The Washington Times-Herald

February 16, 2012

Area girls have bright short-term and long-term futures

By Gregg A. Sims
Washington Times-Herald

WASHINGTON — Some random thoughts as the basketball season winds down, and spring is preparing to be sprung.

The image of Mark Holt standing on the sideline before the beginning of Saturday’s Class A sectional girls basketball championship will stay with me for a very long time. Seeing his introspective nature as his team prepared for the game was pretty hard to miss.

At the same time, it would have been fairly easy to miss.

Writers have the opportunity to take in such things on the eve of games. There are opportunities to watch the surroundings while getting a flavor for the crowd and general atmosphere.

Since Barr-Reeve had to cross in front of the press area to reach the western end of the floor, it was just natural to watch. And that offered the chance to see the coach.

It gave me the feeling of watching a movie or commercial of a father saying goodbye to a daughter. You know the scene. The daughter is married, returns from a honeymoon, and then departs for a new home.

It’s the feeling that she is still part of you, but the relationship will never quite be the same.

Seeing an occasion in reality is rare, unless you experience it. My experience has been through those movies and commercials.

Still, the impression it left will stay for many years to come.

It was a pretty good regular season overall for girls basketball.

North Daviess capped a season riddled with injuries with the upset against Loogootee in the sectional.

The Cougars ended with nine wins despite playing at times without Sabra Smith, Janae Wagler and Gracie Meyer. That’s a nice improvement from last year’s four.

The Cougars last had a winning record, 11-8, in 2007-08. North Daviess is young, and coach Ron Knepp is looking for continued improvement in the coming years. A winning season may be on the horizon.

Of course, one team’s fulfillment is another team’s loss.

Loogootee also put together a very nice season with 14 wins. That’s the most since Loogootee won 21 in the 2004-05 season.

Wynter Wagoner reached the 1,000-point mark for her career. It appears she is going to attend Indiana University next year, and that will mean her basketball career has ended. She could certainly help several college programs if she changes her mind.

The Lions also have an emerging post player in Christine Ziegler. The 6-2 sophomore is just one of several sophomore post players, including Smith, that should be entertaining to watch in the next two years.

That list also includes Washington forward Ally Hunsinger. Her game improved by leaps and bounds as the season progressed. Hunsinger should get help from Cheyenne Jones next winter, but the Hatchets graduated five seniors who all saw significant playing time.

Junior guard Audra Lane and sophomore post player Audra Stallman will be in line to also play key roles.

On the boys side, North Daviess junior Nick Crays has undergone knee surgery for patella tendinitis, and is expected to return to school today after missing about one week of classes.

The surgery appears to have gone well. It is hoped he can return to playing within six months after undergoing therapy.