Tag Archives: Basketball

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.

Geraghty’s Best Games of 2011

By Luke Geraghty

Watching sports is one of my favorite past times. Over the 2011 year, I have watched many nail-biting games that kept me on the edge of my seat. From basketball to soccer, I have watched great games in almost every major sport. However, I managed to cut the list of games to the three. Here’s the rundown:

#3: Notre Dame at Michigan Football (September)

This game comes in at number three because of the great rivalry the two teams have, the great uniforms that were worn, the fact it was the first night game ever at Michigan Stadium, and, of course, the fact that it was a killer game.

In this game, Notre Dame took control of the game after the first three quarters, 24-7. It looked like the Irish were going to bounce back after their disappointing week one loss to South Florida. However, Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson would take control of the game and would help lead the Wolverines to a 28-24 lead with 1:12 left in the game.

The Irish fans were left stunned until QB Theo Riddick fired a 29-yard TD pass to give the Irish a 31-28 lead. It looked all but over for the home team until Robinson through a long pass which put Michigan in scoring position with only seconds to play. Rather than trying to kick the game tying field goal, Michigan opted to throw the ball to the endzone and the end result was a 16 yard TD pass by Robinson to receiver Roy Roundtree with only two seconds left. The game left the 100,000+ fans into pure pandemonium and the viewers in shock as to what just happened.

Final Score: Michigan 35, Notre Dame 31

#2:FIFA Women’s World Cup Quarterfinal: USA vs Brazil (July)

The fact that I’m not a huge soccer fan shows just how great of a game this was. With all of the stars playing on both teams, it was hard to believe that these two teams were playing in just the quarterfinals. In the game, the U.S. scored in just the second minute of the game to take a 1-0 lead.

It appeared the game would be a shootout, but the defenses dominated the next 65 minutes and the score remained 1-0. Then, Brazil tied the game with a goal by their star, Marta. This wouldn’t be the last of her goals. The U.S. had some chances to score again late, but Brazil’s defense held them and the two teams would play in extra time.

In extra time Brazil stunned the U.S. after Marta scored her second goal in just the second minute of extra time. Brazil took a 2-1 lead. The U.S. team became desperate to try and get the game-tying goal, but Brazil’s defense wouldn’t budge. Finally, right before the extra time ran out, Abby Wambach fired a head shot from Megan Rapinoe and into the goal. U.S. fans went crazy while the Brazil fans were in shock.

The match was like a roller coaster ride and it would get only crazier once the penalty kicks started. The U.S. would eventually win in penalty kicks 5-3 in what has been described as maybe the greatest FIFA women’s soccer match ever.

Final Score: USA 2 (5) Brazil 2 (3)

#1: Marquette at Louisville Basketball (January)

It was all over. The hometown Cards were all but done. An 18-point deficit with under seven minutes to play looked out of reach. Everyone thought it was over, except for the U of L team.

Marquette had a 65-47 until Preston Knowles and of all players, Stephan Van Treese, helped cut Marquette’s lead down to 65-54. The fans at the Yum! Center started to have hope that their team could come back, but U of L still had a lot of work to do. After getting a big stop, Knowles came back down the floor and hit  a three to cut the lead down to 8. Knowles would hit two more three pointers which cut the lead down to 67-65.

Down the stretch, Louisville forward Terrence Jennings (who has always be known to struggle with his free throws) hit four out of four free throws and with not a lot of time left in the game, Louisville still trailed 70-69. Coming off a timeout, the Cardinals gave the ball to Knowles. Everyone at the Yum! Center thought the senior would take the final shot. However, Knowles fired a pass to a wide-open Kyle Kuric. Kuric made the shot right underneath the basket and the Cardinals would take the lead by 1. The sea of red in the stands went crazy, but still the Cardinals needed one last stop to pull of a miracle comeback.

Marquette drove the length of the floor but the shot by Jimmy Butler would be too short and U of L would get the win. This stunning comeback would soon be named “The Miracle on Main Street.”

Final Score: Louisville 71, Marquette 70

The year of 2011 has been a great year for sports. These three games certainly were not the only thrilling ones this year. If 2011 is only an appetizer for the games coming in 2012, then it should be another fun of year sports for all sports’ fans.