Southsider Voice correspondent
2014 was another great year for individual and team accomplishments in sports on the Southside.
Here are the top 10 sports stories of 2014 as reported by The Southsider Voice:
1) Football fortunes continued to soar as 6A Center Grove and Southport, 4A Roncalli and Class A Lutheran captured sectional championships. CG bounced Southport in regional action for second straight year. The Trojans fell to Ben Davis 49-45 in the semistate, again one win short of the state finals. Roncalli fell to eventual state champion New Palestine in the regional. Lutheran won the school’s first regional but lost in the semistate, also one game short of reaching Lucas Oil Stadium.
2) Perry Meridian wrestlers Cody LeCount (145 pounds) and Brandon James (132) won state championships. LeCount also took the 132-pound state crown in 2013 and finished his career with 84 straight wins. James upset unbeaten Deondre Wilson of Warren Central 4-2 for the 2014 title. The Falcons sought their fourth straight team championship but were denied that honor as Cathedral reigned supreme.
3) Southport cross-country runner Clayton Bowie earned his second straight state championship in the 3,200-meter race at Bloomington. Bowie (9 minutes, 6.63 seconds) finished 1.39 seconds ahead of Penn’s Timothy Deal.
4) Greenwood Christian Academy boys basketball team won school’s first Class A sectional championship. The Cougars dropped a heartbreaking regional title game against Clay City 66-65. The Cougars won the Pioneer Conference championship and finished 19-6 in school’s eighth full varsity campaign.
5) Southport’s boys basketball success brings back winning ways at historic Southport Fieldhouse. After a 1-19 season, Southport was 15-8, took the Conference Indiana title and reached the 4A Ben Davis Sectional title game.
This year the Cardinals are 10-0 and ranked No. 1. They opened play in the Marion County tournament on Tuesday.
6) Greenwood sophomore running sensation Allie Dalton won sectional, regional and semistate cross-country 5K championships and finished fourth (18:03.1) at the state finals in Terre Haute. She was 10th in state in 2013. Brother David Dalton runs cross country for Purdue.
7) Roncalli, one of four state-ranked volleyball teams from the Southside, reached a semifinal title match before falling to Cathedral 3-0. Perry Meridian and Lutheran also won sectional titles. Center Grove and Roncalli, each ranked No. 1 at different times during the season, met in the first match of the Franklin Sectional.
8) Center Grove’s boys golf team placed sixth in the state finals at The Legends Golf Course in Franklin. The Trojans, champions of the Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference tournament, finished with a 612, 21 strokes behind champion Columbus North. Junior Chris Heck had the team’s low score of 73-73 – 146 among teammates Wes Kendall, Austin Crowder and Zach Carrabine.
9) Center Grove’s soccer teams reached the semistates in Evansville. The boys team lost to Brebeuf 4-3 in the championship match; the girls lost to Carmel in an semifinal game.
10) (tie) Four Southside softball teams won 20 or more games, but Class A Lutheran was the only team to emerge with a sectional title. Three state-ranked 4A teams (Greenwood, Franklin Central and Center Grove) lost in the Franklin Sectional. Lutheran fell in the first game of its regional.
10) (tie) – Southside native Katie Douglas leaves the Indiana Fever after six seasons and a WNBA championship, signing a three-year contract to return to the Connecticut Sun. She was an unrestricted free agent. She averaged 13.2 points with the Sun in 2014.