Terre Haute North coach: “We’re the underdog”

Woelfle says his team will have to prepare for a physical game


Liam Parsons

During the opening game of the Sectional, senior Tayshawn Comer jams home a basket against North Central.

After three tough Sectional wins and their first Sectional championship in nine years, the men’s basketball team will move on to the Regional at Southport on March 12.

The Regional includes the winners from Sectionals 9, 10, 11 and 12. The other teams making the trip to Southport are Ben Davis, Terre Haute North and Mount Vernon. Mount Vernon (22-2) and Ben Davis (21-6) will face off to start the day at 10 a.m., followed immediately by the second matchup of the first round, where the Irish will face Terre Haute North (23-4). The winners will play for the Regional title and a berth in the Semistate. 

The Patriots hail from Sectional 12 and are coming off of wins against Mooresville, Brownsburg and Avon. It was their first Sectional title since 2012. Senior Mark Hankins leads the team in points per game, rebounds per game and steals per game. The second leading scorer for the Patriots, senior Colin Frank, will be out for the game, as he recently suffered a season-ending injury.

The injury to Frank is a big blow to Terre Haute North, as he is the team’s tallest player, along with Hankins at 6 feet, 5 inches. According to the Head Coach of the Patriots, Mr. Todd Woelfle, this lack of height will be a factor in the game. He said in an email, “Keys to the game for us will be taking care of the basketball and battling on the board. Cathedral has a big size advantage.” 

That might be an understatement. The team outsizes Terre Haute North by a large margin. Senior forwards Jaiden Malachi and Jaxon Edwards at 6, feet, 6 inches as well as junior Xavier Booker at 6 feet, 11 inches lead a very tall roster. Woelfle said, “Cathedral is very talented at every position and one of the top teams in the state. They are big, long, skilled and very athletic.” 

However, size is not all that matters, especially this deep in the tournament. Any team could pull off an upset at any time, and Woelfle believes he knows what his team needs to do to win. He said, “It’s important that we are efficient with our offensive possessions and prepared for the physicality of the game.”

The Patriots will likely need to be sharp and efficient on both ends of the court in order to come out victorious. They hold a sizable disadvantage on the offensive end, as on average, the Irish out score the Patriots by 24.2 points per game. However, North’s stout defense could make up for this lack of offense. 

Woelfle knows that this game will be challenging for his team. He said, “We’re obviously the underdog in this contest and will need to play extremely well in order to win.”