Arena Sportsnet

Central Catholic returns to Bankers Life for State Championship

By Michael Hogg

Lafayette, IN

For the first time since 2003, the Central Catholic Knights will be playing for the IHSAA Class A State Title at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The Knights defeated 21st Century 77-59 on Saturday at Crawley Athletic Center in the Class A Semi-State.

The game got off to a slow start as Central Catholic spotted the Cougars a 6-0 lead before Tyler Rogers, buried back to back 3s to square up the score at 6. From there on out it was all Knights as they went on an 8-2 run in the final 4 minutes of the quarter to make the lead 14-8 at the end of one quarter.

During the 2nd Quarter, Central Catholic was able to increase the lead to 12 point lead with 1:30 left to go before Halftime after Thomas Gothard connected on a pair of free throws to make the score 29-17.  Carson Barrett, who led all scorers in the game with 21 points was the catalyst during the quarter as he was able to 8 of the 15 points Central Catholic scored in the period.

After the game as the team was celebrating the win, Barrett commented on his game today, “I was able to find open looks today cause my teammates was able to get me open.”

Barrett’s Dad, Dave who is the Head Coach of the Knights was oh so close as a player getting to the State Finals and going 0-4 in his previous 4 games in the Semi-State was able to get the proverbial monkey off his back after the win. When asked about how it feels to finally get over the hump he said, “I’m so excited, that words can’t describe it right now.”

With the 3rd Quarter commencing, both teams traded baskets for most of the quarter keeping the lead at double digits.  The Knights had the lead up to 17 at 44-27 with 54 seconds after a basket by Ben Tharp. During the quarter Avery Denhart picked up his 3rd foul.

Denhart talked about his performance after the win, “I really didn’t have a good game today as I was in foul trouble early.” He added, “It was huge for Carson to step up today for us as it was not one of my best games.”

With CC leading by 17 going into the 4th Quarter 48-31, the was able to expand the lead up to a game-high 24 point lead after a Denhart, put back with 7:10 left in the game.

However, the Cougars was able to cut that lead down to 10 with 3:49 left to go after going on a 16-6 run that forced the Knights to call a timeout after Core’von Lott drilled a pair of free throws to make the score 62-52.

When asked about what Coach Barrett, had to say in the Huddle during the time out, Jacob Page who was one of five players who was in double figures for the Knights with 10 points. Had this to say about the run that 21st Century was on that forced the timeout, “He said get back to what got us the lead.”

Page added also, “We had to be patient in what we had to do, and be sure to take good shots when we found the open guy.”

With the season over, 21st Century Head Coach, Roderick Williams discussed his team’s performance after the loss. “Tonight, the shots didn’t go in for us.” He added also, “We took way too many three-point shots early in the game and when we got down so far we resorted back to shooting three’s.”After the break in the action, the Knights was able to on 15-7 to secure the win with the majority of the points coming from the

After the break in the action, the Knights was able to on 15-7 to secure the win with the majority of the points coming from the free-throw line to secure Central Catholic’s first trip back to Bankers Life Fieldhouse next Saturday.

With the win, the Knights will face Indianapolis Tindley next Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m. for the Class A State Championship. The Knights improve to 22-6.

After the loss 21st Century finishes the season at 19-9.