Friday, December 17, 2010

KC Basketball Hall of Fame inducts second class

Inducted into the Kosciusko County Basketball Hall of Fame Saturday were, from left, Dan Sands, David Sands, Steve Sands, Bob Ferverda, Sands, Dick Morris, John Sands, Larry Bibler, Virgil Gagnon, Clarence Dickey, Bill Speicher, Daryle Hill, Gene Likens, Lowell Barnhart, Kent Adams and Larry Pinkerton.
(Tribune-News photo by TRSmith)

SYRACUSE – A second class of Kosciusko County Basketball Hall of Fame inductees were honored Saturday, December 11 between the Whitko and Wawasee High School boys’ basketball games.
The class of 2011 includes:
Atwood Greyhounds – Lyle “Skip” Witham--  Skip was a 1956 All-County selection and led the Atwood Greyhounds in scoring with 342 points. Skip led the 1956 Atwood team to 16 victories which is the second highest win total in Atwood history. Skip ended his career with 774 points and also led the 1953 Atwood baseball team to a county title. Skip went on to play baseball at Western Michigan University.
Beaver Dam Beavers – Larry Bibler—Larry’s 1958 single season scoring mark of 530 points ranks 3rd highest for Kosciusko County during the decade of the 1950’s. Larry led the county in scoring that year with a 25.8 average. Larry ended his career with 914 points and also led the Beaver’s to a county volleyball championship.
Burket Hawks – Virgil Gagnon—This 1953 All-County selection led Vern Campbell’s Burket Hawk team in scoring and finished his 4 year varsity career with 616 points. Vern also for former Burket Hawk player and popular coach Byron “Tim” Shoemaker for his first two varsity seasons.
Claypool Knights – Dick Morris- one of the 50’s best big men, Dick led the Knights in scoring his junior and seniors years. Dick was Claypool’s leading scorer during the decade of the 1950’s finishing his career with 904 points.
Etna Green Cubs – Dallas Stouder- Led the 1952 Etna Green Cubs to the county championship. Etna Green beat the Warsaw Tigers and the legendary Whitey Bell in the championship game 59-49. Dallas made the All-County first team and All- Sectional team that year. Dal ended his career with 618 points.
Leesburg Blue Blazers – Bob Ferverda 1950 graduate was one of the leading scorers in the county in 1950. Bob played for Burt Niles and Ted Ford and led Leesburg in scoring in both his junior and senior season. Bob’s sophomore season they were county runner-ups losing to Milford in the final game. Bob scored 340 points his senior year which ranked him as the second leading scorer in the county. Bob’s junior year he led all Kosciusko County scorers with 324 points.
Mentone Bulldogs – Clarence Dickey, this 1954 graduate led Abe Hoogenboom’s squad to the county championship and sectional titles his senior year. Mentone ended the season with a 25-2 record with Clarence scoring 410 points in his senior season. Clarence career total of 890 points was the 3rd highest total for Mentone in the 1950’s.
Milford Trojans – Bill Speicher 1948 graduate played on the historic Milford team that was the first in Kosciusko County history to win three straight county championships. Milford also won two sectionals in that same time period. The 1948 team had Kosciusko County’s first undefeated regular season to go along with a 25 game winning streak. Bill scored 254 his senior year and along with all four of his fellow starters, including his brother Lew made the All-Sectional Squad.
North Webster Trojans – Daryle Hill 1953 graduate helped lead the 1953 North Webster Trojans to a still county record of 27 consecutive wins and an undefeated regular season to go along with the county and sectional championships. North Webster lost in the Regional finals to eventual state champions South Bend Central. Daryle was All-county and all-Sectional that year and scored 389 points that year and 672 for his career.
Pierceton Cubs – Jim Stouffer 1955 graduate played for one of Burt Niles powerful Pierceton teams from the 1950’s. Jim led the 55 Pierceton team to a 17-7 record and led the Cubs in scoring with 433 points. Jim was selected first team All-Sectional and All-County First team in 1955. Jim finished his high school career with 751 points ranking him 3rd in scoring for the Cubs during the decade of the 50’s.
Sidney Wildcats –  Gene Likens 1953 graduate led his Wildcats to an 18-7 record believed to be the best in Sidney’s history. That year Sidney was runner-up in both the county tournament and Sectional losing both times to North Webster in the finals. Gene scored 372 points his senior year and his 898 career points was second highest among Wildcat’s during the 1950’s.
Silver Lake Ramblers – Carl “Moose” Sands 1947 graduate was the leading scorer for the Ramblers and led his team to a 23-4 record which included a Sectional Championship beating Warsaw in the finals. Silver Lake lost in the Regional finals to a powerful Fort Wayne South squad. Carl scored 293 points those years and over 500 for his career. Carl went on to star for Manchester College and coach the Beaver Dam Beavers in the early 50’s.
Syracuse Yellowjactets – Lowell Barnhart 1950 graduate played for Millard Sink’s 23-2 County champions. Lowell scored 291 points his senior year. Lowell also starred on Sink’s 1949 sectional champions scoring 215 points that year. Syracuse lost to Fort Wayne Central in the first game of the Fort Wayne Regional.
Warsaw Tigers – Kent Adams and Larry Pinkerton teamed up on Ken Norris’s 1955 Sectional Championship team. Warsaw was 19-7 that year and lost in the Regional finals to Mishawaka. Warsaw also won the powerful CIC conference that year with an impressive 7-1 record. Larry and Kent teamed up for almost 600 points with Larry leading the Tiger’s in scoring with 322 points. Kent and Larry were both named first team All-Sectional guards and both were on CIC All-Conference team.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Whitko Club Wrestling begins with pracices at Whtiko Middle School on January 4 and continues on Tuesdays and Thursdays for children in grades pre-kindergarten to sixth grade.
There are no fees to participate. Pre-K to second graders practice from 6 to 6:40 p.m. and third through sixth graders practice from 6:45 to 7:30 p.m..
For more information call Bret Bailey at  260-609-2664 or go to

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Whitko graduate co-authors writing book

By TRSmith
Ruth Myers Ayres is available to sign her new book “Day by Day: Refining Writing Workshop Through 180 Days of Reflective  Practice” at the Syracuse Elementary School, Thursday, December 16 from 2:45 to 5 p.m.
The 1995 Whitko High School is a writing coach for the Wawasee Community School Corp.
She and Stacey Schubitz, a literacy consultant in central Pennsylvania, are co-authors.
“Stacey and I cowrite a blog, Two Writing Teachers,” Ayers said. “ Stenhouse Publishers contacted us about writing the book.” 
“Day by Day” is designed for teachers and coaches already involved in writing workshops. It is marketed internationally and has already reached teachers in such far away places like Australia and Tailand.
“I’ve always been interested in the craft of writing,” Ayres said. “It is important to make sure that writing is meaningful and focused. In grades kindergarten through high school we teach students to concentrate on the idea.”
The premise of a writing workshop is to look at how writers in real world work.
She met Shubitz at the Columbia University’s teacher college conference. Shubitz wanted to share a blog about writing “and could only find me. It got pretty big. It became a place to talk about writing and to get ideas.”
She calls the book-writing experience humbling.
Her advice to high school students is: “It doesn’t matter what you write, just write. Its so important to develop that confidence. Our voices matter. A strong sense of communications is so important.”
To visit the blog go to

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Pierceton Council Hears From Emergency Planner

Tribune-News correspondent
PIERCETON – The town council spent a busy night at their December 13 meeting, passing three ordinances and dealing with matters as diverse as the arts and disaster management.
Ed Rock from Kosciusko Emergency Management  presented the county’s Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan for council approval.  This plan has been in the works for two years, Rock said.  It will allow the county to plan before an emergency due to natural hazards such as tornados and floods, thus reducing potential harm.  A plan like this needs to be in place for cities to work with FEMA, the Federal Emergency Disaster Agency.
“This is the key that unlocks the door to have grant money before disasters happen,” Rock said.  “FEMA pays a lot after a disaster...they are willing to pay some upfront before problems happen.” 
A resolution for Pierceton to accept the hazard plan passed 3 - 0.  Local resident Oliver Berstein then asked if the hazard plan would have any bearing on a storm water flooding problem he has been fighting for many years and was told that it could.
The council also passed an ordinance enabling Lifeline, a youth and family assistance agency with a facility in Pierceton, to refinance its original bond taken out in 2007.  Bond counsel Zach Klutz explained that refinancing would allow Lifeline to take advantage of lower interest rates while  not extending the length of the loan.  When making a motion to adopt the ordinance for refinancing, councilman Jerry Kreger commented that Lifeline “is doing a phenomenal job out there.”  This ordinance also passed 3 - 0.
Two other ordinances were approved, one establishing a $100 fine per violation for trucks “jake braking” (using the engine to slow a truck down).  The other changed the town’s agreement with Washington Township concerning a park board for Pierceton parks.  The ordinance will establish a town park board with the township having a nonvoting member on the board.
Park board formation turned out to be a timely topic.  A 10-year-old resident addressed the board about misbehavior at the town’s skate park.  She had written a letter to the town and followed up by attending the council meeting.  Living near the park, she described many problems including smoking, curfew violations, drinking, and said that neighbors didn’t feel safe. 
“Kids know right from wrong and right now, all I see is wrong,” she said.  “I know a lot of people worked hard to establish the park and (kids have) no gratitude or thankfulness for the park.”
Kreger responded, “You brought up a good point that people don’t feel safe.  I would like to see us use surveillance equipment.  I have a problem with someone not feeling safe in our parks.”
Town marshal Tim Sammons noted he had met with the girl’s mother after the letter was forwarded to him. 
     “We have made several arrests and the family is aware of this,” he said.  “They are also aware that we can’t be everywhere at once and they will help us keep an eye on it.  A lot of the arrests are people from out of town, Syracuse, Warsaw and so on.  The other side is young people here who want to use it (the park) and know it’s not a place to be.”
     Town Attorney Jim Walmer said he would take a look at statutes regarding park boards creating rules that police can enforce.  
     In other business, Brett Bailey, vice president of the Lakeland Art Association, discussed the yearly summer art festival.  Bailey headed the 2010 festival and, faced with flagging participation, wants to recreate the event for 2011 to include music, dance, drama and vendors.  Some of his ideas are to make it a three day event,  include gallery openings, and art and antique auction, and a taste of the town.
     “I hope to bring in several thousand people, not several hundred,” he said.
     The festival is set for the fourth weekend in July, 2011.  Council members approved use of town parks, but cautioned Bailey that his group needed liability insurance.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

New Eagle Scouts for Troop 85

Boy Scout Troop 85 added two new Eagle Scouts when the ceremony for Dallas Asher, left, and Riley Cokl was complete. The boys met all the requirements for the advanced rank and conducted a court of honor Sunday, December 12 at the South Whitley United Methodist Church. Dallas’ parents are Forrester and Deb Asher and Riley’s parents are Rick and Teresa Cokl.   (Tribune-News photo by TRSmith)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Wildcats defeat Warriors, 80-75

Alex Stoddard No. 11 prepares to pass the basketball to Logan Irwin No. 1 during the Whitko-Wawasee basketball game, Saturday, December 11 at Wawasee. The Wildcats defeated the No. 2-ranked Warriors 80-75.

The Whitko Wildcats came from 14 points down in the fourth quarter to defeat the Wawasee Warriors 80 - 75. 
The Wildcats trailed by a score of 43 - 34 to end the first half.  The Warriors were nearly perfect from the charity stripe in the first half and were hot from all over the court. 
Going into Saturday’s game the Warriors were ranked second in the state in points per game scored, near 85. 
Logan Irwin; normally deadly from the charity stripe shot 6 for 10 foul shots in the first half.  The Warrior boosters yelled “Over-Rated, Over-Rated” at each of his attempts at the line.   
The third quarter was more of the same, with the Wildcats trailing by 11. Wawasee’s Jacob Thompson, (No. 30) poured in baskets scoring an unofficial 33 points on the evening. 
The fourth quarter began and most of the Whitko fans and certainly the Wawasee fans were wondering how much Whitko would lose by; then something extraordinary happened. 
Coach Rob Irwin would not let his Wildcats give up; and sure enough, behind a full court trapping defense, the pressing ‘Cats forced turnover after turnover.  The closer the score became; the more the Wildcats put the pedal to the metal in an all out assault. 
Logan Irwin lead the way for a Whitko with a 31 point fourth quarter by doing everything and more a point guard could do by breaking the press, making shots, and/or assisting. Whitko’s second leading scorer, Zac VandeWater, fouled out; and Max Elder and Derek Snep stepped up with rebounds, shot blocks, and scoring on Irwin’s assists. 
Irwin finished the night with 35 points.  VanDeWater added 18, Elder and 12 and Alex Stoddard’s 8 points.
The Wildcats demonstrated tonight that to beat a ranked team on their home court; you cannot rely on the officials. 
The boys elevated their game to here-to-fore unseen levels and beat a very, very good team.  What happened tonight was indeed rare and frankly a marvel to watch. 
Despite the first half’s over-rated chant about Irwin, Wawasee fans have to now be thinking (quietly), “Not only is that kid under rated, the entire Whitko team is under rated.”
The junior varsity Wildcats defeated the Warriors 39 - 35.  Jordan Sims lead the ‘Cats with 11 points and some excellent guard play. 
Kolten Krull scored 9 points and pulled down a half dozen rebounds in 2- 1/2 quarters of play. Ryan Wiegold had a stellar performance adding a season high 8 points for the winning cause.
The  4-1 Wildcats play Tippecanoe Valley at TVHS Friday, December 17 at 6:15 p.m. Tippy gave highly ranked Warsaw a good game losing by 12 points.  Columbia City lost by more than 12 points to Warsaw. 
Tippecanoe will be tough to beat on their court as coach Bill Patrick is always tough at home especially in conference play.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Holiday Basketball Tournament Is December 29 and 30

North Miami is hosting this year’s Miami County Boys and Girls Basketball Holiday tournament on December 29 and 30 which also includes Whitko, Peru and Maconaquah high school teams.
December 29th events include junior varsity boys at 11 am, girls’ carsity at 1 pm and 3 pm and the boys’ varsity at 6 and 8 pm.
On December 30, the action begins at 12:30 pm with the  boys’ junior varisty consolation and championship followed by the girl’s consolation game followed by the boy’s consolation game.  That night, the girl’s championship game beings around 6 pm followed by the boys’ championship game.
This year, student-athletes who have excelled in the classroom will be recognized between the championship games.  Also, AmericanTrust has graciously offered to give a $500 scholarship to a deserving boy and girl Basketball player.
The draw is at Beef-O-Brady’s on Monday, December 13 from 7 to 8 pm.
Pre-sale tickets for the varsity games are $15 for all-sessions.  Pre-sale tickets can be purchased at any of the participating schools until school is dismissed for Christmas break.   Pre-Sale Tickets may also be purchased at AmericanTrust and Beef-O-Brady’s until the beginning of the tournament.
All tickets sold at the door are single-session only.  Single-session prices for day 1 are $5 for the girls’ varsity first round/boys junior varsity games and $5 for the boys’ varsity first round.  Ticket prices for day 2 are $8, which will get you into all sessions.
This year’s tournament sponsors include:  AmericanTrust, Beef-O-Brady’s, Winning Edge, Kesslers, American Stationery, Red Dot Trophies, Break-Away Bike Shop, and David Floyd CPA.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wolfe returns to Larwill Town Council

Larwill resident Lore Wolfe, above at left, was elected by a Whitley County Democratic caucus last Tuesday to serve the remaining term vacated by former council member Phil Cameron. Wolfe is congratulated by Whitley  County Democratic Party chairman Scott Allison.               (Tribune-News photo by Tony Romano)


A caucus of Whitley County Democrats met Tuesday, December 7 to select an individual to serve on the Larwill Town Council.
Former councilwoman Lore Wolfe was chosen to fill the council vacancy. Wolfe was elected to the council a few years ago.
She resigned when she had to move from the district. She has recently returned to Larwill and is happy to be on the council once again.
In November, councilman Phil Cameron resigned from the post because he moved out of the district, leaving the Democratic vacancy on the board, which Wolfe filled.
Wolfe will begin serving in the role immediately.

Santa Clause visits South Whitley!

Come one; come all to the South Whitley Public Library to celebrate this holiday season! 
First, visit with Santa Claus on Friday, Dec. 10 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. as he takes time out of his busy schedule to hear your Christmas wishes.  If the line is long, feel free to participate in other activities, including making your own Polar Express Bell ornaments to hang on your tree.
Then, at 7 p.m. Santa must bid farewell to take your list of Christmas Wishes to the North Pole, and that is when the Polar Express movie begins!  Enjoy free popcorn and cocoa while you watch the movie with your family and friends.
If you’d like Santa to view your Christmas list before that night, you can drop off your letters to Santa in the Children’s Department, and Miss Meghan will be sure to deliver them to Santa for you.  Bring your Favorite Teddy to This Year’s Christmas Tea!
Sign up in the children’s section for a tea party of “Teddy” proportions on Saturday, December 11 at 1:30 p.m. 
Bring along your favorite teddy bear (or stuffed animal) and a parent for an afternoon of fun, games, and of course, tea!  Then, leave your stuffed animal friend at the library until Monday for “Teddy’s Takover of the Library.”
Return and pick up your friend on Monday and see what mischief they have been up to while library doors are closed.  Registration is required, as available spots for child and teddy are limited. Sign up in the Children’s Department.  This program is free!

Santa at the Kent on Saturday!
The South Whitley Lions Club President has received a call from Santa Claus. He said he will be at the Kent Theatre this Saturday, December 11 at 12 p.m. and he will greet the children from 12 to 1 p.m.  At 1 p.m., Mark Pratt will show “Santa Paws”.
Terry Eberly, of Eberly Photography, is taking pictures of Santa and the kids.  You will be able to purchase pictures on his Web site and they will be ready for Christmas.
This is a free movie with pop and popcorn for each child.  Other goodies can be purchased at the concession stand for the grown-ups.
Come and enjoy Santa and the show.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Grant requests sought by SW Facilities Committee

The annual meeting of the South Whitley Community Facilities Inc will be in January 2011.  The agenda for the meeting includes reviewing grant requests, election of new board members and election of officers.
This local foundation is currently accepting requests for funding.  Letters of request should include:  organization name, description of project, amount requested, and contact information.  Requests should be sent to:  Cindy Barnett, 115 S Line St, Columbia City, IN  46787 or  For more information, call Barnett at 244-7615 or 723-5951.  Letters of request must be received by January 6, 2011. 
In 1975, a foundation was established to raise funds and build a medical center for the community.  The interest from the principal is awarded annually to support local projects.  The purpose of the foundation is to promote the health and well being of the South Whitley/Cleveland Township area. 
More than $150,000 in interest money has been allocated to various community betterment projects over the past 35 years.
The 2010 officers are:  Al Germann-president, Steve Mundy-vice president, Joe Grant-treasurer and Cindy Barnett-secretary.  Other board members include:  Scott Darley, Marv Goble, Mark Rickerd, Todd Jones and Marlene Mishler.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Remember When, week of December 1

Compiled by Stephen D. Miller
10 years ago
from the Tribune-News
Wednesday, December 6, 2000
At the Whitko Band awards banquet last Saturday, the organization gave special honor and thanks to Booster President Kerry Slater.
The Habitat For Humanity home in South Whitley was dedicated last Sunday by Whitley County Habitat president Ron Moeller.  It took one year to complete the Buffalo Street home.  Marsha Ruckman and her two sons Tommy and Danny are the lucky owners.
Staff Sgt Michael W Howk, son of Mike and Chris Howk of South Whitley, was recently honored as Indiana’s top US Army recruiter for the year 2000.  His wife Robin is the daughter of Robert and Donna Brandt of Churubusco.
The I.C.E student of the week is Abby Crawford, daughter of Ray and Peggy Crawford.  Abby is working at Stump’s Party Place in the customer service department.  She hopes to attend either New York University or UCLA and major in marketing or computer graphics.

25 years ago
from the South Whitley-Pierceton Tribune-News
Wednesday, December 4, 1985
Rosemary Parsons will once again head the Pierceton Chamber of Commerce. The chamber held elections Monday.  Others elected were Tim Collier, vice president; Delores Kirkham, secretary; Ed Likens, treasurer and Mary Baker, director at large.
The businesses in  the South Whitley area invited residents to register to win a 5 lb canned ham to be given away on December 14. The businesses, all members of the Chamber of Commerce, are each giving away a ham, so there will be many winners.
Amy Haupert of South Whitley and daughter of Dale and Elaine Haupert, is now a part of the security staff at Glenbrook Mall in Fort Wayne.
Rodney Obregon, an 11-year-old Pierceton runner has qualified for the Junior Olympic cross country national championships.  He is a member of the St Joe Valley Team.  The team placed first in the state meet and first in the Region 7 meet held on November 23.  Rodney is the son of Mr and Mrs Art Obregon of Pierceton and attends Pierceton Elementary School.
40 years ago
from the Tribune-News
Thursday, December 3, 1970
This year’s candidates for the South Whitley High School Sunshine Queen are Peggy Fisher, Gwen Michael, Wendi Tschantz and Lynn Besson.
Eudolph Holycross of Larwill and a government teacher and head of the social studies department at Columbia City Joint High School, was named Indiana Teacher of the Year.  Mr Holycross has been a teacher in Whitley for 42 years. 
Peggy Metzger, daughter of Mr and Mrs Paul Metzger of Sidney, was sworn into the Air Force on October 23.  Her basic training was at San Antonio, Texas.  Airman Metzger is a graduate of South Whitley High School.
SP/4 Roger A Rhoades, son of Mr and Mrs Ronald Rhoade of South Whitley, was presented the Army Commendation Medal, while serving in Vietnam.  Rhoades received the citation for distinguishing himself by meritorious achievement in connection with military operations against an armed hostile force in Vietnam during the period of September 1, and October 20, 1970.
Marine Pvt Larry D Hall, son of Mr and Mrs Robert E Eib of South Whitley, grduated from basic training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, CA.  Pvt Hall is a 1970 graduate of South Whitley High School.

50 years ago
from the Tribune-News
Thursday, December 8, 1960
Troop 244 held their Investiture Party on Novemer 30 at the home of Mr and Mrs Phil Glassley.  Their leaders were Mrs Rex Roberts and Mrs Alton Braddock.  The members of the troop were, Sally Jo Lewis, Kristine Wood, Debra Braddock, Margo Glassley, Patricia Able, Lana Beasley, Peggy Jo Fisher, Vicki Hurd, Terry Roberts, Denise Judy, and Kandie Beasley.
Raymond Ray, of Cleveland Township, has been named Cubmaster of Cub Scout Pack 3085, replacing Lee Eberly, who resigned after heading the local unit ince March of 1959.  Mr Ray is married to the former Freda Cullern of Columbia City, and has five children, Steven, Jeffrey, Gary, Brian and Pamela.
Miss Gaye Gilbert, daughter of Mr and Mrs Arthur Gilbert of South Whitley, was semi-finalist winner in the National Merit Scholarship examination given on December 3.  She was a student at Shimer College in Mt Carroll, IL and is busy in many areas, including girls sports editor for the school newspaper, president of the girls dorm and is active in the Green Curtain, a dramatics club.

65 years ago
from the Tribune-News
Thursday, November 29, 1945
Arthur Bechtold arrived home this week with his discharge from the Marine Corps in hand,  He was in the service 21 months and was overseas for one year and five months.
Sgt William S Raypole of South Whitley was recently released from the Army.  He wears the American Defense and Good Conduct ribbons.  Before entering the service, Raypole was employed by S S Lynn of South Whitley as a cream and egg route man.
Walter L Gray received an honorable discharge from the Army on November h.  He serviced in the service four and one-half years, enlisting in April 1941 and spent two years overseas.  He with with the landing party at Leyte and saw hard fighting in the retaking of Bataan and Corregidor.
Robert Steller, recently discharged after serving four years of service with the Army, has acceptied a position as linotype operator at the Stump Printing Co. in South Whitley.

'Cats lose shocker in Columbia City

The boys basketball season opener was full of all the excitement, anticipation, and expectations you could imagine for a heated rivalry in Hoosier high school basketball when the Wildcats went to Columbia City Wednesday, November 24.
The Wildcat’s lineup consisted of five returning starters, with speed, height, sharp shooting and a tenacious defense. 
The Eagles lineup was also evenly matched as they had their own sharp shooter in Drew Benedict (No. 3) and 6’6” center Tyler Mosher, one big brute of a fellow.  The gym was packed with many more Columbia City fans than Whitko and there was standing room only. Tension was definitely in the air for this ball game.
The game started with Whitko guards Logan Irwin (No. 1) and Mitch Yeager (No. 3) and Zac VanDeWater (No. 5) finding the hoop from three point land.  Not to be outdone; Drew Benedict also found the 3 point range for the Eagles and the game was close with the first half score Whitko 29 - Eagles - 27.
The second half was more of the same as both teams had spurts of 6 to 8 points. The Wildcats began to wear down the Eagles and late in the fourth quarter on good shooting by Logan Irwin and some great boards by VanDeWater, Max Elder (No. 15), Derek Snep (No.21) and Alex Stoddard (No. 11) the Wildcats looked as if they had the game in hand.
As fate would have it; with less than a minute to go and a 6 point lead; some bizarre things began to happen. Whitko was called for a foul guarding the Eagles at the Wildcat end of the court. 
The Eagles converted the one-and-one to make the score Whitko 58, CC 54. The net effect was the Eagles scored 2 points without consuming any time off the clock.  Zac VanDeWater was then called for traveling, which gave the Eagles another possession with seconds on the clock. 
The Eagles advanced the ball and at their end of the court, in the fight for a rebound, a leaping Eagle appeared to come down on a Whitko player. 
The Eagle player lost his balance and fell to the floor.; The foul was called on the Whitko player. The Eagle player fouled was injured on the play and subsequently; the best Eagle free throw shooter on the night shot the foul shot on behalf of the injured player. The Eagles converted the one and one with less than 20 seconds left to play making the score Whitko 58, Columbia City 56. 
Alec Stoddard was then  deliberately fouled on the end line pass; and missed the front of a one and one. 
The Eagles called timeout with about 14 seconds left on the clock. 
Drew Benedict then got the ball with 2 seconds on the clock and made what appeared to be a three point shot giving the Eagles a one point lead 59 - 58. 
The officials then huddled and one official changed it to a two point shot. 
This is the point where it gets confusing. 
The shot was taken right in front of the scorekeeper’s and media bench.  Apparently, the photographer for the Columbia City Post and Mail indicated Benedict’s foot was beyond the 3 point arc in one of his photos.  The three points were then allowed. 
Whitko took the ball with 1.7 seconds left and lobbed a long pass to VanDeWater who launched a three pointer as time ran out. 
Before the ball hit the rim; Zac was called for traveling again for the second time in less than a minute.  The game ended.
This reported checked with several reporters at the game and they indicated  Benedict's foot was in two point area when he shot the ball. 
Guess we will never know; but somewhere there is a game film that may or may not solidify the Eagles last second Victory.  Much to the chagrin of Whitko fans, three days later when the Whitko Wildcat girls team played the Warsaw Tigers, they drew two of the same officials. 
Near the end of the game, several players from both teams literally dived on the floor for a loose ball. The same official that overturned the two point CC shot to a three point shot called a technical foul on a Whitko player.
What was bizarre about this call is that Warsaw was ahead by 18 points with 10 seconds to go in the game.  Perhaps a Whitko player did push a Warsaw player as from my vantage point it was hard to see with girls strewn all over the floor.
In high school sports; players are taught to play by the rules and demonstrate good sportsmanship, even when the inevitable bad call goes against them and they loose.  That is life!
I’m not a player, I’m a reporter; and this is what I observed.
Two traveling calls, two fouls, and a disputed 3 point shot all but erased a 6 point lead in less than 40 seconds against a very good and very disciplined boys basketball team. 
To the Eagles’ credit; they converted four out of four free throws and made the game winning shot!!
To the Wildcats credit they demonstrated they will be a difficult team to beat in the days and weeks ahead.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Delts Bazaar this Saturday

The Delta Theta Tau. Theta Kappa Chapter of South Whitley has their fifth Annual Christmas Bazaar on Saturday, December 4 from 8 to 3 pm at the South Whitley United Methodist Church on SR 14.  There are crafts, nuts, soy products, baked goods, primitives, Longaberger and much more.  Lunch may be purchased between 11 and 1 pm and is served by the South Whitley United Methodist Church Friendship Class. 
The Delts are donating proceeds to the annual scholarship for 2011.  Help celebrate Christmas with us.