PIKE WINS FIRST BOYS BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP -- Pike High School earned its first IHSAA state championship in boys basketball and the third in the school's history. The Red Devils won state championships in 1969 in boys tennis and in 1997 in girls track and field.


TOUGH TOURNAMENT TRAIL -- Pike's road to the Class 4A state title was paved with top 10 teams. In seven tournament games, the Red Devils defeated four ranked opponents in Class 4A -- No. 7 Noblesville (66-64 in sectional opener), No. 10 North Central (Indpls.) (69-66 in sectional championship), No. 1 Anderson (68-65 in regional championship) and No. 4 Marion (57-54 for Class 4A state championship).


CONFERENCE INDIANA REIGNS IN CLASS 4A -- Pike joined fellow Conference Indiana member Martinsville as 1998 Class 4A basketball state champions. The Martinsville girls team defeated Lake Central two weeks ago to win the state crown.


MARION DROPS FIRST STATE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME -- Marion suffered its first loss in seven state championship game appearances with the loss to Pike. The Giants were 6-0 in the title game winning it all in 1926, 1975, 1976, 1985, 1986 and 1987. Only fellow North Central Conference member Muncie Central has won more championships. The Bearcats have eight to their credit -- 1928, 1931, 1951, 1952, 1963, 1978, 1979, 1988.


MARION'S BRAD McPHERSON WINS TRESTER AWARD -- Marion senior Brad McPherson was selected by the IHSAA Executive Committee as the recipient of the Arthur L. Trester Award for Mental Attitude in Class 4A Boys Basketball. McPherson is the son of Giants assistant coach Herb McPherson. In addition to basketball, McPherson was the starting tight end for the Giants football team and was named Academic All-State. In the classroom, he ranks among the top 10 percent of his senior class as a National Honor Society student and plans on majoring in engineering at Purdue University. McPherson is currently serving as his class' vice president and has attended Hoosier Boys State. Farm Bureau Insurance, the corporate partner of all IHSAA tournaments, presented a $1,000 scholarship to Marion High School in the name of McPherson.


PIKE HEAD COACH ALAN DARNER—"A big key was keeping Rodney (Smith) in the game the second half...also, Mike (Campbell) went back in the game with four fouls and six minutes to go."


"We got out-rebounded pretty bad, but we were fortunate to force 21 turnovers."


"(On changing defense from man-to-man to zone in the final minutes) We went to a 1-3-1 and that came through for us."


RODNEY SMITH (PIKE)—"(On hitting two free throws with eight seconds left) I was thinking about shooting in the backyard with my dad. He’s always saying to use fingertip control and follow through."


"(On Marion center Zach Randolph) Randolph is a great player-he’s so big we couldn’t get around him."


MARION HEAD COACH MOE SMEDLEY—"With a four-point lead late we usually go to the foul line and not turn it over and be in the one-and-one. Give Pike credit, they put some good defensive pressure and hit some free throws at the end."


"The third quarter was a turning point. We lost the lead and got it back, but couldn’t control the tempo."


"We were a team, even though we won six state championships, that wasn’t supposed to beat this team. Nobody really gave us a chance. In the end, we told our kids, ‘Don’t do something that we would be sorry for later,’ we didn’t, but the shots we took didn’t go in."


"We didn’t take care of the basketball. At the end of the game, the no-call on the dunk was huge."