It’ll be Cathedral vs. Tech for the City tournament championship on Monday night.
Surprised? Not at all.
“It’ll be a close, hard-fought game like it always is,” Tech senior C.J. Walker said of Monday’s matchup at Tech.
Walker and the host second-seeded Titans took care of business in the nightcap of Saturday night’s semifinal doubleheader with a 79-63 win over No. 3 seed Crispus Attucks. Walker, the 6-foot Florida State recruit, shared high-scoring honors with senior teammate Mario Nalls as each scored 20 points.
In Saturday’s opener, No. 1 seed Cathedral rallied for an 81-73 win over defending champion and fourth-seeded Howe and overcame 34 points from Kip Warren.
Cathedral (10-3) and Tech (11-2) met for the City championship in both 2013 and ’14 and the winner used it as a springboard to a postseason run. Cathedral won 67-47 in the ’13 game and went on to play for the Class 4A state title, losing to Carmel. Tech won 66-58 in the ’14 matchup and went on to win a 4A state championship.
“They showed tonight that they can score a lot of points,” Tech coach Jason Delaney said of Cathedral. “They got Howe to play a game where a lot of jump shots were shot and Cathedral was attacking on the other end.”
Cathedral got off to a slow start against Howe, trailing by as many as 13 points early in the second half. Cathedral coach Andy Fagan credited freshman point guard James Franklin for sparking the Irish offense and senior Matt Schultheis for making it tougher on Warren in the second half.
Senior guards Jordan Walker (21 points) and Eron Gordon (19) picked up the slack on offense in the second half.
“James Franklin and Matt Schultheis really ignited us,” Fagan said. “James on the offensive end, getting us more in attack mode. We preached, ‘Attack the zone and work inside-out.’ He did a good job getting into the teeth of the defense. Schultheis did a nice job of slowing down Warren.”
Warren had 13 points in the first quarter but battled foul trouble throughout the game, picking up three fouls on charging calls. After Gordon hit a 3-pointer from the corner to give Cathedral a 71-67 lead, Warren fouled out on the following possession on a reaching call with 1:47 left.
Warren also scored 34 points in a 68-63 win over Tindley in the City quarterfinals on Thursday. He was 5-for-14 from the 3-point line on Saturday and 10-for-23 overall from the field.
“I may be a little biased but I think Kip is the best guard in the state,” Howe coach Mosi Barnes said. “I think he’s proven that. This year it’s his role to be the head of our team and he’s done that.”
Walker said Tech needed no added motivation for Saturday’s game after reading a few things on social media. The Titans controlled the game most of the way against Attucks, forcing 18 turnovers.
Tech put it away with a 15-6 run midway through the third quarter to stretch its lead to 19.
“There was a lot buildup for this game,” Walker said. “There were a few words on Twitter so we just wanted to come out and prove a point. We’re just trying to get a City championship.”
Attucks hasn’t won a City title since 1962. Dorian Moore led the Tigers with 18 points and Nike Sibande added 14 points and 15 rebounds.
Call IndyStar reporter Kyle Neddenriep at (317) 444-6649.
Howe 24 8 20 21 – 73
Cathedral 12 12 27 30 – 81
Howe (11-5) – Washington 17, Couch 5, Warren 34, Hopkins 8, T.Phelps 2, Burns 2, J.Rush 5. Totals: 27 11-16 73.
Cathedral (10-3) – Paligraf 5, Walker 21, Gordon 19, Landers 11, Franklin 1, Coleman 11, Goggans 9. Totals: 25 25-34 81.
3-point goals: Howe 8 (Warren 5, J.Rush, Washington, Couch), Cathedral 6 (Walker 2, Gordon 2, Coleman, Paligraf).
Crispus Attucks 8 11 18 26 – 63
Tech 13 18 23 25 – 79
Crispus Attucks (12-3) – Scanlon 7, Reed 6, Moore 18, Sibande 14, Hall 4, Poole 3, Beaty 2, Coole 4, Waire 3. Totals: 20 16-25 63.
Tech (11-2) – Walker 20, Nalls 20, Myles 5, King 16, Hayes 11, Jones 3,Watkins 2, Thomas 2. Totals: 28 22-32 79.
3-point goals: Crispus Attucks 7 (Moore 4, Sibande 2, Waire), Tech 1 (Nalls).