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Community Health Clinic Opens at Madison-Grant

Community Health Clinic Opens at Madison-Grant by Jaylan Miller of The Chronicle Tribune

October 20, 2021

Madison Grant representatives welcoming visitors to the new Health Center

Nurse practitioner Michelle McDowell (left) and support associate Ashley Jackson (right) invite those in their community to visit the Madison-Grant Health Center located on the Madison-grant High School campus.

Jaylan Miller | Chronicle-Tribune

The Madison-Grant United School Corporation has partnered with Aspire Indiana Health to open a health center on its campus at the former administration building.

Comprehensive health services will be available to students and their families, school staff, and anyone from the surrounding community who needs healthcare.

“This is for the community,” said Superintendent Scott Deetz. “We’re just extremely excited to have this in an area that people feel comfortable coming to; everybody comes to school.”

Before the opening of The Madison-Grant Health Center, Deetz said there was one doctor’s office in 174 square miles of the school, posing an issue to parents and community members.

“So many of our families run into the barrier of preventative healthcare because if they don’t go to work, they don’t get paid,” Deetz said.

Though each school will continue to have a nurse on campus, the health clinic offers additional services that school nurses are not able to offer.

If a student needs care during school hours, clinic staff will contact their parents or guardians for permission to go to the onsite health center, much like the traditional school nurse model. The schools will offer transportation for students to the clinic with permission from their guardian. Guardians must fill out a permission form ahead of time, and give permission on the day of the visit.

Michelle McDowell, the clinic’s nurse practitioner, has worked in primary care for almost 22 years. McDowell said she is glad to be serving the people of Grant County after working in other communities for years.

“I like taking care of people in my home community,” McDowell said. “We’re definitely providing a very needed service to this community since we do not have a lot of healthcare providers in this part of Grant County.”

McDowell said she hopes to offer a healthcare option for locals, specifically school staff, to utilize during their lunch breaks, so they do not have to take the day off of work to travel to another clinic. The clinic’s ability to offer COVID testing should also help keep students and staff in the classrooms, McDowell said.

Syd Ehmke, Aspire Indiana Health’s vice president of primary care, said the organization had been interested in opening a location in the Madison-Grant area for a while because of the lack of healthcare providers in the area.

“It was like a win-win situation for all of us,” Ehmke said. “It was something that both of us felt really strongly about.”

Ehmke noted that many people travel 15 to 20 minutes to the nearest pharmacy, but the clinic will have a limited supply of medication to treat acute care needs, such as antibiotics.

The Madison-Grant Health Center will be staffed with trained medical and support professionals, providing services such as family medicine, prescriptions, lab tests, pediatrics, acute and chronic care management, elder care, and Hepatitis C treatment.

Parents, family members, or people in the surrounding community seeking care for themselves will need to make an appointment by calling (765) 331-4775. Non-students will not enter any school buildings.

Aspire Indiana Health accepts Medicare, Medicaid, and most forms of traditional insurance, as well as sliding-scale fees for those who lack insurance.

Aspire also offers video in-person (ViP) telehealth services so patients can have a face-to-face appointment with a healthcare professional from the privacy and convenience of a computer or mobile device.

The clinic opens Monday through Friday at 8:00 a.m., and closes at 4:30 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. The clinic offers later hours on Wednesdays, closing at 8:00 p.m. and closes early on Fridays at noon. For more information, visit the Aspire Indiana Health website.

M-G Advances to Regional Final for 2nd Straight Year

M-G Advances to Regional Final for 2nd Straight Year by Rob Hunt of The Herald Bulletin

October 23, 2021

Madison Grant volleyball player getting ready to serve during the game

Elwood - In what figured to be an emotionally charged regional semifinal, the intensity of Alexis Baney and Madison-Grant proved to be too much for Alexandria as the Argylls are within one more win of a trip to semi-state.

Baney hammered seven of her match-high 15 kills in the fourth set and Grace Holmberg added 10 kills, and the Argylls took a 25-11, 25-19, 7-25, 26-24 win over their regional and Central Indiana Conference rivals.

The Tigers overcame the death of beloved coach Deanna Miller, a COVID-19 shutdown, and a 6-8 start to forge a three-way CIC tie and win 20 matches and the school’s fourth sectional championship. First-year coach Emalee Wyatt expressed her pride in what her team and its five seniors - Carlie Remington, Taylor Stinefield, Kara Simison, Olivia Hall, and Kendall Parker - were able to accomplish this season and in their careers.

“There is a ton of fight in them,” Wyatt said. “I told them to keep fighting and keep playing hard, and they did that, even after a couple not so great sets. ... They’re amazing. I’m so proud of them with everything they’ve been through.”

Saturday morning, the Argylls proved to be too much for the resilient Tigers to overcome.

M-G blitzed Alex from the service line in the opening set to the tune of seven aces. Service runs by Daya Greene, Baney, and Gabby Rudy built an overwhelming 21-7 lead on the way to a 25-11 opening-set win.

“We had quite a few aces, which surprised me because (Alex) is a really good passing team,” M-G coach Kayla Jump said. “I think that knocked them off their normal game plan.”

The Tigers grabbed their first lead of over one point at 3-1 in the second set, but the Argylls quickly took control. A six-point service run from Baney widened the M-G lead from 16-15 to 22-15, and Holmberg ended the set with a block for a 2-0 Argylls advantage.

As the Tigers had done all season, they showed no quit despite the early setbacks.

Stinefield opened the third set with a nine-point service run, and the Tigers never looked back. Stinefield - who finished her career with seven kills and match-best eight aces - also served out the set’s final four points to extend the match.

In the second regular season meeting between these teams, a fifth set went to the Tigers. Baney was determined to not let that happen again.

“If we wanted to win, somebody had to take over,” the junior middle hitter said. “The message was that we needed to calm down and play our game because we had really slacked off. I said we couldn’t let our opportunities go because we might not get another chance again.”

Baney also led by example. The 6-footer put away three kills in a row as the Argylls seized momentum with a 7-1 early lead.

The Tigers did fight back. Three straight Parker aces tied the set at 9-9 before an ace from M-G’s Daya Greene sparked a 3-0 run for a 21-18 lead. An Ashlynn Duckworth kill gave Alex its final lead at 22-21. Another Duckworth kill saved the first match point, but Greene put away the final point as the Argylls survived the set and the match.

For the Argylls, Gabby Rudy had 27 assists and three aces while Greene - playing outside due an injury to Azmae Turner - added three kills and three aces.

The Tigers were led by Addy Warren’s nine kills, Parker’s 27 assists and seven kills each from Stinefield, Hall and Duckworth.

Madison-Grant will face No. 10 South Adams (27-8) in tonight’s championship match after the Starfires swept Rossville (17-16) in the second semifinal at Elwood. South Adams won its only regional title in 2016 while the Argylls - who lost to Wapahani in the regional final last year - are seeking their first trip to semistate since 2013.

“If we play with intensity - because I know we can play 10 times better than we did - we will win.” Baney said.

Manning, Ewer Enjoy State Track Axperience

Manning, Ewer Enjoy State Track Experience by Scott Hunt The Chronicle-Tribune

June 7, 2021

Indianapolis - The experience of a state track and field meet is unlike any other for a high school athlete and often provides a memory for a lifetime.

Eastbrook senior Rachel Manning and Madison-Grant (M-G) junior Emma Ewer each got their first taste of Indiana’s biggest stage Saturday in the IHSAA’s 47th annual girls track and field state championships held this year at Ben Davis High School.

Madison-Grant junior Emma Ewer runs through the turn

Madison-Grant junior Emma Ewer runs through the turn during her 200-meter dash trial at the state track and field championships Saturday in Indianapolis. Ewer finished 17th in the event.

Scott Hunt | Chronicle-Tribune

“Definitely cool. It’s not IU-Bloomington, but it’s a nice school, lots of people, lots of buzz,” said Manning just a few minutes after she competed in the high jump competition. “It doesn’t feel real until you step up there and there is only 30 other girls and you’re like 'I made it. I’m in the big leagues now.' It was nice, it was a fun way to end.

Manning’s experience included being the first athlete to make an attempt to clear the five-foot opening height, which she did on her first try.

Once all 30 competitors had completed the first round of jumps, the bar was moved to five-feet, two-inches where Manning’s day ended after she failed to clear it on three attempts.

Still, she walked away from the event with a smile on her face and into hugs from family and coaches.

“I think I was nervous the whole hour and a half bus ride it took to get here. As I stepped up to jump, I was like 'I gotta go first, man that’s not fair,'” Manning said with a laugh. “I was a little nervous, but it wore off. I told myself you’re just here to have fun doing what you love to do.”

Officially Manning finished 24th after entering the state meet seeded 30th. She’ll now move onto to compete for Indiana Wesleyan and begin her studies to become a veterinarian this fall.

“She brings it to practice everyday. She’s always eager to learn and do her best and help her teammates out,” said Eastbrook coach Stu Goble of Manning. “Thinking about both (senior boys state qualifier in the 110 hurdles) Hayden (Raikes) and Rachel the last couple of days, we’re losing two really good athletes but we’re losing two better people more than anything.

“That’s what we’ll miss the most out of them is just the people, the family, all that stuff that goes along with it,” he continued. “Sure we’ll miss the points, but just the conversations. We’ve had just as much fun being together with the kids these last two days as what we’ve had in the competition.”

While Manning was one of the first athletes to start her competition, Ewer, her dad Jason Ewer and M-G track coach TJ Herniak arrived in time to watch the opening of field events 3:00 p.m. and just experience the ambiance of a state track meet.

The trio found a rare spot in the shade near the high jump and pole vault areas and spent a couple hours observing before Emma took the track for her 200 meter trial.

“It was a lot of fun to be around people. I’ve been to a lot of college meets and all of (the athletes) were older than me,” Ewer said. “I’m a people watcher so I enjoyed sitting around watching everything and watching people jump.”

Shortly before 6:00 p.m. Ewer took to the Giant Stadium track to run in the second of three heats in the 200-meter dash trials.

Her goal coming into Saturday was to reach the finish line in 26 seconds, which is the current record at Madison-Grant. A stiff head wind in the homestretch of race made that goal tough to reach.

Ewer finished in 26.53 seconds, short of her goal and reaching the finals, but her 17th-place finish was six spots higher than her seed position.

“I’m going to be honest, I don’t remember the race that much. It was the weirdest thing,” Ewer shared while surrounded by a large group of supporters after the race. “I just didn’t think half of it. I don’t know if it was all the experience and just trying to embrace everything at the wrong time when I was running, but it was so fun.

“The wind, I didn’t notice it until after the race. I was just kind of in that zone. They said it added three-tenths to everyone’s time,” she added. “I’ll definitely be ready next year. Excited to experience this and try to do it all over next again.”

Herniak sees Ewer’s state-meet experience as a reward for her dedication and determination she puts into her craft every day. It was also an important day to learn and grown from as she continues to pursue the school record and more championships next season.

“I think the biggest experience for her comes on the track. She didn’t trail all year, today is the first time she’s finished behind people all season long,” Herniak said. “She’s led wire-to-wire every (200) race she’s won this year. It’s amazing to think, but you make it all the way to state meet before she ever trailed in a race. … I think that experience will motivate her to be even better next year.”

Ewer’s season included 200-meter championships in the Madison County, Grant Four, Central Indiana Conference, Western Sectional, and Goshen Regional.

“We take the wind out of it and she ran a 26.32, that would be a PR,” Herniak said. “I’m proud of her, proud of everything she’s accomplished this season. I don’t know if we’ve ever had an individual win a regional championship for as long as I remember.

“To be a sectional champ, a regional champ and come down here and finish 17th in the state, she’s been outstanding. She’s special kid, and I’m excited I get to do it one more time with her next year.”

Argylls Pound Blackford to Stay Perfect in CIC

Argylls Pound Blackford to Stay Perfect in CIC by Scott Hunt of The Chronicle-Tribune

Fairmount - Madison-Grant (M-G) took another step towards winning the central Indiana conference baseball championship Tuesday night and did so in emphatic fashion against visiting Blackford.

The Argylls nearly batted through their lineup twice in the bottom of the fourth inning and used the 11 run frame to gain total control in a 16-1 win over the Bruins. The win not only moved M-G to 5-0 in league play, but it also gave the Argylls possession of the traveling CIC home plate trophy for the first time in recent memory.

“To be honest with you, I’ve never seen that plate, so it’s a good thing to have,” said Argylls coach Scott Haley. ”Sitting on top of the conference right now is a good feeling. These kids have worked hard and they want it.”

Madison-Grant’s (from left) Chad Harbert, Nick Evans, Mason Richards and Cole Hasty receive the traveling CIC home plate trophy from Blackford players after the Argylls’ 16-1 win over the Bruins Tuesday in Fairmount.

Madison-Grant’s (from left) Chad Harbert, Nick Evans, Mason Richards and Cole Hasty receive the traveling CIC home plate trophy from Blackford players after the Argylls’ 16-1 win over the Bruins Tuesday in Fairmount.

Scott Hunt | Chronicle-Tribune

The first order of M-G’s business comes Thursday when Mississinewa comes to Fairmount. Madison-Grant can clinch a share of its first conference title since 2006 with a win over the Indians which would also avenge a 6-5 loss to Ole Miss from the Grant Four. Mississinewa scored four runs in the top of the seventh in the May 1 meeting to force extra innings then won it in the eighth.

“For the first six innings of the Grant Four we got solid pitching and played good defense. We’ve got to make better decisions on the base paths,” Haley said. “We made a couple bad moves on the base paths and it cost us a couple runs. They’re just a scary team.

“(Senior pitcher) Nick (Evans) is gonna have to be on top of his game,” he continued. “I take the blame for that first game because I didn’t take Nick out when I felt I should have. He shook me off, which I expect that from a competitor like Nick. I lost a lot of sleep over that. We’ll be alright. Nick will be good to go. We’ll just have to make better decisions on the base baths. Mississinewa is a scary team.”

Against Blackford, M-G got a strong outing on the mound from freshman Teagan Yeagy who scattered five singles and allowed just an unearned run to move his record to 2-1 this season. Yeagy struck out seven Bruins and walked two through four innings.

Madison-Grant's Mason Richards trots to third base after slugging a 2-run homer as part of an 11-run fourth inning in the Argylls' 16-1 win over Blackford on Tuesday.

Madison-Grant's Mason Richards trots to third base after slugging a 2-run homer as part of an 11-run fourth inning in the Argylls' 16-1 win over Blackford on Tuesday.

Scott Hunt | Chronicle-Tribune

Sophomore Maddox Beckley allowed a leadoff single in the fifth but followed with a pair of strikeouts and got a nice running catch in foul territory by Evans at first base to end the game.

“Teagan didn’t have his best stuff tonight, but he gutted it our for four innings,” Haley said. “Really, the top of the fourth he was gassed and I said just get this last guy out and we’ll get you out of here. He struck that last guy out and that was a huge lift for us.

“He’s a gritty tough kid. When I walked out there to talk to him the first time, I asked him how he was and he said I just don’t have it.”

Blackford threatened to cut into the Argylls’ 5-1 lead in the top of the fourth when its first two hitters each had a single to start the inning. The runners were at first and third with no outs when Yeagy retired the next batter by strikeout, got a foul pop fly caught at third by senior Cole Hasty for the second out then finished it off with another k.

The momentum of working out of a potential jam carried over to the plate for M-G, and it quickly broke the game open.

Junior Brayden Shoemaker reached on an error to start the frame, went first to third on a sacrifice bunt by senior Justin Moore and scored on a wild pitch. Yeagy followed with a double, Hasty drew a walk and stole second, and Evans drove both in with a single. Junior Mason Richards then slugged a towering home run into a stiff breeze blowing in from left field to increase Madison-Grant’s lead to 10-1.

Before the fourth inning was over, 16 Argylls took an at-bat, 13 reached base and 11 crossed the plate.

"Our kids came out and just hit,” Haley said. “We scored three in the first inning and that got us off to a good start.”

The Argylls collected 16 hits, including five for extra bases.

Richards and Hasty each went 3-for-4 and Beckley was 3-for-3. Richards had four RBI while Hasty, Evans, and Beckley each drove in two runs apiece. Hasty also scored three times with Shoemaker, Evans, Yeagy, and junior Chad Harbert crossing the plate twice for the Argylls.

Madison-Grant moved its record to 14-4 and hosted Lapel on Wednesday ahead of its CIC battle with Ole Miss Thursday. M-G meets Tri-Central in the first game of the Argyll Invite Saturday at 9:00 a.m. and hosts Anderson on Tuesday.

The Argylls close out their CIC schedule against Oak Hill on May 20 at 5:00 p.m. in Fairmount.

“They don’t want to share it. They want it all to themselves,” Haley said of M-G’s chase for just the third CIC baseball championship in school history. The first one was in 1983.

“They know they’ve got a lot of work ahead of them. Mississinewa and Oak Hill are not going to be easy, but it feels good right now to be in that seat. We’ve got our fate in our own hands, we’ve just got to take care of business.”

Back From Injury, M-G's Ewer Has Sights Set High

Back From Injury, M-G's Ewer Has Sights Set High by Rob Hunt of The Herald Bulletin

May 9, 2021

Madison-Grant’s Emma Ewer wins the 100 dash as the Argylls hosted Daleville and Bluffton earlier this season.

Don Knight | The Herald Bulletin

Fairmount - It was not that long ago the idea of continuing the running career Emma Ewer had pursued her entire life may be in danger. And the thought of winning races seemed like a dream far over the distant horizon.

But with an unshakable faith, natural talent, and a tireless work ethic, the Madison-Grant (M-G) junior is not only running again, she is winning big race after big race for the Argylls.

Ewer said she grew up on the Indiana Wesleyan track where her father Jason coached pole vault for the Wildcats. He now coaches pole vault at Madison-Grant where Emma holds the school record in the event.

“That’s where my love for track started,” Emma said.

Alongside her passion for track, she was also competitive in gymnastics. But that came to an end when a pair of injuries - fractured wrist in 2018 and fractured shin in 2019 - forced her to retire from the sport. She felt a calling to focus on running.

“I just kept getting injured,” she said. “I just felt God was calling me and that it was time to be done. It just wasn’t for me. It was too hard on my body.”

After spending the last part of 2018 and much of 2019 in either a cast or a walking boot, there were no guarantees Ewer could return to form and build on the potential M-G coach T.J. Herniak spotted when she was running sprints at the middle school level.

“As a junior high runner, she was better than everyone else, so it was pretty obvious pretty quick,” he said. “I was like, ‘Oh, I got a good one here.’ She was the one who jumped out and was a few strides ahead of everyone else in the short sprints.”

But rehabbing those injuries was tough. After the shin injury sidelined her at the 2019 Grant 4, it was hard on Emma mentally to watch her teammates compete that spring without being able to run herself. She also felt it was a blessing in disguise, giving her an opportunity to reflect and her body a much needed chance to rest and recover.

“I’m such a go, go, go person that it takes a broken bone for me to stop,” Ewer said. “But that was the only way God could get my attention to make me stop doing what I was doing and take a break.”

After getting herself healthy, Ewer was ready to run track again in the spring of 2020. But the coronavirus pandemic canceled her season which meant her next chance to compete would be in the fall as she gave cross country a try.

“For not being a long distance runner, I thought it went really well,” Ewer said after advancing to regional.

This spring track season has proven to be a breakout campaign for Ewer.

She was the girls John McCord Award winner for most outstanding athlete at the Madison County championships where she won the 100 and 200 meters and the 300 hurdles. She repeated the 200 win at this year’s Grant 4 and again this weekend in the Central Indiana Conference championships.

“It’s definitely rewarding for all the hard work,” she said. “It meant a lot to me. It was like a fresh start. This is what God has for me on this night, and He was just very empowering.”

Ewer is approaching the school records in both the 100 and 200 needing to shave just a couple tenths off her times in those events. She said she could not have overcome her obstacles without God, and she said her faith will continue to carry her through future battles.

“You can do anything with the Lord, and he’s meant everything to me,” Ewer said. “When I’m running across the field, I’m praying to him because this is not possible without him.”

Currently running the 200 in 26.38 seconds, Herniak believes Ewer could compete for a trip to the state meet if she can get that down to 26 flat.

“She’s got the work ethic and the drive to do that,” Herniak said. “You can’t teach that to a kid. They’ve just got to have it. And she has it.”

The girls track and field postseason begins May 18 when Ewer and the Argylls will compete in the western sectional.

M-G Student Wins Congressional Art Competition

M-G Student Wins Congressional Art Competition - Article provided by Office of Representative Victoria Spartz

Person walking away poster in one hand and dog in other

May 10, 2021

Winners of the 2021 Congressional Art Competition were announced recently at an art reception at Gallery 119 in Pendleton. Congresswoman Victoria Spartz (R-Fifth District) attended the reception to meet the artists, congratulate them, and hand out the awards.

“The level of talent in the fifth district is extremely impressive,” said Spartz. “We have some very gifted young artists in Indiana, and I am thrilled to be able to showcase their works in Washington, D.C.”

Twenty-five high school students across Indiana’s fifth district entered the Congressional Art Competition which is designed to support the arts and showcase the talent of young artists nationwide.

Jackson Manwell, a senior at Madison-Grant Junior/Senior High School, won the fifth district competition with his piece "Champion Perspective." His artwork will be on display in the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. for one year along with the winning artwork from other congressional districts across the country.

The first runner up, "Trust Fall," by Lee Ann Kao, a junior at Zionsville Community High School, will hang in Spartz’s Washington, D.C. office. The second runner up, "Sunsets" by Dana Salavaria, a senior at Marion High School, will hang in her Carmel district office, and the honorable mention, "Finding the Light" by Mallory Hagerty, a junior at Lawrence North High School, will hang in her Anderson district office.

For the next month all art submissions will be featured on Representative Spartz’s Facebook page for a fan favorite competition. The piece with the most likes at the end of the month will receive a certificate from the congresswoman.

Streaking Argylls Stop Equally Hot Bulldogs

Streaking Argylls Stop Equally Hot Bulldogs by Rob Hunt of The Herald Bulletin

May 5, 2021

Madison-Grant pitcher Elizabeth throws pitch

Madison-Grant pitcher Elizabeth Lee threw a complete game against Lapel, winning 4-1. She was effective from the start, utilizing an offspeed pitch that kept the Bulldogs hitters off balance. She recorded just three strikeouts but was able to induce ground balls and popups when she needed to.

John P. Cleary | The Herald Bulletin

Lapel - In Wednesday’s matchup of teams beginning to play very well at the right time, Madison-Grant (M-G) got a six-hit complete game performance from Elizabeth Lee and a few more line drives that found green grass in a 4-1 win over Lapel.

It was the fourth straight win for the Argylls (8-6) while the Bulldogs (8-8) saw a three-game win streak of its own come to an end but has still won four of its last six games.

While one team had to suffer the loss, neither coach walked away feeling badly about his team’s performance. The Argylls and Bulldogs played nearly error-free ball, got tough pitching performances, and battled to the final out.

Zoey Barnett slides into second base

Madison-Grant's Zoey Barnett slides under the tag attempt of Lapel's Krystin Davis at second base as Barnett steals the base in the 3rd inning.

John P. Cleary | The Herald Bulletin

“We were happy with our win at Alex last night, but this is an iffy situation. (Tonight) isn’t a conference game. It’s senior night for (Lapel), and we play five straight days. We play Thursday, Friday, and Saturday after this,” M-G coach Travis Havens said. “I feel good about our defense today.”

“I’m a little disappointed because we’ve had talks all season long about making adjustments at the plate, and we didn’t do that tonight,” Lapel coach Scott Rich said. “But other than that, I thought Makayla Smethers played a whale of a game at second base. Ashlynn (Allman) made some plays at first base for us, too. I thought defensively (this) was the best game we’ve played.”

Madison-Grant's pitcher Elizabeth Lee gets a fist bump from head coach Travis Havens

Madison-Grant's pitcher Elizabeth Lee gets a fist bump from head coach Travis Havens as she comes off the field.

John P. Cleary | The Herald Bulletin

Lee was effective from the start, utilizing an off-speed pitch that kept the Bulldogs hitters off balance. She recorded just three strikeouts but was able to induce ground balls and popups when she needed to, and when the Bulldogs did hit the ball hard, her defense was equal to the task.

“The off-speed pitch was the main pitch we threw today, and it worked,” Lee said. “We throw that pitch knowing that the defense is going to act well on it, and we’re going to make a lot of outs with it.”

After stranding five runners in the first two innings, the Argylls broke through in the third. After consecutive walks to start the inning, Chelsea Parker chased the first run home with a double to left center. One out later, catcher Gracey Fox, returning to the batting order following a prolonged hitting slump, slapped a single to right to score two more runs for a 3-0 lead.

Madison-Grant's Makennah Clouse dives back to third base

Madison-Grant's Makennah Clouse dives back to third base as Lapel's Krystin Davis tries to put the tag on her from a throw from the catcher on a loose ball in the 2nd inning.

John P. Cleary | The Herald Bulletin

“We haven’t let (Fox) hit the last three games. She’s been struggling,” Havens said. “She’s caught, but she did not hit. A lot of kids in that situation would have packed it in, but she did not. She chose to go to work, and she worked outside of our practices on her hitting. She knew she would get her opportunity. She got it today, and she made the most of it.”

Fox added a second single later in the game.

That was all Lapel senior Avery Bailey allowed until the seventh. The Argylls had runners aboard in every inning except the fifth, but Bailey got weak grounders to leave runners aboard and twice Smethers snared a line drive that turned into an inning-ending double play.

The softball starts to come out of Krystin Davis's mitt

The softball starts to come out of Krystin Davis’s mitt as she tags Daya Greene of Madison-Grant sliding into second base on an attempted steal in the fourth inning. The ball came loose from the tag and Greene was called safe.

John P. Cleary | The Herald Bulletin

“I told them they all needed to fight like Avery Bailey did in the circle tonight,” Rich said.

The only time Lapel’s offense touched Lee was in the fourth, after the first two batters were retired. Taylor Williams singled to left before Madi Carpenter hammered a triple to the fence in right to score courtesy runner Alexa Owens.

An RBI single by Parker provided the Argylls a vital insurance run in the top of the seventh.

Bailey led off the bottom half with a single for the Bulldogs before, with one out, both Krystin Davis and Chloe Tucker drew walks to load the bases with Lapel’s two biggest bats coming to the plate.

But Lee got Allman to ground into a force out before Daniels, who had hit into bad luck all day with three line-drive outs, flew out to Lee’s sister Sydney in left field to end the game.

“I was getting a little nervous, but I knew we got it,” Lee said. “We just had to calm ourselves and do what we do, get outs.”

Taylor's Evans Twirling Records; TU Chasing IWU

Taylor's Evans Twirling Records; TU Chasing IWU by Scott Hunt of the Chronicle-Tribune

April 22, 2021

Taylor junior Maddie Evans

Taylor junior Maddi Evans recently became the all-time leader for strikeouts in a season. Evans, a Madison-Grant alum and Fairmount native, could etch her name on some other records as she helps the RV Trojans pursue No. 7 Indiana Wesleyan in the Crossroads League standings. Photo Provided by Taylor Athletics

Scott Hunt | Chronicle-Tribune

Taylor’s Maddi Evans is putting together a memorable and history-making campaign in the pitchers circle, and it’s helped the RV Trojans stay in the chase for the Crossroads League championship as the season reaches its homestretch.

Indiana Wesleyan (IWU), which ascended to the number seven slot in the latest NAIA rankings, leads number 11 Marian by one game with eight games remaining for both. The Wildcats (34-6, 23-5 in CL) slid around the Knights (33-11, 22-6) in the standings after sweeping a doubleheader on April 17 in Marion by scores of 3-0 and 5-0.

Meanwhile, the Trojans are riding a six-game win streak heading into Friday’s home doubleheader against Goshen at 4:00 p.m. Taylor (30-12, 16-8) currently trails IWU by five games and Marian by four, but along with fourth place, Mt. Vernon Nazarene (17-9, 15-9), have 12 games remaining.

Evans, a junior and former Madison-Grant standout, has started in 21 of her 22 appearances in the circle this season and stands among the league and NAIA’s leaders in several statistical categories.

Evans has also etched her name in the Taylor softball record book, and could potentially reach even more before the season concludes.

In Taylor’s 8-1 win at IWU on April 9, Evans struck out 13 Wildcats, which set a new program record for most strikeouts in a season. The Fairmount native bested the previous mark of 161 set in 2010 by Holly Tomaszewski.

Evans now has 185 strikeouts for the season, tops in the Crossroads League, and the sixth most in the NAIA. She has fanned double-digit opponents in nine games. Her season-high of 16 came on March 27 when she faced only 20 batters in twirling a no hitter at Goshen.

In her next outing against Marian, Evans added 15 strikeouts in 10 scoreless innings, but didn’t factor into a decision after the Knights won, 1-0, in 11 innings in Upland.

Evans is averaging 10.5 strikeouts per game, most in the league, and ninth best in the country. Her 123.1 innings pitched so far this season is third most in the Crossroads and leaves her only six innings from breaking into the top 10 at TU.

Currently, Evans has a 2.21 earned run average, which would rank her third in Taylor history if the season were to end today.

Opponents are batting a paltry 0.191 against Evans for the season, which ranks second best in the CL and inside the top 25 in the country. She is on pace to set a program record in opponents’ batting average, a mark of 0.217 currently held by Hannah Robbins (2014).

Evans also ranks second in the Crossroads League with a 4.71 hits allowed per game average.

Most importantly for Taylor, Evans holds a 14-3 win-loss record. The 14 wins currently ties her with Marian junior Sydney Wilson for second in the CL and 21st in the NAIA. The duo trails only IWU freshman Alyssa Wagner, who has 17 wins.

Evans is currently tied for fifth with two former Trojans for most wins in a single season and needs one more to tie senior teammate Lauren Kanai (2018) for third. Hannah Robbins holds the Taylor record with 18 wins, and reached that total in both 2014 and 2017.

At the plate, Evans is batting 0.311 and leads Taylor with 12 doubles and 32 RBI, marks that rank fifth and sixth, respectively, in the Crossroads League. She also has five home runs this season.

Indiana Wesleyan starts its season-ending stretch of eight-straight road games with a trip to Fort Wayne to face Saint Francis on Friday then makes the short drive to Huntington for a pair of games against the Foresters on Saturday.

The Wildcats are currently ranked inside the top 30 in the NAIA in 20 separate statistical categories, including first with 121 stolen bases and seventh with a team batting average of 0.361.

Sophomore Miranda Wehrle has slugged an NAIA-leading 15 home runs and ranks fifth in the country with 47 RBI to lead IWU. Freshman Jenna Yost has collected the fifth most stolen bases in the NAIA with 30.

Collectively, Wildcat pitchers are holding opponents to a 0.203 batting average and allow only 1.910 earned runs per game, which ranks 11th and 12th nationally.

Wagner has twirled 109 innings and struck out 143 batters in accumulating a 17-2 record. She holds an opponents batting average of 0.163 and a 1.28 ERA.

Both Indiana Wesleyan and Taylor will host Crossroads League tournament games, but a determination won’t be made until after the final season standings are set. The CL tournament will run from May 5–7.

The league’s regular season and tournament champions each earn an automatic bid into the NAIA National Tournament which starts May 17 at on-campus sites around the country.

Argylls Pound Out Softball Grant 4 Title

Argylls Pound Out Softball Grant 4 Title by Rob Hunt of The Herald Bulletin 

May 1, 2021

Fairmount - Madison-Grant's (M-G) softball team had both its Grant 4 tournament opponents screaming "mayday" on Saturday.

The Argylls celebrated May 1 with two slugfests lasting four and a half innings, 10-0 over Mississinewa and 12-2 over Oak Hill, and they captured the trophy for the intra-Grant County event.

M-G (6-6) amassed 26 hits on the day including four home runs in the final against Oak Hill. Two long balls were by senior first baseman Chelsea Parker who had five hits on the day.

"At first, we were nervous just because of our competition, but we killed it," Parker said. "It feels awesome. We definitely deserve this. We worked our butts off for this."

The Argylls also got four hits from Chelsea Bowland, Daya Green, and Sydney Lee, and three from Sarah Duncan.

Pitching-wise, Elizabeth Lee allowed just one hit in the opener and Katelynn Duncan four to Oak Hill.

"We played well in the first game and I think that helped us with our momentum in the second game," M-G coach Travis Havens said. "Oak Hill's a nice team and they just beat (class 2A number six) Alexandria 1-0, so we knew we'd have our hands full. Our girls were excited and they were ready, and playing at home helps."

M-G put up three in the first inning of the title game and followed with six in the second frame and three in the third.

Parker lifted a ball into a strong tail wind in left-center field and that carried out, and that made it 3-0.

The second inning was climaxed by back-to-back jacks by Parker and Katelynn Duncan. Sarah Duncan drove another run in on a sacrifice fly and Green the same with a single, and Sydney Lee scored on an error and Bowland on a wild pitch.

In the third, Bowland had an RBI sac fly, Green doubled, and Barnett homered.

"We've struggled a bit hitting this year, and we've been working the past couple of weeks implementing a team hitting philosophy with two strikes, putting the ball in play, and eliminating strikeouts," Havens said. "We put a few in play today and that was fun."

Katelynn Duncan struck out four and retired nine in a row after Oak Hill's leadoff batter got a hit. She allowed three hits and a run in the fourth, and the Golden Eagles (8-5) scored again in the fifth.

The Argylls asserted control of game one with four runs off four hits in the first inning.

Sarah Duncan's single scoring Bowland to put M-G on the board, and Parker followed with a two-run double. Lee sacrificed Duncan home for the fourth run.

M-G pounded out four more hits the next inning, one being a double by Sarah Duncan that brought Bowland and Green in.

Another two-RBI double, this by Barnett, highlighted a third frame in which the Argylls pushed the lead up to 9-0.

The Argylls got to the mercy-rule threshold in the fourth after Elizabeth Lee singled and courtesy runner Makennah Crouse stole second, moved to third on a passed ball and scored when Sydney Lee grounded to second.

M-G was also able to move, and create, runners, by beating out four bunts (two by Green).

Bowland led the 13-hit attack with three and Green, Sarah Duncan, and Parker also had a pair.

Elizabeth Lee breezed by on only 61 pitches with three strikeouts and three walks. Meliana Smith's single was the Indians' only ball hit into the outfield.

The Argylls are at Alexandria Tuesday and at Lapel Wednesday, and Oak Hill returns to M-G Thursday for a Central Indiana Conference match.

"We won't expect to win by 10 runs in five innings, but we expect to be playing more like this than what we have been," Havens said. "I don't think our record shows what type of team we really are. We think what we did today is a little bit like what we should be."

Muller Champ Argylls Bury Panthers in CIC Romp

Muller Champ Argylls Bury Panthers in CIC Romp by Rick Teverbaugh of The Herald Bulletin 

April 27, 2021

Elwood - A strong win was blowing toward the outfield fences Tuesday, and the champs knew exactly what to do.

Nick Muller Memorial Baseball Tournament champion Madison-Grant (M-G) had 16 hits in four turns at bat on its way to a 24-0 drubbing of Elwood in a central Indiana conference contest.

Nick Evans, Chad Harbert, and Mason Richards made the most of the opportunity for the Argylls.

Evans clouted a pair of homers and pitched four scoreless innings, giving up two singles, hitting a batter, and striking out eight. After getting hit by a pitch in the first inning, he hit home runs in his next two plate appearances. He also lost a double when the home plate umpire ruled he had stepped outside the batter’s box on the play.

“The first one I knew was out,” said Evans. “I told the guys that they really need to cut down on their swings. I have seen times when we have had this situation and try to swing really hard to get it up in the air.”

Harbert hit his round tripper two batters after Evans’ first.

“Those three home runs certainly helped,” said M-G coach Scott Haley. “But I was impressed with Mason’s three or four line drives.”

Richards had four singles and a double, though one of those singles would have been a two-bagger had it not been for the Argylls just playing station to station on the base paths in the final two innings no matter where the ball was hit.

Teagan Yeagy had an unusual day at the plate. Officially he was one-for-one driving in one run and scoring three times. He had a sacrifice fly, two walks, and was hit by a pitch.

Elwood had trouble fielding the ball and problems generating any offense. Xavier Davenport and Dalton Trueblood had the team’s only hits. The Panthers did get runners to second a third in the third, but Evans fanned his third hitter of the inning to quell the threat.

The Panthers were charged with eight errors.

“I am superstitious, so I never look at a team’s stats before we play them,” said Haley. “I had heard that Elwood was down. But it is a conference game, and we don’t take anyone for granted. We’ve scored 43 runs in two nights, so I really like the way we are hitting the ball.”

Evans had no desire to rub it in against the Panthers and for good reason.

“I remember four or five years ago we were that team,” he said. “But the coaching staff and the community has really gotten behind the team to turn things around.”

The Argylls (9-2) travel to Tipton on Wednesday and host the Grant Four Tournament on Saturday.

Elwood plays host to Lapel on Wednesday.

Madison-Grant Creates CFO Position

Madison-Grant Creates CFO Position by Tim Tedeschi of the Chronicle-Tribune

April 22, 2021

The Madison-Grant (M-G) School Board accepted the resignation of two building principals Monday, but the two administrators will not be going far.

The board approved the creation of a new chief financial officer (CFO) position which Superintendent Scott Deetz said will encompass the duties of the current business director position as well as additional responsibilities due to federal COVID funding coming to the district and the new partnership with ACCEL Schools for a virtual academy.

Current Madison-Grant Junior/Senior High School Principal Bengamin Mann tendered his resignation from that position as of June 30, and the board approved his appointment to the new CFO position beginning July 1. Deetz said current Business Director Shaela Smith has taken a new job outside the district and will resign effective June 30 as well.

“I’m just thankful and grateful for the opportunity that you guys have provided myself and our family, and we’re grateful to be able to continue to be part of things here,” Mann told the board during the public comment portion of the meeting. “And there’s still work to be done, so thank you.”

The CFO position requires an administrator’s license, which Mann already holds, or a superintendent’s license, Deetz said. Mann is working on earning his superintendent’s license and is also nearing completion of chief business official certification through the Indiana Association of School Business Officials, according to Deetz.

“He is furthering his professional career and his relationship thankfully with Madison-Grant United School have an even greater impact on our students, staff, and community,” Deetz said of Mann. “...This is a person that I am delighted to continue to have on our team and continue to lead our district through the times that we are experiencing.”

M-G’s board additionally accepted the resignation of Park Elementary School Principal Melissa DeWitt who Deetz said will be taking a position as head of school for ACCEL’s Virtual Preparatory Academy of Indiana at Madison-Grant. Deetz said he and the district are thrilled to have a familiar face as their main point of contact and as a leader for the new virtual option for district students.

“She is somebody who is steeped in virtual education history and good practices with over a decade’s worth of work, and she has intimate knowledge and direct connection to Madison-Grant,” Deetz said. “We could not be in more capable hands as we enter into this venture.”

The board also approved the creation of a new grants coordinator position that will be focused on the approximately $2.8 million in federal COVID funding coming to the district through the elementary and secondary school emergency relief (ESSER) funds as well as other government-funded grants. Deetz said the position will be grant-funded and expire at the end of the ESSER grant period in December 2024.

In an email to the Chronicle-Tribune, Deetz said applications for the three now-open positions will be due by May 14 with interviews and reference checks taking place from May 17 through June 2. He said he hopes to be able to recommend the hirings to the board for approval at the June 7 regular board meeting.

Argylls Top Anderson for First Madison County Title

Argylls Top Anderson for First Madison County Title by Scott Hunt of the Chronicle-Tribune

April 19, 2021

Anderson - The upperclassmen on Madison-Grant’s (M-G) baseball team have personified perseverance and determination during their careers in Fairmount.

Now as leaders and combined with a talented group of first-year varsity players, the Argylls are tasting sweet success from the fruits of their labor.

Success was also historic for M-G on Saturday night on Anderson’s Memorial Field.

Madison-Grant senior Nick Evans delivers a pitch

Madison-Grant senior Nick Evans delivers a pitch in the Argylls’ 11-8 win at Anderson Saturday night in the Nick Muller Memorial Madison County tournament championship game.

Scott Hunt | Chronicle-Tribune

Behind a gutsy starting pitching performance from senior Nick Evans and an opportunistic offense, the Argylls topped high-scoring and previously unbeaten Anderson, 11-8, to win the Nick Muller Memorial Tournament and Madison County championship for the first time in program history.

“It means so much. We’ve worked so hard in the off season, that’s where it starts,” said Evans, who has been a starter for the Argylls since his first day as a freshman. “The coaches have tried so hard to get us out here, and they’ve really put together a team and a program.

“We help each other up. There really hasn’t been any let downs. Everybody is doing their part and giving it their all. It’s awesome to see.”

Evans exemplified perseverance and determination in his five and two thirds innings on the mound for M-G. He limited the Indians, who had been averaging more than 10 runs and 10 hits per game in starting the season 7-0, to just seven hits and two walks while striking out 11 in his 112-pitch performance.

Before Evans threw hits first pitch, however, he and the Argylls had already put Anderson in a hole.

Freshman Teagan Yeagy led off the top of the first with an infield single, senior Cole Hasty followed with a walk, Evans drove in a run with a single, and junior Mason Richards walked to load the bases.

Madison-Grant sophomore Maddox Beckley takes a cut

Madison-Grant sophomore Maddox Beckley takes a cut against Anderson in the Madison County championship game Saturday night. Beckley drove in three runs and earned the save on the mound in the Argylls' 11-8 win.

Scott Hunt | Chronicle-Tribune

Sophomore Maddox Beckley lined a single into center field with one out, and freshman Braiden Ross followed with a sacrifice fly to left, and M-G took the field to play defense in the first with a 4-0 lead.

Argyll coach Scott Haley sensed his team was ready when it convened for batting practice Saturday afternoon at the school before departing for Anderson.

“We met at the school today at 3:45 p.m. and hit a couple rounds in the cage and off the tee. They were ready,” Haley said. “I told them they could dress casual for BP but over half of them had their uniforms on ready to go. That’s a good sign.

“They came out and just jumped all over (Anderson),” he continued. “To get a four run lead puts your opponents in a deficit, but give them credit. They battled back the whole game. They hit the ball and kept making plays.”

Beckley’s sacrifice fly in the third inning scored courtesy runner and senior Jace Gilman to increase the M-G lead to 5-0, but Anderson had a swift and strong answer in its half of the inning.

After Evans faced only six batters through the first two innings, the Indians sent 10 to the plate in the third, picked up its first five hits of the game and scored five runs to tie the score up at 5-5.

Madison-Grant's Chad Harbert dives safely into third base

Madison-Grant's Chad Harbert dives safely into third base during the Argylls' 11-8 win at Anderson in the Madison County championship Saturday night.

Scott Hunt | Chronicle-Tribune

Undaunted, the Argylls answered with even more authority in the fourth, scoring six runs on five hits to reassume control. Hasty sent a double into the left center gap, the only extra-base hit in the contest for either team, to score two runs while junior Chad Harbert added an RBI single to help M-G move in front 11-5.

Anderson took advantage of a pair of M-G errors and two hits to score three times in the fifth inning to complete the scoring on the night.

Evans struck out the final two Anderson batters he faced in the fifth and the first two in the sixth before issuing his second walk of the game and ending his performance on the night.

“What a bulldog. He did not want to come out,” said Haley, who made a couple trips to the mound before ultimately opting to go with Beckley to try and get the final four outs for M-G. “I asked him after the fifth inning, I said ‘I want you to be honest with me, how do you feel?’ He said, ‘I feel better than I did in the first inning.’ I said, ‘Can you get us through one more,’ and he said, ‘I can do it, coach,’ and he did.

“He was reaching that pitch-count limit so we had to get him out of there and we had confidence in Maddox to do the job.”

Madison-Grant's Seth Lugar rounds third base

Madison-Grant's Seth Lugar rounds third base on his way to scoring a run in the Argylls 11-8 win over Anderson Saturday night.

Scott Hunt | Chronicle-Tribune

Haley admitted most trips to the mound with Evans pitching result in a discussion about the senior wanting to keep the ball in his hands, but that was not the case for the final time on Saturday.

“He didn’t really have to say anything. I knew it was time to take me out,” Evans said. “I was getting a little bit winded and I trusted Maddox. He came in and closed it out.”

Indeed, Beckley ended the sixth inning with a strikeout, then after issuing a lead-off walk in the seventh, retired the final three Anderson hitters with another strikeout, a fly out to left and a pop-up to second base.

Beckley had just one and two thirds varsity innings in two appearances prior to Saturday, but handled the late-game pressure like a seasoned veteran.

“Always following that kid is hard, he’s a great pitcher,” said Beckley of Evans. “I knew I had to come in and throw strikes and get him out of there.”

After Yeagy secured the final out of the game, the Argylls’ dugout quickly emptied and the team celebrated its first Madison County championship en masse in the middle of the diamond.

“It’s crazy,” Beckley said. “Especially coming up in this program. We went a couple of seasons without very many wins and we’re staring off hot this year.”

Madison-Grant had just nine wins total through the freshman and sophomore seasons of its seniors. The Argylls are now 5-1 and won four-straight games, the last two against quality 4A programs in Anderson and Pendleton Heights.

The Argylls will carry momentum into Central Indiana Conference play which starts Thursday against Frankton in Fairmount. Madison-Grant will also have a chance to win a second county title when it hosts the Grant Four on May 1.

“I don’t think anybody expected us to be here, let alone win it,” Haley said. “It’s huge momentum. It gives these kids confidence and they’ll just build off of it. … They won’t lax on me.”

Argylls Earn Berth in Muller Tourney Title Game

Argylls Earn Berth in Muller Tourney Title Game by Scott Hunt of the Chronicle-Tribune

April 16, 2021

Teagan Yeagy

Madison-Grant freshman Teagan Yeagy delivers a pitch in the Argylls' 3-2 win over Pendleton Heights Thursday in Fairmount. M-G will travel to Anderson to face the Indians in the Nick Muller Memorial Tournament championship game Saturday at 7 p.m.

Scott Hunt | Chronicle-Tribune

Fairmount - Madison-Grant’s (M-G) baseball team is off to its best start in several years and added a little piece of program history Thursday evening.

The Argylls got a gritty and efficient pitching performance from freshman Teagan Yeagy and turned opportunity into enough offense to earn a 3-2 win over Pendleton

Most importantly, M-G makes its maiden voyage into the Madison County championship game and will meet Anderson on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. on the Indians’ Memorial Stadium home turf.

Argylls’ coach Scott Haley said he initially planned to start Nick Evans on the mound against the Arabians, but the senior is dealing with some arm soreness so the decision was made to go with Yeagy.

And to say it worked out well would be an understatement.

Yeagy had thrown just one varsity inning in the Argylls’ four games prior to Thursday, yet he pitched with the poise of a veteran.

Chad Harbert (left) and Mason Richards

Madison-Grant's Chad Harbert (left) and Mason Richards celebrate the Argylls' 3-2 win over Pendleton Heights in the Nick Muller Memorial Tournament semifinals Thursday in Fairmount.

Scott Hunt | Chronicle-Tribune

“Teagan got us through the first two innings on very limited pitches and for a freshman that was huge,” Haley said. “I think that lifted us up a good deal. He just battled. He just battled hard. He didn’t know he was starting tonight.

“I just said 'Alright Teagan, here's the game ball' and he said, 'okay I’m ready,'” Haley added. “That’s just the kind of kid Teagan is. He’s such a competitor and he’s such a good athlete, we can put him anywhere on the field and he’ll do a great job.”

Yeagy struck out the first batter of the game, surrendered the first hit to the second, and promptly picked him off first base.

Pendleton Heights put runners on base in all seven innings but managed to scratch out just two unearned runs, one in the third and another in the sixth.

Yeagy scattered six hits in earning the complete game win. He walked just one batter and struck out seven. His composure was a big key after two of M-G’s three errors led to both runs for the Arabians.

“I was just going out to the mound knowing I had all amazing people behind me and I had my catcher. They all had my back,” Yeagy said. “It’s always a next batter approach. You don’t let that error effect you and it’s the same thing I tell them, if you make and error don’t let it effect you and move on to the next play.”

Yeagy’s approach reflected Haley’s thoughts and the Argylls’ performance.

“What we’ve been preaching is next play. You’ve got to make that next play,” Haley said. “If you make and error, forget about it. We’ll learn from it and work to improve it.

“We’ve been harping as a coaching staff just make the next play because we’ve got a pretty solid defense.”

Madison-Grant scored all three of its runs in the fourth inning.

Evans reached on an error to lead off the frame, and juniors Mason Richards and Chad Harbert followed with singles for M-G’s first hits of the game.

Sophomore Maddox Beckley then bounced a single into right field for the Argylls’ third-straight knock and drove in both Evans and courtesy runner, Seth Lugar.

Freshman Brayden Ross brought home the final run with a sacrifice fly to left scoring Harbert to give Madison-Grant a 3-1 advantage.

The Argylls had five hits and drew one walk, but Pendleton Heights starter Matt Roark recorded just two strikeouts and the Arabians made three errors.

Haley said another key to M-G’s win and its 4-1 start has been the teams ability to put the ball in play and keep pressure on the opposition’s defense.

“That was our number one priority starting last fall and through the winter, we have to make more contact,” Haley said. “In the past we’ve struck out almost 200 times (a season) and left so many men on base. It was crazy.

“With two strikes we are choking up (on the bat), crowding the plate, and we are making contact,” he added. “Make them make a play. That was our focus, and they’ve really bought into it.”

Haley wasn’t sure what to expect from the Argylls entering the season. He’s got six seniors and four juniors on the roster, all with varying levels of varsity experience. M-G also has several players playing impactful roles that were in junior high during the last spring sports season in 2019.

“We’ve got a nice blend with the seniors. Nick Evans and Cole Hasty are leading us by example,” Haley said. “Everyday for practice they’re the first ones out here making sure everybody is out here getting the job done and getting ready to practice.

“I was cautiously optimistic. Obviously nobody played last year, I thought last year was going to be our breakthrough year,” he continued. “I didn’t know what to expect this year. These kids worked hard all fall and all winter. They’ve put the work in so they deserve everything they get.”

Now, what the Argylls have earned is a chance to win a Muller Tourney championship and bragging rights over their Madison County rivals.

The 2021 season marks the 20th edition of the Nick Muller Memorial Tournament. Muller was 16 years old and set to enter his junior year at Anderson when he died in a car crash in the summer of 2000.

The tournament was established in the spring of 2001, and a scholarship fund was set up in Muller’s name and is presented on the final day of the week-long event.

Alexandria meets Lapel at 1:00 p.m. in the fifth-place game on Saturday.

Pendleton Heights, who won the 2019 Muller title and has nine championships in 20 years, faces Frankton at 4:00 p.m. in the third-place game before the Argylls and Anderson decide the championship at 7:00 p.m.

Argylls Stun Arabians for First Muller Title Appearance

Argylls Stun Arabians for First Muller Title Appearance by Mike Battreall for The Herald Bulletin

Fairmount - Memorial Field will look different Saturday night than it had for any of the previous 19 championship games of the Nick Muller Memorial Tournament.

That’s because Madison-Grant (M-G) has made it to the title game for the first time.

The Argylls rode the right arm of freshman Teagan Yeagy and masterfully played small ball in their fourth turn at the plate, and stunned Pendleton Heights (PH)  - a program with nine Muller titles - 3-2 on a cool early Thursday evening.

Yeagy went the distance and struck out seven Arabians, and M-G (4-1) came through with its three runs in the fourth to earn a spot against Anderson in the final.

“It’s pretty exciting “ M-G coach Scott Haley said. “The kids played well, and they worked hard in the fall and the winter to get where they’re at.”

The 45-degree chill perhaps played a part in the Argylls managing just five hits and PH six, and each side committing three errors. Accordingly, all five runs by the teams were unearned.

The most noteworthy error occurred when Nick Evans led off the Argylls’ fourth with a grounder to shortstop. The throw to first was low and Evans was aboard.

Mason Richards, the next batter, beat out another infield knock. That was the first hit allowed by PH starter Matthew Roark.

Chad Harbert bunted his way on base, and the bases were full with nobody out for sophomore Maddox Beckley.

Beckley made it three singles in a row for M-G, this one through the gap between first and second. Both Evans and Seth Lugar (running for Richards) raced home, and the Argylls were ahead 2-1.

Freshman designated hitter Brayden Ross lifted a fly to left for the first out but that brought Harbert plate-ward for what would be the deciding run.

PH (4-5) scored in the third on an infield error with Evan MacMillan batting and Mitchell Cobb coming home and made it 3-2 in the fifth when Sam Conner hit a ground ball to third and Hunter Eikenberry crossed the plate after Harbert hesitated throwing home and instead threw to first.

Yeagy hurled 90 pitches (29 balls) and consistently found the corners of the plate with a good variety, and he generally kept the ball low. Five Arabians were caught looking at third strikes and just five balls were hit out of the infield.

“Teagan, our freshman pitcher, pitched a great game,” Haley said. “We made a couple of errors behind him which cost him both his runs and probably 25 to 30 extra pitches, but our guys still battled and they made the plays when they had to.”

Roark also went the route and threw just 66 pitches, but he didn’t get the support Yeagy received on the other side. Seven Arabians were left on base (two at third) and MacMillan, who had two hits, was picked off first in the opening inning and was caught stealing at second to end the game.

M-G knocked off reigning Muller champion PH (from 2019) and will be riding a three-game win streak into Saturday’s final. And the Argylls did it by being more aggressive.

“That’s what we’ve been harping on throughout the whole fall and winter; we need to make more contact,” Haley said. “We had been striking out a lot the last couple of years and we just told them that we need to get a two-strike approach and put the ball in play and make our opponents make a play, and that’s what we did tonight.”

PH meets Frankton in the third-place game on Saturday at 4:00 p.m.

BZA OKs Medical Office on Madison-Grant Campus

BZA OKs Medical Office on Madison-Grant Campus by Tim Tedeschi

April 9, 2021

The Grant County Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) gave its approval Monday for Madison-Grant (M-G) United School Corporation to move forward in leasing a vacant building on school grounds to a nonprofit health care organization.

Christina Bruno, M-G’s legal counsel, told the BZA the school was requesting a special exception to allow Aspire Indiana Health to use the former administration building on the junior/senior high campus. Superintendent Scott Deetz said the building became vacant when the district’s business office moved into offices within the school building after renovations were completed in 2019.

Bruno said Aspire will provide access to primary, behavioral, and social emotional health care primarily to district students but will also serve the community at large. The building is self-contained and has a separate parking lot, and Bruno said the state Department of Education (DOE) has given its okay regarding traffic flow and school safety.

Area Plan Executive Director Ryan Malott said his main concern regarding the proposal was the effect it would have on traffic flow, but state officials agreed with the DOE and stated there would be no issues.

Aspire Vice President of Strategy & Business Development Jerry Landers said the medical office would plan to initially hold standard 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. hours Mondays through Fridays, though hours may be adjusted down the road to best meet the needs of patients.

Deetz said part of the lease agreement will include Aspire not scheduling appointments during peak traffic times of morning drop-off and afternoon dismissal. Aspire traffic would follow the same flows as all other school traffic, he said, with the facility small enough that it will not be a substantial difference, he said.

“They will not be seeing dozens upon dozens of patients at a time, so the actual volume of traffic you’ll see there during the school day will not impact us negatively compared to our normal school day operations,” Deetz said.

Landers said the plan is for just one nurse practitioner to work at the facility, and the primary focus is for the office to serve Madison-Grant students. He estimated a typical day would include about 15 to 18 appointments, with around 70 percent to 80 percent of those visits being students.

BZA member Bob Monroe asked who would be responsible for liability of the building and its operations, noting he did not want taxpayers on the hook for a separate entity’s operations.

Landers said Aspire will have full malpractice, comprehensive liability, and rental insurance. Deetz noted that M-G’s insurance provider has estimated the district’s insurance rates will actually decrease slightly when the building is occupied compared to when it sat empty.

BZA Chair Ed Hartman asked if the new medical office would replace existing nurse’s offices in school buildings.

Deetz said the district will continue to employ one RN and two CNAs at school buildings to cover typical incidents a school nurse would handle, but if a situation arose that needed further help the nurses could consult with Aspire staff for further care. The primary goal, he said, is to give students access to preventative primary, behavioral and social emotional health care that is often inaccessible to them.

“Most of my families are working two and three jobs just to hover around the poverty line, okay? If my families have to take their kiddo during business hours to the doctor, they don’t get paid, and when you’re struggling to make rent, you’re struggling to buy food and to pay for school supplies, and if your kiddo is not really sick, they’re not going to get that health care,” Deetz said. “Aspire is one of the few groups that were willing to take the risk of inhabiting a building and establishing services that aren’t 20, 30 minutes away from my families.”

Students will be able to receive care from Aspire without their parents being present if parents give prior consent, but Deetz stressed that parents would still be given full communication from the health care providers. M-G also plans to provide transportation so that students at elementary buildings can be serviced at the Aspire office.

Landers highlighted that the Aspire office is a family practice, so while antibiotics will be on hand, there will be no narcotics stored in the building whatsoever. If narcotics would be needed for a patient, he said Aspire would work with a local pharmacy to fill the prescription.

Several board members asked exactly how Aspire works and who would be paying for services.

Landers said Aspire is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is also a Federally Qualified Health Center, which means it receives partial funding or underwriting from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Aspire will bill insurances including Medicaid as appropriate, but fundraising and HRSA funding also helps pay for services.

“Ability to pay is not required for receiving the services,” he said.

Deetz said school counselors, social workers and other staff will work with Aspire to help facilitate services on a daily basis to identify students’ needs regardless of their ability to pay.

“Aspire and Madison-Grant have already been working together for the past two years on the behavioral health piece, as they have in-school services happening throughout our elementaries and into our junior/senior high schools,” Deetz said. “The beauty of this is by having a physical structure we are able to get more certified counselors for more of those extreme or needy cases. Our families wouldn’t have to travel out of town to get those assessments or that type of care. It could take place within moments of their homes.”

Hartman asked if there would be significant renovations needed, and Landers said the biggest change will be replacing carpeting with vinyl flooring. Other equipment and lab spaces are modular installs, so there will be no changes to the actual structure, he said.

Deetz said he started as M-G’s superintendent on January 1, 2016, and since around January 3, 2016 he has identified this need for student-centered health care and worked to find a partner to serve that need. Several BZA members said they would like to see the same model in other county schools, and Deetz said he would be an open book and help collaborate with any other schools wanting to create a similar partnership.

The board gave unanimous approval to the petition for a special exception, and Deetz said now both entities are putting the finishing touches on finalizing a lease agreement.

Broncos, Argylls Compete in 3-Team Track Meet

Broncos, Argylls Compete in 3-Team Track Meet by Rob Hunt The Herald Bulletin

Azmae Turner

Madison-Grant's Azmae Turner won the high jump after clearing 5' as the Argylls hosted Daleville and Bluffton on Monday.

Don Knight | For The Herald Bulletin

Fairmount — While Bluffton’s overall depth led to a sweep of the three-team home-opening track meet at Madison-Grant, the host Argylls and the visiting Daleville Broncos were excited to be back in action following a year lost to COVID-19.

“It was great. They’ve been working really hard in practice. They were just ready to compete,” Daleville coach Meghan Yencer-Sargent said. “We’re a pretty young team, so a lot of them have not competed at all. They had to sit their freshman year out or they are freshmen, so it’s a pretty young team.”

“You grind, you grind, you grind, and sometimes the fun kind of gets sucked out of it when you don’t get to compete,” M-G coach T.J. Herniak agreed. “It’s nights like these that makes it all worth it.”

Emma Ewer

Madison-Grant's Emma Ewer wins the 100 dash as the Argylls hosted Daleville and Bluffton on Monday.

Don Knight | For The Herald Bulletin

Both teams also had impressive individual performances. For the Argylls, that came in the sprints.

Emma Ewer and Tanner Brooks swept the 100- and 200-meter dash races for the M-G girls and boys teams, respectively. Due to a timing error, Brooks’ 100 time was not available, but he ran a 22.76 in the 200. Ewer’s times in both races — 12.80 in the 100  and 26.77 in the 200 — were solid early season times, and -- according to Herniak -- put the junior within reach of both school records.

“Those two are definitely elite-level athletes, and they’re going to be at the top of our teams all season long,” Herniak said.

Although he did not add a third win, Brooks added some excitement in the meet’s final event, the 4x400 relay. Running the anchor leg, Brooks was about 50 meters back of the Bluffton frontrunner when he was handed the baton. Coming out of the final turn, he closed the gap to 20 meters but just ran out of time to catch the leader.

Tanner Brooks

Madison-Grant's Tanner Brooks places second with this jump of 17' 10.25" as the Argylls hosted Daleville and Bluffton on Monday.

Don Knight | For The Herald Bulletin

“He’s just one of those kids who has God-given talent,” Herniak said. Another Argyll with two wins who just missed a third was Azmae Turner. She cleared five feet on the high jump and posted a winning leap of 14-foot-9 in the long jump. She was also leading the 400 meters but was overtaken with 20 meters to go by Bluffton’s Alysha Robles and had to settle for second.

“Azmae is one of those kids that, with her, it’s all about confidence,” Herniak said. “When she’s confident, my goodness, she can beat anybody.”

Gabe Wedmore added another Argylls victory in the discus with a throw of 134-3, more than 30 feet better than teammate Kahne Jones in the runner-up spot.

The Broncos earned a pair of individual wins — one for each team.

Owen O’Donell took the 400-meter dash in 59.26 to edge David Kahn of Bluffton and Brent Stone of Madison-Grant.

“He’s kind of been our jack-of-all-trades. He’s our utility guy,” Yencer-Sargent said. “He’s going to do anything we need him to do, always happily I might add. He’s a great asset.”

After an outstanding cross country season, junior Olivia Covert added a win near the end of the meet when she took the 3,200 in 13:46.80, outdistancing runner-up Mary Mayfield of M-G by nearly two minutes.

“She came off a really nice year in cross country and ran right into track,” YencerSargent said. “She’s another kid who the attitude is just outstanding.”

The final team standings in the girls' event had Bluffton out in front with 89 points, followed by the Argylls with 34 and the Broncos with 28.

The order was the same in the boys' competition as Bluffton scored 80, Madison-Grant 56, and Daleville 25.

The Broncos host Elwood on Wednesday while the Argylls visit Mississinewa on April 13.

Madison-Grant Tops Delta, Falls to Alex

Madison-Grant Tops Delta, Falls to Alex By Scott Hunt

April 6, 2021

Madison-Grant’s Daya Greene

Madison-Grant’s Daya Greene prepares for a bunt attempt in the Argylls’ 5-3 loss at Alexandria on Saturday. M-G started the opening day with an 11-8 win over Delta.

Scott Hunt | For Chronicle-Tribune

Alexandria — The pop of a ball going into a leather glove and ringing off an aluminum bat filled the air for the first time in nearly two years Saturday afternoon when the Madison-Grant softball team got its season started with a pair of games at Alexandria.

The Argylls split games in the impromptu doubleheader, earning an 11-8 win over Delta in the first before falling, 5-3 to the host Tigers in the second.

“We haven’t played games for 16 months and just to be playing is a big deal,” said M-G’s head coach Travis Havens, who officially entered his second season leading the program, but coached his first game after the entire 2020 spring campaign was canceled by the IHSAA and COVID-19.

“We won a game, had a chance to win both games,” Havens added. “It’s bittersweet I guess, good to be playing but stinks to lose.”

However, the loss to Alex, a Central Indiana Conference rival for M-G, doesn’t count in the league standings. The Argylls and Tigers are scheduled to meet again for their CIC game on May 4 in Alexandria. The two could potentially meet another time in the Madison County tournament in a little more than a week.

Dropping the game to Alex didn’t hurt the Argylls in any manner but pride and in the way it happened.

Madison-Grant second baseman Sarah Duncan

Madison-Grant second baseman Sarah Duncan makes a throw to first in the Argylls' game at Alexandria on Saturday.

Scott Hunt | For Chronicle-Tribune

After Alexandria scored a run in the first inning to take a quick lead, M-G collected four of its six hits in the fourth inning moved in front, 2-1 after an RBI single by Daya Greene and a two-out RBI double from Sydney Lee.

Greene reached on a two-out single in the sixth inning, stole second base, and scored Makennah Clouse’s single to extend the Argylls’ lead to 3-1.

However, six of Alexandria’s nine hits came consecutively in the sixth inning and the Tigers scored four runs, two on a one-out triple by Tristen Dunn. Madisyn Standridge retired the Argylls in order in the seventh to close out the game.

Sophomore Elizabeth Lee pitched four innings against Delta and all six against Alexandria and accounted herself very well, especially considering it was her first varsity outing. Junior Chelsea Parker also made her first varsity appearance and twirled three innings in the first game.

“We had a plan of using two pitchers both games. We got into a situation we were playing well and (Lee) was throwing well and we felt good about what we were doing,” Havens said. “We decided to leave her in and maybe we left her in too long, basically being first and second games of the season.

“We discussed lots of different scenarios. I don’t know when we play them again if Lee will pitch or Parker or anybody else,” he added. “We don’t have a pitcher that pitched today that had ever pitched a varsity inning. The three pitchers we were considering using had never pitched a varsity game.”

Greene had two of M-G’s seven hits against Alexandria. The sophomore also stole two bases, scored twice, and drove in a run in her first varsity experience. Junior Gracey Fox had a double for the Argylls.

Madison-Grant rapped out 14 hits in its win against Delta.

Junior Chelsea Bowland went 4-for-5, scored twice, and had an RBI. Seniors Zoey Barnett and Sarah Duncan along with Greene all had two hits apiece. Barnett had two doubles and four RBI, Duncan, Greene, and Sydney Lee also had doubles. Sophomore Katie Duncan had a hit and three RBI.

Sydney Lee, Bowland, and Clouse all had two stolen bases each against Delta and the Argylls collected nine in the two games.

“I’m pleased, not pleased to lose ever, but we can play,” Havens said. “If we play a little cleaner, I felt good that we manufactured a few runs, that’s just what we’re going to do. We’ve got some kids that can hit it out of the park but more times than not we're going to have to get a base runner and move her then a base hit scores her. We did some of that, not enough.

“We brought 15 kids and each one of them could have found their way into the lineup,” he added. “We didn’t play last year so all the stuff we’re learning about each other, learning about our kids, about our coaching, by not having last year we could have figured all this out. Everybody is in the same situation. We’ve got several kids playing for us that haven’t played for 16 months. We’ve got potential. If we clean some things up, we’ll compete.”

Madison-Grant (1-1) visits Eastern on Wednesday then opens its home schedule Thursday against Marion at 5:00 p.m.

M-G Outlines Plans for ESSER Funds

M-G Outlines Plans for ESSER Funds by Tim Tedeschi

April 5, 2021

The long school layoff due to the stay at home order and then returning to school in the midst of the pandemic will have long-lasting effects on students, and Madison-Grant United School Corporation is planning to use federal funding to help address these ongoing issues.

Superintendent Scott Deetz said the district knew social-emotional support for students and families would need to be a major focus as the pandemic progressed.

“A lot of our families are under additional stress...and that stress, no matter what the family does to prevent it, does trickle down to their kiddos,” Deetz said. M-G received approximately $187,000 through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) initial allocation when the first CARES Act passed last spring. The district used the funds to hire one new social worker in each of the elementary school buildings, as well as an additional custodian to keep up enhanced cleaning protocols, Deetz said.

“That additional help has been tremendous from the standpoint of seeing students who might be falling behind in their studies or might be having some behavioral issues in the classroom,” he said. “And so being able to have extra sets of hands to keep track of the kids and to be able to follow their journey through school has been a tremendous help in our school corporation and identifies needs much sooner before the child falls too far behind.”

As a result of the second CARES Act passed in late 2020, M-G will be receiving an additional approximate $850,000 through ESSER II, with more funding expected past that as the result of the American Rescue Plan passed this spring.

Deetz said the district plans to continue to use the funds to pay for the additional social workers and a custodian into the next school year. In addition, he said they will use the funds for a “much more robust” kindergarten roundup, including a prekindergarten program this summer, expanded summer school offerings for K–12 students, and transportation for students to attend these opportunities.

With students learning from home for the whole last quarter of the 19–20 school year, and many students this year out for several weeks at a time due to quarantining or isolating, Deetz said academic achievement is not at the same pace as expected. To combat this, Deetz said they plan to use the ESSER II and subsequent funds to hire an additional certified teacher at each building solely focused on identifying and delivering interventions for students in need.

“Right now we have our principals coordinate with classified or non-teaching staff who develop student supports,” Deetz said. “We are going to ramp that up and dedicate a full-time certified position to help deliver those services. So they will coordinate the testing efforts, communicate with teachers, deliver supports ... So we’re ramping up those interventions to be able to help close those gaps that developed during COVID.”

Deetz said they are also using ESSER funds to pay for teachers’ additional work with virtual students this year and for additional courses that were purchased for virtual high school students. All M-G employees are also expected to receive an across-the-board stipend for their work serving students throughout the pandemic, and the M-G board was scheduled to consider the stipend at its Monday night board meeting.

“There have been additional duties each and every day to perform those functions safely, and so we are delivering an additional stipend to all staff members for that,” Deetz said.

The ESSER funds are particularly helpful, Deetz said, because schools are not required to present their plan for the entire allocation amount before receiving the funds. Plans can change and be submitted as the district determines how to best use the money through September 2023, he said.

“We truly appreciate these dollars that are coming in because it will help address the after-effects of a pandemic,” Deetz said. “We will be experiencing the impact of the spring of 2020 and the summer of 2020 for years to come, and by providing these resources to schools with the focus on interventions and programs to help you know bridge those gaps that we’re already seeing is a tremendous help.”

Deetz said he is proud that Madison-Grant has been able to stay open in person five days a week all school year and credited staff, students, and parents for being faithful to protocols and administrators collaborating and communicating well.

“We will be glad when we’re on the other side of the pandemic, but awfully proud of the efforts we put in place to serve our kids and our community throughout this time, and we just appreciate their trust and support that they’ve delivered time and time again,” he said. 

Argylls Look for Successful Spring Return

Argylls Look for Successful Spring Return Rob Hunt The Herald Bulletin
April 1, 2021

Madison-Grant’s Chelsea Bowland runs to catch a ball hit in the right-field foul territory in 2019

Madison-Grant’s Chelsea Bowland runs to catch a ball hit in the right-field foul territory in 2019.

Bob Hickey | For The Herald Bulletin

Fairmount — Despite the cancellation of the 2020 spring sports season, optimism is high at Madison-Grant. The coaches are hoping momentum from the successes and improvements seen in 2019 can carry over into 2021.

The track-and-field team sent two athletes to the state finals, and the girls tennis team shared the Central Indiana Conference championship. The Argylls baseball team showed signs of improvement as a program, and with the development of pitching talent, that is a trend that could continue.

The M-G softball and boys golf teams will feature new coaches, and the ladies return plenty of talent along with an influx of new talented athletes to continue their tradition of excellence on the diamond.


Head Coach: Scott Haley (fifth season); 2019: 7-14; Key Loss: Gage Davis; Key Returning Players: Nick Evans, Cole Hasty, Justin Moore, Chad Harbert, Mason Richards, Brayden Shoemaker; Newcomers to Watch: Maddox Beckley, Teagan Yeagy, Gavin Kelich, Ty Evans, Maverick Miller, Seth Lugar; Potential Breakout: Shoemaker

Outlook: “I’m cautiously optimistic that we can be a very good team,” Haley said in an email. “(I) feel like pitching will be a strength led by Nick Evans, with Cole Hasty, Teagan Yeagy, Brayden Shoemaker and Maddox Beckley seeing plenty of time on the mound. This group of kids have worked extremely hard and been great leaders, and I am confident that they will have a fun and successful season.”

Boys Golf

Head Coach: Todd Butcher (first season); Key Losses: Jonah Johnson; Key Returning Player: Derek Eastburn; Newcomers to Watch: Jackson Thompson, Corbin Fox, Soren Price, Sam Thompson, Jacob Moore, Brady Shields

Outlook: ”We are just concentrating on trying to get a little better individually each day so we can try to put a competitive team on the course,” Butcher said in an email.

Madison-Grant’s Hannah Ogden scores for the Argylls in a 2018 game against Elwood.

Madison-Grant’s Hannah Ogden scores for the Argylls in a 2018 game against Elwood.

David Humphrey | For The Herald Bulletin

Girls Tennis

Head Coach: Tony Pitt  (season 15); 2019: 15-7, CIC co-champions; Key Losses: Kasey Cleaver, Kayla Comer, Sidney Presnall; Key Returning Players: Abbie Hostetler, Nancy Chapel, Naomi Haynes; Newcomers to Watch: Jess Martin, Alexa Counceller, Mya Stansberry, Shannandoah Hill

Outlook: “We don’t return anybody with varsity experience,” Pitt said. “Our goal is to improve each time we take the court. We look forward to getting a chance to compete this season.”


Head Coach: Travis Havens (second year); 2019: 14-11; Key Losses: Morgan Conliff; Key Returning Players: Zoey Barnett, Sarah Duncan, Hannah Ogden, Chelsea Bowland, Chelsea Parker, Gracey Fox, Zoe Hartisch; Newcomers to Watch: Sydney Lee, Carmen Enyeart, Katie Duncan, Elizabeth Lee, Makennah Clouse, Daya Greene, Maegan Wilson, Maddy Moore; Potential Breakout: Bowland, Sarah Duncan, Elizabeth Lee, Katie Duncan

Outlook: “We feel like, potentially, we should have a chance to win every game we play all season long,” Havens said. “Like everybody else, the success of our team will be about how solid our pitching and defense can be, along with some timely hitting.”

Track and Field

Head coach: T.J. Herniak; 2019: State qualifiers (shot put) Payton Freel and A.J. Jones; Key Losses: Freel, Jones, Sinjin Turner, McKenna Lugar; Key Returning Athletes: Emma Ewer, Azmae Turner, Bailey Freel, Gabe Wedmore; Newcomers to Watch: Tanner Brooks, Caleb Ewer, Patrick Deckard, Bri McGibbon; Potential Breakout: Turner, Brooks

Outlook: “This year we will be looking to improve our overall team performance while highlighting some of our outstanding individual athletes,” Herniak said in an email. “We have multiple athletes on both the boys and girls teams that could have outstanding individual seasons. We look to build on the success of our 18-19 season after losing the 19-20 season to COVID-19 and continue to build a competitive program.”

Madison-Grant Board Opposes State Voucher Expansion, ESA Creation

Madison-Grant Board Opposes State Voucher Expansion, ESA Creation by Tim Tedeschi

March 18, 2021

The Madison-Grant school board joined a growing number of boards and districts across the state formalizing their opposition to proposed changes to school funding being considered in the legislature.

At Monday’s regular meeting, the board approved a resolution stating its opposition to bills that expand the state’s voucher program and establish education savings accounts (ESAs), specifically outlined in House Bill 1005 and Senate Bill 413.

Legislators are considering approximately $378 million of additional education funding in this biennial budget, but projections show nearly $144 million of that total could go to an expansion of the state’s voucher program for private schools and for the creation of ESAs.

Superintendent Scott Deetz read the resolution into the record prior to the board’s vote, which stated the board believes the general assembly should not create an ESA program or expand vouchers but should instead “continue to promote and fully invest in Indiana’s public schools.”

The resolution states instead of the voucher and ESA programs, the additional investment should go to public education because it is designed “to serve all children.” Specifically, the resolution calls for increased funding for teachers’ salaries in accordance with the recommendations from the Governor’s Teachers Compensation Commission report from December 2020.

“...Public schools are required to operate in an open and transparent way with all expenditures and decision making,” Deetz read from the resolution. “Non-public schools are not held to that same public standard...Indiana already has school choice in the form of open enrollment, charter schools, and virtual online schools and the choice scholarship program.”

The Oak Hill school board passed a similar resolution last week, and Mississinewa’s school board also passed a resolution opposing voucher expansion and ESA creation at its regular meeting Monday.

In other business, Deetz told the board plans are moving forward for non-profit primary and behavioral health care provider Aspire Indiana Health to purchase and occupy the former M-G administration building on the junior/senior high school campus. The district moved out of the building and it is currently vacant after renovations to the junior/senior high.

Deetz said the district filed for rezoning of the building Monday and will appear with Aspire at the next Grant County Board of Zoning Appeals meeting on April 5 to seek approval for the re-zoning. In the meantime, school nurses, social worker,s and counselors have been meeting to brainstorm ways Aspire’s nearby services can be leveraged and taken advantage of by district students, Deetz said.

“After spring break, Aspire will begin joining the virtual sessions so we can begin meeting and working on those processes on how to arrange for services for everybody,” Deetz said. “And so we’re looking forward to getting some of those things going before summer gets away from us.”

M-G OKs Contract for Permanent Virtual Option

M-G OKs Contract for Permanent Virtual Option by Tim Tedeschi

February 24, 2021

Madison-Grant will begin offering a long-term virtual schooling option this fall after reaching an agreement with virtual learning business ACCEL Schools.

The M-G school board approved the contract Monday following several months of research and negotiations. At a previous school board meeting in January, Superintendent Scott Deetz said the current pandemic-induced virtual option the district offers is unsustainable as it includes in-person classroom teachers doing extra work for additional stipends.

“ACCEL schools is a virtual education provider for public charter and private schools throughout the country, and actually they run some versions of this model around the world,” Deetz told the board Monday. “We felt like this opportunity to continue to provide a virtual education to our Madison-Grant students is really wrapped up by the 10.5 percent of our student body that’s enrolled in it right now.”

Deetz said the district formed a committee consisting of administrators, parents whose children are currently learning virtually, virtual classroom teachers, and Board President Mary Jo Brunt to research and discuss the potential partnership with ACCEL and other partner schools that have set up similar models. The committee voted unanimously to recommend that the school board approve the partnership, he said.

Under the agreement, the district will create up to three virtual schools, proposed to be named the Virtual Preparatory Academy of Indiana at Madison-Grant, which highlights that it’s a virtual offering available only to Indiana students with M-G serving as the partner school. Deetz said one K–12 school could be formed, or the schools could be broken up by primary, intermediate, and high school grades.

Deetz said the new virtual school would be able to serve special education, Title I, and English as a second language students and will follow all state requirements for curriculum, assessments, and teacher certifications and evaluations.

While M-G is not investing any of its financial resources to get the new school(s) started, Deetz said ACCEL will receive the majority of the basic tuition money the state provides to public schools for the number of students enrolled in the virtual option, based on the Average Daily Membership (ADM) state calculation.

Students enrolled in virtual learning currently receive 85 percent of the full basic tuition amount for a student attending in-person classes, Deetz said. M-G will receive 4.25 percent of the total amount based on the virtual ADM for oversight of the virtual learning.

Deetz said the school district will still be in charge of verifying data and reports, facilitating State Board of Accounts audits, and ensuring special education and Title I education is functioning properly.

“Now ACCEL has all those departments and staff members dedicated to that, so they will prepare everything. But it’s still passed in front of us,” Deetz said. “So in our internal controls, we need to verify that everything is still correct and running appropriately and then it passes in front of you as the board, because that’s where the oversight fees come in.”

Attorneys for the district have worked to minimize the risk to M-G, Deetz said, but as in any business venture, there is some amount of risk involved on both sides. Though it will not be a financial investment, he said Madison-Grant still has an important part to play in getting the school up and running.

“Our responsibility is to become a knowledgeable partner and help our ACCEL partners come in and make a smooth transition into the Indiana education landscape,” Deetz said. “Because the healthier that the ACCEL schools are, the healthier our partnership is...We do have a human capital output at the beginning to help make sure that this transition goes well.”

The initial agreement calls for a five-year partnership between the district and ACCEL with a planned scaled growth over that time to ensure the program’s quality, Deetz said. After the initial five years, there is language in the contract to allow the partnership to be renewed ten years at a time twice more, for a possible total length that the original agreement could run for 25 years.

Board member Ronald Stewart asked about language in the agreement that states the district needs to give notice of its intent to continue with the partnership 18 months prior to the end of the first five-year term, wondering about the process if the district does not want to continue.

Deetz said information regarding the virtual school will be regularly delivered to administrators and the school board, so any issues could be addressed as the contract continues. When it comes time to give notice of an intent to continue, he said it would most likely take the form of a recommendation from the administration voted on by the board whether to move forward or end the partnership.

“There are different scenarios in which would qualify us to be able to request an exit strategy, both for ACCEL and for us the school district,” Deetz said. “If the relationship is not working out like either one of us expected, there is language in here for a mutually agreeable separation as well.”

The contract also allows for the possibility of good faith renegotiation on certain aspects at any time if needed, Deetz said. He said this could cover any number of areas, including potentially renegotiating the percentage of the tuition money the district receives for oversight if the ACCEL school’s ADM skyrockets.

Summitville Elementary Receives Kindness Certification

Summitville Elementary Receives Kindness Certification by Garrett McDowell Chronicle-Tribune

February 22, 2021

For the second consecutive year, Madison-Grant’s Summitville Elementary School has received a kindness certification from The Great Kindness Challenge, a bullying prevention initiative that aims to improve school climate and increase student engagement.

As outlined on its website, The Great Kindness Challenge is one week devoted to performing as many acts of kindness as possible on a school campus. In 2020, more than 28,000 schools participated in The Great Kindness Challenge across 110 countries.

“Using the provided checklist of 50 kind acts, students accept the challenge and show the world that kindness matters,” the website states.

While originally scheduled for last week, the severe weather postponed Summitville’s Great Kindness Challenge to this week.

Even when it is not the week of The Great Kindness Challenge, Summitville Principal Jackie Samuels said she makes it a point to conclude each morning’s announcement message with a key phrase: “Work hard and be kind.”

By participating in The Great Kindness Challenge, the school has been able to apply this lesson by teaching its students ways they can implement this mantra.

"We’re just really bringing awareness to what it looks like to be kind,” Samuels said.

This week of kindness has also impacted the school’s curriculum as teachers have implemented lessons of kindness to teach the students.

“We’re really hitting a lot of conversational pieces to build language skills,” Samuels said. “Our social-emotional lessons and kindness week have given us lots to talk about. That is important to us.”

Tammy Atchison, Summitville Elementary social worker, has been one of the primary orchestrators of this week of kindness.

To create a unifying theme throughout the week, Atchison turned toward Disney to provide a template for various lessons, games, and dress-up days for the kids to participate in titled “Kindness is Magical.”

Throughout this week, Summitville Elementary will be sponsoring a Toy Story-themed toy drive which will benefit the Summitville Police Department. The drive will collect comfort items, toys that police officers give to children involved in domestic or traumatic incidents.

Atchison said she hopes learning the importance of kindness will provide the students with a foundation that will pay off later in life.

“Developing good character is going to let them be more apt to be successful in and out of school and the workplace,” Atchison said. “... Learning to treat others with respect, caring for others and not just thinking about ourselves, but realizing that we can be kind without it costing us anything - a simple word or a simple act can change or impact someone in a great way.”

Third Quarter Explosion Lifts Argylls Past Comets

Third Quarter Explosion Lifts Argylls Past Comets by Rob Hunt The Herald Bulletin

February 20, 2021

FAIRMOUNT - Coming off a one-point win the previous night over Lapel, it was not a surprise Madison-Grant (M-G) struggled early offensively as it missed its first nine field goal attempts.

“Coming in to it, I thought our conditioning was good, so I wasn’t worried about the physical part, but I thought the mental may have been where we just needed to take a breath,” Argylls coach Kevin Cherry said. “The shots we got were good looks. Maybe we rushed a couple. I’ll look at that on film.”

But, while the Argylls found their legs offensively, the defense did not allow Eastern to build an insurmountable lead.

In its final home game of the season, it was fitting one of the team’s seniors finally put the first ball through the basket.

Jackson Manwell connected on consecutive 3-point baskets to get M-G on the board, and the talented guards of the Argylls took over the game with an explosive third quarter paving the way for a 56-38 win over the Comets.

The win was the fourth in row for Madison-Grant (18-3) and the ninth win in 10 games. The Comets fell to 11-8.

“That’s what makes us competitive and hard to scout. We go eight deep on legit scorers,” he said. “If one of us has a down night, somebody else will pick them up. That’s when we’re at our best.”

For much of the first half, Manwell was assisted in the scoring department by senior forward Justin Moore. Finishing with a game-high 15 points, Moore gave the Argylls the lead for good when he scored at the first-quarter buzzer for a 13-11 advantage.

“I thought Justin took it to another level tonight, and he’s capable of that,” Cherry said.

Nursing a five-point lead at halftime, seniors Grant Brown and Kaden Howell and sophomore Jase Howell took over the game from their guard positions in the second half.

A pair of free throws from Eastern’s Evan Monize pulled the Comets within 28-24 early in the third, and that was the closest they got.

After a rebound basket by Moore, Jase Howell grabbed a rebound and hit his older brother for a transition layup and a foul. After Kaden hit the free throw for a 33-24 lead, he moved into second place on the Argylls all-time scoring list.

Grant Brown then followed with a three-point basket before Monize, who led the Comets with 14 points, paused the onslaught with a score in the lane.

But it continued with a Kaden Howell steal Brown converted for a layup, and Manwell followed with another trey. Then a Jase Howell steal led to the first of two Kaden Howell layups which were sandwiched around a Moore basket. By the time the third quarter was over so was the game as the Argylls had built a 21-point lead.

“Those guys have tremendous team chemistry,” Cherry said.

Brown scored 14 points along with nine rebounds, and Kaden Howell scored 13 points. While Jase Howell scored just one field goal, he handed out eight assists.

The event was billed as a white out to kick off a week of celebrating the life of coach Kyle Guenther who passed away suddenly last February. There will be a week of fundraisers for a scholarship fund in Guenther’s name.

Madison-Grant closes out its season Tuesday at Monroe Central after finding out Sunday who and when they play the following week at the Blackford sectional.

The Argylls jumped out to a double-digit lead early in the junior varsity game and cruised to a 46-28 win over the Comets. Sophomore Peyton Southerland paced M-G with 14 points.

Argylls Rout Alex for First-Ever Outright CIC Title

Argylls Rout Alex for First-Ever Outright CIC Title by Scott Hunt Chronicle-Tribune

February 12, 2021

Grant Brown dives by Alexandria's Owen Harpe

Madison-Grant's Grant Brown dives by Alexandria's Owen Harpe in the first half of the Argylls' 60-37 win Friday night. Brown scored 29 points to help M-G clinch the CIC championship. He also surpassed the 1,000-point mark for his career.

Scott Hunt | The Chronicle-Tribune

ALEXANDRIA - Winning an outright conference championship is always a meaningful accomplishment, but it’s something a Madison-Grant (M-G) boys basketball had never done.

At least until Friday night.

Fueled by a big second half from senior Grant Brown and stingy team defense, the class 2A number 10 Argylls earned a 60-37 win over Alexandria and finished their Central Indiana Conference schedule with a perfect 7-0 record.

M-G boys teams had shared the CIC championship five times since the school joined the league in 1969, but the 2020–2021 Argylls are the first to have only their finger prints on the coveted conference hardware.

“I’m just really happy for the community. The community, our senior class, the administration, there are so many people that have poured into these kids other than me obviously,” said M-G’s first year coach Kevin Cherry. “I’m just happy for everybody.

“To complete this conference run without a loss is a pretty special accomplishment,” he continued. “You think about the players we’ve played and the coaches we’ve gone against, if you run the table in the CIC you’ve had a pretty successful year. I’m just really proud of all our guys. Grant getting his 1,000th point, really special.”

To make sure the Argylls' championship cake was properly iced, Brown scored 21 of his game-high 29 points in the second half including the 1,000th of his career midway through the fourth quarter.

Brown and the Argylls started the night slowly on the offensive end. He was 3 of 12 and M-G hit just 7 of 21 in a low scoring first half.

However, Brown's sensational second half included an 8 of 8 shooting performance from the field and a 14 point third quarter that allowed M-G to seize total control.

“A lot of us, especially me in the first half, we just weren’t hitting shots,” Brown said. “Recently I’ve been in a shooting slump, and I just went into the locker room at halftime and fixed my mechanics mentally and gained that confidence.

“I went out in second half, drove in got layups to fall, then just expanded out to the three. Got my confidence back and was able to hit those shots.”

Alexandria controlled the pace of play in the opening quarter while Madison-Grant struggled to find its shooting touch in a 2 of 11 performance from the field. The Tigers also limited the Argylls to just one shot and edged out to an 8-5 lead after one.

The slower pace remained to the home team’s liking for much of the second quarter as well, but the Argylls defense made it tough for the Tigers to find shots. Alexandria took just three shots and committed six turnovers in the quarter but still led 12-10 after Jagger Orick’s bucket 4:30 before halftime.

Those would be Alexandria’s last points until early in the third quarter.

Lance Wilson’s 12-foot jumper tied the game at 12, then Kaden Howell, Brown, and Jase Howell all scored a basket in the final 2:10 to send the Argylls to intermission with a 18-12 lead.

“With our offensive struggles and not hitting shots in that first quarter, our defense kept us in a position to still be ahead,” Cherry said. “Our defense was really good. We were locked in on our assignments, the scheme we came in wanting to implement. I thought we did that really pretty flawlessly for 32 minutes.”

M-G’s defense remained constant while its offense caught fire very quickly in the third quarter.

Brown started the scoring with a layup just 20 seconds in then after Kole Stewart answered with a bucket for Alex, Brown hit consecutive three pointers. The Argylls forced two more turnovers that were converted into a bucket by Jase Howell and a pair of free throws for Brown.

In under four minutes Madison-Grant’s lead swelled to 30-14.

Alexandria made just 2 of 9 field goal attempts, had six more turnovers in the third, and M-G carried a 43-18 lead into the final eight minutes.

Brown’s driving, left-handed finish with 4:13 remaining extended Madison-Grant’s lead to 57-21, the largest of the game, and moved him into the 1,000-point club. He joined teammate and classmate Kaden Howell who reached the milestone in the Grant Four championship in late December.

“We grew up playing together and it’s awesome, just the brotherhood and connection that me and Kaden have created over the years. How close we are,” Brown said. “It’s awesome that we’ve both accomplished that goal in the same year with each other."

Madison-Grant finished 23 of 45 (51%) from the field after a 16 of 24 (67%) performance in the second half. The Argylls made 2 of 10 from long range in the first two quarters then hit 4 of 8 over the final two.

“That first quarter, it really started kinda how I thought it might. They wanted to control tempo, and I begged our guys, let’s don’t settle for threes,” Cherry said. “At halftime we talked about let’s stop settling. It’s more fun to score then go play defense than to get a quick shot and have to go guard for a minute and a half.”

Jase Howell finished with nine points for M-G, and Kaden Howell added seven points on 3 of 5 shooting. Jackson Manwell scored five, Justin Moore had four points, Seth Lugar added three, Wilson finished with two, and Chad Harbert scored one.

Orick led Alexandria with 10 points.

The Argylls limited the Tigers to a 13 of 34 (38%) shooting performance, but six of Alexandria’s field goals came in the fourth quarter when M-G had the game well in hand. Alex also committed 19 turnovers.

“We knew on both sides of the ball we were going to have to work hard every play. We knew we were gonna be limited on possessions,” Brown said. “We knew on defense we had to execute and get stops, then go down on offense and execute on that end to score and get up and just go all out to stop them.”

Argylls Top Eagles for CIC-Title Share

Argylls Top Eagles for CIC-Title Share by Kevin Helfrich

January 30, 2021

CONVERSE – Before the season even began, first-year Madison-Grant boys’ basketball coach Kevin Cherry expected his senior-laden team to be conference champions.

Flip the calendar forward a few months and the Argylls had positioned themselves for such a moment.

Just two days after knocking off Class 2A 7th-ranked Blackford and Luke Brown in a battle for first place, M-G visited county-rival Oak Hill, a place the Argylls hadn’t won a regular-season game since Nov. 24, 2004.

From the opening tip, the 2A 11th-ranked Argylls controlled and frustrated the Golden Eagles on their way to a 60-41 victory Friday evening, clinching at minimum a share of the CIC crown.

“Really proud of our guys for coming in here and accomplishing that after a really good win for us on Wednesday,” said an elated Cherry. “This could have been an opportunity to maybe come in and maybe have a little bit of a letdown. Instead, it was just the opposite. I thought we came out really focused, locked in defensively, and made some shots early.”

For the first time all season, Oak Hill was playing in front of a home crowd that consisted of more than just parents. The 500 fans had barely settled into their seats before M-G raced to a 7-0 advantage on a Jase Howell opening drive, followed by a Justin Moore bucket and a Grant Brown 3-pointer.

“I was really, really impressed with Madison-Grant and the way they came out,” complimented Oak Hill coach Kevin Renbarger, whose team also lost at home in the Grant Four to the Argylls 51-35 a month ago. “You put in the idea they just played a high-level basketball game a couple nights ago for the lead in the conference and turn around and play a team that they handled very easily the last time. That says a lot about the senior leadership that they have and where the coach has this team going right now.”

M-G was just getting started as they connected on their first six shots to start the opening quarter, then stretched the lead to double-figures (17-5) for good after a Jackson Manwell 3-pointer.

Oak Hill went without a field goal for over 10-minutes in the first half, a stretch that began after a Kian Hite bucket at the 3:06 mark of the first quarter. It was Hite, who scored nine points in the half, that ultimately ended the drought when he sank a pair of buckets in the final minute of the second period. Hite's 3-pointer at the buzzer trimmed the Argylls' lead to 30-14 at the break.

Golden Eagle leading scorer Landon Biegel was unable to get going as the Argylls forced him into contested shots. The sophomore was held to just 1-of-7 shooting in the decisive first half before finishing with 11 points.

“We knew we had to come out with a lot of energy and put them away early,” commented Brown, who was assigned to guard Biegel. “Our focus was to contain (Landon Biegel) and to make it a struggle for them.”

And a struggle it was as the Golden Eagles, who made just 4-of-15 field goal attempts in the first half and shot just over 33-percent on the night (13-of-39).

M-G was never seriously threatened in the second half as the lead never dipped below 14 points (37-23) following a Matthew Strange 3-pointer in the third quarter.

Brown poured in a game-high 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting, as well as hitting all four free throw attempts while grabbing nine rebounds. Kaden Howell was next in line with 12 points.

“It is phenomenal,” said Jase Howell of playing with this core group. “They can all score it and do special things. I’ve grown up playing with them ever since I was young, so there is a lot of team chemistry there.”

While the Argylls are led primarily by seniors, the sophomore point guard Jase Howell has a motor that never stops. He chipped in 11 points and played tenacious on-the-ball defense.

“(Jase) brings something to our team that it frankly needed,” praised Cherry. “Just that sense of toughness. He competes every day like that in practice and in every drill, and that rubs off on those other guys.”

Hite paced Oak Hill with 13 points.

Madison-Grant won going away in the JV contest 50-28. Teagan Yeagy led the way with 13 points for the Argylls. Evan Pearce registered nine points for Oak Hill.

Madison-Grant improved to 13-2 on the year and remained perfect in league play at 6-0. The Argylls travel to Bluffton on Saturday. Looming in the distance is a Feb. 12 trip to Alexandria for a chance to earn their first outright CIC title.

“We are a confident bunch, and we should be,” Cherry said. “We have put a tremendous amount of work into our preparation. They are a senior-led group. So, they have been through these battles before.”

Oak Hill (9-6, 3-2 CIC) has a very short turnaround, traveling to Lapel on Saturday where the varsity tip has moved up to approximately 2:00 p.m.

M-G Overcomes Brown's 45 for CIC Win Over Blackford

M-G Overcomes Brown's 45 for CIC Win Over Blackford by Scott Hunt Chronicle-Tribune

Kaden Howell gains two points

Madison-Grant’s Kaden Howell dips under Blackford’s Luke Brown for two points in the second half of the Argylls’ 71-67 win Wednesday in Fairmount.

Scott Hunt | The Chronicle-Tribune

FAIRMOUNT — Containing Luke Brown has proven to be a difficult task for everyone through his four high school basketball seasons at Blackford.

It certainly was yet again Wednesday night at Madison-Grant, where Brown poured in 45 points in a dazzling array of long-distance shooting, but the Argylls were OK with it for the most part.

The game plan for M-G centered around defending Brown as best they could and trying to limit the other five Bruins that saw the floor from having good nights.

From that respect, it was mission accomplished for the Argylls.

Most importantly, though, M-G used a balanced offensive attack and flipped a six-point deficit with just over four minutes remaining with a 10-0 run that took less than two minutes.

The Class 2A No. 11 Argylls then held on down the stretch to earn a 71-67 win over the 2A No. 7 Bruins. M-G moved to 5-0 in the Central Indiana Conference and planted itself firmly in the driver’s seat for the CIC title.

“I challenged our kids like, let’s just see if we can go out and guard him,” said Madison-Grant coach Kevin Cherry, noting his Argylls might see Brown again in the sectional that is just over a month away. “Lets don’t try to get into let’s gimmick them or stuff like that. Let’s just go out and guard him and if (No.) 25  (Brown) gets 40, like he did, then maybe those other guys don’t go off too and we can still win the basketball game. That’s exactly what happened.

“He made some tough shots that were deep on the floor. When he gets a little rhythm dribble and gets it off the bounce, he’s tough to guard,” Cherry continued. “… As a team I thought we did a good job of knowing where he was. He got 10 more than his average, but I’ll trade him his 10 for our win.”

Four other Bruins combined to score 22 points. While Brown made 15-of-28 field goal attempts, 11-of-21 from 3-point range, his teammates were 8-of-24 overall and 4-of-11 from deep.

Madison-Grant’s Grant Brown took the assignment of guarding Luke Brown for much of the game, while Kaden Howell and Jase Howell each took some turns trying to slow him down as well.

“We knew Luke was going to come in here and get his,” Grant Brown said. “We were focused on those other guys, shutting them down, letting him get his and contain them. We just came out with energy. Our goal was to come out here and compete and win together.”

Ultimately, Madison-Grant’s balance and efficiency on offense, along with a 31-24 rebounding advantage, led to the win.

The Argylls shot 55 percent (27-of-49) from the field, made 7-of-14 from 3-point range and 10-of-12 free throws. M-G only surrendered three offensive rebounds to the Bruins.

Grant Brown and Justin Moore each scored 17 points. Jackson Manwell finished with 16 and Kaden Howell had 15. Jase Howell scored all six of his points in the second half. Grant Brown also handed out 13 assists out of M-G’s 22 assists, and Moore collected 14 rebounds.

Kaden Howell, Manwell, and Moore scored six points apiece in the first quarter as M-G outscored Blackford, 20-16, with all the Bruins’ points coming from Luke Brown.

Blackford tied the game at 25 and 27 before an 8-0 run by the Argylls eventually led to a 37-32 lead for M-G at halftime. Manwell scored 14 points in the first half and hit 4-of-5 shots from 3-point range. Luke Brown had 27 points at intermission.

Madison-Grant led for the first five minutes of the third quarter before a 13-2 run led to Blackford’s first lead of the game at 44-43. Luke Brown hit a 3-pointer to extend the Bruins’ lead to four before Manwell and Kaden Howell accounted for the final four points of the quarter and tied the game at 47 entering the final eight minutes.

Grant Brown made a 3-pointer and Moore converted a 3-point play in the first minute of the fourth quarter to give M-G a six-point advantage, but Luke Brown hit a trio of triples and scored 11 points in a 14-2 run for Blackford that had the Bruins leading 61-55 with 4:20 remaining.

“Coming into the game we knew it was going to be a game of runs. If they go on a run we’ve got to be able to withstand it and fight back against it,” said Kaden Howell. “That’s what happened in the fourth quarter. They went on probably their biggest run of the game and it was just we’ve got to respond.

“That was the mindset, we’ve got to respond, hold them to as little as possible during that run, then respond. That’s exactly what we did.”

Moore’s bucket started the 10-0 run and was followed by deuces from Grant Brown, Kaden Howell then Jase Howell. Grant Brown capped the run by making both ends of a one-and-one to give M-G a 65-61 lead with 2:05 to play.

Maxwell Wors’ field goal trimmed the M-G lead to two, but Grant Brown made two more free throws with 51 seconds left to keep the Argylls up 67-63.

After a pair of free throws by Jackson Wors again cut the M-G lead to two, Jase Howell calmly sank two free throws with 22.2 seconds remaining that made it 69-65.

Luke Brown scored Blackford’s final points with 12 seconds to go, but following a timeout, the Argylls executed an inbound play to perfection to clinch the win.

Grant Brown took the ball out under Blackford’s basket. Kaden Howell moved like he was prepared to set a screen, but took off to the opposite end of the floor. Brown delivered a long strike to the streaking Howell who converted the layup and sealed the win.

“We drew that play up knowing if they came out and lined up in a certain way, we were going to run it. If not, we had a different play drawn up,” Kaden Howell said. “They came out and lined up exactly how we thought they would so we ran it and it got me a wide-open layup. I’ll take it.”

“We knew they were going to be heavy pressuring us trying to keep it on this side of the court,” Grant Brown said. “As soon as I had a guy line up on me, that was our intention, to run that exact play. Once I  had a guy on me, we knew a full-court pass was going to be there for a layup so we just threw it and sealed the game.”

Though Madison-Grant (12-2) is in control of its CIC destiny, the Argylls still have work to do to clinch the title.

It starts Friday at Oak Hill, where a win would clinch at least a share. The Argylls finish their CIC schedule at Alexandria on Feb. 12.

Coming off such an emotional win to face a Grant County and CIC rival less than 48 hours later isn’t the easiest of scenarios for the Argylls, but Cherry believes his team will be ready when they get to Oak Hill.

“What we talked about just briefly there in the locker room (post game) was the word validate,” Cherry said. “We did something tonight because we won a home conference game. Our goal is be in a spot to win a conference and to do that I think you have to win your home, conference basketball games. That’s what we expect and we did that tonight.

“We want to validate. We want to play to a standard and not be so wrapped up in the wins and losses. So if we play to a standard at Oak Hill and do happen to get beat, then we can live with that.”