2002 IHSAA Class 2A Girls Basketball State Finals

March 2, 2002, Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis



Hot-Shooting Southwestern Wins First State Championship

Top-ranked Southwestern of Hanover earned the first state championship in school history with a 70-64 victory over unranked Shenandoah in the Class 2A title game at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.


The Rebels (25-2) were led by their top four scorers on the season and all finished in double figures, including Catherine Graham’s 20 points. Brianna Howard finished with 19, Julie Brawner with 18 and Autumn Walker 11. The 70 points scored by Southwestern was a Class 2A game record.


Fifth-year Southwestern coach Donna Cheatham, Indiana’s all-time winningest girls basketball coach now with 458 victories, became the first girls coach to win state titles at two different schools. Cheatham had guided Scottsburg to the state championship in 1989.


Southwestern led the game from the outset extending its lead to as many as 12 points just before halftime. Shenandoah managed to chip away at the lead cutting it to three points with 5:42 left in the game, but could never get any closer.


The Rebels’ hot shooting kept Shenandoah at bay throughout. Southwestern hit 24-for-43 from the field in the game for a Class 2A record .558 field goal percentage.


Amanda Norris of Shenandoah set a Class 2A scoring record with 30 points, which tied for the sixth best scoring output ever in a state finals game. She also tallied seven assists, another 2A game record. Teran Warner pulled down 13 rebounds for the Raiders tying the Class 2A mark.


It was a disappointing finish for Shenandoah (22-4), which finished as the state runner-up for the second year in a row and had its 15 game winning streak snapped. The Raiders lost to Fort Wayne Bishop Luers in the championship game a year ago, which is vying for the Class 3A crown this season. Five players returned from last year’s team. Shenandoah was coached by Todd Salkoski now in his sixth year.



Click for Final Box Score



Game Notes


Southwestern’s Brianna Howard Wins Roy Mental Attitude Award

Brianna Howard of Southwestern High School in Hanover, was selected by the IHSAA Executive Committee as the recipient of the Patricia L. Roy Mental Attitude Award in Class 2A Girls Basketball.


Academically, Howard ranks seventh in a senior class of 88 students. She is undecided where to attend college but is interested in pharmacy.


She is a three-year member of the National Honor Society and currently serves as its secretary. She’s also active in her church’s missionary society, its youth group and the choir.


The 5-8 senior forward owns Southwestern career records in scoring and steals and is also an all-state volleyball player for the Rebels.


Farm Bureau Insurance, the IHSAA’s corporate partner, presented a $1,000 scholarship to Southwestern High School in the name of Howard.



Donna Cheatham First To Win Titles At Two Different Schools

Fifth-year Southwestern coach Donna Cheatham earned the distinction of becoming the first coach in IHSAA Girls Basketball history to win state titles at two different schools. While the coach at Scottsburg from 1972-94, Cheatham had guided the Warriorettes to three state finals appearances in 1986, 1988 and winning it all in 1989.



Twenty Records Set In Contest

Twenty Class 2A state finals records were set or tied during the contest. The most notable of which were:

Most Points By An Individual – 30 by Amanda Norris, Shenandoah.

Most Points Scored By A Team – 70 by Southwestern.

Most Points Scored By Two Teams – 134 by Southwestern (70) and Shenandoah (64).

Most Rebounds By An Individual – 13 by Teran Warner, Shenandoah.

Most Assists – 7 by Amanda Norris, Shenandoah; 7 by Heather Jackson, Southwestern.

Highest Field Goal Percentage -- .558 (24-43) by Southwestern.

Highest Field Goal Percentage By Two Teams -- .489 by Southwestern (24-43) and Shenandoah (23-53).



State Finals Photographs and Team Posters

Visit the website of 20-20 Photographic, the IHSAA’s official photographer for its state championship events. The company will display action photographs from this year’s Girls Basketball State Finals during the week following the state finals that you may purchase. Also for sale will be team posters commemorating your school’s path to the state finals.



State Finals Programs Available

Couldn’t be there for the girls basketball state finals? You can still purchase a copy of the official state finals program while supplies last! Programs are $3.00 if you purchase in person at the IHSAA Office (9150 N. Meridian Street in Indianapolis) or $4.50 by mail (postage included). To order, send a check for $4.50 made payable to the IHSAA, a note with your return address and brief description of your request and mail to: IHSAA Programs, PO Box 40650, Indianapolis, IN 46240-0650. Sorry, no credit cards. To further inquire, e-mail Assistant Sports Information Director Jason Wille at jwille@ihsaa.org.





Shenandoah Head Coach – Todd Salkoski

“Last year, I felt like the luckiest coach on the face of the earth.  And today, I feel even luckier because these kids are coming back.  We dug a hole early and Southwestern jumped on us.  They are a great team, but I’m still proud of my kids.  It could have been over early, but they hung in there and played through a lot of adversity.”


“There is nothing we could have done in a regular season game or practice to prepare our young girls for this (game and atmosphere).”


“Our shooters just couldn’t get into the flow today.  I attribute the difficulties to nerves.  I think it’s about the fieldhouse (Conseco Fieldhouse) and playing in big games.”


“I have a great deal of respect for Donna Cheetham and what she has done.  So much of the work she has put in has allowed me to come along in a time that girls’ basketball is flourishing.  I feel honored to have coached against her and would have felt twice as honored if we could have gotten a win today.  She has taken a program from depths of obscurity to a state championship in five or six years.  I tip my hat to her, she has done a great job.”


Shenandoah CenterTeran Warner

“It was a physical game.  We played hard, but just came up a little short.  The sad thing about it is that this year we wanted to win it (state title) so badly.  It (the loss) hurts very much.”


Shenandoah forward – Amanda Norris

“We knew we had to play our hearts out to come back from the deficit.  We knew we had a height advantage and could take it to them in the post.  It seemed like the more confidence my teammates had in me, then I gained more confidence in myself.”


Southwestern Head Coach – Donna Cheetham

“It was an exciting game.  It’s going to be hard to lose four seniors that have dedicated themselves to the program.  Every team that I’ve coached that has got to this level has been full of excellent citizens and good people.  This team is no exception.”


I think over the course of the season this team has learned that things don’t always go your way, but you must adjust and they’ve done that very well.  Our balanced scoring has helped all season.  I attribute that to our team’s unselfish play.  That’s maturity.  Lots of athletes in this day and age would rather score 25 points and lose than score 4 points and win.  Well, these girls would rather score zero points and win.  They have done everything I’ve asked of them from day one.  We formed great relationships over the years and it breaks my heart to know I will be losing four seniors.”


“In today’s game, we had excellent start and we knew Shenandoah would come back.  We were prepared mentally and my girls were ready for the call.”


“I thank the Lord for giving me what He has and for allowing me to have these young ladies to accomplish this goal.  They have found out that this thing is all about “team.”  If you are unified, you will go along way and that’s what we’ve done.”


Southwestern Guard – Heather Jackson

“In the eighth grade, no one came to our games.  When coach (Cheatham) came, she helped us believe.  She has taught us that we can play.  Coach Cheatham is a great lady.  She has helped us accomplish all of this.”


Southwestern Forward - Brianna Howard

On the Patricia L. Roy Mental Attitude Award – “I feel this award is a great honor and I want to thank all of the people that made this possible.  My teammates have been behind me all along.  They have allowed me to achieve this because of their support.  They all have great attitudes and make it easy for everyone.”


The 11-0 run to begin the game – “We did an excellent job getting out to the 11-0 start. And from there, we never looked back.  We knew how important it was to get our crowd in the game.  All of the fans have been so supportive this season and they have really helped us get fired up when we needed them the most.”