RRR readers, please welcome new RRR correspondent for Southwest Indiana SoInBball, who will be bringing us news throughout the season from her corner of the state. We look forward to finding out more about teams and players from a part of the state that has produced some great talent! If you would like to be a correspondent for your area of the state, your conference or team, please contact us.
Tic toc, tic toc mockingly the clock chimes away minute after minute. It has been 230-plus long days since the curtain fell on Indiana’s High School State Finals. On that day when all was said and done 4 teams were able to be called State Champions. As the lights dimmed over Conseco Fieldhouse bringing an end to the 2007-2008 girls' basketball season many a team dreamed about being one of those four teams in 2009.
Who will reign supreme on March 7th 2009 is anyone’s guess. On Monday, October 27 the quest to March Madness began for Indiana Girls High School Basketball. Many teams worked hard throughout the summer preparing for this time of year. Hundreds of girls attended summer open gyms and team camps in hopes of making it to the big dance. The coaches have reflected over last season and are ready to get started.
Here in South West Indiana, much like the rest of the state, basketball is a way of life. Rivalries are intense and usually bring out the community. This year should be no different, for those fans who want to watch a hard fought game only need to go as far as their local gym. In Evansville you’ll find Sectional 32 foes Bosse and Evansville Memorial going toe to toe on December 11th.
The Bulldogs of Bosse lost their starting five to graduation; all of which went on to play college basketball. Rebuilding is probably not the right adjective to use when describing this years team; reloading is more appropriate. Bosse will still bring their smothering defense and quickness. Gone from Memorial is their do everything Chelsea Falkenstein she’s playing D-I basketball for the University of Evansville. Memorial’s underclassmen will be called upon heavily if they expect to rack up the wins. Bosse and Memorial have a chance to meet at least 3 times this season whether it is during the regular season, the SIAC Tournament or in Sectional 32.
Another Bosse regular season and Sectional 32 foe is Gibson Southern. Unlike Bosse and Memorial, Gibson Southern lost no starters to graduation from their Sectional 32 Championship team. Seniors Lauren Zeabart and Natalie Chamberlain along with their junior teammates should be considered the odds on favorite to repeat as Sectional 32 Champions. With the lack of size in the paint Zeabart will be called upon to provide the long distance fire power while Chamberlain locks down on defense. Along with Bosse; Gibson Southern has the possibility of playing cross county arch rivals Princeton three times. They all play each other during the season with another opportunity to meet up during the Gibson County Toyota Classic as well as in Sectionals.
Princeton returns one lone senior, four year starter and leading scorer Shantel McKee. The rest of the starting five could be made up of 3 sophomores who saw a lot of Varsity playing time last year. After years on the downside Princeton looks to improve on their last two years where they were competitive. Although the team will be young they should make some noise in the Big Eight Conference. Vincennes Lincoln should be considered the favorite in the Big Eight as well as Sectional 31. Brooke Owens, Illinois State recruit, will be called on to do everything. However she won’t have to do it alone as the rest of her team should be up to the challenge when opposing teams focus on her.
Across town at Vincennes Rivet, Coach Tim Young’s Patriots should be a force again this year. Behind the strong guard play of junior Chelsea Meeks (right) the Patriots have a shot at the Blue Chip Conference title. It won’t be easy though as Wood Memorial and Barr Reeve hope to claim the same title. Barr Reeve a conference and 1A Sectional 63 rival hope they have the right combination to take out Rivet in the Sectional. Barr Reeve may just have the advantage when it comes to size. Three of the Vikings starting five are 6’-plus. Over the summer Washington Hatchet standout Liz Horton transferred to Barr Reeve. With her experience playing with and against 3A schools could that be just the push the Vikings need to move past Rivet? Wood Memorial has lost a lot since their run to the 1A State Championship game in 2007. The graduation this past May of Keely Wilhite and Shadoe Besing leaves a huge scoring hole for the Trojans. Junior Whitney Malin will have to continue her dominance at the three-point line, but will that be enough to challenge for the Blue Chip title. Only time will tell.