point play and the lead, but the score was tied with 3:41 left.
Odum drove the lane and got the call as Logan Eitel tried to draw the charge, Logan Eitel’s fourth foul, and the South senior hit a free throw for the lead. When South got the ball back, he dropped a pass to Austin, who had returned from the injury, and Austin’s layup made it 42-39 — a lead that lasted only until Lucas Eitel nailed a 3-pointer at the other end with 2:08 to go.
Another South turnover gave Marshall the ball with 1:46 left and the Lions tried to hold it, having to use one timeout to escape a trap. As the clock ticked down under a minute, Austin got a deflection but Taylor Duncan dove into a pile and got it back for Marshall, calling his team’s final timeout with 39 seconds left to save the ball.
South had fouls to give and used two of them. After the second, with 17 seconds left, Lucas Eitel got the ball like he had in winning a semifinal game over Rockville two nights earlier. This time he passed to Taylor Duncan, who launched a turnaround jumper and drew the crucial foul.
“I asked Lucas why he didn’t go all the way to the basket, and he said he thought it was too early so he gave it up,” Brannan said later. “Taylor Duncan got fouled and knocked down some big free throws.”
“I knew time was running down and I saw [the South defender] jump after me,” Taylor Duncan said. “I tried to throw up a shot, but at the same time I tried to get under his arms a little bit.
“I started the season shooting pretty good at the foul line, but I’d missed two earlier,” he continued. “I came up short, so I tried to use my legs as much as possible … and went up there with confidence.”
South tried a long pass, but Taylor Duncan played it like a free safety and intercepted. That set off a noisy celebration, but officials put a second back on the clock and Duncan added two more free throws for the final margin.
“We had some critical errors there,” coach Mike Saylor of the Braves said in discussing the fourth quarter. “Ball-handling errors were the principal reason we lost our lead.”
Asked if last year’s outcome affected Marshall’s incentive, Saylor said, “I’m sure they were fired up and I’m sure they were motivated, but Tom Brannan’s teams usually are fired up and motivated. I just think [the Lions are] really good.
“Last year was an unusual circumstance,” Saylor continued, “and they’ve gotten better. They’ve got some role players who probably shoot it a little better.”
South had a 9-2 first-quarter run to take a 14-8 lead and was up 21-13 early in the second quarter. But then Marshall, playing maybe the best man-to-man defense the Lions have ever played, clamped down and finished the half with a 12-2 spurt. Logan Eitel’s rebound basket with 12 seconds left put Marshall ahead 25-23 at intermission.
“We were really worried about our [trapping defense],” Brannan explained later, “because of leaving people open. [The Braves] hiat a couple early, so we got out of [that defense]. And I thought Lucas did a great job on Odum.”
South fell behind 29-25 and 31-27 in the third quarter, but then Odum led the 12-0 South run prior to the Marshall comeback.
Odum had 20 points and four assists for South, but no other Brave scored more than eight.
“When you’ve got three or four guys taking their one or two bad shots [in a game], that causes enough deficit to lose a close game like this,” Saylor said afterward.
Lucas Eitel had 13 points while Logan Eitel and Taylor Duncan scored 12 each for Marshall. Logan Eitel had nine rebounds, Lucas Eitel five assists.
“This was a great win for our program, and a great win for our town,” Brannan said. “I can’t say enough about the boys. Effort? There’s not a single guy who doesn’t play their hardest or doesn’t believe in what we’re doing.
“But now we’ve got a huge game [against Terre Haute North for the championship]. We probably the underdogs again [tonight],” he added.

Terre Haute South 42
Player fg 3pt ft r s pf tp
Austin 3-6 0-0 0-0 7 3 2 6
Odum 6-14 1-3 7-8 3 5 2 20
Jarvis 2-9 2-7 0-0 3 5 4 6
McGill 0-5 0-4 0-0 1 0 3 0
McIntyre 3-6 2-3 0-0 2 0 0 8
Housley 0-0 0-0 0-0 3 0 0 0
Rose 1-2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 2
Totals 15-42 5-17 7-8 *24 13 11 42
Marshall 46
Player fg 3pt ft r s pf tp
Morey 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 1 2
T.Duncan 3-6 1-2 5-7 7 3 2 12
Lu.Eitel 5-11 2-5 1-1 5 3 1 13
Lo.Eitel 6-10 0-1 0-0 9 1 4 12
Brashear 1-6 0-3 2-2 2 0 2 4
J.Duncan 1-5 1-4 0-0 2 0 1 3
Totals 17-39 4-15 8-10 *28 7 11 46
Terre Haute South 16 7 13 6 — 42
Marshall 11 14 6 15 — 46
FG Pct. — THS .357, Marshall .436. 3-pt FG Pct. — THS .294, Marshall .267. FT Pct. — THS .875, Marshall .800. (*) Includes team rebounds — THS 5, Marshall 3. Turnovers — THS 11, Marshall 14. Assists — THS 9 (Odum 4), Marshall 10 (Lu.Eitel 5). Blocks — THS 1 (Odum), Marshall 4 (Lu.Eitel 2, Lo.Eitel 2).
Next — South (8-1) plays Northview at 6: 15 today in the third-place game. Marshall (11-0) plays Terre Haute North at 8 p.m. in the championship game.


Pizza Hut semifinal: North’s defense too much for Northview

By Craig Pearson
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE December 29, 2008 11:42 pm

Terre Haute North used one of this year’s Pizza Hut Classic’s most dominant defensive performances to advance to its first championship game since winning its third title in four years in 2006.
The Patriots held Northview to 23.9-percent shooting from the field to turn Monday’s first semifinal game into a blowout. North led just 21-14 after one half, but it led 39-19 with 2 minutes, 25 seconds left in the third quarter.
The defensive gameplan started with Knights’ point guard Austin Akers, who led his team to a victory against North in both teams’ season opener. Akers earned game-high honors with 16 points, but he shot just 6-for-19 from the field.
“It was a tremendous defensive effort on our part by our entire team,” North coach Todd Woelfle said. “Austin Akers did whatever he wanted the last time we played. We had to make sure he worked for everything he got. We wanted to do that and keep them off the boards.”
North accomplished that second goal as well, winning the rebound battle 40-22. Sophomore Justin Gant had 10 points and 12 rebounds, and Thomas Anderson 12 points and eight rebounds. The 6-foot-8 Gant and 6-6 Anderson allowed few open shots in or around the paint, and Northview managed just five offensive rebounds.
“We’re a perimeter-oriented team,” Northview coach Ernie Maesch said. “When the ball doesn’t go in the hole [we’ll struggle], and [the Patriots] got a special thing with the ability to take away easy shots because of 6-9, 6-6.”
“Defensively, we did a pretty good job. Offensively, we never got going.”
Zach Harrison was one of several players to get it going offensively. with 15 points on 6 of 11 shooting. He hit a 3 to make it 39-19 and added an old-fashioned 3-point play for a 46-23 lead with 5:31 left in the game. North effectively ran out the clock after that made free throw.
The senior is ready to play for a Classic title with his team playing its best basketball of the season.
“We’ve been working hard and executing everything pretty well, a lot better than before,” Harrison said.
North also got four assists from point guard Chase Jones, who found teammates for layups after penetrating the Northview defense.
“We got good penetration and kicks and we’re getting the ball to our big men and they’re scoring. We’re executing things pretty well,” Harrison said.
North also got 10 points off the bench in the first half from Andrew Gauer and Jerrel Thompson. Also, Gauer and starter Scott Weatherford played most of the defense on Akers.
“We got a great lift off the bench,” Woelfle said. “Jerrel Thompson’s been giving us positive minutes the whole tournament, and Andrew Gauer played a great game.
“We won the game on the defensive end. We contained their good players. We put a game plan in defensively and we executed it perfectly.”
North will battle the Marshall Lions tonight in an effort to win its fourth Classic title since winning its first in 2003. Marshall was runner-up last season to Terre Haute South.

Terre Haute North 48
Player fg 3pt ft reb. s f tp
Jones 0-3 0-0 1-2 1 1 2 1
Harrison 6-11 2-4 1-1 7 1 1 15
Weatherford 0-3 0-0 0-0 3 0 0 0
Anderson 6-12 0-0 0-0 8 0 1 12
Gant 5-9 0-0 0-0 12 1 2 10
Gauer 3-6 0-2 0-0 5 1 2 6
Thompson 2-2 0-0 0-0 2 0 2 4
Bolden 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Marshall 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Taylor 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 0
Sponsler 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Shipley 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 0
Totals 22-47 2-6 2-3 40 4 11 48

Northview 28
Player fg 3pt ft reb. s f tp
Akers 6-19 2-7 2-3 3 1 0 16
Lancaster 2-9 0-1 1-3 3 0 0 4
Reynolds 1-7 1-4 0-0 2 1 3 3
Bradshaw 1-3 0-0 0-2 6 0 3 2
Musgrave 1-2 0-0 0-0 5 0 0 2
Mershon 0-3 0-1 0-0 0 1 0 0
Wilson 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Hyatt 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Allen 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Keller 0-1 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 0
Robertson 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 0
Sims 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Tanner 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0
Totals 11-46 3-13 3-8 22 3 7 28
Terre Haute North 8 13 18 9 — 48
Northview 2 12 5 9 — 28
FG percentage — THN .468, Nv .239. 3-point FG — THN .333, Nv .231. FT percentage — THN .667, Nv .375. Assists — THN 8 (Jones 4), Nv 4 (Akers 2). Turnovers — THN 8, Nv 5. Blocks — THN 5 (Gant 3, Gauer 1, Thompson 1), Nv 1 (Mershon).
Next — Terre Haute North (5-4) plays tonight against Marshall (11-0) at 8:15 p.m. in the championship game. Northview (4-4) plays Terre Haute South (8-1) at 6:15 p.m. in the third-place game.


Pizza Hut semifinals feature two juicy matchups

By Andy Amey
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE December 29, 2008

If the 2008 version of the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic didn’t have a day off mandated by the calendar this year, it might have had to invent one.
“We needed [Sunday off],” said coach Ernie Maesch of Northview, whose depth-challenged Knights survived two of the four closest games of the high school basketball tournament to reach its final four. “If we didn’t have a day off, I don’t know what we’d do.
“This was a life-saver for us.”
The staff at host school Terre Haute South no doubt knows the feeling. While the problems that have come up have been for good reasons — most coming down to too many people wanting to see the games — they have still been problems. The intensity level has been almost overwhelming at times.
“It’s been an unbelievable atmosphere,” said coach Todd Woelfle of Terre Haute North, another semifinalist. “Hoosier Hysteria at its finest.”
“My daughter and I sat up in the balcony for awhile [on Saturday], and I just marveled at the view,” said coach Mike Saylor of the host Braves, still in the running to defend their 2007 championship. “It’s so beautiful to see the gym packed like that.”
“This has got to go down as the best tournament ever for the crowds, the level of competition and the individual players involved,” Maesch added.
It gets started again at 10 a.m. today with another eight-game slate. And although just four teams still have a shot at the title, there’s still plenty for the other 12 teams to play for.
Today’s schedule breaks down in three parts: two games between teams who won’t be back on Tuesday, four games among teams trying to get back on Tuesday, and then the semifinals.
Linton (0-6) vs. Riverton Parke (2-6), 10 a.m. — The Miners are trying to break two winless streaks, this season’s and in the Classic as a whole (they’re 0-5 in two seasons so far). The Panthers would like to salvage a game, which they did last season by beating Linton, also in the opening game of the third round.
South Vermillion (0-6) vs. Casey (3-3), 11:30 a.m. — A huge game for the young Wildcats (no senior regulars), who took a big step Saturday toward correcting their second-half woes with a comeback against Bloomfield only to fall short. Which way they go today might be critical to the second half of their entire season. The Warriors, on the other hand, will be looking for scoring to complement Mitch Snyder, who had 34 points and eight 3-pointers in a losing cause against Owen Valley on Saturday.
Turkey Run (5-2) vs. Monrovia (4-3), 1 p.m. — The winner of this game comes back Tuesday for the consolation-bracket championship and a possible 3-1 Classic record, a good boost for either club. Tempo will probably decide the outcome — Monrovia wants to run, Turkey Run doesn’t.
Bloomfield (6-4) vs. Owen Valley (4-4), 2:30 p.m. — Besides the same possibilities involved in the previous game, this one is a rematch with some potential. Bloomfield beat Owen Valley 45-44 in overtime just 10 days ago.
Shakamak (5-2) vs. Sullivan (5-4), 4 p.m. — Winner of this game gets to play for fifth place and it’s another rematch, Shakamak winning 60-51 on Dec. 6. The junior-dominated Lakers, an early-book favorite for the 2009 Classic title, were nipped by Terre Haute North because of rebounding woes and now face this year’s best Classic rebounder in Thad Thompson of the Golden Arrows.
West Vigo (7-2) vs. Rockville (5-1), 5:30 p.m. — Potentially the best game prior to the semifinals pits two teams off to great starts who don’t want to end the Classic with back-to-back losses. The Vikings will have to contend with Rockville’s size, the Rox with West Vigo’s guard play.
Terre Haute North (4-4) vs. Northview (4-3), 7 p.m. — These teams played a barn-burner in their season openers, Northview winning 57-53 at home, and this one could be just as close. The Knights are 4-0 in games decided by four points or less, maybe because Austin Akers is one of the most dangerous individual talents in the Classic.
“We’re happy to be in the final four,” Woelfle said. “I’m not totally happy with how we’ve played — we didn’t handle end-of-game situations against Shakamak very well — but it’s high school basketball.
“We wanted to play four games, and now we have an opportunity to do that. We want to improve each time we take the floor, and so far I think we have.”
“We wanted to get to Monday night [both these teams play on Tuesday regardless of the outcome], so we’ve got our first goal in hand,” Maesch said. “That gets some of the weight off you.
“I think most people figure that North is the favorite [tonight], but we relish the underdog role.”
Terre Haute South (8-0) vs. Marshall (10-0), 8:30 p.m. — The 64-33 score of last year’s championship game between these two teams was no indication of how hard the game was fought, and tonight’s isn’t likely to be any different. It’s doubtful that the Lions have forgotten that game either.
Last year’s determining factor was South’s defensive pressure. The Braves are strong on that end of the court again, but so far it’s been Marshall’s defense that has enabled the Lions to advance despite shooting percentages that have been below the Lions’ norm.
“Both teams are facing the same situation,” Saylor said of tonight’s game. “Whoever is going to win must be on an A-game mentality … somebody is going to have to play very well to win.”
More gigantic crowds are expected today, and Maesch had a word of caution to fans of the teams in the night games.
“If you don’t get there by 4 o’clock, you might not have a seat,” he said.

Wabash Valley Pizza Hut Classic
At Terre Haute South
Shakamak 52, Turkey Run 37
Terre Haute North 61, Linton 39
Northview 54, Monrovia 51
Sullivan 69, Riverton Parke 50
Terre Haute South 69, South Vermillion 31
West Vigo 61, Bloomfield 52
Marshall 66, Owen Valley 52
Rockville 66, Casey 40
Turkey Run 46, Linton 37
Monrovia 72, Riverton Parke 48
Terre Haute North 58, Shakamak 56
Northview 57, Sullivan 53, 2OT
Bloomfield 48, South Vermillion 46
Owen Valley 77, Casey 63
Terre Haute South 72,
West Vigo 54
Marshall 55, Rockville 53
10 a.m. — Linton vs. Riverton Parke
11:30 — South Vermillion vs. Casey
1 p.m. — Turkey Run vs. Monrovia
2:30 — Bloomfield vs. Owen Valley
4 — Shakamak vs. Sullivan
5:30 — West Vigo vs. Rockville
7 — TH North vs. Northview
8:30 — TH South vs. Marshall
3 p.m. — Consolation championship game
4:30 — Fifth place game
6:15 — Third place game
8 — Championship game


Lucas Eitel sinks teardrop to down Rockville, put Marshall in semifinals

By Andy Amey
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE December 27, 2008 11:28 pm

Some call the shot a teardrop, an irony that’s probably not much appreciated in central Parke County right now.
Whatever its name, Marshall’s Lucas Eitel floated a 10-foot running one-hander into the basket with a second left Saturday night as the Lions survived a battle of high school basketball unbeatens by a 55-53 score over Rockville in the semifinals of the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic at Terre Haute South.
“In our offense you’ve got to work on that runner,” coach Tom Brannan of the Lions said after the game. “He’s probably shot 1,000 of them — and that one counts.”
“We had 18 seconds left [after a pair of timeouts]; we wanted to run the clock down, then set some high ball screens,” Lucas Eitel said. “I was supposed to kick it out [to another shooter] if I didn’t have anything, but everybody did a great job.”
“A tough game,” coach Dave Mahurin of the Rox said. “We came back [from an 11-point third-quarter deficit and a 53-47 deficit late] … but we got beat by a very good team. It was the game everybody wanted it to be.”
Saturday night’s Classic finale was a championship game of sorts, the one that decided which of the small-school powers would get another crack at defending champion Terre Haute South. And with the gym stretched to its capacity, the game delivered its share of drama.
Rockville got the last five points of the first quarter to take an 18-14 lead, but even after Brannan exhorted his team to drive to the basket, it took a pair of 3-pointers by Lucas Eitel to start the second quarter and put Marshall ahead again.
By halftime the lead had changed hands six times, Marshall regaining it with a 6-0 run that included an assist by Taylor Duncan for a Trey Brashear jumper, another 3-pointer by Lucas Eitel out of a spread offense, then a free throw by Taylor Duncan.
But although the Lions had a 26-23 lead at intermission, they also were saddled with considerable foul difficulties. Those became worse immediately in the third quarter when Rockville’s David Parsons — certainly not one of his team’s leading scorers — drove the baseline for a basket and drew the fourth foul on Marshall’s Logan Eitel.
Parsons went on to get two more clutch baskets in the third quarter for Rockville. But unfortunately for the Rox, Logan Eitel’s foul trouble brought freshman Jacob Duncan into the Marshall lineup.
The younger of the Duncan brothers, one of the stars of Marshall’s eighth-grade state-championship team a year ago, buried four 3-pointers in the third quarter, the fourth one giving the Lions a 43-32 lead.
“When I made the first shot, it felt really good; it gave me the confidence I really needed,” Jacob Duncan said later. “It felt good to hear the crowd roar.”
“Jacob Duncan has been hot,” Brannan said. “There have been a couple of JV games where he didn’t miss … and for a freshman, he’s always played with confidence. He thought it was going in, and if you’re a shooter that’s how you’ve got to think.”
“You’d think maybe we’d find him [to guard] after he’d hit the first three or four,” coach Mahurin said. “But we didn’t step in front of anybody on the game-winner either.”
Rockville still had 6-foot-8 R.J. Mahurin available, however, and he scored the last four points of the third quarter to bring the Rox within seven. He also got two straight baskets, followed by a clutch 3-pointer by Caleb McMullen, as Rockville went on a 7-0 run to cut the lead to 47-45 with 5:34 to play.
Each of the Duncan brothers hit a 3-pointer sandwiched around another R.J. Mahurin basket for the 53-47 score, but the Rox got closer on an inside bucket by Mahurin and a driving layup by Parsons, then got a 15-foot baseline fadeaway by Mahurin that tied the score with 52 seconds left. The Lions kept the ball the rest of the way.
R.J. Mahurin led all scorers with 30 and had nine rebounds and three blocks for Rockville. The power forward platoon of Parsons and McMullen combined for 11 points, seven rebounds and six assists, and Matt King had eight assists.
“We were horrendous offensively in our decision-making,” coach Mahurin said afterward. “I don’t know if we’ll ever win a big game if we don’t handle pressure better … but give credit to [the Lions]; they made the shot to win it, and we wish them well.”
Lucas Eitel had 19 points for Marshall, with Jacob Duncan scoring 15 and Taylor Duncan 12 with six assists.
“They’re a great team. It was two great teams battling,” Lucas Eitel said. “We had some guys who stepped up from the bench and hit some shots.”
“We had a lot of people step up,” Brannan agreed. “There were a lot of hustle plays that are huge … and Taylor Duncan did a great job guarding R.J. Mahurin.
“It was a total team effort.”

Marshall 55
Player fg 3pt ft r s pf tp
Morey 0-4 0-3 0-0 4 0 2 0
T.Duncan 5-14 1-5 1-2 3 3 4 12
Lu.Eitel 7-17 5-10 0-0 4 2 3 19
Lo.Eitel 2-5 1-2 0-0 3 0 4 5
Brashear 2-5 0-0 0-0 4 2 2 4
J.Duncan 5-8 5-8 0-0 5 0 3 15
Delp 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Totals 21-53 12-28 1-2 *27 7 18 55
Rockville 53
Player fg 3pt ft r s pf tp
Mahurin 11-20 1-4 7-9 9 0 3 30
Bridge 3-5 0-0 1-4 1 1 0 7
Parsons 4-6 0-0 0-2 4 0 4 8
King 2-6 1-4 0-0 7 0 0 5
Reed 0-0 0-0 0-0 4 0 1 0
McMullen 1-1 1-1 0-0 3 0 2 3
Wake 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Bradburn 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 1 0
Totals 21-38 3-9 8-15 *30 1 11 53
Marshall 14 12 17 12 — 55
Rockville 18 5 13 17 — 53
FG Pct. — Marshall .396, Rockville .553. 3-pt FG Pct. — Marshall .429, Rockville .333. FT Pct. — Marshall .500, Rockville .533. (*) Includes team rebounds — Marshall 4, Rockville 2. Turnovers — Marshall 7, Rockville 12. Assists — Marshall 16 (T.Duncan 6), Rockville 19 (King 8). Blocks — Marshall 3 (Lu.Eitel 2), Rockville 3 (Mahurin 3).
Next — Rockville (5-1) plays West Vigo at 5:30 p.m. Monday. Marshall (10-0) plays Terre Haute South at 8:30.


Odum’s 34 points help South top West Vigo, reach Pizza Hut Classic semifinals

By David Hughes
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE December 28, 2008 05:08 pm

The case for Jake Odum becoming a 2009 Indiana All-Star continued to get stronger Saturday night.
Terre Haute South’s 6-foot-2 senior point guard posted 34 points, eight steals and five assists to lead his team — ranked fourth in the state in Class 4A — over West Vigo 72-54 in the quarterfinals of the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic boys high school basketball tournament in the Braves’ packed gym.
“I would have to say Jake Odum is an Indiana All-Star,” assessed West Vigo coach Joe Boehler, whose squad’s only two losses this season have come against South. “He played exceptionally well tonight.”
“When you talk Jake Odum, it brings back memories of dominant South players from the past like Maynard Lewis and Armon Bassett,” South coach Mike Saylor emphasized. “What he’s able to do … he’s unbelievable. They just can’t guard him.”
Twenty-one of Odum’s points came in the second half when his penetration into the lane started drawing fouls at a rapid rate.
“That’s what he does,” Saylor said matter-of-factly. “We have excellent role players, but he’s the chief of the whole operation.”
Sixty-three seconds into the contest, West Vigo owned a 4-0 lead on two driving buckets through traffic by Tyler Wampler. But South eventually moved ahead 9-6 on a three-point play by Odum seconds after a blocked shot by teammate Adam Austin at the other end of the court.
A 3-pointer by Jordan Pearson and an inside fielder by Wampler catapulted the Vikings back on top 11-9 late in the first quarter.
With the score tied 13-13, South went on an 8-1 run in the final 48 seconds of the first period to seize a 21-14 advantage. The Braves’ points came on a running jumper by Odum, a 3-point goal by John Michael Jarvis and a 3-pointer by Anthony McGill.
West Vigo opened the second frame with a trey by Pearson and a rebound basket by Pearson to pull within 21-19.
Midway through the quarter, the Braves turned a 25-23 margin into 28-23 on another long-range 3 by Jarvis. That prompted Boehler to playfully but half-seriously ask people sitting at the scorers’ table, “What does he have, like a dozen already?”
Actually, coach, that was “only” Jarvis’ fourth 3-pointer of the game. He finished with five treys, four short of his tournament-record performance Friday afternoon against South Vermillion, and 18 points.
In the final two minutes of the first half, South used a spinning jumper by Odum, a driving basket through traffic by Odum and a layup by Nate Housley after a diving steal by Odum to outscore the Vikings 6-0 and take a 37-28 lead into halftime.
West Vigo cut its deficit to 38-34 early in the third quarter on a looong 3 by Pearson and a normal-length 3 by freshman Jordan Houser. But the host team answered with a short jumper by Odum and a three-point play by Odum.
After that, the Vikes never got closer than seven points.
Odum and McGill scored to start the fourth period, padding South’s cushion to 56-40. The Braves’ only 20-point lead came at 71-51 on a free throw by McGill with 1:28 remaining.
In addition to Odum and Jarvis, McGill provided double-figure scoring for South with 12 points. West Vigo’s top scorers were Pearson with 20 points and Wampler with 15.
The Braves’ victory, their eighth without a loss this season, sends them into a semifinal showdown against undefeated Marshall, Ill., at 8:30 p.m. EST Monday in the same gym.
“Regardless of who wins [between Marshall and Rockville in Saturday’s nightcap], we’ve got the utmost respect for both,” Saylor said. “But we’re not going to back down.”
From the West Vigo perspective, Boehler was pleased with how hard his team played all night.
“I was real proud of them,” he added. “They believed they could play with South.”
Saylor described the 7-2 Vikings as “a mirror image of us.”
“They’re kind of a [Class] 3A version of us,” he continued, “and I mean that in a most effectionate and respectful way.”
In a side note, South’s gym and hallway were so crowded in the second half that the public-address announcer asked if some spectators would consider leaving the building after the West Vigo-South game so that Marshall and Rockville fans in the hallway could find seats for their 8:30 clash.
Vehicles parked outside stretched beyond the home-plate area of South’s baseball field, which made for a less-than-pleasant walk to and from the building during Saturday’s rain showers.

West Vigo 54
Player fg 3pt ft r s pf tp
Pearson 8-11 3-6 1-2 5 1 3 20
Lucas 1-4 0-1 5-6 11 1 3 7
Burton 0-0 0-0 0-0 2 0 2 0
Wampler 7-17 1-6 0-0 1 2 4 15
West 0-4 0-3 0-2 2 0 2 0
Modesitt 1-1 0-0 2-2 1 0 2 4
Thornton 1-1 0-0 0-0 2 0 0 2
Houser 2-6 2-6 0-0 1 0 1 6
Lydick 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Mackey 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 0
Mix 0-1 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 0
McCalister 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Crowther 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Totals 20-46 6-22 8-12 30* 4 17 54
Terre Haute South 72
Player fg 3pt ft r s pf tp
Austin 1-4 0-1 2-4 5 2 1 4
Jarvis 5-10 5-10 3-6 3 0 2 18
McIntyre 0-2 0-2 2-2 3 2 3 2
McGill 4-8 3-7 1-2 4 0 1 12
Odum 13-20 0-2 8-11 1 8 1 34
Housley 1-1 0-0 0-0 3 0 1 2
Worrell 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 1 0
Rose 0-0 0-0 0-0 2 0 1 0
Buske 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Tanoos 0-1 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 0
Young 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Smith 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Totals 24-46 8-22 16-25 24* 12 12 72
West Vigo 14 14 12 14 — 54
Terre Haute South 21 16 15 20 — 72
FG Pct. — WV .435, THS .522. 3-pt FG Pct. — WV .273, THS .364. FT Pct. — WV .667, THS .640. Turnovers — WV 15, THS 7. Blocks — WV 0, THS 4 (Austin and Jarvis 2). (*) Includes team rebounds — WV 3, THS 2.
Next — South (8-0) will face Marshall, Ill., in the tournament semifinals at 8:30 p.m. Monday. West Vigo (7-2) will take on Rockville at 5:30 Monday


Rockville comes alive in second half to set up battle of unbeatens

By David Hughes
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE December 27, 2008 12:21 am

In the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic first-round finale Friday night, Rockville took a while to show the packed house at Terre Haute South why it’s the No. 1-ranked Class A boys high school basketball team in the state.
Tied after the first quarter and leading by six at halftime, the Rox turned up their defensive pressure and Indiana State-bound R.J. Mahurin started drawing fouls in the second half, which resulted in a convincing 66-40 victory over Casey, Ill.
That catapults Rockville into a Classic battle of unbeatens with Marshall, Ill., at 8:30 tonight in South’s gym.
“They’re a great team,” Rockville coach Dave Mahurin said of the Lions. “It’ll be very difficult to defend their 3-point shooters and take away their penetration.”
Coach Mahurin admitted he’s concerned about containing the Lion twins of Logan and Lucas Eitel and he also praised Marshall’s junior standout, Taylor Duncan.
“Duncan might be the key,” the Rox coach noted. “He’s a great player… It’s going to be a great test for us.”
On Friday, Casey put up a good fight for the first quarter — with Riley Scales scoring all eight of his points — and most of the second quarter as Rockville took a shaky 32-26 advantage into intermission.
“I didn’t think we played very well the whole first half,” Dave Mahurin assessed. “I thought we played selfishly and we didn’t defend very well.”
That changed in the third period as the Warriors tallied only four points on two field goals by Mitch Snyder, enabling Rockville to boost its margin to a more comfortable 52-30. During that eight-minute span, R.J. Mahurin sank 4 of 5 free throws and added two fielders.
The 6-foot-8 Mahurin dropped in three more free throws in the fourth frame, helping him finish with a game-high 22 points. In the process, he became Rockville’s all-time leading scorer with 1,538 points, having passed 1973 graduate Johnny Nelson (1,522).
Matt King was Rockville’s only other double-figure scorer with 15 points. He also contributed four steals.
Snyder paced Casey with 19 points. The cold Warriors went 2 for 19 (10.5 percent) from 3-point range, including 0 for 9 in the second half.
“We were right there in the first half,” Casey coach Chris Seaton mentioned from the lockerroom afterward. “We came out and played with confidence.
“Then in the third quarter, we’d come down and we just couldn’t score… I just didn’t think we were patient enough. We didn’t attack enough.”
Asked to pick a winner in tonight’s Marshall-Rockville clash, Seaton politely declined, although he did say, “I think it’s going to be a very good game.”

Casey 40
Player fg 3pt ft r s pf tp
Kusterman 0-3 0-0 0-0 2 1 4 0
Snyder 8-20 1-7 2-4 8 2 2 19
Scott 2-4 0-0 0-2 4 0 4 4
Shawver 3-11 0-4 1-2 3 0 3 7
Scales 3-7 1-3 1-1 1 2 1 8
Brewer 0-1 0-0 0-0 7 1 3 0
Unzicker 0-2 0-1 0-2 0 1 2 0
Barnhart 0-4 0-2 0-0 0 0 2 0
Shull 1-2 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 2
Thais 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 0
Lu.McVey 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0
Livvix 0-1 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 0
Lo.McVey 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 0
Totals 17-56 2-19 4-11 31* 8 21 40
Rockville 66
Player fg 3pt ft r s pf tp
Parsons 1-2 0-0 3-6 4 1 3 5
Mahurin 7-16 1-5 7-9 11 2 2 22
Bridge 3-6 0-3 2-2 5 0 3 8
Reed 1-1 0-0 1-4 4 0 1 3
King 5-14 2-7 3-5 9 4 1 15
Bradburn 1-1 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 2
White 0-1 0-0 0-0 2 0 0 0
McMullen 1-4 1-2 0-0 0 1 0 3
Kelley 2-3 0-0 0-2 0 0 0 4
Wake 1-3 0-0 0-0 2 0 0 2
Bettis 1-1 0-0 0-0 2 0 0 2
Lear 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 0
Totals 23-52 4-17 16-28 46* 8 11 66
Casey 16 10 4 10 — 40
Rockville 16 16 20 14 — 66
FG Pct. — C .304, R .442. 3-pt FG Pct. — C .105, R .235. FT Pct. — C .364, R .571. Turnovers — C 16, R 14. Blocks — C 3 (Scott 2, Barnhart), R 5 (Mahurin 3, Reed and King). (*) Includes team rebounds — C 4, R 5.
Next — Rockville (5-0) will move on in the Classic winners’ bracket to face Marshall at 8:30 tonight. Casey (3-2) will take on Owen Valley in the losers’ bracket at 5:30 today.


Casey hangs around, but falls to Rockville

TERRE HAUTE — Casey-Westfield hung around with Rockville just long enough to make its coach wonder how one more good quarter could have aided his team.

The Rox, 5-0 and the top-rated team in the smallest of Indiana’s four classes, opened the third period with a 15-0 run, ushering Casey to the consolation bracket of the Wabash Valley Classic after a 66-40 victory Friday. The quarter hardly mirrored the first two, when the Warriors (3-2) led for several minutes before heading to the half trailing by just six.

“We had our chances,” Casey coach Chris Seaton said. “We came out on two possessions (early in the second half) and missed four free throws. Instead of cutting that six-point lead and getting back our confidence, I think it cut into our confidence. And then they’re a pretty good basketball team.”

Undoubtedly, Rockville is. Although it never overwhelmed Casey with its athleticism, it caused plenty of problems with its size. R.J. Mahurin, a 6-foot-8 Indiana State recruit who is the tourney’s all-time leading scorer, had 22 points and 10 rebounds and 6-4 guard Matt King added 15 points with his soft shooting touch.

It forced Casey into plenty of shots it didn’t want to take, many of them from 3-point range, where it shot 2-for-20.

“I thought defensively the third quarter turned the game around,” Rockville coach Dave Mahurin said. “We were able to do a better job containing penetration, doing a little better job rebounding, playing a little stronger, a little smarter. I felt like the first half we never, ever ran anything. We just ran up and down the floor and everybody tried to perform.”

The hype of a high ranking has, to an extent, gone to his players’ heads, Mahurin said, citing that they hadn’t played four solid quarters yet. But that alone didn’t account for how close the score was early. Mitch Snyder (19 points) and Riley Scales, who scored all eight of his points in the first period, consistently took the ball strong to the basket as the Warriors built a 14-8 lead.

After Rockville went ahead 30-19, Snyder had five more points to cut that deficit to 32-26 by halftime.

“Casey played hard and played well,” Dave Mahurin said. “We scouted them against Chrisman last week and I thought they were a good club. We weren’t surprised they were a good team.”

Apart from missing its first four free-throw attempts in the third quarter, Casey also missed its first six shots until Snyder’s layup ended a run that put Rockville ahead 47-28. Mahurin had seven of his points during the spurt.

“We’ll just see how we come back (today),” Seaton said. “I’ve got a lot of confidence that our kids will come back and play a lot better.”

Owen Valley (3-4) is up next at 4:30 p.m. today. It lost 66-52 to the other Little Illini Conference team in the field, Marshall, which made just one turnover in the first two-and-a-half quarters while running its lead to 41-20.

Logan Eitel had 21 points, Taylor Duncan 13 and Lucas Eitel 12 for unbeaten Marshall, which meets Rockville today at 7:30 p.m. Today.

The tournament is loaded with ranked teams from Indiana, including Terre Haute South, fourth in Class 4A; West Vigo, 12th in Class 3A; and Shakamak, No. 7 in Class A.

Rockville 66, Casey-Westfield 40

Casey 16 10 4 10 — 40

Rockville 16 16 20 14 – 66

CASEY: Scales 3 1-1 8; Shawver 3 1-2 7; Scott 2 0-2 4; Snyder 8 2-4 19; Kusterman 0 0-0 0; Brewer 0 0-0 0; Barnhart 0 0-0 0; Unzicker 0 0-2 0; Shull 1 0-0 2; Thais 0 0-0 0; Lu. McVey 0 0-0 0; Lo. McVey 0 0-0 0; Livvix 0 0-0 0. Totals: 17 4-11 40.

ROCKVILLE: King 5 3-4 15; Reed 1 1-4 3; Mahurin 7 7-9 22; Parsons 1 3-6 5; Bridge 3 2-2 8; Bradburn 1 0-0 2; White 0 0-0 0; McMullen 1 0-0 3; Kelley 2 0-2 4; Wake 1 0-0 2; Bettis 1 0-0 2; Lear 0 0-0 0. Totals: 23 16-27 66.

3-point goals: Casey 2 (Scales, Snyder); Rockville 4 (King 2, Mahurin, McMullen); Shooting percentages: Casey .304; Rockville .442. Rebounds: Casey 30 (Snyder 8, Brewer 6); Rockville 44 (Mahurin 10, King 9). Turnovers: Casey 16; Rockville 14.

Marshall 66, Owen Valley 52

Marshall 15 17 18 16 — 66

Owen Valley 9 11 15 17 – 52

MARSHALL: Lu. Eitel 5 0-0 12; Lo. Eitel 8 5-5 21; Brashear 4 0-0 8; Morey 3 0-0 9; T. Duncan 6 1-3 13; Delp 0 0-0 0; J. Duncan 0 0-0 0; Cannady 1 0-0 3; Tucker 0 0-0 0; Grooms 0 0-0 0. Totals: 27 6-8 66.

OWEN VALLEY: Lientz 6 5-5 19; Warner 0 0-0 0; Vest 5 0-0 12; Gobert 4 0-0 8; Hollows 3 0-0 7; Collier 1 0-0 3; Worland 0 0-0 0; Roth 0 0-0 0; Gilstrap 1 0-0 3. Totals: 20 5-5 52.

3-point goals: Marshall 6 (Morey 3, Lu. Eitel 2, Cannady); Owen Valley 7 (Lientz 2, Vest 2, Hollows, Collier, Gilstrap); Shooting percentages: Marshall .400; Owen Valley .465. Rebounds: Marshall 29 (Lo. Eitel 9, Brashear 8); Owen Valley 30 (Gobert 10). Turnovers: Marshall 4; Owen Valley 21.


Sidelines: Pizza Hut Classic has succeeded as a holiday tradition

By Mike Lunsford
Special to the Tribune-Star

December 25, 2008 10:38 pm

There’s an oft-repeated adage around here that reads, “If you don’t like the weather, then stick around for 15 minutes; it’ll change.”
That seems to be the case for the playing styles of the teams that regularly challenge for the championship title of the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic each year too. We’ve seen teams over the years that run-and-gun and teams that play stall ball, big teams and diminutive teams, teams that shoot the three and teams that camp in the paint, disciplined teams and teams that have never seen a bad shot.
But above all else, we usually see ambitious teams that display a passion and drive to win a Classic trophy, even if it’s one in the consolation round. I’d expect no less from the squads in the 2008 edition of the tournament.
As I write this story, the weather, as the old Christmastime song says, is frightful. The wind is whipping a freezing mist around like a cold swarm of wasps, the roads have been transformed into ice skating rinks, and only the most intrepid holiday shoppers and snowplow drivers are out and about. In a few more days we’re to get a warm-up and rain, and lots of it; just a few days ago we had a freight train of a cold front that brought us single digits. Well, it is winter in Indiana, so let the games begin.
Eight years ago, when most area fans were, to say the least, skeptical about whether the Classic could survive, I sat with Gary Fears at a courtside table to talk about plans for the tournament. Fears, the driving force behind the PHWVC, said then that tourney organizers knew they were going to face an up-hill battle in establishing a holiday tourney of the Classic’s magnitude, but that once it got going they envisioned it becoming a tradition, not unlike our unpredictable weather. It has.
Family obligations are going to keep me from watching all of the Classic’s 28 games this year. I did just that a year ago, and I can’t recall a lemon in the bunch. I simply enjoyed them all, almost as much as I did seeing my old friends at the games. As is most often the case, I made a few new ones too.
For those of you who are interested, I haven’t completely defected to the front page; I can’t forget my sports page roots for long. That’s why I am inevitably drawn toward the tempting rocks of Terre Haute South’s bleachers for this year’s tournament.
Unlike the weather, my attitude toward post-holiday hoops isn’t very unpredictable: If the Classic is going on, I’m going to the Classic…
According to tradition, I always come up with a quiz — in microscopic type — about the Classic, or its forefather, the old Wabash Valley Tournament. One of the most consistent things you can rely on is that I offer no prizes. I will, as usual, ask a few questions about the special guest who made the tournament draw.
This time around it was former Terre Haute South star Brian Evans. Now, get your reading glasses — if you can see them — drink a cup of joe before you head to the morning games, and take the quiz.
You can contact Mike Lunsford by e-mail at Visit Mike’s Web site at; his book, “The Off Season: The Newspaper Stories of Mike Lunsford” is available for purchase in a number of area stores or by mail.

A Classic Classic Quiz

1. This first one is pretty simple… Yes or No: Has any team in the Wabash Valley Pizza Hut Classic ever scored 100 points in a game? If so, which team was it?
2. Consistency: Only one school in the Classic’s field has ever won the championship title one year, finished as runner-up another year, and won the consolation round yet another year. What school?
3. One individual Classic record has stood the test of time — it was set in 2000, the tournament’s first year; bonus points for telling me who set it. Was it … a.) the single-game scoring mark; b.) most three-point field goals in a tournament; c.) most rebounds in a game; d.) most free throws in a game.
4. Of the top 10 highest single-game scoring performances in WVPHC history, how many have been by players from Vigo County? a.) 0; b.) 1; c.) 2; d.) 5.
5. Great Guys: Five of the greatest players in Vigo County history have served the Classic by drawing the match-ups at the luncheon… Of those great players, which one holds the record for scoring the most points in a single game in Vigo County? a.) Arley Andrews; b.) Harley Andrews; c.) Clyde Lovellette; d.) Ed Chickadaunce; e.) Brian Evans.
6. An oldie: The Classic field has 16 teams in its field. Although the old Valley had a 16-team final, what was the highest number of schools to play in the tournament field, starting with the “prelims?” a.) 57; b.) 66; c.) 124; d.) 148.
7. The double-whammy: Which Vigo County school won the most Valley championships? Which current Vigo County school has won the most PHWVCs?
8. To my knowledge, there has never been a team in PHWVC history that has had more than three players who shared the same last name; correct me if I’m wrong, but that would be the Eitel boys from Marshall. But in the history of the old Valley, it happened more often than you think. In 1934, Dugger had four Keenes. What school produced the five Lanes, and in what year? a.) Concannon, 1938; b.) Oblong, 1940; c.) Decker, 1942; d.) Wiley, 1950.
9. A lot of folks remember that Brian Evans wore a crew cut during his tenure with Bob Knight at IU, but can you remember the number on his jersey?
10. Brian Evans turned in one of the gutsiest seasons in league history when as a sophomore in 1993-1994 he played the full Big Ten season with a badly injured…. a.) knee; b.) elbow; c.) pinky finger; d.) shoulder.
1. No. Terre Haute North scored 90 in a PHWVC game in 2001.
2. Northview; the Knights won the PHWVC in 2001 and 2002, were runners-up in 2006 and won the consolation trophy last year.
3. Marshall’s D.J. Morris canned 19 3-pointers in the 2000 tournament.
4. A. Rockville’s R.J. Mahurin returns to the field this year as No. 1 and 2 in that category.
5. Chickadaunce racked up 74 points on Jan. 29, 1960 against Jasonville; he hit 30 of 34 field goal attempts and 14 of 16 free throw attempts. It remains the seventh highest single-scoring game in state basketball history.
6. C.
7. Garfield in 1945, 1947, 1948, and 1958; TH North in 2003, 2005 and 2006.
8. I was told by a teacher once to pick C when I had no clue; so should you. The Aces lost to Concannon in the first round at Indiana State, but had five Lanes on the roster: Roy, Dan, John, Bob, and Herschel.
9. 34.
10. D. Brian played with a painfully separated shoulder; he says the injury “defined his career.”
— Mike Lunsford


Deep dish hoops: Pizza Hut Classic field is one of the strongest ever

By Andy Amey
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE December 25, 2008 10:46 pm

One of these years a small school’s high school basketball team is going to win the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic.
The tournament, which begins its ninth run at 10 a.m. today at Terre Haute South, has already had four small-school runners-up — Bloomfield in 2000 and 2003, Turkey Run in 2001 and Marshall last season — and would appear to have several small-school candidates to be crowned champion on Tuesday.
The problem for those schools, however, is that there are a few pretty good big-school contenders too. The team that survives four games in the next five days will have earned its championship.
“There are a lot of good teams this year, that’s for sure,” coach Dave Mahurin of undefeated Rockville, the top-ranked team in Indiana’s Class A, said recently.
“I’d have to say this may be the year we’re most competitive,” said coach Tom Brannan of undefeated Marshall, “but there are so many good teams.”
“It’s probably as balanced as we’ve seen it, maybe since the year Harry Marshall was at Owen Valley and Jake Kelly was at Marshall,” said coach Mike Saylor of undefeated Terre Haute South, the fourth-ranked team in Indiana’s Class 4A.
OK, that’s three unbeaten teams in the field of 16. There were four until last weekend, when South won at West Vigo, and the Vikings — ranked 12th in Class 3A — are in a position to try for revenge on Saturday. In fact, the winners’ bracket in the lower bracket on the second day could — but is by no means guaranteed to — consist of those four teams.
Don’t think the coaches haven’t noticed.
“It’s going to be awfully tough,” Mahurin said. “We didn’t get any breaks on the [tournament] draw.”
“I don’t remember a bracket like we have in this lower bracket,” Brannan added.
There are at least three viable candidates to mess up that bracket too. Winless South Vermillion has to face South in the fifth first-round game today, but then West Vigo would have to get past Bloomfield, Marshall past a dangerous Owen Valley team and Rockville past another team with just one loss, Casey.
“I think we’re playing well, but our side of the bracket is awfully tough,” noted coach Joe Boehler of West Vigo. “Bloomfield has beaten two teams in the [Western Indiana Conference] already; we know they’ll be a first-class opponent.”
“We’ve played some AAU tournaments with [Casey’s] Mitch Snyder in them, and he’s pretty good,” Mahurin said.
“I know we have a very formidable opponent with a lot of talented players,” said coach Chris Seaton of Casey, which won on the road against Chrisman last week. “It’s a great challenge, but we look forward to it.
“I’m not sure anybody could get a good draw this year.”
So maybe while the powerhouses in the lower bracket are beating each other up, someone could sneak into the championship from the other bracket — maybe someone like Shakamak, the seventh-ranked Indiana Class A team with just one loss this season.
“We’re pretty excited about being in the tournament,” coach Steve Brett said of the Lakers, who return to the field. “This is the first time I’ve had a chance to coach in it; I’ve had a lot of fun watching it, so I hope I have as much fun coaching.”
For the Lakers to have much fun, though, they’ll have to be ready to play early this morning. Their first test is the tournament opener, and their opponent — Turkey Run — also with just one loss.
“[Coach] Joey [Hart] is doing a nice job with [the Warriors], and they’re not at full strength yet,” Brett added. “That’s kind of a scary factor.”
Also in that bracket is a Sullivan team that’s beaten the only team to beat Shakamak, plus two teams with losing records — Terre Haute North and Northview — who figure to be major factors too.
“For us, we just need to continue to improve,” said coach Todd Woelfle of North, whose team had a last-shot opportunity to win against an unbeaten Evansville Harrison in its most recent game. “Take positive steps forward and make sure we don’t go back.
“It’s very balanced; it should be one of the most exciting Pizza Hut [Wabash Valley Classics] yet,” Woelfle added. “There are so many good teams and so many excellent individual players.”
“It should be one of the most interesting in many years,” Saylor agreed.

All Pizza Hut
Classic games are at Terre Haute South High School
• Shakamak vs. Turkey Run, 10 a.m.
• Linton vs. Terre Haute North, 11:30 a.m.
• Monrovia vs. Northview, 1 p.m.
• Riverton Parke vs. Sullivan, 2:30 p.m.
• South Vermillion vs. Terre Haute South, 4 p.m.
• West Vigo vs. Bloomfield, 5:30 p.m.
• Marshall vs. Owen Valley, 7 p.m.
• Casey vs. Rockville, 8:30 p.m.
All games will be broadcast on WBOW-AM 1300 and WSDX-AM 1130.

Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic HISTORY

Tournament records
Most points in a game R.J. Mahurin (Rockville) 40
Most points in a tournament R.J. Mahurin (Rockville) 118
Most field goals in a game R.J. Mahurin (Rockville) 15
Most 3-point field goals in a game Logan Whitman (Northview),
Laren Russell (South Vermillion) 8

Top scorers in tournament history
Player Pts. Yrs.
1. R.J. Mahurin (Rockville) 228 2005-Present
2. Nate Blank (Terre Haute North) 225 2003-06
3. Adam Gore (Monrovia) 214 2002-04
4. Phil Woods (Turkey Run) 208 2000-02
5. Zach Keyes (Northview) 179 2001-02

Individual scoring performances
Player Pts. Year
1. R.J. Mahurin (Rockville) 40 2007
2. R.J. Mahurin (Rockville) 38 2007
3. Laren Russell (South Vermillion) 35 2003
4. Zach Keyes (Northview) 34 2002
5-t. Dana Scifres (South Vermillion) 33 2001
5-t. Adam Gore (Monrovia) 33 2004
7. Dane Norton (West Vigo) 32 2000
7-t. Jake Kelly (Marshall) 32 2004
9-t. Brennan Burks (Greencastle) 31 2006
9-t. Justin Cook (Bethesda Christian) 31 2004
9-t. Jeffrey Moore (Sullivan) 31 2002

Tournament champions
Year Champion Runnner-up Score
2000 Hamilton Southeastern Bloomfield 79-46
2001 Northview Turkey Run 83-54
2002 Northview Terre Haute South 73-66
2003 Terre Haute North Bloomfield 34-31
2004 Terre Haute South Terre Haute North 47-38
2005 Terre Haute North Owen Valley 52-46
2006 Terre Haute South Northview 63-48
2007 Terre Haute South Marshall 64-33


Ramblin' Reck: Smell that warming up in the oven? It’s the Pizza Hut Classic

The Tribune-Star

December 22, 2008 11:58 pm

High school basketball activity will be limited this week because of the holiday break and could be more limited due to weather conditions today and tomorrow.
Weather permitting, two games at Terre Haute South and one at Casey, Ill., today and the first two rounds of the ninth Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic later in the week will compensate for the light schedule.
Today, two undefeated high school girls teams will take to the court at South with 10-0 top-ranked Class 4A power Ben Davis meeting the 11-0 South Braves. It should be a dandy and the winner will have the inside track for the Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference championship.
This afternoon, the 5-0 South boys team plays Indianapolis Arlington. The Braves will be out to maintain that perfect mark to take a 6-0 record into the Classic. Arlington is always tough and is 3-2 for the season.
In Illinois, the 3-1 Casey Warriors are slated to meet Teutopolis. Casey’s only defeat came against Lawrenceville, a much improved team that had only lost to Marshall, Ill. — twice — in the first three weeks of the season.
Casey and South both are in the field for the Classic with eight games scheduled Friday and Saturday. We said it earlier and the statement still is true and then some. This Classic could be one of the best in the nine-year history of the event.
Eleven of the 16 teams in the field have .500 records or better with South, Rockville and Marshall, all undefeated going into the week.
Shakamak, Turkey Run and West Vigo each have lost just once.
Rockville bested Turkey Run in a good game in the Banks of the Wabash Classic while the Lakers lost to a good South Knox team and the Vikings have lost only to South.
Bloomfield is 4-3 and had won four games in a row until losing to White River Valley, beating Western Indiana Conference foes Edgewood and Owen Valley. Monrovia at 3-2, Sullivan at 4-3 and Casey, as mentioned, are the other teams with the winning records while Owen Valley is 3-3.
And though Terre Haute North and Northview both have losing records, both teams figure to be strong oppponents for any team in the Classic lineup.
Season tickets are being sold for a nice price for the Classic and true basketball fans will be in the stands for much of the action at South starting Friday and concluding Tuesday.
In a high school game played Saturday, Lawrence North defeated Chicago Simeon 63-61 in the Windy City Showdown. LN is 6-1 with the only defeat coming against South.

• Tom-Cattin’ It — Mayo of Paris won the state championship for eighth-grade girls basketball teams last week in Illinois to finish with a 28-0 record and two-year mark of 54-1.
• Former Terre Haute North and Indiana State basketball player Jim Cruse has completed training for the Indiana State Police.
Cruse became the all-time leader in rebounding totals his senior year at ISU and made the Indiana All-Star team at North.
• Minnesota and Purdue recorded signature victories in men’s college basketball last week with the undefeated Gophers beating Louisville on a neutral court and Purdue whipping Davidson on a neutral court.
The Minnesota-Louisville game matched former Kentucky coaches Rick Pitino and Tubby Smith.
• Northview is the leader in the all-sports WIC totals with 94 points. Edgewood is second with 84.
Edgewood and West Vigo are tied for first in boys totals and Northview is the leader in the girls division.

• Have a good one — In closing, a Merry Christmas to all of you.



Monday, December 22, 2008

Salukis lose, win games via blowout

Monday, December 22, 2008

Red Hill High School's basketball team will take a beating now and again, but it will also dish out its share.

Both happened in a span of about 24 hours over the weekend, as the Salukis suffered a 47-point setback in Little Illini Conference play at Marshall Friday, before whipping the host team by 51 points in the Hume-Shiloh Shootout Saturday.

"Within a very short period of time, we got to see both ends of the spectrum," said Red Hill coach Bryan Havill, after his team improved to 4-3 with Saturday's victory. "We got it handed to us (Friday) and tonight we were able to return the favor. It's always better for the weekend to end like it did, rather than the other way, and it's good to be 4-3. It's been a while since we've been over the .500 mark at this point in the season."

Marshall destroyed the Salukis on Friday, 91-44. It was Red Hill's worst loss since the 2000-2001 season. In December of 2000, Hamilton Southeastern (Ind.) walloped the Salukis of coach Dave Stoltz, 85-32, in the Wabash Valley Classic at Terre Haute.

Red Hill turned the tables Saturday, with a 68-17 thumping of Hume-Shiloh. The margin of victory was Red Hill's biggest since a 98-25 pasting of Palestine in the 1990-91 season. The 17 points allowed is a Red Hill record for fewest points allowed in a game.

Salukis 68, Raiders 17

The Salukis were able to hold the Raiders scoreless in both the second and fourth periods, while pulling away. Red Hill led by scores of 16-10, 30-10 and 55-17 at the quarter stops.

The Raiders (2-5) had a 15:58 scoreless stretch, spanning from the 2:07 mark of the opening period, until the 2:09 mark of the third quarter. They were also scoreless for the game's final 8:12.

"We wanted to be very aggressive, defensively, tonight," Havill said. "We wanted to get out in the lanes, get on the ball. I told the kids before the game, to be perfectly honest, that I didn't think we were committing enough fouls. We weren't being aggressive, diving for balls, challenging people. I think that was our challenge to the kids before the game started."

Trevor Albertson topped the Salukis with 22 points, as he made 9 of 11 shots, including all four he attempted from 3-point range. Jake Brian came off the bench to add 10 points for the Salukis, although eight other players contributed at least a basket.

Only four Hume-Shiloh players were able to score, and it was led by the seven points of Dylan Ross.

The game was tied twice, at 2 and 4, and the Salukis never trailed. They took the lead for good on a 3-point basket by Josh Hawkins, 2:30 into the game.

When the Raiders' Travis Hawkins sank a free throw with 2:07 remaining in the opening period, the Red Hill lead was just 13-10. But Hume-Shiloh wouldn't score again until Ross found the basket at the 2:09 mark of the third period, and by that time the Salukis had put together a 36-point run.

The game ended with a similar streak. Ross hit a 3-pointer with 12 seconds remaining in the third period, pulling his team to within 55-17. However, the Raiders did not score again, while the Salukis put 13 points on the board during the final stanza.

Marshall 91, Red Hill 44

The Lions improved to 8-0 overall and 3-0 in the LIC by cruising past the Salukis.

Marshall bolted to a 28-9 lead at the end of the opening period, stretched it to 53-20 at halftime, and had a 73-31 advantage entering the final quarter.

"I'm not sure our kids knew what hit them," Havill said. "You can try to explain to them what we're walking in to, but you can never be ready for something like this."

Reserve Matt Wirth scored 10 points, and was the only Red Hill player to hit double figures. Seven others scored between two and seven points.

Taylor Duncan led a balanced Marshall attack with 18 points. Logan Eitel added 17, Lucas Eitel 14 and Jacob Duncan 11.

The Salukis will compete in the Dieterich Holiday Tournament Friday, Saturday and a week from today. The fifth-seeded Salukis will face fourth-seeded Louisville-North Clay in their tournament opener at 3:30 p.m., Friday.

Friday's game

Marshall 91, Red Hill 44


Wirth 4-6 3-3 10, Brian 2-4 3-4 7, White (c) 3-3 0-0 6, Blair 3-3 0-0 6, Hawkins (g) 2-6 0-0 5, Young (f) 1-4 1-2 3, Brewer 1-1 1-1 3, Latch (g) 1-2 0-0 2, Albertson (f) 1-5 0-0 2, Jones 0-0 0-0 0, Hahn 0-0 0-0 0, Missbach 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-34 6-9 44.


T. Duncan (f) 8-13 1-1 18, Lo. Eitel (g) 6-8 3-3 17, Lu. Eitel (f) 5-9 0-0 14, J. Duncan 4-6 0-0 11, Delp 3-5 0-0 7, Brashear (g) 2-5 1-2 7, Morey (c) 3-7 0-1 6, Tucker 1-2 1-2 3, Wetnight 1-1 0-0 3, Cannady 1-2 0-2 2, Sanders 1-2 0-0 2, Bishop 0-2 1-2 1, Grooms 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 35-62 7-13 91.

3-point shooting: Red Hill 2-5 (Hawkins 1-3, Albertson 0-1, Brewer 1-1), Marshall 14-28 (Lo. Eitel 2-2, Delp 1-2, Lu. Eitel 4-6, T. Duncan 1-4, Morey 0-3, Brashear 2-4, J. Duncan 3-5, Bishop 0-1). Rebounds: Red Hill 16 (Brian 4), Marshall 27 (Lo. Eitel 5, T. Duncan 5, Brashear 5). Turnovers: Red Hill 23, Marshall 9. Fouls: Red Hill 12, Marshall 12.

Red Hill 9 11 11 13 - 44

Marshall 28 25 20 18 - 91

Officials: Bryan Danks, George Martin, Brian Carroll. Junior varsity: Marshall 68, Red Hill 24 (Logan Blair 11).

Saturday's game

Red Hill 68, Hume-Shiloh 17


Albertson (g) 9-11 0-2 22, Brian 4-6 2-5 10, Wirth 2-5 4-4 8, Latch (f) 2-3 2-2 7, Young (f) 3-5 0-1 6, Hawkins (g) 2-5 0-0 5, Jones 1-2 0-0 3, White (c) 1-2 0-3 2, Hahn 1-1 0-0 2, Blair 0-2 0-0 0, Missbach 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 26-44 8-17 68.


Ross (f) 3-8 1-2 7, Hawkins (g) 2-8 1-2 5, Cummings (f) 1-3 0-0 3, Young (g) 1-2 0-0 2, Tweedy (c) 0-2 0-0 0, Carrington 0-2 0-0 0, Biggs 0-3 0-0 0, Graves 0-5 0-0 0, Dodge 0-3 0-0 0, McGuinness 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 7-37 2-4 17.

3-point shooting: Red Hill 8-11 (Hawkins 1-2, Latch 1-2, Albertson 4-4, Brewer 1-1, Jones 1-2), Hume-Shiloh 1-5 (Hawkins 0-1, Ross Cummins 1-1, Biggs 0-1, Graves 0-1, Dodge 0-1). Rebounds: Red Hill 24 (Wirth 9, White 5), Shiloh 22 (Ross 6). Turnovers: Red Hill 14, Shiloh 28. Fouls: Red Hill 15, Shiloh 14.

Officials: Jamison Kuemmerle, Eric Gaudio, Nate Howie.



Sunday, December 21, 2008

Marshall makes quick work of Red Hill

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Lions 91, Salukis 44

Robert Young 1-4 1-2 3, Barkley White 3-3 0-0 6, Trevor Albertson 1-5 0-0 2, Josh Hawkins 2-6 0-0 5, Eli Latch 1-2 0-0 2, Jake Brian 2-4 3-4 7, Matt Wirth 4-6 2-3 10, Derek Brewer 1-1 0-0 3, Logan Blair 3-3 0-0 6. Totals: 18-34 6-9 44.


Logan Eitel 6-8 3-3 17, Taylor Duncan 8-13 1-1 18, Dustin Morey 3-7 0-1 6, Trey Brashear 2-5 1-2 6, Lucas Eitel 5-9 0-0 14, Ethan Delp 4-6 0-0 9, Justin Duncan 4-6 0-0 11, Logan Cannady 1-2 0-2 2, Jake Tucker 0-2 1-2 1, Dalton Sanders 1-1 0-0 2, Jordan Grooms 0-0 0-0 0, Tyler Bishop 0-2 1-2 1, Austin Wetnight 1-1 0-0 3. Totals: 35-62 14-27 91.

Score by quarters

Red Hill 9-11-11-13 - 44

Marshall 28-25-22-16 - 91

Field goal pct.: Red Hill 52, Marshall 56. Free throw pct.: Red Hill 66, Marshall 51. 3-pointers: Red Hill 2-6 (Albertson 0-2, Hawkins 1-3, Brewer 1-1), Marshall 14-27 (Lo. Eitel 2-2, T. Duncan 1-4, Morey 0-1, Brashear 2-4, Lu. Eitel 4-5, J. Duncan 3-5, Bishop 0-1, Wetnight 1-1). Fouls: Red Hill 12, Marshall 12. Rebounds: Red Hill 20, Marshall 30. Turnovers: Red Hill 24, Marshall 7. Junior varsity: Marshall 70, Red Hill 24 (Logan Blair 11).

MARSHALL, Ill. - Marshall made quick work of Red Hill with a 28-9 first quarter and the unbeaten Lions beat the Salukis, 91-44, in a Little Illini Conference game on Friday.

The Lions scored 75 points in first three quarters and left Red Hill in dust early.

"They've done this to a lot of teams," Red Hill coach Bryan Havill said. "It is what it is. They are a very good team. It's not like they haven't done this to other teams."

Havill is right. Marshall beat Martinsville, 104-44, in the its last game and also recorded a, 75-48, over Lawrenceville this season.

"In the first half especially, they were hitting 3-pointers left and right," Havill said. "I don't even know if our kids know what hit them. You don't know what you're walking into, but we walked right into the frying pan tonight."

Marshall (8-0, 3-0 LIC) was an impressive 14-27 from behind the 3-point line compared to Red Hill (3-3, 1-1 LIC) who was 2-6.

Matt Wirth was the only Saluki in double-figures with 10 points.

Marshall won the junior varsity game, 70-24. Logan Blair had 11 points for the Salukis (1-2).

Red Hill plays in the Dieterich Holiday Tournament on Dec. 29.

Marshall shows no brotherly love, stays perfect against Red Hill

By David Hughes
The Tribune-Star

Marshall, Ill. December 19, 2008 11:35 pm

For about 80 seconds early in the first quarter, visiting Red Hill enjoyed a lead over undefeated Marshall in Little Illini Conference boys high school basketball Friday night.
Then Marshall turned loose its full arsenal of weapons, which Wabash Valley fans will get to see next weekend in the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic at Terre Haute South, and routed the Salukis 91-44.
“The boys came out with a lot of energy,” Marshall coach Tom Brannan said.
The brothers combinations of Taylor and Jacob Duncan (18 and 11 points respectively) and Logan and Lucas Eitel (17 and 14 points) led the Lions, who proved they can not only shoot the ball but take care of it too. They committed only seven turnovers.
But don’t forget how well they can shoot it. On Friday, Marshall connected on 14 of 27 attempts from 3-point range.
After fallling behind 3-0, Brannan’s squad rattled off 13 unanswered points on three straight baskets by Taylor Duncan, a short banker by Lucas Eitel, a layup by Taylor Duncan after a Dustin Morey steal and a 3-pointer from the left wing by Trey Brashear.
After a Red Hill bucket temporarily slowed the Lions’ momentum, Marshall went on an 11-0 run — consisting of treys by Lucas and Logan Eitel, a layup by Morey and another 3-pointer by Lucas Eitel — to increase its margin to 24-5.
An alley-oop bucket by Logan Eitel on a pass from his brother closed the first quarter, boosting the home team’s margin to 28-9.
Marshall padded its cushions to 38-10 midway through the second period, 50-15 late in the second period, 70-24 midway through the third period, 75-31 to close the third period and 89-40 on a 3-point goal by reserve Austin Wetnight with 1:20 left in the game.
Matt Wirth came off the bench to tally 10 points for Red Hill.
When WMMC-FM sportscaster J.D. Spangler mentioned how the Lions seem so willing to distribute the ball to their teammates, Brannan replied: “That’s one of our trademarks here — unselfish basketball and finding the open man.”

Red Hill 44
Player fg 3pt ft r s pf tp
Young 1-4 0-0 1-2 1 3 2 3
White 3-3 0-0 0-0 2 0 2 6
Albertson 1-5 0-2 0-0 1 0 1 2
Hawkins 2-6 1-3 0-0 1 0 2 5
Latch 1-2 0-0 0-0 2 0 1 2
Brian 2-4 0-0 3-4 4 0 2 7
Wirth 4-6 0-0 2-3 4 0 1 10
Brewer 1-1 1-1 0-0 0 0 1 3
Blair 3-3 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 6
Jones 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 0
Hahn 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Missbach 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Totals 18-34 2-6 6-9 20* 3 12 44
Marshall 91
Player fg 3pt ft r s pf tp
Lo.Eitel 6-8 2-2 3-3 6 3 0 17
T.Duncan 8-13 1-4 1-1 5 4 1 18
Morey 3-7 0-3 0-1 3 2 3 6
Brashear 2-5 2-4 1-2 5 1 3 7
Lu.Eitel 5-9 4-5 0-0 0 4 1 14
Delp 4-6 1-2 0-0 0 0 1 9
J.Duncan 4-6 3-5 0-0 1 1 1 11
Cannady 1-2 0-0 0-2 1 1 2 2
Tucker 0-2 0-0 1-2 2 0 0 1
Sanders 1-1 0-0 0-0 2 0 0 2
Grooms 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Bishop 0-2 0-1 1-2 1 0 0 1
Wetnight 1-1 1-1 0-0 1 0 0 3
Totals 35-62 14-27 7-13 30* 16 12 91
Red Hill 9 11 11 13 — 44
Marshall 28 25 22 16 — 91
FG Pct. — RH .529, M .565. 3-pt FG Pct. — RH .333, M .519. FT Pct. — RH .667, M .538. Turnovers — RH 24, M 7. Blocks — RH 2 (Young and White), M 1 (Lo.Eitel). (*) Includes team rebounds — RH 4, M 3.
JV — Marshall 70 (Jacob Duncan 21, Jared Boyll and Logan Cannady 10), Red Hill 24 (Logan Blair 11).
Next — Marshall (8-0 overall, 3-0 LIC) will face Owen Valley in the first round of the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic at 7 p.m. EST next Friday at Terre Haute South. Red Hill is now 3-3 and 1-1 respectively.


RHHS at Marshall, Hume-Shiloh
Salukis will have to shake off some rust

BRIDGEPORT - There's a good chance Red Hill High School's basketball team will be rusty for its weekend games.

Not only have the Salukis (3-2, 1-0 Little Illini Conference) not played since Dec. 9, but there's a good chance they'll enter Friday's Little Illini Conference game at Marshall not having practiced for three days. Red Hill will also play Saturday, at 6 p.m., in the Hume-Shiloh Shootout against the host team.

Red Hill's workout Tuesday was canceled, as all after-school activities were canceled due to icy weather. There was no school on Wednesday, so the team was prohibited from practicing, due to Red Hill policy. Although there was school today, more foul weather was in the forecast for this afternoon, which put today's practice in jeopardy.

That won't help, especially against a team as good as the undefeated Lions (7-0, 2-0).

"The last thing we want to do is go into the Marshall game without having practiced in a few days," Red Hill coach Bryan Havill said Wednesday. "In the first quarter we'll have to be half-way sharp. If we're not ready to go, the game will be over in the first quarter."

Havill's tentative lineup calls for 5-9 senior Josh Hawkins (9.2 ppg) and 6-0 junior Trevor Albertson (11.4 ppg) to start at guard, along with 6-2 sophomore Robert Young (9.4 ppg), 6-3 junior Eli Latch (2.8 ppg) and 6-3 senior Barkley White (3.2 ppg).

Marshall is led by senior twins Lucas and Logan Eitel, both 6-4, and 6-3 junior Taylor Duncan.

"Marshall's team is about as good as any you'll see, and not just for this area," Havill said. "We always say they're a three-headed monster, with the Eitels and Duncan. I don't know if people realize how quick they are. You can't simulate that in practice."

Saturday's contest against the homestanding Raiders should be somewhat easier, as Hume-Shiloh enters with a 2-4 record.

"We've played in quite a few close ballgames," second-year Raiders coach Corey White said. "Two of our four losses have been by one point and five points. We've played well at times this year. We have to play hard at all times to give ourselves a chance."

Havill admits to knowing little about the Raiders.

"We're always going to be more concerned with the conference game against Marshall than we are with our game in the shootout," he said. "But we're looking forward to it. It's always good to play a game against someone you don't normally see."

The Raiders' only double-figure scorer is 6-0 sophomore Travis Hawkins, who is averaging 11.8 points a game. Other projected starters are 5-9 senior Will Young (3.0 ppg), 5-11 senior Kris Cummings (2.0 ppg), 6-1 junior Dylan Ross (8.5 ppg) and 5-11 junior Hunter Tweedy (7.8 ppg).

Game notes: Both of Red Hill's weekend games will be broadcast live on Lawrenceville radio station WAKO, 103.1 FM ... The Red Hill-Shiloh game will be the be the third of four scheduled in the Saturday's shootout. Georgetown-Ridge Farm will face Atwood-Hammond in the 3 p.m. opening game, while Salt Fork will play Hutsonville at 4:30. In the final game, slated for 7:30, Broadlands Heritage will face Chrisman ... Havill is 92-80 in his seventh season as the Red Hill coach ... Marshall's Tom Brannan is 315-137 in his 17th season leading the Lions ... Marshall defeated Red Hill twice a year ago, 71-46 in the regular season and 75-55 in the LIC tournament ... The Salukis downed Broadlands Heritage, 53-40, in the Hume-Shiloh Shootout two years ago. Last year's shootout was canceled, due to poor weather.
Exclusive Video Coverage of Little Illini Conference Basketball LIVE from Conley Gym Flora as the Flora Wolves host the undefeated Marshall Lions. Coverage includes pre-game interviews with Coach Leib and Coach Brannan as well as a halftime interview with former Wolves coach, Mick Peterson who was back in town for a book signing. Randy Olson & Brian Tackitt describe the play-by-play action. This game is also available on High-Resolution DVD.


December 13, 2008 12:26 am

MARTINSVILLE (44) — Perisho 3 3-4 9, Washburn 0 3-4 3, Gower 2 0-0 4, Cribelar 1 4-7 6, Slater 4 9-15 17, Doran 1 0-0 2, M.Sanders 1 1-4 3, Davidson 0 0-0 0, Veach 0 0-0 0, Cook 0 0-0 0, Lovell 0 0-0 0, Vincent 0 0-0 0. Totals 12 FG, 20-34 FT, 44 TP.

MARSHALL (104) — Lo.Eitel 10 2-2 24, Delp 5 2-2 15, J.Duncan 1 3-4 6, Wetnight 0 0-0 0, Grooms 4 0-0 8, Brashear 3 0-1 7, Lu.Eitel 6 1-1 16, Tucker 4 0-0 9, Cannady 2 0-0 5, T.Duncan 2 0-0 4, D.Sanders 4 0-1 8, Morey 1 0-0 2, Bishop 0 0-0 0. Totals 42 FG, 8-11 FT, 104 TP.

Martinsville 2 11 15 16 — 44
Marshall 35 33 14 22 — 104

3-point goals — Delp 3, Lu.Eitel 3, Lo.Eitel 2, J.Duncan, Brashear, Tucker, Cannady. Total fouls — Martinsville 11, Marshall 27. Fouled out — none.
JV — Marshall 60, Martinsville 15.
Next — Marshall (6-0) plays tonight at Flora.


Third-quarter spree lifts Marshall past Indians

LAWRENCEVILLE - Lawrenceville High School's basketball team might have made visiting Marshall mad Friday evening, and that was probably the worst thing it could have done.

The highly-touted Lions, who trailed the Indians throughout much of the first half, broke away to a 75-48 Little Illini Conference victory in the LHS gym.

The Lions used a 12-4 run to end the first half, to take a 33-26 advantage to the locker room. Still, it was obvious coach Tom Brannan wasn't happy with his team when the Lions didn't return to the court until it was time for the second half to start.

"They didn't come out until the buzzer sounded, and I knew Tom was getting them ready," said LHS coach Jason Green, whose team is now 2-2 overall and 0-1 in the LIC. "They turned it up, and we didn't match their intensity."

The Lions' Logan Eitel hit a pair of 3-pointers to spark a 10-0 run to start the second half, stretching the Marshall lead to 43-26. Eventually, the Lions (5-0, 1-0 LIC) would build their lead to as big as the final 27-point margin.

Logan Eitel hit 4 of 5 shots from behind the 3-point line during the game, and topped the Lions with 19 points. Twin brother Lucas added 18 points. Between them, they were 14 of 21 from the floor, including 6 of 8 from 3-point range. Trey Brashear added nine points in the win and Ethan Delp contributed eight, while six other Lions scored at least a basket.

Seniors Nathan Waldroup and Josh Potts led the Indians with 15 and 13 points, respectively. Both players connected three times from 3-point range. Zach Manley added nine points for LHS.

Dane Kelly and reserve Nick Potts both grabbed 10 rebounds for Lawrenceville, which was outrebounded, 35-30. Logan Eitel snared nine boards for Marshall and Lucas Eitel garnered eight.

The turnover differential was also a problem for the Indians, who had 18 miscues compared to only eight for the Lions.

Marshall built a pair of 4-point leads in the early going, but Waldroup's 3-pointer gave the Indians their first advantage, 11-10, about six minutes into the game. Delp responded with a 3-pointer for Marshall, and Lucas Eitel's 3-pointer at the horn put the Lions ahead, 15-11, at the end of the opening period.

The second quarter was exciting, with a tie and four lead changes. Josh Potts gave LHS a 16-15 advantage with a 3-pointer early in the period, but Logan Eitel converted a turnover into a three-point play and a 19-18 Marshall lead at the 7:18 mark. Josh Potts hit another 3-pointer with 5:27 to play in the half, putting the Indians ahead for the final time, 22-21. Marshall's Taylor Duncan responded with a driving basket at the 5:15 mark, putting his team ahead to stay. That started the 12-4 run to conclude the first half.

Marshall won the junior varsity tilt, 55-32. Zach Benson led the Indians (0-1) with 10 points.

The Indians return to competition Tuesday, when they'll entertain LIC rival Casey.

Marshall 75, Lawrenceville 48


Lo. Eitel (g) 7-8 1-1 19, Lu. Eitel (g) 7-12 2-2 18, Brashear (f) 3-9 3-6 9, Delp 3-9 0-1 8, T. Duncan (f) 3-10 0-0 6, J. Duncan 2-6 0-0 6, Morey (c) 1-3 0-0 3, Tucker 1-1 0-0 2, Sanders 1-1 0-0 2, Bishop 1-1 0-0 2, Cannady 0-2 0-0 0, Grooms 0-0 0-0 0, Wetnight 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 29-63 6-10 75.


Waldroup (f) 3-11 2-5 15, J. Potts (g) 5-10 0-0 13, Manley (g) 3-10 2-2 9, N. Potts 1-4 2-4 4, Leighty 2-4 0-0 4, Benson 1-2 0-0 2, Kraft 0-1 1-2 1, Klein (f) 0-3 0-2 0, Kelly (c) 0-3 0-0 0, Kitchell 0-0 0-0 0, Sweeten 0-1 0-0 0, McCullough 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-49 7-15 48.

3-point field goals: Marshall 11-24 (Lo. Eitel 4-5, Delp 2-6, Lu. Eitel 2-3, Morey 1-2, Cannady 0-2, J. Duncan 2-6), Lawrenceville 7-20 (Manley 1-4, Klein 0-1, J. Potts 3-5, Waldroup 3-8, Leighty 0-1, Kraft 0-1). Rebounds: Marshall 35 (Lo. Eitel 9, Lu. Eitel 8), Lawrenceville 32 (Kelly 10, N. Potts 10). Turnovers: Marshall 8, Lawrenceville 18. Fouls: Marshall 16, Lawrenceville 9. Fouled out: Morey (7:36 in fourth).

Marshall 15 18 24 18 - 75

Lawrenceville 11 15 11 11 - 48

Officials: Ron Hacker, Tanner Jones, Bryan Danks. Junior varsity: Marshall 55, Lawrenceville 32 (Zach Benson 10).

Illinois Prep Roundup: Marshall boys remain perfect

Tribune-Star staff report

Lawrenceville, Ill. December 06, 2008 12:30 am

Marshall remained undefeated in Illinois high school boys basketball Friday, defeating Lawrenceville 75-48.
Beating the Indians for the second time, the Lions got off to a winning start in the Little Illini Conference opener for both teams.
Marshall led at all the quarter stops but the teams were tied twice in the second period before the Lions took a 33-26 lead at the break.
They opened the second half with a 10-0 run and took a 57-37 lead into the final frame when they used another 10-0 run to open up a 67-41 advantage.
Three freshmen were on the court at times for the winners in the second half.
Logan Eitel led the Lions with 19 points, getting 14 in the second half. Brother Lucas Eitel had 18 points, six rebounds and six assists while Trey Brashear tallied nine points and Ethan Delp scored eight.
Nathan Waldrop led the 2-2 Indians with 15 points.

Marshall 15 18 24 18 — 75
Lawrenceville 11 15 11 11 — 48
JV — Marshall 55, Lawrenceville 32
Next — Marshall (5-0, 1-0 LIC) plays host to Martinsville next Friday. Lawrenceville is 2-2, 0-1 LIC.
• • •
In other Illinois boys high school basketball Friday:
• Casey 58, Hutsonville-Palestine 35 — At Hutsonville, Mitch Snyder had a game-high 26 points and Kirk Shawver added 13 as the Warriors opened their season successfully.
Ethan Blankenbeker had 10 for the Tigers.

CASEY (58) — Snyder 10 4-7 26, Kusterman 2 1-2 5, Scott 0 1-3 1, Scales 1 6-8 8, Shawver 5 3-5 13, Unzicker 2 1-2 5, Shull 0 0-0 0, Thais 0 0-0 0, Brewer 0 0-0 0, LIvvix 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 FG, 16-27 FT, 58 TP.
HUTSONVILLE-PALESTINE (35) — Blankenbeker 4 1-2 10, Webster 0 1-2 1, Martin 1 2-2 5, Callaway 3 0-0 7, Pearse 0 0-0 0, McDaniel 2 0-0 4, Callahan 3 1-3 7, Hurst 0 1-2 1, Kiger 0 0-0 0, Wilson 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 FG, 6-11 FT, 35 TP.
Casey 18 14 16 10 — 58
Hutsonville-Palestine 6 10 11 8 — 35
3-point goals — Snyder 2, Blankenbeker, Martin, Callaway. Total fouls — Casey 16, HP 17. Fouled out — none.
Next — Hutsonville-Palestine (1-2, 0-1 in Little Illini Conference) has a home game tonight against North Central. Casey is 1-0 and 1-0.

Across border, Marshall boys team to beat

By David Hughes
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE December 04, 2008 11:56 pm

Ask boys basketball coaches in east-central Illinois which nearby team should be toughest this season and one high school usually comes up first.
That would be Marshall, largely because of the presence of three standout players — 6-foot-4 senior brothers Lucas and Logan Eitel and 6-3 junior Taylor Duncan — who each averaged more than 15 points per game last season.
“When you’ve got three players like that, it’s hard to deal with,” Hutsonville-Palestine coach Denis Bennett mentioned.
“For us to beat Marshall, we’d have to play an awfully good game,” Casey coach Chris Seaton admitted. “Marshall’s the odds-on favorite to win the LIC [Little Illini Conference].”
“It should be a competitive conference,” insisted a modest Tom Brannan, who’s begun his 17th season as Marshall’s coach.
Robinson already knows how tough the Lions are, because both of its two losses have been to them — one coming in a tournament.
Marshall, which ended up 25-3 last season after capturing its second straight LIC title and losing to Effingham St. Anthony in the Class 2A Robinson Regional, hopes to do even better this season.
Terre Haute fans will get to see the high-powered Lions in late December when they compete in the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic at Terre Haute South.

Here’s an early-season look at how each Illinois boys team in the Tribune-Star coverage area stacks up:

• Casey — Guided by Seaton, who’s in his second season at the helm, the Warriors only started practicing with a full team Monday because of the long football season that the school enjoyed.
Seaton said eight of the 13 varsity players were on Casey’s state-finalist football team, including seven of his top 10. In fact, Casey is the only Illinois boys basketball team in the T-S coverage area that has not played a game yet, but Seaton is not worried.
“We did a pretty good job over the summer,” he explained. “Considering the football commitment here, we consider that summer work vital. The kids have a winning attitude. We may look a little ragged early on, but we’re going to play hard.”
Casey’s only returning full-time starter is 6-3 senior forward Mitch Snyder, who averaged 17.2 points ppg in 2007-08 when the Warriors finished 14-12. He also was the starting quarterback in football this fall.
Three others who started at various times last season are penciled into the lineup this season — 6-0 senior Kirk Shawver and 6-2 junior Kruz Kusterman at forwards and 6-5 sophomore Clinton Scott at center. Seaton said the starting point guard will be either 5-10 junior Riley Scales or 5-10 junior Chris Unzicker, with the other being one of the first off the bench.
Also expected to contribute as a substitute are 5-10 junior Ryan Shull at guard, 6-2 junior Josh Thais at forward/center and 6-0 junior Kaleb Barnhart and 6-1 junior Seth Brewer at forward.
“I think we’re a pretty good scoring team,” Seaton assessed. “We’ve got some kids who can shoot the ball. We’ve also got some size … and we’ve got strength coming in from the football team.”
• Hutsonville-Palestine — Having entered his third year in the program, Bennett has his team off to a 1-1 start after going 11-13 last season.
“Obviously, we lost a really good player [from last season] in Ryan Roberts, who’s now the Indiana State football quarterback,” Bennett said. “But we’ve got a lot of kids who are ready to step up and take bigger roles.”
The Tigers’ only returning starter is Ethan Blankenbeker at guard. Blake Callaway, a 6-1 junior who started at times last season, has been starting at forward, although he can shift to guard when needed.
H-P’s other starters are 5-9 junior Jenson Martin at guard and 6-5 junior Jevon Pearse at center, while 5-9 junior Jaryd Webster and 5-11 sophomore Mason Hurt have been sharing time at the other guard.
Others expected to play important minutes include 6-4 freshman Austin Callahan and 6-4 sophomore Alex McDaniel.
“Our group is a work in progress,” Bennett said. “We’ve got more potential than a lot of people think… We just have to get better at all facets of the game.”
• Marshall — Besides the above-mentioned Eitel brothers and Duncan, the Lions start 6-5 junior Dustin Morey and 6-2 senior Trey Brashear.
“We run a dribble-drive offense,” Brannan noted. “They all get in the post a little bit. They all get on the perimeter a little bit. It’s an interchangeable offense.”
Among the first off the bench, although definitely not the only subs who will see significant minutes, are Ethan Delp, a 5-9 senior; Jake Tucker, a 6-2 junior; and Dalton Sanders, a 6-4 junior.
Heading into tonight’s home game against Lawrenceville, Marshall is 4-0 with a Capital Classic championship under its belt.
Brannan also mentioned that the Eitel brothers and Duncan worked hard over the summer to become better players than they already were.
“I really think they had a commitment for this year,” the Lions’ coach said. “They’ve made it a mission to get better.”
• Martinsville — The Bluestreaks, led by second-year coach Kyle Shelton, are 2-3 this season and coming off an 11-17 campaign in 2007-08.
Martinsville fans know the school has switched from the LIC to the Little Okaw Valley Conference (LOVC). Shelton sees Cerro Gordo as the favorite to win the LOVC.
“I know that we will enjoy playing in the LOVC this season,” Shelton said. “I believe the LOVC will be very competitive and have some pretty good talent in it as well. All the schools are listed as Class 1A schools, which for us is a huge change because we were used to playing many 2A schools throughout the season in the LIC. This will not only test us against 1A opponents but may offer more looks at potential regional or sectional pairings. I also think it will benefit every sport at Martinsville.”
Shelton hopes the Bluestreaks can finish in the top three of the conference in 2008-09.
Martinsville fans also know that the team has been without one of its best players because of a knee injury — 6-2 junior forward Jared Higginbotham, who averaged about 15 ppg last season.
Those who have started for the Bluestreaks thus far are 6-0 senior Ryan Slater at center and 6-0 senior Keith Perisho at guard — both of whom started last year — along with 6-3 senior Hunter Gower (a tennis standout playing his first season of high school basketball) at forward, 5-9 junior Bryant Washburn at guard, 6-0 sophomore Bryce Doran at guard/forward and 6-2 junior Matt Sanders (in place of Higginbotham) at forward.
Shelton said 6-4 junior Joshua Cribelar should continue to see minutes off the bench. He also hopes Higginbotham will be able to return by late December or early January.
“So far, this year’s team has way more leadership than last year’s team,” Shelton said. “We have a whole lot better inside game and that’s due to a lot of summer games. Our guard play still needs improvement, but we’re getting better game by game.”
• Paris — The early-season candidate to be the Wabash Valley’s most improved boys team, Paris has gone from 8-19 last season to 5-0 this season — thanks to its Danville Schlarman Topper Classic championship last week — under second-year coach Terry Elston.
Elston is counting on a balanced offense and defense to carry the Tigers to continued success.
“We’ve got a lot of guys who are scoring points and we are playing much better [halfcourt] defense as well,” he mentioned.
Chase Brinkley, a 6-1 senior guard, won the Topper Classic’s Most Valuable Player award. He’s averaged about 20 ppg last season and this season.
Other returning starters are 6-2 senior guard Zack Walls and 6-1 senior forward Avery Mason. New starters are 6-3 senior center Logan Henness and 6-1 senior forward John Dayton. Backing them up are 6-5 senior center Jason Hollis and 6-1 senior guard Taylor Haddix.
Asked to name potential top contenders in the Apollo Conference this season, Elston rattled off Mount Zion, Robinson and Effingham.
“Our conference is loaded,” he explained. “It’s going to be extremely tough [for Paris to finish near the top of the standings]. But we spent a lot of time in the gym this summer and we feel that time is paying off.”
• Robinson — Sixth-year coach Bob Coffman has four returning starters who will try to improve the Maroons from their 9-15 record last season.
They are brothers Ben Jones (6-0 junior guard) and Stephen Jones (6-2 senior forward) along with Derek Hannahs (6-0 junior guard) and Meyers Leonard (6-11 junior center). The new starter is 5-10 senior guard Brandon Shaw.
Ben Jones averaged about 16.5 ppg last season and slightly more than that this season, while Leonard has hovered around 11 ppg last season and this season.
Coffman said top subs include 5-10 junior Austin Siler at guard and 6-5 senior Derek Watson and 6-2 senior Ryan Black at forward.
If not for the two losses to Marshall, Robinson would be undefeated at the moment, but instead its record is 2-2.
“We’ve already made some pretty good improvements,” Coffman emphasized. “We’ve got to focus on continuing to improve our defense if we’re going to be a great team. We’ve also had a couple games where we’ve had a lot more turnovers than we should have. So we’ve got to take care of the ball better.”
Coffman mentioned Mount Zion and Paris as top contenders in the Apollo.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Indians, Salukis open league play Friday

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Little Illini Conference play begins Friday for both Lawrence County high school basketball teams, after they met with mixed results in last weekend's Basketball Capital Classic.

The Lawrenceville Indians (2-1), who claimed the consolation championship in the eight-team tournament, face a re-match with visiting Marshall (4-0), which won the tournament championship. The Red Hill Salukis (1-2) will entertain Flora (1-5). Junior varsity games in both gyms will tip off at 6:15 p.m.

Marshall (4-0) at Lawrenceville (2-1)

The Indians are hoping to fare better than they did in an 82-53 loss to the Lions in the Capital Classic quarterfinals.

Considering LHS won both of its tournament games after that, second-year coach Jason Green is optimistic.

"I think in each game of the Capital Classic, our defensive pressure and competitiveness was better," Green said. "I think we're moving forward. We hope to keep getting better every day. I'm pretty happy with where we are right now."

The Indians will likely start a lineup that includes 6-1 senior Zach Manley (8.0 ppg) and 5-11 senior Josh Potts (6.7 ppg) at guards, along with 6-2 senior Nathan Waldroup (8.3 ppg), 5-11 senior Ryan Klein (9.0 ppg) and 6-6 junior Dane Kelly (7.7 ppg). Nick Potts, a 6-5 junior, played well off the bench during the Capital Classic and is the Indians' top scorer with an average of 10.3 points per game.

Marshall had three players make the all-tournament team. Lucas Eitel, a 6-4 senior, was the Capital Classic MVP, while 6-4 senior Logan Eitel and 6-3 junior Taylor Duncan also made the squad. Duncan scored 31 points in the Lions' 63-54 championship win over Teutopolis, a record for the final game.

"We're going to have to keep them out of the lane," Green said. "All three of those guys get into the paint. If you allow them in there, they're going to score or get fouled 90 percent of the time. They're hard to contain, and we're going to have to do it for four quarters to win."

Flora (1-4) at

Red Hill (1-2)

Both teams are coming off their first wins of the season.

The Salukis fell to Teutopolis and Fairfield in last weekend's Capital Classic, but rebounded Saturday for a 51-48 verdict over Neoga in the seventh-place game. Flora was 0-4 in a Thanksgiving tournament at Effingham St. Anthony, but got into the win column Tuesday, 58-52, over Mount Carmel.

The Wolves feature a standout freshman, Paul Knapp, 5-11, who is averaging about 18 points a game. Other probable starters are seniors Dakota Orel, 5-8, Jeremy Edwards, 6-0, and Logan Hertenstein, 5-9, and junior Brayton Krutsinger, 6-2. Senior Jeremy Wallace, 5-9, a returning starter from a year ago, has not played due to a back injury suffered during the football season. His status for Friday's game is uncertain.

"Our play has been sporadic," said Flora coach Phil Leib. "I think the longer we go into the season, the more our skills will improve and the more our game will improve."

The Salukis' tentative lineup includes 5-9 senior Josh Hawkins (9.0 ppg) and 6-0 junior Trevor Albertson (11.7 ppg) in the back court, with a front line of 6-2 sophomore Robert Young (7.0 ppg), 6-3 senior Barkley White (3.7 ppg) and 6-3 junior Eli Latch (4.7 ppg).

"Other than in the T-Town game, I've been pleased with our efforts," Red Hill coach Bryan Havill said. "The big thing for us is to cut our turnovers down. When you're making 22 or 23 a game, it makes it hard to stay close and win. The worst thing is, we're not always turning the ball over against full-court pressure. We're getting into half-court sets and throwing it away."

Both coaches expect a good game.

"We're evenly matched," Leib said. "Neither team has a dominant post player. We rely more on our guards than anything. Both teams play hard and it should be a good game."

"They have some guys who can shoot," Havill said. "They won't kill you with their size, but what they do, they do well. I think they'll be a team that keeps getting better. We'll have a dogfight on our hands Friday."

Field set for Pizza Hut Classic

By Tom Reck
Tribune-Star Correspondent

TERRE HAUTE December 02, 2008 11:41 pm

The field is set for the 10th annual Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic for boys high school basketball teams from Indiana and Illinois.
Brian Evans, former Terre Haute South and Indiana University standout, made the drawing for the 16-team event at South High School, where the tourney will be played Dec. 26-27-29-30.
This year’s tournament could be one of the most competitive and the “power” was pretty much evenly distributed in the blind draw.
Gary Fears, president of Terre Haute Pizza Hut, got the tournament started after class basketball debuted in Indiana, basing the format on the old Wabash Valley Tourney that had big fields — small and large schools — in its prime time.
“Class basketball was great and so is this tournament. There is a lot of parity,” said Mike Saylor, coach of the South Braves, winners of two of the past four tournaments.
Shakamak, Rockville, Terre Haute South and North and Marshall, Ill., all can put experienced teams on the court and are considered the teams to beat by most opposing coaches.
Shakamak, North and Northview, alway contenders, are in the upper bracket, while South, Marshall, Rockville and West Vigo are in the lower bracket.
Shakamak meets Turkey Run in the 10 a.m. opener on Dec. 26. Casey, Ill., another team with experience, and Rockville meet in the last game of the first round.
Steve Brett is the new coach at Shakamak but not new in the Valley, having coached at Bloomfield before going to Seymour and Loogootee.
He was hired when Ernie Maesch resigned to take the job at Northview. Brett will be on the sidelines for the first time in the Classic.
Other coaches making their debut as head coaches in the event are Joe Boehler at West Vigo, Monty Kirk at Riverton Parke and Todd Woelfle at North.
Tom Brannan may have the longest tenure at one school of teams in the Classic. He has been at Marshall for 17 years and this year’s team is off to a 4-0 start and the Lions have four more games before Christmas.
Logan and Lucas Eitel and Taylor Duncan are returning starters and have been joined in the starting lineup by newcomer Trey Brashear and Dustin Morey.
Marshall faces Owen Valley in its first game and, if successful, would face Rockville in the second round.
“We will have to be ready to play every night. Owen Valley has good athletes and is a bigger school,” Brannan said of the draw.
Maesch’s first Northview team opens the season against North and Brown County this week. “We have one starter and one reserve back,” he said of the Knights.
“We’re pleased with the draw … but all the games will be tough, including [opening opponent] Monrovia,” said Maesch.
Woelfle’s first North team faces Northview and Vincennes Lincoln this week and has Linton in the first round of the Classic.
“We’re excited about the tournament [and] we’re ready to play somebody besides ourselves. This year’s Classic is balanced with some great teams in the field,” said Woelfle.
Saylor said the Braves would like to win the Classic for the third time in five years but says South will have to be at its best in each game to do it.
The Braves meet South Vermillion in their first game.
Dave Mahurin, a former South player, says his Rockville team is ready to begin play this weekend in the Banks of the Wabash Classic.
“We need to get started to find out what we need to do to get better,” he said. “Everyone is healthy and everyone is out.”
Each school has season tickets for sale and will keep a certain amount from each one sold in advance of the competition.
ESPN Sports Radio will carry some of the games and WTWO-TV again will televise the championship game.

Marshall Boys Win Capital Basketball Classic
The Marshall boys basketball team beat Teutopolis 63-54 Saturday night to win the Capital Classic. The title was Marshall's first since 1993.  Taylor Duncan lead the way for the Lions with 31 points.

T-town drops Capital Classic title game to Marshall

Effingham Daily News

December 01, 2008 01:11 pm

LAWRENCEVILLE — Teutopolis High School began its boys basketball season with a runner-up finish at the Lawrence County Capital Classic this weekend, falling to Marshall in a 63-54 championship game.
T-town (2-1) began its tournament at Bridgeport with a 61-43 beating of Red Hill (Bridgeport), getting 19 points from Jeremy Schumacher, 12 from Brian Haskenherm and 10 from Brock Sandschafer.
Later on Friday, the Wooden Shoes dismantled Olney 55-39, outscoring the Tigers 35-18 in the second half as Tony Zerrusen led with 12 points and Haskenherm had 11 more.
In the championship at Lawrenceville, Marshall got 31 points from Taylor Duncan and 19 more from Lucas Eitel as it took an 18-12 lead after a quarter and extended the same six-point lead at halftime with a 19-13 third quarter.
Zerrusen came up big with 19 for the Shoes, while Haskenherm added 15, but it wasn't quite enough as the second-seeded T-town club fell to the top-ranked Lions.
Neoga was seeded fifth in the eight-team meet, but went winless in two Friday games at Lawrenceville. It was edged 63-60 by No. 4 Robinson despite a trio of double-figure scorers (Austin Robinson, 19; Zach Letizia, 15; Bryn Price, 11), and then took a 52-51 loss to No. 8 Lawrenceville.
In Saturday's seventh-place game, Red Hill knocked off Neoga 51-48. Robinson creamed Olney 72-45 in the third-place game, and Lawrenceville took fifth with a 59-53 decision over Fairfield.
Zerrusen and Haskenherm were both named to the all-tournament squad, while Lucas Eitel of Marshall was voted MVP. His twin brother, Logan, was also an all-tourney nominee along with Duncan.
Lawrence County Capital Classic
At Bridgeport
Game 2

Hawkins 5-3 — 16, Latch 0-0 — 0, Blair 0-0 — 0, Brian 0-0 — 0, Alberson 7-0 — 15, Brewer 1-0 — 2, Hahn 0-0 — 0, Akers 0-0 — 0, Jones 0-0 — 0, Adams 1-1 — 4, Wirth 1-0 — 2, White 0-0 — 0, Missbach 0-0 — 0, Young 2-0 — 4. TOTALS 17 FG 4 FT.
Zerrusen 0-0 — 0, Haskenherm 5-2 — 12, Runde 4-1 — 9, J. Schumacher 7-3 — 19, Giles 1-1 — 3, Niebrugge 0-0 — 0, Sandschafer 5-0 — 10, Brummer 2-0 — 4, Michels 0-0 — 0, Bushur 0-0 — 0, Schultz 0-0 — 0, N. Schumacher 2-0 — 4. TOTALS 26 FG 7 FT.
Red Hill------13----6---14---10---—---43

3-point FG — Red Hill 5 (Hawkins 3, Alberson, Adams), Teutopolis 2 (J. Schumacher 2).
Game 4
OLNEY (39)

Pampe 0-0 — 0, McDowell 2-1 — 5, Boyle 7-0 — 14, Schonert 1-0 — 2, Berry 5-0 — 12, Kabbes 3-0 — 6, Van Gundy 0-0 — 0, Pottorff 0-0 — 0, Grove 0-0 — 0, Petty 0-0 — 0. TOTALS 18 FG 1 FT.
Zerrusen 5-0 — 12, Haskenherm 5-0 — 11, Runde 4-0 — 8, J. Schumacher 3-0 — 7, Giles 4-1 — 9, Niebrugge 1-0 — 2, Sandschafer 3-0 — 6, Michels 0-0 — 0, N. Schumacher 0-0 — 0. TOTALS 25 FG 1 FT.

3-point FG — Olney 2 (Berry 2), Teutopolis 4 (Zerrusen 2, Haskenherm, J. Schumacher).
At Lawrenceville
Game 2
NEOGA (60)

A. Robinson 6-6 — 19, Letizia 7-1 — 15, Price 5-1 — 11, Russell 4-0 — 8, D. Robinson 2-2 — 7, Boarman 0-0 — 0, Blair 0-0 — 0, Cornell 0-0 — 0. TOTALS 24 FG 10 FT.
B. Jones 5-4 — 15, Leonard 4-5 — 13, Shaw 5-1 — 12, Hannahs 3-3 — 10, S. Jones 2-3 — 7, Watson 1-1 — 3, Siler 1-0 — 3, Black 0-0 — 0. TOTALS 21 FG 17 FT.

3-point FG — Neoga 2 (A. Robinson, D. Robinson), Robinson 4 (B. Jones, Shaw, Hannahs, Siler).
Game 4

B. Jones 7-3 — 17, Leonard 6-0 — 12, S. Jones 3-4 — 10, Shaw 2-0 — 5, Hannahs 2-0 — 4, Siler 1-0 — 3, Watson 0-0 — 0, Dirks 0-0 — 0. TOTALS 21 FG 7 FT.
Lu. Eitel 11-3 — 29, Lo. Eitel 2-10 — 14, T. Duncan 2-8 — 12, Morey 2-3 — 7, Brashear 0-0 — 0, Delp 0-0 — 0. TOTALS 17 FG 24 FT.

3-point FG — Robinson 2 (Shaw, Siler), Marshall 4 (Lu. Eitel 4).
At Lawrenceville
3rd Place Game

B. Jones 5-6 — 16, S. Jones 7-0 — 15, Leonard 5-0 — 10, Hannahs 3-3 — 10, Siler 4-0 — 9, Shaw 0-4 — 4, Watson 2-0 — 4, Black 2-0 — 4, Dirks 0-0 — 0, Whithaus 0-0 — 0, Stevens 0-0 — 0, Hodson 0-0 — 0, Chamblin 0-0 — 0, Kirkwood 0-0 — 0. TOTALS 28 FG 13 FT.
OLNEY (45)
Berry 6-2 — 14, McDowell 5-1 — 13, Schonert 3-0 — 6, Pottorff 2-1 — 5, Boyle 1-0 — 2, Kabbes 1-0 — 2, Pampe 1-0 — 2, Van Gundy 0-1 — 1, Groves 0-0 — 0, Petty 0-0 — 0. TOTALS 19 FG 5 FT.

3-point FG — Robinson 3 (S. Jones , Hannahs, Siler), Olney 2 (McDowell 2).

Zerrusen 6-2 — 19, Haskenherm 4-6 — 15, Runde 3-0 — 6, J. Schumacher 2-1 — 6, Giles 2-0 — 4, Niebrugge 0-0 — 0, Sandschafer 1-0 — 2, Brummer 1-0 — 2, N. Schumacher 0-0 — 0. TOTALS 19 FG 9 FT.
Lo. Eitel 1-1 — 3, Delp 0-0 — 0, J. Duncan 0-0 — 0, Brashear 3-0 — 6, Lu. Eitel 7-2 — 19, Hacker 0-0 — 0, T. Duncan 11-8 — 31, Morey 1-2 — 4. TOTALS 23 FG 13 FT.

3-point FG — Teutopolis 7 (Zerrusen 5, Haskenherm, Schumacher), Marshall 4 (Lu. Eitel 3, T. Duncan).
All-Tournament Team
Lucas Eitel (Marshall)
Logan Eitel (Marshall), Taylor Duncan (Marshall), Tony Zerrusen (Teutopolis), Brian Haskenherm (Teutopolis), Ben Jones (Robinson), Meyers Leonard (Robinson), Brandon Berry (Olney), Charlie McDowell (Olney), Nick Potts (Lawrenceville), Tim Moore (Fairfield)

Floor burns, high-fives main ingredients for Brannan's Lions

By Bill Richardson

They lead the free world in floor burns, hand out high-fives to teammates like the federal government is giving money to banks, and they have talent and ability to spare.

Those are probably the biggest reasons why the Marshall Lions claimed the championship in the 20th annual Basketball Capital Classic over the weekend.

It was the Lions' second Capital Classic title, but their first since 1993, although they'd reached the championship game on three other occasions.

"It's been 16 years since our last one," said veteran Marshall coach Tom Brannan, whose current players were but toddlers then. "We've been in the championship game a few times, and lost. We finally had the team to get it done again, and it feels good."

Tenacity and chemistry were the main ingredients, as the Lions (4-0) dismantled Lawrenceville (82-53), Robinson (62-51) and the Wooden Shoes of Teutopolis (63-54). T-Town was gunning for its seventh title, but fell short, and has now finished second in the Capital Classic three times.

For Brannan, the memory he'll carry with him isn't from the championship win over T-Town. Rather, it happened late in Friday's semifinal conquest of Robinson - the Lions' second win over the Maroons in four days.

"We were up 12 points with 30 seconds to go," he said. "There was a loose ball, and we had three guys diving on the floor for it. The game was over, but the guys were still getting after it. That's huge. It personifies the kind of effort we want."

The last three winners of the Capital Classic - Olney last season and Teutopolis the two years before that - have wound up playing in Peoria at the state finals. While Brannan doesn't see the championship as any kind of omen for success in the post-season, he says it speaks well for the tournament.

"My team's been playing here for 17 years, so I'm prejudiced," he said. "But I think this is the most competitive turkey tourney in southern Illinois. And there's great basketball in southern Illinois, so you could almost say it's the most competitive in the state. Winning this is definitely a huge thing for us."

Still, there are bigger goals. Brannan's Marshall teams are now 312-137 in his 17th season at the helm. Yet in all that time, the Lions have won a regional only once, in 1994. Last season, the Marshall team carried a 25-2 mark into the regional finals, and lost to Effingham St. Anthony.

In order to keep it from happening again, Brannan has his team taking the ball to the basket at every opportunity. Taylor Duncan did so with authority against Teutopolis, and finished with a game-high 31 points.

"Looking back, last year we shot too many threes," said Brannan, whose Lions are now 35-31 overall in Capital Classic play. "We focused way too much on the perimeter. This year, we're taking the ball to the basket more. We're shooting a lot more free throws. It makes a difference. We're not going to rely on hitting five 3-pointers a game to win any more."

So far, so good for the Lions. The Capital Classic championship is in the bag, and you can bet your bottom dollar there's more hardware on the way.

Monday, December 01, 2008

20th anual Basketball Capital Classic
Indians claim consolation championship

Monday, December 01, 2008

Lawrenceville's Dane Kelly puts up a shot against Fairfield.
LAWRENCEVILLE - While the top four teams in the 20th annual Basketball Capital Classic proved to be head and shoulders above the others, the Lawrenceville Indians emerged as the best of the rest.

The Indians, after splitting a pair of games on Friday's opening day, held off Fairfield, 59-53, to claim fifth place in the LHS gym Saturday afternoon.

The 2-1 showing marked the first time LHS posted a winning record in the annual Thanksgiving tournament since winning the Super Consolation game in 2005. It also puts the Indians above the .500 mark for the first time since the end of the 2005-06 season.

"It's been a while since we had a winning record," Lawrenceville coach Jason Green said. "This should give the boys some confidence. They're feeling really good right now. It's something they haven't tasted in a while. We've won two games in a row, which didn't happen at all last season. We hope momentum is on our side, and we can keep this going."

The Indians built a double-digit lead in the first half, but in the end, had to fend off the hard-charging Mules.

Fairfield (1-2) cut the lead to 55-51 with just 30 seconds remaining, on two foul shots by Josh Read. The Mules then forced a turnover, and pulled to within a basket when Tim Moore scored with an offensive rebound with 13 seconds to play.

Lawrenceville's Ryan Klein was fouled with 6.5 seconds to go, and settled the issue by sinking both free throws. The Indians' Josh Manley scored the game's final points on a lob pass from Josh Potts, after a Fairfield turnover.

Manley finished with 15 points to top the Indians, while Klein finished in double figures with 10. Josh Potts, Nick Potts and Nathan Waldroup all contributed nine points in the win.

Read hit five 3-point baskets in the opening half for the Mules, and led all players with 20 points. Tim Moore hit six of eight shots and finished with 14 points, while snaring an incredible 23 rebounds.

Nick Potts had 12 rebounds for the Indians, who lost the battle of the boards, 36-29.

The Indians rolled to a 20-11 lead at the end of the opening quarter, and were on top by as many as 11 points in the second period. Fairfield scored the final five points of the half to close to within 30-27 at the break.

Lawrenceville stretched its lead to 47-40 after three quarters, then held on for the victory.

"Near the end of the game, we had some big defensive stops," Green said. "We weren't being very physical, but then we picked up our intensity. That led to some turnovers, and got us headed in the right direction again."

The Indians will open the Little Illini Conference season Friday, when they'll host Marshall.

Lawrenceville 59,

Fairfield 53


Read (g) 6-16 3-4 20, Moore (c) 6-8 2-6 14, Bryan (f) 2-6 4-5 8, Xanders (g) 3-4 0-2 6, Simpson (f) 1-3 2-2 4, Atteberry 0-3 0-1 1, Lee 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 18-41 12-22 53.


Manley (g) 5-9 2-4 15, Klein (f) 3-7 4-4 10, J. Potts (g) 3-11 1-2 9, Waldroup (f) 3-7 1-3 9, N. Potts 4-11 1-4 9, Kelly (c) 2-6 1-3 5, Benson 1-1 0-0 2, Leighty 0-5 0-0 0. Totals 21-57 10-20 59.

3-point shooting: Fairfield 5-14 (Read 5-10, Bryan 0-3, Atteberry 0-1), Lawrenceville 7-16 (Manley 3-5, J. Potts 2-4, Waldroup 2-3, Leighty 0-4). Rebounds: Fairfield 36 (Moore 23), Lawrenceville 29 (N. Potts 12). Turnovers: Fairfield 24, Lawrenceville 16. Fouls: Fairfield 19, Lawrenceville 21.

Lawrenceville 20 10 17 12 - 59

Fairfield 11 16 13 13 - 53

Officials: Travis Wyatt, Matt St. Ledger, Dave Jones.

Prep roundup: Marshall wins Capital Classic

Lawrenceville, Ill.
The Tribune-Star

staff report Marshall is the Capital Classic champ for Illinois high school boys basketball teams.

The Lions defeated Teutopolis 63-54 in the championship game Saturday night, hiking their early season record to 4-0.

Junior Taylor Duncan led the Lions against the Shoes with 31 points and eight rebounds. He had six of those points in the final period.

Lucas Eitel was the other Marshall player in double digits with 19 points.

Duncan, Lucas Eitel and Logan Eitel all were named to the all-tournament team. Lucas Eitel was named MVP.

The Lions took a 49-37 lead into the final quarter of the championship contest and Teutopolis got no closer than five points in the period.

Marshall won its first two games of the tournament Friday at Lawrenceville while Teutopolis emerged from the Red Hill site.

The Lions beat the host Lawrenceville team 82-53. Lucas Eitel had 28 points for the winners. Duncan had 20 while Logan Eitel had a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds.

The Lions then beat Robinson for the second time in four days 62-51. Lucas Eitel led the winners again with 27 points while Logan Eitel had 16 and Duncan 12.

Robinson took third place in the Classic by beating Olney 72-45.

Marshall will return to Lawrenceville for its Little Illini Conference opener Friday.

Lawrence County Capital Classic
Maroons blast Olney 72-45 for third place

Daily News

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Hot shooting and aggressive defense propelled Robinson to a 72-45 pounding of Olney Saturday in the third place game at the 20th annual Lawrence County Basketball Capital Classic in Lawrenceville.

"We played really well," RHS head coach Bob Coffman said. "I gave the guys five areas of improvement for the game and I think we made improvements on all five."

The Maroons had their way on both ends of the floor, as they shot a blistering 68 percent from the field (28-41), including 74 percent from inside the three-point line (25-34). Robinson also made 13 of their 14 free throw attempts in the game. On the defensive end, the Maroons held Olney to just 40 percent shooting (19-48), and were just two for 12 (17 percent) from three-point range, while Robinson had 10 steals in the game.

"We were more aggressive (Saturday)," Coffman said. "I thought we stuck to our game plan to get the ball inside and have that killer instinct. We have to have the mentality that when we get a lead, we have to maintain it and stretch it out."

Robinson held a 17-10 advantage after the first quarter and outscored Olney 19-9 in the second quarter to increase their lead to 36-19 at halftime. The Maroons held a 56-34 edge after three quarters and stretched it to 30, 72-42, in the final minutes, to institute the mercy rule.

"One of our challenges this year is chemistry," Coffman said. "Meyers was not quite the inside presence last year that he is this year, so the guards had to do more. The guards and posts are working better together. It's twofold, as the big guys have to want the ball and the guards have to get them the ball. There were some really good bright spots from tonight (Saturday) and we need to continue to build on those things."

Four players were in double figures for the Maroons, led by the Jones brothers, Ben and Stephen, with 16 and 15 points, respectively. Stephen added four rebound, four steals, three assists and a blocked shot, while Ben had four assists, three rebounds and a steal. Meyers Leonard had 10 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, one steal and one blocked shot and Derek Hannahs had 10 points, four rebounds, four assists and a steal. Austin Siler was right behind, as he came off the bench to score nine points and had one steal. Brandon Shaw chipped in with four points, two assists and one steal, Derek Watson had four points and two rebounds and Ryan Black had four points and one rebound.

"It was a good overall effort," Coffman said. "The guys off the bench came in and did some good things. We need guys to come off the bench and not have to change anything. I was really proud of them."

In other action Saturday, Red Hill edged past Neoga, 51-48, in the seventh place game, Lawrenceville defeated Fairfield 59-53 in the consolation championship, and Marshall downed Teutopolis 63-54 in the championship game.

Marshall's Lucas Eitel was named Most Valuable Player of the Tournament, while twin brother Logan and teammate Taylor Duncan were also on the team. Robinson was represented by Ben Jones and Leonard, while Tony Zerrusen and Brian Haskenherm of Teutopolis, Brandon Berry and Charlie McDowell of Olney, Lawrenceville's Nick Potts and Fairfield's Tim Moore were also named to the squad.

Coffman believes his team's convincing win will help them as they begin Apollo Conference play this week.

"This is a great confidence booster," Coffman said. "Olney had been a strong team in the Apollo for the past several years and for us to play as well as we did, that can only help us as we head into conference play."

Robinson (2-2) will travel to Effingham for an Apollo Conference matchup Friday at 6:15 p.m.

2008 Lawrence County Basketball

Capital Classic

At Lawrenceville

Third Place Game

Olney 10 9 15 11 - 45

Robinson 17 19 20 16 - 72

OLNEY (45)

Petty 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Pampe 1-1 0-0 0-1 2, McDowell 3-7 2-6 1-2 13, VanGundy 0-0 0-0 1-2 1, Groves 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Schonert 2-4 0-2 0-0 4, Pottorff 2-2 0-0 1-1 5, Berry 6-11 0-2 2-2 14, Shipman 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Boyle 1-6 0-0 0-0 2, Kabbes 2-5 0-2 0-0 4, TOTALS 17-36 2FG, 2-12 3FG, 5-7 FT, 45 TP.


Derek Hannahs 2-2 1-3 3-4 10, Brandon Shaw 0-0 0-2 4-4 4, Austin Siler 3-3 1-1 0-0 9, Jimmy Stevens 0-1 0-0 0-0 0, Devan Dirks 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Cody Chamblin 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Ben Jones 5-9 0-0 6-6 16, Ryan Black 2-2 0-0 0-0 4, Meyers Leonard 5-8 0-0 0-0 10, Scott Kirkwood 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Zach Hodson 0-1 0-0 0-0 0, Derek Watson 2-2 0-0 0-0 4, Stephen Jones 5-5 1-1 0-0 15, Warren Whithaus 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, TOTALS 25-34 2FG, 3-7 3FG, 13-14 FT, 72 TP.

Turnovers - ERHS 11, RHS 11. Team fouls - ERHS 13, RHS 13. Fouled out - none. Technical foul - none. Rebounds (ERHS 15) Berry 5, Kabbes 3, Boyle 2, Pottorff 2, McDowell 2. (RHS 26) Leonard 11, Hannahs 4, S. Jones 4, B. Jones 3, Watson 2, Stevens, Black. Steals - (ERHS 5) Pampe, McDowell, Pottorff, Berry, Kabbes. (RHS 10) S. Jones 4, Hannahs, Shaw, Siler, Stevens, B. Jones, Leonard. Assists - (ERHS 3) Pampe, Groves, Boyle. (RHS 19) Leonard 5, Hannahs 4, B. Jones 4, S. Jones 3, Shaw 2, Dirks. Blocked shots - (RHS 2) Leonard, S. Jones.

2008 Lawrence County Basketball Capital Classic

All-Tournament Team

Lucas Eitel, Marshall (MVP)

Logan Eitel, Marshall

Taylor Duncan, Marshall

Brian Haskenherm, Teutopolis

Tony Zerrusen, Teutopolis

Ben Jones, Robinson

Meyers Leonard, Robinson

Brandon Berry, Olney

Charlie McDowell, Olney

Nick Potts, Lawrenceville

Tim Moore, Fairfield

Next game - Robinson (2-2) will travel to Effingham for an Apollo Conference matchup Friday at 6:15 p.m.

Indians down Fairfield

Saturday, November 29, 2008

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ill. - Lawrenceville showed the tournament field of the Lawrence County Capital Classic that its No. 8 seed wasn't going to keep the Indians from taking home some hardware.

After going 1-1 on Friday in the first two games of the Cap Classic they defeated No. 6 Fairfield, 59-53, for the consolation championship Saturday.

After taking a 3-2 lead Lawrenceville never trailed again, but the Indians (2-1) didn't get the win without a scare from the Mules (1-2). With under :20 left in the game Fairfield's Tim Moore put back a missed shot to cut the Lawrenceville margin to 55-53. Lawrenceville's Ryan Klein made two free throws with :06 remaining for some breathing room.

After Fairfield turned the ball over on the next possession, Zach Manley put an exclamation mark on the end of game. The ball was taken out at halfcourt and Manley caught and scored on an alley-opp pass just before time expired.

"He can do some things when he gets in the air and finds a way to score," Lawrenceville coach Jason Green said. "I was happy that he made it, but I was even more happy when he touched it and the clock started."

Lawrenceville had two players in double-figures in Manley with 12 points and Nathan Waldroup with 13. But it was the inside play of Dane Kelly and Nick Potts that helped Lawrenceville keep its lead in the second half. Potts had nine points and 13 rebounds while Kelly had five points and nine rebounds.

"Just like our game last night (a 52-51 win over Neoga), we may not have been able to pull out a game like this last year," Green said. "Winning close games shows this group has come a long way over the last two years. Our defense has been very good."

Tim Moore was a big reason Fairfield hung around the Indians, who have gone 0-3 the last two years in the Cap Classic, with 14 points and 22 rebounds. In the third quarter he had eight rebounds and scored on three offensive put-backs.

Potts got into foul trouble in the first half and didn't make his presence felt until late in the third and the start of the fourth quarter. He scored the first two buckets of the fourth quarter to give Lawrenceville a 51-40 advantage. Pott's basket came at 5:50 and was the last field goal until Manley's fancy play. Lawrenceville went cold and Fairfield made its 13-4 run to close within 55-53 with :24 left.

"I told the boys at halftime that there was still another half to play if we wanted to win," Green said. "The kids buckled down when they had to and this was a real nice win to get."

Lawrenceville begins Little Illini Conference play when the Indians host Marshall at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

Red Hill claims 7th-place game

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Salukis 51, Indians 48

Robert Young (f) 5-7 4-4 14, Eli Latch (f) 4-5 2-2 12, Trevor Albertson (g) 2-5 4-7 8, Josh Hawkins (g) 2-8 3-4 7, Jake Brian 2-3 0-1 4, Matt Wirth (c) 0-0 2-2 2, Nathan Adams 1-3 0-1 2, Barkley White 1-1 0-0 2, Dereck Brewer 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-32 15-21 51.

NEOGA (48)

Cody Boarman 7-15 4-5 19, Austin Robinson (f) 5-9 0-0 10, Dalton Robinson (g) 3-6 1-2 8, Bryn Price (g) 2-13 0-1 5, Zach Letizia (f) 1-3 2-2 4, Zach Blair 1-1 0-0 2, Jordan Russell (c) 0-3 0-0 0, Jarred Massengil 0-1 0-0 0, Brett Snively 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 19-52 7-10 48.

Score by quarters

Red Hill 11 13 11 16 - 51

Neoga 9 12 11 16 - 48

Field goal pct.: Red Hill 53, Neoga 37. Free throw pct.: Red Hill 71, Neoga 70. 3-pointers: Red Hill 2-7 (Latch 2-2, Albertson 0-1, Hawkins 0-2, Adams 0-2), Neoga 3-14 (D. Robinson 1-1, Boarman 1-4, Price 1-5, Massengil 0-1, A. Robinson 0-3). Rebounds: Red Hill 16 (Hawkins 4), Neoga 26 (Boarman 6). Turnovers: Red Hill 24, Neoga 18. Fouls: Red Hill 13, Neoga 21. Fouled out: Letizia. Technical foul: Neoga coach Jason Hanson. Officials: Tim Wolfe, Bryan Danks, Tanner Jones.

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ill. - Red Hill's Robert Young scored eight consecutive points in a key fourth-quarter spurt and the Salukis held off Neoga, 51-48, to capture seventh place in the Lawrence County Capital Classic on Saturday afternoon.

Young scored 14 points for Red Hill (1-2). Eli Latch added 12, including two free throws with five seconds to go to complete the scoring. Neoga's Austin Robinson's awkward 3-point try at the end to tie the game missed the rim.

"Both teams fought hard and I know it was important for us to get our first win and get over the hump," Salukis coach Bryan Havill said. "Nobody wants to go 0-3 in this tournament."

Red Hill, fighting through 24 turnovers, lost a five-point lead at the start of the fourth quarter when Neoga (0-3) scored six consecutive points. Cody Boarman's bucket underneath gave the Indians a 38-37 lead with 4:40 remaining.

Young took off from there.

He turned a steal into a layup, tallied underneath off a Trevor Albertson pass, hit both ends of the one-and-bonus and after he made a steal converted the one-and-bonus again to give the Salukis a 45-40 lead with 2:29 to go.

The Indians pulled within one twice. Albertson thwarted the first push when his driving basket turned into a three-point play with 1:35 showing. Then Latch hit the free throws late to force Neoga into a 3-point attempt.

Boarman scored 19 for Neoga. He became the third consecutive sixth-man Red Hill faced who led the game in scoring.

The Salukis' zone defense limited the Indians to 37 percent shooting. Before Neoga's early fourth-quarter spurt, its only other lead came at 3-2 and 5-2.

"The big thing with this team is going to be effort. We never accept losing, but (Friday) night against Fairfield (a 58-44 loss), the overall effort was not there," Havill said. "The thing that was stressed before the game that at the bare minimum, show some effort, and it was a lot better today.

"If we go out and are not intense, we're going to be in trouble."

The Salukis host Flora at 6:15 p.m.CST Friday.

Maroons drop opener at Marshall 57-49

Daily News

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The season didn't start off on the right foot for Robinson High School's boys basketball team, as they dropped their season opener at Marshall, 57-49, Tuesday night.

Early on, the Maroons were out in front, including holding a 16-12 lead after one quarter. However, Marshall stormed back in the second quarter, outscoring the Maroons 15-8 in the frame to take a 27-24 halftime lead. The Lions extended their margin to 38-29 after three quarters, and led by as many as 11 in the fourth before Robinson rallied.

Their comeback effort was led by junior guard Derek Hannahs, who recorded 11 of his team's 20 fourth quarter points, including three three-pointers, to help the Maroons rally to tie the game at 42. But, Marshall was able to regain the lead late and put the game away at the free throw line.

Despite holding a distinct height advantage, the Maroons were outrebounded by the smaller Lions 29-23. The Lions also had the edge at the free throw line, as they made 20 of 28 charity tosses, while the Maroons connected on six of their 10 attempts.

Junior Ben Jones led the Maroons with 16 points and four rebounds, while Hannahs was also in double figures with 14 points, to go along with three assists, one rebound and one steal. Senior guard Brandon Shaw had eight points, three assists and one rebound, 6-11 junior center Meyers Leonard was held to just seven points on two four shooting, while recording five rebounds, five assists and two blocked shots and Stephen Jones added four points, three rebounds, one assist and one steal. Austin Siler chipped in with three rebounds and two assists, Derek Watson had three rebounds and one assist and Devan Dirks had one rebound.

Marshall had three players in double figures, led by Logan Eitel with 19 points. Lucas Eitel and Taylor Duncan netted 14 points each.

The Maroons also lost the junior varsity game, 56-40.

Cody Chamblin and Warren Whithaus shared scoring honors with 10 points apiece. Chamblin added seven rebounds and a steal, while Whithaus had four assists and one steal. Dirks had nine points two rebounds and a steal, Eli Wright had four points, seven rebounds, one assist and one steal, Scott Kirkwood had four points, two rebounds and an assist, Brady Brown had two points and Jimmy Stevens had one point, two rebounds, two assists and one steal.

Robinson (0-1) will play Neoga Friday at 12:30 p.m. in their opening game of the Lawrence County Basketball Capital Classic at Lawrenceville.

At Marshall

Robinson 16 8 5 20 - 49

Marshall 12 15 11 19 - 57


Ben Jones 7-12 0-1 2-3 16, Derek Hannahs 1-2 4-8 0-0 14, Brandon Shaw 2-3 1-3 1-2 8, Meyers Leonard 2-4 0-0 3-4 7, Stephen Jones 2-5 0-0 0-1 4, Austin Siler 0-0 0-2 0-0 0, Ryan Black 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Devan Dirks 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, Derek Watson 0-1 0-0 0-0 0, TOTALS 14-27 2FG, 5-14 3FG, 6-10 FT, 49 TP.


Lo. Eitel 5-7 1-2 6-8 19, Lu. Eitel 5-9 0-3 4-8 14, Duncan 4-7 0-1 6-6 14, Morey 2-5 0-1 2-2 6, Brashear 1-2 0-2 2-4 4, Delp 0-1 0-1 0-0 0, Cannady 0-0 0-1 0-0 0, Tucker 0-0 0-0 0-0 0, TOTALS 17-31 2FG, 1-11 3FG, 20-28 FT, 57 TP.

Turnovers - RHS 16, MHS 12. Team fouls - RHS 22, MHS 14. Fouled out - RHS - Shaw. MHS - Morey. Technical foul - none. Rebounds - (RHS 23) Leonard 5, B. Jones 4, S. Jones 3, Siler 3, Watson 3, Hannahs, Shaw, Dirks. (MHS 29) Lo. Eitel 10, Morey 5, Lu. Eitel 4, Brashear 4, Duncan 3. Steals - (RHS 2) Hannahs, S. Jones. Assists - (RHS 15) Leonard 5, Hannahs 3, Shaw 3, Siler 2, S. Jones, Watson. (MHS 2) Lo. Eitel, Brashear. Blocked shots - (RHS 3) Leonard 2, Watson. (MHS 1) Lo. Eitel.

Junior Varsity

Robinson 11 11 8 10 - 40

Marshall 6 17 9 24 - 56

Highlights - (RHS) Cody Chamblin 10 points, 7 rebounds, 1 steal; Warren Whithaus 10 points, 4 assists, 1 steal; Devan Dirks 9 points, 2 rebounds, 1 steal; Scott Kirkwood 4 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist; Eli Wright 4 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assists, 1 steal; Brady Brown 2 points; Jimmy Stevens 1 point, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal; Trey Johnson 1 rebound; Bryant Scott 1 assist, 1 steal.

Next game - Robinson (0-1) will play Neoga at 12:30 p.m. in their opening game of the Lawrence County Basketball Capital Classic at Lawrenceville.

Logan Eitel’s 17 points lead Marshall past Robinson

Tribune-Star staff report

Marshall, Ill. November 25, 2008 11:43 pm

Marshall outscored Robinson 13-5 in the closing minutes Tuesday to defeat the Maroons 57-49 in the opener for both boys high school basketball teams in Illinois.
The Lions had their biggest lead of the contest, 40-29, at the start of the final frame but the Maroons used a 15-4 run to gain a 44-44 tie. Derek Hannahs had eight of his 14 points in that spurt for the visitors.
Logan Eitel canned Marshall’s only 3-pointer to put the Lions up 47-44 and they never trailed or were tied again, leading by 52-46 with about a minute left to play.
Robinson hit two treys in the first period and had a 16-12 lead after eight minutes. Marshall outscored the Maroons 26-13 in the next two quarters for their
38-29 lead.
Logan Eitel had a game-high 17 points and also had nine rebounds for the Lions. Taylor Duncan tallied 16 points for the winners, getting 12 in the second half, and Lucas Eitel had 12 points.
Ben Jones led the Maroons with 16 while 6-foot-11 junior Meyers Leonard finished with seven.
Both teams will be in the Capitol Classic at Lawrenceville on Friday.

ROBINSON (49) — Hannahs 5 0-0 14, Shaw 3 1-2 8, B.Jones 7 2-2 16, S.Jones 2 0-1 4, Leonard 2 3-4 7, Siler 0 0-0 0, Dirks 0 0-0 0, Black 0 0-0 0, Watson 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 FG, 6-9 FT, 49 TP.
MARSHALL (57) — Lo.Eitel 5 6-8 17, Delp 1 0-0 2, Brashear 0 2-4 2, Lu.Eitel 4 4-9 12, Cannady 0 0-0 0, Duncan 5 6-6 16, Morey 3 2-2 8. Totals 18 FG, 20-29 FT, 57 TP.
Robinson 16 8 5 20 — 49
Marshall 12 15 11 19 — 57
3-point goals — Hannahs 4, Shaw, Lo.Eitel. Total fouls — Robinson 22, Marshall 15. Fouled out — Shaw, Morey.
JV — Marshall 56, Robinson 40.
Next — Marshall (1-0) plays at Lawrenceville at 11 a.m. CST on Friday at the Capital Classic. Robinson (0-1) follows in the second game there that day against Neoga.

Basketball Capital Classic, Lawrenceville Site
Marshall looks like team to beat
LAWRENCEVILLE - Marshall has had a lot of success in recent years at the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce's Basketball Capital Classic, and the Lions of veteran coach Tom Brannan again look like the team to beat at the Lawrenceville site.

The Lions and host Lawrenceville Indians will open Friday's tournament at 11 a.m., with Robinson and Neoga to follow at 12:30. All four teams will play again Friday evening, and once on Saturday.


The Indians face the task of playing top-seeded Marshall to open the tournament Friday morning, but second-year coach Jason Green is optimistic. Even if the Indians fall in the opening round, he's confident they can have a good tournament.

"I'd like for us to win at least two games in this tournament," he said. "We really want to compete, and push some teams. We want to try and pull some upsets."

A tentative lineup for Lawrenceville includes seniors Josh Potts, 5-11, and Zach Manley, 6-1 at guards, along with 5-11 senior Ryan Klein, 6-2 senior Nathan Waldroup and 6-6 junior Dane Kelly. Michael Leighty, a 6-2 sophomore, Zon Kitchell, a 5-6 senior, 6-7 German exchange student Jan Kraft, and sophomores Kramer Sweeten, 5-7, and Nick Potts, 6-5, give the Indians depth.

"There are four really tough teams in this tournament," said Green, who guided the Indians to a 5-22 mark a year ago. "But I think the other four can put up a pretty good fight."

LHS BCC notes: Lawrenceville's only Capital Classic championships were back-to-back in 1994 and 1995. The Indians whipped Tolono Unity, 75-46, to win the 1994 championship. They defeated Marshall, 63-49, to earn the title the following year ... The Indians were runners up three times, losing to Teutopolis in 2004, 62-49, to Marshall in 1993, 56-55, in overtime, and to Red Hill, 66-63, in overtime, in 1992 ... Lawrenceville is 33-33 overall, in 19 Capital Classic tournaments.


The Lions return a wealth of talent from a team that finished 25-3 a year ago, but fell in the championship game of the regional to Effingham St. Anthony.

"The guys who are returning from last year have a pretty sour taste in their mouths," said Brannan, who has a record of 308-137 in 16 seasons at the school. "They've got some things to prove. They're playing with a little bit of a chip on their shoulders."

Two of the returning starters are 6-4, 180-pound senior twins Lucas and Logan Eitel, both of whom scored in double figures for the Lions a year ago. Another returning starter is 6-3 junior Taylor Duncan, while 6-2 senior Trey Brashear has earned a starting spot.

Another probable starter, 6-5 junior Dustin Morey, will miss the Capital Classic with an elbow injury, suffered in the Lions' second-round playoff game on Nov. 8. However, according to Brannan, Morey has put off surgery until after the season and should return to the team in a couple of weeks.

In the meantime, 5-9 senior Ethan Delp, 6-4 junior Dalton Sanders and 6-2 junior Jake Tucker are in the running for a starting spot.

In addition, the Lions have a talented freshman class, and some of the youngsters will likely see quality playing time early in the season.

"Practices have been awesome," Brannan said. "(The freshmen) are already playing at a high level, for what we do around here. They'll be able to step right in. They guard hard. They're smart. It's been kind of fun."

Marshall BCC notes: Marshall's only BCC championship was in 1993, when the Lions defeated Lawrenceville in overtime, 56-55 ... The Lions have finished second three times, including last season, when they lost to Olney, 62-57. Marshall lost to T-Town in the 1999 title game, 59-39, and to Lawrenceville in the 1995 championship, 63-49 ... The Lions are 32-31, all-time, in the tournament ... Brannan's 28 wins in the BCC are second-most, behind the 31 of former Teutopolis coach Ken Crawford.


Austin Robinson, a 6-2 senior, is the only returning starter for the Indians, who are members of the National Trail Conference.

"We're going to have a lot of new guys," said Neoga coach Jason Hanson, whose team finished 16-12 last season. "But our JV team was really successful last year. We've got a decent amount of size. We've got a lot of guys who can get up and down the floor, and we hope we'll be able to knock down some shots."

Five others have a chance to join Robinson in the starting lineup. They include 6-5 senior Jordan Russell, 6-3 senior Zach Letizia, 6-4 junior Cody Boarman, 6-2 sophomore Bryn Price and 6-0 junior Dalton Robinson.

Hanson says the Indians' objective is to win the tournament.

"I believe we've got the talent and the kids to do it," he said. "But at the same time, you could play real well in this tournament and still go 1-2 or 0-3."

Neoga BCC notes: The Indians are making just their second appearance in the tournament, They were 1-2 last season, and fell to Robinson in the fifth-place game, 51-41 ... Hanson is in his fourth season at the school. He also spent two seasons as head coach at Elverado.


If the Maroons are going to improve upon last year's 9-15 mark, it will have to start on the defensive end.

"We've always had the ability to score points, but we've also had the ability to give some up," sixth-year coach Bob Coffman said. "We're kind of focusing on defense, and making improvements in that area."

The Robinson program will get a lot of attention this season, due to the fact that 6-11 junior center Meyers Leonard has made a verbal commitment to play at the University of Illinois. Other projected starters are 6-0 junior Derek Hannahs and 5-10 senior Brandon Shaw in the backcourt, with 6-2 senior Stephen Jones and 6-0 junior Ben Jones at forward.

Robinson has good depth, as 5-10 junior Austin Siler, 6-5 senior Derek Watson, 6-2 senior Ryan Black and 6-0 senior Zach Hodson will contribute off the bench.

"The Capital Classic is always competitive, and there are always a lot of quality teams," said Coffman. "But I think this year, it will be even more competitive than it has been in the past."

Robinson BCC notes: The Maroons, under Lawrenceville native Gus Gillespie, won the tournament three straight years, from 2000 through 2002 ... Robinson has an all-time Capital Classic record of 19-9, for a winning percentage of .679. That's behind only Teutopolis (.869) and Olney (.818) ... Coffman's teams are 7-9 in Capital Classic play.

High school basketball preview
Salukis seek answers to all their questions
BRIDGEPORT - On the surface, it looks like Red Hill High School's basketball team will be an experienced bunch.

Looks, however, can be deceiving.

"I bring back six players who started at one point last season," said coach Bryan Havill, who is entering his seventh season at the helm. "But most of those are kids who did the little things. We don't have a guy who we can look to who can carry the scoring load, and that's a real concern."

There are other question marks, such as ball-handling, rebounding and defense, which has the coach on edge. On the other hand, depth is a positive, as at least nine players will likely be involved in the rotation early in the season.

The top returning scorer is 6-3 junior Matt Wirth, who played in 26 of the team's 28 games last season and averaged nearly nine points an outing. Others who fit into the front line mix include 6-0 junior Trevor Albertson, who averaged 4.9 points per game last season, 6-2 sophomore Robert Young, whose season was cut short by a knee injury last year, 6-2 senior Jake Brian, who saw action in 26 games last season, and 6-3 senior Barkley White.

Josh Hawkins, a 5-9 senior who averaged just over four points a game a year ago, will play in the backcourt. So will 6-3 junior Eli Latch, who played in 26 games last season and averaged nearly two points a game. Nathan Adams, a 5-8 senior, has missed much of pre-season due to a concussion, will likely see time at guard. However, his status for this weekend's Capital Classic, and even beyond, is up in the air.

Dereck Brewer, a 5-11 junior, is also likely to see court time, while exchange student Sven Missbach, 6-4, could earn a role. Sophomores listed on the 14-player varsity roster include 5-11 Logan Blair, 5-10 Lucas Hahn, 6-1 Mason Akers and 6-4 Andrew Jones.

"We have a lot of guys who I think will contribute," Havill said. "At this point, I don't see a lot of separation among them. The hard thing is to try and figure out who to put in what spots, but the next couple of weeks should shed some light on that."

An upper-division finish in the Little Illini Conference is a goal for the Salukis, who finished 13-15 a season ago.

"We're down to nine teams (in the league) and we'd like to finish in the upper half," Havill said. "If we get into the top four, I think that would be good for us. But I think there are probably seven or eight teams who feel that way. It's up for grabs."

The Salukis will play three games in the Basketball Capital Classic this weekend, starting with a game against Teutopolis at 12:30 p.m., Friday.

Captial Classic, Red Hill Site
Olney to make defense of title
BRIDGEPORT - A championship in the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce's Basketball Capital Classic started a run to the Class 2A Final Four for the Olney Tigers a year ago, and coach Rob Flanagan is hoping for more of the same when the team defends its title this week.

Olney will open play at the Red Hill site against Fairfield at 11 a.m., Friday, while host Red Hill will tangle with Teutopolis in the second game, slated for 12:30 p.m. All four teams will play again at Red Hill Friday evening, and also once on Saturday at Lawrenceville.


The Salukis have had some success in the Capital Classic, with five championships. However, the last of those was in 1997.

"Every year I talk about how tough this tournament is, but this year that's even more true," Red Hill coach Bryan Havill said. "We've not fared well in this tournament since I've been coaching. It's more of a measuring stick. We'll get to play three games and see where we stand."

The Salukis' top returning scorer is 6-3 junior Matt Wirth, who averaged nearly nine points a game last season. Other seniors on the Red Hill roster are 5-9 Josh Hawkins, 6-2 Jake Brian, 5-8 Nathan Adams, 6-3 Barkley White and 6-4 German exchange student Sven Missbach. Trevor Albertson, a 6-0 junior; Eli Latch, a 6-3 junior; and Robert Young, a 6-2 sophomore, were all starters at one time or another last season.

Red Hill BCC notes: The Salukis won three straight championships, in 1990, 1991 and 1992. They were also back-to-back winners in 1996 and 1997. The Salukis finished second to Robinson in 2001. All of those championships were under coach Fred Kendall, who is now an assistant with the team ... The Salukis are 36-28 in the tournament, all-time. The 36 wins are the most in tournament history, three ahead of Teutopolis ... Havill's teams have a record of 4-15 in the tournament.


As has been the case in recent years, the Mules will play the tournament short-handed.

A pair of 6-3 seniors, Jake Carpenter and Aaron Wallace, have been suspended for violating the school's athletic code.

Fourth-year coach Scott McElravy, however, thinks his team will be competitive.

"We've got some good athletes. We should be able to get up and down the floor more than we have in the past," said the Cumberland High School graduate. "I hope we'll play hard. I don't know who'll put the points on the board. It may be tough for us, but we'll come ready to play."

Josh Read, a 5-9 senior, brings a lot of experience to the team, while classmates Trenton Buchanan, 5-9, Zach Xanders, 5-11, Cody Greifzu, 5-10, and Brandon Lee, 6-1, all figure into the plans. Others who'll be on the floor for the Mules are 5-9 junior Bryant Simpson, 6-1 junior Hunter Bryan, 6-2 junior Tim Moore and 5-10 sophomore Andrew Atteberry.

"We're hoping for a good tournament," McElravy said. "I know the four top-seeded teams are really tough. But I think the other four will be really competitive among themselves."

Fairfield BCC notes: The Mules have played in the Capital Classic since 2003 and have a 4-11 record ... McElravy is 51-41 in three years at the Fairfield helm, with a regional championship in 2007.


After slipping to 17-11 last season, it looks like the Wooden Shoes may be back.

Four starters return, as do four others, who saw extensive playing time for second-year coach Andy Fehrenbacher.

"As inexperienced as we were last year, that's how experienced we should be this year," Fehrenbacher said. "I think that should be in our favor."

Returning starters include 6-1 senior Tony Zerrusen, 6-5 senior Brian Haskenherm, 6-3 junior Jeremy Niebrugge and 6-2 senior John Runde. The fifth starter will be either 6-3 senior Kendall Giles or 6-4 senior Jeremy Schumacher, while juniors Michael Brummer, 6-2, and Brock Sandschafer, 6-5, figure heavily into the plans. Others the Shoes are counting on are 6-4 junior Jordan Michaels and 6-5 sophomore Nick Schumacher.

"We're going to play hard defense, like we always do. That's our trademark" Fehrenbacher said. "We're going to get on the boards and rebound. We stress that every day in practice. We're also going to try to be up tempo, get out and run. We have a lot of guys who are in good shape and can run the floor, and we seem to think that suits us better, but we can slow it down if we need to, as well."

Teutopolis BCC notes: The Wooden Shoes lead the way with six Capital Classic championships, one more than Red Hill. The T-Town titles came in 1998, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006. Teutopolis also finished second to Robinson in 2000 and 2002 ... The Wooden Shoes are 33-5 in the Capital Classic since joining the tournament in 1998 ... Former T-Town coach Ken Crawford tops the list of Capital Classic coaching victories with 31 ... The Wooden Shoes went 2-1 in last year's tournament, and defeated Red Hill in the third-place game, 54-42.


The Tigers were hit hard by graduation after finishing 32-4 and claiming third place in the Class 2A state tournament last season.

Still, Flanagan is excited about the new season.

"The cool thing about high school basketball is starting over with a new team, new players, or maybe more importantly, a different combination of players," he said. "In our program, how guys fit in and create chemistry is so very important. I think that will be the case with this year's team."

Brandon Berry, a 6-4 junior swingman, returns to the Tigers after playing a vital role in last year's state tournament run. He was the MVP in last year's Capital Classic. Charlie McDowell, a 6-3 senior also returns to a starting role. Other seniors who'll see court time include 6-1 Griffin Groves and 6-1 Jordan Pottorff. Juniors who'll try to work their way into the mix are 5-4 Brent Petty, 5-9 Blake Pampe, 6-0 Derek VanGundy, 6-1 Mitchell Schonert, 6-4 Todd Boyle and 6-5 Christian Kabbes.

In time, the Tigers will likely put a good team on the floor. However, the early portion of the schedule is rugged, and Only plays only once at home before Christmas.

"I think this team's going to need time, but I don't know where that time's going to come from," Flanagan said. "I'm sure there are a lot of coaches are saying that, but I think it really applies to us. We're coming off of a very successful season. Now, we've got to get back to wearing the hard hats, bringing the lunch pails and going to work again."

Olney BCC notes: The Tigers have been in the tournament for three years, and finished first or second every time. They defeated Marshall in last year's title game, 62-57. They lost to Teutopolis in the 2005 and 2005 championship games by scores of 68-59 and 69-64 ... Olney has a 9-2 all-time record in the tourney for a winning percentage of .818, second to T-Town's .869.

High school basketball preview
Tall, experienced Indians hope for success
LAWRENCEVILLE - Lawrenceville High School basketball coach Jason Green is finding that it's easier the second time around.

After guiding the Indians to a 5-22 mark in his maiden season, Green says the pre-season has been smooth this year. Lawrenceville opens its season Friday in the 20th annual Basketball Capital Classic, with an 11 a.m. game against top-seeded Marshall. The Indians will also play later Friday night, and once Saturday.

"The kids know more what's expected of them this year," said Green, a player on the LHS team that advanced to the Class A Elite Eight in 1996. "There's more competition in practice. They're going harder and picking things up faster. That's the biggest difference."

The Indians return seven players who saw action in at least 23 games a year ago, and for the first time in a long time, have height to spare. Lawrenceville has six players listed at 6-2 or taller, and four who stand at least 6-5.

"We've got a lot of experience, and that never hurts," Green said. "And with the size we have, there's no reason we shouldn't out-rebound every team we play. There are no excuses, any more."

A tentative starting lineup has seniors Josh Potts, 5-9, and Zach Manley, 6-1, starting in the back court. Potts, who averaged 6.5 points per game last season, is a proven point guard and will be the Indians' leader on the floor. Manley, who averaged 6.9 points per outing a year ago, will likely be the team's top long-range marksman. He connected 23 times from 3-point range last season.

Seniors Nathan Waldroup, 6-2, and Ryan Klein, 5-11, and junior Dane Kelly, 6-6, have been penciled in along the front line. Waldroup is the team's top returning scorer, after averaging 8.6 points a game last season. Klein was injured for most of the season, but returned to play in the team's final four games, averaging 3.3 points. Kelly, who has made great strides according to Green, is expected to be the Indians' main inside force after averaging 2.1 points per game last season.

Quick off the bench will be 6-2 sophomore Michael Leighty, who scored just over three points per game last season, and 5-7 sophomore Kramer Sweeten, who'll serve as the backup point guard after seeing action in seven varsity contests last season.

Another returning senior is 5-6 Zon Kitchell, who played in 25 games last season and will have a defensive role. Jan Kraft, a 6-7 German exchange student is a bit of an unknown, but has a big upside, according to Green. The Indians can also turn to 6-5 junior Nick Potts, who played in 23 games last season, for size off the bench. Zach Benson, a 6-0 freshman, has the potential to get important minutes, according to Green, while 6-5 junior Aaron McCullough adds even more muscle.

Green shies away from predicting a winning season for the Indians, but that's certainly what he's hoping for.

"I know our seniors want to go out as winners," he said. "They're out to prove something. I can see it every day in practice. They want to go out as winners, and that's what I want for them."