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2003 Indiana State Championship
(26 April 2003)

Lafayette Harrison Takes State Title

The seventh annual Indiana State Championship was held at Hamilton Heights HS on Saturday, April 26th. Only one team managed to escape the day without a blemish on its record - Harrison High School from Lafayette. They finished the day 6-0, defeating South Bend Clay in the final match. It's the first title for a White River Academic League team since Center Grove in 1997, and the second straight year a St. Joe Valley League team has finished runnerup (South Bend St. Joseph's).

With some of the White River favorite teams (Warren Central, Brebeuf Jesuit) unable to attend, the tournament promised to be wide open. St. Joe, the regular season champion of the St. Joseph Valley League, was the high-scoring team in Round 1 by pulling away from Duneland's tourney champ Hobart in the fourth round, 325-275. The nailbiters were Harrison's win over Penn and Andrean's win over Yorktown, which were both not settled until the last question.

In Round 2, St. Joe maintained first place by crushing Monrovia, 340-210. Harrison, buoyed by their first-round scare, took care of Merrillville, 330-205. Of the other winners from Round 1, though, only Brownsburg and Hamilton Southeastern managed to get a second win. The latter nipped Andrean 270-260, bringing the 49ers' consecutive record win streak (dating back three years at state) to an unceremonious end.

Round 3 saw the number of undefeated teams cut in half again, as St. Joe beat Brownsburg, 375-245, and South Bend Clay wrapped up a playoff berth with a 10-point win over Southeastern. Andrean rebounded with 360 points to snag the highest seed for a 2-1 team, and Penn, which had put up nice scores in losing efforts against both Harrison and Huntington North, racked up an impressive 440 points against Avon to sneak into the eighth spot as the highest 1-2 team.

The playoffs were wild. In the top half of the bracket, three of the four teams were from the St. Joseph Valley league. So, although St. Joe had dominated all morning, records were thrown out the window, and the Indians lost to a Penn team determined to reverse their loss from the league's regular season. Penn could not, however, reverse their league playoff loss to Clay, and so Clay reached the finals. In the other half of the bracket, last year's other finalist, Andrean, didn't fare any better than St. Joe, losing to Huntington North, the Quad County Conference champion. But it was Lafayette Harrison who emerged from the bottom half to play against Clay. Unfortunately, it was Prom Night for the Colonials, so two team members could not stay, and Harrison ended up taking the title, 420-155. Congratulations Raiders!