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  1. Athletes bouncing from one sport to the other only need 5 practices... I think Track, Baseball, and Softball already started practices... They probably only need 5 or less. I could see the IHSAA waiving some of those conditions. We are still in limbo on the basketball tournament. I doubt Bobby Cox wants to go out as the guy who didn't have the tournament played... then again... it might be out of the IHSAA's hands if we don't get back to some level of normal by April 6th.
  2. Only staff and players on the roster... 75 person limit per team... immediate family... No Cheerleaders or Pep Band... No shaking hands before or after the game... Teams will enter and exit from different spots. I'm guessing the IHSAA will live stream the games.
  3. Looks like fans will not be in attendance for the rest of the tournament. Essential players and coaches (those on the official roster)... Immediate family members... 75 person limit per team No Cheerleaders... No Pep Band... No shaking hands before or after the game... Fans that make the 75 cut must separate from each other... Teams will enter through separate entrances as will the 75 fans. I think the IHSAA will be livestreaming the games.
  4. Congrats to the Miners and the Cardinals on Sectional titles. The Miners struggled again this weekend. At this point... I think we faced off with two teams that had a plan of attack for the Miners. It doesn't hurt that we have already played these teams on top of the countless scouting trips and tape watched by these coaches. Both North Knox and South Knox had solid plans and guys step up to make plays. I would think there is plenty of evidence on some of our weaknesses. Yet even with that said... and without playing particularly well... and NK and SK playing at least above their usual level... we keep rolling. After watching the last few weeks of "inconsistent" play by the Miners... I have noticed something that seems to be a part of each lead we lose. Is it just me... or do we have guys that get too involved in little measuring contests in the game. Some are against the opponent... some within our own team. Watch an opposing player make a big play... or talk a little trash... We immediately come down and try to make a contested fade away 3 in that players face. Great when we hit it... not so much when we miss. 3 or 4 times over the weekend we fell prey to dumb shots followed by long rebounds and fast break baskets by the opposing team. 4-6 point turnarounds when we were building a lead. Then we have the "Me" moments within our own team. Some players take difficult shots... others seem to be missing out on their shot quota... so they fire one up. Same type of things happen... we miss... other team capitalizes... lead evaporates. We are unbelievably talented, but our mental and physical toughness is inconsistent. Bright spots... Drew Smith offered some big minutes. He plays physical defense... he can handle the ball... he makes the right basketball plays. He still looks a little uncomfortable when looking to score. I'd like to think that will work itself out. Pyne was maybe the most consistent Miner Friday and Saturday night. He stayed out of foul trouble and provided some great scoring along with great defense. He is one of the few guys that can get scrappy when teams get physical. He looks like he enjoys it just a little bit. The freshman duo of Hart and Cook made a few shots, but also seemed to hang back too much. Especially Hart... most teams don't have the defenders to guard Hale and Fougerousse... they are even less likely to have another defender to handle Hart. Kip has really struggles offensively... Yet... he makes a huge 3 and 2 FT's late to win the Sectional... I don't see a return to Indy if he can't get going consistently. Lincoln has had moments of D1 level awesomeness... then long stretches of questionable shots. He still holds the ball too long... and he is never looking at the roll man when he has a pick and roll.... or if he does... it is too late. He also can score 15-20 points in a quarter when he gets going.
  5. Congrats to the Cardinals... I was hoping WRV could knock them off, but I had major doubts. Looks like their 1st game match up is a winnable game against Indy International... Greenwood Christian looks like a tough one if they get past Oldenburg. Greenwood Christian beat International by double digits earlier in the year. If Bloomfield beats them by a similar amount... maybe they can knock off a team with just one loss.
  6. This should be Bloomfield's to lose if Turner Royal is anywhere close to 100%. If he isn't... who knows. Clay City seems to be well coached and they play hard. WRV is all over the place... Capable of winning the sectional and losing in round 1 by 20. Who knows?? Shakamak... sort of like WRV, but they are young at some spots. Youth is expected to be a little inconsistent. Eminence .... the 2 games I watched ... The Eels aren't consistent either. They played Linton well... the same night WRV stunk up the gym against Shakamak. Then lose to WRV by double digits. North Central is a bit of a wild card as well. Their is talent and athletic ability, but they can be their own worst enemy. That is sort of the whole sectional minus a healthy Bloomfield... whoever is playing well at the right time... they will likely win.
  7. It was just a few years ago that the Miners could barely score... they were a physical defensive machine hoping a defensive play would lead to an easy bucket... because buckets were hard to come by. Fast forward to now... we are loaded with scorers who play a little soft and struggle at times on defense. Last night was a little rough to watch. West Vigo has anybody who could hit a lay up and this game goes down to the wire. Like most games... The Miners looked really good at times. They had a double digit lead at half... lost it... broke out to a near 20 point lead... lost it... won by double digits. West Vigo had a nice little PG in #23. The rest of the guys were solid, but no world beaters... just scrappy kids that played hard. Physical and scrappy play has sort of been kryptonite to the Miners as of late. I think the Miners short comings are well discussed at this point. Personally, I have to just enjoy what we are... maybe not what we aren't. Some stuff we do poorly just seems to be magnified at this point. Here are some of my positives from last night... I really liked watching the younger Coach Wittmer(sp) take on the JV the last game or two. He looked to wrangle in some of the poor shot selection that has hurt the JV team. He also seemed to sub more frequently... and wasn't afraid to use it to deter poor play. Coach Hale doesn't usually say or sub anyone for poor decisions. In the varsity game... Everyone got to see a little of Cool Hand Joey Hart at work. I'm guessing he had over 20 points. If we are going to outscore people... a freshman hitting his stride right before the tournament can't hurt. A kid who can score, but doesn't dominate the ball is sort of a rarity these days ... he does that. Big Frady looked good at times. He is a capable passer and finished around the rim. He still doesn't provide much defense, but he is a big body. Drew Smith played a little more and adds a nice physical defensive spark to the Miners. He is versatile enough to guard just about anyone on the floor. Although the Miners seemed to be in a zone defense most of the night. Kip and Lincoln both made some nice passes to Hart and Frady throughout the game.
  8. A lot of good and not so good basketball over the last week or so. Thursday vs. Marshall... The Miners looked really good in the 1st half. Hale was hitting shots... Marshall looked out of sorts, but it was difficult to know if it was our defense or their sloppy offense. They were a little undisciplined in their attack. Foul trouble hurt them as well. The second half was the opposite for both teams. Marshall came out and got physical with the Miners. They moved the ball for open shots and actually made some of them. Their big kids were out hustling and muscling us for rebounds. I' don't know if the Miners lack of ball movement was masked by Lincoln's lights out shooting in the 1st half, but we weren't moving the ball nearly as well in the 2nd half. The officials were letting them play and we struggled to meet the physicality of the game. We pushed off and whined about calls... flopped a few times, but we had nobody on the floor interested in going shove for shove. It was down to 4 or 5 points at one point late. Perfect example of the highs and lows of watching the Miners. Maybe the most physically gifted group of players from 12th-9th grade, but some times we don't play like it. Not enough guys willing to do what's best for the team. 20+ wins is an awesome accomplishment, but there are some major things that need to be sorted before I feel confident in a return trip to Indy. Weird... but the expectations are higher than years past... and the talent is there to be amazing. Of course, the beauty is these are HS kids who can be all over the place. Friday night the Miners won against North Central, but it wasn't impressive. If I had to give a scouting report on NC prior to Friday, I would call them undisciplined with bouts where individuals put their success over that of the teams. After Friday, I'm not sure I wouldn't say the same about the Miners. So much talent, but at times they seem to be 5 guys moving an at least a couple different directions. I don't believe West Vigo has any chance against the Miners when they are playing well, but who knows ... if they play like the 2nd half of Marshall game and most of the North Central game. Saturday was an awesome moment for the Lady Miners. Triton Central had some serious talent on the girls team... but so do the Lady Miners. That overconfidence probably hurt TC, but a great game plan helped fluster the Trojans on offense. Then the girls did the rest... they moved the ball and made shots. If you haven't seen the Lady Miners... they are worth the watch. They move the ball with no concern to who scores. The craziest thing is there is not one senior on the roster. Regardless of Saturday, it is special moment for those girls.
  9. 100+ years of a rivalry hasn't helped the situation, but that has always primarily been about football. Oddly, that rivalry has a level of mutual respect that hasn't been there in awhile. Sullivan's football coach is a former Linton QB and coach. Also, the 8th grader in question played football against Sullivan this past fall without incident... no cheap shots... just hard hitting football. A credit to both teams. This is primarily a basketball issue. The core of the issue is worth discussion, but the people interested in stoking the fire for their own advancement or enjoyment has distorted the main issue. There are about 4 kids dressing varsity who have always went to Linton. Of course , it is a little more complicated than that. This is just off of the of my head... I'm thinking 11 of the 21 in grades 9-12 have always went to Linton... the rest moved between 5th and 8th grade. 4 moved after Dugger closed... 3 came from Bloomfield prior to JH/HS. 3 came from other schools, but physically moved into the school district. To assume some of these kids moved for basketball is not accurate. The Dugger kids had far deeper reasons to move... I'm guessing at least one moved for a different sport. Others felt like they had more academic options at Linton. Truthfully, I think you can say maybe 3 or 4 moved just for basketball related reasons. Of those... some came from below average teams where they lost a lot of games. Marshall comes in tonight... I think they have 20+ wins. Should be a good test for the Miners.
  10. Experts are everywhere... 2nd and 3rd hand information qualifies these days. I'm not an expert, but I'm confident my sources are a little more reliable than most. I'm sick and tired of adults acting like children in this situation. The kid isn't a pawn to get a coach fired (that is for the Coach Moore haters)... he isn't a sounding block to air your frustrations about perceived injustices. He is a kid who chose to leave a school to attend another school. The fact he is a good athlete may make him an easy target... doesn't mean he should be a target. I won't lie... Miners vs. Everyone wouldn't have been my choice for slogans. Then again... It has been sort of a self fulfilling prophecy. Lots of venom directed at Linton. Seems to me that for some... a long look in the mirror would be more beneficial. Take WRV... your feeder program was a joke for so long. You had varsity coaches who didn't see the big picture... they were working with talent that they had no hand in developing. Chased away talented players... Those same coaches failed to organize a viable feeder program. Then you hired a used car salesman dressed as a teacher/coach... he chased away a few more players. Sure... some classes had parents take the lead. The senior class was able to flourish with little direction from the varsity staff as they came through the ranks. Great parents pushed their boys to be better. I think Floyd sees the big picture as far as developing younger talent. Their feeder program is much improved. Of course, I'm not sure he even sees himself as a X's and O's type of coach or the long term fix. Eastern is where WRV was a couple years ago. Linton may be vs. Everyone, but some schools should have shirts that read vs. Ourselves... they are their own worst enemy. Their coaches, administrators, and even parents dropped the ball. Now for that 5'6" kid from WRV... he is a bulldog. A tough kid that has no quit. I wish we had a Joe Records. Evan Slover and Joe were cut from the same mold. WRV probably wishes he was a couple inches taller. He and the Stienstra kid from Shakamak would be household names if they were a little taller. Instead, Joe will keep playing hard and destroy people in his running career. He got into Lincoln's head... No doubt. Like I said, that is probably my biggest question mark for Hale at this point. Great players figure out a way to impact the game. 1st half of the WRV game... He struggled to do that in a positive way.
  11. Eastern is basically a complete rebuild. Coach Hudson has been around long enough to know this. He inherited a feeder program with few bright spots. Whether he should publicly state this is debatable. Hard truths might be necessary to motivate people to recognize the problem. I'm not sure people realize the amount of quality people and coaches it takes to establish a feeder program. When a program invest in their kids like that... paired with some improvement/success at the varsity level... you begin to see some of these kids move into your school district. Lincoln will be fine at ISU. He isn't at that upper D1 level... yet. That isn't to say he might not get there in the next year or so. You also have to figure in opportunity... I haven't looked at the Sycamore roster, but there may be an early opportunity to play. Whether he is upper or mid D1, He is still expanding his game. I'm sure he will be asked to get stronger. The last year or two... he was primarily a shooter who occasionally went to the basket. This year, he is taking the ball to the basket with authority. His ball handling has improved and he has had moments where he is a capable passer. Who knows where he will be this time next year. Right now... I would say the physicality of an upper D1 program could be an obstacle. When he has struggled it has been in two ways... athletic physical defenders and how to impact a game when he isn't hitting shots. Defense may be another place to improve. Regardless, he is one of the better kids to ever wear a Miner jersey.
  12. I saw a Linton Miner team... period. Dugger Union closed... it was no more... I'm not sure DUCS qualifies. Linton opened their arms to those kids and hold a geographic advantage over everyone outside of Sullivan. Ask some Dugger folks about the Sullivan mess... They will tell you about some Good people... but some felt like 2nd class citizens to others in Sullivan. Shouldn't be shocking... Talk to some Carlisle or Graysville folks about feeling like they are on the outside looking in at Sullivan. The Shakamak, Northview, and Sullivan kids all live in Linton. The families moved... Even before the State of Indiana turned schools into the current mess... that would qualify. We have 3 boys that live in Bloomfield's school district... they are using their school choice. I'm not sure I necessarily agree with State, but it is nature of the game these days. You do realize WRV has bulletin boards all over the county encouraging students/parents to move their kids there. You also have 4 players and a manager on your JV/Varsity that went and still live in Linton. As I remember... WRV got a few Linton kids to bolster their ranks back when they were dominant in the early 90's. If you'd like to put an asterisk next to your Semi State runs... go ahead. Success and an opportunity to win has always appealed to some people. Now it is easier to do that. Now for actually basketball... I think the 1st and 2nd halves against WRV are the Jekyll and Hyde that has become Miner basketball. Too much "ME' ball in the 1st half... 2nd half saw better ball movement. This led to better looks and more made shots. As awful as it sounds, foul trouble helped the Miners at the end of the 1st half. The ball got moving... shooters made shots. Otherwise, I think WRV is up at least 4 going into the half. Defensively, We are nowhere close to as good as last year. Sometimes Linton looks disinterested and lazy. D-Rob has had moments where his hustle has made the Miners look good, but he is inconsistent. Pyne occasionally has stretches of big defensive plays, but foul trouble or the fear of foul trouble limits his time on the court. A couple guys look like they are playing the whole game with 4 fouls. Drew Smith provides some good defense off the bench, but he is sort of a spot guy at this point. I thought WRV looked really good in spots. They have no depth, which kills them. Rogers played really well... MVP of the 1st half. Ellett was better than I had seen early this year. Denham made some plays. Although Records got into some foul trouble... he had Lincoln Hale frustrated. Crites played like a sophomore... they will need him to be more sure of himself. He was a great energy guy this summer, but he looked like the game was a little too big for him. Hostetter off the bench was more steady, but he is more limited athletically. After that... the bottom drops out. The rest of the guys are average JV players. A freshman and a couple sophomores had moments in the JV game, but none of them look varsity ready. Spot players at best... for now. I'll be rooting for them to win that sectional. I think they are capable, but they also have some Jekyll and Hyde moments.
  13. Saturday afternoon was a really good game for the Lady Miners. Loogootee played well. Shafford and Rose struggles offensively, but both made big plays late to seal the win. It was good to see a former WRV player/coach having success with the Lady Lions. Brian Smith coached and taught at WRV... He was head boys coach at Shoals... Now he had the #1 ranked 1A girls team. Linton had some solid teams in the 80's under Les Newman and a couple solid years under Bill Carpenter in the early to mid 90's... but those teams were always second, third, or fourth to really good teams. L&M, Bloomfield, and Shakamak beat out the Newman teams... WRV, Bloomfield, and Eastern dominated the Carpenter teams. Before that... the boys teams have to go back to the early to mid 1970's. The future is bright for the Miners for the next 4 years. After that it either needs work or too early to tell. The freshman class is strong. If all 7 stick around, they will be the backbone of the team in 2 years. Little Joey Hart will likely be a 1,000 point scorer. Cook and Webb both can score. If the trio don't make it to 1,000 it will have more to do with competition among their own team than the ability to get there. The other 4 freshman are 6'3", 6'3", 6'1", and 6'2". One of the 6'3" kids will likely keep growing. The other 3 are likely about done growing. Each are developing players that are coming along well. Each are probably better at another sport(almost varsity level guys), but I think they will keep playing. The class already lost 3 boys going into HS. One moved for family reasons... the other 2 noticed a full roster with a lack of opportunities to play varsity early. The key is to keep those 4 in the fold. When they become juniors, Coach Hart will likely need all of them. The sophomore class has been a little disappointing. There are only 4 or 5 left playing... 1 plays varsity and JV... the others look to be long shots at this point. One 8th grader will likely have an opportunity to play varsity next year, but the rest of the class is a work in progress. Not a lot of size among the next best guys in 8th grade. Luckily, outside of the one player... I doubt they will be called upon until they are juniors. Which goes back to the freshman, in 2 years it is probably one sophomore, the 7 freshman, and the 8th grader making up Coach Hart's varsity guys with a couple of the sophomores (who will be seniors) on the team. Of course, things change. A move in... a little growth spurt... hard work in the offseason could change things. After the freshman, it is too early to tell. The freshman weren't good early on... the sophomores were really good... fast forward to now... the freshman looks like the better class. Our 7th grade is small, but there could be a player or two. The 6th grade is pretty good, but I wonder how many of them will keep playing. The 5th grade needs a lot of work... lots of future football players. The 4th grade is pretty good and has good numbers. It is hard to put much faith one way or the other in anything below 8th grade. Even those kids may grow in the net couple years. I'm pretty sure the class sizes are a lot smaller after the 8th graders... that probably plays a role.
  14. This weekend... Friday... Bloomfield vs. Eastern- Man... wouldn't Coach Hudson love to play the spoiler for the Cardinals. I'm sure he would be sad for the boys he coached, but it would almost be worth it to stick it to the powers that be in Bloomfield. I don't think it happens. Bloomfield should roll. North Central vs. Riverton Parke- No clue about Riverton Parke, but NC is sort of all over the place. If RP is disciplined, they could win this. I'll go with the T-Birds, but I wouldn't bet on this one. Clay City vs. TH North- North by a lot... North JV guys need to save quarters for this one. Shakamak vs. WRV- Could the Wolverines have played any worse against the Lakers in the GCI? I hope not. The Lakers are scrappy and at home. Which WRV will show up? Will this team be fired up and focused... or lazy and sloppy. I'll take the Wolverines in a close one... Not a game for the betting man. Linton vs. North Daviess- It has been a rough week for most of the Miner basketball teams against the Cougars. The Freshman team won... but the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade teams lost. 5th grade and 7th grade were beat badly. The 6th graders lost their first game in 2 years... maybe the worst game I've seen them play... the Cougars made them pay. The 8th grade game was good coaching by the Cougars (switching up defenses and slowing down the Miners) and questionable officiating (it was like watching a 5th grade girls game.. travels... jump balls... lots of pushing, shoving, and even tackling). The 8th graders were also without their 2nd leading scorer. Either way... if the 6th and 8th grade games are an indicator. The Cougars will try to disrupt the Miners with the tempo of the game, ever changing defensive sets, and physical play. The tempo and physical play could give the Miners fits. Hopefully... physical play will be less of an issue since the Miners are at home. The tempo will be their biggest struggle. If we come down and miss a couple quick shots and the Cougars hit a few shots. I have no doubt the Cougars will take the air out of the ball. Expect a score in the 40's if the Miners aren't hitting shots. If the Miners are hitting shots, it could force the Cougars to play at a faster pace. Fans will get to watch another really good freshman for the Cougars. The Mullins kid is true blue point guard. A kid who makes people around him better. I'll be interested to see how he plays in a slowed down game. Saturday Night... Bloomfield at Loogootee- This could be a really good game. The Lions had a respectable season going, but the win against Barr-Reeve propels them to a different level. Maybe there were circumstances involved that contributed to that win... but it is still one that gets people talking. Loogootee also has a really good freshman named Bledsoe. His dad was a 6'5" post player for Jack Butcher... he is about 6'3" and a guard. He isn't a plus athlete, but he is really crafty with the ball and understands the game. Who knows... this could be a match up later in the tournament. Clay City at Cloverdale- Hmm... CC is scrappy, but Cloverdale has at least one player that should be tough for the Eels to defend. The Thomas kid is pretty solid for Cloverdale. I'd take Cloverdale if I had to pick. Eastern at South Knox- This is probably a winnable game for the T-Birds. North Daviess at Barr Reeve- Whew... tough weekend for the Cougars. Winning either game would be big for them... Winning both is a long shot... Close losses could be a moral victory. North Vermillion at North Central- NV doesn't look very good on paper... NC big. WRV at Sullivan- Every year the Wolverines seem to lay an egg against Shakamak followed by a tough game against the Arrows. I've seen recent Arrow teams plagued by inconsistent play. It will take that and a big night from the Wolverines to win this one. I don't see it.
  15. You are right... Our leaders in the statehouse created this type of competition among schools. It was a political power move to centralize power in Indianapolis under the guise of eliminating property taxes. Nobody likes taxes... so people bought it hook, line, and sinker. Instead... small communities lost that little chunk of money that gave them power over the state. Schools fought this new era as long as they could. Once smaller schools started to be eliminated, everybody started to realize that education is now operated as a business in a Capitalist market. We see it in bulletin board and newspaper ads to attend a neighboring school. Schools send buses into neighboring school districts. Every school has to market themselves to their customers. That is academically... it is about opportunities... and that even brings athletics into the picture. So take Linton's situation... There are things that are out of their control. Parents who move into their school district. Some of those so called "recruits"... live in Linton's school district. If we are to police that... when do we start? T-Ball Baseball? After 5th grade basketball? Middle School? Linton also had nothing to do with Dugger closing their doors. If you remember back, a handful of schools could have benefited from that. Many Dugger folks headed to Sullivan first since it was within the county, but for various reasons... many left. I always got the impression that one or two bad experiences turned a lot of those Dugger folks against the Arrows. Once one family moved... it seemed to be an exodus in a short amount of time. Where would they go? Shakamak didn't have football, but some went that direction. For most people North Knox was a little too far (although they had at least a few). Linton wasn't always the first choice, but as those parents were looking for the best situation for their kids... the Miners rose to the top. Did a basketball coach with ties to Dugger help... sure. Did a school and community willing to bring those kids into the "family" help? Probably more than anything. Personally, I am proud of the way most people handled that delicate situation. Linton folks could have been jealous and petty (a few were... still might be). Instead they embraced these kids and families. Another thing that schools can't control is the way kids communicate today. Some think they are Dwyane Wade looking to get their buddies to come to South Beach. I've heard of lots of kids recruiting each other. Now that is just kids talking, but if an opportunity is there... parents may consider it. Especially, if they aren't worried about that transition of being the new kid. Lastly, success will always be an attractive option for those wanting to win.
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