March 26, 2016

Marion Scores State Record-Tying Eighth Championship
In rallying from a 10-point halftime deficit in the Class 3A state championship game, the Marion Giants were able to both make history and then tie it.

Trailing Evansville Bosse 35-25 at halftime, the Giants hit nine of 10 shots on the way to a 3A-record 31-point third quarter, taking a 56-50 lead. Marion would push the lead to 11 points in the fourth quarter before the Bulldogs rallied to take a 66-65 lead with 2:33 to go.

But Giants senior Reggie Jones hit two free throws to give his team the lead five seconds later, and then hit four foul shots in the final 17.9 seconds to preserve the lead and give his team a 73-68 win. Jones finished with 25 points, 19 in the second half, and eight rebounds.

The championship gave Marion eight state titles, which ties the Giants with Muncie Central for the most in Indiana boys basketball state history. And for Head Coach James Blackmon, it was extra special. Blackmon, who coached Fort Wayne Bishop Luers to state titles in 2008 and 2009, is a 1983 graduate of Marion. He was an Indiana All-Star his senior year, leading the Giants to the Final Four and later being inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.

Evansville Bosse, making its eighth trip to the state finals, led 18-8 at the end of the first quarter and 35-25 at halftime. After falling behind in the fourth, sophomore guard Mekhi Lairy scored 10 of his game-high 28 points during a 15-3 run to retake the lead. But the Giants went 8-8 from the line to close out the game.

Marion (23-7) also got 17 points from Juswon White – 13 above his season average – 14 points from Tim Leavell and 12 points from Vijay Blackmon.

Bosse finished 19-11 under Coach Shane Burkhart, a 1992 Marion graduate himself. Javi Langley scored 15 points and grabbed eight rebounds for the Bulldogs, while Erik Bell added eight assists.

Class 3A State Finals Records

Most Points in a Half: 48 by Marion (2nd Half) vs. Evansville Bosse, 2016
Most Points in a Quarter: 31 by Marion (3rd Quarter) vs. Evansville Bosse, 2016
Highest Combined 3-Point Field Goal Percentage (minimum 15 attempts): .433 by Evansville Bosse (7-19) and Marion (6-11)

Individual (Tied)
Highest Free-Throw Percentage (min. 10 attempts): 1.000 (10-10) by Reggie Jones of Marion vs. Evansville Bosse, 2016 (Tied 3 other Players)

 Listen: Marion Press Conference | Evansville Bosse Press Conference

Bosse’s Ethan Thomas named Trester Mental Attitude Award Recipient
Following the game, members of the IHSAA Executive Committee named Ethan Thomas of Evansville Bosse High School as the winner of the Arthur L. Trester Mental Attitude Award in Class 3A Boys Basketball.

The award is annually presented to a senior participant in the state finals who best demonstrates mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability and is nominated by his principal and coach.

Ranked 21st in his class, Thomas has earned a 3.56 GPA while being a member of the basketball, football, and cross country teams. He is also a member of National Honor Society, Student Council, and the Bosse Mentoring Program to list a few.

Thomas is the son of Tamara Outlaw of Evansville. He has not yet selected his college but plans to study Exercise Science.

The 4A, 3A and 2A awards are named in honor of the late Arthur L. Trester who served as first commissioner of the Association from 1929 to 1944. Trester helped Indiana high school sports and the IHSAA emerge from the Great Depression in a position of preeminence unmatched by perhaps any other state in the nation.

The Indiana Pacers and Indiana Fever, the presenting sponsor of the IHSAA Boys Basketball State Tournament, presented a $1,000 scholarship to Evansville Bosse High School in the name of Ethan Thomas. Since 1989, more than $840,000 in college scholarships have been presented to deserving high school athletes in Indiana.