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Semistate
Today
At Huntington North
Class 3A – Bishop Dwenger (17-8) vs. Bowman (21-4), 6:15 p.m.
At Lafayette Jeff
Class 4A – Homestead (20-7) vs. Lake Central (21-3), 3:45 p.m.
Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette
Bishop Dwenger senior Mike Fiacable, center, has one goal for the Saints: a Class 3A state championship.

State or bust for Saints’ Fiacable

– It took about a month or two for Bishop Dwenger senior Mike Fiacable to shake off the effects of a long and disappointing football season. The emotional and disappointing aspect of the Saints’ Class 4A state runner-up finish, though, is a different matter.

Fiacable and the Saints are working this postseason on a little redemption, this time on the basketball court.

Fiacable, the quarterback on the field and guard/forward on the court, is leading Dwenger on a trek through another postseason run, with a semistate date with No. 3 Bowman at Huntington North today.

“It is just experience, not just for sports but for life and how to handle it in tough situations,” Fiacable said of dealing with disappointment. “There is going to be a lot of adverse situations that we are going to have to face (today). The team who comes out on top is the team who handles that the best.”

Once high school is complete, Fiacable will head to the Air Force Academy football program, but for now he is feeding off the Saints’ 28-27 loss to Columbus East in the 4A title game at Lucas Oil Stadium.

“Not winning state in football just motivates me to win state in basketball,” said Fiacable, who is averaging 7.1 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals and 1.5 assists.

Because of knee surgery, Fiacable missed two seasons last year – football and basketball – before returning this season in both sports.

“You are always going to be shaky at the start, but once you get flowing into the game … probably a month or two in, I was pretty set in basketball mode,” Fiacable said of the transition between the sports.

His desire to make amends for lost time has been evident this year. The goal is a spot in the 3A state finals March 29 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and another chance at the blue ribbon.

“We wanted to get to state this year because we were a young team last year,” Fiacable said. “We have a lot of experience, kids who played last year, and they all came back this year. When you start to set your standards high and you start to achieve them, it just feels good.”

But a state title in basketball is not just Fiacable’s hoops dream. The Saints’ seniors have been eyeing this possibility for a while.

“That’s always been our goal, going to state,” said fellow senior Grady Eifert, the team’s leading scorer at 14.9 points and leading rebounder at 7.5 boards. “All my best friends wanted to have a fun senior year, and this is what it turned out to be, so it has been a lot of fun.”

If the Saints are able to make it to the state finals, they would have the chance to exorcise some demons of past northeast Indiana teams who finished as the 3A state runners-up the last two years – Norwell in 2012 and Concordia in 2013.

The teams that defeated the Knights and Cadets are in the southern semistate today. Top-ranked Greensburg, which beat Concordia last year, faces Guerin Catholic, which took out Norwell two years ago.

Greg Jones is the high school sports editor for The Journal Gazette and has been covering sports in the Fort Wayne area since 1998. He can be reached by email gjones@jg.net; phone, 461-8224; or fax 461-8648.

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