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


Lapel wins first IHSAA Basketball Championship


Coach Jimmie Howell’s 25-3 Lapel Bulldogs made the most of their first trip to the IHSAA state basketball finals in 65 years by winning the school’s first state championship with a 51-40 triumph over Loogootee in the Class A final at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.


Lapel jumped out to a 5-0 lead on a trey by junior guard J.R. Howell, Jimmie’s son, and a two-pointer from senior center Brad Lantz.  The Bulldogs did not trail for the entire 32 minutes, taking an 8-2 lead after the first quarter thanks to a buzzer-beating trey by Howell.  Howell finished with a game-high 16 points on 5-5 from the field, 4-4 from three-point range, and 2-2 at the free throw line.


Loogootee (21-5) pulled to within two twice in the second quarter, the last time on a bucket by senior center Bart Hill that narrowed the margin to 16-14 with 2:55 until halftime.  Hill just missed a double-double in the contest with nine points and a game-high 11 rebounds.  That output of 11 boards is tied for fifth on the Class A finals all-time list.  But, Lapel closed the half with five straight points by junior forward Brett Bays to take a 21-14 lead into the locker room.


Lapel opened the second half with a 9-2 run to take a commanding 30-18 advantage with 3:22 left in the third quarter.  Senior guard Jason Holsinger, the 2005 Arthur L. Trester Mental Attitude Award winner, scored five of his 14 points during that spurt.  The margin stayed in double digits the rest of the way.


Lapel set a Class A state finals record by limiting Loogootee to 40 points.  The previous mark was 43 by Tecumseh against Lafayette Central Catholic in 1999.


Sophomore guard Todd Baker paced Loogootee with 11 points.  Coach Steve Brett’s Lions were making their first state finals appearance since finishing second in 1975.


Jason Holsinger of Lapel wins the Arthur L. Trester Award for Mental Attitude

Lapel senior Jason Holsinger is the 2005 recipient of the Arthur L. Trester Mental Attitude for Class A.


Holsinger led coach Jimmie Howell’s Bulldogs to their first state championship and a 25-3 record.  Holsinger is a four-year starter who earned All-White River Conference and All-Madison County recognition all four seasons.  The 2004-05 Hoosier Basketball Magazine first-team all-state selection has been chosen to compete in the North-South All-Star Game and the Top 40 Workout.  The University of Evansville signee is second on the Lapel all-time scoring list with 1,752 career points.  He was a 2004 junior all-star and 2004 IBCA/IHSAA Top 100 Showcase pick.  He also has played on the Spiece Select AAU state champions for three years.


In the classroom, Holsinger ranks second in a senior class of 62 with a 3.98 cumulative grade point average.  He serves as class president and he is a member of the National Honor Society and the Academic Hall of Fame.  Holsinger earned the “Outstanding Student Award” in pre-calculus, chemistry, Spanish, and biology, receiving the “I Dare You Leadership Award,”


Holsinger is an active volunteer with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, visiting nursing homes and working on food drives and summer basketball camps.  He is a cadet teacher at Lapel Elementary School.


“Jason is a tremendously hard working, conscientious, dependable, and reliable person,” said Lapel principal Jerry Kemerly.  “His work ethic in the classroom and on the basketball floor is second to none.  He has a tremendous attitude and an overwhelming personality.  He is one of the most natural student-athlete leaders that I have ever encountered.  His unselfishness on the basketball floor may be unparalleled to anything I have ever observed in athletics.”


Members of the IHSAA Executive Committee present the Trester 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.  The award is named for Arthur L. Trester, who served as the first commissioner of the IHSAA from 1929-44.


Farm Bureau Insurance, IHSAA corporate partner, presented a scholarship check for $1,000.00 to Lapel High School in the name of Jason Holsinger.


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

The exciting 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 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 28 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


Loogootee Coach Steve Brett

 “We struggled all day long, we couldn’t get where we wanted to and made some poor decisions….we really needed to get it inside more than we did and weren’t as patient as we needed to be to do that”


“First of all, I’m very proud of my team. They played their butts off like they have all year, and I couldn’t ask any more of them. Lapel is a very good basketball team­--they’re very explosive and I thought we did a very good job defensively in the first half holding them to 21 points.”


“We experienced a little foul trouble and that affected our play a little… the first half, had we not made those turnovers and had we been able to get it inside to Hill and Baker a little bit more, we might have been able to have an advantage and be a little closer. I was pretty pleased with where we were at halftime with 21-14. Our offensive execution just wasn’t there today. They (Lapel) were averaging 77 points a game and they had 50 so I’m pretty happy with that.”


On senior Bart Hill

“Bart’s been our rock all year long especially the second half of the season, he’s played very well and provided outstanding senior leadership. We’re certainly going to miss him; It’s hard to replace a 6-5 guy with the heart that he’s got. You couldn’t ask for a better kid….I’d take him home in a minute”

Senior Bart Hill on what they expected from Lapel

“We expected quickness, and them crashing the boards. They crashed the boards a little more than what I expected. Getting three rebounds on the first play shouldn’t happen.”


 “It’s been a great year, one to remember.”


Lapel Coach Jimmie Howell

(On Jason Holsinger)

“He didn’t shoot as well as he normally does…believe me guys, he can play.  He was a little off early but this kid (Holsinger) can play.  He is an all-star.  He hit a couple of big shots in the second half that got us going.  He can score off the dribble from three better than any other kid I’ve seen.  A lot of people can catch and shoot, a lot of people can put it on the floor and take it all the way, but he can break people down and stick it from three better than any other kid I’ve ever seen.”


“J.R. (Howell) did not miss a shot.  Drew Hill rebounded well.  Brad Lantz rebounded and blocked out well.  Kyle Holsinger played excellent defense.  I thought Brett Bays’ scoring (7 points) in the first half was huge for us.  I couldn’t be prouder for the school and community.”


“We are probably one of the smallest teams to win the state.  We are not very big.  But, I think we are one of the quickest Class A teams in the state.  I think our defense is as good as any 1A defense I’ve seen.  We have five kids who play together, pressure the ball and help in weak side positioning as well.  Our defense was not going to keep us from going all the way and winning the state.”


“I think defensively we like to pressure the ball.  We have a couple of kids who are used to getting into foul trouble.  I normally take out a kid who gets two fouls in the first half, but today we had three kids with two fouls.  Well, we had three kids with two fouls in the first half…I’m thinking this is the state championship and I’m rolling the dice.  It paid off.”


(On the Howell family basketball fortunes)

 “We been blessed…it is unbelievable.  My parents…a son winning the state, grandson winning the state and a granddaughter being named Miss Basketball…what more could you ask from a basketball standpoint.  It is unbelievable.”


J.R. Howell (On going to Lapel from Brownsburg)

“This summer my dad asked me what I thought about a move.  I really wanted to go to a smaller school and I knew that at a smaller school I had a better chance of winning a state championship in the class system.”


J.R. Howell (On the last shot of the first quarter)

“Hitting that shot really got our team going.  We were kind of dead for a while and that gave us confidence that we would win this game.”


Jason Holsinger (on being a leader)

“The guys on this team make it pretty easy to be a leader.  We have a lot guys who stay focused individually.  I just reminded them to stay focused and remember our goals.”