(3-24-23) In 1943 World War II was still in progress, but that did not stop ‘Hoosier Hysteria‘ from keeping high school basketball fans entertained. Ft. Wayne Central would win the IHSAA 1943 single-class title that was played at the Indianapolis Coliseum. The Tigers would beat Batesville in the afternoon game 33-24 and coming back that night to win the championship game over Lebanon 45-40.

Several schools have won state basketball titles in Indiana and over the years have been closed or merged with another district…Ft. Wayne Central was one of those.

It was 1971, and everything was about to change in Fort Wayne Community Schools.

That was the year the Fort Wayne Community Schools board finally yielded to pressures from many in the black community to end de facto segregation in city high schools. The board closed Central High School, which all but a few of the city’s minority students attended, and opened Northrop and Wayne high schools. District lines were redrawn.

The 1943 Road To The State Title

The Blue and White had to win 10 tournament games to win the championship.

State Finals Program

1942-43 Regular Season

The Tigers were led by Hall of Fame Coach Murray Mendenhall who during his high school coaching career won 418 games and lost 153 during 23-year high school coaching career …coached 4 sports at Fort Wayne Central, winning state basketball championship in 1943…won 10 sectionals, 8 regionals, and 4 semistate

In 1943 there were many difference in the rules and how the game was played. ‘

The free throw lane looked like a ‘key hole’.

Tie-ups would result in a jump ball and there was no possession arrow.

No 3-point field goal.

There was no one-and one free throw attempts, between 1939 and 1952, teams could decline shooting the free throws and instead elect to inbound the ball at half court.

No shot clocks