Local Sports News: March 29, 2024

Indiana University Men’s Basketball lands 2024 Wing Bryson Tucker
Class of 2024 5-star wing Bryson Tucker has committed to Indiana, he announced on Thursday. The 6-foot-7 Tucker chose IU over Kansas and Michigan State, although he was thought to be leaning towards the G League Ignite before that outfit disbanded. The Maryland native is the fifth-highest rated recruit in the rankings era to commit to Indiana.  He is the 34th Hoosier recruit who is a McDonald’s All-American. Tucker is rated as a top-30 prospect by all four main national recruiting sites, and he’s a top-20 5-star according to three of them. 

Tucker is from Maryland and spent his first two years of high school at Mount St. Joseph’s H.S.  He transferred to national prep school powerhouse IMG Academy for his junior season, and then transferred to Bishop O’Connell H.S. (Arlington, Va.) for his senior season. Tucker’s dad, 6-foot-10 Byron Tucker, signed with N.C. State out of high school. He transferred to George Mason where he averaged 20.7 points and 9.6 rebounds during his senior season. The news follows an established trend since Mike Woodson took over as head coach in 2021.  He has successfully recruited coveted top-40 prospects Tamar Bates, Malik Reneau and Mackenzie Mgbako in the spring of each of their respective high school senior seasons.

Indiana University Women’s Basketball faces Top Seed and Unbeaten South Carolina in the Sweet 16        
The #4 Indiana Hoosiers are in the Sweet 16 for the third time in the last four years and for the second time they will have to face a #1 seed in order to advance to the Elite 8. On March 27, 2021, Indiana beat NC State 73-70 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas to get their only Elite 8 Appearance in school history. This time the 26-5 Hoosiers face the Number 1 Team in the nation and unbeaten at 34-0 the South Carolina Gamecocks tonight at 5pm on ESPN at the MVP Arena in Albany, New York. The winner advances to the Elite 8 on Sunday at 1pm to take on the winner of #3 Oregon State and #2 Notre Dame which will tip-off at 2:30pm on ESPN.

Indiana beat Fairfield 89-56 and Oklahoma 75-68 in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament to advance to Albany. The Hoosiers and South Carolina finished the home portion of their schedule 17-0 which are the only two teams remaining in the NCAA Tournament that finished with a perfect home record this season. Mackenize Holmes led the way with 29 points in her final home game as Hoosier and she scored 20 of those points in the second half as she was not going to let what happened last year in a second round NCAA Tournament Loss at Home to Miami Florida happen again this time again a tough and gritty Oklahoma Squad.  Holmes has played 146 games and made 115 starts with a program record 126 wins. The Gorham, Maine Native has scored a program record 2,518 points along with program record 1,038 career field goals made. Holmes with fourth in school history with 985 rebounds, second in blocks with 255 and 7th with 26 career double-doubles.

Holmes leads the team with 20 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. Sara Scalia averages 16.4 points, Yarden Garzon averages 11.5 points, Sydney Parrish averages 10.4 and Chloe Moore-McNeil is averaging 10.1 points along with a team leading 4.9 assists and 1.3 steals per game. The Hoosiers starting five account for 68.4 points per game of the team’s 79.5 average. That is a concern going into this game with how deep and productive South Carolina is off their bench. The Hoosiers commit 13.3 turnovers per game. Indiana is shooting 51% from the Field, 40% from three-point range and 73% from the free throw line. Head Coach Teri Moren is 226-97 in her 10th season at IU and 425-228 in her 21st season overall. The Hoosiers are 11-9 overall in 10 NCAA Appearances and Moren is 10-5 in the NCAA Tournament as the Hoosiers Head Coach in Six NCAA Appearances.    

The Gamecocks are loaded from top to bottom and led by 6-7 Senior Kamilla Cardoso who leads the team with 13.9 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game. Guards MiLasyia Fulwiley and Te-Hina Paopao average 12.2 and 11.1 points per game respectively. Forwards Ashlyn Watkins and Chloe Kitts are both averaging 9.6 points. Guard Brea Hall averages 8 points per game with Raven Johnson leading the team with 4.8 assists along with 2.1 steals per game while averaging 8 points per game. Forward Sania Fagin averages 6.8 points, Guard Tessa Johnson averages 5.8 points and Center Samkia Walker averages 2 points and 8 minutes per game. Forward Sanyha Jah who played 16 games before being suspended and then leaving the team averaged 3.1 points in 9.2 minutes of action.

The Ten that play for South Carolina have all played 29 or more games and all but Walker averages more than 15 minutes per game. The Gamecocks average 86.1 points and commit 13.3 turnovers per game. South Carolina is shooting 49% from the field, 39% from three-point range and 68% from the free throw line. Their size and speed are a dangerous combination with seven six foot or taller and the remaining three 5-9 or 5-10. South Carolina has won six games by less than double digits and Cardoso hit the game winner at the buzzer to beat Tennessee 74-73 in the Semifinals of the SEC Tournament on March 9. The Gamecocks steamrolled through the first two rounds 91-39 over Presbyterian and 88-41 over North Carolina with both games taking place on the Gamecocks home floor in Columbia. South Carolina has not scored less than 64 points in a game this season and Indiana’s defensive average is 63.9 points per game.

In the last five seasons South Carolina has a record of 163-9 and looking to get back to the final four for the fourth year in a row and looking for its third national championship in school history as Head Coach Dawn Staley led them to National Championships in 2017 and 2022. In the 2019-20 season South Carolina went 32-1 before the NCAA Tournament was canceled that season due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Indiana handed the Gamecocks their only loss that season on November 28, 2019, 71-58 In the Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Staley is 436-106 in her 16th season at South Carolina with 12 NCAA Tournament Appearances, 5 Final Fours and 2 National Championships. Staley coached at Temple from 2000-2008 went 172-80 with 6 NCAA Tournament Appearances and WNIT Postseason Appearance.  Staley played at the University of Virginia from 1988-1992 and 8 seasons in the WNBA from 1999-2006 and won three Gold Medals with the United States Olympic Team in 1996, 2000 and 2004.

This will be the sixth all-time between the two programs with South Carolina leading the series 3-2. Indiana has won the last two meetings beating the Gamecocks in Columbia on November 22, 2000, 69-58 and 2019. South Carolina beat Indiana in Columbia on December 28, 1983, 83-76 and twice in Bloomington 74-67 on November 30, 1984, and 95-79 on January 24, 1999.

Bloomington South and Edgewood Baseball Host the Inaugural Hoosier Classic
7 Teams from all over the State of Indiana and Wisconsin will be in Monroe County Tonight and Saturday for the Inaugural Hoosier Classic High School Baseball Tournament which will take place at Bloomington South and Edgewood HS with two Games tonight at each Site and three Tomorrow at each site for a total of 10 Games in two days. Bloomington South will play New Prairie at 5pm followed by Norwell and Evansville Central at 7:30pm. Saturday Greenwood will face New Prairie at 10am followed by Bloomington South and Greenwood at 12:30pm with Evansville Central and Bloomington South at 3pm.  Edgewood will face Platteville Wisconsin at 5pm followed by Platteville and Brownstown Central at 7:30pm. Saturday Evansville Central will face Platteville at 10am followed by Norwell and Edgewood at 12:30pm and New Prairie and Edgewood at 3pm. 

Four Boys Basketball State Champions to be Crowned at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Saturday 
The 114th Annual IHSAA Boys Basketball State Finals will be held on Saturday at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis as 8 Teams in Four Classes will battle it out to become State Champions. The four games will stream exclusively on IHSAAtv.org and the IHSAA suite of apps via pay-per-view for $15 per game or $20 for all four games. 

In Class 1A at 10:30 AM it will 23-7 Bethesda Christian taking on 18-9 Fort Wayne Canterbury in a battle of first-time state finalists. Bethesda Christian located in Brownsburg has not lost since January 6, at Tipton 63-55. Since that game the Patriots have won 18 in a row and average 69.4 points per game. Seniors Sam Malgan and Luke Douglas lead the team with 15.3 and 14.2 points per game for fourth year head coach Jon Grubaums who is 78-27.  Fort Wayne Canterbury has won 8 in row for fourth year head coach Deric Adams who is 40-56 overall. The Cavaliers are led by Seniors Devon Lewis who averages 15.3 points, Tucker Day who averages 11.3 points and John Parent who averages 10.3 points per game. The Cavaliers averages 58.1 points per game. 

In Class 2A it will be 27-4 Brownstown Central taking on 26-2  Wapahani at Approximately 12:45 PM. Brownstown Central is led by Purdue Signee Jack Benter who averages 25.6 points per game. Senior Guard Parker Hehman averages 11.6 points per game while Junior Forward Colby Hall averages 10.6 points per game The Braves average 69.1 points for 26th year head coach Dave Benter who is making his 3rd State Finals appearance as the Braves were runners up in Class 2A in 2004 and 2009 and made their other state finals appearance in 1931. Wapahani located in Selma which is just East of Muncie has gone through rough time with a tornado ripping through the town a few weeks ago. The Raiders are making their first state finals appearance for 17 Year head coach Matt Luce who is 309-96 at the schools and 359-196 in 22 years overall and will coach the Indiana Junior All-Syars in June. 6-1 Senior Isaac Andrews leads the team in scoring at 26.4 points per game and shoots 50 Percent from the field. Sophomore Camden Bell averages 13 points per game as the Raiders averages 61 points per game and shoot 41 percent from beyond the arc. 

In Class 3A at 6 PM Scottsburg 24-5 takes on South Bend Saint Joseph 20-9. Scottsburg is making its first state finals appearance for fourth year head coach Eric Richardson who is 68-38 in his fourth year at the school. The Warriors are led by 6-4 Senior Kody Clancy who averages 20.6 points per game. Seniors Jack Miller and Wyatt Zellers averages 14.9 and 13.1 points per game for Warriors team who averages 63.5 points per game.  South Bend Saint Joseph is back in the state finals for the third time and first since 1993. The Huskies made to Indianapolis in 1989 but this is there first appearance since the multi class format began in 1998. Junior All Star Chase Konieczny leads the team with averaging 20.7 points per game and Senior Jayce Lee averages 15.5 points for third year head coach Eric Gaff who is 44-35 overall. The Huskies average 68.7 points per game. Sophomore Nick Shrewsberry is averaging 7.4 points per game and is the son of Notre Dame Men’s Basketball Head Coach and Indianapolis Native Micah Shrewsberry. 

In Class 4A it’s a rematch of the season opener between Ben Davis and Fishers as the Tigers beat the Giants 74-61 at Ben Davis on November 21. Ben Davis is the defending State Champions after 33-0 record last year. The Giants are looking for their fifth State Title in Eight Appearances. Interim head coach Corey Taylor is 23-5 this season replacing Don Carlisle who was placed on administrative leave for the remainder of the school year after an alleged incident with a student in a physical education class in the fall. Carlisle is to return next season. The Giants are led by Senior KJ Windham who averages 16.3 points per game and Junior All Star Mark Zachery who averages 10.3 points per game. Ben Davis as a team is averaging 67.3 points per game. Fishers is in the State Finals for the first time since High School Restarted in 2006. The Old Fishers HS competed in the 1922 State Finals. Fishers is 28-1 with its only loss at Carmel 54-46 on January 27th. The Tigers are led in scoring by Senior Kennan Garner who averages 15.6 points per game along with Junior All Star JonAnthony Hall who averages 11.3 points per game. The Tigers average 68.1 points per game for 4th year head coach Garrett Winegar who is 77-23 in His 4th year at school and and 95-29 in 5 years Overall. One player of the bench to watch for Fishers is 6-0 Freshman Guard Jason Gardner his father with the same name was 1999 Indiana Mr. Basketball from Indianapolis North Central HS and help lead the University of Arizona to the 2001 National Championship Game falling to Duke. He Coached North Central for the 2020-21 Boys Basketball Season as they went 13-10 and lost in the sectional championship game to Lawrence North 62-49. 

Medora Hosts The Basketball League All Star Weekend 
All eyes will be on Medora, Indiana population 693 tonight and tomorrow as The Basketball League All Star Weekend comes to Medora HS in Southwestern Jackson County which is in between Bedford and Brownstown just 3 Miles of U.S. 50. The Medora Timeberjacks are in their fourth Season as Semi Pro Basketball Organization that started in the Hoosier Harwood Basketball Association in 2021 as the Southern Indiana Timeberjacks before joining The Basketball League for the 2022 Season and changing their name to the Medora Timeberjacks. The Timeberjacks play all their home games at Medora High School which seats 1,200 and it’s packed for every game.  The Timeberjacks are 6-2 in the Midwest Division with eight other teams from Indiana, Ohio Michigan, West Virginia, Kentucky and Missouri. The League has 38 Teams in Six Divisions that span coast to coast. The regular season began March 1, and will continue through the end of May with the Playoffs starting in June. 

Tonight at 6pm there will be a three-point contest, 1 on 1 contest and a dunk contest. There will be Mascots from the Kokomo and Lebanon Indiana teams along with a DJ, Dancers, the duck toss, free face panting concessions merchandise and a lot more. Saturday Morning from 8-10 am there will be a free Jr TBL Youth Clinic in which participants will receive a free ticket to the all-star game and a free T-shirt.  Saturday Night at 6pm it’s the All-Star Game as the Timeberjacks will take on a team of all-stars from the rest of the league. Indiana Pacers mascot Boomer will be in attendance and the Pacers Powerpack will perform at Halftime. Boomer will be signing autographs at halftime. Tickets for both nights will only be sold at the door they are $10 for adults $5 for Students and Children 6 and under get in for free. Medora Timberjacks season ticket holders can use their season pass for entry. You can follow all the action this weekend on TBLTV.tv.

Purdue Fort Wayne Men’s Basketball falls to Norfolk State in the CIT Championship Game Anthony Roberts scored a game-high 18 points, but it came in a losing effort on Wednesday as Norfolk State defeated Purdue Fort Wayne 75-67 in the championship game of the 2024 CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament, presented by BSN SPORTS. Roberts added eight rebounds and three assists to his final collegiate box score. The senior finished his career with 2,028 NCAA points. Norfolk State outscored the ‘Dons 44-26 in the second half as the Spartans erased a Mastodon lead which was as large as 41-23 in the first half. The ‘Dons made nine first half 3-pointers to take a 41-31 lead to the break.  

Norfolk State took their first lead of the game at 51-49 on a 3-pointer by Allen Betrand with 11:40 remaining. A Roberts dunk followed to knot the game at 51. Norfolk State was ahead 61-58 with 5:17 left following a pair of Jalen Jackson free throws. But for the ‘Dons, it would be the final time they would be within a possession. An 8-0 Spartan run followed to give the trophy to the home squad. Christian Ings had a team-high 17 points for NSU as the Spartans finished the season a perfect 15-0 at home. Rasheed Bello recorded 13 points, eight assists and three steals. Quinton Morton-Robertson drained four 3-pointers for 12 points. Eric Mulder scored 10 points. The Mastodons finish the season 23-13 for the third most wins in a season in program history. Norfolk State wraps up the season 24-11.

Follow us on Facebook

Image result for Facebook button

For more local news . . . Check out our archived episodes of What’s Happenin’ and Talkin’ Sports with Nick Jenkinson