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2010 Indiana State Championship
(13 March 2010)

Zionsville Too Hot to Handle

After having won the White River regular season title, the Brownsburg Dogfight, and the Illinois/Indiana Challenge, Zionsville Community High School was a formidable opponent for anyone. But winning State is no easy feat. Zionsville did just that, though, to become the sixth team to win a state championship. Congratulations to the Eagles and coach Paulette Berger!

Right away in the first round, there were some intriguing matchups and results. White River playoff champs Hamilton Southeastern came from behind to beat Rotary champs St. Joseph's; St. Joe Valley champs Penn won a back-and-forth battle with four-time state champ Harrison; and Marian and Valparaiso weathered tough games.

For the second round, Harrison had another hard loss, this time to Center Grove by 20. In close matches, North White survived against Perry Meridian and North Central eked by Adams, while most of the other matches were comfortable wins.

By the end of Round 3, several teams had emerged as teams to watch. Fishers put an end to Marian's winning streak; Penn and Zionsville went to the last question; Center Grove ran the "A in Geography" category to gain eventual victory over Lawrence North; and, in a rematch of last year's final, Culver Academies again topped St. Joe.

The last preliminary round caused tectonic switches in the standings, as teams with 2-1 records played to get to the afternoon. Valparaiso advanced to their first-ever playoff spot by eliminating Southport. University also made it to their first-ever afternoon session by reversing their Game 2 loss to St. Joseph's. Center Grove took out Hamilton Southeastern on the strength of another 60-second sweep. Zionsville put an end to Marian's day by scoring 465. Culver went to 4-0 and in the process eliminated Michigan City. And, in perhaps the most important result, host Harrison churned out 390 points to grab the last and only spot for a 2-2 team.

Although Fishers came into the afternoon ranked first, this has not been a springboard to the championship, since only about half of the teams in this position have ended up winning the tournament. That bad luck continued, with Harrison winning the duel. Center Grove and Penn had nearly identical morning results, but Penn held the 2008 champ to 10 points in the Bonus Round and went on to win. Culver ended Valparaiso's nice run with a dominating performance, but it was Zionsville who put the exclamation point on the quarterfinals by getting the high score of the day, 515 points, against University.

The semifinals were exciting, as Penn and Harrison went down to the last question, with the Kingsmen prevailing by 5. But Zionsville was starting to warm up, racking up 235 points in the Stump the Experts round to dispatch defending champ Culver.

The final had Penn hoping to win their third state title, and they had beaten Zionsville earlier in the day, but by this time the Eagles were too hot. They answered twice as many tossups in Round 1 to grab the early lead, 65-35; they swept the "Colonial America" bonus to extend their lead to 170-85 at the end of Round 2; and they had the game mathematically out of reach with eight tossups to go in Round 4, winning the championship with a final score of 410-305.