HARTFORD CITY – Concordia won its first regional title since 2000 with a 67-58 win over defending champion Norwell in the Class 3A Blackford Regional finals Saturday.
Concordia hasn’t gotten this far in a while, and we talked about doing this since the beginning of the season, Concordia junior D.J. McCall said.
Seventh-ranked Concordia (22-4) will play Andrean next Saturday in the semistate at either Lafayette Jeff or Huntington North.
Norwell (18-7) was the 2012 3A state runner-up.
As little kids, we dreamed of going to state, not that we have made it yet, but going this far is quite an accomplishment, Concordia senior Ryan Gross said. We are going to practice hard this week and get ready for the semistate.
McCall led the Cadets with 26 points, while Thomas Starks and Brian Gremaux each had 13.
Norwell got 13 points from David Vogel, 11 from Drew Shively and 10 each from Josh VanMeter and Piercen Harnish.
I am so happy for the kids, Concordia coach Josh Eggold said.
They have worked so hard, just like everybody has who has gotten to this level. It is a great testament to their toughness to come back and play with the kind of energy they did in the second half.
The Cadets saw their 10-point fourth-quarter lead, 60-50, dwindle down to four, 60-56, with a minute remaining.
But Concordia made 5 of 6 free throws down the stretch.
In the semifinals, Concordia beat Hamilton Heights 65-49, and Norwell took care of Tippecanoe Valley 77-65.
McCall had 24 points for the Cadets, while Starks added 18.Concordia led 21-5 after the first quarter.
For Hamilton Heights (15-9), senior standout Alex Etherington was suspended for the game because of undisclosed disciplinary reasons.
In the semifinals, VanMeter scored 26 points for the Knights, while Drew Shively had 17, Vogel 16 and Cam Denny 10.
For Tippecanoe Valley (20-4), Tanner Andrews had 22 firstname.lastname@example.org