Indiana-bound Zeller Leads Washington To Third Title In Four Seasons

Cody Zeller, a 6-foot-11 center, scores 20 points and has 20 rebounds in 61-46 victory over Culver. It was the third title in four seasons for Zeller and Washington High.

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Class 4A Final: Bloomington South Downs Kokomo 56-42

Bloomington South (26-2) got 14 points from Desmond Marks and 13 from Darwin Davis and denied Kokomo its first state boys basketball title in 50 years Saturday with a 56-42 victory in Indiana's Class 4A championship game.

The teams traded blows before halftime, with Bloomington South taking a 22-18 lead into the break. But Kokomo couldn't weather the 34-point offensive explosion on 60 percent field-goal shooting from Bloomington South in the second half.

Kokomo (22-3) doomed itself with 1-of-16 shooting on 3-pointers. Kokomo made seven of eight free throws, but Bloomington South made 15 of 20 effort and also played better team basketball with 11 assists to only two for Kokomo.

Davis, who has committed to Xavier, had 10 assists.

Armon Bridgeforth and Cheyse Swain paced Kokomo with 13 and 12 points, respectively.

Kokomo's prestigious history of 71 sectional championships, 34 regional crowns (tied for third all time), eight semi-state crowns (tied for fifth all-time) and 19 state finals (fifth all-time) didn't help it capture what would have been only its second state crown and first since 1961.

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Class 3A Final: Zeller-led Washington Defeats Culver 61-46

Washington (23-4) won its third Indiana Class A championship in four seasons Sunday with a 61-46 victory over Culver in Indianapolis.

Cody Zeller, a 6-foot-11 center who has committed to Indiana, scored 20 points and grabbed 18 rebounds. Zeller is the brother of former Notre Dame big man Luke Zeller and current North Carolina center Tyler Zeller, who also led this southwestern Indiana school to state titles in 2005 and 2008.

Culver (19-7) led 18-17 after the first quarter, but Washington went on an 18-6 run in the second quarter to take a 35-24 lead into the half. Culver was never able to cut the lead under nine for the rest of the game.

With Zeller in the lead, Washington dominated Culver inside with a 38-21 rebound margin that led to a plus-15 foul differential. Both teams shot 60 percent from the foul line, but that's where the similarities ended with that statistic. Washington shot 25 free throws while Culver shot just five.

Culver 7-footer Chier Ajou, a New Mexico commit, was held to 10 points and five rebounds before fouling out.

Jermaine Myers led the way for Culver with 17 points, six steals and four assists. Juwan Brescasin added 12 points and five rebounds.

Dylan Ervin scored 18 points and and had six rebounds for Washington, which won its seventh state title in history.

Zeller became the fourth player in Indiana boys basketball history to play on three state championship teams.

Washington won its first state basketball title in 1930.

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Class 2A Final: Park Tudor Denies Hammond Bishop Noll Perfect Season

Hammond Bishop Noll (26-1), the last undefeated team at any level of basketball in Indiana, failed Saturday afternoon to become the 13th team in the last century to complete a perfect year.

The Warriors lost a 43-42 thriller to Park Tudor (26-2) in the Indiana Class 2A championship at the Conseco Fieldhouse.

Trailing 42-40 with 1:23 left in the fourth quarter, talented freshman Trevon Bluiett put back a layup off an offensive rebound for an 'And 1' to give Park Tudor its first lead since early in the first quarter.

Ronnye Beamon, Jr.'s jump shot with five seconds remaining for Hammond Noll was off, and Park Tudor celebrated.

While Hammond Noll controlled the boards (37-26), Park Tudor's defensive pressure led to eight steals and a 13-0 edge in points off turnovers.

Bluiett paced Park Tudor with 21 points and eight rebounds. Star junior point guard Kevin Ferrell, an Indiana commitment, added a well-rounded game of 14 points, six assists and five boards.

Adonis Filer led Hammond Noll with 19 points and seven rebounds. Beamon Jr. nearly contributed a double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds.

Park Tudor avenged a state final loss in last year's game.

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David Slays Goliath: Indy Metro Claims Indiana Class A Title Over Triton

Cinderella story Indianapolis Metro (22-6) defeated perennial power Triton (23-4) 59-55 Saturday morning at Conseco Fieldhouse to capture the Indiana Class 1A championship.

Indy Metro, a charter school founded five years ago to improve kids' chances of graduating high school, might be the most surprising champion since, well, ever. The team only has eight players on its roster, many of whom have a history of suspension and other school-related problems.

Triton, on the other hand, has treated Conseco Fieldhouse like a second home. The school from Bourbon, Ind., near Lake Michigan, has been to state three out of the past four years, including a championship in 2009.

Triton raced  to an 8-0 lead in the first quarter, but Indy Metro battled to knot the score at 12 after the first quarter. The teams traded punches in the second quarter as Triton took a 24-23 lead into the break.

Triton jumped out to a quick six-point lead in the third quarter, but Indy Metro again fought back to take a six-point lead of its own heading into the final quarter.

Clay Yeo and Griffyn Carpenter did their best to keep Triton in the game in the fourth in combining for 17 points, but Indy Metro hit seven of eight free throws in the final minute to seal the game and the championship. 

Jerrbryon Graves led a balanced assault from Indy Metro with 15 points and five assists. Raymond Green, Reese Williams and Anthony Jackson each had 13 points. Jackson added 13 rebounds as well.

Leo and Carpenter paced Triton with 19 and 15 points, respectively. Leo also had six rebounds and six steals before fouling out in the fourth quarter.

Indy Metro's biggest problem now? It must find a place to hang its new championship banner. The basketball team doesn't even have a gym.

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Battle Of Big Men Takes Center Stage In Indiana On Saturday

In the state of Indiana, one matchup jumps off of the page Saturday in Indianapolis.

In Class 3A, defending champion Washington (23-4), a program that boasts six state championships on its resume, takes on Culver Academies (19-6), a newbie to the state finals.

On the surface, this seems like a storyline that has already played out around the country, but the team's big men make this one special.

For Washington, a school in southwestern Indiana, 6-foot-11 Cody Zeller mans the middle and averages 24.1 points and 13.3 rebounds per game. The Indiana recruit is both the top scorer and rebounder in the tournament.

However, Zeller will be only the second tallest player on the court Saturday as Culver Academies, a school in northern Indiana, will look to 7-footer and New Mexico recruit Chier Ajou to slow Zeller  in what may be the premier battle of big men this championship season.

In Class 2A, undefeated Hammond Bishop Noll (26-0), a school in the northwest corner of Indiana, looks to complete a perfect season against 2010 runner up Park Tudor of Indianapolis (25-2).

Park Tudor is led by junior Kevin Ferrell, who averages 18.7 points and 6.6 assists. The true point guard has verbally committed to Indiana and is ranked the third best point guard prospect in the country and 23rd best prospect overall per ESPN.

Trevon Bluiett, a 6-foot-5 forward, is the Panthers' most accomplished player inside. He averages  13.7 points and 7.6 rebounds.

Hammond Bishop Noll relies on a more balanced scoring  led by transfer student Adonis Filer, who averages 15.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists. Filer was a Chicago Catholic League first-team pick as a member of a 26-5 Mount Carmel team in 2010. While not signed yet, Filer is fielding about a half dozen Division I offers.

All four state championship games will be webcast in live audio and video at www.espn3.com

Indiana at a glance - All Games ET

Saturday, March 26 @ Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis

Class 1A

10:30 a.m. - Triton (23-3) vs. Indianapolis Metropolitan (21-6)

Class 2A

12:45 p.m. - Hammond Bishop Noll (26-0) vs. Park Tudor (25-2)

Class 3A

6:00 p.m. - Culver Academies (19-6) vs. Washington (23-4)

Class 4A

8:45 p.m. - Kokomo (23-2) vs. Bloomington South (25-2)

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