KOKOMO, Indiana – The Howard County Sports Hall of Fame is selling tickets for its 2017 Induction Banquet, scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 28 at 5 p.m. at the Creative Financial Centre, home of the cfd Companies (2704 S. Goyer Road in Kokomo). Tickets for the banquet are $25 and are available by calling Ron Barsh at (765) 453-4739. Tickets will not be available at the door.

Members of the Howard County Sports HOF class of 2017 include Matt Bell (basketball and tennis standout at Kokomo), John Bingaman (state champ golf coach at Kokomo), Mike Blackburn (longtime Northwestern athletic director), Dan Dunn (world champion horseshoe pitcher), Tom Hilligoss (state champion in shot put and football standout at Kokomo), Dick Sanburn Jr. (former owner of Dick Sanburn Sporting Goods and outstanding fastpitch softball player) and Jenna Tarkington-Mumaw (state champion gymnast at Northwestern and record-setter at Ball State).

“Any of this year’s seven inductees have strong enough resumes to have gone in previously, but that just shows how deep Howard County athletic history is,” said HOF President Dean Hockney. “I am excited to hear them speak at our induction banquet in October – it is always a great evening for the sports community.”

This is the 15th class of inductees into the Howard County Sports HOF. Founded in 2003, the Hall of Fame has inducted 90 members with permanent plaques on display at the Kokomo Event and Conference Center.

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RUSSIAVILLE, Ind. – Entering the 2017 IHSAA Girls Volleyball State Tournament, it had been seven years since a Howard County squad had captured a sectional crown. In fact, since the IHSAA launched its annual state tournament 46 years ago, only 28 teams from Howard County had advanced to the regional – the last was Western in 2010.

Last Saturday, Northwestern added its name to the list by winning its first sectional championship since 2000 by defeating West Lafayette 3-1 in the title match of the Class 3A Western Volleyball Sectional. The Lady Tigers won its sixth overall sectional 15-25, 25-11, 25-18, 25-23. In the process, Northwestern set a school record with its 25th victory of the season (against seven losses).

But it did not come easy. The Red Devils scored 13 of the final 16 points in the first set and looked to be in complete command of the championship match. The Lady Tigers righted the ship and went on an 11-2 run of its own in set two to cruise to the 14-point win. Northwestern kept the pressure on in set three by jumping to a 5-1 lead before winning by seven points.

The fourth set featured seven lead changes and 16 ties – including a nail-biting 23-23 score in the win-by-two match. But the Lady Tigers scored the final three points of the match – the final courtesy of a pass from Kendall Bostic to Layden for a kill – to earn the sectional trophy and a date in the regional.

Madison Layden led the Tigers with 26 kills and Kendal Rooze added 26 assists.

In the semifinal match, the Lady Tigers downed Frankfort 3-0 (25-11, 25-9, 25-21).

The Lady Tigers advance to the Kankakee Valley Regional on Oct. 21 against Griffith (6-6, incomplete record provided to the official IHSAA online bracket) in the second match of the day. The opener featured Hanover Central (29-5) against No. 6 Mishawaka Marian (25-6). The winners will meet in the regional championship at 6 p.m.

Howard County squads fall in early rounds

The Kokomo Lady Wildkats (13-18) fell to No. 5 Zionsville 3-0 (9-25, 4-25, 14-25) in the opening match of the Class 4A McCutcheon Sectional in Lafayette.

Playing on its home court, the Western Lady Panthers (15-13) dropped its semifinal match to West Lafayette 3-0 (23-25, 18-25, 23-25) after defeating Maconaquah in the opening round 3-0 (25-19, 25-21, 25-15).

At the Class 2A Madison-Grant Sectional, Eastern (14-19) won its opening match 3-1 against Eastbrook (25-18, 22-25, 25-22, 25-19) before falling to the host Argyll’s 3-1 (12-25, 23-25, 25-19, 23-25). Taylor (1-25) dropped its opener 3-0 to Oak Hill (7-25, 17-25, 6-25).

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The Western Lady Panthers won its first girls soccer sectional title since 1996. (Photo provided)


KOKOMO, Ind. – Entering the 2017 IHSAA Girls Soccer State Tournament, the last time the Western Lady Panthers had won a sectional title, not a single player had been born. That ended last Saturday night when the Panthers defeated Mississinewa 3-1 in the Class 2A Marion Sectional to end the 21-year championship draught. In the championship game, Western jumped to a 3-0 first half lead and then held on to claim its second-ever girls soccer sectional title and first since 1996.

It only took 18 minutes for Samantha Garber to find Alex Parr for the first Panthers goal. Eight minutes later, Sophie Weigt headed in a corner kick from Brooklyn Garber. It took just 120 seconds for the Panthers to find the net a third time as the Garber-Parr combo lit the scoreboard a second time – this time it was Parr feeding Garber for the goal and a 3-0 lead. Western goalie Madlyn Beechy only needed to make two saves in the contest.

According to Western Athletic Director Josh Larsh, the 2017 championship has a direct relation to the 1996 title team – junior Faith Lytle’s mother (Alisha Fernung-Boone) was a member of the first title team.

The Panthers had advanced to the championship match following a thrilling overtime win over four-time defending sectional champion Marion – a team that had eliminated the Lady Panthers three consecutive years.

Western (16-2) will battle Columbia City (9-6-2) in the Class 2A Marion Regional on Saturday at 10 a.m. Game two features No. 8 Bellmont (15-2-1) and Yorktown (11-5-1) at noon with the winners meeting at 7 p.m.

Eastern falls in boys finals

One hundred minutes of action was not enough for Eastern and Liberty Christian as the teams went to a penalty shootout to determine the champion of the IHSAA Class 1A Taylor Boys Soccer Sectional championship match. Unfortunately, for the second consecutive year, Eastern fell in a title match shootout.

Down 1-0, Eastern (8-10) tied the contest in the 51st minute on a Lance VanMetre goal from 12 yards. Knotted at one after regulation, neither team scored in the pair of 10 minute overtime periods. Both teams hit their first four penalty shots. Liberty Christian hit its fifth while Eastern hit the post and missed to end the contest.

Panthers fall in boys championship

The Western Panthers ended its season with a 3-0 loss to Marion in the championship match of the Class 2A Oak Hill Boys Soccer Sectional. R.J. Macomber tallied all three goals for a hat trick to lead the Giants. Western ended its season 11-8-1.

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