Indiana High School Athletic Association

9150 North Meridian Street, Box 40650, Indianapolis, Indiana 46240-0650

Phone: 317-846-6601    Fax: 317-575-4244    Website:

Blake Ress, Commissioner




Waldron used a big run to end the first period and ran away for a 69-54 victory over Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian in the IHSAA Class A state championship game at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.


In the process, the Mohawks (27-0) captured the school’s first state championship and became the ninth team in the tournament’s 94-year history to finish the season unbeaten. Of those nine teams, Waldron earned the distinction of becoming the smallest school, with 223 students enrolled, to go the entire season without a defeat.


Waldron, located in Shelby County, just southeast of Indianapolis, was led by senior twin brothers Justin and Jordan Barnard, with 24 and 21 points, respectively. Jordan had a well-rounded effort pulling down 14 rebounds, swatting six shots and tallying five assists. Both his rebounding and blocked shot efforts efforts set Class A finals records. Justin pulled down 12 boards and Justin Sawyer added 13 points.


With Waldron trailing 9-6 with 4:57 to go in the opening quarter, Justin Sawyer hit a three-pointer to tie the game and helped open the floodgates that resulted in a 20-3 run over the rest of the quarter. The Mohawks led by as many as 21 points in the second quarter at 40-19 and held a 41-24 halftime lead.


In the fourth quarter, Blackhawk Christian (15-11) chipped away at the deficit pulling within 11 with 5:15 to go on a fast-break basket by Ryan Kubly that made it 53-42. Jordan Barnard answered immediately for Waldron with a pair of free throws and a fast-break dunk to make it 57-42 and all but erased any thoughts of a Blackhawk comeback. The Braves were led by Philip Kelpin’s 18 points and Shannon Coward’s 16.


The Mohawks, back in the state finals for the first time since 1927, were guided by first coach Jason Delaney. Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian was making its first appearance and was led by Gary Merrell, in his third year coaching the Braves.


Bryan Hurst of Waldron Named Winner of the Arthur L. Trester Award For Mental Attitude

Bryan Hurst of Waldron High School was named winner of the Arthur L. Trester Award for Mental Attitude in Class A Boys Basketball. 


Members of the IHSAA Executive Committee present the award to the outstanding senior participant in each classification of the boys basketball state finals.  The recipients of this award, who were nominated by their principals and coaches, must excel in mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability in basketball.


Academically, Bryan ranks twelfth in his Senior class of 59 and is a member of the National Honor Society.  Upon graduation, he will receive an Academic Honors Diploma. His volunteer work includes Classroom Service Learning, Library Assistant and Basketball Champ Volunteer.  He was a Hoosier Boys State Delegate.  He will attend Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), with a major in Computer Technology.


Athletically, Bryan also participated in Cross Country and Track for the Mohawks.


He is the son of Jackie and Robert Hurst of Waldron, Indiana.


From 1917 to 1943, this award was known as The Gimbel Medal for Mental Attitude, in honor of Jake Gimbel of Vincennes.  In 1944, it was known as the IHSAA Medal for Mental Attitude.  In 1945, the IHSAA Board officially named the award for Arthur L. Trester, who served as the first commissioner of the IHSAA from 1929 to 1944.  Recipients were given a medal each year from 1945 through 1964, hence the Arthur L. Trester Medal for Mental Attitude.  Since 1965, the award has been made in the form of a plaque and named the Arthur L. Trester Award for Mental Attitude.


Farm Bureau Insurance, IHSAA corporate partner, presented a scholarship check for $1,000.00 to Waldron High School in the name of Bryan Hurst.


New IHSAA Book, Play On, Recaps 100 Years Of High School Sports in Indiana

The exciting new book, Play On, celebrating 100 years of high school sports in Indiana, is perfect for that sports fan or the history buff you know. Filled with 150 pages of engaging photographs, captivating stories and a walk down memory lane, it’s now on sale through the Indiana High School Athletic Association. It’s not available in book stores, so contact the IHSAA at 317-846-6601 (Mon.-Fri., 8-4 EST) or click on the link above to learn more about this special tribute to 100 years of Indiana high school athletics.


Team Posters And Individual Action Photographs Available

Visit 20-20 Photographic, the IHSAA’s photographer and the Midwest’s Leader in Sports Action Photography, for images captured during Saturday’s state championship games! Action photos and team photos as well as 20-20’s Ultimate Sports Poster will be available for purchase later in the week following the state finals.


Own This Game On VHS Or DVD

If you’d like a copy of this state championship game, the IHSAA will have it as well as each of the other three contests (one game per video) available in VHS or DVD formats as part of the IHSAA Video Library collection. Phone in your order beginning Monday, March 29 to 317-846-6601 (M-F, 8-4 EST) and pay by credit card (Visa or MasterCard accepted). VHS copies are $35 each by mail, while DVD copies are $55 each by mail. Please allow up to four weeks delivery.


IHSAA State Championship Merchandise

For t-shirts and other merchandise commemorating this year’s state finals tournament or for any of our events, visit our friends at Morris, Inc.


State Finals Programs Available

Couldn’t be there for the state finals? You can still purchase a copy of the official program while supplies last! Programs are $3.00 if you purchase in person at the IHSAA Office (9150 N. Meridian Street in Indianapolis) or $5.00 by mail (postage included). To order, call 317-846-6601 (M-F, 8-4 EST) to pay by credit card (Visa or MasterCard accepted) or send a check for $5.00 made payable to the IHSAA, a note including your return address and brief description of your request and mail to: IHSAA Programs, PO Box 40650, Indianapolis, IN 46240-0650.


Class A Championship Game Quotes


Waldron Coach Jason Delaney

“We were just 10-12 (season record) last year, but we came together this year to accomplish a common goal…to win the state championship.”


“Justin and Jordan are very talented and today they had the biggest stage of all to showcase their abilities.  They had the chance to silence some of the critics that have been on them all year.  Those critics said defensively they couldn’t do it, their attitudes were bad, and I think they answered those questions today.”


“It would have been very easy to overlook (Fort Wayne) Blackhawk, but we were focused on our goal.”


“I really felt it was important to get off to a good start was a big key for us.  We felt if we could do that it would not allow them to hold the ball.  We like an up-tempo game.  It was actually our outside game that opened up our inside game.  We wanted them to play our style of game. (Fort Wayne) Blackhawk is a very good basketball team, but we were on a mission.  All week we addressed questions regarding their (Blackhawk) strength of schedule as compared to ours.  Ironically, it was very similar to the questions we answered in the previous week with White River Valley.  We knew it was going to be difficult, but our whole team believed.  We believed in a common goal.”


“I’m living a dream right now, a dream that the majority of coaches in the state of Indiana would love to live.  I’m very blessed to have had this opportunity.  I’ve loved every minute of this year.”


“Justin and Jordan are great kids.  I think they have been misunderstood.  These guys worked very hard to get here.  They go with me to scout and are usually shooting when other kids are out with their friends. They get a bad rep…their great, great players.”

Waldron’s Justin Barnard

“People have questioned our (Justin and Jordan) attitude, a melt-down in a last second game or something like that.  None of the things we do on the court have anything to do with a bad attitude, it’s just about being competitive.”


Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian Gary Merrell

“We didn’t get the second chance shots that they (Waldron) had and we needed to disrupt them on the outside. Being down 17 at half really put us in a hole. We needed to disrupt them more defensively and cause more turnovers on the perimeter – we weren’t able to do that.”


“Part of our gamble defensively was to double down on the inside and that left them open on the perimeter. (Waldron’s Justin) Sawyer got the three three’s and that took us out of our original game plan.”


“Their offensive boards really killed us. The first half they had 12 points off of put-backs. The Barnard twins were very difficult to check out under boards. That was a crucial factor for us.”


“We had a good effort in the second half. But it was not what we had hoped to do. (Phil) Kelpin did a nice job in taking it inside. But the presence of the twins was too much. They really hurt us on the boards.”


“In the second half, we took the ball inside a little better with Shannon (Coward) and Phil (Kelpin) and had some success. We competed in the second half better than we did in the second quarter.”