The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update


December 20, 2012

Anderson's Taylor ready for Hinkle homecoming

ANDERSON, Ind. — Troy Taylor’s last meeting with Kellen Dunham was memorable.

It was the 2009 sectional final at New Castle, and Dunham’s Pendleton Heights Arabians were rallying late in the third quarter against Taylor’s Anderson Indians.

The rally was brought to a sudden stop at the end of the period when Taylor launched what appeared to be a prayer from the opposite free-throw line and sank a 3-pointer to keep Anderson in front.

The Indians rolled in the fourth quarter, won 73-50 and followed up with two more victories to claim their first sectional title in six years.

On Saturday, Taylor — a senior guard at Evansville — and Dunham — a freshman guard at Butler — meet again.

This time around it’s at Indianapolis’ Hinkle Fieldhouse, and Taylor’s Purple Aces are the underdogs. The 19th-ranked Bulldogs upset then-No. 1 Indiana 88-86 in overtime last week at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, again raising their national profile.

But Evansville (7-4) has won the last two meetings between the state rivals — 80-77 in overtime last year at home and 71-68 in overtime at Hinkle Fieldhouse in 2010.

“Every year we’ve played them it’s a battle,” Taylor said. “I think we match up very well with them.”

Like Butler (8-2), the Aces think defense first.

The contest promises to be a methodical chess match between two highly disciplined teams. And Taylor could be one of the most unpredictable pieces on the board.

“He’s a really good player,” Dunham said. “He’s unique in that he crashes the boards pretty hard for a guard. He’s definitely a big part of our gameplan.”

After averaging 4.9 rebounds per game last year as a junior, the 6-foot Taylor leads Evansville with a 6.5 average this season.

He spent the first part of his freshman year begging head coach Marty Simmons to let him crash the glass. It’s something he was known for while winning three Herald Bulletin Player of the Year awards at Anderson, and he felt as though it was a way for him to make an immediate impact on the team.

Once Simmons relented, he agreed. And he’s been coaxing Taylor to hit the boards ever since.

The guard was so successful at it last season that Missouri Valley Conference foes began gameplanning against him.

“I’m the littlest guy on the court, and they’re sending two guys to block me out,” Taylor said. “It was actually pretty funny.”

Taylor’s senior season has flown by. The Butler game is Evansville’s last before beginning conference play, and it holds special meaning for the Anderson native.

He’ll have several friends and family members in attendance, and even his great-grandfather will be able to watch the game on TV. He’ll also get another chance to play at historic Hinkle Fieldhouse.

“I like the atmosphere there,” he said. “We know they always have a great crowd, and I’m excited to be that close to home. It’s going to be crazy playing there.”

Butler is well aware of the danger the Purple Aces present.

Copach Brad Stevens spoke to the team about not allowing a letdown after the emotional high against Indiana. He shared stories of what has happened to other teams after similar upsets and reminded the Bulldogs that Evansville would like nothing better to pull off a surprising win of its own.

“Coach Stevens told us we need to have a good week of practice and not let that happen at Hinkle Fieldhouse,” Dunham said.

Taylor said the Aces let a winnable game slip away in the season opener at Notre Dame, and they don’t want to repeat that mistake on Saturday.

A win would shine some of the national spotlight on Evansville, just as Butler’s upset of IU raised the Bulldogs’ profile last week.

“It opens our eyes to how good they are, beating a team like Indiana,” Taylor said. “But we’ve played a lot of these guys before. We know it’s going to be a game. We know it’s going to be a battle. There’s nothing easy about beating good teams.”

Text Only
  • SPT - HB0419 - Muller final - 077 Arabians make history in Muller thriller Pendleton Heights beat Anderson 3-2 to become the Nick Muller Memorial Baseball Tournament's first repeat champion.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Mike Lopresti: Pacers remain puzzling So now what? The NBA playoffs began Saturday night, and nothing had changed. They are still the Indiana Puzzles. They are still the enigma that no one can explain, least of all themselves. They are still a shadow of December, only now, the defeats start to really hurt.

    April 20, 2014

  • 500 Festival Mini Marathon might not fill field

    With less than two weeks to go, the 38th 500 Festival Mini Marathon might not have a full field for the first time in 12 years.

    April 20, 2014

  • Lady Ravens refusing to lose

    The Anderson University softball team swept Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference foe Transylvania University on Saturday at Raven Field to finish a perfect 8-0 at home this season.

    April 19, 2014

  • Arabians win third straight County softball title It was a scenario Pendleton Heights had seen before. The game was scoreless late into the championship game of the Madison County softball tournament.

    April 19, 2014

  • Bulldogs rally past Eagles at Muller Kallen Brooks went 3-for-3 with two RBIs, including a walk-off double in the eighth inning, and Lapel rallied to defeat rival Frankton 3-2 on Saturday at Memorial Field.

    April 19, 2014

  • Eagles stop Lions to claim third place Frankton's Tia Sharp drove in three runs including the game-winner in the bottom of the sixth as the Eagles defeated Liberty Christian 11-1 here Saturday.

    April 19, 2014

  • PH pushes across only run in 7th

    After Frankton's Kyleigh Garner and Pendleton Heights' Bailey Benefiel battled one another to a standstill from the pitcher's circle for six innings, it took one mistake in the seventh to decide the outcome.

    April 19, 2014

  • SPT - HB0419 - County track - 116 Arabians sweep track titles again Beautiful sunshine and warm temperatures greeted the competitors at the Madison County track meet Friday at Madison-Grant. The Pendleton Heights boys and girls teams were looking to take the county for the third year in a row, but Anderson and Lapel had other ideas. It started off as a record-setting meet and finished with a bang as Pendleton was able to wrap up both titles. The girls held off a stiff challenge from Lapel to win 167.5-147, and the boys took the final event of the night to squeak out a 156.5-148.5 win over Lapel.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Arabians clip Eagles, go for Muller repeat The competitive feeling at Pendleton Height’s Bill Stoudt Field quickly faded Friday during the semifinals of the Nick Muller Memorial Baseball Tournament. The Arabians once again took advantage of the opposing team’s generosity as Frankton pitchers gave up six walks and hit five batters, and Pendleton Heights took the 14-3 victory.

    April 18, 2014