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




Evansville Mater Dei got a balanced effort scorching the nets throughout the game and walked away with the Class 3A state championship after its 63-45 victory over Bellmont at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.


The two schools are very familiar with one another on the wrestling mat sharing 13 state championships between them, but it was the first time they’ve faced off in the state hardwood tournament with Mater Dei claiming its first title in boys basketball.


The unranked Wildcats (21-6) got 17 points from Wacey Hall, who finished six-for-seven from the field, 12 points from Matt Halbig and 10 from Craig Maier. Mater Dei finished the game shooting nearly 53 percent from the field, including a second half effort where they connected on eight of their 13 shots. They also hit six of 13 from three-point territory.


On the other hand, seventh-ranked Bellmont (22-5) struggled from the field, particularly in a 5-for-21 first half, which resulted in a 33-16 deficit at halftime.  The Braves found the range in the second half scoring on 12 of their 25 attempts but could never get closer than 14 points at 56-42 with 1:27 to go. Adam Arnold’s 21 points led the Braves, who were making their initial appearance in the state finals.


Mater Dei finished as the state runner-up in Class 3A in 2001, dropped to 2A for the 2002 and 2003 seasons before the latest reclassification bumped them back up to 3A once again this year. The Wildcats were coached by John Goebel, in his second year with the team, while Bellmont was directed by sixth year coach Shaun Busick.


With four starters returning for each squad next year, both teams should have the ammunition for another tournament run a year from now.


Bellmont’s Jon Zeser Named Winner of the Arthur L. Trester Award For Mental Attitude

Jon Zeser of Bellmont High School was named winner of the Class 3A 2004 Boys Basketball Tournament Arthur L. Trester Award for Mental Attitude.  


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.


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.


Jon ranks 37th in his Senior class of 196 and is a member of the National Honor Society.  He is also a member of the Student Council, Class Representative, Hoosier Boys State, Student School Improvement Committee.  He hopes to attend Bethel College to study Pre-Med and play basketball.  He also attended the National Young Leaders Convention and was active in the Leaders are Readers Program.  He was the Bellmont Homecoming King in 2003


Athletically, he will conclude his career with the Braves having earned nine varsity letters, including three each in basketball, baseball and soccer.  As a Senior, he was named first team All-Northeast Hoosier Conference in basketball and All-NHC in Soccer and Baseball.  He was the 2003-04 soccer MVP and Best Defensive Player and was a four-year Academic Award winner. 


Jon is the son of Diane and Tim Zeser of Decatur.


Farm Bureau Insurance, IHSAA corporate partner, presented a scholarship check for $1,000.00 Bellmont High School in the name of Jon Zeser.


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 3A Championship Game Quotes


Evansville Mater Dei Coach John Goebel

“I’m proud of these guys. Just a few weeks ago, I’m not sure anyone, including ourselves, would have dreamed the Mater Dei basketball team would have been the 3A state champs. It was a true compliment to our team and our program. It was a total team effort. We rotated 10 guys. Whether everyone got in for five minutes or just 30 seconds, they contributed.”


“We did what we wanted to do in the first quarter. We pounded the ball inside and got them into a little bit of foul trouble. One of the things we learned this year is how to play with a lead and be patient and to work for the right shot.”


“We had good defensive intensity most of the game. Bellmont helped us out because they weren’t hitting the shots we’ve seen them hit on tape all year long. It wasn’t their night and that helped us. Defensively we came out and got on their perimeter shooters but we also were able to recover and helped out inside. We played as an aggressive half court defense as we have played all year long.”


“We finished 21-6 and that’s a testament to the quality of basketball in southern Indiana. Some of the schools in the area and in Evansville play an intense, physical game. That helped us tonight. This win was for all the teams down south.”


Bellmont Coach Shaun Busick


“First of all, let’s give credit where credit is due.  Mater Dei is a tremendous basketball team with a lot of weapons.  They hit almost 50% of their 3’s, they out-rebounded us 31-23, and they shot 53% from the field…that’s your ballgame.”


“They were a little less in awe of the place (Conseco Fieldhouse) than we were.  I think our kids battled the whole night.  I don’t think they beat us in any effort areas, but they did beat us in the areas that count and that would be defensive rebounding and contesting shots.  We didn’t recover defensively like I thought we should have.”


(On the play of Mater Dei’s Wacey Hall)

“We tried to go right at him (Wacey Hall), inside, unfortunately we just could not get a call.  We wanted to go right at him when they put him back in with two fouls to try to get a third foul on him.   But, give him credit, he played intelligently. He didn’t swat anymore and went straight up to contest shots.”


“We had to take (Brian) Shultz out in the first quarter and that hurt a little bit because he helps our inside-outside game.  Even though Brian is our biggest kid, he’s more of a guard.  When we took him out I thought they went on a little bit of a run.  We made some bad decisions with the ball, particularly right at the end of the first quarter when we had the ball down 12-10 with a chance to either tie or take the lead. That was kind of a turning point.”


“We wanted to start off in a zone because all they had seen us play was a man-to-man.  They handled it very well.  Unfortunately, we didn’t adjust as well to what they were doing.”