The holidays are in full swing, and high school basketball season is heating up in Southern Indiana.
New Albany’s challenging early-season slate keeps on giving this week, as the fourth-ranked Bulldogs (4-2) host No. 20 Evansville Bosse (6-1) on Thursday before taking part in the prestigious Hall of Fame Classic back at New Castle Fieldhouse on Dec. 30. New Albany opens with No. 16 Warsaw (5-2) at 12:45 p.m., with the winner meeting No. 9 Logansport (5-0) or No. 6 Lawrence North (4-1) in the championship at 7:50 p.m.
New Albany leads the all-time series 11-10 with Class 3-A Bosse, but Shannon is 7-1 dating back to his first season at the helm. The Bulldogs edged Bosse – a 68-61 winner over Jeffersonville in its opener – 58-51 on the road Dec. 29, 2015. Mekhi Lairy averages 22 points, 9.3 assists and 8.5 rebounds for Bosse. The Hall of Fame Classic, a 38-year-old event hosted by the largest high school fieldhouse in the nation, caps a difficult season-opening stretch for the Bulldogs, featuring eight opponents ranked or receiving votes in one of two major polls.
New Albany used 28 points from Romeo Langford to edge No. 2 Carmel Tuesday night 55-52 in overtime. Romeo outscored the Greyhounds in the extra period and solidified himself as the program’s all-time leading scorer. Coach Jim Shannon also earned his 500th victory, making him the state’s 32nd coach to reach the mark. The Bulldogs have now won 21 consecutive games at home dating back to a 38-37 loss to Carmel on Dec. 20, 2014.
“When you ask him about it, I know he’ll probably know about (the scoring record),” Shannon said. “But we’ve never talked about it. We never do. … This kid’s not talking about anything else but a state championship. He’s a wonderful kid.”
North Harrison will take part in the girls Hall of Fame Classic, scheduled for Dec. 29 at New Castle. An undefeated 13-0 on the year, 3-A No. 1 North Harrison takes on No. 7 Tippecanoe Valley (10-2) at 12:45 p.m. With a win, they’ll meet Greenfield-Central (5-6) or Plainfield (12-2) in the final at 7:50 p.m.
Other area games to watch
Ted Throckmorton Memorial Tournament: Sixteen teams are slated to take part in Jeffersonville’s inaugural holiday tournament, named after renowned WXVW color commentator Ted Throckmorton. First-round play begins next Tuesday, with the championship game scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 29, at 7:30 p.m.
The Red Devils (4-2) are set to welcome area schools Henryville (5-1), New Washington (5-2) and Christian Academy of Indiana (4-2), along with seven other schools from Indiana and five from Kentucky. Each team is guaranteed four games.
First, second, third and final-round matchups will be played at Jeffersonville’s Johnson Arena, and consolation rounds will take place at IU-Southeast and the Red Devils’ historic Nachand Fieldhouse. For a full schedule of games, click here.
Silver Creek Tournament: Area schools Providence (6-1), Clarksville (5-2) and Charlestown (2-5) are scheduled participants, with the Dragons (6-2) hosting. The Pioneers and Generals square off at 6 p.m. Dec. 29, and the Pirates will take on the Dragons to follow. The third-place and championship games will be played at 6 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 30.
Scott County Invitational: Scottsburg (2-4) and Austin (1-5) will host the two-day, eight-team tournament beginning Thursday at 10 a.m. The Eagles welcome Cannelton (0-6) to open, and CAI vs. South Central (1-5) will follow. The Warriors host Crothersville (2-5) at 10 a.m. Thursday, and Rock Creek (4-4) then meets Orleans (2-4). For a full schedule, click here.
Springs Valley Tournament: West Washington (6-2) turned in a third-place finish at the First Harrison Bank Holiday Tournament by way of a first-round loss to Borden (7-1). Salem (5-1) went on to top the Braves, and the Senators will look to improve upon their finish in the Springs Valley (4-3) pool-play holiday event. Lanesville (2-4) and Paoli (3-2) will also take part. For a full schedule, click here.
Charlestown Tournament: The Pirates’ annual holiday event kicks off on Thursday, as Clarksville (2-13) meets Class 2-A No. 2 Providence (8-1) at 6 p.m. Silver Creek and Charlestown conclude first-round play at 7:30 p.m., and the third-place and championship games are set for Friday at 6 and 7:30 p.m.
Other notable events: The Pioneers will also take part in the Niehaus Classic, along with 2A No. 10 Eastern (8-4) beginning Dec. 29. New Albany (8-3) and Jeffersonville (7-4) are set to travel to the North Central Tournament (Dec. 28-29) and Columbus North Invitational (Thursday-Friday), respectively. The Bulldogs face Indianapolis Tindley (9-0) in the Manual Shootout Thursday.