It was another great regional Saturday here in Indiana. We saw a number of upset as the two remaining defending champions went down and a No. 1 ranked team also lost. We’re now down to 16 teams left, four in each class, headed to eight semi-states across four sites next week.
Michigan City Regional
Merrillville 75, South Bend Adams 49
Warsaw 61, East Chicago Central 59 OT
Merrillville 50, Warsaw 46
Merrillville is always a solid program, but they have struggled in the tournament top breakthrough to state-wide success outside the region. Tonight they won their first regional since 2013 and will play for their first state finals berth since 1995. They rolled in the morning session, then outlasted last year’s champion in this regional. In the tournament already they have avenged a regular season losses to Michigan City and Crown Point.
Fort Wayne North 57, Homestead 38
Carmel 68, McCutcheon 61
Fort Wayne North 52, Carmel 49 OT
This regional did not disappoint. Robert Phinisee saw his season end with a fantastic 30 point, 9 rebound, 5 assist, 2 block performance. He also added four steals. The Lafayette Journal and Courier called it his best HS game, but it wasn’t enough. Keion Brooks, a top target for Painter in 2019, led the Legends to their first regional title since 1995. They were down 6 late to Carmel, which is normally a death sentence with the way they hit free throws. Brooks had 13 points in the title game.
Connersville 55, Brownsburg 49 OT
Ben Davis 47, North Central 44
Ben Davis 44, Connersville 21
Ben Davis is the surprise winner here, taking down one of the favorite in North Central with Kris Wilkes. North Central had beaten Ben Davis twice in the regular season by 22 total points, but Ben Davis won when it mattered most. Connersville worked hard to get past Brownsburg and struggled mightily in the championship. This is the first regional title for Ben Davis since 1998.
New Albany 57, Center Grove 52
Castle 72, Bloomington South 62
Castle 72, New Albany 64
The defending champion and No. 1 ranked team in New Albany goes down to Castle. Romeo Langford, the No. 3 rated recruit nationally in the 2018 class had 44 of New Albany’s 64 points as he tried to singlehandedly pull his team to victory. Jack Nunge, the 6’9” forward for Castle that is committed to Iowa, led his team to its first regional title since 2012.
Kankakee Valley Regional
Griffith 64, West Lafayette 40
Twin Lakes 39, Culver Academy 38
Twin Lakes 69, Griffith 64 OT
Twin Lakes certainly earned its first regional crown in school history. First, it had to knock off the No. 1 ranked team in Class 3A (who had beaten them by 14 in December), then it had to beat the two-time defending regional champion in overtime. They led Culver by 10 before the Eagles tied it with 6:28 left. Twin Lakes held them scoreless for the final 3:48 and managed to hold on to a one point lead for 2:13.
Fort Wayne Luers 66, Fairfield 57
Tipton 44, New Haven 41
Fort Wayne Luers 54, Tipton 50 2OT
Tipton officially played 5 tournament games, all at Marion, and three of them went to overtime. Luers is an old nemesis from their 2A days that once again got the best of them. A win by Tipton would have set up a rare conference matchup for a semi-state and a trip to the state finals. The Blue Devils had a shot at a tying three-pointer in the dying seconds of the second overtime, but came up short.
Indianapolis Crispus Attucks 70, Northview 52
Tri-West 87, Danville 63
Indianapolis Crispus Attucks 74, Tri-West 69
It has been 47 years since Crispus Attucks has won a regional. The legendary program of Oscar Robertson wasn’t active as a high school program for about 25 years there, but they are recovering their history very quickly. They are now a step away from their first state finals appearance since winning the 1959 state title, which was their 3rd in 5 years (and over my beloved Kats, no less).
Pike Central 59, Greensburg 47
Evansville Bosse 81, Brownstown Central 71 OT
Evansville Bosse 94, Pike Central 66
Bosse is another historical program that is having a Renaissance. They survived an overtime afternoon game with highly Brownstown to run Pike Central out of the gym in the night game. Bosse was state runner up last year to Marion, but won the last of their three state titles in 1962. They love to score points too, as they are averaging 78.9 per game.
North Judson Regional
Marquette Catholic 75, Churubusco 64
Gary Roosevelt 41, Central Noble 38
Marquette Catholic 67, Gary Roosevelt 65
Marquette Catholic is playing up in class after winning the 2014 Class A title and finishing as runner-up in Class A in 2015. They will now likely stay up after winning their first 2A regional. This is a relatively new program, but clearly they are comfortable at the 2A level.
Covington 56, Madison-Grant 46
Frankton 65, Southwood 61
Frankton 54, Covington 52
Frankton has often been in the shadow of neighbor Lapel, but not anymore. Just two years ago they were state runner-up in 2A and now they will get Marquette Catholic for a chance to return to Indianapolis.
Northeastern 67, Cloverdale 59
Heritage Christian 58, Shenandoah 45
Heritage Christian 65, Northeastern 50
Heritage Christian has long had an excellent girls program, but this is the first regional crown for the boys since 2005. They knocked off hard luck Northeastern, who has won four straight sectionals but has lost in the regional each time. Cooper Neese, the next Butler nightmare player coming up, finished his HS career with 2,496 points for Cloverdale. He is now 7th all-time in state history, just behind some guy named Rick Mount.
South Knox 56, South Ripley 35
Crawford County 42, Forest Park 38
Crawford County 48, South Knox 32
Crawford County wins its first regional since 1995. I honestly don’t know a whole lot about this regional and I am a high school basketball addict. The Crawford County-Heritage Christian winner next week assures a fist-time state finalist.
Gary 21st Century 69, Tri-County 57
Oregon-Davis 66, Lakewood Park 50
Gary 21st Century 76, Oregon-Davis 73
Gary 21st Century used its size to dominate the boards against No. 2 rated Tri-County and advance to the night session, where it won its second straight regional. This is a program that didn’t even exist as recently as 2010, as it is a Gary charter school.
Lafayette Central Catholic 67, North Vermillion 30
Liberty Christian 65, Seton Catholic 48
Lafayette Central Catholic 69, Liberty Christian 54
For three straight years Liberty Christian eliminated Central Catholic in the regional, including last year 74-71 on a last second three-pointer in overtime. This year Central Catholic got its vengeance, and they will go for their first state championship appearance since 2003.
Indianapolis Tindley 64, Shakamak 49
Indianapolis Lutheran 66, Hauser 60
Indianapolis Tindley 78, Indianapolis Lutheran 62
After its third straight sectional title Tindley now has its first regional title behind Purdue target Eric Hunter. He did a little bit of everything in helping them advance to the semi-state for the first time. This is a charter school that has only had a program since 2006.
New Washington 40, West Washington 36
Wood Memorial 63, Loogootee 43
New Washington 67, Wood Memorial 62
New Washington won a regional in 2001, but that is as far as they have ever gone. The Mustangs had their heyday with consecutive single class sectional titles in 1988 and 1989, but this year they won a sectional for the first time since 2001 and added a regional. They will play Tindley for the first state finals trip for either team.