March 8, 2014

Heritage Christian back in 2A Winner's Circle
The Heritage Christian Eagles enjoyed a return to glory with a 64-61 victory over the Fort Wayne Canterbury Cavaliers in the Class 2A state championship game.

Sydney Hall scored 17 points, Tyasha Harris added 14 and Taylor Hall had 13 to lead the Eagles, who grabbed the victory in a closely contested game. Heritage Christian hit 22-of-44 field goal attempts (50 percent) while holding the Cavaliers to 17-of-51 (33.3 percent).

It was Heritage Christian's first appearance in the state title game since 2009, when it became the first  school in Class 2A to win four consecutive crowns. Capturing their fifth state championship in 2014 gave the Eagles the second-most in state history along with Canterbury.

With 5:45 left in the game, Heritage Christian took a nine-point lead, 47-38, when Allison Schofield connected on a 3-pointer. However, Canterbury persevered down the stretch. And with 1:02 remaining, Kindell Fincher's two free throws cut the margin to two, 56-54.

Darby Maggard's three-point play and Alexa Habig's 3-point shot kept Canterbury in range in the final minute. But Heritage Christian closed out the win with eight free throws over that span.

Coach Rick Risinger's Eagles, ranked first in the girls coaches' poll, finished 27-1. Risinger's fifth state title gave him the lead in Indiana girls basketball.

Fincher led Canterbury with 24 points and 16 rebounds. Maggard scored 20. Katherine Smith had 10 points.

Canterbury was playing in its third straight state championship game and first in 2A after moving up a class due to the Tournament Success Factor. Coach Wayne Kreiger's Cavaliers, ranked third in the coaches' poll, finished 20-5.

Natalie Orr wins Patricia L. Roy Mental Attitude Award
Following the game, members of the IHSAA Executive Committee named Natalie Orr of Heritage Christian School as the winner of the Patricia L. Roy Mental Attitude Award in Class 2A Girls Basketball.

The award is presented annually to a senior participant in each classification who was nominated by her principal and coach and has demonstrated excellence in mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability.

Academically, Orr ranks ninth in her senior class with 4.21 GPA in a challenging honors program. She is a National Merit Qualifier, achieved Highest Academic Honor Roll all four years as well as 1st chair cello in the school’s Advanced Orchestra. In addition to basketball, she also participates in track and field and tennis for the Eagles.

She is the daughter of Mike and Kim Orr of Carmel and plans to study Biomedical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis.

The Indiana Fever and Indiana Pacers, the presenting sponsor of the IHSAA Girls Basketball State Tournament, presented a $1,000 scholarship to Heritage Christian School in the name of Natalie Orr. Since 1989, more than $800,000 in college scholarships have been presented to deserving high school athletes in Indiana.

The award is named in honor of the former IHSAA assistant commissioner Patricia L. Roy, who oversaw the girls basketball state tournament from its inception in 1976 until her retirement in 1999.