By KEVIN HARRIS
RICHMOND – New Washington’s dramatic run in the IHSAA state tournament came to a disappointing end Saturday at the Tiernan Center.
Third-ranked Indianapolis Tindley went on a game-clinching 13-5 run in the final 4 minutes and 9 seconds of regulation to defeat the Mustangs in the Class A Richmond Semistate 64-50.
It was the Tigers’ first semistate championship in school history. Tindley (23-5) will play No. 1 Lafayette Central Catholic (22-6) in the Class A state championship game at 10:30 a.m. next Saturday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Central Catholic beat Gary 21st Century in the Class A Lafayette Jeff Semistate on Saturday 77-59.
New Washington finished the season with a 20-10 record as it collected sectional and regional titles for the first time since 2001.
“I thought we just had some crucial misses at times and some crucial turnovers. I thought that was the difference in controlling (the game) and taking a lead,” Mustangs’ head coach Jonathan May said.
The Mustangs got off to a bad start as the Tigers scored the first nine points of the game and led 14-5 with less than three minutes left in the first quarter.
But New Washington bounced back, getting within 19-15 at the end of the period when senior forward Hunter Lind hit the first of his five 3-pointers. The Mustangs got even closer late in the second, as they trailed 23-22 when senior forward Zach Moore knocked down a 15-footer.
Tindley, though, responded by scoring the final five points of the first half to spark a 13-2 run to give itself a 36-24 advantage midway through the third.
With the Tigers leading 51-39 with less than five minutes remaining in regulation, Lind knocked down back-to-back 3’s to cut Tindley’s lead to 51-45. However, the Tigers scored seven consecutive points to go up 58-45 with 2:29 left and they did not look back.
Lind led the Mustangs with 15 points, while teammate Brandon Horton tallied 13. New Washington senior center Stevie Mack recorded a double-double with 12 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Mack also blocked three shots. Mustang guard Caleb Ellison made six rebounds and five assists.
Moore, who is one of New Washington’s key players all season, left the game early in the third quarter because of a stomach bug. Moore had seven points, all in the first half.
“It threw us off. But we’re not going to make that an excuse,” May said about Moore’s absence. “It definitely did not help us with him being out.”
The Mustangs lose seven seniors in Ellison, Horton, Lind, Mack, Moore, Noah Franklin and Brandon Gill.
Junior guard Eric Hunter paced Tindley with a game-high 23 points along with a game-high six assists. Teammate KJ Coleman had 17 points and Tiger junior Hunter White scored 12.
Check Southern Indiana Preps in the upcoming days for a breakdown of Saturday’s Class A Richmond Semistate between New Washington and Indianapolis Tindley.
CLASS A RICHMOND SEMISTATE
INDIANAPOLIS TINDLEY 64, NEW WASHINGTON 50
New Washington 15 7 14 14-50
Tindley 19 9 17 19-64
New Washington (20-10): Hunter Lind 15, Brandon Horton 13, Stevie Mack 12, Zach Moore 7, Caleb Ellison 3, Jesus Diaz 0, Noah Franklin 0, Brandon Gill 0, Hunter Miles 0, Spencer Tye 0, AJ Walter 0.
Tindley (23-5): Eric Hunter 23, KJ Coleman 17, Hunter White 12, Joseph Johnson 6, Tyler Young 4, Sincere McMahon 2, Adedotun Adegbemigun 0, Maciah Caldwell 0, Andrew Knox 0, Keith Malone 0, Chris Murff 0, Josiah Poole 0.
3-point field goals: New Washington 9 (Lind 5, Horton 2, Ellison 1, Franklin 1); Tindley 3 (Coleman 2, Hunter 1).
Rebounds: New Washington 30 (Mack 12); Tindley 24 (White 7).
Turnovers: New Washington 13, Tindley 5.
Free throws: New Washington 7-12, Tindley 13-19.
Total fouls: New Washington 18, Tindley 13.
Fouled out: none.