Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

June 28, 2013

Top five sports stories from the 2012-13 prep sports season

By Jake Thompson

— Hendricks County teams and individuals saw much success through the 2012-13 school year, bringing home three state championships — two team and one individual.

One Hendricks County athlete was awarded the highest honor in her sport while three others were honored for their performances both on the court, course, and field, along with the classroom.

AVON ORIOLES VOLLEYBALL

The Avon Orioles volleyball team avenged a runner-up finish last season by taking home the school’s second state team championship title in their history. Led by sophomore outside hitter Beth Prince, the Orioles defeated Carmel in five sets, 3-2, needing an exciting finish to cap their season.

The contest was one for the record books as the Orioles shattered several Class 4A individual five-set state championship marks.

Prince set the record for most kills (24), Rachel Griffin broke the assist mark (54), and Shelby Connors set two records on the night with block assists (9) and total blocks (9). Prince missed the kill attempts by three, recording 62.

DANVILLE’S NEAL MOLLOY

Danville’s Neal Molloy followed the Orioles’ fall championship with an individual state championship in wrestling during the winter season. Molloy became a two-time state wrestling title-holder under the lights at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in February.

After winning his first state championship during his sophomore campaign, Molloy looked to be a strong contender for three consecutive state titles, but a loss on the second day of the state finals his junior season inspired the already dedicated grappler to come back stronger.

Molloy finished his senior season unbeaten (43-0) with the 145-pound state championship to show for his efforts. The IU-bound grappler ended his career with a 178-5 record that included 105 falls and 28 technical falls.

TRI-WEST SOFTBALL

Tri-West shocked the collective 3A Indiana softball contingent with their state championship over Yorktown at the end of the spring season. The Bruins finished the year with a 25-4 record, winning their last 14 games.

Tri-West led 5-4 headed into the top of the seventh and a two-run homer by sophomore Claire Johnson broke the game open while breaking the Tigers’ spirit.

The state championship was the first for Tri-West in softball. The Bruins averaged over 10 runs per game throughout the year and five players — Johnson, Taylor Heath, Lizzie Meyer, Kaitlyn Settlemoir and Alyssa Clark — all hit above .450 on the season.

BROWNSBURG’S STEPHANIE MAVUNGA

In what was one of the slimmest margins of victory in recent years, Brownsburg’s Stephanie Mavunga took home the coveted honor of Indiana Miss Basketball during the winter sports season.

Mavunga, a 6-foot-4 forward, averaged 23 points, 12.7 rebounds and 3.8 blocks per game this season, shooting 62 percent from the field.  The North Carolina-bound forward also was named a McDonald’s All-American and the Gatorade Indiana Player of the Year while leading the Bulldogs to their first sectional title in 12 seasons.

MENTAL ATTITUDE AWARD WINNERS

With several county teams in the state finals of their respective sports, three athletes brought home very special honors to their schools.

Both Avon’s Kayla Springer (volleyball) and Brad Patz (Golf) along with Tri-West’s Alyssa Clark (softball) were honored with IHSAA Mental Attitude Awards in the fall and spring sports’ seasons.

These awards are traditionally given in recognition of an athlete’s performance both in their sport and in the classroom.  All three were instrumental in their team’s success throughout their season and postseason run, while also dominating in the classroom as one of the brightest students in their respective schools.