From staff reports
NCC statement says expansion still a goal
The North Central Conference on Tuesday released a statement to address the recent decisions by Huntington North and New Castle to leave the conference. Huntington North will leave following the 2014-15 school year for a yet unnamed conference in Northeast Indiana. New Castle will leave following the 2013-14 school year for the Hoosier Heritage Conference.
The statement noted the league “is neither surprised nor disappointed” by the decisions, adding that Huntington North and New Castle officials were open with their thoughts during the decision process. The outgoing schools will be ineligible for NCC championships and awards during their lame-duck years, per the league’s constitution.
Harrison, Lafayette Jeff and McCutcheon will join the NCC in 2014-15. And, the league maintains a goal of further expansion according to the statement.
Western players top county baseball stats
Western’s baseball team enjoyed a big season. The Panthers had a perfect run to the Mid-Indiana Conference championship and won Class 3A sectional and regional titles. They finished with a 23-6 record.
Western’s strong play shows in the final Howard County statistics. Marcus Pingleton sets the pace in three offensive categories, Drew Bellus and Dakota LaMott also top offensive categories and Ronnie Smith, Evan Warden and Austin Weaver figure prominently in the pitching categories.
Pingleton finished No. 1 in the county in batting average (.565), runs (50) and on-base percentage (.680). In addition, Pingleton ranks in the top five in RBI (27), triples (2), home runs (5) and stolen bases (10). Bellus tops the RBI chart (30) and LaMott won the home-run title (7).
Like Pingleton, Taylor’s Logan Barnes had a superb all-around offensive season. Barnes finished No. 2 in batting average (.500), RBI (29), doubles (8), homers (6), stolen bases (13) and on-base percentage (.620) and No. 3 in runs (30).
On the pitching side, Weaver finished No. 1 in ERA (0.97) and Smith led the county in wins, finishing with a 9-2 record. Smith and Warden finished 1-2 in strikeouts with 75 and 74, respectively.
Check Wednesday's print edition for a complete look at the final county stats.
RYBL squads rolling in minor tourney
Russiaville Youth Baseball League squads make up the bulk of the Final Four in the Joe’s Jerky Howard County Minor League Tournament. Mike’s Italian Grill, Fast Lane Foods and Eriks Chevrolet all won quarterfinal games Tuesday.
Tonight, Mike’s plays UCT squad Alternative Heating in the 6 p.m. semifinal at Greentown. And in the second semifinal, Fast Lane Foods and Eriks Chevrolet meet at 8 p.m. — fittingly, at Russiaville. The winners will advance to the final, which is set for 7 p.m. Thursday at UCT.
In Tuesday’s quarterfinal games, Mike’s beat Fazoli’s of Eastside 6-5; Fast Lane Foods beat fellow RYBL squad First Farmers Bank 18-5; and Eriks beat fellow RYBL squad Bullpen 5-3. Alternative Heating beat Hearn Dental in an all-UCT matchup.
New Eastern coach sets boys basketball camp
GREENTOWN — The Eastern boys basketball camp will run from Monday to June 21 next week. Boys in grades 3-5 will participate from 12:30-2:30, and boys in grades 6-7 will participate from 2:30-4:30. The cost of the camp is $30, and family plans are available.
Direct questions to Eastern coach Mike Springer at Mike.Springer@eastern.k12.in.us.