Howe revels in first City title since 1987

Howe revels in first City title since 1987

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Howe revels in first City title since 1987

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Howe Hornets players celebrate with the trophy after their 75-72 win over Scecina in the final of the Indianapolis City Boys Basketball Tournament at Arsenal Tech on Monday, Jan. 26, 2015. The No. 2 seed Hornets had not won a City title since 1987.

As Harris Brown climbed the stepladder to claim his piece of net after Howe’s first City tournament championship since 1987, he joked that he might take the whole rim.

If anyone could claim ownership to it, it’d be Brown. The University of Evansville recruit scored 35 points on Monday night as second-seeded Howe knocked off top-seed Scecina 75-72 in the City title game.

That performance by Brown came after a 44-point night in a semifinal win over Tech on Saturday and 38 points in a quarterfinal win over Heritage Christian.

“We did the best we could, but he hit shots,” Scecina coach Rob New said. “You gotta give it to him. If the guy’s good, he’s good. You can’t take that away from him. He didn’t just make shots, he made plays.”

Howe (13-2) needed every bit of Brown’s playmaking to hold off a Scecina team that seemed to scramble back each time the Hornets looked ready to pull away.

The Crusaders (12-4) had two potential shots a tying 3-pointer, but Zach Rutland’s attempt from the right wing was blocked by freshman Tony Hopkins. After a jump ball was called, Scecina had the ball under its own basket with 0.4 seconds left. Brian Tutrow’s rushed shot from the corner was off the mark.

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The final horn sounded and Howe’s players celebrated the program’s first City title since a 69-68 championship win over Roncalli in 1987. Howe coach Mosi Barnes pulled that game ball out of the trophy case on Monday and had the players touch it for good luck.

“Like it was ‘Space Jam,'” Barnes said.

Junior guard Kip Warren added 17 points for Howe and Dreon Lewis had 11 points and six rebounds. Lewis helped to spark a 7-0 run that gave the Hornets a 65-58 lead with 2:33 left. Scecina kept clawing back, cutting it to 73-72 on a layup by DaKwon Brooks with 10.2 seconds left. But Warren made two free throws on the other end and Scecina couldn’t get a clean look on a 3-pointer.

“This is big for our program,” Barnes said. “It’s a big moment for us. It’s unbelievable. It’s surreal. We put a lot of work into this and it’s no coincidence that it happened. We’re grateful to be in this moment.”

Like he did on Saturday, Barnes continued to beat the drum for Brown’s IndyStar Mr. Basketball candidacy. Brown started his high school career at Northwest, where he played for Barnes. In four years, Brown has become a more mature player.

“When I say Mr. Basketball, I know that’s a whole resume,” Barnes said. “He’s been on honor roll every semester but one, he works hard in the gym, he leaves it out on the floor. We’ve been meshing as a team and he’s a big reason for that.”

If there’s such thing as a “quiet” 35 points, Brown may have had it Monday. He said he was more focused on showing leadership and getting his teammates in the right place and credited Warren with a providing big plays down the stretch.

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“To me, he’s the best guard in 2016,” Brown said of Warren. “He should be a Junior Indiana All-Star. That took so much pressure off of me to have Kip out there. I feel confident with him out there.”

IUPUI recruit T.J. Henderson led Scecina with 21 points and senior guard Zach Rutland added 19. Josh Rutland scored all 14 of his points in the second half and Brooks added 10 points and a game-high 22 rebounds for the Crusaders.

It could be the first of two games between the teams this season. Class 2A sixth-ranked Howe, fifth-ranked Scecina and No. 1 Park Tudor are all in Sectional 42.

“Indiana is the breadbasket of basketball, so you don’t expect anything different than to be in a tough sectional like that,” Barnes said. “We’re going to take this moment, have more confidence and try to improve on the areas where we’re lacking.”

Call Star reporter Kyle Neddenriep at (317) 444-6649.

HOWE 75, SCECINA 72

Howe

15

16

21

23

75

Scecina

16

7

24

25

72

Howe (13-2) – McGaw 3 2-2 10, Warren 4 7-10 17, Brown 12 8-9 35, Lewis 5 1-5 11, Taylor 0 0-0 0, Hopkins 1 0-0 2. Totals: 25 18-26 75.

Scecina (12-4) – J.Rutland 4 6-7 14, Z.Rutland 7 3-4 19, Henderson 8 2-3 21, Okerson 2 1-1 6, J.Brooks 1 0-0 2, D.Brooks 4 2-5 10, Tutrow 0 0-0 0, Kirby 0 0-0 0. Totals: 26 14-20 72.

3-point goals: Howe 7 (Brown 3, McGaw 2, Warren 2), Scecina 6 (Henderson 3, Z.Rutland 2, Okerson).

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Howe revels in first City title since 1987

Evansville recruit Harris Brown leads Hornets with 35 points

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