One year ago, the boys’ state tournament came to an abrupt halt immediately following Sectional play. This season, however, we are able to look ahead to the 16 Regionals scheduled to take place this coming Saturday. Last week there were a number of big performances, but the three guys chosen as Week-18 IBCA/Franciscan Health Players of the Week were highly productive each night in leading their respective schools to a Sectional title.
Gary Thea Bowman Senior Koron Davis, Lafayette Jefferson Senior Brooks Barnhizer, and Heritage Hills Senior Blake Sisley are the winners for Mar. 1-Mar. 6 in the recognition program coordinated by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association. Davis is the honoree in District-1. Barnhizer is the recipient for a third time this year in District-2. Sisley is the winner in District-3.
Thea Bowman Senior Koron Davis spent last week helping to lead the Eagles to a hard-fought Sectional #33 title. Wednesday, in the quarterfinals, the 6-5 wing scored 33 points on 12-18 shooting, as the Eagles took out a strong Andrean team, 64-57. Davis also made 3-5 from 3-point range, and he was 6-8 from the charity stripe. He posted a double-double with 11 rebounds, plus he added a pair of assists.
Friday, in the semifinals, the Senior wing again gave them a big boost, scoring 29 points in a tight, 52-47 win against first-year IHSAA member Illiana Christian. This time, Davis knocked down 10 shots from the field, three of which were from deep, and he repeated his 6-8 performance from the free throw line. He posted another double-double with 14 rebounds, and he picked off three steals defensively.
In the Sectional Championship, Davis’ offense was again appreciated by the Eagles, as he went 11-17 from the field, he made a 3-pointer, and he was a perfect 10-10 from the line, scoring 33 points in Bowman’s 70-58 triumph over a solid Marquette Catholic program. The Senior added seven rebounds to his week’s total, plus he collected two more steals in this contest. Davis averaged nearly 32 points and 11 rebounds on the week.
Lafayette Jefferson was a strong favorite entering Sectional #7 play, and they didn’t disappoint. Senior wing Brooks Barnhizer has been great all season, and last week his steadiness was definitely needed. Tuesday, the Bronchos played at host Marion, and while they had to overcome an offensive explosion by one of the Giants, Jefferson survived with an 83-74 true road victory. Barnhizer knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and was 9-11 from the free throw line, on his way to 27 points in the win. He added eight rebounds, three assists, four steals, and three blocked shots.
The Bronchos returned Friday night to take on West Lafayette Harrison, and they were in for another battle, winning by just a 79-72 margin. Barnhizer, a 6-7 wing, scored 28 points, plus he was a perfect 14-14 from the line in doing so. He nearly had a triple-double with his 16 rebounds and eight assists, plus he stole the ball four times and blocked four shots. Of his 16 rebounds, nine of them came at the offensive end of the floor.
In the Sectional Final, Barnhizer and Lafayette Jefferson had a slightly easier time with McCutcheon, knocking off the Mavericks by a final score of 69-55. In this contest, the Northwestern University commit was 3-5 from 3-point range, and he was again perfect from the line, going 10-10 there. He had another double-double with his 13 rebounds, plus he also contributed four assists, a pair of steals, and five blocked shots to the effort.
Heritage Hills Senior Blake Sisley has been a consistent performer throughout his four-year career, and last week he helped the Patriots to their first Sectional title since 2003 with three wins over five days. In Tuesday’s opener, the 6-9 Sisley scored 23 points and grabbed nine rebounds, as Heritage Hills defeated Evansville Memorial 46-39 in Sectional #32. The Senior forward was also 8-9 from the line.
In Friday’s semifinal, Sisley scored a career-high 40 points in a 62-51 win over a talented Evansville Bosse team. During his big outing, he was 15-25 from the floor, he knocked down a 3-pointer, and he was 9-11 from the charity stripe. Sisley grabbed 13 rebounds to post a double-double, with five of them coming at the offensive end of the floor.
The University of Evansville signee helped the Patriots seal the deal Saturday night, as Heritage Hills took care of host Boonville, 54-32. Sisley again scored 23 points, as he was a solid 9-15 from the field, 2-3 from long range, plus he was a perfect 3-3 from the free throw line. He pulled down eight caroms in the victory, plus he handed out four assists.
This is the 13th season for the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association Player of the Week program, but the first season it is presented by Franciscan Health, a corporate sponsor of the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association.
Player of the Week winners are chosen each week from each of the IHSAA’s three districts. The girls’ winners were chosen through the conclusion of their season last week. Boys’ winners will be chosen through the Monday following the IHSAA Boys State Finals.
Other Top Nominees for Week-18 (2020-21)
District-1 Boys: Jaxson Gould, Warsaw; Tyler Hachey, Washington Township; Jalen Jackson, Carroll (Fort Wayne); Karson Jenkins, Fort Wayne Snider; Thomas Latham, New Haven; Fletcher Loyer, Homestead; Jackson Paul, Churubusco; Joe Reidy, Woodlan; Carson Rich, Southwood; Cade Short, Knox.
District-2 Boys: Jalen Blackmon, Marion; Jayden Brewer, Ben Davis; Luke Brown, Blackford; Jake Chapman, Tri-Central; Champ Ellis, Union (Modoc); Ty Lynas, Crawfordsville; Elijah Mattingly, Central Christian; Damon Shaw, Rossville; Braden Smith, Westfield; Jayden Taylor, Perry Meridian.
District-3 Boys: Jack Benter, Brownstown Central; Brett Bosley, Paoli; Kyle Crim, Morristown; Jackson Hills, Sullivan; Kooper Jacobi, Silver Creek; Lane Lauderbaugh, South Decatur; Colson Montgomery, Southridge; Jake Moynihan, Seton Catholic; Jahni Summers, Evansville Harrison; Isaiah Swope, Castle.