Phone: 317-846-6601 Fax: 317-575-4244 Website: www.ihsaa.org
Blake Ress, Commissioner
March 28, 2009
PRINCETON WINS SCHOOL’S FIRST STATE CHAMPIONSHIP IN DOUBLE OT THRILLER
Dontray Chavis’ two free throws with 2.9 seconds left in double overtime capped a perfect season for Princeton with an 81-79 victory over Rochester for the 3A state boys basketball championship at Conseco Fieldhouse.
It was Princeton’s first state championship in any sport.
It was just the fifth state championship game in 99 years that went to double overtime, including the 1913 championship game that was decided in five overtimes.
While top-ranked Princeton (29-0) capped its unbeaten season under fourth year coach Tom Weeks, it was Rochester senior guard Bruce Grimm Jr. who seemed invincible. Grimm’s 40 points on 14-of-29 shooting was three points off the 3A championship scoring record of 43, set by Washington’s Tyler Zeller in 2008. Grimm’s eight 3-pointers set an IHSAA state finals record, hitting 8-of-15 beyond the arc including three critical bombs in the final 1:04 of regulation.
Combined, Princeton and Rochester set a 3A championship-game record with 160 points, besting the old mark of 159 (Muncie Southside beat Evansville Mater Dei, 81-78, in 2001). The teams also combined for a state finals record with 19 3-pointers – 15 by the Zebras and four by Princeton.
The Tigers, who also became just the 11th unbeaten state champion in Indiana prep history, were paced by Rontray Chavis’ 25 points, 20 from Trevor George and 14 from Dontray Chavis. Rontray Chavis also had a game-high 14 rebounds.
Rochester (23-4), ranked No. 7 in the state’s final AP poll, led 37-29 at the intermission, with Grimm’s 12 points leading all scorers. The Tigers cut the margin to three, 45-42, after three periods, and commanded a 52-47 lead with 2:05 to play on a layup by senior forward Trevor George. Rochester senior Austin Lowe hit a 3-pointer with 1:32 to play and after a Princeton jumper by Dontray Chavis for a 54-50 lead, Grimm embarked on his dramatic run.
In a game with 16 lead changes and nine ties, Grimm stole the show in the final minute. His NBA-range 3-pointer with 1:04 in the fourth pulled the Zebras within a point. Another Chavis bucket staked the Tigers to another 3-point lead before Grimm knotted the score with a top-of-the-key 3-pointer with 28 seconds on the clock.
After a timeout, Chavis, who finished with 14 points, answered with a putback layup and was fouled. His free throw gave Princeton a 59-56 lead with 13 seconds left. Grimm was fouled on the ensuing play and connected a pair of free throws with :12 second showing. After another Rochester foul, George buried two more free throws for a 61-58 edge, but Grimm came to the rescue by hitting an improbable three-pointer while being double-teamed on the left wing and beat the final buzzer to send the game to overtime.
Grimm also had 10 of Rochester’s 18 points in the overtime sessions, but it was the Chavis brothers who clinched the victory. In the first OT, Marc Bowers hit a pair of free throws for a 72-70 lead with 1:05 remaining, and Dontray Chavis scored the only basket of the final minute to send the game to a another session.
Neither team led by more than two points in the extra sessions until Rontray Chavis’ 3-point play with 3:50 in the second OT broke a tie. The Tigers maintained their lead until Grimm’s record-breaking eighth three tied the score again, at 79, with 1:04 on the clock. Dontray Chavis’ free throws with three seconds remaining clinched the win.
Grimm finished as the only Zebras’ only scorer in double figures. Bowers finished with nine points and eight rebounds, and Evan Hoff added nine points. Rochester was coached by Rob Malchow.
BRODY SCHOEN NAMED MENTAL ATTITUDE AWARD WINNER
Following the game, members of the IHSAA Executive Committee named Brody Schoen of Rochester High School as the winner of the Arthur L. Trester Mental Attitude Award.
The award is presented annually to a senior participant in each classification who was nominated by his principal and coach and has demonstrated excellence in mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability.
Captain of the Zebra basketball team, Brody is ranked fifth in his class of 125 and will graduate with an Honors diploma in the spring.
At Rochester, Schoen is Treasurer of the Key Club and National Honor Society and member of the Calculus and Captain’s clubs. He was starting quarterback on back-to-back conference championship teams and was named to the Academic All-State football team this past season. He participates in golf and is an all-conference shortstop for the Zebra baseball team. He also represented Rochester High School at the IHSAA Student Leadership Conference last summer.
Brody is active in his community as a member of the Grace United Methodist Youth Group, Park Program supervisor and umpires youth league baseball games.
He is the son of Bobby and Lori Schoen of Rochester.
Schoen will attend DePauw University in Greencastle and study business and math.
Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, the IHSAA’s corporate partner, will present a $1,000 scholarship to Rochester High School in the name of Brody Schoen.
The award is named in honor of Arthur L. Trester, the IHSAA’s first commissioner who served the Association from 1929-44.
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CLASS 3A POST-GAME QUOTES
Rochester Head Coach Rob Malchow
(General comments) “I think that game warranted high praise. Both teams battled. These guys competed to the last second, so did Princeton. Credit to Princeton for using their strength and athleticism under the bucket in the second half to climb back in. We just couldn’t quite find one or two rebounds at key moments to win.”
(On the play of Bruce Grimm) “Bruce all year long and throughout his career has made big shots and big plays. He sets his teammates up for opportunities. The thing about Bruce that’s fun to watch and coach is that he makes the players around him better. In games like tonight he can step up and put a dagger in your heart as he did time and time again to extend it throughout the overtime periods. … Great players find ways to make great plays.”
Rochester guard Bruce Grimm
(On wanting the ball) “None of us like losing, and coach always says to find the hot hand. I was feeling it. I kept telling myself throughout the whole the week that I’m not going to let us lose. I pretty much tried to do all I can to make us win.”
Rochester guard Brody Schoen
(On winning the Arthur L. Trester Mental Attitude Award) “I’m grateful to receive it. I didn’t see it coming … It means a lot to me, and I’m sure it means a lot to my parents.”
Princeton Head Coach Tom Weeks
(General comments) “What a game to be a part of. Indiana high school basketball, this is what it’s all about. We’re fortunate enough to be on the winning side of a great ball game, with tremendous heart from both teams. I don’t think the spirit of competition in high school gets any better than what it was out there today.”
(On their rebounding edge) “I thought early in the game they beat us to loose balls and rebounds that we normally are able to secure. In the second half we refocused on our job and went to the offensive glass, and I thought our defensive intensity picked up and caused them some trouble. … When we crash, with the athletes we have, it’s hard to block us out and keep us off those boards.”
(On defending Bruce Grimm’s shot that forced overtime) “He hit a very tough shot. … We had two guys on him and he was able to hit it fading away and out of bounds. That’s a great shot. In the state tournament, it doesn’t get much better than that. But we refocused in the overtime; we never dropped our heads the whole game.”
Princeton forward Trevor George
(On playing on an undefeated team with the Chavis brothers) “They bring everything to this team. They’re part of an awesome sophomore class. They have stepped up for us all year. It’s an awesome feeling to have them.”