Jim’s Journal, April 8th, 2024

Tonight it’s the official end of the college basketball season, with the NCAA men’s championship game between Purdue’s Boilermakers and the defending champs, the top-seeded Huskies from Connecticut.  Both were Number 1’s coming into the tournament, but UConn was the overall highest-rated team.  Their record’s 36 & 3 so far this season, Purdue 34 & 4.  It’s a battle of the really big men, Purdue’s 7’4″ Zach Edey, the national Player of the Year, and the closest you can get to his equal, 7’2″ Donovan Clingan of UConn.  One extra card the Huskies hold–  all 5 of their starters score averaging in double figures each game.  Tonight’s tipoff is set for about 9:20.


Some post-season moves are already being made in men’s college hoops.  Josh Schertz resigned as the Indiana State Sycamores’ head coach Saturday, despite ISU offering to extend his contract after one of the best seasons in school history, with a 32 & 7 record.  It ended Thursday night with a loss to Seton Hall in the NIT championship.  Today (Monday), Schertz has been hired as the new men’s head coach of the Billikens at St. Louis University.  His associate Matthew Graves will serve as interim Sycamore coach during the hunt for Schertz’s successor.


The women’s national championship was decided Sunday, South Carolina’s Lady Gamecocks completing an undefeated 38 & 0 season as they beat Caitlin Clark’s Iowa, 87-75.  The Hawkeyes and Clark have now finished 2nd, two years in a row.  However, that was the most-watched women’s championship game ever.  Gamecocks Coach Dawn Staley credits Clark for boosting the profile of the women’s game across America.  Staley’s own center, 6’7″ Kamila Cardoso, was named the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player.


In the local high schools, Greensburg baseball beat Lawrenceburg 5-3 Saturday, avenging a loss to the Tigers earlier last week.  1 & 1 Greensburg’s back on the diamond Tuesday, hosting Rushville.  Also Saturday, Oldenburg Academy edged Jac-Cen-Del, 9-8.  The Twisters had been down 2 runs on their final at-bat in the bottom of the 7th, but got 3 men across the plate to seal a walk-off win.  Baseball today, includes South Dearborn at Lawrenceburg, and in softball, Milan going to Austin.


More high school action over the weekend…  Batesville girls’ tennis lost 4-1 to Connersville, the Bulldogs’ only victory in the varsity match coming for the Number 1 doubles team of Ava Walsman and Molly Meer.  The ‘Dogs’ JV’s won their match, however, 5-2.


And in Batesville’s first Raver Relays honoring late Coach Ron Raver Saturday, Franklin County won the girls’ meet 107-95 ahead of the Bulldogs in second, Jennings County taking 3rd.  The boys’ meet was tight, only decided in the final event, the 4 x 400 meter relay, the 3 top spots separated by a single second, Batesville running 1st.  Jennings County finished a close 2nd, Franklin County 3rd, Decatur Central 4th.  Batesville keeps running, jumping, and more tomorrow, in a dual meet at Franklin County.