Park Tudor blasts Speedway for 2A regional crown


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It was bombs away in Spartan Bowl Saturday night, and the Speedway Sparkplugs might still be seeking shelter.

Park Tudor junior Dwayne Gibson shows off a piece of championship net.

Park Tudor junior Dwayne Gibson shows off his piece of the regional championship net.

Park Tudor forwards Trevon Bluiett and Dwayne Gibson both drained five 3-pointers in the first half and the Panthers punished Speedway, winning 83-50, to claim the Connersville 2A regional crown and advance to next week’s semistate.

Coach Kyle Cox’s No. 1 Panthers (22-4) led after every quarter and increased the margin after each 8-minute period. Park Tudor led, 62-38, entering the final quarter.

Bluiett, who’s headed to Xavier this fall, finished with 30 points — giving him 68 for the two games. Gibson, a hard-working 6-4 junior, added 19 points and Evan Frank, a 6-8 junior, utilized some nice inside moves to score 9 points and help the winners control the backboards.

Senior guard Jordan Furlow, arguably as quick as any guard in the Indiana high school ranks, tallied 17 points to lead Coach Chuck Bennett’s Sparkplugs. High-scoring junior forward Anthony Jones managed just 8 points for Speedway (17-7) with sophomore forward Shannon Hall adding 7.

Park Tudor will play No. 2 Clarksville (23-2) in the 2A semistate at Seymour on March 22 (3 p.m.), with 7th-rated Lewis Cass (22-2) and Westview (22-4) going at it in the Huntington North semistate.

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Support local businesses. SHOP CONNERSVILLE!

In the morning session, Park Tudor blasted Crispus Attucks, 87-67, to advance to the championship game. Bluiett, a 6-5 Mr. Basketball candidate, poured in 38 points against the Tigers, including a dominant run in the second quarter that helped the Panthers bolt to a 48-36 halftime lead.

Speedway earned its spot in the title tilt by beating stubborn Northeastern, 56-50. The Knights made just 13-of-29 free throws to doom their chances for victory. Rated 10th in the final Associated Press regular season poll, Northeastern ended the year 22-3. — kh

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Connersville’s 2A Regional could be offensive


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The Class 2A boys basketball regional at Spartan Bowl Saturday could be offensive. And that’s a good thing for anyone who enjoys seeing the ball going through the hoop at a high rate of efficiency.


But the defensive efforts will be out in full force as well, which should result in an excellent and competitive day of Hoosier high school hoops as four teams try to earn a spot in semistate action.


Game 1, which tips off at 10 a.m., pits Park Tudor (20-4) and high-scoring senior Trevon Bluiett against Indianapolis Crispus Attucks (13-9), with defending regional champion Speedway (16-6) clashing with area hopeful and sharpshooting Northeastern (22-2) at noon.


Park Tudor, playing in the Connersville regional for the fourth time in five years, is led by the 6’5 Bluiett, a  Mr. Basketball candidate who’s averaging 36.2 points, 11.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game.


Bluiett, who will play college ball at Xavier, made 20-of-27 shots and scored a season-high 54 points against Covenant Christian in the Panthers’ 118-49 win on Dec. 14.

Trevon Bluiett (IndyStar photo)

Park Tudor star Trevon Bluiett. (IndyStar photo)

On Jan. 4, Bluiett poured in 51 points and grabbed 13 rebounds against Class 4A No. 1 Indianapolis Tech, but Park Tudor lost, 95-88 in overtime as 6’10 Mr. Basketball frontrunner Trey Lyles finished with 45 points and 17 boards. Lyles, who’s headed to Kentucky, shot a staggering 33 free throws, making 27.

Park Tudor gets strong contributions from several players, including 6’2 junior Bryce Moore (11.7 points, 5.0 assists and 4.3 rebounds a game), 5’11 senior Austin Shelton (10.5 ppg, 2.7 apg), 6’1 senior Alex Mack (9.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg) and 6’3 junior Dwayne Gibson (8.4 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 2.0 apg).


Evan Frank, a 6’8 junior, averages 3.4 points and 5.9 boards an outing for Coach Kyle Cox’s team with 6’1 senior Sloan Stearman and Kobe Webster, a 5’9 freshman, chipping in 1.8 and 1.5 ppg, respectively, in reserve roles.


The Panthers’ opponent, Crispus Attucks, is playing in a regional for the first time since 1973. The Tigers are led by 6’3 junior Darrell Hutchinson, who checks in with 19.5 points and nearly 4 rebounds an outing, Devon Briggs, a 5’10 senior guard who scores 17.5 points per contest, and 5’9 junior Isaiah Ware, who scores 11.7 points and dishes nearly 2 assists a game.


Also contributing to the attack for Coach Phillip Washington’s Tigers are:

Damonn Burns, 6’1 sophomore: 10.0 ppg

Donte` Reed, 5’10 sophomore: 5.3 ppg, 1.7 rpg

Saumeik Rolle, 6’2 sophomore: 5.2 ppg, 1.3 rpg

Domonic Bailey, 6’0 junior: 5.8 ppg

Support local businesses. Shop Connersville!

Support local business. Shop Connersville!

Speedway will try to make it back-to-back regional titles with Northeastern’s Knights providing the first roadblock for the Sparkplugs.


Veterans Jordan Furlow and Anthony Jones lead the way for the Marion County school. Furlow, a hard-charging, physical 6’1 senior guard, averages 20.9 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.7 assists, while Jones, a smooth and multi-talented 6’4 junior forward, fills the scorebook with 18.6 points, 6.1 boards and nearly 3 assists a game.


Coach Chuck Bennett’s team also gets ample support from:

The Speedway Sparkplugs. (Photo via

The Speedway Sparkplugs. (Photo via

Cameron Kinnick, 6’0 senior: 5.6 ppg, 2.4 rpg
Shannon Hall, 6’1 sophomore: 5.6 ppg, 4.0 rpg
Sam Ahrens, 6’4 junior: 4.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg
James Burnell, 6’6 senior: 3.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg
Brady Schall, 6’1 junior: 2.1 ppg, 2.1 rpg


Northeastern is a team that comes at you in waves, with eight players playing in all 24 games for the Wayne County school and Craig Dingwerth, a 6’6 junior standout, playing in 23. Coach Brent Ross doesn’t hesitate to utilize the Knights’ bench, with 11 players playing in 14 games or more.

Dingwerth tops a balanced Northeastern attack with 11.7 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. He shoots 63 percent from the floor. Grant Esposito, a 6’3 junior, averages 11.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists a night with 5’11 freshman Tyler Smith averaging 11.6 points, 4.8 assists and 3.1 caroms.

Other Knights who do damage to opponents include:

Alex Wheeler-Smith, 6’0 senior: 10.2 ppg, 3.3 apg
Corey Dingwerth, 6’7 senior: 9.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg
Robert Smith, 6’4 sophomore: 6.9 ppg, 4.9 rpg
Joey Claypoole, 6’3 junior: 5.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.4 apg
Shane Stiner, 5’10 senior: 1.3 ppg 24 gms
Tucker Shepherd, 6’4 junior: 1.3 ppg, 2.1 rpg

Northeastern shoots 51 percent from the floor and scores 70.8 points an outing, while yielding just 47 points a game to its opponents.


Notes: Tickets will be available at Spartan Bowl Saturday with the doors opening at 9 a.m. … The championship game tips off at 8 p.m. … Park Tudor and Speedway played each other on Jan. 21, with the Panthers winning, 73-68, in overtime on the Sparkplugs’ home court. — kimball hendrix

CHS Spartans logo - 2011

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Connersville regional tickets available


Tickets for the Class 2A boys basketball regional at Spartan Bowl Saturday are available at the Connersville High School Athletic Department office.


Basketball photo 1A season pass ticket for both sessions is $10, an individual session ticket costs $7. Tickets will be available at the office until 3:30 p.m. Friday, and can be purchased inside the main door area of Spartan Bowl Saturday, with the facility opening at 9 a.m.


Park Tudor (20-4) and Indianapolis Crispus Attucks (14-9) get the day’s action started at 10 a.m. with defending regional champion Speedway (16-6) taking on Northeastern (22-2) at noon. The championship game tips off at 8 p.m.

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Hot hoops action at Spartan Bowl


CHS Spartans logo - 2011— court traveler sports —


The young ladies competing in the Class 4A basketball sectional at Spartan Bowl have done a good job scoring points during the tournament, and that trend should continue tonight.


The Connersville Lady Spartans will clash with Mt. Vernon (Fortville) at 6 p.m. with Pendleton Heights and Anderson’s Lady Indians going at it about 20 minutes after completion of the first semifinal. Mt. Vernon won last season’s Class 3A state championship.


But expect the scoreboards in the Bowl to get a more serious workout during the boys Class 2A Regional on Saturday, March 15 — especially if the Park Tudor Panthers join the four-team field.


Trevon Bluiett ... headed to Xavier. (Photo via MaxPreps)

Trevon Bluiett … headed to Xavier. (Photo via MaxPreps)

Trevon Bluiett, a 6-5, 204-pound forward with a high-powered, nearly impossible-to-stop offensive game, is averaging over 36 points per contest for PT. The Panthers (14-4) were Class 2A’s top-rated team before losing twice last weekend, falling to No. 2 in the polls. Clarksville, 13-1, took over the No. 1 spot.


Class 3A, No. 8 Brebeuf beat Park Tudor, 73-67, on Feb. 7 as Bluiett shot just 6-of-24 from the floor, finishing with 18 points. On Feb. 8, the Panthers fell to Martinsville, 77-73, but PT bounced back Wednesday night to blast 2A No. 5 Scecina, 60-44. Bluiett was back on track, scoring 40 points and grabbing 10 boards.


Park Tudor — which cut down the nets in Spartan Bowl three times en route to a pair of 2A state championships (2011, 2012) under then-coach Ed Schilling — is coached by Kyle Cox.


Schilling is now an assistant coach at UCLA and Bluiett had verbally committed to attend the Los Angeles school but withdrew the commitment last October, citing the distance between Indianapolis and LA. He’s expected to make an immediate contribution at Xavier.


Shop Connersville! Support local businesses.

Shop Connersville! Support local businesses.


Check out the girls sectional tonight and the championship game at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, and definitely mark March 15 on your calendar.


(Notes: Class 2A, Regional 11 at Spartan Bowl includes the boys sectional winners from Hagerstown, Indianapolis Broad Ripple, Triton Central and South Putnam. The Union County Patriots [13-1] are rated No. 8 in Class 2A. The Pats only loss is to Class 3A Connersville.) — kh

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Like it or not, James is No. 1



LeBron James beats Golden State with the 3 bomb. (Photo: Cary Edmondson, Reuters)

LeBron James beats Golden State with the 3 bomb. (Photo: Cary Edmondson, Reuters)

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OK all of you haters of LeBron James and the NBA, move along. Keep goin.’ There’s nothing you’re gonna like or want to read here.


After sweet-shooting guard Stephen Curry converted an Old School, and-1 3-point play to give the Golden State Warriors a 2-point lead over Miami with 14.6 seconds to play, James — that dastardly, 2-time NBA champion and 4-time league MVP — appeared to take too much time to get off a decent shot that would allow the Heat to escape the Bay Area with a win.


Yeah, right.


(Photo: Derick E. Hingle, USA TODAY Sports)

(Photo: Derick E. Hingle, USA TODAY Sports)

James simply dribbled to his left, stepped back and fired a fadeaway 3 over the defensive effort of Andre Iguodala that barely rippled the net — and then did the walk-down-the-court, yes-I-AM-The-Man-thing that — Egad! — he very much deserves to be able to do.


“We were willing to live with defense on him one-on-one once he caught it, and the defense was very good. Andre did his job,” said Warriors’ coach Mark Jackson. “He made a great shot, just a great shot.”


Yes he did. As his stat line reads: 36 points, 13 rebounds and 9 assists.


So … love him or hate him, LeBron James once again let everyone know he is the best overall hoops player on planet Earth. (Sorry Kevin Durant, it’s not your turn — yet. And a bigger sorry to Kobe Bryant. Father Time isn’t kind to anyone, Kobester, not even the best-ever in the professional sports world.)


As far as James, he may never carve a place for himself on basketball’s ‘Mount Rushmore,’ a topic he spoke about recently, but don’t bet against it. — kh


Check out the USA Today Sports video here:


(Some information and statistics in this story were obtained from NBA TV.)

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Hayward big in Jazz win over Lakers



Gordon Hayward. (Photo: Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

Gordon Hayward. (Photo: Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

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Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward turned in a solid all-around performance in his team’s 96-79 win over the Lakers Tuesday night in Los Angeles.


The former Butler star had 15 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals for Utah (18-33), which won its second straight game after losing four-in-a-row. Hayward is averaging 16.3 points, 5.5 boards and 5 assists a game.


Reserve Alec Burks was the main thorn in the Lakers’ side, scoring 24 points on 8-of-11 shooting. The 6-6 guard scored 13 points in the fourth quarter.


Jeremy Evans tallied 14 points for the Jazz, Derrick Favors finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds.


Center Chris Kaman led the Lakers (18-34) with 25 points and 14 rebounds. Steve Nash played 16 1/2 minutes for Los Angeles. The 40-year-old, former MVP had 2 points, 2 assists and one rebound. — kh


Jazz-Lakers box score:

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