Breaking News

Local Sports

December 30, 2012

Berries have up-and-down day at Hall of Fame Classic

NEW CASTLE — Indiana high school basketball fans knew they were in for quite a show at the 2012 girls Hall of Fame Classic at the New Castle Fieldhouse.

The four highly-ranked teams in the field, featuring some of the best players in the state, entered with a combined record of 45-0.

Many fans were then surprised with what transpired in the morning session. Class 4A No. 1-ranked Hamilton Southeastern, led by Notre Dame recruit and Miss Basketball favorite Taya Reimer, was handed a 53-30 defeat by No. 2 Columbus North. Then No. 4 Logansport, led by Iowa-bound Whitney Jennings, was dealt an 83-54 defeat by Class 2A No. 1 Evansville Mater Dei.

The Berries were left scratching their heads of what went wrong against Mater Dei. For one, they were short-handed, as they’ve recently learned that starter Seanna Redman is indeed out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL injury. She has surgery scheduled and hopes to return for softball. And then their tallest player, 6-foot-1 Krista Kyyroenen, was out with an illness. The foreign exchange student from Finland still made the trip to take in the experience, but she was too sick to help the Berries on the court.

So the Berries played just six players for most of the day, one recently called up from the JV squad, and not only were they short-handed, they faced a size disadvantage against Mater Dei.

And Logan coach Jerry Hoover thought he may have been guilty of overconfidence entering the Mater Dei game. Hoover might have looked at the Wildcats’ schedule and thought they hadn’t really been tested yet. He attended a recent game in Evansville when they defeated Class A No. 3 Vincennes Rivet by just 13 points, and he attended last year’s Class 2A state title game and thought the game wasn’t played at the same level his Berries were playing at this season.

“It was my fault,” Hoover said.

The Berries got off to a sluggish start against the Wildcats, who came out firing on all cylinders. Mater Dei jumped out to 28-11 lead after one quarter, shooting 12 of 15 from the field and 4 of 5 from 3-point range. The lead ballooned to 45-22 at halftime. The Berries tried to get back into the game in the second half, but they couldn’t get enough stops to give themselves a chance, and they trailed 72-41 after three quarters.

Muensterman scored a semifinal record 40 points on 16-of-25 shooting, including 7 of 10 from 3-point range. The 5-11 junior added nine rebounds and five assists.

The Wildcats shot 50.7 percent from the field, 10 of 16 from behind the arc, while grabbing 17 offensive rebounds. They outrebounded Logan 45-36 for the game.

Tori Schickel added 17 points and 18 rebounds, which tied a Classic record, for the Wildcats.

Meanwhile, the shell-shocked Berries shot a season-low 33.3 percent from the field, 7 of 20 from 3-point range. They were forced to take tougher shots than they were accustomed to through the first 11 games of the season against the tall and athletic Wildcats, and they just didn’t have a good shooting day overall.

Whitney Jennings scored 18 points on 7-of-21 shooting. She added seven rebounds and six assists. Rachel Jennings had 12 points on 4-of-9 shooting, 4 of 6 from 3-point land. Madyson Price had 11 points and seven boards, and Nakeya Penny added 10 points and eight boards but was just 5 of 18 from the field. Kiley Victor chipped in three points and four boards.

“We didn’t play how we’re capable of playing, but Maura is a great player and she was hitting all of her shots and we weren’t playing that good of defense on her,” Whitney Jennings said. “But she’s a great player and take nothing away from her.”

Rachel Jennings said the event being postponed a day due to a winter storm didn’t do the Berries any favors with a forced extra-early start on Friday.

“The first game I just don’t think we were ready. The long bus ride, we didn’t come to play. We didn’t play great defense. We just didn’t score. Mater Dei’s a great team, they have some great players,” she said.

The Berries had just a few short hours to get some rest and get ready for Reimer and the mighty Royals, who entered the day with just one loss over the last two seasons — in a sectional game to eventual Class 4A state champion North Central a year ago. Reimer, a 6-3 forward, is the No. 4-ranked player in the nation on She’s joined by 6-1 Jessica Pongonis, a Saint Joseph’s (Philadelphia) recruit.

The Berries were able to shake off the disappointment from earlier in the day and showed great resiliency in a 50-40 win over the Royals.

Whitney Jennings’ unbelievable conditioning level may have been the difference. In a battle of attrition between two tiring squads, she took over in the second half, continuing to push the ball in transition and either finishing or drawing fouls. She scored 10 of her game-high 19 points in the third quarter to give the Berries some separation. She was also able to shorten the game some for her tired teammates by running the four corners offense for a time during the frame.

Rachel Jennings and Penny hit back-to-back perimeter jump shots midway through the fourth quarter to push the lead to double digits, and the Berries hit 9 of 12 free throws in the final 2:20 to seal the huge win.

Rachel Jennings finished with 18 points. Whitney Jennings added six rebounds, four assists and two steals. Penny had nine points and six boards, Price had four points and five rebounds, Victor had seven boards and Syd Bullard chipped in four boards.

The Jennings sisters, Penny and Victor each played a full 32 minutes in the contest.

A big factor was the Berries had a much better effort on the boards than they did the first game of the day, as they outrebounded the much taller Royals by a 29-19 margin. Their defense was also not getting pierced like it was against Mater Dei.

Pongonis led the Royals with 14 points. Reimer was held to just six points and three rebounds and shot 3 of 11 from the field.

In both games of the day for the Royals, Reimer had to expend a lot of energy in the backcourt just handling the ball and had difficulty getting the ball in a decent position in the post.

The Berries could possibly meet the Royals again in February in Huntington in a regional game, and Hoover said he’d expect to see a different Royals squad if that’s the case.

“[HSE coach Chris Huppenthal] said that his team has just gotten to a point where they weren’t paying much attention to him and not paying much attention to anything. He kept telling them, ‘you’re going to get beat here.’ I asked him if he saw it coming, and he said ‘I saw it coming.’ See, I didn’t see it coming against Mater Dei. I thought we were going to beat them and this game right here would be in the championship game in the tournament.”

As for shutting down Reimer, who has a smooth handle and shot to go with being the biggest player in the Classic field, Hoover simply thanked his lucky stars that she didn’t have a better shooting night.

“I don’t know that we did anything special. We gave her special attention, but she wasn’t shooting like I’ve seen her shoot. I saw her just absolutely tear Brownsburg up, and Brownsburg is good. She didn’t have a good game, but that’s perfectly all right with a player of her stature. Once in a while you’re not going to have a good game.”

Columbus North went on to win the Classic title and did so in impressive fashion. The Bull Dogs (13-0) will undoubtedly be the No. 1-ranked team in the state and the team to beat in February and March. They defeated Mater Dei 63-55 in the title game. They appeared to be the most balanced and best defensive team in the field and probably the state.

Muensterman, who has received offers from Butler, Drake and Evansville, scored 22 in the loss. She was an offensive machine all day with a quick, high release on her shot to go with smooth ball-handling and passing skills. She shot 9 of 15 against Columbus North.

Overall it was a day the Berries (12-1) can use to improve going forward.

Whitney Jennings once again proved she belongs on the stage with the state’s top players. She’s been one of the best guards in the state ever since she first stepped foot on a varsity court as a freshman, and her sensational play draws thousands everywhere she goes for the Berries’ biggest games. She didn’t have the shooting day she’s capable of having or hoped to have had, but the 5-5 junior was still able to display the expert skill, elite athleticism, intense desire and non-stop motor that makes her so fun to watch. It wasn’t her or the Berries’ best day, but they were still able to salvage a win against a No. 1-ranked team.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports
  • Colts adapt to new arsenal

    ANDERSON — Dwayne Allen didn’t often recognize the Indianapolis Colts offense he was watching from the sideline last season.The third-year tight end suffered a season-opening hip injury in Week 1 against the Oakland Raiders, then watched as left guar

    July 28, 2014

  • NWS-PT072514 Patacsil-kmv Logan coaching legend Patacsil dies at 86 Logansport and Purdue University lost a giant among sports leaders Wednesday. Former Purdue great and former Logansport High School wrestling coach and educator Joe Patacsil passed away in his home.When his sons were leading the Berries wrestling pro

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPL - PT072414 - PT Colts - pic COLTS: Wayne arrives in IndyCar for camp Ed Carpenter woke up to rain Wednesday morning and briefly worried his big opportunity might be lost. But the two-time Indianapolis 500 pole-sitter's fear proved to be unfounded. He delivered Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne safely to Anderson University at the wheel of a two-seat IndyCar.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPL - PT072414 - PT Tom Lindley column - column sig LINDLEY: Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods Even when Tiger Woods finished 23 shots behind the winner and 69th overall at the British Open, he was one of the featured topics in stories coming out of Royal Liverpool Golf Club.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • NEWCOM: State parks offer fun times at reasonable prices Summer is in full swing and many people are taking trips as part of their summer vacations. You can venture near to home or far away, but the trip is only as good as you and your family make it. The amusement parks and beaches in Florida are nice, but many of us cannot swing those trips these days. The good news is that there are many good state parks in Indiana to enjoy and they are affordable.

    July 24, 2014

  • Sports briefs for Thursday, July 24 The Logansport 11-year-old all-star team will play in the Cal Ripken Ohio Valley Regional next week in Lexington, Kentucky. A fundraising carwash is planned to help the team offset the trip's expenses.

    July 24, 2014

  • SPL - PT072314 - PT Colts - pic COLTS: Let's go camping There's a different kind of buzz surrounding the Indianapolis Colts as they prepare to report for training camp today at Anderson University.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT-PT072314 - Caston Burrus mug.jpg Caston tabs Burrus as girls hoops coach Caston hired Joel Burrus as its new girls basketball coach at Tuesday’s school board meeting.Burrus, 26, is a coach’s son and already has several years of experience in coaching, all on the boys side. He said he’s looking forward to coaching girls ba

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPL - PT072314 - PT Ken de la Bastide column - column sig DE LA BASTIDE: Brickyard has many contenders Before the winner of this Sunday’s Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway gets the chance to kiss the bricks, media members will be complaining about the race.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sports briefs for Wednesday, July 23 Caston High School's athletic department will have sports tickets on sale starting Monday and continuing until Aug. 11. After that, tickets can be purchased in the bookstore or at the first home events.

    July 23, 2014

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow

Should grocery and convenience stores be allowed to sell cold beer?

     View Results

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.