Phone: 317-846-6601 Fax: 317-575-4244 Website: www.ihsaa.org
Blake Ress, Commissioner
March 1, 2008
Eagles Soar, Again, to THIRD Straight Title
The top-ranked Heritage Christian Eagles handed the Oak Hill Golden Eagles their only defeat of the season, 53-31, to capture their third straight Class 2A title. Heritage Christian was making its fourth trip to the finals in five years while Oak Hill was making its very first appearance.
Heritage Christian led only 20-15 at the half but outscored Oak Hill, 17-5, in the third quarter, behind junior Claire Freeman’s eight points, to take a commanding 37-20 lead. Oak Hill’s 6-4 sophomore center Ashley Pickering picked up her third and fourth fouls in the third quarter sending her to the bench with 4:58 remaining and it took away the Golden Eagles inside presence. Heritage Christian outscored Oak Hill, 9-2, the remainder of the quarter and were never threatened again.
Heritage Christian, coached by third year leader Rick Risinger, was led by freshman Liz Stratman and junior Kelly Faris who each had a double-double. Faris finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds and Stratman ended with 10 points and 10 boards. Freeman finished with nine points.
Oak Hill was led by junior Kristen Hicks with eight points and eight rebounds. Senior Heather Hicks added seven points and Pickering contributed eight rebounds. Oak Hill was held to a season-low 31 points.
The Golden Eagles, led by fifth year coach Todd Law, finished the season 26-1 and have compiled a two-year record of 50-3.
Heritage Christian ended the season 27-1, including wins over 3A finalist Bishop Chatard and 4A finalist Carmel earlier this season. The Eagles will return 12 of 13 players, including all five starters next year and figure to be a favorite to equal Fort Wayne Bishop Luers’ four titles in a row from 1999-2002. Oak Hill loses only one starter from this year’s team as well.
Heritage Christian tied the Class 2A state finals record for most team assists in a game (17) and Faris’ seven assists was an individual record.
VSN MEANS ACTION PHOTOGRAPHY
friends at Visual Sports Network, the IHSAA’s official photographer for all state
championship events and one of the leading action photographers in the
CHAMPIONSHIP MERCHANDISE STILL AVAILABLE
For t-shirts and other merchandise commemorating this year’s tournament or for any of our events, visit our friends at Morris, Inc.
STATE FINALS PROGRAMS AVAILABLE
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 (
CLASS 2A POST-GAME QUOTES
Rick Risinger, Heritage Christian Head Coach
“Both teams were getting up and down the floor in the first half. We were fortunate to be able to open it up in the third quarter and put some pressure on them and were able to take advantage of that.”
“We were running some different offensive sets in the first half. But defensively we were right where we wanted to be. At halftime we talked about changing our offense and the second half we fed off of that.”
(on third quarter timeout)
“I always try to control the tempo of the game and what we do offensively and defensively. They responded well during the timeout and knew what kind of intensity they needed to bring after that. They went out and regrouped, readjusted and realized what we’d been doing well all year.”
Todd Law, Oak Hill Head Coach
“We just had one of those games where we couldn’t put the ball in the basket. Give Heritage Christian credit – it had a lot to do with their defense. The one thing they did well was to limit us to one shot which cut our number of possessions down.”
“There was a timeout in the third quarter and we came out offensively two times in a row with bad shots and they came out with two fast break easy baskets to take the lead to double digits and it just snowballed from there.”
“The loss will sting for a while. But we had a good season and we’re young and we’ll build from there. Heritage Christian is a very good basket team. They did the things they had to do to win the ball game. When you shoot 22 percent from the floor you are not going to win a State championship. That was about 20-25 percent lower than we shoot in any game this year.”
“We talk about how the first three to four minutes to start the second half are important. We cut it to two too and got right back in the ball game. But after that we couldn’t put the ball in the hole.”
“Any time you can win 26 games in a row, that is a tremendous accomplishment. Heritage did a good job in their zone defense. We needed to knock down our perimeter shots and we didn’t do that. When that happens it takes away a lot of our game when we don’t score. We were not able to get into our presses that made us tough all year.”