INDIANAPOLIS — It’s the end of one journey and the beginning of another for two Hancock County basketball players who competed as Indiana All-Star this past weekend.
Mt. Vernon’s Michael Ertel, a Louisiana-Monroe signee, is headed to college in three weeks. Greenfield-Central’s Madison Wise, an Iowa State signee, drove west right after the All-Star week ended on Sunday.
The week started with the first of two exhibition games against the Indiana Junior All-Stars in New Albany on Tuesday, June 6 and ended against the Kentucky All-Stars on Sunday at the Frankfort Convention Center in Kentucky.
Wise and the Indiana All-Stars earned a two-game series split with the Kentucky All-Stars, avenging Saturday’s loss at Bankers Life Fieldhouse with a 58-51 win on Sunday.
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Ertel and the Indiana All-Stars had their winning streak snapped at 17 straight games with a 111-110 double overtime loss to the Kentucky All-Stars on Sunday.
The Saturday games signified Ertel and Wise’s last games on Indiana turf — in front of 6,466 fans — before they went their respective routes. The Indiana boys team won 94-89, while the girls team dropped a 75-67 game to Kentucky, breaking their six-game win streak.
Ertel was the igniter. He scored the first points of the game with a 3-pointer from the top of the key. Kentucky wouldn’t get their first lead until about halfway through the first half. When Indiana went down, Ertel put them back up with just over eight minutes to go. He put on a few moves and glided in for a layup and-1 to make it 19-17.Indiana held the lead for most of the game, even leading by 12 points with about seven minutes left in the game. However, Kentucky’s Taveion Hollingsworth, a Western Kentucky commit, brought his team back.
Ertel and Indiana’s Jalen Adaway, a Miami (Ohio) commit, worked for a key turnover with just three minutes on the clock before Ertel drove in for another two points to make it 87-80.
Kentucky came within one point at 90-89 before Indiana sealed the deal with a few key rebounds and forced turnovers.
“It feels good to keep the streak going,” Ertel said after the game. “But we know they are going to be ready tomorrow so we’ll have to match their intensity for sure.”
Ertel finished with seven points, three rebounds and an assist Saturday. He had two points, three rebounds and two assists in Sunday’s marathon loss, only playing 11 minutes.
“I want people to know that every single time I step out onto the floor, I am going to give it my all,” he said.
Ertel has used that mindset throughout his last four years at Mt. Vernon. He ended his high school career as the Marauder’s second-career points leader with 1,282. He averaged 19.8 points per game with 3.5 assists his senior year.
He is Mt. Vernon’s first Indiana All-Star since 2010.
“This week has been great for me to play against really great guys and to get ready for college,” he said.
Ertel will head to Louisiana-Monroe at the beginning of July. He will be joining the Warhawks under head coach Keith Richard. The team went 9-24 last season.
Wise made the most of her All-Star week. Not only did she score nine points with two rebounds, two blocks and an assist on Saturday, she used the last week to launch her right into Iowa State basketball.She added six points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals on Sunday.
Wise is taking three summer classes at Iowa State, which began on Monday. After Sunday’s game in Kentucky, she drove straight to Iowa.
Her last day in Indiana was fittingly spent at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
“It’s really neat to be able to play my last game in Indiana at Bankers Life,” Wise said.
What looked like a sure win for Indiana turned into a battle to the end for the All-Stars. An eight-point halftime lead turned into a Kentucky scoring fest in the second half on their way to a 75-67 win. They went from scoring 25 in the first half to scoring 50 in the second.
Similar to Kentucky, Wise turned the corner in the second half. After an 0-for-4 first half, she ended a 10-point Kentucky scoring streak with her first points at the start of the half. She scored her last seven points in the last seven minutes. After dropping in a 3-pointer, she found two more layups, scoring the last points of the game.
“As a team we weren’t moving the ball very well both halves, but I think tomorrow we’ll really do that better,” Wise said after the game.
She also won the John Wooden Indiana All-Star Citizenship Award during halftime of Saturday’s game where her parents, Lynn and Kent, joined her on the court as well.
Sunday’s finale sent Wise to Iowa with a week of preparation against some of the best Midwest players under her belt.
“It has been a blessing all week,” Wise said. “It’s top-notch players here, just like college is going to be.”
Wise’s knack for breaking records proved her worthiness as an All-Star. She currently holds Hancock County’s all-time career scoring record in girls basketball after finishing with 2,109 points.
She was the fifth player in Indiana girls basketball to finish with more than 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds. She averaged 23.5 points per game with 10.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists. She finished as third place for Miss Basketball.
Wise was the first Greenfield-Central girls Indiana All-Star since 1989.
“I had a great four years here,” she said.
Wise will be joining the Cyclones under head coach Bill Fennelly, who went 18-13 this past season.
“I’ve had really great teammates in Indiana but I’m really excited to move out [to Iowa] and have the same situation — great coaches, great teammates,” she said. “There’s great people out there and I think it’s pretty similar.”