INDIANAPOLIS – Three years of frustration came to an end a season earlier on the same court at nearly the same time.
When Cathedral beat Heritage Christian in 2011 for the City Championship at Tech High School, in ended a drought for the school when it came to being the kings of Indianapolis basketball. The Irish won the championship from 2006-2009 but watched Broad Ripple win the next two-including the last by their former coach Scott Hicks.
The result was the same on Monday night as the Irish used a strong second half to pull away from host Tech for a 67-47 repeat City Championships victory-a second year of celebration for a team that has now won six-of-the-last-eight tournaments.
“Very rarely do you see teams repeat as city champions,” said Cathedral head coach Andy Fagan-but the Irish hope their aren’t as scarce.
Featuring a strong lineup that includes Indiana-bound Collin Hartman, senior guard Mo Evans and rising sophomore Jalen Coleman, Cathedral has their eyes on making a deep run into March in Class 4A.
“That’s what our whole team is based around is winning championships,” said Hartman. “This is just a step in the process for us to our first main goal which is winning state.”
The 17th-ranked Irish took their biggest step towards proving they were worth of that goal on Monday night. Led by Trey Lyles Tech frustrated Cathedral in two previous meetings this season, defeating the Irish by three on December 7th and then by six exactly three weeks later.
After easily defeating Howe and Shortridge to get the to title game, Cathedral was more than ready for the Titans this time around. Cathedral took a seven-point lead going into the second half and then blew away the Titans in the second half with the drives to the basket by Evans (team-high 15 points) and Hartman (13 points). The Irish had an 11-point lead at the end of three quarters then outscored Tech by nine in the final quarter to end their two-game losing streak to the Titans.
“Defensive stops and offensive boards,” said Hartman when asked what made the difference in the second half on Monday. “That’s what we really pride ourselves on is defense and offensive rebounds.”
Perhaps this could be the key to the Irish putting together a deep run in the tournament, one where they could face Tech again in Sectional 10. The Irish haven’t advanced past the sectional since the 1997-1998 season when they won the state championship.
“We’ve been progressing as a team, different guys have been stepping up each and every night,” said Fagan, whose team improved to 10-5 with the win over Tech. “That definitely one of our strengths, we’re not base around one or two guys, we really have a team of 11 guys that are capable of having an impact any night.”