DePauw hosts NCAA Women's Division III First and Second Rounds

DePauw (21-7), winners of the North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament with Saturday's 56-53 win over Ohio Wesleyan, makes its 23rd NCAA Division III postseason appearance on Friday, March 1, when it faces Berea (24-3) in an opening round game at 8:30 p.m. EST in Neal Fieldhouse. 
The evening's other first-round contest features Hope (24-3) against Ripon (19-8) at 6 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase at and cash purchases will be accepted at the gate which opens at 5 p.m. on Friday. Friday's winners square off on Saturday, March 2, in an 8 p.m. second-round contest with the victor advancing to the Division III Sectional (Round of 16).
Berea, recipient of a Pool B at-large bid, is making its third NCAA appearance after competing in the 2020 and 2023 Championships and dropping opening-round contests. The Mountaineers captured a second consecutive Collegiate Conference of the South Tournament championship after defeating Belhaven by an 80-60 score on Saturday. The Mountaineers have won 18 of their last 19 games and touted a 16-game win streak at one point in February. Trent Milby is in his 10th season as head coach with a 209-68 record including seven straight seasons of at least 21 wins.
Lynkaylah James leads Berea with 15.6 points, 11.1 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game, while Drea Satori follows with 11.1 points and Jayden Merriweather 10.8. Satori leads the squad with 4.5 assists and Merriweather has hit a team-best 73 3-pointers. James shoots 55.7 percent from the floor.
DePauw, which made 18 consecutive trips to the NCAA postseason prior to last season, has posted a 34-20 postseason record including national titles in 2007 and 2013 and a third-place showing in 2002. This marks the 14th time the Tigers have hosted opening-round competition with the last coming in 2020. Head coach 
Kris Huffman is in her 31st season with the Tigers with a 720-147 record and reached the 700-win mark in the fourth-fewest games of any coach on any NCAA level after DePauw's 76-48 win over Calvin on Nov. 17.
Ava Hassel leads DePauw with 11.8 points, 2.9 assists and 1.7 steals per game and has hit a team-high 49 3-pointers. Riley Mont follows with 10.4 points per outing, while Diana Burgher hauls down 5.4 rebounds per contest. 
Hope earned a Pool C at-large bid and is appearing in its 24th Championship and 11th straight. The Flying Dutch enter with all-time record of 48-19 including national championships in 1990, 2006 and 2022 and a runner-up finish in 2010. Hope fell to Trine, 63-59, in Saturday's Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Tournament championship contest. Brian Morehouse is in his 28th season at his alma mater with a 709-97 career record. With a 79-77 double overtime win over Alma on Jan. 13, he reached the 700-win plateau in the fewest number of games of any coach on any NCAA level.
Sydney Vis leads the Flying Dutch with 12.1 points and 1.8 steals per contest, while Olivia Bellows follows with 10.2 points. Courtney Lee hauls down 6.0 rebounds each outing and Raven Jemison averages 1.3 blocks. Karsen Karlblom leads the way with 51 3-pointers with Jada Garner dishing out 2.3 assists and ranking 15th in Division III with a 2.65:1 assist/turnover ratio.
Ripon earned automatic qualification into the Championship after winning the Midwest Conference Tournament on Saturday with an 84-70 victory over Knox. The Red Hawks are making their seventh overall postseason appearance with an all-time record of 2-6. Lauren Busalacchi is in her 11th season with the Red Hawks with a 159-100 record.
Ella Ten Pas leads the squad with 13.8 points and 9.3 rebounds per game and is shooting 55.1 percent from the floor. Bonnie Jensen follows with 11.9 points and 54.5 percent field goal shooting with Laney Havlovitz handing out 2.8 assists. Natalie Rauwolf has knocked down a team-high 36 3-pointers. 

North Putnam brings experience into sectional field

With the regular season completed and all eyes on the Class 2A Sectional 44 at Greencastle next week, the North Putnam boy's basketball team finds itself in good shape to make a run.

The Cougars, coached by Vincent Brooks, ended the regular season 14-9 and open the sectional against Cloverdale (2-21) Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Greencastle. North Putnam has defeated the Clovers twice this season. 

"We are excited for the tournament and are looking forward to playing again in the McAnally Center next week," Brooks told The Putnam County Post.

The Cougars fared well earlier this season in McAnally, winning the Putnam County Tournament. The county tournament was part of a series of strong performances as of 

The Cougars finished the second half of the season strong, going 11-2 in 2024.

North Putnam has won 10 of its last 12, but suffered a 44-37 setback in the regular season finale against North Montgomery. 

Brooks said a major reason for the success in the new year has to do with the leadership from his seniors. 

"Our senior leadership, on and off the court, has been the biggest reason for our success this year. Regardless of the outcome of any future game, I couldn't be more proud of our seniors," Brooks said. 

With that said, he wants to win a sectional and said there are a few things North Putnam must do to have an opportunity to cut down the nets at Greencastle again. 

"In order to have any level of success in the sectional, we will have to demonstrate great discipline in our offensive and defensive fundamentals," Brooks said.

New athletic conference unveils name, logo

Last year it was announced that Greencastle and North Putnam would leave the Western Indiana Conference for a new, unnamed conference. 

On Thursday, the new conference, which begins during the 2025-26 school year, unveiled its new name and logo. The Monon Athletic Conference will feature founding members Greencastle, North Putnam, Crawfordsville, North Montgomery, Southmont, Frankfort, Western Boone and Cascade. 

Greencastle and North Putnam have one year left in the Western Indiana Conference, which features Northview, Indian Creek, Owen Valley, Sullivan, Edgewood, South Putnam, Cloverdale, West Vigo and Brown County.

According to Greencastle High School principal Chad Rodgers, the new conference features a huge distance advantage among the member schools.

"One of the big positives with the new conference is distance. That was a big factor. Also, we have a lot more feeder programs in the new conference and more sports. We are more common in athletics and we are all more like sized," Rodgers told The Putnam County Post.   

Greencastle football coach David Stephens admits he "loves" everything about the future conference. 

"I absolutely love the new conference name, the logo and the meaning behind it. This is definitely an upgrade in conference for Greencastle athletics," Stephens said. 

In a press release, the Monon Athletic Conference (MAC) said the conference name is a tribute to the history and connection of the Monon Railway. 

"The eight founding schools sit directly along or within the old Monon Railroad corridor that connected Chicago to Indianapolis and Louisville for nearly a century," the release states. 

Bob Knight special edition bobbleheads unveiled

Today, the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum unveiled two limited-edition bobbleheads of legendary college basketball coach Bob Knight.

The first bobblehead features Knight wearing his signature red sweater, while the second bobblehead commemorates Knight’s iconic chair-throwing incident. The special edition bobbleheads are being produced by the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum in conjunction with Knight Legacy. Founded by Coach Knight’s son, Pat Knight, Knight Legacy’s mission is to honor, promote, and preserve the Coach Knight Legacy and the footprint that Hall of Fame Coach Bob Knight has made in the history of basketball.

Standing on a circular base bearing his name, the first Knight bobblehead is wearing a red sweater and dark pants. The top of the base features a facsimile of Coach Knight’s autograph. Standing on a replica hardwood floor base bearing his name, the second Coach Knight bobblehead is wearing a red and white striped short-sleeved shirt like the one worn during Indiana’s game vs. rival Purdue on February 23, 1985, when Knight threw a chair across the Assembly Hall court objecting to a call. The chair throwing incident which has come to be known as “The Chair Game” is still remembered and even celebrated today on its anniversary and when the Hoosiers face Purdue. Knight, who apologized for his actions the next day, joked about throwing the chair since the incident, saying that he saw an old lady standing on the opposite sideline and threw her the chair so she could sit down.

The standing bobblehead is individually numbered to 2,023 while the chair-throwing bobblehead is numbered to 19,850. The bobbleheads are currently available for pre-order exclusively through the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum’s Online Store. The standing Knight bobbleheads are $30 each, while the chair-throwing bobbleheads are $40 each, plus a flat-rate shipping charge of $8 per order. A set of two is available for $65 and both bobbleheads are expected to ship in December.

In his coaching career, Knight finished with an overall record of 902-371. The 902 NCAA Division I victories was a record at the time of his retirement, and currently ranks fifth all-time. He is best known for winning three national championships as the head coach of the Indiana Hoosiers in 1976, 1981 and 1987. In addition to coaching the Hoosiers from 1971 to 2000, he was also the head coach at Army from 1965 to 1971 and Texas Tech from 2001 to 2008.

Known as one of college basketball’s most successful and innovative coaches, having popularized the motion offense, Knight also won a National Invitation Tournament championship and 11 Big Ten Conference championships along with his three national titles. Knight received National Coach of the Year honors four times and Big Ten Coach of the Year honors eight times. In 1984, he coached the USA men’s Olympic team to a gold medal, becoming one of only three basketball coaches to win an NCAA title, NIT title and an Olympic gold medal. Knight was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1991 and was a member of the founding class of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006. He was also inducted into the Army Sports Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Indiana Hoosiers Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009.

Born in Massillon, Ohio, on October 25th, 1940, the only child of Pat and Hazel Knight grew up in nearby Orrville. His life in athletics began as a tall first baseman for the Mizer Tykes. He switched to basketball in the sixth grade and became a local star. An excellent student, Knight once won the Orrville Library’s competition for what child could read the most books between June and September. Knight went on to Ohio State where he played for Hall of Fame coach Fred Taylor. He was a reserve forward on the 1960 NCAA championship team that featured future Hall of Famers John Havlicek and Jerry Lucas. The Buckeyes lost in each of the next two NCAA championship games, of which the sharpshooting Knight also played a part of off the bench. One year after graduating from Ohio State with a degree in history and government in 1962, Knight enlisted in the United States Army and served two years of active duty. Knight, who was a private first class, also served nearly four years in the Army reserves. While in the service, Knight was an assistant coach for the Army Black Knights basketball team. As a 24-year-old in 1965, he was named Army’s head coach and compiled a record of 102-50 in six seasons there before going to Indiana.

When asked about the bobbleheads, Coach Knight’s son and Founder of Knight Legacy, Pat Knight said, “We’re thrilled to be honoring my father’s legacy with these limited edition bobbleheads in collaboration with the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum. I think these bobbleheads are a great tribute to my dad’s legacy and the passion that he had for basketball and life.”

"We’re excited to team up with Knight Legacy to create these bobbleheads celebrating the legendary coach,” National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum co-founder and CEO Phil Sklar said. “One of the most successful coaches in the history of college basketball, and we think fans will love these new bobbleheads!”

About the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum:
The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum, which is located at 170 S. 1st St. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, opened to the public on February 1st, 2019. The HOF and Museum also produces high quality, customized bobbleheads for retail sale as well as organizations, individuals, and teams across the country. Visit us
online and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Tiger Cubs shooting for sectional crown

With one game left in the regular season for the Greencastle Tiger Cubs, it is hard for the team not to look forward to the Class 2A Sectional 44 Tournament, which will be played at Greencastle. 

The Tiger Cubs (13-9) will open the sectional Feb. 28 against South Putnam, and coach Bryce Rector admits the sectional is "tough with several really good basketball teams."

"Obviously, Parke Heritage, North Putnam and Greencastle are the three teams that come into sectional play with above .500 records, and are all very capable of winning the sectional. We were able to avoid Parke Heritage and North Putnam on the first night of play, which is nice, but we still have to be ready for South Putnam. We have beaten the Eagles twice, and I always think it's difficult to beat a team three times in one year and they gave us everything we wanted in the Putnam County Classic, so we are going to have to be ready to play on Wednesday night. We are going to have to really work to be efficient offensively over the three games of the sectional and limit turnovers and second chance points for the opponent," Rector told the Putnam County Post. 

After opening the season 1-3, Greencastle has had some success this year, along with a few down moments. The Tiger Cubs fell in the final of the county tournament, which they hosted. 

"This season has been filled with ups and downs, but, overall, I feel that we have made improvements as the year has gone on. We had a great month of January and have played well in some games down the stretch. You can see that our team is completely different than it was in November, which is always a great feeling as a coach. I am happy with the progress we have made and am really looking forward to our final regular season game as well as the sectional tournament," Rector said..

South Putnam 'excited' about sectional draw

As his team prepares for the upcoming Class 2A Sectional 44 at Greencastle, first year South Putnam boy's basketball coach Josh Estridge is hopeful the third time is the charm. 

When the Eagles and Greencastle tip off Feb. 28 in the sectional opener, it will mark the third time the two teams have played this year. Greencastle has won the prior two games. 

"Our team is super excited about our draw.  We get to play the host school that happens to be a rival and it is the third time we will get to play them.  We are obviously very familiar with each other and it should make for a great game.  In order for our team to cut down the nets we have to play with consistency on both ends of the court.  On offense, we have to attack the paint and put pressure on the defense, we have to continue to take care of the basketball, and create extra possessions by attacking the glass.  Defensively, we have to continue to have the mindset of making the other team work really hard for any points.  This is something we have done pretty well late in the season.  We will need a high level of communication and finish each possession with a rebound," Estridge told The Putnam County Post.

South Putnam will close out the regular season Friday night at home against Indian Creek. After opening the season 0-4, the Eagles are 7-14 on the year.

"It is Senior night and we are hoping to finish strong.  From a record standpoint the season isn't what we wanted or trained for.  With that being said, our team got better as the season went along.  Our young guys got much more comfortable playing varsity basketball and gained lots of needed experience.  Our older guys have done a good job leading by example and helping implement our system in the first year.  We made a lot of progress and I am happy overall. We have a lot to work on and improve on, but we are looking forward to the challenge as we move forward," Estridge said.  

Clovers feel 'invigorated' for sectional tournament

While the record may not have been what Cloverdale boy's basketball coach Karl Turk wanted this year, he understands what is at stake when his team enters the Greencastle Sectional next week. 

At 2-20 with a game against Sullivan slated for Tuesday, Turk said the opportunity to play for a title has "invigorated" the Clovers.

"The season definitely was tough with all the circumstances involved in a 2-20 record, the opportunity for postseason play and compete for a championship

has invigorated the team. We are as healthy as we are going to be and have been for months, and we just came off a senior night win over Eminence that was reflective of the excitement and purpose that the players have shown preparing for the postseason," Turk told The Putnam County Post. 

Turk said for a basketball person, the upcoming state tournament is the "most wonderful time of the year."

"Today, I had the opportunity to explain to a coach from out of state that in Indiana all teams go to the postseason, something that doesn't happen in all states. Whereas in other states many teams, once they realize that how their season has gone will keep them from the postseason, attitudes and effort are compromised. With us, we are becoming more energized," Turk said. 

They will need to be energized as Cloverdale opens the sectional tournament on Feb. 27 in the opener against North Putnam (14-8). The Cougars captured the Putnam County Tournament this year and have two wins over the Clovers already this season. 

"North Putnam certainly is one of the two "favorites" and they come into the tournament as winners of nine straight and having recently been crowned again county champions. They have distinct experience, height, and continuity

advantages that will be difficult for us to overcome; yet we relish the challenge. We have played them 2 times this year, both resulting in lopsided North Putnam victories; yet in significant portions of each game we have played well," Turk said.

To pull off the upset and then win a sectional crown, Turk said Cloverdale has to continue to build continuity, partial out sentiments associated with portions of the season that did not go their way and put together its most comprehensive efforts of the season. 

"Certainly, the full-time varsity players will have to be at their very best, but they must also be joined by poised younger players that have moved into supporting roles," Turk said. 

Putnam County boys basketball teams to square off in opening round of sectional

Greencastle High School is the host and the action is sure to be intense when Putnam County's boys basketball teams tip off in the Class 2A Sectional 44 tournament. 


Cloverdale and North Putnam kick things off in Game 1 on Jan. 27. The two teams played twice this season with the Cougars capturing both victories. Cloverdale enters at 2-20 and just snapped a 14 game losing streak, knocking off Eminence, 64-40. North Putnam, on the other hand, is the Putnam County champion and enters with a 14-8 record and have won nine straight ahead of Tuesday's regular season finale against North Montgomery. 


"Cloverdale is always exceptionally prepared and has multiple guys that are a threat beyond the arc, so they have the ability to go on a run at any moment," said Vincent Brooks, coach of North Putnam.


The winner of Cloverdale-North Putnam will play Southmont (8-11) in the first semi-final on March 1. The Mounties beat Cloverdale, 35-34, in the second game of the season and lost 53-39 to North Putnam. 


North Putnam is eyeing its first sectional crown since 2002, while the Clovers were last champions in 2018. 


The action on Wednesday, Feb. 28, kicks off with South Putnam (7-13) taking on the host Tiger Cubs (13-9). Greencastle swept the regular season matchups, earning a regular season win early in the season and then defeating the Eagles in the Putnam County Boy's County Tournament. 


"South Putnam has been playing some really good basketball as of late and has the weapons to win the county. Drew Hill is the reigning County Player of the Year, so anytime you have that to deal with, you know you are going to have to play well to win," Greencastle coach Bryce Rector said. 


South Putnam coach Josh Estridge said the Tiger Cubs have a lot of players that can score in multiple ways. 


"They are also long and really athletic. That can make it hard to scheme or get matched up to stop them.  They are also entering the tournament playing really well. I would say they are playing some of their best basketball of the season.  It is also a big rivalry game and we are looking forward to the challenge," Estridge admitted. 


Greencastle last won a sectional in 2021, while the Eagles last cut the nets down in 2003. 


The second game on Feb. 28 features Parke Heritage (18-4) squaring off against Riverton Parke (3-17).


The NBA and Pacers Sports & Entertainment announce statue honoring Hall-Of-Famer Oscar Robertson, Indy's first All-Star

The NBA, in partnership with Pacers Sports & Entertainment, has commissioned a statue to honor Indianapolis Crispus Attucks legend and Naismith Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced at The Tip-Off at Bicentennial Unity Plaza.

The Commissioner welcomed Robertson to the stage and shared the news before thousands of fans celebrating the official beginning of NBA All-Star 2024.
From design to completion, the statue will take approximately one year until it is unveiled to the public. Once finished, it will be permanently placed at Crispus Attucks High School in Indianapolis and will be unveiled during a ceremony in 2025.
“Oscar Robertson’s legendary basketball journey began in Indianapolis where he led Crispus Attucks High School to the first state championship in the country won by an all-Black team,” said Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner.  “We are thrilled to join the Pacers in commissioning a statue in recognition of Oscar’s extraordinary impact on the game and his hometown.”
Indianapolis artist Ryan Feeney has been commissioned to create the statue, which depicts Robertson in his NBA All-Star jersey atop a basketball-shaped base made by scanning the actual 1955 Crispus Attucks State Championship Trophy. The metal for the bronze piece was sourced from Casting Art & Technology in Cincinnati, where Robertson was a three-time NCAA All-American at the University of Cincinnati and where he began his professional career with the Cincinnati Royals.
Robertson, widely considered one of the NBA’s all-time great players, is the first Indiana high school basketball player to be named an NBA All-Star. He was selected to the All-Star team 12 straight times during his 14-year career, earning All-NBA honors 11 times and winning the League MVP for the 1963-64 season. Robertson has also been credited with revolutionizing the point guard position, holding the record for most triple-doubles in League history until 2021 and being the first-ever NBA player to average a triple-double for an entire season.
For many Hoosiers, Robertson’s most significant legacy is the important impact he and his Crispus Attucks teammates had on Indiana high school basketball history. In 1955, the Tigers became the first all-Black team in the country to win a state championship, following it up with a second-consecutive IHSAA state championship in 1956. Robertson was named Indiana Mr. Basketball and the ’56 team was the first in state history to finish undefeated, posting a 31-0 record with a 22-point championship game victory over Lafayette Jefferson High School.
“It is important to immortalize the impacts Oscar has had on the court and well beyond the game of basketball, and this wonderful tribute will ensure generations to come can celebrate his remarkable legacy,” said Rick Fuson, PS&E’s Chief Executive Officer. 
The Robertson statue adds to an impressive list of commissioned pieces Feeney has created for landmarks throughout Indianapolis and beyond, including the impressive 9-foot sculpture of Indianapolis Colts Hall of Famer Peyton Manning that sits outside Lucas Oil Stadium. His other works include the bronze eagle atop the Indianapolis 9/11 memorial, the metal piano for the Hoagie Carmichael statue on Indiana University’s Bloomington campus, and the bronze cast of a sheriff deputy located outside the front doors of the Sheriff’s Department.
“It is an honor to have been chosen to sculpt a lasting tribute of the greatest basketball player ever to come from Indianapolis, Oscar Robertson,” said Feeney. “My hope is to make Mr. Robertson and the city of Indianapolis proud.”

Boys basketball sectional pairings announcement Sunday on GIANT fm WREB

The Indiana High School Athletic Association will announce the sectional pairings for the 114th Annual Boys Basketball State Tournament at 5 p.m. Sunday.

The Pairings Show, hosted by Bob Lovell and Greg Rakestraw, will stream exclusively at and air on affiliates of the IHSAA Champions Network which includes the GIANT fm radio station in Greencastle (94.3 fm or the GIANT fm app).

Greencastle, Cloverdale, North Putnam and South Putnam are in the Class 2A, Sectional 44 field hosted by Greencastle.

Those teams are No. 16 Parke Heritage (17-4), Greencastle (12-9), North Putnam (13-8), Southmont (7-11), South Putnam (7-12), Cloverdale (1-20) and Riverton Parke (3-16).

Parke Heritage is 6-0 against the sectional field this season. Greencastle (6-1) and North Putnam (5-2) also have found success against potential sectional foes.

Greencastle’s last sectional title came in 2021. North Putnam has not won a sectional championship since 2002 – South Putnam’s last sectional title came one year later in 2003.

Cloverdale's last sectional title was in 2018 and capped off four consecutive.

Greencastle QB enjoying big offseason

As a freshman last year, Greencastle quarterback Cole Stephens took the WIC and Indiana by storm, putting up impressive numbers week after week en route to lifting the Tiger Cubs to a conference title. 
With the offseason in full swing, Stephens has been hard at work to put up numbers again once the season kicks off in August. 

"The off-season is going great. I've been able to add 15 pounds since the end of football season of good weight," Stephens told The Putnam County Post.

And, along the way, he is starting to generate some college interest, having recently been invited to Vanderbilt's Prospect Day. In addition, he has received an invite to the Elite Retreat May 30 through June 1. 

"Recruiting interest for 2027s is a relative thing with the transfer portal and how college programs are putting together their rosters. There is definitely some interest. I anticipate some verbal offers coming my way when I visit schools during spring ball and summer one day camps," said Stephens, who threw for 2,675 yards and 34 touchdowns last year. 

Stephens said the invite to Vanderbilt came about after a meeting with offensive coordinator Tim Beck.

"I was able to sit down with their new offensive coordinator, Tim Beck. He said he absolutely loves my film and thinks I am going to be a great player. He told me he could definitely see me playing at Vandy. I just got to keep continuing to get bigger and stronger in the weight room. I am pretty excited about the visit," Stephens said.

The rising sophomore said he has several visits planned during spring football season. 

"I'd definitely like to visit with Indiana University and meet with Coach Cignetti and Coach Sunseri. Western Kentucky has shown a lot of interest in me, and I'll definitely be down there to visit with Coach Helton and Coach Hollingshead this spring. I'll attend around 10 one day camps this summer at different universities in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee," Stephens said. 

Last fall, the Tiger Cubs finished 8-3 and advanced to the second round of the sectional. Stephens set two single game passing records, was named the Putnam County Player-of-the-Year, All-WIC and All-Wabash Valley, and said when he looks back on last year, he was "blessed."

"I really look at how blessed I was, as a player, to have such good players surrounding me and how much team success we were able to have year one at Greencastle," he said. 

And, he is already thinking goals for the upcoming season. 

"This year, I'd like to make it deeper into the playoffs. Personally, I plan to study outside of the the air raid offense as I may not always be able to play in the same system. I think going into this season, we will be a team to look out for. I think that we could be a much bigger threat to teams than we were last year. We are returning a lot of starters in very important positions that will be crucial to our success," Stephens said. 

North Putnam captures Putnam County title

For the North Putnam boy's basketball team, some things never get old. 


Things like winning the county tournament, as the Cougars won the Putnam County Boy's Basketball Tournament, knocking off both Cloverdale and Greencastle to cut down the nets. 


"I couldn't be happier for our seniors, completing North Putnam's four peat county championship. And even more impressive, this senior class completed a six year perfect run in county tournament play as they also won county as seventh and eighth graders," North Putnam coach Vincent Brooks told The Putnam County Post. 


North Putnam opened the tournament with a 63-27 win over Cloverdale and followed that with a 61-37 win over Greencastle in the final. According to Brooks, every North Putnam player played their role "exceptionally."


"Every one of our guys played their role exceptionally this weekend, demonstrated in the fact that we had five guys shoot above 50 percent effective field goal percentage. Nolan Hackelman led our team in scoring with 38 points on the weekend, followed by Isaac Pickel with 20 points, Kaden Helderman with 18 points, and Jaylen Windmiller with 15 points. Brady Barber scored a very efficient 13 points while leading our team with 19 rebounds," Brooks said. 


North Putnam currently sits at 13-8 after opening the season 2-5 and find themselves in the midst of an eight game win streak heading into the last two games of the regular season. On Feb. 17, North Putnam travels to Riverton Parke and will host North Montgomery on Feb. 20 in the regular season finale. 


"I am very proud of how our team has evolved and grown through stretches of adversity earlier this year. I think we are playing our best basketball of the year and are excited to see us compete in sectional play soon," Brooks said. 

Greencastle's Buis signs with Saginaw Valley State

After a high school career that saw him have plenty of success, Greencastle High School offensive lineman Jackson Buis is ready to move on to the next level.
On Wednesday, he signed with Saginaw Valley State, continuing a football career that began when his father introduced him to the game. 

"My father got me into football at a young age when he got out of college coaching for nine years. He coached at Northwestern, Grand Valley State and Eastern Michigan," Buis told The Putnam County Post. 

The 6-foot-3-inch, 290-pound standout said playing offensive line was not, however, something he was too keen about doing when he started playing football. 

"No young kid wants to put his hand in the dirt and not be able to run the ball. When I got older and started to enjoy it, I took it very seriously, trying to get better every day. I take great pride in the position. I worked to the best of my ability to get where I am, and I still believe I have more to learn and get better. Last season, I spent a bit of time teaching our middle school program the importance of it, helping them with drills and how to get better. I want the younger groups to have just as much pride that I have in the position," Buis said. 

Buis said it felt "amazing" to make his college choice official.

"Saginaw stood out apart from everyone else. They were my first offer and the first offer is the most special one. Secondly, they have such an amazing coaching staff. Coach Brady is an amazing head coach, and I immediately fell in love with the program. They also have incredible facilities along with an amazing school," said Buis, who also had a PWO from Northwestern, an offer from Grand Valley State and had drawn interest from DePauw. 

The Tiger Cubs standout said the coaching staff at Saginaw was impressed with the way he played. 

"Coach Brady said I play with an edge, which is what he liked most about how I play," he said. 

As for getting ready for the next level, Buis admits he is a little concerned. 

"I am a little concerned about the jump to the next level. The speed of the game is very different from high school," Buis said. 

With his high school career in the rearview, Buris did take a moment to reflect and offer thanks. 

"What has stood out the most looking back at my high school career is how I played. I could visibly see my growth over the years, and I feel like I had showed that I worked to the position I'm in now. I could not have gotten to this point without my mom and dad. They are the reason I've become successful. I believe that's because they raised me the right way," Buis said. 

Greencastle looks to cut down nets on home floor

Sometimes in sports, there is something special about playing on your home court or field.
The Greencastle boy's basketball team hopes that is the case when they open the Putnam County Tournament tonight against South Putnam. 
The Tiger Cubs enter with a 10-8 mark under coach Bryce Rector. 

"I am pretty pleased with where are at right now at this point in the season. I think we have really started to play well in the second half of the season, which is always the best time of year to feel as though you are playing some of your best basketball. We have gotten some really great contributions from multiple different guys so far this year," Rector told The Putnam County Post.

Leading the way this season has been sophomores Sam Gooch and Cody Evans, both of whom have shown growth this season, according to Rector. In addition, Greencastle has gotten strong play from classmates Nathan Sutherlin and Connor Sullivan.  

"Both contributed in big ways to helping us win some really tough games this season. Juniors Taygan McRoberts and Anthony Adams have given us quite a bit of production recently and really help us win games when they are producing. Lone senior Judah Amis has been someone we can consistently go to and has served a big role for us coming off the bench recently," Rector said. 

Rector admits his team will have its hands full in the county tournament. 

"South Putnam has been playing some really good basketball as of late and has the weapons to win the county. Drew Hill is the reigning County Player of the Year, so anytime you have that to deal with, you know you are going to have to play well to win. Regardless of who we play on Friday, we are just going to focus on us and making sure we have a gameplan ready to go and our guys are willing and ready to execute it. This is always one of the most fun weeks of the year for us, and we are excited," Rector said. 

South Putnam brings win streak into county tourney

As he prepares to lead the South Putnam boy's basketball team into his first county tournament, coach Josh Estridge is pleased with where his team sits.

After opening the season 0-4, the Eagles are currently 6-10 ahead of Thursday's Putnam County Boy's Basketball Tournament, where they will play host Greencastle at 6 p.m. 

The Eagles opened the new year on a four game skid, but will bring a two game winning streak into the county tournament, knocking off both Dugger Union and Riverton Parke. 

"As a team, we are continuing to improve on both sides of the ball.  All of our players continue to improve," Estridge told The Putnam County Post.

Leading the way for South Putnam has been Drew Hill, who is averaging 15.5 points per game. After him, Estridge notes it has been several other players helping out. 

"He has also taken a hold of our team's leadership role and is really bringing our young guys along. Wyat Mullin continues to be steady at the guard position. He is scoring more and taking care of the basketball. All while usually having a tough assignment on defense.  Cameron Bozell is shooting really well from the outside.  He is shooting 43 percent from the field," Estridge said.

The first year coach said his players are figuring out their roles and contributing as the calendar flips to February. 

"I like where we are at, and I am not surprised. We have a team where only a few guys had varsity experience going into the season.   We just need to stay the course, practice hard, and continue to go after our goals we set at the beginning of the season and mid-season," Estridge said. 

One of those goals is to cut down the nets at the county tournament, but the Eagles have a huge task in front of them in Greencastle. Estridge described the Tiger Cubs as a "really tough basketball team."

"They have a lot of guys that can score in multiple ways. They are also long and really athletic. That can make it hard to scheme or get matched up to stop them.  They are also entering the tournament playing really well.  They have won five of their last seven.  The two losses were to solid 3A teams and they just recently scored 91 against Brown County.  I would say they are playing some of their best basketball of the season.  It is also a big rivalry game and we are looking forward to the challenge," Estridge admitted. 

The first time the two teams played this year, Greencastle picked up a 49-35 win over South Putnam.  

"The first time we played those guys in their gym, we struggled to score the basketball. The main key for me is we have to score more than we did in the first matchup to win.  It is also going to take us not turning the basketball over, staying out of foul trouble, and rebounding.  All of those aspects of the game are going to be challenges that we look forward to taking head on," Estridge said. 

And, he acknowledged the Eagles have to do several things if they want to cut down the nets.  

"In order to cut down the nets we are going to have to shoot a high percentage, limit our turnovers, get to the free throw line, make every shot the opposing team attempts a tough shot, rebound, and be tough.  Easier said than done, but our team is excited for the opportunities this week," Estridge said. 

North Putnam ready for county tournament

It has been said that a high school basketball season can be a "grind."

North Putnam boy's basketball coach Vincent Brooks would probably agree when looking at this season. 

After opening the season 2-0, the Cougars found themselves on a five game losing streak. North Putnam has since corrected that, riding a six game win streak and bringing an 11-8 mark into the Putnam County Boys' Basketball Tournament this week. 

"We feel like we are moving in the right direction and are looking forward to the county tournament this week. I believe all our guys are playing their best basketball right now, but especially senior Nolan Hackleman, who continues to lead our team offensively and defensively with great consistency," Brooks told The Putnam County Post. 

North Putnam opens the county tournament, which will be held at Greencastle, on Feb. 8 at 7:30 p.m. against Cloverdale (1-16). The Cougars defeated the Clovers, 74-48, last month. 

Despite Cloverdale's record, Brooks said his team has to be ready to go when they tip off against the Clovers. 

"Cloverdale is always exceptionally prepared and has multiple guys that are a threat beyond the arc, so they have the ability to go on a run at any moment.

Our last game against each other was just three weeks ago, and was a one point game midway through the third quarter. I expect this Thursday night will also be a tight contest," Brooks said. 

What will it take for the Cougars to secure a win and have a chance to cut down the nets?

"We will have to defend the arc and shoot the ball well two nights in a row to have an opportunity to cut the nets down on Friday night," Brooks admitted. 

Beadles and Mowery-Shields win semistate wrestling berths

Brownsburg captured the team title at the Mooresville wrestling regional Saturday.

Meanwhile, third-place individual finishes landed two South Putnam wrestlers berths in the semistate.

Brownsburg outdistanced second-place Center Grove, 238.5 to 188.5. Avon, Monrovia and Martinsville rounded out the top five.

South Putnam wrestlers recorded 20 points for a seventh place finish.

Aiden Beadles won his opening match at 215 against junior Dominick Mercer of Martinsville (26-11), 12-10.  The Eagles senior then lost by a fall to Brownsburg junior Caden Brewer (28-6).

In the third place match, Beadles (34-8) got by Avon junior Grant Stewart (20-17) in a 1-0 decision to earn the semistate trip.

Teammate Keenan Mowery-Shields (38-5) advanced with a first round fall against Grayson Spurling (17-19) of Martinsville. In the semifinal, eventual 285 pound champion Nate Johnson of Center Grove downed Mowery-Shields, 7-0.

Mowery-Shields bounced back in the next match with a 3-2 decision over Decatur Central senior Javian Jones (14-6) to claim third place and a berth in the semistate.

Saturday's semistate will be hosted by Evansville F. J. Reitz at the Ford Center featuring wrestlers from the Bloomington South, Castle, Jeffersonville and Mooresville regional sites.

Greencastle falls in sectional final

It has often been said that basketball is a game of runs, and such was the case in the South Putnam Girls' Basketball Sectional final between Greencastle and Parke Heritage. 

The Tiger Cubs came out firing on all cylinders, racing out to a 12-3 advantage before watching Parke Heritage use a 21-5 run in the second quarter to pull away with a 43-32 victory. With the win, the Wolves (23-3) will advance to the regional where they will play Eastern Hancock (23-1). For Greencastle, its season came to an end at 12-14. 

Early on, Greencastle's box and one defense combined with an ability to get Parke Heritage into early foul trouble proved to be advantageous for the Tiger Cubs. 

After falling behind 3-2, the Tiger Cubs got things going with Evelyn Briones hitting a basket and three pointer before Maddie Plew drilled a three to put Greencastle ahead 10-3. The lead would swell to 12-5 at the end of the first quarter. 

That was as good as it would get for the Tiger Cubs, as Parke Heritage opened the second quarter on a 4-0 run and stepped up its defensive intensity in the halfcourt to get easy baskets in transition. 

While the Wolves took advantage, Greencastle was unable to pad its lead despite being in the bonus. Briones would net a steal and layup, cutting the deficit to 16-14 but that was as close as Greencastle would get with Parke Heritage easing to a 26-17 halftime lead. 

The halftime break did little to settle Greencastle down, as the Tiger Cubs opened the third quarter with three turnovers and Parke Heritage took advantage, stretching the lead to 30-17 before Allie Dobbs hit a three to trim the deficit to 30-20. 

The two teams would trade baskets before the Wolves went ahead 35-27 heading into the fourth quarter. 

Parke Heritage went to a stall offense in the early moments of the fourth quarter to milk some clock and protect its lead. 

Briones led the way for Greencastle with 11 points, while both Plew and Bailey Brown each finished with six points. 





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