SOFTBALL SECTIONAL PAIRINGS ANNOUNCED (HOWARD COUNTY)

Softball around the state is now in its final quarter of regular season play, and all five Howard County squads are ready for the annual postseason tournament. On April 28, the sectional tournament was drawn for the 33rd Annual IHSAA Softball State Tournament Series.

A record three hundred seventy‐eight (378) teams – one better than 2010 – were drawn and placed into brackets for the start of the tourney. Sectional action runs May 22‐27 with the 64 survivors moving into a one‐game regional round on May 30. From there, 32 teams will square off in four‐team semi‐states on June 3, with the four state championship games scheduled for Saturday, June 10 at Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis.

Class A defending state champion Borden, also top‐ranked in this week’s state coaches poll from the Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association, will take on South Central (Elizabeth) in Sectional 62 at Lanesville.

Other No. 1 teams include Class 4A Penn, last year’s state runner‐up, which will host LaPorte in the Sectional 3 bye game. Class 3A No. 1 New Palestine will host Herron in the Sectional 26 opener and Class 2A’s Union County will host Northeastern in the Sectional 41 opening game.

Among the other defending state champions, Class 4A’s Avon will meet Plainfield in Sectional 12 bye game at Terre Haute North Vigo. Lebanon, last year’s 3A state champion and currently ranked second, will face North Montgomery in Sectional 25 at Tri‐West Hendricks. Evansville Mater Dei, last year’s Class 2A champion and ranked sixth this week, will take on South Spencer in the Sectional 48 opening game at Forest Park.

Also of note, Tecumseh extended its state record 14th consecutive sectional championship a year ago and will look to continue that string after drawing the bye in Sectional 64 at Springs Valley.

Times and dates will be announced in the coming week.

Class 4A Sectional 7 at Harrison

1. McCutcheon (10-5) vs Kokomo (8-7)

2. Harrison (11-3) vs Zionsville (11-5)

3. Winner G1 vs Winner G2

4. Logansport (5-7) vs Lafayette Jefferson (2-10)

5. Championship game

Class 3A Sectional 20 at Northwestern

May 22, 5 p.m.

1. Peru (4-7) vs Western (7-5)

2. Maconaquah (2-9) vs #22 Northwestern (12-3)

May 23, 5 p.m.

3. Winner G1 vs Winner G2,

4. Benton Central (9-3) vs West Lafayette (0-11)

May 25, 6 p.m.

5. Championship game

Class 2A Sectional 39 at Eastern

1. Eastbrook (8-3) vs #9 Elwood (12-2)

2. Taylor (5-8) vs Blackford (4-8)

3. Winner G1 vs Winner G2

4. Madison-Grant (11-3) vs Eastern (1-13)

5. Championship game

Courtesy of the IHSAA

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KOKOMO LEGEND CHARLIE HALL INDUCTED INTO THE INDIANA BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME

David Kitchell, Terry Downham, Charlie Hall, Mark Masariu and Ron Barsh at the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame induction. (photo provided)

INDIANAPOLIS – To say Charlie Hall’s coaching record at Kokomo is staggering would be an understatement. With a winning percentage of .887, Hall led the Lady Wildkats to a plateau no other Kokomo team had reached. Last weekend, Hall was recognized for his playing and coaching accomplishments by being inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.

“This is a really well-deserved and long-time coming honor for Coach Hall,” said Kokomo High School Athletic Director Jason Snyder, who both played for Hall and coached with him. “From what I experienced as a player, I still remember points of emphasis that he taught us that I went on to use as not only a player, but as a coach.”

Hall’s career at Kokomo started as a player. Despite a slow start to his career – he did not play basketball as an eighth-grader and was on the freshman B team as a ninth-grader – he ended his Wildkat career as the two-time North Central Conference scoring leader, graduating with 1,163 points in just two varsity seasons. He played collegiately at Columbus College (Georgia), where he broke the single-game scoring record with 43 points.

After graduating from Ball State University with a teaching degree, Hall was an assistant coach at Haworth and Kokomo for 17 years. He took over the Kokomo girls basketball program in 1997 and amassed a 172-22 win-loss record. In eight seasons, his Lady Wildkats won eight NCC titles (54-1 overall record), five sectionals and four regionals. The seven-time NCC Coach of the Year guided the 2003 Lady Wildkats to the IHSAA Class 4A state championship with a perfect 26-0 record – the only undefeated season in Kokomo basketball history. He was inducted into the Howard County Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.

Since 2008, he has been the Indiana All-Stars game director. During his tenure, the Indiana boys and girls all-stars have a combined 27-5 record against the Kentucky All-Stars.

Joining Hall in the women’s class of 2017 are Nikki (Anderson) Cerbone, Center Grove 1987; Krissi Davis, Noblesville 1987; Beth (Davis) Fagan, Greenfield-Central 1988; Donna (Lamping) Hoeing, Batesville 1981; Jennifer Jacoby, Rossville 1991; Patricia (Babcock) McGraw, Culver Academies 1990; Louise Owen, Evansville Central 1947; Bridget Pettis, East Chicago Central 1989; Julie (VonDielingen) Shelton, Seymour 1989; and Renee Westmoreland, Scottsburg 1989. The men’s class was inducted last month.

Courtesy of the Sports Journal and Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame

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MATT MOORE ERA ENDS AT KOKOMO AFTER THREE SHORT SEASONS

Matt Moore coaching the Kokomo Wildkats in his trademark three-piece suit. (SJ photo/William Gibson)

 

BY DEAN HOCKNEY

KOKOMO, Ind. – Fans of the Kokomo Wildkats were shocked when news spread that boys head basketball coach Matt Moore had accepted the same position at Fishers High School after three short years at the helm. Moore took over the Kats program in the fall of 2014 and is the 24th coach in the programs 114-year history; he is also the second consecutive boys basketball coach to depart for Hamilton County.

“When they called me three weeks ago, I wasn’t planning on this. I honestly wasn’t,” said Moore after the Hamilton Southeastern Schools board of trustees hired him on April 26. “But for my girls, it is going to be a good situation. I wasn’t unhappy, but big picture family wise, it is a great opportunity.”

Kokomo High School Athletic Director Jason Snyder said Moore will be missed, and the search for a replacement will start immediately.

“We wish him and his family the absolute best,” said Snyder. “The Moore family has become a part of our school community and we are grateful for their time and efforts.”

Moore arrived in Kokomo from the small college coaching ranks at Mt. Vernon Nazarene University in Ohio (NAIA). He immediately started the “Drive for 75” campaign in an effort to add to the Wildkats record of 74 sectional championships. Unfortunately, that never materialized. In three seasons, Kokomo was 42-31 and 1-3 in tournament action.

Last season, Kokomo showed vast improvement. With most predicting a 10 to 12-win season, the Kats finished 18-7 during the regular season. Kokomo was third in the North Central Conference (6-3), trailing Class 4A No. 3 Logansport and No. 5 McCutcheon. After winning nine consecutive games to close the regular season, Kokomo knocked off Lafayette Jeff in the first round of the sectional before falling to McCutcheon.

In NCC action, the Kats finished 10-12 under Moore. But the coach believes he is leaving the Wildkat basketball program in good shape.

“One thing I take pride in, in terms of how I took the program over three years ago and how I am leaving it now; I think we moved it forward,” said Moore. “I think the program is in a healthy place right now. They have learned discipline and team basketball and they have competed at a high level consistently.”

Snyder said he appreciated the efforts Moore made in working with the younger players coming up through the system.

“We appreciate all of the time and effort Coach Moore put into the program,” said Snyder. “He put time in with students at each age level, and the program is in a good place right now with players in high school, in middle school coming up, and in the Future Wildkats league.”

Moore now joins former Kokomo coach and alumnus Brian McCauley in the competitive Hamilton County region. Moore replaced McCauley at Kokomo after the former coach departed for Noblesville. Moore will join McCauley in playing in the Hoosier Crossroads Conference with Avon, Brownsburg, Hamilton SE, Westfield and Zionsville.

Moore’s new sectional will not be a cakewalk either – last year it featured Anderson, Carmel, Fishers, Guerin Catholic, Hamilton SE, Noblesville and Westfield. He takes over the Tigers program from Joe Leonard, who led the team for 10 years (113-110). Moore inherits a team that was 10-14 a year ago and has had two winning seasons in the last six years.

“You know, you want to know if you are a good coach,” Moore said of the competition of the HCC. “I don’t know if I am a good coach, but I believe I work hard at what I do and I want to see if it is in the cards or not. I think I have the energy level and the patience to build it the right way.”

He also said he loved being a Kokomo Wildkat and will always cherish his time wearing the red and blue.

“I loved every minute of it,” said Moore, who is known for wearing three-piece suits on game nights. “The fans and the Friday nights and the Kat Bus – I will miss all of that. Kokomo is a special place. There are so many little things that make Wildkat basketball special. The fans, both at home and on the road, were very supportive of us. I am lucky to have had the opportunity to touch it and make good friends along the way.”

Moore, a Columbia City native, previously served as the junior varsity head coach at Logansport High School for three seasons and as a varsity assistant to Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame Coach Al Rhodes. In between Logansport and MVNU, Moore returned to his alma mater and served as head assistant men’s basketball coach and director of sports information at Grace College. His wife, Anna, is the KHS girls varsity tennis coach and they have three daughters.

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