Tag Archives: Basketball

Baddude reflects over favorite stories in 100th column

By J.D. McKay

After about 2.5 years of writing my column I have two left. Today’s column, from May 13, and next Wednesday’s, the day before my last day of school. During my three years in newspaper and 2.5 years writing this column, we have done some impressive things as Highlanders. So, I thought in my 100th column I would look back on my favorite columns and stories I have written for the newspaper.


Boys’ basketball wins sectionals for the first time in 31 years 


This one was an easy number 1 for me. This was either my favorite or second favorite memory from my senior year. To me, though, this was an awesome moment in FC history and was awesome to cover. 

As a student, I was celebrating, but as a writer, I immediately was ready to interview guys after the game. And while the players I talked to knew I was interviewing them for the Bagpiper, we were just students at a school that had just won sectionals for the first time in 31 years. Crazy excited and completely themselves. They did not overthink the answer and told me exactly what they were feeling. That produced some great quotes, which made writing the story easy for me. 

Another significant part of this story for me was how quickly I wrote it and got it out. It was the only story I wrote in all three years on the Bagpiper staff that got out the same night as the event happened. It was the first story published about the game by any news source and I was very proud of the work I put into it. 


FC’s best athletes reflect over their success


I got to interview some of the people that are hanging all over the FC athletic wing. That included Pat Graham, Mr. Basketball; Jeffrey Thompson, pro-baseball player and college World Series pitcher; Jill Schuler, an All-American and three sport all-state athlete; and Codie Hamsley, the Gatorade Track and Field Athlete of the Year, as well as six others. It was interesting to put a story to a face on the All-State wall and tell their stories to a lot of students who may never have heard of them. 


Previewing New Albany basketball regular season games




I wrote three of these and I didn’t have one that stuck out, so I just included all of them. I wanted to flex a little but because my scoring predictions for these games were almost always pretty close. And that came from almost no knowledge of the Dogs. I never watched them play before writing the column and only looked at the scores of their previous games. 

Last year, my final score prediction was not very close but the margin of victory was. This year, the final score was 52-48, I predicted 53-51. My favorite game against New Albany was my sophomore year when they had Romeo Langford on their team. I predicted 51-50 and the final score was 49-47. That was an awesome game that played overtime and inspired my fourth favorite column to write. 


FC win against New Albany captured old Indiana basketball emotions


This was a cool column to write because I got to mention Indiana high school basketball history. If you read my columns very consistently you would see that came up in a lot of my basketball columns. But I enjoyed recapping the game and crediting Matt Weimer’s stellar defense on a player who is now in the NBA. I also got to proclaim the game an “Indiana high school basketball classic.” 


Baddude reflects on football career before college


This one I enjoyed writing because it is always kind of fun to reflect on something. But it also reminded me of a lot of good memories I hadn’t thought about in a long time. It was also cool to really look back and see how all the football I played and was around as a little kid to success in my FC career and specifically senior season. 


Honorable Mentions


Baddude prepares to roll on to Wheaton


This was fun to write because I committed in it. I had a place to do a cool commitment instead of the typical Twitter commitment. It was also fun to put out what I got to do as a college student-athlete for a weekend. 


Football coach Brian Glesing steps down


I liked writing this because I have known Glesing for a while. I worked with him a lot as a writer and he was very helpful. I also liked giving him his recognition that I thought he earned and a lot of people ignored because they did not like him.


Sports directly influence higher grades


I never really viewed myself as a dumb jock so I enjoyed arguing that the dumb jock stereotype was false. 


Tiger roars back to the top after Masters Win


I have enjoyed trying to rank sports events for a long time. Here was a column where I finally got to do it so it was fun. Plus, writing about Tiger Woods was cool to do after he finally got back on top.


Louisville should be AAF Expansion City


This was just kind of a fun story to write. I got to use my imagination to make a plan for Louisville. Obviously, the AAF did not work out, though. 


High school basketball is better without a shot clock


I published this after we lost to Jeff on a buzzer beater early in the season. Many students were complaining that high school did not have a shot clock and were worried about Jeff using this again to impact a potential sectional game. It ended up not mattering in sectionals at all.

Sports world freaks out over Coronavirus

By J.D. McKay

There has been a crazy amount of freak out over the past week because of the Corinavirus. Colleges are sending students home and doing online classes. The entire country of Italy has been quarantined, and Tom Hanks has the virus. Americans are buying toilet paper and water bottles for a reason that cannot really be explained by anyone. 

Then, this Tuesday, the Ivy League cancelled their conference tournament, and the Warriors announced they would be playing without fans. Yesterday, the whole sports world fell into chaos. The Ivy League cancelled all spring sports, which seemed a little premature to me. The NCAA announced March Madness would be played with no fans. The Jazz’s Rudy Gobert was discovered to have the Coronavirus just seconds before game time. Then a few hours later, the whole NBA season was suspended. I can only imagine that in the next week, the NHL and MLB will follow suit. 

I think that since this is America fans should be allowed to come watch games and risk getting the Coronavirus. But, if the players do not want fans to stay safe, I get that. I think that players should decide from game to game if they want fans or not. 

However, since I do not think that will happen, the next best option is not allowing fans to come to games. I think this will hurt the underdogs, especially in the NCAA tournament, who would lose the momentum the crowd brings when they go on a run.

But this weekend, FC basketball has a bigger thing on its mind. Regionals. The game is at Seymour and it has been the second biggest topic of discussion at FC this week, only behind the Coronavirus. But the conversation has changed, it went from “Can we beat Bloomington South?” to “Will there be fans at the game” or “Will it even be played?”

I do think that fans will be allowed at the games this weekend. Taking away the fans would take away a big part of what Indiana high school basketball is all about. Plus, I think our state is sane enough to understand that nobody is being forced to go to the games. If people want to go and risk getting the virus to support their team, they can. 

If the state allows no fans, however, then I would want to know why they bother playing our games in Seymour. Regionals are there because it can fit a ton of fans. However, it is not really central for any of the teams playing this weekend. I do not like this option at all, but it is better than the next best option; no tournament. The tournament has been played non-stop since 1911. That includes playing through World War I and II. If we can play through a time like that then we definitely should not cancel for a disease that is not very dangerous to the majority of players on the court. 

I think the sports world is overreacting. However, I completely understand that everyone wants to stay safe and healthy in this time of uncertainty. With that being said, I think it would a huge mistake if the IHSAA cancelled the tournament, and a smaller mistake if they do not allow fans.


Basketball looks to beat Bloomington South this weekend at regionals

Photo by Brock Kennedy

Story by J.D. McKay

We finally did it. After 31 years the Highlanders are sectional champions in basketball.

Senior Seth Burks drives around Jennings County in the fourth quarter. Photo by Brock Kennedy

But looming ahead of them is a very tough task in Bloomington South. They are ranked 25 in the country by ESPN and have 3 D-1 players in their roster. However, FC lost to them on a buzzer beater earlier this year and gave South their closest game of the whole year. So even though South is very good I think FC could win this Saturday. 

First, we need to keep the score low. South is incredibly explosive and are very good from 3. If they are able to do what they want, beating them will be a very tough task. But if our defense plays as well as it did earlier this year and we can keep them around 50 points, then we have a good shot to win. 

Next, defensive rebounds will be key. When you play a team that shoots as well as South

Senior Ben Purvis embraces his mom after winning the sectional championship. Photo by Brock Kennedy

does, a game where they miss a lot of shots is big. However, it does not really matter how many shots they miss if they get a lot of offensive rebounds. It would hurt us even more if they are able to kick them back out and hit a 3. Not only does that give them points, but it can be a major momentum killer.

Lastly will be a second scorer to step up. That could be sophomore Cole Harritt, who played well last weekend and ended his shooting slump. It could be freshman Caleb Washington, who has been a force in the paint the last few weeks. However, I expect it will be senior Grant Gohmann. Gohmann was a force in the paint and knocked down a lot of shots. If he plays like he did against Jennings County it will

Senior Grant Gohmann fist bumps Sturgeon while being taken out when the game was sealed. Photo by Brock Kennedy.

be tough to stop him.

Bottom Line: Bloomington South is very good. If they beat us I would be a little surprised if it was a close game. But I think FC is playing with a chip on their shoulder. They played extremely well last weekend, and with head coach Todd Sturgeon’s game plan the Highlanders will get it done. Final score: FC 50 BS 48


Boys’ basketball wins sectionals for the first time in 31 years

Photo by Brock Kennedy

Story by J.D. McKay

The streak is finally over. After a blowout 70-33 win over Jennings County tonight in Seymour, the boys are sectional champions.

Senior Grant Gohmann and junior Jake Heidbreder led the team in scoring with 16 each.

Gohmann said, “This is something special. We have seen the failure. and to come out here and play like we did, I mean we didn’t even play them within single digits. That’s something really special. You don’t see that very often, and this is 31 years in the making.

Senior Seth Burks celebrates after winning the sectional championship 70-33. Photo by Brock Kennedy.

After the first quarter, it seemed like it was destiny for the Highlanders to snap the streak, but it did not start out that way.

“We got great contributions from our sophomores off the bench,” said head coach Todd Sturgeon. “They got off to that lead (11-4 Jennings County), Cole (sophomore Cole Harritt) coming off the bench, now it gets forgotten after we win by 30, but those were two big buckets.”

Harritt said, “I knew we needed to score

when I came in, so as soon as I got the ball I had an open look and just shot it. That kind of got the crowd going and it just took off from there.”

This win was particularly special for the seniors after not playing much in the past two years in these sectional games before finally getting their shot.

The team celebrates with the trophy after winning sectionals for the first time in 31 years. Photo by Brock Kennedy.

Senior Ben Purvis said, “We only had one shot at this and we knew we had to make it count. So we got in the gym, put in the work and we got it done.”

“This feels really good, we are excited,” said Sturgeon. “Most happy for this group of seniors. It hasn’t been easy for those guys. They have had their own struggles, whether it was injuries or playing behind the 17 guys in the two classes ahead of them. So they have had to wait their turn and to see those guys rewarded is really satisfying.”

Floyd will be playing Bloomington South Saturday at 12 in Seymour. For more sectional coverage and a preview of regionals, check out next Friday’s print edition of The Bagpiper.

Basketball looks to win first sectional title since 1989 tomorrow in Seymour against Jennings County

Photo by Brock Kennedy

Story by J.D. McKay

You are reading something that most people in my generation have probably never said before, Floyd Central is favored to win the sectional championship in basketball. If the job actually gets done, it will be the first time in 31 years. 

To win, junior Jake Heidbreder will need to play his game. I have been saying this whole year he is the best player in the conference, and probably even the best player in Southern Indiana, and the 61-47 dominant victory earlier tonight against Jeff proved that. If he does his thing and drops 20 points, Jennings County will be in a tough spot. 

Next, we need to stop the Panthers’ momentum. When an underdog gets rolling, they are almost impossible to stop. So if we can stop their momentum early in the game and really put them in a hole, it could be a blow out. 

Finally, we need to limit our turnovers, especially early. I said that we needed to stop their momentum to beat them, and making turnovers means giving them more momentum early. Limiting turnovers is always key to win, but early in the game, they will be particularly key to win. If senior Ben Purvis continues his 3-to-1 assist to turnover ratio, it should take a little pressure off Heidbreder’s ball handling and let him play more freely and get to the bucket more. 

Bottom Line: Floyd is flat out better, but Jennings has something extremely tough to stop: confidence and momentum. If Floyd does not feel the pressure of being the favorites and plays loose it should go our way. Heidbreder is too good for Jennings to stop constantly, and even if they do we have too many other weapons to guard. Final Score: FC 60- JC 51

Two years ago, we lost to New Albany, who was led by at-the-time senior Romeo Langford. He tended to draw a crowd and Seymour was more than sold out for the sectional finals against us. This matchup is not as exciting. Jennings County has no NBA players, and this is not a rivalry. However, do not let that stop you from coming. I would be shocked if we could fill all 8,228 seats at Seymour, but it would be spectacular if we could surround Jennings County in a wave of green and neon yellow, essentially making it a home game for the sectional favorites at the biggest high school gym in the world. The game starts at 7:30 and is is Seymour. Tickets are six dollars.