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Columbus North girls basketball to compete in Hall of Fame Classic

December 25, 2012
Columbus North High School

Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame news release

Monday, Dec. 17, 2012 (records updated through 12/22)

     NEW CASTLE – With the approaching holidays, another edition of the most prestigious regular season tournament in Indiana high school basketball – the City Securities Hall of Fame Classic – is near.

     The girls’ and boys’ 2012 City Securities Hall of Fame Classic tournaments will be held Thursday, Dec. 27 and Friday, Dec. 28 at the New Castle Fieldhouse featuring the top teams, talent and coaching in the state. 

2012 Girls’ City Securities Hall of Fame Classic

New Castle Fieldhouse - Thursday, December 27, 2012

11:00 AM (ET) Hamilton Southeastern vs. Columbus North

to follow         Evansville Mater Dei vs. Logansport              

6:00 PM          Consolation Game                                               

to follow         Championship Game                                         

     Another outstanding group of teams comes to the New Castle Fieldhouse on Thursday, Dec. 27 for the 2012 City Securities Girls’ Hall of Fame Classic.  Through December 22, all four teams are undefeated, ranked in the state’s Top 7 and sport a combined 45-0 record.

     The first game begins at 11:00 a.m. (ET) with Hamilton Southeastern (11-0, IBCA #2) taking on Columbus North (12-0, IBCA #1).  The second game will feature Evansville Mater Dei (11-0, IBCA #6) versus Logansport (11-0, IBCA #7). Losers of the afternoon games will meet in the consolation game at 6:00 PM with the championship contest to follow.

     On the heels of an undefeated 2011-12 regular season, Hamilton Southeastern has won 34 consecutive regular season contests, dating to Jan. 11, 2011.  The Royals are led by Miss Basketball candidate Taya Reimer (committed to Notre Dame), a 6’3” senior, who is averaging 22.2 points, 9.2 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game and recently scored her 1,000th career point.  6’2” classmate Jessica Pongonis (committed to St. Joseph’s (PA)) is averaging 10.1 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.6 assists.

     Over the last 10 seasons, the Royals have the state’s best winning percentage (171-33, .838) and head coach Chris Huppenthal (314-67, .842) has the best career winning percentage amongst active coaches of 10 or more seasons.  The Hamilton Southeastern girls make their second appearance in the girls’ Classic; they were champions of the 2004 event.  Huppenthal enters having coached a Classic champion – he led Highland H.S. to the 2000 girls’ Classic title.

     Columbus North lost just one senior from last season’s 4A runner-up squad and holds a regular-season winning streak of their own.  Reeling off 19 straight wins to reach the 2012 4A championship game, the Bull Dogs have won 22 consecutive regular season games and 27 of their last 28 overall.  Sophomore point guard Ali Patberg averages 21.5 points, 5.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists, while junior Tayler Goodall contributes 10.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.1 assists.

      Columbus North makes its first appearance in the girls’ Classic and the school's girls program has never faced Classic competitors Hamilton Southeastern, Evansville Mater Dei or Logansport.  Head coach Pat McKee is a 2008 Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, as a recipient of the St. Vincent Health Silver Medal for contributions to Indiana high school basketball.  A former sportswriter with The Indianapolis Star, McKee is in his third season as head coach at Columbus North, where his record is 50-11.

     Defending 2A champion Evansville Mater Dei has won 37 of its last 38 contests and has defeated every program it has faced in the past calendar year (their lone defeat last season was avenged in a city tournament rematch with Evansville Bosse).  Mater Dei's 36-1 (.973) record since the start of last season is the best mark in the state.  Junior Maura Muensterman shoots 59% from the field on her way to averages of 22.6 points, 10.1 assists, 5.9 rebounds and 3.9 steals per game.  Sophomore center Tori Schickel averages 18.8 points and 8.1 rebounds.

     Evansville Mater Dei is 10th in the state averaging 70.56 points per game and has the fifth largest margin of victory (32.56).  They make their first ever appearance in either the girls’ or boys’ Classic.  Their head coach is Steve Goans, who has a career record of 162-118 at his alma mater over 15 seasons and led them to their first ever girls’ basketball regional, semi-state and state championships last season.

     Logansport has returned a majority of their 20-4 North Central Conference champion squad from a year ago.  Junior point guard Whitney Jennings (committed to Iowa) averages 25.5 points, 8.8 assists, 4.6 steals and 3.6 rebounds, senior Rachel Jennings averages 16.4 points and 2.6 assists, while sophomore post Nakeya Penny averages 15.6 points and 6.2 rebounds.

     The Berries have the seventh highest scoring offense in the state (71.2 ppg) and have the state’s largest margin of victory (36.7 ppg).  Also among the state’s best, Logansport is 85-16 (.842) since the beginning of the 2008-09 season.  Logansport makes their first ever appearance in either the girls’ or boys’ Classic.  Logansport coach Jerry Hoover is in his 11th year with the girls program and has 30 years as a high school boys and girls head coach.  He has 368 career wins, 132 at Logansport.

      The 2012 edition is the 29th girls’ City Securities Hall of Fame Classic and 23rd played in New Castle.  The girls’ tournament has included 15 teams that went on to win a state championship that season, including eight state champions and five state runner-up teams in the past 10 years alone.


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