March 9, 2018

Attucks on the road to the Regionals

FIGHTING FOR ANOTHER TITLE — The Crispus Attucks High Flying Tigers will take on Danville Community High School at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 10, at Greeencastle High School during regionals. The team is looking for another state championship.

The first leg of the Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) 2018 Boys State Basketball Tournament is in the books. Following a hard-fought week of boys’ sectional basketball, only one IPS team remains standing: The Flying Tigers of Crispus Attucks High School.

The reigning 2017 IHSAA 3A Boys Basketball State Champions are looking for a repeat, but have a few more teams to battle in order to reach that goal.

Crispus Attucks will be at Greencastle High School for regionals when they take on Danville Community High School at 10 a.m. March 10. Both teams come in with an identical 20-4 record, which should make for an exciting Saturday morning matchup. If Attucks earns a victory against Danville, the team will face the winner of the noon game between Lebanon Senior High School (10-15) and the favored Edgewood High School (22-5).

Semi-state games will be March 17, with the state championships on March 24.

Here’s a sectionals recap:

Arsenal Technical High School had a daunting task in the first round of the tournament on Feb. 27 when they faced off against Warren Central (Indiana’s top-ranked team and the nation’s 14th-ranked team) at Warren. The Tech Titans came out strong, playing the Warriors to a 12-12 tie through the opening quarter. Warren ratcheted up the defensive pressure in the second half, defeating Tech 57-34.

All three of IPS’ Class 3A schools competed on Feb. 28 at Guerin Catholic High School. Broad Ripple High School took on Northwest High School in an emotional game that was bound to be the final varsity outing for one of the two teams. (Both of the IPS high schools are closing at the end of this school year.) The Space Pioneers left it all on the court for the full 32 minutes, but were outmatched by a Rockets team that saw senior Xavier White score 17 points in the first quarter and 37 for the night.

Defending 3A champions, Crispus Attucks continued their rivalry with Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in a back-and-forth contest that had the crowd in a frenzy. The score was knotted up at 23 at the half. Attucks hung tough and managed an 8-0 run in the fourth quarter, which propelled them to a 58-53 victory.

Attucks and Ripple matched up in the second round of sectionals on March 2 in a rematch of their Basketball Day in Indiana game on Jan. 6. Ripple developed a quick lead after the tip, but Attucks quickly gained composure. A 19-8 third quarter put the Tigers in the driver’s seat through the end of the game, closing out the final season for the Broad Ripple Rockets.

Crispus Attucks faced its closest sectionals contest in the final game when they locked horns with Cardinal Ritter High School, who came off an upset victory over the hosting Guerin Catholic Eagles. Attucks jumped out to a quick start and looked like they would easily move to their second-straight sectional title after taking a 37-20 lead into the locker room at halftime. Ritter was on fire on both ends of the court in the second half, outscoring the Tigers 19-5 in the third quarter, setting up a thrilling finish.

Attucks’ Jamal Harris showcased his clutch gene once again and hit the game-tying 3-pointer with under 20 seconds remaining in regulation, sending the game into overtime at 60 apiece. Attucks opened the extra period with a 6-0 run, and carried them to a 76-69 victory to claim sectional 27.

The remaining three IPS schools competed in Class 2A with their sectional being hosted by Speedway Senior High School:

  • Shortridge High School fell behind early as Park Tudor took a 21-8 lead into the second quarter. The Blue Devils stepped up their efforts to put together a third-quarter run, but it was not enough to overcome their first-half deficit.
  • Arlington High School came into the tournament hoping to make another run for a sectional title, like they did in 2016. The Golden Knights played solid basketball early, holding an 11-point advantage after 8 minutes, but relinquished most of their lead before halftime. Arlington was plagued by foul trouble in the second half, forced key contributors to sit on the bench as the team fell behind in the fourth quarter, and lost 45-37.
  • George Washington High School caught a bye in the first round of sectionals and faced the eventual sectional champions, Scecina Memorial High School, in the semifinals. The Continentals played to the final buzzer, but were bested by a talented Crusaders t