The culmination of the Indiana HS basketball season was today at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The four state finalists were crowned and a couple of 2018 Purdue targets faced off in the 4A state championship game. Here is your quick recap of the day.
Liberty Christian 64, Bloomfield 45
The small private school near Anderson won its first state championship with a final record of 26-4. They also pretty much went wire-to-wire as the No. 1 team in class A. Their only challenging games in the tournament came int he regional, when they beat Seton Catholic and Desmond Bane by five and then Lafayette Central Catholic, with Jackson Anthrop, by 3.
In the title game Franklin Nunn had 19 points and Caleb Hardy had 14 as they dominated the fourth quarter. Liberty Christian led only 44-41 going into the fourth quarter, but outscored Bloomfield 20-4 int he final 8 minutes to win going away. In fact, Bloomfield scored with 7:22 left to cut it to 44-43, then only scored two points on a dunk with 35 seconds left when LC was already up 62-43.
Bloomfield's Eli Combs won the Trester Mental Attitude Award.
Lapel 59, Indianapolis Howe 37
It was a pretty dismal game shooting the ball for Howe. They hit just 15 of 56 from the field, good for only 26.8% in one of the worst shooting performances in title game history. Lapel wasn't great themselves, but good enough for their second state title in school history and first since 2005. Jon Ross Richardson had 21 points and 12 rebounds as Lapel jumped out to a 16-7 lead after a quarter and never let up.
Brian Warren of Howe earned the Trester Award.
Marion 73, Evansville Bosse 68
I was worried about the wrong team.Instead of Indiana winning their sixth banner. The evil Marion Giants,the bitter rivals of my beloved Kokomo Wildkats,won their record-tying 8th state championship by winning their second close game in 4 days after edging Griffith on a buzzer-beater in Wednesday's rescheduled semi-state. Reggie Jones, recently committed to New Orleans, scored 25 and was 10 of 10 at the line as Marion recovered from an early deficit. Vijay Blackmon had 12 points while Time Leavell had 14 and Juswon White had 17.Marion was down 10 at halftime but exploded for 31 points in the third quarter to surge in front.
Bosse's Ethan Thomas won the Mental Attitude Award.
New Albany 62, McCutcheon 59
New Albany wins its second state title and first since 1974 as all-everything sophomore Romeo Langford finishes with 28 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists. Langford is already 21st nationally for 2018 according to ESPN and certainly looks like he will be a very special player. He was 11 of 21 from the field in the win. Robert Phinisee, the other great 2018 recruit, fouled out late with 13 points on 5 of 14 shooting. Both teams are good enough to be right back here in a year for a rematch with Phinisee and Langford.
Charles Phinisee, Robert's brother, wont he Mental Attitude Award.