Beginning in the 2021-2022 season, a new IHSAA rule has been introduced to high school basketball. If a team happens to be winning by 35 or more points after the first half, a running clock will be established for the remainder of the game. If the clock was to stop for any reason, it would be because of an injury timeout, a team timeout, intermission between quarters, free throw shots or any other time officials feel it is necessary. This new rule will be in place for both boys and girls basketball, as well as throughout the state tournament. But, this rule will not be in place for the state final.
The high school girls basketball team has already had three instances where this rule has been applied.
“Just like for football, I think it’s a nice addition to this sport and it helps deter thoughts of bad sportsmanship. With this rule, a school can’t really be accused of running up a score and for the school on the other end they don’t have to endure that feeling of a never ending game,” said Athletic Director Darek Newkirk.
The Boys Varsity Basketball team played at home on Friday, December 10 against West Washington. Paoli won 53 to 41. This was the Rams first conference game and showed the fans and their opponents what they were capable of.
“Any time you win something multiple years in a row, the target on your back gets bigger and bigger. Paoli has now won or shared the Conference title in Basketball for four years in a row so all of the other teams are gunning for us. It’s always a fear of mine that you lose your hunger and other teams want to win more than you do. I reminded our team of that before we tipped off. They went out and proved that we wanted it more than West Washington did. And that is how you must play if you want to stay on top,” said Varsity Head Coach Dusty Cole.
John Moon had a great game and led the way with 17 points scored. Fletcher Cole was limited this week with nine points and Trey Rominger was well guarded with only 13 points. Isaac Cornett-McBride had six points and Carson Little had eight.
“Our seniors were terrific and we were able to be physical and flex our muscles a little bit against West Washington. We knew that our front court would have a big advantage in this game with size, and definitely strength,” said Cole.
The Rams knew the Senators would try numerous defensive strategies in the game.
“We also knew they were going to try and limit Fletcher and Trey. West Washington even played a Diamond-and-1 defense against Fletcher for part of the game. But we really felt like that actually played right into our hands as that allowed Isaac, John, and Carson to play 1-on-1 inside against the smaller, weaker West Washington defenders. Those guys dominated the paint and the glass. John has been really consistent for us this year and led the way with 17 points. You know he is playing with a lot of confidence when he is stepping out and hitting three pointers and he hit two last weekend against West Washington. John is a senior and a three-year starter, so we expect him to play well and he has so far,” said Cole.
The boys are 3-0 on the season and are continuing to improve. Tonight they play the Austin Eagles at Austin, with the JV game starting at 6 p.m. The Varsity Eagles are 1-4 in the season.
Winter sports teams will begin taking the court in a couple weeks with the junior high girls team facing Barr-Reeve at home on November 15. This will be the first home game for any basketball team here at PHS and fans have numerous ways to pay admission.
This fall Athletic Director Darek Newkirk introduced a new option for fans to purchase tickets called the Varsity Value Card. This card is a punch card that gives admittance for 10 varsity games at the value for 8 varsity games, this is for only home varsity games only. It can be purchased for $40.
“The Varsity Value Cards will be sold at the gates for varsity games,” said Newkirk.
Ram fans can also purchase a year long Sports Pass. It costs $100 and gives everyone admission to all home games.
Fans can also purchase tickets at the door for $5.
Still in the minds of Ram fans is how the pandemic might impact this year’s season.
“As of now no restrictions but COVID could impact this,” said Newkirk.
For more information about purchasing the Varsity Value Card or a Sports Pass, contact the front office.
With winter sports coming into play, the high school girls basketball team had their first practice on Monday, October 18, after students returned from fall break. The team is coming back together after a 16-3 summer record and many statements made to spectators.
“I thought we had a really good summer and got a lot accomplished. We played a tough schedule and found out a lot of things about ourselves. We were able to beat Linton, Silver Creek, Jeffersonville, and some other really good teams,” says Head Coach Donavan Crews. “My hope for this season is to be playing like we did this summer. I think if we can get back to that point we have a chance to have a really good season. For this team our main goal is to win the sectional. Obviously we want to win the conference too but for this group, we’ve worked for this since the fifth and sixth grade. If we can all play our roles and utilize our strengths like we did this summer, we’ll be fine.”
The team’s successful summer was not just handed to them, however. They had basketball nearly five days a week in the month of June, had shooting workouts throughout the month of July, and twelve of the twenty two girls played on a travel basketball team — putting them playing this sport almost all year round.
“Probably the thing I’m most proud of with this team is their hard work and dedication. This group is one of the hardest working groups I’ve ever been around,” said Crews.
The girls basketball season will officially begin with their first game on November 4 at Northeast Dubois. There are no restrictions for fans this season, and big crowds will be expected.
“If we can put it all together this group is a fun one to watch. We are hoping for big crowds this year and I think for those that can make it this year, they will enjoy watching us,” said Crews.
Every Wednesday, from 5:30-6:30 p.m, the girls basketball team has been holding open gyms in the high school lower gym. Varsity Head Coach Donovan Crews helps the girls with plays and answers questions about the upcoming season while the girls split up and scrimmage for an hour.
All junior high and high school girls had the opportunity to attend, allowing the coaches to get a good idea of what the season will look like, and giving some opportunities for some extra help.
“Our open gyms have been going really well. Our attendance has been great, but I didn’t expect anything different out of this group. I think a lot of the kids are excited that the season is just around the corner. We’ve put in a lot of work this offseason and had a really good summer. Hopefully all of that will carry right into this season and make it an exciting year,” said Crews.
Open gyms end today and the first official practice begins on Oct. 18. If you are interested in playing this year, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the program.