The drought is over.
Saturday night’s 57-47 victory over Fountain Central gave Delphi its first boys basketball sectional championship since 2004.
In a game that saw Delphi’s Brent Hawn being taken out with an apparent stomach injury and Fountain Central’s Sam Woodrow coming out due to a bloody nose, this physical, hard-fought game looked like a sectional final.
Fountain Central chose to use 5-foot-9 guard Michael Duane to guard Delphi’s 6-8 forward Cole Murray. Duane was able to hold Murray down for most of the game, as he finished with a quiet 13 points.
“Murray doesn’t ever post up,” Fountain Central coach Jason Good said. “He didn’t hurt us in the post at all, and Michael is our most physical defender.
“We put him on Murray, and I thought he did a fantastic job.”
With Murray struggling, someone on Delphi needed to step up. Senior Erik Carpenter more than filled that void.
“(Carpenter) has been the X factor all year for us.” Delphi coach Michael Lewis said. “He is one of the biggest reasons why we are a good basketball team. He has hit big shot after big shot for us.
“I can not speak more highly of him.”
After the first quarter resulted in an 11-11 tie, Delphi used timely baskets from both Carpenter, who finished with 14 points, and senior Blake Walters to take a 23-21 lead into halftime.
Coming out of halftime, a 3 by Hawn and a jumper by Walters gave the Oracles some breathing room. Another 3-point basket by Walters, who finished with 13 points, stretched the lead to 35-27 with 1:31 left in the third.
With the Delphi crowd getting louder, it was Carpenter who delivered the dagger to Fountain Central’s hopes of defending its sectional title.
After a drive and dish from Ricky Windell found Carpenter for a corner 3, the senior calmly sank the shot as the third-quarter buzzer sounded to give Delphi momentum and a 40-29 lead.
After such a long sectional drought, the celebration spilled out past the court, literally. Members of the Delphi team and their student body decided to jump in their indoor swimming pool to celebrate. Athletic director Wes Allen was able to quickly spring to action before anything serious happened to any of the players.
“Two members of our student body made it into the pool, but I don’t think any of the members of the team made it in.” Allen said, “Coach Lewis was appreciative that we were able to stop that from happening. We were not going to allow that tonight.”
Even though Carpenter was able to win a sectional title, he really wanted to celebrate further.
“I wanted it bad. This was a big one for me. It feels great,” Carpenter said, “They wouldn’t let us jump in the pool though. I’m ticked.”
Ethan Woodrow led Fountain Central, which finishes 18-5, with 14 points. Sam Woodrow had 13 in his final game.