Archive for December 22, 2014


Micah Pier 2

KOKOMO, Ind. – The Indiana University Kokomo men’s and women’s basketball teams defeated the University of Cincinnati-Clermont College at the Cougar Gym on Dec. 20. In the process, both squads achieved program firsts during its respective victory.

The women’s team won big with a final score of 100-65, which is the first time the women’s program has had a triple-digit final score. The men’s game was much closer with a final score of 87-82. The final point of the men’s game was scored by guard Jared Lawrence, a senior from Springport, Ind., which turned out to be his 1000th career point as a Cougar. Lawrence was already the all-time leading scorer in IU Kokomo history, and he is now the first member of the Cougars 1,000 Point Club.

“Jared getting that moment at the end of the game was really nice for our team and our program, as well as for him and his family,” said IU Kokomo head coach Jace Thompson.

“I feel really good about it, but I feel better that we got the win,” stated Lawrence, who put up 16 points for the Cougars. Lawrence and high school teammate Aaron Knupp are the only four-year players in Cougar history.

Freshman Micah Pier, a Maconaquah graduate, paced the Cougars with 32 points – the second highest outburst in IU Kokomo history (Nick Teeter scored 33 against Clermont last season).

With the Cougars (4-8) trailing 68-74, Pier was able to turn a bucket into a five-point play. Pier was fouled while scoring a layup, and Tommy Hacker was called for a technical foul. Pier went to the charity stripe and drained all three freebies, which effectively changed the pace of the men’s game in IU Kokomo’s favor. Pier drained two more technical freebies after Phil Cook was called for unsportsmanlike conduct two minutes later. In all, Pier was 12 for 14 from the free throw line.

Coach Thompson attributes the win to a collective team effort in practice.

“Our bench played really well in practice this past week,” said Thompson. “Christian Smith, for example, doesn’t get to play very much, but he does a great job for us by putting so much pressure on Teeter in practice, which makes it so much easier for Teeter to come out and play. That’s what I mean by a team win.”

Nick Teeter scored 18 points and nabbed five steals for IU Kokomo. Teeter was a perfect 10 for 10 from the free throw line and is now tied with Bethel College’s Zach Miller as the top free throw shooter in NAIA Division II. Miller is a perfect 37 for 37 while Teeter is 32 for 32. Teeter is also No. 18 in the nation with 39 3-point baskets made.

Triple-digit win for women

While the men’s basketball team has topped 100 points on three occasions, the first-year women’s program had not – until Saturday afternoon.

“Today was a great team win,” said IUK head coach Whitney Farris, whose team improved to 4-7. “Everyone played hard, and we had great effort shown on both ends of the floor. We are doing a great job of sticking with our process of winning each day and getting better as a team.”

Another first for the program was a pair of double-double performers – and one came via an unconventional method. Freshman guard Deja Felder turned in her best all-around performance of the season with 23 points, 11 assists and five rebounds. Freshman forward Dejianna Butler added 24 points and 13 rebounds. All seven active Cougars scored, with five in double figures. Lela Crawford had 17 points and nine rebounds, Alanis Jones had 16 points, Whitney Williamson had 10 points and nine rebounds, Nevada Jones scored seven points and Tabitha DeWitt added three.

Overall, the Cougars made 19 of 37 shots (51.4 percent) in the first half and 22 of 36 shots (61.1 percent) in the second half. They outrebounded Clermont 53-29.

The Cougar men are back in action on Saturday, Dec. 27 at 3 p.m. in the Cougar Gym when NAIA Division II No. 1-ranked and defending national champion Indiana Wesleyan University (11-0) pays a visit. Both the men’s and women’s teams will return to the Cougar Gym on Tuesday, December 30 at 5 p.m. when they face Indiana University Northwest.

Story by IUK SID Abigail Banan and Sports Journal staff




Taylor HS Titans 9

NEW CASTLE, Ind. – Loaded with basketball talent and tradition, the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame proudly announces their 2015 womens induction class, to be honored at the 14th annual Womens Awards Banquet on Saturday, April 25, 2015.

Beth (Millard) Brooke-Marciniak was a three-time team MVP, averaging a double-double for three seasons at Howard County’s Taylor High School, where she recorded single-game records of 44 points and 34 rebounds and was selected as a 1977 Indiana All-Star.  The first woman to receive a basketball scholarship at Purdue University, she played three seasons for the Boilers.  The Global Vice Chair – Public Policy for EY (formerly Ernst & Young), she has been named six times to Forbes’ “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” list.  Married, she resides in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Dianna Christensen was a three-sport star at John Marshall High School, where she averaged 17.5 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals per game as a senior, leading to a spot on the inaugural girls Indiana All-Star team in 1976.  A three-sport athlete at Indiana University, she excelled in softball, helping the Hoosiers to three College World Series appearances.  In her 30th year in education, she taught in Indiana schools for 15 years and is now in her 15th year as a teacher in Portland, Oregon.  She resides in Portland, Oregon.

Kelly (Lane) Clauss averaged over 20 points per game as a sophomore, junior and senior and double-digit rebounds at Vincennes Rivet, leading to two-time 1st team all-state honors.  Playing at Indiana University of Evansville (now University of Southern Indiana) and Vincennes University, she was among the nation’s leaders in free throw percentage (81.2%) in 1985.  Previous to her high school career, she was a two-time Elks National Free Throw contest national champion and four-time national finalist.  Employed as Vice President of Medical Practice Management and Support Services at Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center in Jasper, she is married and resides in Washington, Indiana.

Courtney (Cox) Cole scored 1,869 points and was a member of three state finalist teams, including the 1987 state champions, at Noblesville High School.  Graduating as Indiana’s 4th leading all-time girls’ scorer, Cox was a three-time 1st team all-state selection, 1989 Indiana All-Star, 1989 USA Today and Parade Magazine 1st team All-American and received the 1988 Dial Award as the national high school athlete/scholar of the year.  A starter for two seasons at Indiana University, including their 1991 WNIT runner-up team, she excelled in golf and was a three-time Academic All-American and three times named all-Big Ten.  Now co-owner of Hare Chevrolet in Noblesville, she resides in Noblesville and has two children.

Hedy (Pottorff) George created and coached the Columbus North girls program to 10 sectional championships and won 68% of their games over her 15-year head coaching career.  Taking the reins in 1973, her teams were 187-86 through 1991, winning 10 sectionals in the 13 seasons of IHSAA girls basketball of her coaching career.  A 1967 graduate of Columbus High School, she played four seasons of basketball at the University of Kentucky.  Since college, she has a 43-year continuous involvement with Columbus North athletics as a teacher, coach, assistant athletic director, athletic director and currently as executive director of the Bull Dog Alumni Association.  Married and the mother of two, she resides in Columbus.

Vicki Hall was named Indiana’s 1988 Indiana Miss Basketball and received the Gatorade and Naismith National Player of the Year awards after averaging 26.4 points and 11.5 rebounds her senior year at Brebeuf.  Scoring 1,755 points, a career average of 20.2 points per game, she graduated as Indiana’s 7th all-time leading girls’ scorer.  Starting 112 of 117 career games at the University of Texas, she recorded 1,831 points and 887 rebounds, graduating as their 5th all-time leading scorer, 5th all-time leading rebounder and career leader in three-point field goals made and three-point percentage.  Following a 16-year professional career in seven countries, including the WNBA, she is in her 6th season as a women’s college assistant coach.  Following stints at Miami (OH) and New Mexico, she is the associate head coach at the University of Toledo and resides in Toledo, Ohio.

Mike Hey led the Leo girls basketball program to 360 wins and statewide prominence during his 26-year coaching career.  Leading the Lions to 15 conference championships, 11 county tournament championships, five sectional titles and a regional championship, Hey retired as the 12th all-time winningest Indiana girls high school coach in 2005 and is the 17th winningest retired girls coach in state history.  Also winning over 300 games as a 24-year varsity baseball coach at Leo, Hey spent 38 years as a teacher and 36 years coaching.  A 1963 graduate of Columbia City H.S., he is married and resides in Auburn, Indiana.

MaChelle Joseph averaged a state-best 35.1 points per game her senior season at DeKalb High School, leading to 1988 Parade Magazine and Street & Smith’s All-American honors and the 1988 Indiana All-Star team.  Scoring 1,633 career points, including a single-game best of 57, she was a member of high school teams that were 90-12 over four years.  Graduating from Purdue as the all-time leading scorer in school (men or women) and Big Ten Conference history (2,405 points) and the only player in Big Ten history to rank in the top ten in career points and assists, she was an All-American and the 1992 Women’s Basketball News College Player of the Year.  In her 12th season as head women’s coach at Georgia Tech, she has the highest winning percentage in program history and could become the winningest coach in program history in January.

Tom Megyesi led Lake Central to the 1994 girls state championship and three state finals appearances in the midst of a 24-year coaching career with the Indians.  Megyesi’s teams won 11 sectionals, four regionals and three semi-state championships, reaching the 1995 state finals and a 1998 state runner-up finish as part of his 380 career wins, including one season at Washington Township H.S.  A two-time State Coach of the Year, Megyesi is a 1968 graduate of Michigan’s Okemos H.S.  Now in his 8th season as the head women’s coach at Purdue University Calumet, he is the program’s all-time winningest coach.  Married, he resides in Chesterton.

Kris (Veatch) Nolan set numerous records at  Zionsville H.S. including becoming their first girls player to score 1,000 career points.  Leading Eagles teams to three conference championships and a 49-13 record over her final three seasons, she had single-game bests of 45 points and 22 rebounds, totaling 1,047 points and 810 rebounds in her career.  She became a 1988 All-American at New Mexico State University, where she scored a school record 1,768 points and her 966 rebounds ranked 2ndin program history.  In all, she set five NMSU career records and graduated ranked in the top ten in 12 of the program’s 14 offensive categories.  Playing professionally overseas for two years, she was a college assistant for two years and coached girls high school basketball in Central Indiana for 14 years.  Employed with DowBrands and Dow AgroSciences since 1992, she is married, a mother of two and resides in Zionsville.

The recipient of this year’s Indiana Fever Silver Medal, which includes Hall of Fame induction, is WNBA legend Tamika Catchings.  The Silver Medal is given in recognition of contributions to Indiana high school basketball other than as an Indiana high school player or high school coach. Catchings was a four-time Kodak All-American and the consensus 2000 National Player of the Year at the University of Tennessee and is a 14-year veteran of the Indiana Fever, nine-time WNBA All-Star, 11-time all-WNBA selection and a member of three U.S. Olympic Gold Medal teams. Catchings is the WNBA’s all-time leader in FTs and steals, 3rd in scoring and 4th in rebounds and holds career averages of 16.7 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.4 steals per game and has been voted one of the 15 greatest players in league history.  Beyond the playing floor, she has become a global ambassador for the sport and our state.  A two-time winner of the WNBA Sportsmanship Award, the 2008 WNBA Leadership Award and the 2013 WNBA Community Assist Award, she was a Top 5 finalist for the United Nations NGO Positive Peace Award in 2011 and finalist for the “Dream Team for Public Service” Jefferson Award. Catchings has been recognized by and/or worked with the White House operations of both George W. Bush and Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the U.S. State Department, the Women’s Sports Foundation, the WBCA Good Works Team, an NBA/WNBA ambassador for “Dribble to Stop Diabetes” and the Pacers Foundation and Simon Youth Foundation. Her “Catch the Stars” Foundation has been involved in Indianapolis with an annual back to school celebration, backpack giveaway, STARS and CHAMPS mentoring programs, youth basketball camps and clinics and sponsors Scholar-Athlete events and scholarships and has been recognized by the Indianapolis City-County Council and Indy Parks and Recreation, among others.

The Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame’s 14thAnnual Women’s Awards Banquet will be held on Saturday, April 25, 2015. The day’s events will include a free reception at the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame museum that afternoon and a banquet that evening at the Primo Banquet Hall in Indianapolis.  Reservations are available online now and tickets for the banquet will be made available in 2015.  Call the Hall at 765-529-1891 or visit for more information.


City of Kokomo Logo


If anyone followed social media on Friday – or watched WRTV Channel 6 news – then you heard about the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Indiana Department of Homeland Security sending letters to the City of Kokomo, demanding construction work be halted on Kokomo Municipal Stadium. The government agencies said the $11.5 million project was in violation of open space requirements on grants the city accepted. According to the report, the city accepted federal funds through the Hazard Mitigation Grant program, and in that grant, certain plots of land that the baseball stadium sits on are required to be kept as green space.

IDHS issued a letter to the city on Nov. 24, giving the city 60 days to fix the problem – and that is exactly what Mayor Greg Goodnight and the city leaders have been attempting to do. Goodnight has stated that city leaders thought by making the project more than a baseball stadium – flood mitigation was a multi-million dollar part of the project – they were within the guidelines of FEMA regulations.

Goodnight told WRTV reporter Kara Kenney, “We think there’s a gray area. The document itself talks about recreational use, it talks about to mitigate flooding. When we are done with this project, it will actually have more capacity to absorb flooding than was previously there. We think it’s a win for the community.”

While the WRTV report came out on Dec. 12, this is not an issue the city has attempted to avoid – in fact, Goodnight’s team has been working on correcting this issue for quite a while. Of the 100 parcels of land included in the stadium project, FEMA only has issue with less than 10 – and thus Goodnight has already submitted a Corrective Action Plan.

And FEMA itself said in a statement that it has requested, “Additional information about the city’s project, including design plans and documentation that the stadium site adheres to the local floodplain ordinance. Once received, FEMA will work with our state and local partners to determine the next steps to resolve this issue.”

Kokomo still has plans to open Municipal Stadium – the future home of local high school baseball and the Kokomo Jackrabbits – this spring. Work continues as I write this, and local leaders have stressed the project is on schedule.

So to the local baseball community, I say “hold your horses” and let this process play out. As with any major government building project, politics will be played and opposition will be heard. Yes, dealing with a federal entity can be cause for alarm due to a slow process, but the city administration is working on the situation and already has our Washington, D.C., elected officials involved. And rest assured, the Sports Journal will stay on top of the issue and report whatever outcome there is – I just do not think it is time for panic.

Municipal Stadium will be good for Kokomo – and should be a financial boon in the long run. It will host more than just baseball – soccer, concerts and other non-sporting events could take place on the turf surface. It will also open the door to move the Kokomo Parents Babe Ruth League to Highland Park Stadium – a vast improvement over its current facility at Huston Park.

Here is to hoping the project is completed on time and the sound of the crack of a wood bat will fill the downtown air this summer.

Until next time, remember to keep the man and ship in sports – and I’ll see you at the game.

Dean Hockney is the publisher of the Sports Journal of Central Indiana and sports editor of the Kokomo Herald. You can follow him on Twitter (@Sports_Journal) for the latest in local sports news and game reports.