March Madness

By David Fong

March 23, 2014

By David Fong

Regional Sports Content Manager

Miami County experienced its own brand of March Madness the past few weeks.

While there were no local high school graduates playing in the NCAA Men’s Tournament, Miami County was well-represented in other tournaments as a trio of grads competed in their respective sports’ postseason NCAA tournaments.

Troy Christian graduates Ben Sergent and Zach Toal both saw their seasons and careers end recently for the University of Findlay and University of Missouri wrestling teams, respectively. Meanwhile, Tippecanoe High School graduate Breanna Stucke — now a junior at Wright State University — saw her season end in the women’s version of the “Big Dance.”

For Sergent, his career ended at Findlay with him capturing an NCAA Division II national championship in the 125-pound weight class. Sergent — who captured two state titles at Troy Christian — was a two-time All-American and a four-time Academic All-American at Findlay.

Toal saw his career end this past weekend in his fourth and final appearance at the NCAA Division I tournament this past weekend. Toal — competing at 165 pounds — dropped both of his matches at nationals. In the opening round, the three-time state champion was pinned by Northwesstern’s Pierce Harger in 3:31. In his consolation match, Nebraska’s Austin Wilson defeated Toal, 6-1.

Stucke came off the bench and grabbed one rebound in Wright State’s loss to Kentucky. The Raiders were making their first NCAA Women’s Tournament appearance.

Kortney Tackett

FAIRBORN — Tackett, a Tippecanoe High School graduate, is the starting catcher for the Wright State University softball team.

Tackett, a junior, has started all 22 of the Raiders’ games this season. She’s batting .140 with a pair of doubles. She’s tied for third on the team with seven runs batted in. She’s also scored a pair of runs this season.

Last season, Tackett saw action in 52 games with 50 starts. She had six multi-hit games with a three-hit game at Lipscomb for three RBI. She hit a home run against Cleveland State. She finished the season with four triples and three doubles, 11 runs and 16 RBI. She also recorded 236 put outs.

Chloe Shell

BLUFFTON — Shell, a Covington High School graduate and pitcher at Bluffton College, recently returned from Florida, earning Pitcher of the Week honors for the Heartland Athletic Conference. Shell, a three-year starter at Bluffton, earned the honor by throwing a no-hitter against St. John Fischer, which earned the No. 1 see in the NCAA Tournament last year.

Shell posted 4-2 record with six starts. She had a 1.62 earned run average in the tournament.

Shell also earned deans list honors last semester.