Saturday was a big day for southern Indiana basketball teams at the IHSAA State Finals in Indianapolis.
The Washington Hatchets led by IU commit Cody Zeller, won convincingly over the Culver Academies Eagles 61-46, while the Bloomington South Cougars brought home their second state title in three years with a 56-42 win over the Kokomo WildKats.
Bloomington South coach J.R. Holmes said this team was unique to the last team that won state in 2009.
“We played really, really good the last five tournament games,” said Holmes. “They deserve it, they’ve earned it. They had a really hard schedule and they played really tough teams. They beat teams that was supposed to beat them. And now we can go home and celebrate.”
The Panthers were led by Mr. Basketball candidates and seniors Darwin Davis Jr. and Spencer Turner. Turner said his 2nd state championship with Bloomington south was a team effort.
“Two years ago it was a team win, there wasn’t one individual, and this year it was another team win. It’s just great when you win as a team,” said Turner.
The Panthers led comfortably for most of the game, but had to hang on late when the WildKats made one last push to get their lead down to just five points. But thanks to some clutch play from Davis and key free throws from Turner, the Panthers were able to hold on to their lead.
The day was capped off when Turner was named the Trester Mental Attitude award winner in Class 4A. Spencer’s father, Scott Turner, said this team has been really special to watch the last four years.
“The last four years have been great, he said. “We’ve had an unbelievable ride here at Bloomington South, winning two state championships the last three years. So it’s been remarkable.”
The panthers continued the celebration Sunday at a pep rally where players and coaches took time to thank fans, and family members for their support throughout the season.