Archive for Western



RUSSIAVILLE, Ind. – Bart Miller has been a fixture on the Western High School boys basketball sidelines for decades – first as a player and continuing as the head coach. But on March 21, that era came to a close with Athletic Director Josh Larsh’s announcement that Miller had resigned.

“Bart Miller resigned today as head boys varsity basketball coach at Western,” Larsh said in a prepared statement. “Coach Miller began coaching at Western in 2002, and was named the varsity coach in 2012.”

Miller compiled a record of 49-65 during his five seasons, including a sectional runners-up finish in 2014. His first campaign was a 13-9 season and the Panthers were 15-7 when it lost to Twin Lakes in the sectional finals. In year three, Western was 13-11, but the last two years saw the squad win just eight games – four in each season. The Panthers started this campaign 0-16 before winning three of its final five regular season contests.

As a player, he helped lead the Panthers to the 1990 Kokomo Sectional championship. He then spent 14 years as an assistant coach to Andy Weaver, who departed for Plainfield prior to the 2012 season.

Miller’s tenure was not always smooth – he suffered a minor heart attack at the start of the 2015-2016 campaign and endured a knee injury to standout Des Balentine in 2014-2015. After the heart issue, he quickly returned to the Richard Rea Gymnasium sideline he loved.

“We would like to thank Coach Miller for his dedication to the Western boys basketball program and wish him only the best,” said Larsh. “The search for Western’s next varsity boys basketball coach will begin immediately.”


Western's Victoria Gingerich tees off at the state finals. (SJ Photo/William Gibson)

Western’s Victoria Gingerich tees off at the state finals. (SJ Photo/William Gibson)

CARMEL, Ind. – For the 10th time in school history, the Western Lady Panthers advanced to the IHSAA Girls Golf State Finals. Playing on a soggy Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel, Western shot a 36-hole 670 to finish eighth in the two-day event. Evansville North won its third consecutive state title, shooting a 618 in the 44th annual event.

Western senior Minka Gill found herself one shot short of being on the podium. The Panthers leader shot a 72-80 for an eight-over-par 152 to tie for 11th place. Columbus North senior Holly Anderson earned low medalist honors with a 146, followed by Elyse Stasil of Chesterton (148). 2015 state champ Alexis Miestowski (Lake Central) and Reece Malapit (Yorktown) each shot a 149 to tie for third place.

For Western, junior Lauren Tuchscherer placed 37th (165) and was followed by senior Victoria Gingerich (169), sophomore Trina Gill (184) and junior Andrea Patterson (210).

Playing as individuals, Tipton sophomore Emma Kelly shot a 158 (79-79) for 24th place and Kokomo freshman Kiah Parrott finished 29th with a score of 159 (85-74).

Evansville North’s top four players all finished within six strokes of each other led by junior Hadley Walts with a 151 who finished tied for seventh overall. She was followed by senior Katelyn Le at 154, sophomore Katelyn Skinner at 156 and senior Brittany Skinner at 157. Freshman Abby Whittington ended at 164 for the Huskies. They were coached by Ken Wempe and joined Martinsville as the only schools to win three consecutive state titles in the sport.

North’s team total of 618 was two strokes better than top-ranked Westfield (620) which settled for the runner-up spot for the second straight year. Fourth-ranked Columbus North ended third at 623, followed by No. 5 Zionsville at 638 and No. 3 Carmel at 655.

North’s 618, Westfield’s 620 and Columbus North’s 623 ranked as the third, fourth and fifth best scores ever posted at the state finals. Evansville North entered the weekend red-hot after posting the lowest sectional score in state tournament history with a 290 two weeks ago and following up with a 296, the second-lowest regional score ever posted a week ago.

The rain stayed away from Saturday’s final round before letting loose during the post-tournament awards ceremony. Friday’s first round endured two rain delays that totaled three hours and two minutes. Play was finally suspended at 7:21 p.m. that evening due to darkness with 11 groups totaling 33 golfers who returned to finish where they left off first thing Saturday morning.

At the conclusion of the state finals, Katelyn Le of Evansville North High School was named the winner of the mental attitude award by members of the IHSAA Executive Committee. She is the daughter of Phil and Kim Le of Evansville. She is undecided on her college choice but intends to study pharmacy.

Dean Hockney and the IHSAA contributed to this story




LAFAYETTE, Ind. – For the second consecutive season, the Western Lady Panthers are headed to the IHSAA Girls Golf State Finals as a team. One year after finishing as runners-up, the Lady Panthers finished third to secure the final automatic berth in the state finals. Playing at the IHSAA Lafayette Jefferson Girls Golf Regional at Battle Ground Golf Course, No. 12 Lake Central shot a 317 to capture team honors, followed by No. 11 Chesterton (323) and No. 13 Western (326). The Lady Panthers shaved seven strokes off its 2015 regional score on the same course.

Tipton’s Emma Kelly punched her individual ticket to the state finals by storming the field with a round of 34-37 for a low medalist score of 71. She earned one of the five individual state finals berths out of the Lafayette Regional. Kokomo freshman Kiah Parrott will join Kelly after her round of 78.

The top five scores from the regional included Kelly, Elyse Stasil of Chesterton (73), Alexis Miestowski of Lake Central (73), Minka Gill of Western (76) and Andrea Hanas of Chesterton (77). Other individuals earning state finals berths were Katrin Schmuch of Lafayette Jeff (78), Ally Ross of Harrison (78) and Nicole Howard of Munster (78).

Following Western’s third place finish in the field of 18 teams was No. 14 Lafayette Jefferson (335), No. 17 Valparaiso (337), Munster (344), Crown Point (349), Twin Lakes (352), Harrison (357) and Northwestern (365). Kokomo finished 13th with a score of 378.

Western – along with Parrott and Kelly – will play in the IHSAA Girls Golf State Finals at Prairie View Golf Course in Carmel on Sept. 30-Oct. 1. Western tees off from hole No. 10 beginning at 8:48 a.m. with Andrea Peterson. Kelly starts her state finals on hole No. 1 at 8:48 a.m. and Parrott starts on No. 10 at 10:36 a.m. The state finals is a 36-hole event.

Western: Gill (76), Victoria Gingerich (83), Trina Gill (83), Lauren Tuchscherer (84) and Peterson (98).

Northwestern: Amanda Wilson (89), Emily Martin (89), Lauren Miller (93), Allison Miller (94) and Taylor Hunt (94).

Kokomo: Parrott (78), Lucy Mavrick (84), Sydney Murphy (98), Mackenzie Smith (118) and Abigail Van Horn (128).