February 27, 2016
Heritage Christian Edges North Harrison for State Record Seventh Championship
Finding itself in a close game for the first time in this postseason, second-ranked Heritage Christian wouldn’t be denied its place in Indiana high school girls basketball history.
The Eagles (26-4) used a late flurry to pull away from No. 7 North Harrison 51-45 in the 3A final for their third-straight state championship. The win continued an amazing run for the Rick Risinger-coached Eagles, who have won seven state titles – the most ever in Indiana girls basketball – since 2006. Heritage Christian is just the fourth program in state history to win at least three straight state titles and the first to do it twice; Heritage Christian won four consecutive championships from 2006-2009.
The Eagles had been dominant in the postseason, winning their six games by an average of 29.8 points. Four of those opponents were ranked eighth or higher in 3A.
But Heritage Christian didn’t get any breathing room against the Lady Cats until DaShawna Harper’s steal and layup with 1:15 left capped an 8-0 run and gave the Eagles a 47-39 lead. Star guard Tyasha Harris scored four points during the run and finished with a game-high 27 points.
Making its first state finals appearance, North Harrison led 11-10 at the end of the first quarter but found itself down by 11 points at halftime after a dominant second quarter by the Eagles. Heritage Christian outscored the Lady Cats 19-7, including an 11-1 run to start the quarter.
But after the Eagles went into halftime up 29-18, North Harrison battled back to take a 35-33 lead with 1:35 left in the third quarter. Carlie Burson scored six points during the 15-2 run that saw Heritage Christian go scoreless for more than four minutes.
But Darby Foresman hit a long jumper to tie the game at 35 just before the quarter ended, and the two teams battled back and forth until the Eagles’ game-clinching run.
Harper added 10 points and, along with Harris, tied a 3A title game record with seven steals.
Lilly Hatton had 11 points and Burson 10 for the Lady Cats, who finished 28-3 under Coach Missy Voyles.
Class 3A Game Records
Highest FT % - .909 (10-11) Heritage Christian
Highest Combined FT % - .885 by Heritage Christian (10-11) and North Harrison (13-15)
Most Combined Blocked Shots (Since 1980) – 16 by North Harrison (9) and Heritage Christian (7)
Most Steals (since 1980) – 19 by Heritage Christian
Most Blocked Shots (Since 1980) – 8 by Lilly Hatton, North Harrison
Listen: Heritage Christian Press Conference | North Harrison Press Conference
North Harrison’s Carlie Burson named Patricia L. Roy Mental Attitude Award winner
Following the game, members of the IHSAA Executive Committee named Carlie Burson of North Harrison High School as the winner of the Patricia L. Roy Mental Attitude Award in Class 3A 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.
Carlie’s talents extend beyond the basketball court, as she is ranked 7th in her class with a 4.0 GPA. Besides being a member of the National Honor Society and Student Council, Carlie also serves as her senior class secretary. She finds time to volunteer with numerous organizations, working with Toys for Tots, Harrison County Fair, Cougars for a Cure, and Breast Cancer Awareness programs.
She is the daughter of Mark and Jo Ann Burson of New Salisbury and plans to major in Athletic Training at either Franklin College or Hanover College.
The Indiana Fever and Indiana Pacers, the presenting sponsor of the IHSAA Girls Basketball State Tournament, presented a $1,000 scholarship to North Harrison High School in the name of Carlie Burson. Since 1989, more than $840,000 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.