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IHSAA student committee hopes to bring awareness to Special Olympics

12:00 AM, Dec. 19, 2012 EST

The Indiana High School Athletic Association's Student Advisory Committee had been searching for a way to get involved with the community. The committee members believe they have arrived at the perfect fit with Special Olympics Indiana.

"We're athletes and we thought. 'Why not give back to other athletes,' " said committee president Ally Stein, a senior track and field athlete from Hamilton Southeastern. "We're going to raise awareness about Special Olympics, work with them and also raise money for them. It's a three-way attack."

The IHSAA and Special Olympics Indiana announced the partnership Monday and held a reception Tuesday. There are 18 committee members, nine seniors and nine juniors. Those students are working on fundraising at their schools and eventually plan to expand it to all the IHSAA schools.

"Our goal is to help Indiana send as many athletes as they can to the National Special Olympics in 2014," Stein said.

Mike Furnish, president and CEO of Special Olympics, added: "We have all kinds of optimism that this something that will really make a difference for the IHSAA and especially Special Olympics. Some of the kids will find us as a result (of the partnership)."

The SAC also provides feedback to the IHSAA, assists at awards ceremonies, plans and administers the annual Student Leadership Conference, is developing a Captain's Handbook and creates public service announcements to address good sportsmanship.

"We found a great partner in Special Olympics to teach some life lessons and that's the thing I'm most excited about it," IHSAA commissioner Bobby Cox said.

Mavunga sets mark

Brownsburg girls basketball coach Amy Brauman had a hand in breaking her own school record last week.

Stephanie Mavunga, her standout post player, scored 44 points in a 78-51 romp over Plainfield on Dec. 12 to break Brauman's single-game record of 41 set in 1991.

"I left her in a long enough to beat it. Can you believe that?" Brauman said with a laugh. "When she got 41, a couple of the girls on the bench said I should take her out so we just tie."

Brauman said Mavunga had been looking forward to breaking the record. Mavunga broke the record on a three-point play. The 6-4 North Carolina recruit then scored 39 in the Bulldogs' 75-72 victory at Noblesville on Saturday. Mavunga is averaging 26.4 points for the Bulldogs (6-2).

Fishers on rise

Fishers boys basketball coach Joe Leonard said he felt there was one key to beating then-Class 4A No. 1 Carmel.

"We knew we had to keep them off the 3-point line," Leonard said. "We weren't going to give up 3s. We had to make them beat us with two-point shots. At the end of day, they only hit four (3-pointers) so the boys executed the game plan well."

The host Tigers, who hit five 3-pointers, defeated the Greyhounds 63-57 on Friday night to improve to 4-3.

Leonard said his team came in the game with confidence after a 61-42 rout of Franklin Central on Dec. 8. In Fishers' previous outing, the Tigers lost to Warren Central 57-54 in overtime.

"We played really bad against HSE (an 81-61 loss in the season opener) and I told the kids. 'I refuse for this to be who we are and let this define us,' " Leonard said. "We have to do the same thing with a win. We have to treat it like we lost. If we go in there and lay an egg against Avon (on Friday), it's not going to look very good."

Senior guard Jaylon Brown, who has signed with Evansville, leads Fishers' balanced scoring attack with a 16.3 average, followed by C.J. Johnson (15.1), Devin Chaudion (11.1) and Sean Lonergan (10.0).



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