The eight teams that will head to Indianapolis next week for the state finals are set. A pair of Purdue targets will be among them as well, as both had big days in the semi-state round:
Homestead 90, South Bend Riley 69
Caleb Swanigan just won Mr. Basketball. The Homestead senior and McDonald's All-American (that Purdue is still heavily recruiting) had 40 points and 17 rebounds as Homestead won its first ever semi-state. They will try to do what their girl's team could not, as the Homestead ladies were the class 4A state runner-up this season.
Evansville Reitz 92, Richmond 75
Alex Stein had 27 points and BlakeRuckman had 18 as Reitz, the state's highest scoring team, ran past Richmond and will head to the state finals for the first time since 1951. A total of five Reitz players reached double figures, as their trapping full-court style was too much for a very quick Richmond team.
Griffith 51, Fort Wayne Dwenger 45
How is this for a story: In February Griffith was involved in a fight with Hammond during a game, and the IHSAA forced them to forfeit their final seven regular season games and banned them from the tournament. Just three days before the tournament a judge overturned the suspension, saying that it was too stiff of a penalty based on other similar events and punishments. Griffith was allowed back into the tournament despite not having even practiced for three weeks, and now they are on the state finals.
Guerin Catholic 64, Vincennes Lincoln 42
Guerin returns to the state finals after winning it all in Class 3A in 2012. Matt Holba led Guerin with 19 points and nine rebounds in the victory, and he played big minutes as a freshman ont heir championship team three years ago.
Frankton 47, Hammond Noll 45
Frankton is off to its first ever state finals with a close win over one of the better teams in Class 2A in recent history. Frankton has been knocking on the door for some time with 18 and 21 wins the last two seasons. They entered this tournament at No. 3 in the state and the highest rated team in the north half of the bracket.
Park Tudor 59, Linton-Stockton 43
No Kevin Ferrell, no Trevon Blueitt, no problem. The No. 1 team in class 2A is now going for an unprecedented fourth state championship in five years. Jaren Jackson, a Purdue target, had only five points, but he also had 7 blocked shots.
Marquette Catholic 55, Liberty Christian 54
Nick Fazekas and Marquette Catholic will play for a second straight state title after a narrow win over Liberty Christian. Marquette trailed 21-6 after one quarter, but fought back to win when Fazekas hit two free throws with 17.4 seconds left.
Barr-Reeve 56, Clay City 54
Marquette will face Barr-Reeve for the second straight season as the Viking won their semi-state rematch with Clay City. Like the north semi-state, it was late free throws that were the difference as Logan James hit two with 17 seconds left to give Barr-Reeve the win.