For Ben Davis coach Don Carlisle and senior swingman Jalen Windham, Saturday’s loss to Carmel in the Class 4A state championship game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse provided a new experience.
An experience neither man wants to face again.
The Giants surprised the state by making a run to the state title game, where they fell short, 60-55, to the Greyhounds.
The coach, a 1997 Ben Davis graduate, reached two state championship games in his prep career and walked off a winner both times.
Windham, meanwhile, helped lead the Giants to the 4A title as a sophomore in 2017.
“It’s definitely a new feeling,” Carlisle said, standing on the Bankers Life floor. “And, it’s not a good feeling. Little mistakes, here and there, cost us. Hey, (Carmel) had 15 offensive rebounds …”
“I tell the other seniors to keep their heads up,” Windham said. “This was fun and it was great to battle with them through the summer, fall and through the whole season.
“We have no reason to put our heads down.”
Carlisle sounds like he will keep his head up, as well.
“Me having to stand here and talk about this game while seeing (Carmel) celebrate,” Carlisle said, “is putting a fire in me. Second place is never a good feeling, but, neither is 45th or 50th.
“I’m proud of the fight this team showed through the course of the season, through our ups and down,” Carlisle continued. “We fought and battled and had a chance to win (Saturday).
“Now, I’m a worker and we need to get back to work.”