Regional Saturday is the best day of the year in Indiana, especially when Purdue wins in the Big Ten Tournament in Indy. For me, it was a magical day. Not only did Purdue win, my beloved Kokomo Wildkats won their 35th regional title, first since 2011, and only the second since 1997. Unfortunately, it came at the expense of our 2022 recruits. Braden Smith’s Westfield beat Fletcher Loyer’s Homestead in the morning session at Logansport, but 2024 target Flory Bidunga and Kokomo had a dramatic comeback to beat Westfield in the championship.
Here are your scores today:
Chesterton 65 South Bend Adams 51
Penn 53 Munster 47
Chesterton 59 Penn 48
Chesterton wins its first ever regional and stays undefeated as the No. 1 team in the state.
Kokomo 45 Fort Wayne Snider 40
Westfield 64 Homestead 53
Kokomo 64 Westfield 60
Snider held Bidunga mostly in check through three quarters in the morning game, as they sold out to double and triple team him most of the morning. He had two points until the fourth, but got a couple of big putbacks and an alley-oop dunk as Kokomo pulled ahead late. He finished with 11 points, 10 rebounds, and three blocks.
The Loyer-Smith battle was as good as expected, as Homestead and Westfield played a back and forth game. Loyer gave it his all with 27 points, finishing as Homestead’s single-season scoring leader with 700+ points, passing Caleb Swanigan. Smith had 13points, 8rebounds, 6assistt, 3steals, and 2 blocks.
In the championship Westfield was in control, leading by 7 entering the fourth quarter, but a 16-2 Kokomo run flipped things. Kokomo led 63-60 and turned it over with 15 seconds left, but Westfield missed a tying three with 2 seconds left and Bidunga rebounded. Smith was 5 of 12 for 11 points, 8 assists, and 6 rebounds. Bidunga was much more of a force, going for 21-12-4 on 10 of 12 shooting from the field.
Kokomo gets its 35th regional title in program history, first since 2011, and third most all-time behind Lafayette Jeff and Marion.
Ben Davis 52 Mount Vernon (Fortville) 50
Indianapolis Cathedral 52 Terre Haute North 47
Indianapolis Cathedral 72 Ben Davis 57
6’10” 2023 Purdue target Xavier Booker, a top 50 national player, had 20 in the championship. As the #38 national recruit his offer list is basically “The Midwest”.
Bloomington North 63 Evansville North 45
Franklin 58 Floyd Central 51
Bloomington North 75 Franklin 69
Franklin made quite a run despite having a losing overall record, but an always tough Bloomington north squad moves on.
South Bend Washington
Mishawaka Marian 85 Lighthouse CPA 55
Culver Academy 66 Peru 59
Mishawaka Marian 39 Culver Academy 38
Marian gets its second regional title and first since 2012.
NorthWood 52 Yorktown 51
Leo 48 Norwell 39
Leo 56 NorthWood 43
Leo is a repeat regional champion from 2021.
Danville 56 Brebeuf Jesuit 50
Beech Grove 65 Brownstown Central 57
Beech Grove 66 Danville 50
It is a first ever regional title for Beech Grove!
Evansville Bosse 73 Lawrenceburg 62
Sullivan 52 North Harrison 49
Sullivan 89 Evansville Bosse 85
These teams decided they were going to go out and score. some. points. Sullivan wins its first regional in 21 years.
Fort Wayne Blackhawk 55 North Judson 27
Central Noble 80 Hammond Noll 61
Central Noble 58 Fort Wayne Blackhawk 53 (OT)
Wisconsin signee Connor Essegian goes for 31 as Central Noble wins its first regional since 2001. Blackhawk loses a tournament game for the first time since 2018, and coach Marc Davidson’s quest for a title while battling cancer is denied.
Monroe Central 42 Tipton 36
Carroll (Flora) 60 Rensselaer Central 49
Carroll (Flora) 44 Monroe Central 23
Carroll wins its first ever regional and upset undefeated and No. 1 ranked Monroe Central in the process.
Eastern Hancock 63 Southmont 47
University 56 Triton Central 49
Eastern Hancock 54 University 47
Eastern Hancock wins its first regional in 19 years.
Forest Park 64 Paoli 49
Providence 50 Linton-Stockton 47
Providence 44 Forest Park 37
Providence gets its 20th win on the season and fourth regional ever.
Gary 21st Century 79 North White 64
Triton 58 Fremont 55
Gary 21st Century 56 Triton 47
21st Century, a team averaging nearly 73 points per game, was slowed down, but still advanced.
Lafayette Central Catholic 75 Southwood 56
Liberty Christian 70 Blue River 56
Lafayette Central Catholic 64 Liberty Christian 45
Central Catholic wins yet again. They now have a record 11 regional titles in the Class era, which started in 1998.
Indianapolis Lutheran 63 Indianapolis Metropolitan 54
Jac-Cen-Del 63 Bloomfield 54
Jac-Cen-Del 71 Indianapolis Lutheran 54
Jac-Cen-Del, one of the state’s better small school programs during the non-class era, wins its first regional since 2009.
North Daviess 38 Edinburgh 37
Borden 48 Springs Valley 44
North Daviess 43 Borden 32
North Daviess breaks an 11 year regional drought.