Area all-stars in action

Cougars seniors share court for last time; Mt. Vernon sharpshooter leads South team

LOGANSPORT — It would be nearly impossible for Madison Wise and Katie Helgason to remember every moment spent together on the basketball court. A game in Logansport over the weekend, however, provided a memory they will not soon forget.

After playing with one another for more than a dozen years, the 2017 Greenfield-Central seniors played on the same team for the last time Sunday in the 29th annual North/South All-Star Classic at the Berry Bowl. Wise, an Iowa State recruit and Miss Basketball finalist, scored 15 points for the South team in a 107-96 loss.

Helgason nailed two 3-pointers and finished with six points.

According to Wise, the duo, which led Greenfield-Central in scoring the last two seasons, spoke about the game’s significance prior to the tip.

“Yeah it was (emotional), we talked a little bit about it before the game and how we’ve been playing together for a lot of years,” Wise said. “It was really neat getting to know all of the players from Indiana. It was really cool to meet all the best boys players, as well. All the girls and guys were super nice.”

Chyna Anthony of New Albany led the South team in scoring with 16 points, while Karissa McLaughlin and Dana Evans, the two other Miss Basketball finalists, led the North squad with 20 and 25 points, respectively.

Helgason, who played three sports for the majority of high school, will continue her basketball career nearby at Ball State University. She missed 12 games this season after an ACL injury suffered during soccer and averaged 9.3 points per game for the 17-11 Cougars.

Helgason also participated in track and field for three seasons and made the state finals as a junior. She was named a Junior Indiana All-Star in basketball last season, as well, and helped the Cougars win a sectional title.

Wise, who became just the fifth player in Indiana girls basketball history to finish with more than 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in their career, will play in the Indiana-Kentucky All-Star series in June. Immediately after, she will head to Iowa State for summer school.

“Playing against some of the best players in the state helps you realize what you need to work on,” Wise said. “Getting quicker defensively (is important), there are obviously some really quick guards in college.”

Wise averaged 23.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game as a senior to cap a record-breaking four-year career. The other four players to reach 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in their careers were awarded the title of Miss Basketball. This year’s award winner will be announced on April 27.

Iowa State finished its season 18-13 overall and 9-9 in the Big 12, while Ball State was 21-11 and 14-4 in the Mid-American Conference.

South boys win shootout

Mt. Vernon senior point guard Michael Ertel, a Louisiana-Monroe recruit, helped lead the South team to a 135-133 win over the North squad Sunday in an up-and-down, high-scoring affair in Logansport.

The 6-foot-2 Ertel, who averaged 19.8 points and 3.5 assists per game for the 14-9 Marauders, scored 17 points to help pace the South, which led 75-70 at halftime. He hit a team-high five 3s in the win.

Trevor Lakes of Lebanon led the South with 19 points, while Kris Wilkes (UCLA recruit) of North Central scored a game-high 30 points for the North. Pendleton Heights’ guard Marc Albers chipped in 13 points for the South.

“I got to know all of those guys pretty well, and we played unselfishly,” Ertel said. “It was really fun, I had a great time.”

Ertel, named a Junior Indiana All-Star last year and Hancock County Player of the Year this season, took time away from the game after a sectional loss to Connersville. He has been back to fine tuning his skillset for the collegiate level for the last three weeks in anticipation for his move to Louisiana in early July.

“The biggest thing I’ll focus on is finishing by the rim against bigger players,” Ertel said. “Also, (improving) my strength and athleticism.”

Louisiana-Monroe finished 12th in the Sun Belt Conference this season and 9-24 overall.

Author photo
Kris Mills is a sports reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. He can be reached at 317-477-3230 or