Gary West Side, Merrillville rule HC summer classic
By Mark Smith email@example.com June 19, 2012 1:26PM
Merrillville's Amber Sturdvant, center, and Hanover Central's Summer Pattison wait to enter a game during the summer shootout on Friday, June 15, 2012, in Cedar Lake. | Mark Smith~Sun-Times Media
MERRILLVILLE (5-1) 11- 23 === 34
Gary West Side (6-0) 21-17 === 38
6-16-12, Hanover Summer Shootout championship @ Cedar Lake
GARY WEST SIDE (38) Mariah Hopkins 5-1-11, Amari Ferguson 3-1-17, Lexus Fox 2-1-5, Tinon Hunter 4-1-9, Ashley Danzy 1-0-2, Tyeisha Hunter 1-0-2, Jerrica Neal 1-0-2, Lessia Smith 0-0-0, Alana Hearon 0-0-0, DeJah Joshua 0-0-0. TOTALS: 17-4-38.
MERRILLVILLE (34) Jaz Tilley 2-2-6, Darian Morris 2-6-10, Amber Sturdivant 1-1-3, AJ Downs 3-5-12, Myranda Harris 0-1-1, Anjellica Peppers 1-0-2, Erika McClinton 0-0-0. TOTALS: 9-15-34.
FREE THROWS: WEST SIDE (4-7, 57.1%) Fox 1-2, Hopkins 1-3, Ferguson 1-1, Tinon Hunter 1-1; MERRILLVILLE (15-31, 60%) Morris 6-7, Downs 5-12, Harris 1-2, Sturdivant 1-2, Talley 2-4, Outlar 0-2, Peppers 0-2.
REBOUNDS: WEST SIDE (22) Fox 5, Tinon Hunter 5, Ferguson 3, Joshua 3, Smith 3, Hopkins, Tyeisha Hunter, Danzy; MERRILLVILLE (11) Peppers 3, Downs 2, Sturdivant 2, Morris 2, Talley 2.
ASSISTS: WEST SIDE (5) Amari Ferguson 2, Lexus Fox, Tyeisha Hunter, DeJah Joshua; MERRILLVILLE (2) Amber Sturdivant, Myranda Harris.
STEALS: WEST SIDE (7) Fergusn 2, Hopkins 3; Fox, Danzy; MERRILLVILLE (9) Downs 4, Morris 4, Outlar.
3-GOALS: WEST SIDE (0): MERRILLVILLE (1) AJ Downs.
MERRILLVILLE (5-0) 25-12 === 37
HANOVER CENTRAL(4-1) 17-10 === 27
6-16-12, Hanover Summer Shootout semifinal @ Cedar Lake
MERRILLVILLE (37) Darian Morris 4-1-9, Amber Sturdivant 1-0-2, AJ Downs 4-2-11, Myranda Harris 1-2-4, Ashley Hansbury 1-0-3, Anjellica peppers 1-0-2, Alexis Shirells 1-0-2, Erika McClinton 0-1-1, Tajda Outlar 0-0-0, Jaz Tilley 1-0-2. TOTALS: 13-6-37.
HANOVER (27) Frankie Turturillo 3-0-6, Kristin Roper 0-2-2, Blayr Poston 4-2-12, Hannah Blue 1-0-2, Summer Pattison 1-2-4, Alyssa Howard 0-1-1, Taylor Hurst 0-0-0, Nikki Hahn 0-0-0. TOTALS: 9-7-27
FREE THROWS: MERRILLVILLE (6-9, 66.7%) Darian Morris 1-3, AJ Downs 2-2, Erika McClinton 1-2, Myranda Harris 2-2. HANOVER (7-13, 53.8%) Roper 2-4, Poston 2-6, Pattison 2-2, Howard 1-2.
REBOUNDS: MERRILLVILLE (19) Sturdivant 8, Morris 3, Tilley 3, Outlar 2, Peppers, McClinton, Harris; HANOVER (15) Roper 6, Poston 5, Pattison 2, Blue, Hahn.
ASSISTS: MERRILLVILLE (6) Morris 3, Downs 3; HANOVER (4) Poston, Roper, Pattison, Blue.
3-GOALS: MERRILLVILLE (2) AJ Downs, Ashley Hansbury; HANOVER (2) Blayr Poston 2.
CEDAR LAKE — OK, so nobody was surprised that Merrillville, which was 22-1 last season, and Gary West Side, which reached the finals of thre Class 4A Munster Sectional with three freshmen in the starting lineup, met in the finals of Hanover Central’s Summer Classic basketball tournament Saturday.
Summer basketball tournament success is not necessarily framed in wins and losses but, don’t tell Gary West Side that.
The Cougars defeated Merrillville 38-34 Saturday afternoon for the championship of the sixth annual 13-team event.
But Merrillville, which went 5-1 with all-state sophomore Victoria Gaines still unavailable, wasn’t disappointed at all.
“I was very happy with how we played,” said Pirate coach Amy Govert. “We only have two players with any experience out there. We’d have won if we’d have made some free throws. But I was very happy with how we played.”
Merrillville, which graduated team MVP and Indiana all-star Raveen Murray this month, topped Hanover Central 37-27 in the semifinals, but HC coach Doug Nelson wasn’t disillusioned by his girls losing to the defending Duneland Conference champions.
“I’m very pleased with how we played,” said Nelson, who had the dual role of coaching his team and being tournament director.
“When you’re running the tournament,” he said, “you’re concerned with a lot of things like the referees and the teams going to the right place.
“But I’m very pleased with how we are progressing. I thought we played well. We’ll go as Blayr goes. I think we know that.”
Against Merrillville, the host Wildcats led 14-13 late in the first 20-minute (running clock) half. The Pirates, led by returning guards AJ Downs and Darian Morris, led by as many as 1 2 points in the second half.
The running clock format made the games short and all teams tired Saturday, playing for the fifth and sixth time in two days.
The worst thing about the tournament was that Bowman Academy didn’t show up, reportedly citing confusion about what weekend the tourney was to be played.
The best thing about the tourney was that everybody got to play four times, folks inside the school missed out on some violent mid-afternoon thunderstorms, and the final game finished on time, about 5 p.m., so some of us could get home to watch Lake Central play for the state baseball championship on TV.
Hanover observations on the final day? Hanover is not a slow team but isn’t as quick as Merrillville, which isn’t a big concern because Hanover Central, a 3A school, has never been on the Merrillville schedule and would never see the 4A Pirates in the post-season.
Hanover is still without guard Tiphani Ward (back injury) and Rylie Singleton (knee injury) and it used eight players in Saturday’s three games. The eight who played did well. Add the two injured girls and Hanover will be finishing with a winning record in 2013.
Singleton had knee surgery after last season and is expected back this fall. Ward has a back problem that knocked her out of the softball season. It isn’t certain when she will be able to play.
“Those two are shooting guards,” said Nelson, “and when the other team is concentrating on Blayr, they’d get a lot of shots. But I think we’re progressing and I’m happy with it.”
West Side, which defeated Griffith in the semifinals, led Merrillville 15-3 Saturday afternoon before the Pirates rallied slowly, mostly on foul shots.
The Cougars were the deepest and most athletic team in the tournament and the format played to their strengths.
Amari Ferguson, Tinon Hunter, Ashley Danzey and Lexus Fox, all of whom played significant roles as freshman for West Side last season, combined for 23 of the Cougars 38 points in the final game Saturday.
CLASSIC NOTES: Andrean’s new coach is Tony Scheub, who spent the last two years at Culver (a 34-15 record including 23-2 in 2010) after being an assistant for coach Mike Golumbeck at Griffith.
The 59ers were 3-20 last season and didn’t get a lot of girls out for the program. What made Scheub take the job?
“I got tired of driving to Culver every day,” he said, half-seriously.
“Andrean’s got quite a tradition,” he continued. “I know they had a rough year last year but there’s no place to go but up. Look out for us.”
Andrean has gotten a couple of players back who had not been playing, including 6-foot-6 junior Marija Nicksic, who is still a project as a basketball player.
Scheub was without softball stars Brenna Boyle and Madi Lesch, who just completed Andrean’s state title softball season. He’s confident the long range future is bright.
Scheub is aware that he now will face Golumbeck and Griffith two or three times every season.
“It’ll be great to go against coach Golumbeck,” Scheub said. But, “not so much to coach against girls I used to coach.”
Merrillville 6-foot-1 freshman Victoria Gaines was injured in last year’s 4A Sectional semifinal loss to Michigan City. The all-DAC forward was with the team at the Summer Shootout Saturday at Hanover but she’s not close to playing.
“She tore her ACL, MCL and LCL,” explained Pirate coach Amy Govert. “You hardly ever hear about someone tearing her LCL (lateral collateral ligament). It was as bad as anything I’d ever seen.”
Gaines, who averages 17 points a game as a freshman on Merrillville’s DAC title team, probably will be back by the time the calendar turns into 2013, but Govert adds: “It might take a full year for her to come back to where she was.”