Tag Archives: Basketball

Lady Highlanders strengthen team bond

By McKenna Click

The Lady Highlanders basketball team is half way through their season and because of their statistics, can already be considered a winning team. The girl have won six of their ten games so far this season.  Which means senior Tori Kingsley’s goal of “[winning] sectionals and conference and to have a winning season” is well on its way.

“We’ve got a lot of returning kids who’ve played varsity and a lot of hard working kids,” said counselor and head girl’s basketball coach Kirk Hamsley. He has hopes of a winning season.  Winning does not just happen, teams need to be strong, and the Lady Highlanders have quite a few strengths.

Head coach Kirk Hamsley works with the girls' basketball team in practice.
Head coach Kirk Hamsley works with the girls’ basketball team in practice.

Junior Taylor Andrew recognizes their strengths including the teamwork among the girls. “We’re a pretty good shooting and scoring team too,” said Kingsley.

Although the team is strong, Andrew realizes the girls still have improvements to make.  “[We need to] talk and work on leadership.”

Leadership may be something the girls need to work on but Kingsley and Hamsley realize there are other things the girls need to work on also.

Kingsley wants the team to work on their defense, but Hamsley said, “[the girls] need to buy into being a team and playing together.”

The girls said they have been trying to grow together as a team.  “We do team bonding like three times a week,” said Kingsley.  Andrew and Kingsley rattled off team bonding activities including making balloon animals, a scavenger hunt, and team dinners.

“[At team dinners] we all indulge in a lot of food and talk about stuff that’s really funny and that makes us come closer,” said Kingsley.  Team dinners help the team grow closer.  “We are a lot closer than past teams.  We’re all really good friends and we hang out outside of school,” said Andrew.

Not only have the girls been trying to grow together as a team, Hamsley talked about how the girls have been working hard to have a good season.

“[We worked for] six weeks conditioning.  We have practice for two hours and fifteen minutes six days a week,” said Hamsley.

They successfully beat Scottsburg, who were sixth in the state last year, and Seymour, who are a part of their conference.  Hamsley cited both of those wins as big wins for the team.

Hamsley looks forward to playing Jeff, New Albany, and Bedford, FC’s main rivals.

The next time the girls can be seen in action is Dec. 27 at 2:30 pm or 28th at 11:00 am at the Lady Highlander Classic held at FC.

For those looking to see a rival game the girls play New Albany at New Albany, January 5th at 6:00 pm for JV or 7:30 pm  for varsity.  There is also a game at FC January 12 against Bedford 1:00 pm for JV or 2:30 for varsity.

Local colleges look to exceed expectations

By Luke Geraghty

The 2011-2012 college basketball season was a great year for the local teams. Louisville and Kentucky each went to the Final Four with UK winning the championship. Indiana also had a nice run in the tournament by making it to the Sweet 16. Watching these teams make a run in the tournament seemed very unconventional. But with many polls having these teams in their preseason top five, people may start to grow accustomed to seeing these teams at the top of the polls.

For IU, they go into next year with practically the same team and then some. Point guard Yogi Ferrell and forwards Jeremy Hollowell and Hanner Perea will be a big contribution for the Hoosiers as freshmen next year. The Hoosiers also will get a boost from sophomore Cody Zeller, who decided to to return to school rather than entering the NBA draft. Zeller led the team in scoring and rebounding as a freshman. Joining Zeller will be seniors Christian Watford and Jordan Hulls as well as junior Victor Oladipo. The Hoosiers roster will have plenty of talent and depth. If they can stay healthy and get a boost from some of their younger players, a Final Four berth is possible.

U of L enters the next season with plenty of experience. The Cardinals will miss Kyle Kuric and Chris Smith, but everyone else returns, including some players who missed last year due to injuries. Rakeem Buckles, Mike Marra, and Stephan Van Treese all missed games due to injuries last year and they are expected to give big minutes off the bench next year. Senior point guard Peyton Siva may be the Preseason Big East Player of the Year and they will probably go as far as Siva takes them. Siva’s partner-in-crime, Russ Smith isn’t afraid to shoot and/or drive to the basket. Both Smith and Siva’s stealing ability will cause chaos for their opponents when they bring the ball up the floor. Sophomores Wayne Blackshear and Chane Behanan and junior Gorgui Dieng look to round out the starting line up while freshman Terry Rozier also looks to gain big minutes off the bench. If U of L can stay healthy, then they will certainly be a tough out in the NCAA tournament.

Coming off a national championship, UK will come into the next season with plenty of talent. Centers Nerlens Noel and Willie Cauley, forward Alex Poythress, and guard Archie Goodwin are apart of another top notch recruiting class for the Wildcats. UK’s strong recruiting class will make them a very talented team, but it is hard to pinpoint how good UK will be. UK’s top six scorers from last year’s team are gone. Freshmen Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and Marquis Teague, as well as sophomores Doron Lamb and Terrence Jones, declared for the NBA draft, while Darius Miller graduated. Kyle Wiltjer will be team’s best returning player, averaging 5 points per game last year. With the majority of the team from last year gone and a lot of new faces coming in, it appears UK may have a rebuilding year for their standards. UK’s weaknesses will be the lack of experience and also the lack of a true legit player at the point guard position. If UK can withstand these weaknesses, another deep run may be in sight for the defending champs.

IU, UK and UL have always had passionate fan bases, but they have each had hardships pretty recently. Kelvin Sampson turned a winning IU program to a Big Ten bottom-dweller. While UK faced an unheard of NIT berth just four years ago. While U of L faced distractions from their head coach Rick Pitino’s off-the-court problems as well as back-to-back first round exits in 2010 and 2011. However, each of them have bounced back to the peak of their game, making Kentuckiana the best place to be for the college basketball season next year and maybe for years to come.

Tonight’s basketball game helps community fight cancer

By Luke Geraghty and Blake Dykes

Tonight’s boys’ basketball game against Jennings County will be a Coaches vs. Cancer theme. Every student who dresses up in formal attire and wears tennis shoes will get into the game for free. Boice.net will donate $5 to every student who dresses accordingly. There will also be auction items donated by Coca-Cola, the Hartog family, and Todd Sharp from University of Louisville. The money will go to the American Cancer Society.

Athletic director Jeff Cerqueira said tonight’s game really emphasizes community involvement.

“We will be passing buckets around during the third quarter,” he said. “Anyone who wants to write a check can go online to cancer.org/coaches.”

Coaches vs. Cancer has been popular among the college level. Some of the most premiere teams square off at Madison Square Garden during the invitational.

“It started at college and it has trickled down to the high school level,” Cerqueira said.

Although this is the first year Coaches vs. Cancer is being held, the plan to Cerqueira is to make it every year.

“The plan is to have it every year and hopefully build on it so it can become a school/community project.”

Highlanders prepare to face New Albany Friday; court to be named for former coach Joe Hinton

by Ty Elliott

Friday night the 2-0 Highlanders boys’ basketball team will take on the 0-1 New Albany Bulldogs at FC in a rivalry of Floyd County schools. While the game will be between two fierce rivals and Hoosier Hills Conference foes, a special tribute will be made to former FC basketball coach Joe Hinton.

Hinton, who was coach for the boys’ program from its inception in 1967 until 1998, will have the floor named after him. For the Highlanders to beat the Bulldogs, who have dominated the series in the last few seasons, head coach Randy Gianfagna said his team must be ready to handle full court pressure.

“New Albany will press us and they will try to take us off the dribble,” said Gianfagna.

Both teams have new additions or upperclassmen stepping into new roles. New Albany received two talented transfers, AJ and Blake Schmidt, who previously attended Providence High School. AJ is a sharp shooting guard who can score at will and is capable of taking defenders off the bounce, while twin brother Blake is solid player in his own right. While AJ, who is receiving interest from Division One schools, gets all the attention, it is his brother Blake who always seems to make a key play in the game.

For the Highlanders, senior Nick Bombersbach has become a key part to their offensive attack. Bombersbach, who played sparingly last season, had a career high 26 points while hitting six three pointers in their win against Silver Creek. The Highlanders victory over Silver Creek gave FC their first 2-0 start since 1998.

The Highlanders’ next game after Friday night’s clash with the Bulldogs will be Friday, Dec. 16 against the Columbus East Olympians.

Girls’ basketball team loses to Madison

By Luke Geraghty

It was a cold, rainy Tuesday night as both the Lady Highlanders and the Madison Lady Cubs scorched the FC gymnasium with solid shooting. However, the Cubs’ seven three pointers were too much as they pulled away from FC 86-63.
The Cubs jumped out to a big lead early and by the end of the first quarter they had a 23-11 lead thanks to senior guard Kelsey Block, who hit four early three point shots.
In the second quarter, FC slowly started making a rally halfway through. With just over three minutes left in the second quarter, sophomore Riley Kaiser drew a fundamentally sound charge, which helped get the crowd back in the game. The Cubs would keep the lead at halftime though, 43-33.
“I thought we played decent tonight, maybe a C+. There way way too many turnovers early on but they did a good job overcoming them to rally back,” said junior Lucas Corley.
FC started the second half on a mini 4-0 run to cut the deficit to 43-37. Halfway through the third quarter, Kaiser had an opportunity for a three point play after being fouled and making a crucial basket. This appeared to be another game changing moment as FC cut the Madison lead down to 53-48. Madison would score two points to close out the quarter and the Cubs would take a 55-48 lead.
Madison jumped out to a 69-55 lead in the fourth quarter until senior Kelsey Smith had another “and one” after making a basket while taking contact. The lead was cut down to 69-58, but it was all Cubs the rest of the way. Block hit two more threes to help seal the win for the Cubs. Block finished with 20 points and six three pointers. The Cubs went 7-12 from three-point range while FC went 0-5. Both teams went to the foul line over 30 times. FC went 23-32 at the free throw line while the Cubs were 25-37. Corley talked about what the team needs to improve for the future.
The JV Highlanders defeated Madison 48-32 Tuesday night.
The loss put FC 0-4 on the season and 0-2 in the HHC. Their next game will be Saturday against Southwestern at 6 p.m. for junior varsity and 7:30 for varsity.