VINCENNES — Friday night was my first look at 2011 Indiana target Walter Pitchford and his (East Lansing, MI) Summit Christian team. Summit Christian took on Iowa Western Community College in a game played at Vincennes University.
The 6-9 forward scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds in front of IU assistant coach Steve McClain. Pitchford shot 5-of-14 from the field and knocked down one his three 3-point attempts.
I’ll be back in attendance again tomorrow to watch Pitchford as his Summit Christian team takes on New Creations. Here’s a video of Pitchford speaking to the media following his game earlier tonight:
Washington’s Cody Zeller (40) catches a pass from Kurtis Anthony (24) in the City Securities Hall of Fame Classic on December 30 at New Castle. Washington fell to Center Grove, 68-64. Photo by Jamie Owens of J. Scott Photography. Click here to view a gallery from this game and other Indiana high school games.
Throughout the season, Inside the Hall will keep you posted on how 2011 signees Austin Etherington and Cody Zeller, IU’s eight verbal commitments and other notable prospects with interest in the Hoosiers, are performing at their respective schools.
+ Austin Etherington (Hamilton Heights): Hamilton Heights went 4-0 in two days and won the Richmond Holiday Tournament. Etherington was named MVP of the event. Twenty-six points in a 77-45 rout of Northeastern on Dec. 28. Followed that up later in the day with 29 points in a 67-43 win over Floyd Central. On Dec. 29, Etherington scored 20 points in a 66-40 win over Guerin Catholic and scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds in a 66-61 win over Tipton.
+ Cody Zeller (Washington): Twenty-four points in a 84-57 conference win over Mt. Vernon (Posey) on Dec. 28. Led Washington with 24 points, 11 rebounds, two steals and an assist in a 68-64 loss to Center Grove in the City Securities Hall of Fame Classic on Dec. 30. Washington also fell to Warsaw, 46-44, in the consolation game of the Hall of Fame Classic. Zeller had 13 points and 15 rebounds. He was named to the all-tournament team. (Inside the Hall coverage links: Here and here.)
NEW CASTLE — Cody Zeller finished the 2010 City Securities Hall of Fame Classic with totals of 37 points and 26 rebounds.
But the statistic most important to the 6-11, 220-pound IU bound senior didn’t come to fruition on Thursday: winning.
Defending class 3A state champion Washington dropped a pair of close games: 68-64 to Center Grove and 46-44 to Warsaw.
“I’m just a competitor and I don’t want to lose,” Zeller said following the loss to Warsaw. “I played a lot of minutes today. We definitely played two good 4A teams.”
The Hatchets (7-4) fell in the consolation game against Warsaw after Illinois State signee Nic Moore dropped in a runner with three seconds remaining.
“The whole game we were just trying to get it out of his hands and make some of his teammates beat us,” Zeller said of Moore. “But he’s a nice player and he got away from us.”
Washington now has an eight day break before hosting Evansville Mater Dei on January 7.
Zeller, who played all 64 minutes in the Hall of Fame Classic, said he and his teammates would turn the experience into a positive.
“We just gotta turn it around and use it as a positive,” he said. “Get back and work on some things in practice. Come out and every day in practice act like we’re playing against a good 4A team like that. I think when tournament time comes around it will help us.”
With his college decision out of the way, the Mr. Basketball frontrunner has been able to shift his complete focus on leading Washington back to another 3A state title.
“It’s been good so far,” Zeller said of his final high school season. “We’re just trying to build the team and prepare for tournament time. I don’t get as much attention from the media (laughs), so it’s kind of nice to have the decision over.”
NEW CASTLE — Through eight minutes, it looked as if the defending 3A state champion Washington Hatchets would make a statement against one of the top 4A teams in the Indianapolis area — Center Grove.
IU signee and Mr. Basketball candidate Cody Zeller came out playing as well as he could — 12 points and four rebounds in the first quarter — and Washington held a comfortable 26-17 lead.
But the tide quickly turned in the City Securities Hall of Fame Classic as the Hatchets struggled to find Zeller for open looks. After six shot attempts in the first quarter, Zeller took just six shots the rest of the way.
And Center Grove, led by IPFW signee Johnny Marlin (17 points) and Butler signee Andrew Smeathers (12 points), shot 56 percent in the second half for a 68-64 win.
Zeller finished with 24 points (8-of-12 from the field, 7-of-8 from the foul line), 11 rebounds, two steals and an assist and played all 32 minutes in front of IU coach Tom Crean and assistant Tim Buckley.
Here’s audio of Zeller’s postgame comments about the 68-64 loss, Washington’s third of the season. The Hatchets will play again this evening at 6 p.m. against Nic Moore and Warsaw, which fell to Bloomington South, 65-62.
Update: Here’s HD video of Zeller after the Center Grove loss:
The 6-3, 210-pound guard spoke openly in the past about his desire to play with two of his AAU teammates, Hanner Perea and Peter Jurkin, but it’s unclear how the Hoosiers might fit into his recruiting picture this time around.
Smith-Rivera, rated the No. 25 prospect nationally by Rivals.com and No. 22 nationally by Scout.com, described himself as “wide-open” to Kyle Neddenriep of The Indianapolis Star.
Indiana currently has commitments from Perea, Jurkin, Yogi Ferrell and Ron Patterson for its 2012 class.