East, North could meet in tourney

Last spring, Columbus East renamed its baseball tournament the Lou Giovanini Invitational.

When the Olympians host the second Lou Giovanini Invitational on Saturday, it will be the first since his passing. Giovanini, who was East’s first basketball and baseball coach and was inducted into the Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame in January 2014, died of myeloid leukemia on Nov. 19.

“We’re honored to play in a tournament that bears coach Giovanini’s team,” Columbus North coach Ben McDaniel said. “I know he coached at East, but he meant a lot to Columbus baseball. I still hear stories about coach Giovanini.”

The Bull Dogs will play Richmond on the junior varsity field, and the Olympians will face East Central on the varsity field at 10 a.m. The championship and consolation games will start around 12:30 p.m., with the title game on the main field.

“The talent level of the teams is great, and it will be a good challenge this weekend,” McDaniel said.

If East (4-2) and North (6-1) meet, it would be the first of a possible three meetings between the two schools this season. They will square off May 6 at East and could see each other in the Bloomington North Sectional.

“East Central is always a solid sectional opponent, and there’s obviously a big rivalry with us and North,” East coach Jon Gratz said. “We’ll have another chance to kind of see where we are. We’re still working some things out, but I think in the long run, we have a chance to have a pretty good year.”

Eagles to host softball tourney

Three local softball teams will play in the Brown County Tournament on Saturday.

Hauser will face Brown County at 9 a.m., followed by Columbus North meeting Brownstown Central at around 11 a.m. The consolation game will be at 2 p.m., followed by the championship game around 4 p.m.

More All-Star Games for Patberg

Columbus North senior Ali Patberg will play in two more All-Star basketball games this weekend, beginning with the Jordan Brand Classic Friday night in Brooklyn, New York.

On Sunday, Patberg will play for the South in the annual North-South All-Star Classic at Indiana Wesleyan. The girls game begins at 2 p.m.

Patberg, who led the Bull Dogs to the Class 4A state title last month, played in the McDonald’s All-American Game and the South Central All-Star Game earlier this month. This year’s Indiana Miss Basketball, who is headed to Notre Dame, will lead the Indiana All-Stars in two games against the Junior All-Stars and two games against the Kentucky All-Stars in June.

North athletics director recognized

Columbus North athletics director Jeff Hester is being honored by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association. He will receive one of five Administrator of the Year awards at the IBCA’s April 24 clinic at Lawrence North.

“When you’re recognized by a coaches association for the work that you do, it’s humbling,” Hester said. “It’s a very nice honor. It’s a nice recognition by a nice group of people, but you don’t do this job for recognition.”

Hester is in his seventh year at North and has been a strong supporter of basketball, bringing updated lighting, sound system, scoreboards and locker rooms to Memorial Gym. The facility is currently undergoing renovation to replace the original floor and lower-level bleachers.

Hester has also brought several special basketball events to North, including an Indiana All-Star junior-senior exhibition, a Harlem Globetrotters game and Micah Lancaster’s “I’m Possible” Basketball Camp.

Prior to coming to North, Hester was a coach and assistant athletics director at Heritage Christian and was the Eagles’ AD from 2005-08. He became a Certified Athletic Administrator in 2009.

Basketball players commit

Two more area basketball players have announced their college decisions.

Columbus Christian senior Chris Noblitt will sign a letter-of-intent at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday to play basketball at Grace Bible College. Brown County’s Matt Adams signed this week to play at Anderson University.

North schedules athletic benefit

The Columbus North Athletic Benefit will be April 25 at Mill Race Center.

The festivities will begin at 7 p.m. with tailgate appetizers, a silent auction and cash bar. The live auction will start at 8:30 p.m., followed by entertainment by DJ Mike Owens from 9 to 11 p.m.

Athletic contests rescheduled

The Columbus East at Columbus North girls tennis match, which was rained out Monday, has been rescheduled for April 28.

Also, the upcoming Columbus North at Jennings County baseball game scheduled for Wednesday has been moved back a day to April 23.