RPI: January 25th

January 24th, 2013 at 6:38 pm by under Ross Rowling's Roundup, Sports, WTHI Blog

RPI: January 25th

The RPI saw a down week last week. At least more were right than wrong, but 3-2 is never a record to brag about. It was certainly a week of not showing off, but not falling behind. Loogootee, Sullivan, and Rockville proved me right. Shakamak and Linton emerged victorious to prove me wrong. The Lakers find themselves back in the RPI this week, so without further ado:

 

Terre Haute North vs. Terre Haute South (Boys)

Expect an epic battle at the Hulman Center Friday night between Terre Haute North and Terre Haute South. On paper North has to be the favorite in this one, but in a North-South game, anything can happen. The Braves have lost two straight, but they’ve been tough road games against Class 3A 11th ranked Guerin Catholic and Class 4A 2nd ranked Carmel. The Braves will run their offense like they always do. Jeffrey Turner will score, and they will shoot lots of three’s. If the Braves are making shots they have a chance to pull the upset and move to 9-9 on the year. South will probably try and use quickness to negate the Patriots size advantage inside. Look for the Braves to run and jump the ball handler and use pressure to force North into turnovers. That all sounds great, but the Patriots are a very savvy, disciplined basketball team. Nathan Jahn has incredible basketball IQ at the point and he’ll be tough to turn over. At 9-6 Terre Haute North isn’t quite where they want to be from a record standpoint, but the pieces are there. Now that Austin Lewis is back from a knee injury, they have another element of size and athleticism on the interior. He’s a matchup problem for South. I look for Lewis and interior teammate Calvin Blank to combine for 40 as North handles the pressure and gets buckets under the rim to lead the Patriots to win number 10. They keep the shoe for the fourth straight year.

Pick: Terre Haute North

Terre Haute North vs. Terre Haute South (Girls)

For the first time in the brief history of the RPI, a Friday night girl’s game makes the cut. It’s the cross-town showdown between Terre Haute North and South that’s the opener for the boy’s game at Hulman Center with a 6:30 tip. Last year the Braves took the Crown back to the South side led by a 17 point quarter from Tasia Brewer.  The Lady Patriots are probably the favorites this season. Led by division one recruit Nicole Anderson they come into this game at 13-6.  Adrienne Pritchard gives the Patriots a very tough post presence, but a true point guard has eluded North this season, forcing Anderson into the role often. Even with point guard duties on her shoulders, Anderson has scored at a high rate and continues to show she’s one of the best players in the area. At 12-7 South has won 2 of their last 3, and it very easily could have been 3 straight. Against, a tough Mooresville team this week the Braves turned it over 32 times and only lost by 2.  Senior Tasia Brewer who can score in waves paces the Braves. Brewer is as dynamic of a player as there is in the area. If you leave her open, she can drill a three. She handles the ball well enough and slides to the rim with ease on the drive.  South will need a big game from Brewer to win. Another senior Emily Bell is great on the weak-side boards and makes a living in the paint. Terre Haute North beat Terre Haute South in the Terre Haute Savings Bank tip-off tournament, but I think the Braves have gotten better since then, I think it comes down to a Brewer bucket to win it, bringing the Crown back to the South side.

Pick: Terre Haute South

Shakamak vs. Barr-Reeve

Hats off to the Lakers for playing anybody, anywhere, anytime. Shakamak is 7-8 on the season but their schedule has been brutal and that will definitely pay off during tournament time.  The only loss to a 1A school in Indiana came at the hands of North Daviess and the Cougars are ranked 9th in the state. Barr-Reeve’s inside duo of Addison Wagler and Jacob Bledsoe could give Shakamak fits. Wagler is a load inside and averages 14 points and 6 rebounds per game.  The Vikings are ranked 3rd in the state and are 14-1. You don’t get their by being one dimensional, and this team is no different. Complimenting the inside duo are Micah Bullock and Brandon Wagler on the wings. Those two can both fill it up shooting better than 40% from deep. The Vikings offense is ran by a freshman, and a really good one. Logan James will be a player to keep an eye on as he moves up through his career at Barr-Reeve. The Lakers are playing good basketball, but this match-up is just too tough. Barr-Reeve comes away with a win at home.

Pick: Barr-Reeve

White River Valley vs. Loogootee

A rematch of last year’s upset when White River Valley knocked off eventual state champion Loogootee, you can bet the Lions remember that. This year the Wolverines travel to Lion country, and they bring a tough team with them. JB Neill’s team is 8-5, but they’ve lost 3 of their last 4. Cade Hill is such a tough player at the point and he’ll have to be the difference maker in this one for the Wolverines to knock off the champs for the second year in a row. Loogootee keeps getting better and better as the year rolls on. Conner Wittmer had a double double last week against Bloomfield with 20 points and 12 rebounds, and then followed it up the next night with 21 against Northeast Dubois. That same night Matt Mathies had a career-high 26 points.  Wittmer fouled out in the loss to White River Valley last season, the only game he fouled out of all season. Cam Wagler is coming off a back injury, if he is 100% and Wittmer and Mathies keep playing at this level, not many teams have a chance to beat the Lions.

Pick: Loogootee

LIC Championship Casey vs. Newton

Newton shocked the area knocking off a great Robinson team Tuesday night in the semi-finals of the Little Illini Conference Tournament. In that game Dylan Davidson was unconscious from beyond the arc scoring 24 points while dishing out 9 assists. Luke Stone added 12 points in the win and those two will once again be key if Newton is going to knock off Casey. The Warriors return Jordan Brandenburg to the lineup. He started the first four games of the year before breaking his foot. Friday night will be Brandenburg’s first game back, and his athleticism slowly working back in the rotation could be something for the Warriors to utilize to take the next step forward.  Newton likes to play up-tempo and push the pace, so an added body in the rotation will be key for Casey. Newton is 20-2 on the year, and one of those losses came at the hands of the Warriors.  Casey beat Flora on the way to the championship game, which was a huge step because of the way they won it. I’m impressed less by the score, but the fact that Casey won a low scoring grind it out game. When the Warriors commit to the defensive end like they did against Flora they can be really good. We all know they can score with anybody, adding Brandenburg and becoming well rounded on both ends could make them one of the elite teams in the Land of Lincoln.

Pick: Casey-Westfield

Best of luck to all the teams playing on Friday, as we prepare for the post season everybody continues to try and peak at the right time. As always, let me know what games you’re looking forward to next week. Until then, I’ll see you at the game.

-Ross

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