(3-27-23) It has been a long and grueling season once again in Indiana, and Saturday it came to a close with the 2022-2023 IHSAA boys’ basketball State Finals. Four schools are now etched in history as this year’s champions, while four others can take pride in the journey that brought them to Indianapolis. Like we did for the girls, instead of highlighting a recipient from each district during this final review, we instead honor someone from each of the four championship programs.

Doughty, Brenner, Pickett and Ward

Ben Davis Senior Zane Doughty, NorthWood Senior Cade Brenner, Blackhawk Christian Sophomore Kellen Pickett, and Indianapolis Lutheran Sophomore L.J. Ward have been selected as winners for March 20-March 25 in the recognition program coordinated by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association. Doughty is highlighted in Class 4A. Brenner takes home honors in Class 3A. Pickett is the recipient in Class 2A. Ward stands out in Class 1A.

The Ben Davis Giants completed two feats Saturday evening. Not only did they win their fourth state championship in program history, but they also finished with an impenetrable 33-0 record. A big part of their success the last couple of seasons has been Senior Zane Doughty. Saturday, the 6-9 front-liner was a highly efficient 10-13 from the floor, finishing with 20 points in the Giants’ 53-41 win over the Kokomo Wildkats (24-5). Doughty also chipped in three rebounds, a steal, and a pair of blocked shots, and he will play at Valparaiso University next Winter.

Senior Cade Brenner came up huge for NorthWood (28-2) Saturday evening, as the Panthers needed all 28 of his points to survive in overtime, 66-63, against the Guerin Catholic Golden Eagles

(20-9). The 6-3 guard buried five shots from long range and was a near-perfect 5-6 from the free throw line on the evening. He also added two rebounds, two assists, and a steal, as the Panthers won their first state title in program history. Brenner will lace them up for Huntington University next season.

The Blackhawk Christian Braves (27-3) won their third state title in five years, and their second in Class 2A, as the defeated the Linton-Stockton Miners (29-2) Saturday afternoon, 52-45. Stepping up big for the Braves was Sophomore Kellen Pickett. The 6-8 forward nearly posted a double-double with his 19 points and nine rebounds. He made 6-11 shots from the field, 2-5 from deep, and he was 5-7 from the charity stripe. The Sophomore forward also handed out four assists, collected a steal, and blocked a shot in the program’s big win.

There were a number of individuals to choose from in Indianapolis Lutheran’s 97-66 victory over the Southwood Knights (15-13) Saturday morning, but Sophomore L.J. Ward put together as complete of a game as any of them. The 5-10 guard scored 17 points, he snagged seven caroms, he dished out seven assists, he collected six steals, and he managed to block four shots as well in the big win. It was the Saints’ (20-7) first title and the second time they have been to the state finals (2008).

       This is the 15th season for the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association Player of the Week program, but just the third season it is being 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. Girls’ winners were chosen through February 25th, following the IHSAA Girls State Finals. This is the final week for boys’ winners to be chosen, following the IHSAA Boys State Finals this past Saturday.

2022-23 Weekly Winners

       Oct. 31-Nov. 5: District-1 girls: Nevaeh Foster, Mishawaka Marian. District-2 girls: Olivia Nickerson, Twin Lakes. District-3 girls: Kylee Edwards, Shelbyville.

       Nov. 7-Nov. 12: District-1 girls: Asia Donald, Hobart. District-2 girls: Gloria Brewer, Greencastle. District-3 girls: Juliann Woodard, Jennings County.

       Nov. 14-Nov. 19: District-1 girls: Ashlynn Brooke, Pioneer. District-2 girls: Renna Schwieterman, Jay County. District-3 girls: Lauren Foster, Indian Creek.

       Nov. 21-Nov. 26: District-1 boys: Jamie Hodges, Michigan City. District-1 girls: Kennedy Fuelling, Norwell. District-2 boys: Elhadj Diallo, Brownsburg. District-2 girls: Laila Hull, Zionsville Community. District-3 boys: Cam Craig, Switzerland County. District-3 girls: Keylee Hudson, Eastern Greene.

       Nov. 28-Dec. 3: District-1 boys: Markus Burton, Penn. District-1 girls: Ava Ziolkowski, Crown Point. District-2 boys: Divine Adeyanju, West Lafayette. District-2 girls: Adrianne Tolen, West Lafayette. District-3 boys: Jack Benter, Brownstown Central. District-3 girls: Saige Stahl, Columbus East.

       Dec. 5-Dec. 10: District-1 boys: Luke McBride, Norwell. District-1 girls: Amiyah Reynolds, South Bend Washington. District-2 boys: Landon Biegel, Oak Hill. District-2 girls: Cristen Carter, Ben Davis. District-3 boys: Trent Sisley, Heritage Hills. District-3 girls: Bailey Tabeling, Trinity Lutheran.

       Dec. 12-Dec. 17: District-1 boys: Mason Jones, Valparaiso. District-1 girls: Ally Capouch, Kouts. District-2 boys: Flory Bidunga, Kokomo. District-2 girls: Alli Harness, Carroll (Flora). District-3 boys: Joey Hart, Linton-Stockton. District-3 girls: Josie Trabel, East Central.

       Dec. 19-Dec. 31: District-1 boys: Austin Cripe, West Noble. District-1 girls: Jessa Troy, Penn. District-2 boys: Azavier Robinson, Lawrence North. District-2 girls: Meredith Tippner, Noblesville. District-3 boys: Luke Ellspermann, Evansville Memorial. District-3 girls: Emily Parker, Boonville.

       Jan. 2-Jan. 7: District-1 boys: A.J. Lux, Crown Point. District-1 girls: Madison Vice, Central Noble. District-2 boys: Kanon Catchings, Brownsburg. District-2 girls: Laila Hull, Zionsville Community. District-3 boys: Cole Pride, Batesville. District-3 girls: Chloey Graham, Gibson Southern.

       Jan. 9-Jan. 14: District-1 boys: Bauer Maple, Maconaquah. District-1 girls: Ashlynn Brooke, Pioneer. District-2 boys: Devon Woods, Pike. District-2 girls: Reagan Wilson, Noblesville. District-3 boys: Marcus Ankney, Center Grove, and Quade Morton, Pike Central. District-3 girls: Saige Stahl, Columbus East.

       Jan. 16-Jan. 21: District-1 boys: Isaiah Malone, Prairie Heights. District-1 girls: Miranda Stoll, Maconaquah. District-2 boys: Sam Orme, Carmel. District-2 girls: Bailey Parham, Tri. District-3 boys: Weston Aigner, Castle. District-3 girls: Ava Wilson, Shelbyville.

       Jan. 23-Jan. 28: District-1 boys: Nolan Cumberland, Tippecanoe Valley. District-1 girls: Addison Baxter, Columbia City. District-2 boys: A.J. Dunn, Yorktown. District-2 girls: Adrianne Tolen, West Lafayette. District-3 boys: Jack Benter, Brownstown Central. District-3 girls: Reagan Martin, Owen Valley.

       Jan. 30-Feb. 4: District-1 boys: Justin Sims, Chesterton. District-1 girls: Lillian Barnes, Valparaiso. District-2 boys: Dylan Moles, Greenfield-Central. District-2 girls: Addison Bowsman, Twin Lakes. District-3 boys: Peter Combs, Bloomfield, and Cole Henry, South Ripley. District-3 girls: Ava Weber, Corydon Central.

       Feb. 6-Feb. 11: District-1 boys: Jamie Hodges Jr., Michigan City. District-1 girls: Madison Vice, Central Noble. District-2 boys: Dezmon Briscoe, Crispus Attucks. District-2 girls: Camryn Runner, Hamilton Heights. District-3 boys: Blake Neill, Bloomfield. District-3 girls: Lauren Foster, Indian Creek.

       Feb. 13-Feb. 18: District-1 boys: Markus Burton, Penn, and Brandon Trilli, Munster. District-1 girls: Mariah Stoltzfus, Bethany Christian. District-2 boys: Flory Bidunga, Kokomo. District-2 girls: Laniah Wills, Lapel. District-3 boys: Cole Thomas, South Central (Elizabeth). District-3 girls: Amber Tretter, Forest Park.

       Feb. 20-Feb. 25: Class 4A Champion girls: Chloe Spreen, Bedford North Lawrence. Class 3A Champion girls: Morgan Gawthrop, Fairfield. Class 2A Champion girls: Amber Tretter, Forest Park. Class 1A Champion girls: Linzie Wernert, Lanesville. District-1 boys: Dominique Murphy, East Chicago Central. District-2 boys: Dylan Moles, Greenfield-Central. District-3 boys: Dakota Candler, South Knox.

       Feb. 27-Mar. 4: District-1 boys: Tyler Parrish, Chesterton. District-2 boys: Jackson Wors, Delta. District-3 boys: Cole McKee, Gibson Southern.

       Mar. 6-Mar. 11: District-1 boys: Brycen Hannah, John Glenn. District-2 boys: Isaac Andrews, Wapahani. District-3 boys: Carter Kent, Jennings County.

       Mar. 13-Mar. 18: District-1 boys: Gage Sefton, Blackhawk Christian. District-2 boys: Flory Bidunga, Kokomo. District-3 boys: Logan Webb, Linton-Stockton.

       Mar. 20-Mar. 25: Class 4A Champion boys: Zane Doughty, Ben Davis. Class 3A Champion boys: Cade Brenner, NorthWood. Class 2A Champion boys: Kellen Pickett, Blackhawk Christian. Class 1A Champion boys: L.J. Ward, Indianapolis Lutheran.