Silver Creek tops defending champion Culver Academies for school’s first state crown
After a stagnant first half, offensively, by both teams, Silver Creek warmed up first in the second half and went on to a 52-49 victory over Culver Academy in the Class 3A championship game.
The Dragons held only a 16-12 lead at halftime as they shot only 6-of-21 (29 percent) from the floor, while the Eagles were worse, hitting 3-of-17 (18 percent).
In the third quarter, however, Silver Creek (25-3) shot a torrid 8-of-9 from the field to lead it to a 22-point quarter, then followed that up with a 5-of-8 showing in the final eight minutes to finish at 50 percent (19-38)
Culver Academy trailed by as many as nine points in the fourth quarter, but fought gamely down the stretch. The Eagles closed within 51-49 in the final minute and had two possessions to tie or take a lead, but failed both times.
Silver Creek’s Kooper Jacobi canned the first of two free throws with 7.2 seconds left and a desperation 3-pointer by the Eagles at the buzzer missed.
Zane Gross led the Dragons with 15 points and Jacobi netted 11.
The victory for coach Brandon Hoffman’s squad marks the first state championship in any sport for the school and denies Culver Academy a repeat opportunity. The Eagles beat Evansville Bosse to win the title in 2018.
Ethan Brittain-Watts led Culver Academy with 23 points, while Trey Galloway had 13 points and 11 rebounds. Junior Deontae Craig netted 11 points.
Coach Mark Galloway’s Eagles, who will move up to Class 4A next season, finished 24-4.
Class 3A State Championship Records
John Cohen of Culver Academies wins the Trester Mental Attitude Award
Following the game, members of the IHSAA Executive Committee named John Cohen of Culver Academies as the winner of the Arthur L. Trester Mental Attitude Award in Class 3A Boys Basketball.
The award is annually presented to a senior participant in the state finals who best demonstrates mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability and is nominated by his principal and coach.
Cohen is a starting guard for Culver and was a member of the 2018 State Championship Team. As team captain in his senior year, Cohen has played in all 28 games for the Eagles. Along with basketball, Cohen is an exceptional lacrosse athlete.
John is the President and the Creator of Culver Pep Section Board, and he is also the member of the Sergeant Major Club, Honor Guardsmen, Squash Club, and the Student Ambassador Organization. Cohen is also a Unit Commander, which ranks as the highest of all unit cadets as a senior, and as a junior he was the highest rank in unit as a Battalion Sergeant Major of infantry.
Off the court, Cohen has worked for the Kevin Ferrell Foundation and he also performed at the Indiana society of Chicago for Honor Guard and the Blueberry Festival. He has also served as an instructor teaching lacrosse to elementary school kids.
John is the son of Jeff and Jennifer Cohen of Carmel, Ind. He plans to attend Johns Hopkins University to play lacrosse and will study economics or international studies.
The 4A, 3A and 2A awards are named in honor of the late Arthur L. Trester, who served as first commissioner of the Association from 1929 to 1944. Trester helped Indiana high school sports and the IHSAA emerge from the Great Depression in a position of preeminence unmatched by perhaps any other state in the nation.
The Indiana Pacers and Indiana Fever, the presenting sponsor of the IHSAA Boys Basketball State Tournament, presented a $1,000 scholarship to Culver Academies in the name of John Cohen. Since 1989, more than $840,000 in college scholarships have been presented to deserving high school athletes in Indiana.