Boys Basketball Sectional Championship

Wolves claim fourth sectional title in six seasons


GREENCASTLE — Parke Heritage has only been an IHSAA school for six years. What the boys basketball team has accomplished in those six years is nothing short of spectacular. Saturday night the Wolves claimed their fourth sectional title in six years with a 49-34 win over the North Putnam Cougars in the Class 2A Sectional 44 Championship at Greencastle. The Cougars got to the sectional title game by defeating Cloverdale on Tuesday and Southmont on Friday. Parke Heritage defeated Riverton Parke in their first game on Tuesday and took down host Greencastle on Friday.

From the opening tip the story of the game was the Wolves and their smothering defense. North Putnam didn’t get their first point till the 3:57 mark and didn’t score their first field goal until 1:23 left as Parke Heritage held a 10-3 lead after one. The stifling defense continued in the second quarter for the Wolves who doubled up the Cougars 16-8 in the quarter to take a commanding 26-11 lead entering halftime. The Wolves led by as many as 20 at 34-14 in the third quarter. In the final quarter the closest the Cougars got was 11 as the Wolves celebrated yet another sectional title.

“This has become the expectation here,” Wolves coach Rich Schelsky said. “We started the game exactly how we wanted to with getting out to a pretty good lead because of how well our defense played. We weren’t at our best on offense tonight but that’s because Vince (Brooks) does such a good job with them and they’re (North Putnam) about as tough defensively as anyone we play all year. We needed to get ahead and build that lead because we’re really hard to play against when we’re playing ahead. Our guys all are smart kids and are unselfish. They understand time and score and when we spread teams out like we can, it makes it difficult to come back.”

Parke Heritage and North Putnam may not be a “rivalry” per Se, but in all four of the Wolves sectional title wins, all four have come against the Cougars.

In the championship win for the Wolves, Renn Harper led them in scoring with 17 points, nine rebounds and a plethora of steals. Treigh Schelsky added 11,Max Dowd nine, Brayden Luce eight with Carter Crum rounding out the scoring with four. Parke Heritage (22-5) shots 18-43 (42%) from the floor and just 2-11 (18%) from three while going 11-15 (73%) from the free-throw line. The Wolves grabbed 33 rebounds and turned it over 12 times.

North Putnam’s season ends with a record of 16-10 . In their final game of the season they were led by Nolan Hackleman’s 13 points. Nolan Augusta chipped in six, Matthew Farrington five, Isaac Pickel four, Jaylen Windmiller, Kaden Helderman, and Brady Barber all ended the night with two each. The Cougars shot 13-36 (36%) in the loss while going just 3-16 (18.75%) from three and 5-9 (55.5%) from the line. They only grabbed 23 rebounds while turning it over 16 times.

Schelsky made sure to give Harper the credit that he deserved after the win as the junior did it all for the Wolves to lead them to another sectional crown.

“Renn is our utility knife guy and can be as good as he wants to be,” Schelsky said. “Sometimes I have to tell him to go score because he’s so unselfish. Renn all-around is our best defender and athlete. When he does a little bit of everything for us, we become really hard to beat. He had a super game and we’re going to have to have that out of him moving forward.”

With their sectional championship, the Wolves advance to the 2A Regional Final where they’ll take on Northeastern on Saturday at Martinsville High School. It will be a re-match from last year’s Regional Final where the Wolves defeated Northeastern 58-48. Schelsky talked about the matchup and how his team is ready to make another deep post-season run.

“We’re going to enjoy this first and foremost because I don’t think most people understand how hard sectional titles are to win,” he said. “I love the one-game Regional because we only have to prepare for one opponent. There’s some familiarity there with them since we played them last year but they do have a bunch of new guys this year. It’s for sure a winnable game for us. We’re going to have a good week of prep to make sure we’re good to go.”

Parke Heritage and Northeastern is the second game on Saturday at Martinsville with a start time of 7 p.m. A pair of Class A teams in Oldenburg Academy and Greenwood Christian will play in the first game at 4 p.m. A win for the Wolves puts them back in the semi-state for the third time in the last four years.