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  • Just give this kid the ball

    Some thoughts, opinions and other notables:

    I watched Friday night’s tape-delayed Hamilton Heights-Lapel game on the TV 40 sports channel.

    I’ve been hearing a lot about Husky junior Gus Etchison, and it marked the first time I’ve seen him in action.

    I liked what I saw. He was terrific.

    The kid has GAME. He can really play. He had 34 points in a 21-point victory. Etchison did pretty much everything but sell popcorn. Very impressive player, indeed.

    And watching him reminded me a great deal of 1970 Carmel Indiana Mr. Basketball David Shepherd, who scored 66 points in a game his senior year.

    Gus has already delivered a 56-point performance this season. 

    Etchison is a 6-foot guard like Shepherd. He’s built like the Greyhound great and he also has black hair, and he plays with much the same flare. He’s quick, pushes the ball relentlessly, can shoot from far-away places, looks for the open man, and made a couple of “oh-wow-did-he-really-do that passes!’’ and he has tremendous upper body strength.

    Etchison also had two break-away dunks. Not sure I ever saw Shepherd dunk.

    The Husky spit-fire is averaging 25.9 points per game, seventh best in the state. He averages 5.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.0 steals and 0.2 blocks. He shoots 59 percent on 2s and 37 percent on 3s, as well as 75 percent from the foul line.

  • 1/16/2020 

    As we head into a new New Year, I wish we could go back when people looked forward to reading newspapers.

    Millennials don’t read newspapers. Plain and simple. They are either hanging out in front of laptops or tablets or clicking on their IPhone, and likely using all of those devices.

    Most readership, especially in a small community, comes from our older folks who basically grew up with newsprint. And you can still get daily news in such communities, like you do in Hamilton County. Still, online publications are beginning to take over.

    I’ve been reading newspapers, especially the sports page, since junior high school. I used to deliver The Sunday Indianapolis Star. We always had The Kokomo Tribune in the Morrow home.

    In fact, if the morning Indy Star wasn’t in our driveway by 6 a.m., my dad turned into an Archie Bunker, and started muttering things young kids shouldn’t have to hear.

    And, too, I cannot remember a time I have not walked out to get my daily morning or evening paper.

    It’s a part of my life, a very big part of my life. I started writing sports for The Tribune the summer before my junior year at KHS.

    I have newspapers in my blood. Always have, always will.

  • 1/14/2020 

    The Record Watch is building a full head of steam in Hamilton County girls high school basketball this season.

    The county’s scoring title, set by Courtney Cox (Cole), is not only in danger of being eclipsed, it could and most likely will happen relatively soon.
    The late Noblesville High School student-athlete graduated with 1,869 points.

    That was 31 years ago.Think about that. A pretty monumental feat indeed!

    Hamilton Southeastern’s Sydney Parrish and University’s Lindsey Syrek are in hot pursuit of both surpassing such a milestone.

    If they’re not aware of it, the seniors should be by now.

    Going into games this weekend, Parrish has scored 1,786 points; Syrek has tallied 1,730 points for her career.

    Talk about close!

  • 1/9/2020 

    If you’re looking for a potential Indiana Mr. Basketball favorite in 2021, keep an eye on Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian’s Caleb Furst.

    Yeah, I know, such an award usually goes to a big-school student-athlete. 

    And Furst plays for a Class 2A school.

    The last 2A player earning the coveted award was Fort Wayne’s 6-foot-7 DeShaun Thomas in 2010. He finished his high school career with 3,018 points. Damon Bailey of Bedford North Lawrence is the career leader with 3,134 points.

    That said, Furst is a 6-10 forward. And a darn good one at that.

  • 1/2/2020 

    You might say they are playing their song, a winning song as Indiana High School boys and girls basketball moves into 2020 in a big way.

    Just ask the Fishers girls and boys. Just ask the Westfield boys. Just ask the University girls.

     Yep, all are still unbeaten . . .  and hoping to continue their impressive runs in the New Year.

    Hey, pretty sweet music to their fans, for sure!

  • 12/26/2019 

    As we head into 2020, here are some facts, hopes, possibilities and thoughts, as well as a Happy New Year to those of you who follow us in the Noblesville Daily Times:

    I’m entering my 56th year in the sports writing business. I’ve pretty much been there and done it all; seen so much, marveled over many exciting finishes in high school and college sports; and I’ve been blessed to meet many great athletes and coaches and to be able to write about them and their teams.

    I grew up in the business under a veteran and gifted sports editor at The Kokomo Tribune. He used to take pride saying he loved his profession, that he was blessed to be working in his favorite vineyard.

    Likewise . . .from 1963 as a sophomore at Kokomo High School to now as I prepare to enter yet another decade, I cannot imagine doing anything else. I’m also doing what I love in my favorite vineyard!

    Hopefully good health and an ability to continue coming up with things to write about, including reminiscing, will remain a dependable sidekick.

  • 12/19/2019 

    Christmas, Christmas . . . What a great time of year!

    Snow flakes falling is our hope for a white Christmas as the big day approaches.

    Can’t you hear the sleigh bells jingling . . . and carolers singing, in many cases from neighbors going door-to-door in their local neighborhoods.

    I can’t wait to see the luminaries displayed around the outside of our church on Christmas Eve. And then to be able to light our individual candles, and stand and sing Silent Night after the Sanctuary lights have been turned off. I mean what a special, wonderful, emotional feeling.

  • 12/17/2019 

    I used to work for a sports editor several years ago who sorta looked like he’d be a good candidate to play Santa Claus and hand out goodies at a local mall.

    All he was missing was a white beard, a constant friendly smile, and a hearty “Ho, Ho, Ho.’’
    Turns out he was more of a Bah humbug type. 

    When it came to basketball, boys specifically, he believed that Indiana high school basketball never really started to peak until January.

    His rationale was that the interest really wasn’t there during the first couple months of the season and that, quite frankly, “There wasn’t much to get excited about,’’ he told me.

    Well, I don’t know about you but I certainly don’t go along with such thinking.

    Not by a long shot!

  • 12/12/2019 

    Nothing unites a community like high school sports does. Always has, hopefully always will!

    I mean, sports and academics go hand-in-hand. Right? Yes, it should.

    And it starts in the fall when students return to school from their summer recess.

    Some folks will tell you that high school sports is FOOTBALL.

    Good argument. Some others might say it’s BASKETBALL. 

  • 12/10/2019 

    Ever find yourself scratching your head when it comes to Noblesville football?

    It’s easy to understand why some might even twitch a little while giving such a subject careful thought.

    There are plenty of  thoughts to ponder about, and that includes past coaches who’ve been unable to win. Their overall team records tell the tale of what has NOT been achieved since 2001, the last time the Millers notched a winning record.

    And what about coaching stability? Yep, you might say that’s a relevant concern.

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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

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