By Dave Krider
Greenwood Center Grove staged a miraculous rally to nip defending state champion Carmel, 36-33, to win Indiana’s Class 5A football championship before a record crowd of 40,680 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The two-day total attendance of 56,050 also was a record in the 36-year history of the Hoosier tournament.
The Trojans (14-1) recovered two onside kicks and scored three touchdowns in the final 6:04 to overcome a seemingly safe 33-14 Carmel lead. Carmel had rallied from a 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter to deal Center Grove its only loss, 33-32, during the regular season.
Indianapolis Cardinal Ritter (15-0) edged Sheridan, 34-27, to win Indiana’s Class A title and deny Sheridan a record 10th state championship. Sheridan’s senior class compiled a four-year record of 56-4 with three state titles and a 44-game winning streak, which was broken earlier this year. Ritter quarterback Ross Hendrickson set Class A title game records with 29 completions for 423 yards, while receiver Tyrone Walker set records with 11 catches for 183 yards.
Another small-school power, Smith Center, handed Olpe its first loss by a decisive 49-18 margin to win its fifth consecutive Kansas Class 1A-2A state title. The Redmen also broke the state record with their 67th straight victory…In Illinois, Aurora Christian lost the Class 4A state title game, 37-28, to Bloomington Central Catholic (14-0), even though quarterback Jordan Roberts set records by completing 27-of-55 passes for 365 yards. He finished his brilliant career with state career records in passing attempts (1,129), yards (9,752) and touchdowns (127).
Zach Barket broke Pennsylvania’s single-season rushing record as Schuykill Haven defeated Riverside, 43-38. He now has 4,057 yards this year and 8,171 (No. 3 in state history) in his career. On Friday he will face Steelton-Highspire star Jeremiah Young, who holds the state career rushing record of 8,857 yards, in the Class A state semifinals at Blue Mountain High School. It should be some shootout!
* In Massachusetts, Boston Latin and Boston English tangled for the 122nd straight year – a national record for a Thanksgiving Day game – with Latin winning by a convincing 36-0 margin. Latin now leads the series, which started in 1887, by a 73-36-13 margin…An estimated crowd of 20,000 watched Cleveland St. Ignatius win an Ohio state-record 10th Division I championship with a 28-20 victory over Cincinnati Elder.
* Turning to Texas, Austin Lake Travis ran its winning streak to 27 games with a 55-32 Class 4A playoff victory over previously unbeaten Alice. Senior quarterback Garrett Gilbert ran for five touchdowns and passed for one…In Class 5A, Copperas Cove outlasted Houston Cypress Ridge, 55-48, ending Russell Shepard’s great career. The LSU recruit ran for 311 yards and three touchdowns, while passing for 227 yards and three more touchdowns.
* Moving to California, Rancho Santa Margarita Tesoro (12-0) nipped Santa Ana Mater Dei, 38-35, in a Pac-5 Division quarterfinal. Mater Dei star Matt Barkley completed just 11-of-31 passes for 236 yards and one touchdown in his final prep game. He threw four interceptions, but eight of his passes were dropped…In the north, San Ramon Valley edged Danville Monte Vista, 43-36, in the North Coast Section Division I quarterfinals. Senior quarterback Joe Southwick sparked the winners by passing for 426 yards and four touchdowns and running for two other touchdowns.
* In Florida, defending Class 6A state champion Miami Northwestern isn’t going to abdicate its throne without a fight. The Bulls ended Miami Central’s eight-game winning streak, 38-32, in the region semifinals before an estimated crowd of 15,000. Central had handed Northwestern (11-1) its only loss, 27-25, during the regular season…In Maryland, Gambrills Arundel quarterback Billy Cosh passed for 475 yards and five touchdowns, but Linganore still pulled out a 59-34 victory in the Class 4A state semifinals. Alec Lemon caught 16 passes for 277 yards.
* No. 2-ranked Astoria (13-0) handed No. 1 Independence Central its first loss, 56-35, in Oregon’s Class 4A state semifinals. Six-foot senior Jordan Poyer completed 14-of-17 passes for a school-record 345 yards and two touchdowns, while running 30 times for 193 yards and five touchdowns. He has accounted for 63 touchdowns this season with one game remaining.
* On the recruiting front, Miami (Florida) has received in-state commitments from defensive tackles Louis Nix (6-3, 300) of Jacksonville Raines and Todd Chandler (6-1, 290) of Miami Northwestern…Other recent commitments include East St. Louis (Ill.) receiver Kraig Appleton (6-3, 190), to Illinois; Plantation (Fla.) cornerback Josh Robinson (5-11, 180), to Central Florida; North Plainfield (N.J.) defensive tackle Tyson Chandler (6-6, 344), to North Carolina State; and Blythewood (S.C.) defensive end Justin Anderson (6-5, 265), to Maryland.
Boys Basketball Notes
* Derrick Favors is living up to his billing as the nation’s top-ranked player. The 6-9 senior compiled 29 points, 12 rebounds, four blocks, four steals and three assists as South Atlanta (Atlanta, Ga.) defeated Centennial, 88-77, in the Elite 8 Thanksgiving Hardwood Classic…After moving briefly to Mount Zion Christian (Durham, N.C.), former Louisville Manual star Tony Kimbro, a 6-5 junior, has landed at Christ School (Arden, N.C.) where he is the top substitute on a talented team.
* Moving to Indiana, one of the nation’s top juniors, 6-7 DeShaun Thomas, scored 38 points as Fort Wayne Bishop Luers routed Woodlan, 100-52…Fort Wayne has another rising star, freshman guard Rapheal Davis, who debuted with a triple-double (12 assists, 11 points and 10 rebounds) as South Side routed Indianapolis Irvington, 100-62…Another highly-touted Hoosier freshman, 6-4 guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, collected 17 points and 16 rebounds as Indianapolis North Central stunned city foe Pike, 72-43.
* In Alabama, 6-9 Christian Watford was the man of the moment as he drilled a 3-pointer with one second left to give Birmingham Shades Valley a 47-45 victory over Vestavia Hills. He finished with 21 points…Another Alabama power, Huntsville Butler, is off to a 10-0 start after winning seven games during a marathon six-day stretch…Brandon Ellis collected 44 points, 12 rebounds and five steals as Robertsdale (Ala.) edged Tate (Cantonment, Fla.), 83-80…Tim Meiss posted his 500th coaching victory as Eureka (Ill.) defeated St. Anne, 53-44.
* The nation’s premier junior guard, Brandon Knight, put on a show with the likes of Florida coach Billy Donovan in attendance. The 6-3 standout pumped in 36 points to lead Pine Crest (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) to a 76-62 victory over Northeast before a capacity crowd. Ed Waite, a 6-5 senior, added 21 points and 10 rebounds as the defending Class 3A state champs ran their winning streak to 21 games. For the losers, another junior guard, 6-2 Jelani Hewitt, had 22 points. Earlier that week Hewitt erupted for 50 points – including 11 threes – against West Broward…Florida’s defending 4A state champion, Miami Monsignor Pace, defeated Archbishop McCarthy, 88-64, as 6-8 senior Rakeem Buckles had a dominant 37 points and 19 rebounds.
* Pinewood Prep (Summerville, S.C.) edged Columbia (Decatur, Ga.), 66-64, to win the Tabernacle Christian Thanksgiving Classic in Freeport, Bahamas. Kenny Manigault, a 6-4 senior, scored 21 points and was named MVP. Teammate Milton Jennings, a highly-regarded 6-9 senior, had 22 points, eight rebounds and five blocks and was named the tourney’s most outstanding defensive player. Jennings scored 25 points during a 59-52 semifinal victory over Tabernacle Christian.
* Turning to Arizona, 6-2 junior guard Royce Woolridge erupted for what is believed to be a school-record 52 points as Phoenix Sunnyslope nipped Phoenix Shadow Mountain, 86-77, in overtime. Woolridge, who drilled 22-of-26 at the free throw line, poured in 15 points during the four-minute overtime…In Tennessee, senior point guard Caleb Bunch scored 46 points as Wartburg defeated Midway, 81-59.
Girls Basketball Notes
* It rarely happens, but the nation’s top two ranked girls already have tangled this year in Texas. Kelsey Bone, a 6-5 senior, scored 19 points as Sugar Land Dulles nipped Houston Nimitz, 64-63, in the championship game of the Fort Bend Shootout. Dulles’ leading scorer, however, was senior forward Jasmin Henderson, who scored 23 points – including the winning basket with 16 seconds remaining. Brittney Griner, a 6-8 senior, took game honors with 24 points for the losers.
* Tayler Hill of Minneapolis South is on track to eclipse Minnesota’s career scoring record of 3,300 points by Megan Taylor of Roseau. The 5-11 senior was held to 10-of-29 shooting (26 points) during a 55-37 loss to Hopkins, but was able to surpass the 3,000-point barrier and move into the No. 4 spot…Indianola Gentry ran its Mississippi state-record, public-school winning streak to 83 games before suffering a pair of losses.
* Bolingbrook (Ill.) has lost 6-2 freshman star Morgan Tuck for two to four weeks due to a strained ligament in her right knee. She was injured while scoring 18 points during a 42-28 loss to Ben Davis (Indianapolis, Ind.) at the Blue Star Country Classic Showcase in Champaign, Ill. That means Tuck probably will miss the talent-laden Nike Tournament of Champions, which begins Dec. 18 in Phoenix, Ariz.
Cross Country Notes
* Qualifying was held over the weekend for the annual Foot Locker Nationals (Dec. 13 in San Diego, Calif.) and two former national champions tangled in the South Regional at Charlotte, N.C. The 2006 champion, Kathy Kroeger of Independence (Thompson Station, Tenn.) was the winner in 17:13. Defending champion Ashley Brasovan (Wellington, Fla.) placed fourth in 17:20. Bill Matthews of Baylor (Chattanooga, Tenn.) won the boys race in 14:48.
The Midwest Regional was held in Kenosha, Wis. The boys title went to Jakub Zivec of Grand Rapids (Minn.) in a time of 15:10. Rising star Megan Goethals, a junior from Rochester (Mich.) who is unbeaten this year, claimed the girls crown in 17:31. She previously won the Michigan Division I crown in a record 17:11.
New York’s famed VanCortlandt Park was the site of the Northeast Regional. Maryland Class 4A state champion Solomon Haile of Sherwood (Sandy Spring, Md.) won the boys title in a course-record 15:21.9, while the girls champion was Emily Jones of Bromfield (Harvard, Mass.) in 17:31.
* Meanwhile, California held its always highly-competitive state championships in Fresno. The big news, as always, was provided by Jordan Hasay. The phenomenal senior from San Luis Obispo Mission Prep won the Division V race in 17:18 to become only the second four-time champion in the meet’s 22-year history. San Clemente’s Alex Dunne won the girls Division I race in 17:27 – despite being stepped on and running without her left shoe after the first mile.
On the boys side, sensational Los Angeles Loyola star Elias Gedyon won the Division II title in a sophomore class-record time of 15:01 and helped Loyola to a surprise team championship…The nation’s No. 1-ranked girls team, Saugus, won Division II with a course meet record combined time of 90:06 for its top runners…Dana Point Dana Hills won both the boys and girls titles in Division I and the Newport Beach Corona del Mar girls tied the state record with their sixth Division III title.
* The USA Under-14 National Team has been extremely impressive thus far during the COPABE Pan American “A” Qualifier in Guatemala City, Guatemala. In a pre-tourney exhibition game, the Americans defeated the Under-16 Guatemala National Team, 6-1, as six pitchers combined to strike out 14 and yield just two hits. Three pitchers struck out the side in their only inning. Anthony Alford (Columbia, Miss.) went 2-for-2 at the plate, scored twice and was the winning pitcher.
In the tourney opener, the Americans pounded Guatemala, 16-0, behind the slugging of Albert Almora (Hialeah, Fla.), who went 3-for-3 and drove in five runs. Included in his big day were a three-run homer which cleared the 380-foot center field fence and bounced off the 25-foot-high stadium wall – which is 400 feet from home plate – and a two-run triple to left center. Adrian Marin (Miami, Fla.) yielded no runs and one hit while striking out four to get the victory.
The Americans then recorded a 30-0 rout of Mexico. They set team records for runs (30), hits (19), RBI (26), triples (5), doubles (6) and walks (7). Jeremy Martinez hammered the team’s first-ever grand-slam homer, which cleared the 25-foot wall at the 400-foot mark. Connor Martin (San Jose, Calif.) belted a bases-loaded triple down the right field line, while Almora had a double and triple. Cody Poteet (Bonita, Calif.) pitched all three innings, allowing one hit and striking out five.
Their international winning streak reached 17 games with another lopsided victory, 18-0, against Honduras. Chris Chinea (Miami, Fla.) went 2-for-2, scored three runs and drove in a pair. Chris Rivera (Anaheim, Calif.) and Jonny Locker (Burien, Wash.) each drove in three runs. Pitcher Jimmy Wallace faced the minimum nine batters over three innings to get the victory.
* Carlsbad La Costa Canyon (35-1) defeated perennial power Manhattan Beach Mira Costa, 25-19, 23-25, 25-22, 26-24, in the Southern California Division I Regional volleyball tournament semifinals. Outside hitter Lydia Rudnick was the leader with 19 kills. For the losers, 6-4 junior star Falyn Fonoimoana had 17 kills…Donna Mechley has resigned as volleyball coach at Ohio powerhouse Mount Notre Dame. She compiled a 246-100 record with four Division I state titles. Joe Burke, an assistant for nine years, will succeed her as head coach.
* Jordyn Wieber (DeWitt, Mich.) won the all-around title for the USA with a score of 59.800 during the Top Gym Competition in Charleroi, Belgium. She had the top score in four events – 15.000 on vault and balance beam; 15.250 on uneven bars; and 14.550 (tie) in floor exercise. Kamerin Moore (Bloomfield, Mich.) placed third in all-around with 55.150. Other countries competing were Belgium, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Romania, Slovenia and Sweden.
* For the first time in the 31-year history, international players won both divisions of the AJGA Polo Junior Golf Classic in Reunion, Fla. Partick Winther of Rungsted Kyst, Denmark became the fifth international male champion with a 7 and 6 victory over Brinson Paolini of Virginia Beach, Va., while Jung Lee of Seoul, South Korea became the third female champion with a 4 and 3 triumph over Jenny Shin of Torrance, Calif.