Lawrenceburg (4-2) Coach Zane White is 139-80 in his 10 years with the Lady Tigers. Three times, White has led Lawrenceburg to 20-win seasons. The Tigers are led by senior Lizzie Redar who is averaging 11.3 ppg, Aubree Labazzo is a freshman averaging 9.8 ppg for LHS
Batesville (4-4) First year coach Mitchell Taylor has the Lady Dogs playing well, they are 3-1 in their last four games. Alyson Peters is the top scorer for BHS and is top five in the EIAC averaging 15.8. Sophomores Lydia Haskamp and Sophie Gesell follow with 7.3 and 5.8 ppg respectively.
Boys game Friday
Lawrenceburg (1-0) Coach Brad Cutter is in his third season with the Tigers. Fresh off a 2022 Sectional Championship and a 20-win season, the Tigers won their first game of the season by 17 points over Milan.
Batesville (1-1) Coached by Aaron Garrett who has amassed 204 wins with Batesville over the past 15 years. Garrett won the regional title in 2011 and the sectional in 2019. The Bulldogs are 12-7 against the Tigers under Garrett’s tenure. Batesville’s last outing was a three-point loss to Greensburg.
The Tigers won the match up last season 43-24. Batesville has owned the Tigers over the past 35 years with a record of 48-18. In recent times Lawrenceburg has had the upper hand with three wins in a row. The Bulldogs last win was in 2018.
6’8 Batesville Center Cole Pride is averaging 19 ppg, Cade Kaiser 14, and Jack Grunkemeyer 13.5
Gerrold Taylor leads Lawrenceburg with 12.0, Charlie Meyer 10.0, Cooper Bobo and Logan Ahaus 9.0ppg.
After an 18-win campaign in 2021-22, Franklin County boys basketball is off to a nice start again following opening-week wins over Hagerstown and Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference foe South Dearborn.
Saturday night in Aurora, the Wildcats brought home a 51-39 victory over the Knights.
SD went on a 7-4 swing to end the first half up 22-19, despite senior Brant Ertel’s long 2-point basket to beat the halftime horn. The bucket started an 8-0 run by the visitors and the Knights never regained the lead again, though the score was knotted at 34 after three quarters.
In the fourth, Ertel (17-footer) and classmate Landen Wuestefeld (3 off a Quinn Gillman assist) put FC up by five. Later, with a 7-point advantage, the Cats patiently ran the offense. A three by Payton Hill cut the lead to 42-37 and first-year SD coach Patrick Cosgrove called timeout.
Senior Jace Lee then converted an and-one opportunity to start a string of eight unanswered for the guests. He added a wide-open layup from an Ertel pass.
Ertel (from Wuestefeld) began the night with a triple, part of a 12-point first half for No. 30. SD scored the next four to grab the lead; Ertel put in two before a three by Kenny Carpenter made it 7-5. Gillman hit two at the line for an early tie. The back and forth continued as Ertel banged in another drive, Carpenter scored down low and Ertel tripled off a Nick Vanoven assist. A deep 3 by Wuestefeld helped FC to a 16-12 lead after one.
Only three goals were scored in the next frame (all by SD) prior to Ertel’s last-second shot. Two came from Ryan Willoughby and Brodie Teke completed a 3-point play.
Senior Brady Morehead fed Lee for two to open the second half. A pair of Lee steals led to a Gillman free throw and Wuestefeld 3-ball, making it 25-22. Back-to-back field goals by Ertel produced a 29-23 score and Gillman’s trey made it 32-24. Around another Ertel make, Teke canned two 3-pointers. Willoughby rounded out the third with two FTs.
Ertel led all scorers for a second straight game, netting 23. Wuestefeld’s trio of threes gave him 9, with Lee getting 8, Gillman 7, Morehead 3 and Eli Butt 1. Teke (13) and Willoughby (11) paced the Knights.
Rushville- The Lions boys basketball team opponent the Shelbyville Golden Bears travelled down 44 to take on the Lions on Wednesday. Rushville was looking to stop the eight-game skid of opening game losses to Shelbyville, the last win coming in 2014. The Golden Bears had plans to keep the streak going and when all was said, and done, Rushville starts the season 0-1 for the eighth year in a row. A 55-45 loss for the Lions was close in the final frame with Rushville getting within six points of the visiting squad but trailing most of the game and unable to hit free throws going 0-7 in the second half was the downfall for the Lions on Friday evening.
The Lions began the game on a 6-0 run forcing a Shelbyville timeout. The Golden Bears then went on a 13-1 run to close the first frame up 13-7. Shelbyville shot well in the second quarter hitting 8 for 12 from the field and taking a 31-19 lead into halftime. The Lions Quentin Cain led his team back in the third frame, picking up a key assist, and slashing to the basket to score and cut the Shelbyville lead to one point. With just over three minutes to play in the third quarter the score was 31-30. The 11-0 run was ended and that was the closest Rushville would get for the remainder of the contest. The Golden Bears outscored the Lions 11-2 over the rest of the period to take a 42-33 lead into the final quarter. Shelbyville maintained the lead for the final 8:00 while Rushville went 0-5 from the foul line, despite the lack of free points Rushville closed the lead to six at one point and paced their opponent over the frame scoring 12 to the Golden Bears 13 points. Rushville host their other Highway 44 rival next Friday when Connersville comes to town.
Muncie- The Spartans travelled to face the Delta Eagles on the road Saturday evening. The early season matchup has been split over the last several years with the home team prevailing. This year was no different with Delta pulling out the win on their home court. The Spartans hung with the Eagles and were within a possession of tying the game in in the last minute. Delta held off the Spartans for a 44-41 win.
The Delta Eagles took an early 5-0 lead before a layup from James Williams got the Spartans on the board. Delta hit another three-pointer midway through the frame to make it 10-4. Lucas Barron got two baskets and Josh Williams another and the game was tied at 10-10 with one minute to go in the first frame. Ja. Williams made his way to the line and sunk two freebies to collect his fourth point of the game. A last-minute shot from Delta tied the game at 12-12 to start the second quarter. Ja. Williams paced the Spartans to begin the second frame scoring the first four points for Connersville and the game was tied at 16-16. A long ball from Delta from put them up 19-17, then Barron went to the line and tied it up with 1:50 to play in the half. Another Delta three pointer got them a lead, but Connersville got a basket from Braxton Myers before the half and the score was 23-21 in favor of Delta at the midway point.
Gavin Pearson started the third period with a three to give the Spartans a lead. Ja. Williams added to the lead with a layup, and it was 26-23 CHS. Delta got on the board with 5:00 to go, the score stayed at 26-25 for the next three and a half minutes while both squads racked up fouls but no points. Delta broke the scoreless streak with a three pointer, Jo. Williams added a basket before the half and the score was 28-28 at the end of three quarters. Delta got a three with six minutes to go to score the first points of the fourth quarter. Ja. Williams responded on the next possession to make it 31-30. The Eagles went up by four after completing an and one opportunity. Barron got a free throw and CHS was down by three midway through the frame, 34-31. Delta made their way back to the charity stripe and hit one to take a four-point lead with three minutes to go. Pearson went to the line on the next possession and pulled the Spartans within three after hitting both freebies.
A Connersville foul put Delta in the double bonus for the remainder of the game, they hit both shots and it was 37-33. An Eagle layup put them up by six, Barron cut the lead four with a minute to go, Ja. Williams took a Pearson pass and scored cutting it to a two-point lead. With 35 seconds left Delta went back to the line draining both, a quick inbound and long pass to Jo. Williams, who got one to fall from under the basket, had the Spartans down by just a basket 41-39 with 29 seconds left. Delta got a quick basket and a turnover going to the line hitting one. Pearson drove the length of the court hitting a shot and Connersville was back within a possession of the Eagles with the score 44-41. Unfortunately, Delta ran out the remaining six seconds and collected the three-point win. The Spartans dropped to 1-1 on the season. They will play next Friday on the road at Rushville for their first EAIC game. They will then have travel to face another Hoosier Heritage Conference opponent, Shelbyville, on Saturday evening.
The Connersville Spartans took it to the Union County Patriots in the annual Pre-Thanksgiving season opener. The Spartans went up quick going on a 6-0 run to start the game. UC got a basket and Lucas Barron went on a tear scoring the next five points himself and Connersville was up 11-2 with 3:15 to go in the game. Braxton Myers added two free throws to close out the first frame with the Spartans up 17-4. With 2:25 to go in the half Connersville was up 25-11, another four points from the Spartans and with :25 seconds left in the frame Logan Boone hit a free throw stopping the Spartans run. Blaine Hornsby scored just before the half and CHS was up 31-12 at the half.
The teams traded baskets to begin the third frame, but the Spartans pulled a little further ahead going up 44-18 midway through the period. James Williams sunk a shot; Brayden Pearson hit from long range, and Hornsby scored again to extend Connersville’s run to 19-0 closing out the third frame. A Patriot free throw was made, ending the streak. Uc outscored the Spartans in the final frame 10-8 but the game was decided in the first five minutes of the contest. The Spartans 61-28 victory will have them ready to face Delta tomorrow night on the road.
Scoring for the Spartans in the contest Myers 15, Barron 11, James Williams 10, Josh Williams 8, Gavin Pearson 5, Jaden Peterson 4, Hornsby 4, Brayden Pearson 3, Zander McHenry 1. UC was led by Gavin Davis and Brad Meadows each with five points.
Everyone knows the saying, “In 49 other states it’s just basketball.” You know the rest. If basketball was a holiday, today would make this Christmas Eve for Fayette and Union County. Union Countians travel down 44 West every year by any means necessary. Some brave UC students even dribble 13 miles to Connersville for the “un”official start of high school basketball.
The opening game rivalry is just one of the staples that the Spartans and their fans have enjoyed for decades. Included in the staples are 60 sectional championships with the first coming 100 years ago in 1922, 20 regional championships, and a 2-0 Record in the state championship game (1972, 83) putting Connersville as one of the most storied programs in the state of Indiana.
Spartan head coach Kerry Brown has seven seniors on his roster this year, including last season’s leading scorer Lucas Barron, who averaged 10.3 points per game. Brown’s team finished last season 18-7 and a perfect 7-0 in Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference games, winning the conference outright for the second season in a row. The Spartans’ season was cut short a season ago, after a first-round sectional loss to Greensburg.
Brothers Josh and James Williams, along with Braxton Myers, all return with varsity experience. The Spartans will be a favorite to win the EIAC again this year; with their size (5 players over 6’2”) and experience, they will be a tough team to beat.
Coach Brown always has two things that work in his favor. 1) He has a very solid and well coached defense. 2) His bench players are just as solid as his starters. That’s how he has racked up 210 wins over the last 13 years in Connersville and 292 over his career.
The Spartans’ first test will be against the Union County Patriots tomorrow evening. The Patriots have a new coach this year, Bobby Jones, who last coached at Hagerstown winning 131 games from 2009-18. Last year’s contest wasn’t exactly a contest as the Spartans routed UC 55-12. Over the last 35 years, Connersville has lost this opening night matchup just one time (2010), going 41-1 over the time frame.
Last Season Ryan Ehm took over a one-win Lions basketball team and won five games. This season he returns two key pieces any coach would be glad to have, a point guard and a center. Junior Quentin Cain will be running the offense, back for his second season as a starter. Cain will be the leading scorer amount returning players from last year’s team with an average of 7.1 points per game. Cain was also the team leader in assists with 55 in his first season as a starter. Ehm will also be returning 6’5 senior Dylan Thompson who shot 56% from the field last season while averaging 6.5 rebounds per game, a team high. Thompson was just behind Cain in scoring, averaging 6.3 per contest. Thompson was a solid defender in the EIAC last season being among the league leaders in rebounds and blocked shots (16) he should provide the Lions with very solid post play this year. Another senior with playing time that returns for the Lions is Kameron Morton who saw his playing time last season increase over the second half. He averaged 5.2 points per game and led the Lions defensively with 23 steals. Morton was third in rebounding for Rushville with an average of 2.4 boards per game. Junior Chase Woolf saw a few games of varsity action last year while leading the JV team for most of the season, he will be counted on for solid minutes as a guard. Woolf will be one of the quickest players on the court, weather starting or coming off the bench he should provide solid defense for coach Ehm. The Lions will just have two seniors this season, Thompson and Morton. Juniors suiting up for the Red and Black are Cain, Woolf, Danny Corn, and Kane Thompson. Seven sophomores are listed on the Lions roster, Nick Jarman, Braydon Wilson, XxZavien Jenkins, Isaac Schelle, Jackson Owen, Zach Tressler, and Adrian Apodaca. Freshman Clayton Chase rounds out the Lions roster. Coaches are Ehm and his assistants are Shawn Adkins and Nate Niehoff. Rushville begins their season Wednesday evening when the host Shelbyville, Varsity tips off at 7:30pm in Memorial Gym.
There’s an elephant in the Franklin County gymnasium.
To paraphrase Rick Pitino, Chad Cox is not walking through those doors this winter.
Although he’s been redshirted at IU East, the Wildcats’ all-time scoring leader took that record with him when he graduated last spring.
Cox led a group that produced a record-breaking season for team marks as well, posting 18 wins and nearly capturing the program’s first-ever sectional title.
“It’s one thing we’ve really been harping on since June, you know, enjoy that season and what we accomplished – obviously it was bittersweet how it ended – but we have guys who came in in June and looked around and saw those guys weren’t there,” said second-year coach Mark Foster.
“Not that they’ve forgotten those guys, but they had to learn real quick when we were playing June games that hey, more people are going to have to step up,” he added. “Not one person’s gonna’ replace probably the best player at Franklin County … but a group can, and it’s got to be a collective thing where all of them are kind of on the same page.”
And not that the cupboard is bare, either.
Though, as assistant Derek Stang recently pointed out to the squad, the 2021-22 unit averaged around 55 points per game and only 18 of those are returning.
Brant Ertel, in his fourth year as shooting guard, provided 11.5 of those as a junior. He also sank 41 3-pointers (38%), grabbed 88 boards, dished out 70 assists and stole the rock 34 times.
“(Opponents) were all playing for Chad last year, right?” Foster began. “And he got his because he’s really good. Well, this year Brant’s going to get his because he’s a really good basketball player. But we’ve got to find a group of guys who are going to expand their (offensive) roles, for sure.”
Jace Lee will certainly fill a key role, the senior starting every game a year ago. He contributed 4.5 ppg, shooting 71% from the field. Lee also secured 53 rebounds, adding 27 assists, 13 steals and 8 blocks.
Junior Eli Butt – lone member from Class of 2024 – provided the occasional boost on offense (2.4 ppg, 14 3s, 45% from long range) as a sophomore, ringing some important jumpers throughout the season. Senior Tanner Weartz (6’3”) gives FC some length inside and is the only other returnee logging meaningful minutes in the previous campaign, though he’s a little banged up to begin the year.
Other seniors are Brady Morehead and Landen Wuestefeld; joining them are classmates Hayden Barrett and Xander Rodriguez, a pair of wildcards up Foster’s sleeve.
“Both are new to the program,” said the coach. “Hayden was with us in June and Xander started in August. They’ve brought different sparks but they’re also a little behind the learning curve of what we want done.”
Rodriguez is better known from the FC baseball diamond, but his athleticism will play on the hardwood as well.
“He can guard, go up and down the floor, dribble … we’ve just got to kind of cage him a bit because he can get going really quick,” said Foster.
The coach is also anticipatory of a trio of sophomores – Quinn Gillman, Landon Johnson and Nick Vanoven (father Nick coaches the FC freshmen).
“Early on, we’re going to play with a bigger rotation – 9 or 10 – than we probably will by late February,” said Foster. “I want to give numerous kids ample opportunities to show what they can do.”
Defensively, the coach said it will largely “boil down to what we do well.”
“Last year we guarded man-to-man 95% of the time,” he added. “I don’t know if it’s going to be that high this year. We’ll see what this team can do, we’ll try to throw different looks at people.”
The first game action following a busy summer – FC played about 16 games in June at sites like Whiteland, East Central and Greenfield, to go with lifting and practice – is Thursday at University High School (Carmel) for an official scrimmage. The season gets underway early this year with a trip to Hagerstown Tuesday; normally, the Tiger matchup is late in the season.
“We moved it up so both of us could start with a non-conference opponent,” noted Foster.
Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference action starts Nov. 26 at South Dearborn, the Knights being the only league school to debut a coach this year – Patrick Cosgrove. The home opener Nov. 30 is a rematch of the sectional final against Lawrenceburg.
The Tigers, along with Connersville and Greensburg, appear to have the best chance at the EIAC title. CHS’ last regular season loss in conference came at the hands of FC in February of 2020. Foster thinks Batesville could surprise with a solid 2-3 zone and 6-5 Cole Pride in the middle of it. East Central may not be getting its football players in uniform until December.
FC is defending champ of the Wildcats’ holiday tourney, bringing the same three opponents back to Brookville on Dec. 22. Foster places Hamilton Heights in the favorite position.
Sectional moves to Greensburg in late February-early March. This is essentially an EIAC tourney without EC’s Trojans.
One other assistant not previously mentioned is Dylan Huber, who heads up the junior varsity. “We’re really trying to create a program here that is a program, just not year-to-year,” summarized Foster. “Of course, you graduate and lose players, but we do have a lot of young guys working their tails off so we’re excited about that.”