Indiana High School Athletic Association, Inc.

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

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

Blake Ress, Commissioner


March 22, 2008




Fourth-ranked Washington High School brought home its fifth state title in school history on Saturday night, rolling past No. 6 Harding 84-60 for the Class 3A crown at Conseco Fieldhouse. The Hatchets operated at will on the interior thanks to 7-foot senior Tyler Zeller and 6-foot-11 senior Seth Coy in the middle. The duo combined for 63 points, 32 rebounds and six blocked shots while helping Washington shoot 57.4 percent from the floor in the victory.


Zeller, the younger brother of former Indiana Mr. Basketball Luke Zeller, scored 43 points on 14-of-22 shooting from the field and 15-of-18 makes at the foul line. Luke hit the game-winning basket in 2005 to propel Washington to its fourth state crown, but Tyler was not to be upstaged. His 43 points were the most ever in a championship game in IHSAA history while he also grabbed 16 rebounds and matched the 3A championship game record with four rejections.


The Hatchets ran their winning streak to 21 straight games dating back to early December, closing the year with a 23-2 record under third-year Head Coach Gene Miiller. Harding dropped to 22-4 under Head Coach Al Gooden in his 18th season. Harding, which competed in Class 2A the past four years, was making its fifth state finals appearance.


Washington flexed its collective interior muscles early and often, scoring the game’s first six points on easy layups before Pryce Underwood got Harding on the board with a three 90 seconds in to the game. Thanks to a frenetic early pace, the Hatchets built a 25-13 lead with a minute to play in the first quarter. Harding got back within four early in the second quarter on back-to-back Underwood jumpers, but Coy responded with consecutive layups to make it 31-23.


Zeller capped the first half with a two-handed jam, giving the Hatchets a 39-28 lead at intermission.


The second half was much of the same as Washington opened with an 8-2 run and led by double-digits the rest of the way.


The Hatchets used their size advantage for a commanding 42-27 advantage on the glass and 19-2 edge in free throws made. Coy finished with 20 points, 16 rebounds and six assists in 31 minutes work and Kyle Price chipped in nine points and three assists.


Underwood led Harding with 20 points, hitting a Class 3A championship game record six treys on 12 attempts. Senior Evan White scored 16 points, JaMarcus Collins had nine points and Marquelo Suel added eight points and eight rebounds. Washington’s extensive size bothered the Hawks into shooting just 36.9 percent from the floor.


The following team records were set during the 2008 Class 3A championship game:

            - Most points in a final (84 by Washington, beating Muncie Southside’s 81 in 2001)

            - Most combined field goals made (55, beating 53 by Plainfield in 1999)

            - Tied the most blocked shots (6 by Washington, previously done two other times)

            - Tied the most combined blocked shots (8, previously done two other times)


The following individual records were set during during the 2008 Class 3A championship game:

            - Most points (43 by Washington’s Tyler Zeller)

            - Most field goals made (14 by Washington’s Tyler Zeller)

            - Most three-point field goals made (6 by Harding’s Pryce Underwood)

            - Tied most free throws made (15 by Washington’s Tyler Zeller)

            - Most free throws attempted (18 by Washington’s Tyler Zeller)

            - Tied most blocked shots (4 by Washington’s Tyler Zeller)



Following the game, members of the IHSAA Executive Committee named Pryce Underwood of Harding 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.


Underwood is ranked second in his senior class of 107.  He carries an 11.25 GPA on a 12.0 scale. 


Underwood is a member of the National Honors Society and the National Society of High School Scholars and was chosen to be part of the 2007-2008 IHSAA Role Model Program.  He is also part of the Senior Committee and Renaissance Club at Harding.


“Pryce Underwood is arguably the best student-athlete in the history of Harding High School,” says Principal Dr. Neal Brown.  “As Salutatorian of his graduating class, Pryce has demonstrated that he is a student-athlete of high character, good sportsmanship, and he fully understands his responsibility to the community.”


He is the son of Fred and Cheryl Underwood of Fort Wayne.


Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, the IHSAA’s corporate partner, will present a $1,000 scholarship to Harding High School in the name of Pryce Underwood.


The award is named in honor of Arthur L. Trester, the IHSAA’s first commissioner who served the Association from 1929-44.




Visit our friends at Visual Sports Network, the IHSAA’s official photographer for all state championship events and one of the leading action photographers in the Midwest. VSN, which was on site Saturday, has captured hundreds of images from this year’s State Finals and will have them ready for viewing and purchase beginning Monday.



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



Couldn’t be there for the state finals? You can still purchase a copy of the official souvenir 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, have your Visa or MasterCard ready and call us at 317-846-6601 during business hours (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. EST).






Al Gooden, Harding Head Coach


(on Washington)

“Their size hurt us a lot.  They shoot the ball and rebound very well.  They are the number one team in any class they are in.  We knew they were good, we just needed to find a way to keep them off the boards.  Our guys battled all night long.  They really move well without the ball.”


“I don’t think there was any other strategy we could have used – just keep them off the boards and out of the lane.  I think our kids got a little wore down late.  I thought with five minutes to go in the game, we were ready to make a break but we missed a couple of shots and had a couple of turnovers and they ran the lead up.”


“This is only our fourth loss of the year.  Our Seniors came out and played hard.  We really couldn’t get our inside game going.”


Pryce Underwood, Senior


“I was in a rhythm early but it just wasn’t enough tonight.”





Gene Miller, Washington Head Coach


(on Tyler Zeller)

“There is not a better player in the state of Indiana and very few in the country better than he is.  It has been my pleasure to coach him.  His inside presence makes difference.  Words can not describe how good a player and person he is.”


“I thought our perimeter defense was the difference – it was outstanding.  Right from the beginning we got out on them defensively.  They hit some tough shots, but we kept up our defensive intensity.  We knew we had to go out and guard them.  Our strength was inside.  We just kept on pounding it inside to (Tyler) Zeller and (Seth) Coy.”


“Two championships in four years means everything for the community and the school.  Winning a state championship was a goal for me when I started coaching.”


“It was a team effort.  Cody (Osmon) did a good job in handling the basketball.  Our inside play by Zeller and Coy was the difference.  Our wing players, Tyler Price who had a great tournament run and played tremendous defense and Sam Gines played steady.”


(on the No. 4 ranked Hatchets tournament run)

“It was a great accomplishments for our players when you consider on the way (to the title) they beat the number one, two, three teams in the state and tonight we beat the number six team in the state.  No one can deny that we are the best in 3A.”