Phone: 317-846-6601 Fax: 317-575-4244 Website: www.ihsaa.org
WALDRON CAPTURES SCHOOL’S FIRST STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
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
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.
With Waldron trailing 9-6 with 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 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
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.
He is the son of Jackie and Robert Hurst of
From 1917 to 1943, this award was known as The Gimbel Medal for Mental Attitude, in honor of Jake Gimbel of
Farm Bureau Insurance, IHSAA corporate partner,
presented a scholarship check for $1,000.00 to
New IHSAA Book, Play
On, Recaps 100 Years Of High School Sports in
exciting new book, Play On, celebrating 100 years of
high school sports in
Team Posters And Individual Action Photographs Available
Visit 20-20 Photographic, the IHSAA’s photographer and the
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.
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
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 (
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.”
have been very easy to overlook (
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. (
a dream right now, a dream that the majority of coaches in the state of
“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.”