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The Optimist

The student news site of Bloomington High School South

The Optimist

The student news site of Bloomington High School South

The Optimist

Hanchett Hoops: week four recap


Warren and Carmel appear to be the only two reliable teams in 4A. Several big upsets, notably our Panthers victory over No. 3 Floyd Central, as well as Fishers’ huge upset against No. 4 HSE in the Mudsock Game. Meanwhile, Region squads Valparaiso (7-0) and Chesterton (6-0) remain undefeated, albeit a weaker schedule than their foes to the south.


Bloomington South upsets No. 3 Floyd Central 52-44, beats Bloomfield 55-35

Against Floyd Central: The game began as the basketball gods would’ve intended, as Floyd Central jumped out to an 11-0 lead just three minutes in. South wasn’t having it, however, and slowly but surely battled back to tie the game up at the half. Energized by clutch three point shots from Joey Bomba (twice), Connor Hickman and Noah Jager (at the buzzer), the Panthers were able to overcome the early deficit. In the second half, junior guard Anthony Leal heated up and scored the first 7 points for South. Floyd Central couldn’t find much offense aside from senior forward Cobie Barnes and sophomore guard Jake Heidbreder, who finished with 18 and 15, respectively. South’s balanced scoring attack was enough to knock off the previously unbeaten Highlanders, earning a much needed quality win for the Panthers.


Against Bloomfield: South led wire-to-wire, but not without struggles against a scrappy Bloomfield team that’s ranked fourth in 1A.  The Panthers got off to a hot start, leading 24-10 after the first quarter. Junior guard Noah Jager had success shooting the ball and finding senior forward Adam Graham underneath for several easy buckets. Facing a senior laden group defending their home floor, the hot start was soon cooled down, and quickly. South tallied just 15 points in the second and third quarters, allowing the home Cardinals to battle back into it and close the lead to 10 in the fourth. Alas, the Cinderella story wasn’t to be had. Despite having guards Connor Hickman and Grayson Rolen sidelined with injuries, South put together an impressive offensive effort. Jager paced the Panthers with 22 points on 8-for-12 shooting, and junior guard Anthony Leal deposited 13 points and 10 rebounds. Senior forward Adam Graham scored a season high 10 points, making 5-of-8 from the field. Ultimately, it was South’s lock down defense that delivered the victory: Bloomfield shot just 10-for-32. Up next for our Panthers are games versus Shelbyville (4-4) and Evansville Central (2-4) on Saturday at Bloomington North.

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No. 1 Warren Central defeats No. 4 Ben Davis 66-49

If there was any doubt that Warren Central is the top team in the state, it’s been eradicated following their destruction of previously No. 4 ranked Ben Davis. Senior forward Jakobie Robinson hit four three pointers in the first quarter alone, finishing the night shooting 5-for-7 from the field for 20 points. The surging start for the Warriors had them leading 15-4 after just one quarter of play. And, riding a 35 game win streak, Warren Central knows how to keep a lead. Jesse Bingham (UIndy commit) added 16 for the Warriors, but it was the team’s ability to shut down Ben Davis’ shooters and force turnovers that delivered the victory. The Giants turned the ball over a whopping 18 times, which Warren Central rarely failed to capitalize on. For Ben Davis, senior center Dawand Jones scored 19 points and grabbed 9 rebounds while several Indiana (football) coaches looked on. Jones has football offers from USC, Ohio State and Penn State, as well as 17 others,  but is excelling on the hardwood as well. The 66-49 final tally just goes to show how large the gap between Warren and even elite teams in the state still is. Up next for Warren is a neutral site game against East St. Louis (Ill.), who looks to be a difficult matchup given their 7-2 record.


No. 9 Valparaiso stays perfect, gives first loss to Elkhart Memorial 63-56

Valparaiso, led by Purdue bound senior guard Brandon Newman, continued their hot start against a tough Elkhart Memorial team. In the road win, the team led by 10 at the half and never looked back, finishing with a 7 point victory.  Newman dropped 24 points and snatched 6 rebounds for the Vikings. He’s dominated on the glass and elsewhere all season for the team, whose record now stands a perfect 7-0. Valparaiso will be tested extensively over the next week facing Jalen Blackmon-led Marion on the road Friday Dec. 21, as well as a tough neutral match against Zionsville on Saturday, Dec. 22. Also, No. 1 Warren Central looms around the corner in the Hall of Fame Tournament at New Castle.


Pike continues hot streak, beats No. 8 Lawrence Central 60-56

Ahmoni Jones. The 6-foot-4 senior forward had a huge night, scoring 32 points and grabbing 10 rebounds to complete the double-double. Jones is averaging 17.6 points and 7.7 rebounds per game this season. Pike was down by 6 at the half, but closed the game and tied things at 41-41 entering the fourth quarter. Jones got some help as senior guard LaJuan Whitney and junior guard Davion Bailey each hit three pointers to pull the Red Devils ahead. Senior guard AJ White, who scored 26 against Center Grove, was quiet with a 6 point performance in the win. It’s a good sign for Pike that they aren’t dependent on a singular player and are able to roll with the hot hand. The team didn’t shoot exceptionally well overall, but Jones’ big performance and some timely shots were enough to defeat a very good Lawrence Central team. Pike will have another tough contest Friday Dec. 21 in a home game against New Albany, and plays Saturday Dec. 22 at Fishers.


Fishers stuns No. 5 HSE 45-44 in Mudsock Game

Fishers had played Ben Davis and Lawrence Central tough, but finally broke through this week to defeat their cross-town rival HSE. The Royals had been on a roll prior to Friday’s matchup, going 6-0 including wins over Culver Academy and Pike. The series between the two teams has traditionally seen razor thin margins, with HSE edging Fishers last season 42-38. Trailing by two at the half, Fishers proceeded to outscore HSE 16-5 in the third. The 9 point cushion proved large enough to keep them ahead at the final buzzer. HSE shot just 36 percent from the field, but the struggles at the free throw line were what cost them the game. They finished just 11-for-21 from that stripe. Leading HSE in scoring was senior forward (& Toledo commit) Aaron Etherington, who had 14 on 4-for-11 shooting. For Fishers, senior guard Willie Jackson had another big night and led all players with 16 points. Up next for HSE: road game against a struggling 2-6 Pendelton Heights team, and then a tournament in Kentucky where they’ll face teams from Mississippi and Tennessee.


Players of the Week:


Brandon Newman (Valpo)

  • Scored 24 points and snatched 6 rebounds in a victory versus Elkhart Memorial

Ahmoni Jones (Pike)

  • Jones completed a double-double in a win against Lawrence Central, scoring 32 points and adding 10 rebounds


OSports Week 4 4A Top Ten

  1. Warren Central (4-0) (-)
  2. Carmel (7-0) (-)
  3. Valparaiso (7-0) (+6)
  4. Center Grove (6-2) (+2)
  5. Floyd Central (6-1) (-2)
  6. HSE (6-1) (-1)
  7. Cathedral (4-2) (-)
  8. Ben Davis (6-2) (-4)
  9. Pike (4-3) (NEW)
  10. Bloomington South (5-2) (NEW)

Honorable Mentions: Plainfield, Chesterton, Lawrence Central


OSports Week 4 3A Top Ten

  1. Mishawaka Marian (5-0) (+3)
  2. Crispus Attucks (6-1) (-)
  3. Culver Academy (4-2) (-2)
  4. Edgewood (7-0) (-1)
  5. Greensburg (7-0) (+2)
  6. Silver Creek (7-1) (-1)
  7. Brownstown Central (6-0) (+1)
  8. Northwestern (8-0) (NEW)
  9. Brebeuf Jesuit (3-2) (-)
  10. Delta (8-0) (NEW)

Honorable Mention: Gary West, Evansville Memorial, Heritage Hills


Looking forward to a great week of basketball! 



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Logan Hanchett
Logan Hanchett, Editor
Hit a dinger that still has not landed in the 2018 softball "game" against Gothic.
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