By KRIS MILLS – email@example.com
In no particular order, here are some of the top sports stories from Shelby County in 2018.
Morristown wins 2017-18 Class A state title
What a ride. From the start, it was obvious the Yellow Jackets were a talented team.
Morristown’s only losses came to Hauser and Shelbyville. The Yellow Jackets would redeem themselves against Hauser, defeating the Jets 69-63 in sectional play. A 61-40 win over Oldenburg Academy secured the sectional championship.
But the real battle was just beginning.
During the regional, the team defeated University 55-53 in a close match and handled last year’s state champions in Tindley, 82-64. At the Seymour Semistate, the team topped Barr-Reeve 77-70 to advance to state in front of approximately 8,000 people.
Not only did the Yellow Jackets win, they beat the best teams in their class.
The rest was history as Morristown defeated Southwood 89-60 for the state title at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Junior Logan Laster finished with 24 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists, while senior Eli Streeval put up 35 points, including five made three-pointers.
More importantly – the win brought Shelby County together. No one said it better than MT head coach Scott McClelland.
“It was a very emotional and exciting win,” he said. “I told the boys in the locker room that they brought this community together. They have. They’ve brought the community together, because they’re just a class group of guys.”
Shelbyville softball repeats as sectional champions
In 2017, the Golden Bears won the program’s first sectional title. It wasn’t enough.
Shelbyville followed it up with another one in 2018. The team defeated Bloomington North, 1-0, May 23 to advance to the East Central Sectional title match, where it defeated Bloomington South, 6-1.
SHS advanced to the Center Grove Regional to take on the host Trojans – the state’s top ranked Class 4A softball team. The Golden Bears fell 2-0, ending an incredible season where they would finish with a 22-8 record – one win shy of the school record.
TC volleyball wins sectional
After graduating a deep and talented senior class, those familiar with the Triton Central volleyball program were unsure of what to expect in a new campaign during the fall.
Triton Central, despite losing six of seven contests in a tough stretch during the regular season, finished the year 20-10 and won the Knightstown Sectional. Maggie Schweitzer (assists), Ella Blair (kills) and Julia Sanders (digs) set program records along the way.
Kuhn breaks Shelbyville’s all-time scoring record
It was only a matter of time.
Kuhn broke the Shelbyville all-time scoring record in November with 28 points against Columbus North. Kuhn passed Harry Larrabee for first on the list.
“It is something that is exciting and means a lot to me,” Kuhn said. “When you are a kid, it is something you grow up dreaming about. To finally accomplish that dream is really cool. Coach (Harry Larrabee) is someone I have always respected. He has always supported me through the years. I love the guy, I am glad I can catch up to him.”
Kuhn is the son of Travis and Misti Kuhn. SHS head coach Mack gave them credit for raising such a “great kid.”
Shelbyville’s 3,200-meter relay team and Southwestern’s Drake advance to state
Advancing to state is no easy task, but last track and field season Shelby County had five representatives at the biggest meet of the year. The Shelbyville 3,200-meter relay team of Collin Scott, Alexis De Jesus, Matt Baker and Joe Lux competed, as did Southwestern’s Drew Drake in high jump.
A dropped baton at state could not overshadow Shelbyville’s success. At the Franklin Community Regional, the team broke the school record by four seconds (8:01.69) to take first place. At the Warren Central Sectional, the team placed second (8:23.16).
SHS also had an impressive performance at the Hoosier Heritage Conference meet hosted by Mt. Vernon (8:14.80).
For Drake, now a junior, competing at state as a sophomore will give him confidence for the next two seasons.
At the Mid-Hoosier Conference meet, Drake took second with a jump of 6-0. He followed that up with a fourth-place finish at the Columbus North Sectional (6-01). Drake received a callback to the Franklin Community Regional, where he finished third (6-02) – enough to send him to state.
At state, Drake was able to clear 6-02 on his first attempt but could not clear 6-03.
Graham nets 200 career wins
Triton Central girls’ basketball head coach Bryan Graham reached 200 career wins in November.
How many wins have come in the lucky green dress shirt?
“A bunch,” Graham joked after topping Morristown for win No. 200. “Although over the years, this is my third (green) shirt.”
The TC head man is currently 209-49 in his 11th season as head coach.
SHS volleyball turnaround
Andrew Fuller deserves a ton of credit.
The first-year Shelbyville volleyball coach helped the program win 12 games in the fall after finishing with six victories the previous year. It was evident the spirit surrounding the team was different.
The Golden Bears, playing with talent in each class, are moving in the right direction with Fuller in command.
Shelbyville’s Nolan Davis finishes career with state appearance
Shelbyville senior Nolan Davis placed fifth in the first heat of the 200-yard freestyle at the IUPUI Natatorium last swim season, which ended an impressive run to the IHSAA State Finals. He would finish 29th overall in the 200 free.
Davis admitted it wasn’t his best time but was glad to have the experience under his belt. He ended his career with four school records – three of which were held for over 80 years. Without a doubt, he finishes his four-year career as one of the best in Shelbyville history.
Davis owns the SHS record in the 100 and 200 freestyles, as well as the 500 freestyle. His last record was with the 200 freestyle relay team.
It was quite an ending for a swimmer who quit the sport in the sixth grade.
Triton Central girls’ basketball team falls in regional final
On Feb. 3, the Lady Tigers became sectional champions after defeating Shenandoah 32-13. Then freshman Tenleigh Phelps finished with 11 points and Grace Crist, now a junior, had eight.
The victory was important to TC but more so to the team’s three seniors – Haley Schneider, Rynisha Holly and Isabella Cooper. Schneider, after tearing her ACL last season, didn’t think she’d ever be able to play again. Thankfully, she was wrong.
The Tigers season would eventually come to an end Feb. 10 as TC fell to Winchester Community, 56-32, at the Speedway Regional. The Tigers finished their season 21-5 and 6-1 in conference play.
Berry, Guhl compete at semistate for wrestling
Shelbyville’s Dillon Berry and Triton Central’s Matt Guhl made their names known last wrestling season, both making a semistate appearance in New Castle. Berry and Guhl would be eliminated in the first round, but they said the experience was well worth it.
Berry, now a sophomore, fell to South Dearborn’s Eli Otto by a major decision (11-0), while Guhl, now a junior, was defeated by Elwood’s Jalen Morgan, who had a 37-5 record going into the match.
Competing in the 106-pound weight class, Berry had an impressive season and did so as just a freshman.
Guhl, competing in the 182-pound weight class, did not wrestle as a sophomore, which makes his state run even more impressive.
Chandler, Stephens make regional appearance for tennis
Triton Central sophomores Maya Chandler and Rylie Stephens made a regional appearance at Fishers High School on June 2. The No. 1 doubles duo defeated New Palestine in the first match to advance to the regional championship, where they would fall to a very tough Zionsville team.
While Stephens has somewhat of a tennis background, she had never competed at the high school level until this year. Chandler had little to no experience. The duo just worked well together.
Along with the rest of the team, Chandler and Stephens were crowned sectional champions on May 19 after defeating Southwestern 3-2.
TC also won the Shelby County Tournament this season.
Kris Mills is the Sports editor of The Shelbyville News. Follow Kris on Twitter @KrisMills37.