Local Sports News: April 1, 2024

Indiana University Women’s Basketball takes unbeaten South Carolina to the wire in the Sweet 16 falling by four points
The #4 Indiana Hoosiers were down by 22 points to the top seed South Carolina Gamecocks as they fought all the way back as unbeaten South Carolina held off Indiana 79-75 Friday evening at the MVP Arena in Albany, New York in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament Albany Regional 1 Semifinal.  South Carolina is 35-0 and improve to 36-0 with a 70-58 win over 3 Seed Oregon State Sunday afternoon to advance to their Fourth straight Final Four. Indiana ends the season at 26-6 but they end their season knowing they never gave up and took the number 1 team in the nation to the wire that very few teams have done all season.

All five Indiana starters scored in double figures led by Sydney Parrish with 21 points and was named to the All-Region Tournament Team on Sunday afternoon. Yarden Garzon added 16, Mackenize Holmes, Sara Scalia and Chloe Moore-McNeil each scored 12 points. Juliana LaMendola scored the only two points off the bench as Lilly Meister, Lexus Bargesser and Arielle Wisne all played but did not score. The Hoosiers were 28-61 from the field for 49%, 13-33 from three-point range for 39% and 6-9 from the free throw line for 66%. Indiana pulled down 30 rebounds, dished out 17 assists, 8 steals, 3 blocks and committed 14 turnovers.

Indiana was down 49-32 at halftime after the Gamecocks out scored the Hoosiers 26-15 in the first quarter and 23-17 in the second quarter. Indiana outscored South Carolina 43-30 in the second half. The Hoosiers outscored South Carolina 23-16 in the third quarter and trailed 65-55 going into the fourth quarter. The Hoosiers would keep chipping away at the Gamecocks lead trailing 74-72 after Mackenize Holmes made a layup with 1:08 left. Raven Johnson would drill a three that sealed the win for South Carolina with 53 seconds left to put them up 77-72. Holmes scored inside with 30 seconds left to make 77-74. Raven Johnson made it 78-74 with a free throw with 21 seconds left and Chloe Moore-McNeil would hit a free throw with 16 seconds left to make it 78-75. Tessa Johnson hit a free throw with 14 seconds left. Yarden Garzon’s three pointer was blocked by Ashlyn Watkins and Sara Scalia missed a three pointer and grabbed the offensive rebound as the Hoosiers ran out of time.

Kamila Cardoso led South Carolina with 22 points and 7 rebounds along with 4 assists. The 6-7 Brazilian was 10-12 from the field and 2-4 from the free throw line. Raven Johnson added 14 points as all nine South Carolina players scored four or more points giving the Gamecocks a balanced attack and showing the depth of this team despite Indiana being able to come back and knock down three pointers to stay in the game. South Carolina finished 30-60 from the field for 50%, 8-16 from three-point range for 50% and 11-16 from the free throw line for 68%. The Gamecocks pulled down 32 rebounds, dished out 17 assists, 7 blocks, 4 steals and committed 12 turnovers.  Cardoso was hard to stop all game long for the Indiana Defense but in the second half South Carolina was not going to her every time down the floor.

The Hoosiers set the single season record for most three pointers in a season with 260. Mackenize Holmes ends her career with 146 career games played which is second only to Grace Berger with 148. 116 starts and a school record 126 wins. Holmes scored a school record 2,530 points which is only second to Calbert Cheaney who played for the Hoosiers Men’s Basketball team from 1989-1993 and scored a Big Ten Record 2,613 points in 132 games. Holmes finishes 4th all time with 989 rebounds, second all-time with 257 blocks, 7th all time with 26 double-doubles and a school record 1,043 field goals made.  Sara Scalia ends the season with 103 three pointers made which is a single season record and has made a huge impact for the Hoosiers the last two seasons after transferring from Minnesota. Arielle Wisne who scored 11 points in 53 career games will graduate. The Hoosiers will return Sydney Parrish and Chloe Moore McNeil who announced before the end of the season that they are coming back for their fifth and final season. Lilly Meister, Lexus Bargesser, Yarden Garzon, Henna Sandvik and Sharneece Currie-Jelks will be Juniors. Lenee Beaumont and Juilana LaMendola will be Sophomores.  The Hoosiers have two incoming Freshman for next season with 6-4 Indiana All-Star Faith Wiseman from Indian Creek HS and Sydney Fenn 6-3 from Buffalo New York who plays at Arizona Compass Prep.

Teri Moren finishes her 10th season as IU head Coach with a record of 226-98 and 425-229 in 21 seasons overall. Under Moren the Hoosiers have made six NCAA Tournament Appearances never losing in the first round with 3 three sweet 16 and 1 elite trip in 2021 with a record of 10-6. The Hoosiers before Moren made four trips to the NCAA Tournament and only had one win in 1983. Moren has nine straight 20-win seasons and was 15-16 her first season in 2014-15. Before Moren the Hoosiers had six 20-win seasons total. Indiana Women’s Basketball has reached heights that had never been seen before Teri Moren got to IU. The Hoosiers are always ranked in the top 25, hosting NCAA Tournament Games for last three seasons, selling out Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall twice in the last two years and being yearly participant in the NCAA Tournament. Tyra Buss and Amanda Cahill started the trend and what has followed has been Ali Patberg, Grace Berger, Mackenize Holmes and Sara Scalia and now its Sydney Parrish, Chloe Moore-McNeil and Yarden Garzon’s turn to keep the new tradition that is Indiana University Women’s Basketball going in the direction that it has been going for the last nine season and that is up and putting the program on the national stage year after year.  

Purdue University Men’s Basketball punches its ticket to the Final Four for the First Time since 1980
The Purdue Boilermakers have advanced to the NCAA Tournament’s Final Four for the first time since 1980, beating Tennessee, 72-66, in the Midwest Region final in Detroit on Sunday. The Volunteers went up by 11 with five minutes to go in the first half on a 3-pointer by All-American guard Dalton Knecht, but the Boilers rallied to take a 36-34 lead into halftime. Reigning national player of the year Zach Edey keyed the late run, scoring nine of his 19 first-half points. The senior also grabbed 10 rebounds in the first half for his 28th double-double of the season, tying his own school record for most double-doubles by a single player. The second half went back-and-forth before a Braden Smith-to-Edey alley-oop dunk and Lance Jones 3-pointer put Purdue up six with under three minutes to play. Edey finished with 40 points and 16 rebounds. Guard Fletcher Loyer was the only other Boiler in double figures with 12 points. Knecht scored 37 points to lead Tennessee. Purdue will take on North Carolina State on Saturday at 6:09 PM in Glendale, Arizona and will be televised on TBS.

Four first time Boys Basketball State Champions Crowned at Gainbridge Fieldhouse Saturday
Four first time State Champions were crowned on Saturday at the 114th Annual Boys Basketball State Finals at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Downtown Indianapolis, as the 2023-24 Boys Basketball and Winter Sports Season came to an end in the state of Indiana. Two of the four State Champions were making their first ever state championship appearance. 

In Class 1A Fort Wayne Canterbury beat Bethesda Christian 48-41 to win its first state championship. The Cavaliers got a double-double 6-Senior John Parent who finished with 22 points and 10 Rebounds. 5-10 Senior Devon Lewis added 12 Points as Fort Wayne Canterbury ends the year with 19-9 record for Head Coach Deric Adams. Bethesda Christian who ends the season 23-8 was led by 6-3 Senior Luke Douglas who was named the Ray Craft Mental Attitude Award Winner with 13 Points all five starters for both teams scored every point and no points off the bench on either side.  The game featured 10 lead changes and 5 ties and Fort Wayne Canterbury had the largest lead of the game with 39 seconds left in the game up by 8 points and Bethesda Christian had a five-point lead with 2:42 left in the second quarter. Fort Wayne Canterbury led 11-10 after the first quarter and 28-25 at halftime after outscoring Bethesda Christian 17-15 In the second quarter. In the third quarter Bethesda Christian outscored the Cavaliers 8-7 but Canterbury led 35-33 going into the fourth quarter. Fort Wayne Canterbury outscored the Patriots 13-8 in the fourth quarter. 

In Class 2A Brownstown Central Won its first State Championship with a 55-36 win over Wapahani. Purdue Signee Jack Benter scored points, pulled 6 rebounds and dished out 4 assists. Junior Chace Coomer added 13 points and Sophomore Micah Seffer scored 11 points. Brownstown Central ends the year with 28-4 record and for Head Coach Dave Benter he wins his first state title after two runners up appearances in 2004 and 2009 and wins one with his son Jack who scored 16 points in the first half.  Wapahani who ends the season with 26-2 record was led by Senior and Arthur L. Trester Mental Attitude Award Winner Issac Andrews who scored 21 of the teams 36 points. The Raiders love to shoot the three ball and struggled going 5-28 for 18 percent from the field. Brownstown Central led 31-14 at halftime. The Raiders went on 10-0 run in the third quarter as they outscored Brownstown Central 14-7 in the third period to make it 38-28 at the end of three quarters as the Braves outscored the Raiders 17-8 in the final quarter and close it out as they were only two lead changers with Raiders leading for 12 seconds and the game was tied for 21 seconds. 

In Class 3A Scottsburg beat South Bend Saint Joseph 67-57 to end their season 25-5. Jack Miller scored 32 points and Kody Clancy added 20 points along with 10 points from Wyatt Zellers as the trio combined for 62 of the Warriors 67 points. Dare Bowles and Garrett Boling added 2 points and Caden Richardson scored 1 point. The Warriors only played six players with Miller. Clancy. Richardson and Bowels playing the full 32 minutes. Zellers played 23 minutes and 27 seconds and Boling played 8 minutes and 32 seconds for Head Coach Eric Richardson.  South Bend Saint Joseph who was making their third state finals appearance and first since 1993 end their season with a 20-10 record. Chase Konieczny who is Indiana Junior All-Star scored 15 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Huskies in scoring. Jerry Barca who won the Arthur L Trester Mental Attitude Award added 12 Points and Jayce Lee scored 11 points. There were 8 ties and 5 lead changes and Scottsburg led by 11 points with 6:01 left in the second quarter and went on 9-0 run in the last minute of the game. 

In Class 4A Fishers completed a 29-1 season beating defending State Champion Ben Davis 65-56. Junior All Star JonAnthony Hall lead the Tigers with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Senior Kennan Garner who grew up in Germany before moving to Fishers added 19 points and plans to play College Basketball next season but it’s undecided on his college choice. Taden Metzger added 10 points for Head Coach Garrett Winegar. Senior Parker Perdue was named the Arthur L Trester Mental Attitude Award Winner had a steal in five minutes and two seconds of action off the bench. The Tigers lost their best player Jalen Haralson when he scored to transfer to La Porte La Lumiere for his Senior Season.  Ben Davis who was looking for back-to-back state titles ends the season 23-6 was led in scoring by Junior All Star Mark Zachery with 14 Points. KJ Windham and Ramone Enis scored 11 points apiece along with 10 points from Mark White. There were 6 Lead changes and 4 ties and neither team lead by more than 9 points the entire game. Ben Davis went on 9-0 scoring run midway through the third quarter as the Tigers answered with 7-0 scoring run with 6:13 left in the game as the Tigers hit seven three pointers in the game with the Giants struggling from beyond the arc going 2-9. Corey Taylor took over the program after Don Carlisle was placed on administrative leave for the entire 2023-24 school year for an alleged incident with student during a physical education class in the fall. Carlisle is to return next season and will be interesting to see if Taylor decides to take a head coaching job elsewhere after leading Ben Davis back to the State Finals in his only season in charge. 

Indiana University Men’s Swimming & Diving Finishes Fourth at the NCAA Championships in Indianapolis
Indiana clinched its fifth top-five national finish in six years Saturday at the 2024 NCAA Men’s Swimming & Diving Championships inside the IU Natatorium. The Hoosiers scored 376 points to finish fourth as a team for the second consecutive season. Indiana remains among college swimming’s elite – in the last six years, only four teams have consistently finished with the top six nationally: Cal, Texas, Florida, and the Indiana Hoosiers. The Hoosiers finished two points behind Florida and 56 points in front of NC State. Fourteen Hoosiers combined for 43 All-America honors, both totals Indiana’s most since 19 athletes from the 1974 squad totaled 50 honors in a second-place team finish. As well as the national finish, Indiana won its third consecutive Big Ten Championship during the 2023-24 season. The Hoosier men and women completed conference championship double for the second time in program history, and both teams finished the regular season 8-0 in dual meet competition.

Junior Carson Tyler repeated as the NCAA platform diving champion with a score of 515.75, IU’s best-ever score at an NCAA Championships. For the second-straight night, Tyler led a 1-2 Hoosier finish as sophomore Maxwell Weinrich took silver in 450.70. Junior Quinn Henninger finished seventh with a 377.65. The Hoosiers captured a program record six diving medals of the nine available; two gold, two silver and two bronze. IU’s trio combined for 121 points on the boards, 66 points more than the second-best diving team – Ohio State – and outscoring all but 10 combined swimming and diving programs. Indiana has eclipsed 100 points at back-to-back NCAA Championships after earning 104 points last year. Tyler himself outscored Ohio State’s divers, totaling 56 points from his two championships and his bronze on the 1-meter board. Henninger had 46 points – better than all but two other teams – and Weinrich contributed 19.

Senior Brendan Burns finished his career in the most fitting way, swimming the 200-yard backstroke and 200-yard butterfly on the same day for the first time at an NCAA Championships. Burns placed on the podium in both events thanks to his morning performances and finished seventh in the back and eighth in the fly. The fifth-year senior swam those events at every Big Ten Championships and became the first man in the conference to win both in the same year in 2021 – before repeating the feat in 2022 and 2023. Burns closes his collegiate chapter a three-time NCAA Champion, four-time national runner-up, 25-time All-American and 22-time Big Ten Champion. He helped lead the Hoosiers to three Big Ten team titles and three top-five national finishes. For the second-straight season, Tomer Frankel finished within the top five in both the 100-yard butterfly and 200-yard butterfly. Frankel set a program record in the 100 fly Friday, becoming the first Hoosier ever under the 44-second barrier with times of 43.90 and 43.85.

Mackenize Mgbako Announces his Return to Indiana University Men’s Basketball for his Sophomore Season
Indiana freshman Mackenzie Mgbako will return to school next season. Dushawn London first reported the news. A native of Gladstone, New Jersey, the 6-foot-8 wing averaged 12.2 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists for the Hoosiers during the 2023-24 season. Mgbako was named the Big Ten’s co-freshman of the year. He is Indiana’s second straight Big Ten freshman of the year after Jalen Hood-Schifino won the award last season. Initially a Duke signee in the 2023 class, Mgbako reopened his recruitment in the spring of 2023 and chose Indiana over Kansas.

His numbers and production steadily improved throughout his first college season. While he only shot 32.7 percent on 3s for the full season, he connected at a 37.8 percent clip in Big Ten games, the 21st-best mark in the conference. He had three games of 20 or more points, including a season-high 24 points in an 83-78 win at Maryland on March 3.

Notre Dame Women’s Basketball Season ends in the Sweet 16 falling to Oregon State
Oregon State’s Bigs played huge and the Beavers held Notre Dame star Hannah Hidalgo in check on Friday to advance to the program’s first regional final in six years. Timea Gardiner scored 21 points and pulled down 11 rebounds, while Raegan Beers added 18 points and 13 boards in the 70-65 win over the second-seeded Irish. Donovyn Hunter added 11 points for the third-seeded Beavers 27-7 who ended thier season at 27-8 on Sunday Afternoon with a 70-58 loss to South Carolina in the Regional Final. Oregon State shot 60% from the floor, while keeping Notre Dame to 36% and outrebounding the Irish 42-24. “All of us over the spring, over the summer and into this year we came in with the mindset of understanding what we needed to accomplish defensively in order to win those close games,” said Gardiner. “So, this year that core group, we know what it takes now. So, we know what it takes to win. We’re obviously doing it, so it’s super fun.”

Sonia Citron scored 22 points and Maddy Westbeld added 19 points Notre Dame, which lost for the first time in 11 games and finishes the season at 28-7. Hidalgo, who came in averaging 22.9 points, was held to just 10 points on 4-of-17 shooting, matching a season low in scoring. She also missed about four minutes at the start of the second quarter after officials ordered her to remove a stud from her nose, which is not permitted under NCAA rules. “I guess it was a point of emphasis in the Sweet 16 with jewelry and she’s had a nose ring the entire season,” Coach Niele Ivey said. “Just wish we would have known beforehand. Can’t control it, so we had to move on, but yeah, stoppage of play is never great when you’re trying to have flow.”

Oregon State led by a point at halftime, but opened the second half on an 11-2 run, capped by a layup from Gardiner that forced an Irish timeout. Notre Dame came back, taking a 59-57 lead on a pull-up jumper from Anna DeWolfe with just over four minutes left in the game. But a 3-pointer from Donovan put Oregon State back in front for good. Hidalgo’s off-balance shot with a minute left made it 65-63, before Gardiner found Beers underneath with 26 seconds left to stretch it to four. Talia von Oelhoffen then blocked a 3-point attempt from Westbeld and sank two foul shots on the other end. “I hear all the time, you guys got lucky because they missed shots,” Oregon State coach Scott Rueck said. “I would tell you, well, they’re shooting the shots we want them to shoot, and they don’t normally shoot.”

Notre Dame has been using a six-player rotation since losing 6-foot-4 forward Kylee Watson, who tore an ACL in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament. Oregon State capitalized on their height advantage early, throwing the ball into the paint. The 6-2 Beers and 6-3 Gardiner combined for 14 of the Beaver’s 17 first-quarter points. The short-handed Irish also dealt with early foul trouble. DeWolfe picked up two in the first quarter and Westbeld had three by halftime. The Beavers have now held 14 opponents this season to at least 10 points below their season average. Notre Dame came into Friday’s game averaging 79 points a game. The 10 points ties a season low for Hidalgo, who hit just two of her first 13 shots. But she also forced two 10 second backcourt violations on Oregon State and many of the Beavers 26 turnovers. “They did a really good job on Hannah,” Westbeld said. They did a really good job of playing strategic, and I think we just had to get what we got.”

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