The Connersville Spartans saw their regular season winning streak end at 19 games Saturday night when host Pendleton Heights connected on a controversial 3-pointer at the end of overtime.
The Arabians defeated CHS, 33-30, when senior guard Trent Miller made a trey from the left side after an offensive rebound and kick-out pass by Eli Pancol.
While the Arabians fans and players were elated, Connersville’s fans and players — citing videos of the shot as evidence — believe it was released after the buzzer and should not have counted.
The basket resulted in the only points scored in the overtime session.
CHS, 4-1 overall and 1-0 in Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference play, travels to South Dearborn Friday for an EIAC contest, and will host arch-rival Richmond Saturday at Spartan Bowl. Both varsity games begin at 7:30 p.m.
The Knights (3-2, 0-1) play at East Central (1-0, 0-0) Thursday night.
Connersville’s Lady Spartans (3-7, 0-3 EIAC), who play at Muncie Central (1-8) Tuesday night, will battle SD’s Lady Knights (6-9, 0-5) Friday prior to the boys game (6 p.m.).
Against Pendleton Heights, the Spartans made nearly 88-percent of their 2-point shots — but took just 8 shots, making 7.
Noah Belt made the team’s only 3-pointer — CHS was 1-for-7 from behind the line — and led all scorers with 14 points. He also had 5 rebounds and an assist.
Garrett Silcott finished with 8 points, 4 rebounds and 3 steals, Wes Smith had 4 points, 4 boards and 1 assist, Dalton Lee registered 2 points and 2 assists and Jacob Brown had 2 points, 1 rebound and blocked 1 shot.
Overall, head coach Kerry Brown’s squad made 8 field goals in 15 shots and again was impressive from the foul line, making 13-of-15 charity tosses (86.6 percent).
Miller topped the Arabians (3-3) with 11 points, Justin Shupe tallied 8 points and Pancol had 8.
A poor third quarter was costly for Connersville’s Jr. Spartans, who lost to the Pendleton Heights JV, 51-44.
Leading 21-20 at the half, Connersville (3-2) was outscored, 20-5, in the third stanza and could not recover.
Colton Sullenbarger scored 12 points to lead head coach Chris Bottomley’s Jr. Spartans, Jonah Graham tallied 8 points.
It’s impossible to know if tonight’s Connersville-Pendleton Heights boys varsity basketball game will feature the tension and excitement seen in the Spartans’ win over Shelbyville a week ago — particularly the nerve-wracking fourth quarter — but the teams are prepared for whatever develops.
No. 19 CHS, 4-0 after wins over Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference rival Rushville, 46-36, and Shelbyville, 35-34 — thanks to a running floater by senior guard Garrett Silcott that banked high off the glass and parted the net just before the buzzer — will try to knock off the host Arabians, a potential Sectional 9 opponent.
On Friday night, PH (2-3) defeated previously unbeaten Mt. Vernon (Fortville), 63-59, in a Hoosier Heritage Conference game.
A week ago, the Arabians were blitzed by 4A No. 17 Carmel, 59-28, in a non-conference road contest.
Player suspensions reportedly have contributed to a slow start by Pendleton Heights, a veteran team CHS head coach Kerry Brown said likely was the favorite to win the Sectional 9 title.
“They’re a perimeter-oriented team and they’ll do the things they’ve done in the past and run similar sets,” said Brown. “They have a lot of talent and good shooters and scorers. They haven’t jelled yet because they had some turmoil but Pendleton Heights is a very good team.”
Trent Miller, a 6-3 senior, averages just under 15 points a game, shoots over 40-percent from 3-point territory and nabs 3 rebounds an outing for coach Kevin Bates’ squad.
Senior guard Justin Shupe averages 14 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists. Shupe was the lone Arabian who scored in double figures against Carmel, tallying 12 points.
Forward Eli Pancol, a 6-4 junior, averages 9 points, 6.8 boards and 2 steals, and 6-4 sophomore Tristan Ross averages 3 points and 3 rebounds. Damieon Warrum, a 6-6 junior who did not play in the Arabians’ first four games, is expected to play against CHS. PH no longer has the services of sharpshooting guard Karstan Windlan, who transferred to Carmel High School.
“They’ve got a lot of weapons. Miller is their best player, their best shooter and best scorer,” Brown said. “Shupe is a really good player, Pancol has incredible athleticism and rebounds well and Ross can play and has size.”
Brown and his coaching staff hope the Spartans are still riding on a wave of enthusiasm, and remain fired up enough to execute the game plan and make it 20 consecutive regular season victories.
“That was a great performance Saturday night. We did some good things in the fourth quarter but we need to execute better and we have to continue working hard to get better and we are getting better,” Brown said.
Silcott made 8-of-13 shots in the win over Shelbyville, finishing with a game-high 19 points and 3 rebounds.
Jacob Brown had 5 points and 4 rebounds for the Big Red, Wes Smith had 3 points and 3 boards, Braxton Revalee scored 3 points and snagged 2 caroms, Dalton Lee made a pair of free throws and pulled down 3 rebounds, Noah Belt finished with 2 points, 2 assists and 1 rebound and Clay Garrison had 1 point, 1 assist and a steal.
The Spartans made 9-of-18 2-point shots, 2-of-7 3-pointers and 11-of-14 foul shots against the Golden Bears.
On the season, CHS has made 61 shots in 123 attempts (49.6 percent) — 49-for-84 on 2-pointers (58.2 percent) and 12-of-39 treys (30.7 percent). From the charity stripe, Connersville is 51-of-71 (71.8 percent).
“We’ve dominated our opponents from the free throw line which is important and we’ve played well most of the time, but Garrett needs some help scoring, that’s for sure,” Brown said.
“We need some other guys to step up, make some shots and help out and we’re working toward that. This game will be a good test for us — a major test for us.”
Notes: Prior to last year’s CHS-Pendleton Heights game at Spartan Bowl, five members of Connersville’s 1972 state championship team and former head coach Myron Dickerson were honored. The players appearing were ’72 Mr. Basketball Phillip Cox, who sang the National Anthem before the game, Gerald Thomas, Jim Free, Larry Miller and Jeff Jones. … CHS held on to defeat the Arabians, 41-39 when a contested 3-pointer by 6-4 senior Mark Albers bounced off the rim at the buzzer. … Silcott led the Spartans with 24 points and 5 assists. … Albers, like 2017 CHS graduate and Indiana All-Star Grant Smith, is playing basketball collegiately. A forward at NAIA Division II Marian University (Indianapolis), Albers averages 11 points and 5.1 rebounds. Smith averages 9.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3 assists for Indiana Wesleyan, the 4th-ranked team in NAIA Division II. … Indiana Wesleyan (10-2) beat Marian (8-4), 89-71, on Dec. 5. Smith had 8 points and 6 assists in 27 minutes of play. Albers played 23 minutes before fouling out, recording 8 points and 4 rebounds.
If you can’t make it to tonight’s game, you can listen to the action on Kmix 106.9 fm featuring announcers Sam Harvey and Dave Pollard. Kmix 106.9 can be accessed via the iTunes media player.
The Rushville Lions and Shelbyville Golden Bears — two high school teams that any fan of Connersville Spartans’ sports has many memories about in some way — are dead center on the CHS roundball radar this weekend, starting tonight at Spartan Bowl.
The Spartans (2-0) will go for their first Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference victory of the season when they host the Lions (0-1) at 7:30 p.m.
The Golden Bears (2-0) will claw their way into the Bowl Saturday night, with tipoff set for 7:30. Shelbyville hosts Columbus North (2-0) tonight.
“Rushville is a good, solid team. They’re much improved over last year so it should be a good game,” Connersville head coach Kerry Brown said Thursday afternoon. The Lions finished 3-21 last season.
The Spartans opened the season last week with victories over Union County (63-40) and Delta (41-27), the latter coming after a slow start that saw the Eagles take a 5-1 advantage and lead 13-9 at halftime. Despite the two wins, CHS dropped in the Associated Press ratings, falling from 16th place to a tie for the 21st spot with Indianapolis Cathedral (1-0).
Rushville lost its season opener to Shelbyville, 59-48. Three players scored in double figures for the Lions, with 6-0 senior Austyn Farley leading the way with 16 points, 11 rebounds and 3 assists.
Gage Rosenfeld and Mason Springman scored 10 points apiece, with Duncan Draper and Tyler Wilson both scoring 6 points. All four are juniors.
Jacob Ray, a 6-7 junior, and 6-2 sophomore Eric Brown did not score against the Golden Bears but combined for 12 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 blocked shots.
“Farley is their best player so we obviously have to contain him and we have to do a decent job on their big men,” said Brown. “They’re an athletic team with strong kids and they have some veteran players.
“We have to play well defensively and execute our offense against whatever defense they play against us.”
Brown said the team and coaching staff have not looked ahead to the Shelbyville game. The players and staff know Connersville must focus it’s defensive efforts toward stopping 6-3 junior Zach Kuhn, who averages 21 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists a game.
Kuhn — who scored 31 against CHS last season in the Spartans’ hectic 59-57 overtime win — had just 6 points on 1-for-12 shooting against Rushville, but bounced back with 36 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists in the Golden Bears 69-63 victory over Triton Central. He made 8-of-11 3-pointers.
Brock Blackwell, a 6-3 senior, averages 18 points and 6.5 rebounds for Shelbyville, Sam Lewis, a 6-0 senior, averages 14 points, 4.5 assists and 4 rebounds, and 5-9 junior Josh Williams contributes 10 points, 6.5 boards and 3.5 assists.
“We know we have to contain Kuhn — he’s a Division I talent — and we’ve got to guard everywhere at the 3-point line, that’s the big thing,” noted Brown.
After the sluggish first half against Delta, the Spartans came alive, protected the ball better and knocked down shots to take a 24-20 advantage after three quarters.
With less than 4 minutes to play and Connersville leading, 33-25, the Spartans got a left-handed layin and pair of free throws by junior Noah Belt, and two free throws each by seniors Dalton Lee and Braxton Revalee to win going away.
Garrett Silcott scored 12 of his game-high 14 points in the second half for CHS. The senior guard also had 5 rebounds and 3 steals.
Senior Wes Smith had 8 points and 4 rebounds, Belt finished with 6 points and 3 rebounds, 6-6 sophomore Jacob Brown had 4 points and 5 caroms, senior Tyler Combs made the team’s only 3-pointer and scored 3 points, Lee had 2 points and 5 assists, Revalee finished with 2 points and 2 assists and senior Drew Sherck scored 2 points and pulled down 2 boards.
Senior Dalton Ailes and junior Dylan Logan played but did not score.
The Spartans shot 14-for-30 from the floor — 13-of-22 on 2-point shots but just 1-for-8 from 3-point land. CHS made 12 free throws in 15 attempts.
Brown said he’s pleased with the way the team has played unselfishly, and that the defensive effort so far has been “pretty decent.”
He’s also pleased about the Spartan Nation fanbase that turned out in large numbers last week.
“The crowd at the Union County game was as good as I’ve ever seen it. The stands were packed and people were standing around the top,” he said. “They really outdid themselves and the players and coaches really appreciate the support.”
The Junior Varsity games tip-off at 6 p.m. both nights.
Notes: A year ago, CHS drubbed Rushville, 45-15, holding the Lions to just 8 points in the final three quarters at Memorial Gymnasium. All 10 Spartans who played scored. … The Spartans have won 20 consecutive EIAC games. … According to the 2017 CHS Cheerblock (@chscheerblockk) on Twitter, the theme for tonight’s Rushville game is ‘Jersey Night.’
If you can’t make it to either game, you can listen to the action on Kmix 106.9 fm featuring announcers Sam Harvey and Dave Pollard. Kmix 106.9 can be accessed via the iTunes media player.
The Connersville Spartans will try to improve to 2-0 tonight when they host Class 3A Delta at Spartan Bowl (7:30 p.m.). Connersville opened the season with a 63-40 win over Union County. This is Delta’s first game of the 2017-18 campaign.
Head coach Kerry Brown’s Spartans shot 23-of-35 from the floor overall (66-percent) against the Patriots — 17-of-24 on 2-point shots (71-percent) and 6-for-11 from 3-point land (55-percent) — with senior Dalton Lee draining all three of his 3-point tries en route to 13 point, 2 rebound and 2 assist performance.
Garrett Silcott had 20 points and 3 steals to lead Connersville, Noah Belt scored 16 points, Wes Smith, Drew Sherck and Jacob Brown each scored 4 points and Dylan Logan added a paid of free throws.
Brown, a 6-6 sophomore, topped the Spartans with 5 rebounds, while also blocking 2 shots.
Braxton Revalee had 3 boards and 2 assists.
Delta is coached by former Union County coach Mark Detweiler, who was 207-155 in 16 years as the Patriots’ mentor.
The Eagles, who finished 14-10 last season, were hit hard by graduation. Josh Bryan, a 6-2 junior is the team’s best player, and will be “one of the best shooters/scorers” CHS will face all season, according to Brown. Bryan averaged nearly 9 points a game last year. The Delta coaching staff is expecting big things from Brady Hunt, a 6-4 freshman.
Head coach Chris Bottomley’s Jr. Spartans will get tonight’s action started against the Eagles JV at 6 p.m. The Jr. Spartans dropped their season-opener to Union County, 41-34.
If you can’t make it to the CHS-Union County game, you can listen to the action on Kmix 106.9 fm featuring announcers Sam Harvey and Dave Pollard. Kmix 106.9 can be accessed via the iTunes media player.
Connersville area / of interest (all games begin at 7:30 p.m.)
The Connersville Spartans boys varsity basketball team soared to the top spot in the school’s record book last season, winning 27 times in 29 games, the last loss coming against eventual Class 4A state champion Ben Davis in the championship game of the Southport Regional.
However, five key players from that team —including three starters — received their diplomas in June, leaving some significant gaps to be filled.
The returning players and new additions are working extremely hard to keep the Spartans’ winning tradition on track, according to head coach Kerry Brown, who said the team is anxious to get the 2017-18 campaign started on Wednesday night when the Union County Patriots visit Spartan Bowl for the annual Thanksgiving Eve season opener (7:30 p.m.).
CHS, rated 16th in the Associated Press preseason poll, will be back in action Saturday when it hosts Class 3A Delta at the Bowl (7:30 p.m.).
“We had a lot of experience returning in the past to build around — we knew what we had,” Brown said Monday afternoon. “Now, we’ve got a lot of unknowns. We’re still a work in progress but the kids are working hard every day.”
Senior Garrett Silcott once again will be the motor that drives the Spartans. The talented 6-1 point guard is an excellent passer who can get to the basket and finish or drill the jump shot.
Playing in every game last season, Silcott averaged 11.3 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal.
Silcott will be joined in the backcourt by 6-0 junior Noah Belt, a serious 3-point threat who also can hit the perimeter shot and who rebounds and passes well. Belt averaged 6.3 points and 2.5 rebounds last season.
Also slated to start for CHS, according to Brown, are seniors Dalton Lee, Wes Smith and Braxton Revalee.
Each came off the bench last season and showed they can play well and contribute positive things to the team. Smith is the tallest of the three at 6-2, Lee is 6-0 and Revalee is 5-9.
Other members of the varsity squad include: 6-4 senior Drew Sherck, 5-6 senior Dalton Ailes, 6-0 senior Tyler Combs, 5-11 junior Dylan Logan, 5-9 sophomore Clay Garrison, 6-6 sophomore Jacob Brown, 5-9 sophomore Garrett Wickes and 6-2 sophomore Ethan Smith.
“We’re a small team, smaller than in the past without much height overall but we’re hopefully going to be a quicker team,” said Brown. “With the players we lost, Garrett and Noah know they have to step up their games and all of our starters know they have to play well. The bench players know they have to play well, too.
“Right now, we’re not sure who will contribute or how much they will contribute but everyone is working hard in practice and we had a really good summer.”
Expect the Big Red to play some man-to-man defense, and utilize the familiar motion offense, with some “tweaking” here and there, depending on the situation and personnel on the court.
The coaching staff and players would like nothing better than extending the school’s string of Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference championships to four, and to win it’s third consecutive sectional title. They realize the task will not be easy.
“I want us to get better with every practice and every game we play,” said Brown. “We want to keep improving every day and we hope to compete for the conference and sectional championships again.
“We’ve got a really good group of hard-working kids that I really like. We’re ready to start the season.”
Notes: According to CHS students and members of the ‘2017 CHS Cheerblock’ on Twitter, Wednesday’s game is ‘white-out night,’ with those student-fans donning all-white attire …
The Spartans will play four home games before hitting the road on Dec. 9 to battle Pendleton Heights …
CHS will play 12 games in the friendly and rowdy confines of Spartan Bowl …
Brown has been Connersville’s head coach for 9 years. The Spartans are 123-76 during that time. Overall, Brown’s record in 17 years is 205-174 …
The five players CHS lost to graduation are 6-6 forward/guard Grant Smith, who now plays for NAIA Division II power Indiana Wesleyan University, 6-4 forward Beau Isaacs, 6-3 center Dalton Huffman, 6-3 forward Hunter Sullenbarger and 6-3 forward Gavin Wickes …
Connersville won seven consecutive overtime games last season, establishing a state record …
Three games involving area school’s will be played tonight. Franklin County hosts Milan, Greensburg plays at North Decatur and Rising Sun plays at South Dearborn. Those games tip-off at 7:30 p.m.
If you can’t make it to the CHS-Union County game, you can listen to the action on Kmix 106.9 fm featuring announcers Sam Harvey and Dave Pollard. Kmix 106.9 can be accessed via the iTunes media player.
Connersville Spartans 2017-18 varsity schedule
(All games begin at 7:30 p.m. unless noted)
Nov. 22 Union County (2A)
Nov. 25 Delta (3A)
Dec. 1 Rushville (3A) •
Dec. 2 Shelbyville (4A)
Dec. 9 at Pendleton Heights (4A)
Dec. 15 at South Dearborn (3A) •
Dec. 16 Richmond (4A)
Dec. 19 Greenfield-Central (4A)
Dec. 27-Dec. 29 Bob Wettig Tournament (Richmond)
Jan. 5 Greensburg (3A) •
Jan. 6 at New Castle (3A)
Jan. 13 Muncie Central (4A)
Jan. 20 at Batesville (3A) •
Jan. 26 Mt. Vernon (Fortville) (4A)
Jan. 27 Indianapolis Manual (3A)
Feb. 3 at Centerville (2A) (1:30 p.m.)
Feb. 8 at East Central (4A) •
Feb. 10 at New Palestine (4A)
Feb. 16 Franklin County (3A) •
Feb. 17 at Lawrenceburg (3A) •
Feb. 20 Northeastern (2A)
(• = Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference game)
Bob Wettig Tournament schedule (first round games)
Dec. 27 (1) Shelbyville vs Indianapolis Lighthouse South (10 a.m.)
Dec. 27 (2) Indianapolis Cathedral vs Belmont (Ohio) (11:30 a.m.)
Dec. 27 (3) South Bend Adams vs Indianapolis Attucks (1 p.m.)
Dec. 27 (4) Connersville vs Northwest HomeSchool (2:30 p.m.)
Dec. 27 (5) Franklin Central vs Park Tudor (4 p.m.)
Dec. 27 (6) Indianapolis Tindley vs Greensburg (5:30 p.m.)
Dec. 27 (7) Indianapolis HomeSchool vs Richmond (7 p.m.)
Dec. 28 (8) Seton Catholic (Richmond) vs Portage (8:30 p.m.)
No. 9 IU East ended 6th-rated Indiana Wesleyan’s unbeaten season Tuesday night, winning 80-79 on the Red Wolves Lingle Court.
The Red Wolves and Wildcats are both 6-1.
IU East was led by guard Bishop Smith, who scored a game-high 21 points (4-of-8 3-pointers), with Jacoby Claypool adding 19 points.
Jaylen McKay had 12 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds and 4 steals, Lucas Huffman added 10 points.
Former Connersville Spartan Charles Peterson grabbed 2 rebounds for IU East. Peterson missed his only field goal attempt.
Freshman Kyle Mangas led Indiana Wesleyan with 19 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists. Former Connersville star Grant Smith had 9 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists.
Jacob Johnson scored 15 points and pulled down 8 rebounds for IWU, Evan Maxwell scored 11 points, Ben Carlson added 10 points and former Richmond standout Joel Okafor finished with 8 points and 6 boards.
IU East plays at No. 15 Taylor University on Friday (Nov. 17, 7 p.m.)
Indiana Wesleyan plays at Grace (Ind.) on Nov. 21 in a Crossroads League game (8 p.m.).
The Indiana Wesleyan University Wildcats will try to remain unbeaten tonight when they clash with the IU East Red Wolves in a battle of NAIA Division II Men’s Top 10 teams.
The game will be played on Lingle Court in the IU East Student Events and Activities Center with tipoff slated for 7 p.m.
Indiana Wesleyan, rated No 6, is 6-0 and features former Connersville High School star and 2017 Indiana All-Star Grant Smith on its roster.
No. 9 IU East (5-1) also features a former Spartan, Charles Peterson, a 6-0 senior guard.
IWU beat Northwestern Ohio, 92-77, in its last outing. Smith came off the bench to score 6 points, pass for 4 assists, grab a pair of rebounds and pick up a steal.
Freshman Kyle Mangas of Warsaw, a teammate of Smith’s on the All-Star team, led the Wildcats with 33 points on 12-of-16 shooting.
IU East lost to No. 3-ranked Saint Francis University, 93-81, on Saturday. Peterson finished with 2 points, 4 assists, a rebound and a steal for the Red Wolves, who were topped by 5-10 sophomore Bishop Smith’s 23 points.