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May 9, 2013

H.S. GIRLS' BASKETBALL: Matthews returning to sidelines at C’town

Veteran boys’ hoops coach named Pirates’ new girls’ boss

CHARLESTOWN — Scott Matthews has decided it is time for him to resume his high school basketball coaching career.

Greater Clark County Schools Corporation announced on Wednesday that Matthews has been hired as the new girls’ basketball coach at Charlestown High School. Matthews replaces Sam Terrell, who compiled a 17-46 record in his three seasons as the Pirates’ coach. It will be the first high school girls’ coaching job for Matthews, a former New Washington High School standout guard.

Matthews said he was attracted to the job because of the chance to work for Charlestown High School principal Mark Laughner, who is a former boys’ assistant coach at Clarksville.

“Mark is an athletic-minded principal,” Matthews said. “Mark will be a class guy to work for and I’m getting athletic support from a school board member.”

That Greater Clark school board member is Tony Hall, the all-time winningest coach in Charlestown girls’ history, who helped Matthews become the Pirates’ new girls’ coach. Hall also is a former Charlestown athletic director.

From 1999-2010, Matthews compiled a 123-119 record as a boys’ basketball coach at three high schools — Madison Shawe, Austin and Clarksville. His most successful season was during the 2001-02 campaign at Austin, where he led the Eagles to a 20-5 record, a Mid-Southern Conference championship and Class 2A sectional and regional titles with Indiana All-Star guard Anthony Winchester being his best player that season.

Matthews’ last coaching stint was at Clarksville, as he posted a 61-66 record with the Generals from 2004-10.

Matthews is excited to get the chance to coach on the hardwood again.

“I’m looking forward to the competition again. I’m looking forward to coming up with game plans against other teams,” Matthews said.

Matthews has coaching experience in the college ranks as well. He was a men’s assistant coach at Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman State University) in Kirksville, Mo., Pfeiffer University in Misenheimer, N.C., and the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Matthews inherits a Charlestown team that posted a 10-11 overall record and a 5-4 mark in the MSC last season. The Pirates won seven of their last 10 contests in 2012-13, which included a 48-43 double-overtime victory over Jeffersonville.

The Pirates will return several key players next season, including sophomore guard Kaitlynn Henning and sophomore forward Justice Burdin.

Even though Matthews said he has not seen the current Charlestown players perform in any games, he likes having a standout guard and a solid forward to build his team around.

“Anytime you have a guard that can play and a post player that can rebound, that’s a good start,” Matthews said. “They’ve got a great facility [in Charlestown Sports Arena]. Their juniors-to-be and their incoming sophomores are very talented.”

Matthews says he wants to see his players perform in practice during the offseason before determining what kind of system he wants to implement for the Pirates.

“I have to do that. It’s high school — you don’t recruit players,” Matthews said. “We’re going to evaluate them and see what we got and then come up with a game plan. We’re going to play the way we want to play, so we can win in the state tournament.”

Matthews graduated from New Washington in 1989, as he played basketball under his father, longtime Mustang boys’ coach Jim Matthews, and alongside his twin brother, Jamie.

Scott Matthews ranks fourth on New Washington’s all-time scoring list with 1,376 points. Matthews helped the Mustangs win single-class sectional titles in 1988 and 1989, which were the first two sectional championships in program history.

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