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Honoring the best of Huntington's winter and spring seasons

SUPERLATIVES: Addy Wiley (left), Alex McCutcheon (top right), the Huntington North boys basketball team (middle right) and Meghan Fretz (bottom right) all earned spots on The Herald-Press’s superlatives list for the winter and spring Huntington sports seasons.

by Eric Andrews - eandrews@h-ponline.com

Many great plays, games, teams, individual performances and players highlighted the winter and spring sports seasons in Huntington. The Herald-Press would like to recognize its choices for the top play, game, team, individual performances and athlete for the second half of the 2018–19 school year.

Top play

Alex McCutcheon

Huntington University baseball

Game-ending "web-gem" catch

April 19 against St. Francis

With the Foresters comfortably ahead in the top of the seventh inning in the first game of a home Crossroads League doubleheader against St. Francis, McCutcheon put the cherry on top of an 11–0 victory with a showstopping, game-ending “web-gem” catch. Looking to break up McCutcheon’s complete-game shutout bid, St. Francis’s Jacob Nagy crushed a line drive up the middle with runners on first and second. However, McCutcheon had other ideas, flashing his glove to rob the Cougars of what likely would have been a run-scoring base hit and sealing the victory in the process. The play earned Nagy’s stamp of approval, as the St. Francis batter smirked and recognized McCutcheon’s great grab while walking off the field.

Top game

Huntington North boys basketball

March 2 against Wayne

Sectional championship

The Vikings finally snapped their 18-year Sectional championship drought by defeating Wayne on the Generals’ own court on March 2. Despite being the road team, Huntington North captured the title in front of a raucous crowd featuring a sea of red up to the rafters on one side of the gym. The Vikings rode the overwhelming support to a 51–40 net-cutting victory, which was also the 400th win of head coach Craig Teagle’s esteemed career, a fitting way to reach the milestone.

Top team

Huntington North boys basketball

Multiple program records and first Sectional title in 18 years

The 2018–19 season was nothing short of historic for the Vikings, setting multiple records en route to a memorable campaign. Huntington North’s 22 victories established a new program record for wins in a season, breaking the previous high of 20 wins, which the Vikings had accomplished on five occasions, with the last being in 1998–99. Huntington North also established a new record for wins in a regular season with 19, breaking the previous record of 18, last accomplished in the 2017–18 season. The team’s run in the postseason included their first Sectional title since 2001 before ultimately bowing out to Zionsville in the Regional tournament.

Top individual performances

Addy Wiley

Huntington North girls track and field

1,600 meter run state championship

June 1

Wiley became Huntington North’s first-ever track state champion, smashing records en route. Wiley’s state championship time of 4:46.93 obliterated the previous school record time of 4:54.88—setting a new personal record by default—and the previous Indiana freshman record of 4:51.88. According to both Wiley and coach Matt Ditzler, Wiley’s race execution was flawless, as Wiley followed closely behind Brownsburg’s Abigail Lynch for the first 1,500 meters of the race. However, as the duo, who were comfortably ahead of the rest of the field, came onto the final homestretch, Wiley reached into her reserves for one final kick, passing Lynch to take the crown. With her powerful final push, Wiley bested Lynch by 1.258 seconds to record the third-fastest time in Indiana history.

Meghan Fretz

Huntington University softball

No-hitter and 3 RBIs

April 1 against Bethel

Though Wiley’s state championship was certainly deserving of the top individual performance honor, Fretz’s effort on April 1 also warranted the recognition, therefore resulting in both earning the crown in the category. In the first game of a road Crossroads League doubleheader at Bethel, Fretz dominated in all facets of the game. While her 69-pitch no-hitter was impressive enough on its own, Fretz added a trio of RBIs—including two on a two-run home run in the sixth inning—to her remarkable outing. Fretz and the Foresters finished with a 4–0 win in the game.

Top athlete

Addy Wiley

Huntington North girls track and field

Not much needs to be said of an athlete who excelled as Wiley did on the track this spring. Wiley’s historic freshman season for the Vikings is something that may never be seen again in Indiana high school sports. While Wiley took the crown in the 1,600 meter run, she was not finished, as she finished seventh in the 800 meter run just under an hour later to earn another All-State honor. Despite her incredible showing at the State Finals, Wiley was not yet satisfied with her freshman season, instead wanting to see just how well she could perform in the 800. Wiley accomplished her goal by winning the Emerging Elite category of the 800 at the New Balance Nationals Outdoor meet in Greensboro, North Carolina, on June 16 by clocking in with a new personal-best and Indiana freshman girls record time of 2:10.15. Following the Nationals meet, Wiley ranked sixth nationally in the 800 meter run among freshmen and 58th overall among all high school girls nationwide, joining her No. 1 ranking nationally in the 1,600 meter run among freshmen and No. 17 ranking nationwide among all high school girls. Of course, Wiley’s success came after having already played for both the Vikings’ varsity girls soccer and girls basketball teams earlier in the school year, making her accomplishments on the track even more impressive.