News and Tribune

December 31, 2013

2013's Top Stories

The most memorable sports stories from Clark Clark County and Floyd County

By GREG MENGELT
greg.mengelt@newsandtribune.com

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — 1. BORDEN WINS STATE TITLE



Borden’s boys’ basketball team opened the season looking like a state championship contender. No one was surprised when the Braves won their fourth sectional title in six years. However, Borden began to stun the state when it got through the regional with a pair of one-point wins over Orleans and Barr-Reeve and a three-point win over University for its first semistate title and state finals appearance. The Braves completed their run with a wire-to-wire victory over Triton for their first state championship in any sport. It was Clark County’s first basketball state championship since Jeffersonville won the crown in 1993.



2. PROVIDENCE VOLLEYBALL TAKES STATE



No one was surprised by Providence’s state title. The Pioneers were a state finalist in 2012 and returned nearly the entire team in 2013. They opened the season ranked No. 1 and ended it that way. After a 29-4 regular season, Providence rolled through Henryville, Crawford County and Clarksville to win the sectional title. After beating North Decatur 25-8, 25-11, 25-11 to win over another regional crown, Providence beat both No. 2 Speedway and Evansville Mater Dei in straight sets to earn a second straight state bid. In its return trip to Muncie, Providence rolled through Hammond Noll 25-18, 25-15, 25-20 to win its first state crown without dropping a set.



3. PROVIDENCE BOYS’ SOCCER GOES TO STATE



The Pioneers’ boys’ soccer team’s run to the state finals began slowly. After being tied with North Harrison for 63 minutes, the Pioneers broke through with two late goals. A blowout win over Rock Creek and a 2-0 victory over Lanesville in the championship gave Providence its second straight sectional title and some momentum. At the regional, the Pioneers won back-to-back titles with two more shutouts, 3-0 over Jac-Cen-Del and 5-0 over Trinity Lutheran. A week later, the Pioneers punched their first state finals ticket with a 2-0 win over Forest Park and a 1-0 overtime victory over Forest Park. The young Pioneers surrendered only one goal in the entire tournament. Unfortunately, it came in a 1-0 loss to Guerin Catholic at the state finals.



4. RED DEVILS WIN REGIONAL CROWN



The Jeffersonville boys’ basketball team won its second regional championship in four years and its 18th in program history. A year earlier, the Red Devils won their second straight sectional title but were ousted by Bloomington South by a point in the regional semifinal. In 2013, the Red Devils won their third straight Hoosier Hills Conference title for the first time ever and went 21-3 in the regular season. The Devils entered the postseason on a five-game winning streak and easily dispatched Floyd Central, Bedford North Lawrence and New Albany — by a combined 65 points — before entering the regional. In the first round at Seymour, Jeff knocked off Evansville Harrison 73-62 before taking the crown with an 85-69 triumph over Franklin Central.



5. SUCCESSFUL DAY FOR LOCAL VOLLEYBALL TEAMS



Southern Indiana volleyball continued to prove its strength in 2013 and Oct. 29 went a long way toward doing so. On the same night, three local programs — Christian Academy, Providence and Floyd Central — took home regional championships. Christian Academy won its first-ever regional title with an easy 25-11, 25-10, 25-5 victory at Orleans. At Greensburg, Providence had a similarly easy regional victory with a 25-8, 25-11, 25-11 beating of North Decatur. It was the Pioneers’ ninth regional crown and their third straight. At Floyd Central, the host Highlanders dropped the first set to Castle before taking the final three sets, 25-15, 25-16 and 25-21 for their first regional trophy since 2009 and their sixth overall.



6. CLARKSVILLE WINS FIRST SECTIONAL SINCE 1986



Entering the 2012-13 season, Clarksville’s boys’ basketball team hadn’t won a sectional since 1986. Despite a stellar 15-5 regular season, breaking the streak seemed like a longshot after a pair of losses to Providence during the regular season. However, in the third matchup of the season with the rival Pioneers, Clarksville jumped out to a 23-13 lead and held on for a 39-35 victory. Three days later, Clarksville knocked off host Crawford County 60-43. The following night, it ran by Paoli 46-38 for the first sectional title in 27 years.



7. IUS MEN GO TO FINAL 4



IU Southeast men’s basketball program continued its winning ways by reaching the NAIA Division II Tournament for the sixth straight year. After reaching the Elite Eight the year before, the 11-seed Grenadiers opened the national tourney at Point Lookout, Mo., with a 75-72 win over Valley City State (N.D.). Two nights later, Cameron Mitchell scored 31 points in a 83-73 victory over Saint Xavier (Ill.) for a spot in the Elite Eight. The following night, IUS earned a 75-60 win over host College of the Ozarks for its first berth in the Final Four. The run ended with a 69-56 loss to No. 1 seed Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) but not before a school-record 30 wins.



8. NEW ALBANY LITTLE LEAGUE WINS ANOTHER STATE CROWN



For the third straight year, New Albany’s Little League can boast the 9-10-year-old state champions. After beating Jeff/GRC 3-0 to win the district title, New Albany had little trouble at the state finals at Jeff. In pool play, New Albany beat every team by at least nine runs then beat Auburn 10-0 to set up a championship game against Highland. After a scoreless first three innings, New Albany scored a pair of runs in the fourth and pulled away for a 6-1 victory and its third consecutive state crown.



9. JEFF WINS BASEBALL REGIONAL



Winning a sectional title is nothing new for Jeffersonville baseball. On May 26, the Red Devils capped their 23rd sectional championship run, which included an upset of No. 1 Floyd Central in the first round, with a 5-0 win over host Bedford North Lawrence for their second straight sectional crown and their fourth in seven years. Regional titles have been more elusive for Jeffersonville. On June 3, Jeff beat Franklin 1-0 in the regional semis before winning its first regional title since 2003 with a 7-3 win over Bloomington North.



10. FLOYD TENNIS MAKES RUN TO STATE FINAL



The 2013 Floyd Central girls’ tennis team became the most successful in program history with a run to the state final match. After rolling to their 13th consecutive sectional title and their fifth straight regional crown — all in 5-0 victories — the Highlanders beat Jasper 3-2 to advance to the state tournament. At state, Floyd beat Greenwood and Penn, both by a 3-2 decision, to earn a spot in the final match. The Highlanders fell to Carmel 4-1 in the final with Floyd’s No. 1 doubles team of Whitney Batliner and Dana Frank taking a 6-2, 6-3 victory.