KNIGHTSTOWN — Shelby Oldham will always call Greenfield-Central Gymnasium home, but The Historic Hoosier Gym due east off of I-70 in Knightstown would be a close second.
Privy to the fabled bandbox’s hardwood sheen as a grade schooler long before she worked her way toward an all-star nod in Friday’s 10th Annual Hoosiers’ Reunion Classic, Oldham felt right at ease on the iconic floor of the Hickory Huskers.
“I’ve actually practiced in here before. My dad (Andy Oldham) rented it out when I was younger, and we practiced here with a couple of the other Greenfield girls,” Oldham reminisced on her first dribbles inside the gym made famous by the 1980s film “Hoosiers.”
“Me, Jayde Jackson and Courtney Wolfe came in here when we were in the sixth grade. It was really fun.”
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Her second time around proved much the same (despite her Huskers losing 70-65 to rival Terhune). More importantly, though, this trip served as a memorable finale to a record-setting prep career.
As a four-year starter, Oldham graduated from Greenfield-Central as the girls basketball team’s all-time leader in assists with 377, surpassing Ellen Hamilton on the career list.
Playing nearly half of the showcase alongside and against five Indiana All-Stars, Oldham didn’t back down. Instead, she was up to her old tricks.
The guard was held scoreless, but she logged three assists, finding her teammate Deja Wimby (Fort Wayne Snider/Western Michigan) for a transition layup and a 3-pointer as Hickory mounted a comeback.
“Yeah, I’m usually the assist girl,” Oldham laughed. “I just went out there to play. I wasn’t working to be the best player out there, I just went in to enjoy the experience.”
Oldham went to school as well, studying her teammates and opponents in preparation for the next level at Trine University.
“It was great to watch (guard) Adrianna (Murphy of Fishers). She does a lot of things I feel like I need to do,” Oldham said. “When she drives in, instead of taking the contact, she kind of bounces off and then takes it up. It was a learning experience.”
Murphy (Southeast Missouri State) had 13 points for the Huskers. Wimby scored a game-high 19 points. Victoria Gaines (Merrillville/Michigan State) chipped in 11.
Terhune’s Jenna Allen (Bedford North Lawrence/Michigan State) poured in 15 points for the Tigers. Bedford teammate Dominque McBryde (Purdue) and Jordan Hankins (Lawrence North/Northwestern) each had 14.
Oldham had a few offensive opportunities of her own, just missing on a left-handed runner in the second quarter and rimming out a jumper a few possessions later.
She wasn’t afraid to mix it up, either, scrambling for a loss ball against Allen, an Indiana All-Star in the first half and grabbing a steal against Bedford North Lawrence’s Alexa Bailey (Butler).
“She has great vision out there,” Murphy remarked on Oldham’s game. “When she has an open player, she’s looking to pass, but she can shoot and defend, too. She’s impressive.”
Hickory head coach Corie West, who coaches Hoosier Heritage Conference rival New Castle, believes Oldham will only continue to blossom on the collegiate stage.
“It was a lot easier coaching her as opposed to coaching against her, that’s for sure,” said West, a former standout point guard in high school. “She’s a hard-nosed guard and kid. She’ll just keep mentally and physically strong as a point guard. She’s one of the smartest guards in the HCC and here. She gets the job done, and that’s a rare thing you see from guards in today’s game.”
10th Annual Hoosiers’ Reunion All-Star Classic
Terhune 12;22;18;18 – 70
Hickory 15;14;13;22 – 65
Terhune (pts): J. Allen 15, D. McBryde 14, J. Hankins 14, S. Dewey 11, A. Bailey 5, B. Saylor 4, M. Telfair 3, R. Wentland 2, S. Cook 2.
Hickory (pts): D. Wimby 19, A. Murphy 13, V. Gaines 11, A. Schofield 9, T. Schickel 4, D. Cyrus 4, P. Fallis 2, T. Stephen 2, M. Rowan 1.