Royals surprised, GC girls hit the mark




Predictions are like sand castles. Everyone can make them, but most fall apart before they come to fruition.

At the beginning of the high school basketball season, I shoveled a few guesses into our boys and girls basketball previews, aiming to predict the 2013-14 success of the local squads.

With the Eastern Hancock, Greenfield-Central, Mt. Vernon and New Palestine campaigns for both sexes ending last weekend — this is the first year since 2007 that none of the eight county teams advanced to a regional — let’s take a look back at the preseason prediction building:

THE GOOD GUESSES

(+/- two victories)

The G-C girls went 15-7, I forecasted 14-7. New Palestine’s girls were 9-11; me — 8-14. And Mt. Vernon finished 17-5, not too far off a 15-8 guess for the girls group.

I could make a 2014-15 prediction right now: Minimum 15 wins across the board. Greenfield and the Dragons return the entirety of their rosters, while MV will be led by Sydney Shelton — the county’s leading scorer — and a capable surrounding unit.

It’s a good time for local girls basketball. After a now-defunct 31-game Hoosier Heritage Conference win streak, Mt. Vernon finally has a rival — it split a pair of games with the Cougars this year, including the HHC streak-buster — and New Palestine is gaining ground fast on both.

We’re also toward the beginning of what could be a string of Indiana All-Star selections from Hancock County.

Jessica Brown (Indiana Wesleyan) finished third in the Miss Basketball voting in 2012 out of Mt. Vernon. Current MV senior Erica Moore (Purdue), from what I’m told, has a real shot at this year’s All-Star team. Shelton is a virtual lock in 2016, and she could be followed in 2017 by current G-C frosh Maddie Wise, who has attracted significant Division I attention.

That’s potentially four All-Stars in six seasons. From 1978-2000, Hancock County had six female All-Stars.

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