The Indiana High School Basketball State finals are set. An exciting day of semi-state action has named our 8 state finalists, 2 in each class. We saw the end of one of the state’s greatest scorers, even if he ends up as an Indiana guy for his one year before going to the NBA.
Carmel 63, South Bend Riley 43
As always, Carmel ruins everything. Had South Bend Riley won we would have the first ever undefeated vs. undefeated state title game ever. Instead, Carmel blew them out. Riley was attempting the state finals for the first time since 1945. They were also undefeated behind Indiana signee Damezi Anderson. As the South Bend Tribune says, they just did not have it today:
Word had it that Anderson was under the weather for the biggest game of his prep career. That he had barely practiced much of the week. But on Monday, he was on the floor and going all-out. He was fine. He was confident. That changed Saturday. He finished with six points and two rebounds. He took 13 shots and made just two. At the start of the fourth quarter, Anderson appeared to turn to Harrington Greer, who was at the scorer’s table waiting to check in, and asked Greer to come in for him.
Anderson checked out at the start of the fourth quarter, and never checked back in.
“I was just having a little pain in my stomach,” Anderson said. “No excuses. I still had to come out and play hard every possession.”
Warren Central 64, New Albany 62
Warren Central stayed undefeated in one hell of a basketball game. Romeo Langford scored 35 to finish 4th in state history with 3,002 points. That’s really impressive no matter what you do. The New Albany Bulldogs had a late lead, but Warren Central clawed back and forced a turnover with the game tied 62-62 and about 5 seconds left. The Warriors’ David Bell, a top football defensive back prospect that Jeff Brohm is going after, then drove and hit the game winner as time expired.
David Bell. Warren 64, New Albany 62 pic.twitter.com/rNzVUHZvL6— Kyle Neddenriep (@KyleNeddenriep) March 17, 2018
Bell finished with 17 points, and his game-winner gives Warren Central a shot at a boys-girls double in the same season that has only been done once. Warren Central defeated Carmel 66-65 on a last second shot on February 16, so the rematch will be good.
Culver Academy 65, New Castle 60
If Matt Painter had been home today he would have been here. Culver Academy has 2020 4-star prospect Trey Galloway. New Castle has 6’7” 2019 prospect Mason Gillis. Both could be teammates in West Lafayette in a few years. Gillis had 23 and Galloway had 16 as a very pro-New Castle crowd showed out, but Culver triumphed. Culver made the state finals in 2011 and New Castle was the 2006 Class 3A title winner.
Evansville Bosse 64, Danville 61
Bosse is a 3-time state champion, but has not won since 1962. They were runner-up two years ago to Marion and they fell in the semi-state last year to Indianapolis Crispus Attucks. They are due, and Mekhi Lairy, who is going to play for former Purdue assistant Jack Owens at Miami (OH) next year is trying to lead them there. Lairy had 27 points today and is 20th all-time in state history with 2,209 points. He can add a state title to his resume too.
Oak Hill 70, Westview 64
Good for Oak Hill, as former Purdue women’s player Courtney Moses played for them. My son’s godparents sent their 3 kids there and their youngest is a sophomore cheerleader for them. As a result, I will likely go see them in person next week.
Forest Park 58, Indianapolis Scecina 47
Forest Park won consecutive titles in 2005 and 2006, so this would be a third championship for them. Collin Hochgesang and Sam Englert had 18 points apiece for Forest Park in the win.
Southwood 55, Fort Wayne Blackhawk 53
In another family connection, my cousins played basketball for Southwood in 1994 and I have always looked up to them. They were twins that were hard to guard because they looked alike and defenders got confused. Blackhawk missed a three at the buzzer for the win and Southwood is in its first ever state finals.
Morristown 77, Barr-Reeve 70
Morristown is also into its first ever state finals behind Marian University signee Hayden Langkabel. He had 27 today and is 24th all-time in state scoring with 2,178 points as Morristown held off the Class A state power.