The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana on March 6, 2007 · Page D6
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The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana · Page D6

Indianapolis, Indiana
Issue Date:
Tuesday, March 6, 2007
Page D6
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D6 TUESDAY, MARCH 6, 2007 2nd Sports THE INDIANAPOLIS STAR WWW.INDYSTAR.COM HIGH SCHOOLS FOOTBALL NOTES Kirschner steps up to lead Ben Davis Veteran assistant replaces Allen, who takes college job By Pat McKee pat.mckee( Mike Kirschner is in and Tom Allen is out as football coach at Ben Davis High School. Kirschner, 46, a Giants assistant coach for seven seasons and the team's defensive coordinator the past three, will be introduced to the team this morning as its new coach. He succeeds Allen, who is parting become 36, an assistant UttgMlrJftj bash College. 1 "This is an exciting and Mike Kirschner thrilling opportunity," said Kirschner, who was Cascade's coach from 1996-99 before moving to Ben Davis. "I've worked very hard over the years to get a position like this, although I know it is a big task in following two very good people in Dick Dullaghan and Tom Allen. "The program has an unbelievable reputation with seven state championships under coach Dullaghan, and my intention is to work toward adding more." Ben Davis athletic director Kevin Britt said promoting Kirschner, a Warren Central graduate who was an assistant at his alma mater for six years before becoming the coach at Cascade, was the right move for multiple reasons. "Just like when coach Allen took over (for) coach Dullaghan, we felt like we had someone here who would continue things in the right direction," Britt said. "We have a repeat of that with Mike Kirschner. Not only has he been here for seven years, but he has been a head coach both here (in Softball) and in football. "Most importantly, he understands this program and its expectation level." Allen, who compiled a 25-12 record in three seasons with the Giants, said he has agreed to coach special teams and defensive backs at Wabash. "It's always been a dream and goal of mine to coach at the college level, but I also always said it had to be the right situation," Allen said. "Wabash has presented that. I'm a goal-oriented person, so I feel fortunate and excited to have this opportunity." Kirschner, who compiled a 14-26 record during his tenure at Cascade, was The Star's West Coach of the Year in 1997. He said he will emphasize the I-formation on offense and continue the program's attacking philosophy on defense. "When I entered teaching and coaching, it was my goal to one day coach at the highest level of high school football," Kirschner said. "At Ben Davis and in the (Metropolitan In-terscholastic Conference), there's no doubt that I now will do that. We have a good nucleus returning, and I am eager to get started." Elsewhere . . . Former Pike football coach Keith Wilkins was hired as coach at Summit High School in Bend, Ore. Summit is a school of about 1,300 students. Wilkins resigned from Pike last week after compiling a 13-19 record in three seasons. Brett Colby will be named football coach at Kokomo. Colby has a career record of 115-67 in 18 seasons, including 79-44 in 12 years at Frankfort. Call Star reporter Pat McKee at (317) 444-6182. Ask about our $4 per follicular graft promotion! Restore your own natural glowing hair State of the art follicular grafting Laser Hair Treatments (non-surgical) ' Call today and schedule a free consultation to find the best solution for you. Mention this ad and receive Free Laser Hair Treatments B 6048 3A SECTIONAL AT LEBANON: BREBEUF JESUIT 46, LEBANON 42 Braves move on despite sluggish start Russell, McClure combine for 23 2nd-half points to push past Tigers By Jeff Rabjohns jeff.rabjohns( LEBANON, Ind. - With a young team, Brebeuf Jesuit has struggled offensively this season. Starting three sophomores, the Braves entered Monday's Class 3A sectional title game at Lebanon shooting 37 percent from the field. But trailing 14-11 at halftime? Shooting 5-for-20 from the field? "Definitely a little odd," said Brebeuf senior Ryan Russell, who teamed with sophomore Jeffrey McClure to spark a second half that carried the Braves to the title. Russell and McClure combined for 23 second-half points as the Braves rallied for a 46-42 sure on he's shooter be able top." The Class With the current system, it's David vs. David and Goliath vs. Goliath. From Dl kids getting excited about a chance to win a 1A state title." Menser's comments touch on both sides of one of the most emotional issues in the state's sporting landscape. This is the 10th year of four-class basketball, a format that replaced the single-class system that had been in place for 87 years, inspired the movie "Hoo-siers" and brought national attention to Indiana high school basketball. Proponents of multiclass which divides the teams into four divisions based on enrollment point out that it allows four times as many schools and players to advance to a state championship game. Playing schools of similar enrollment certainly allows small schools a greater chance to win titles that would have been almost impossible in a tournament path littered with schools four, five and even 10 times their size. On the other side, proponents of the single-class format dispute the notion that winning more games in what they see as a watered-down event should be viewed as being more successful. They say that winning a sectional in the previous format generated statewide recognition that a Class A or 2A state championship doesn't generate. Some facts are not in dispute. The Cinderella effect is gone. There is no anticipation of a potential David-ver-sus-Goliath matchup because all the Go-liaths are in one group and all the Davids in another. There never will be another Milan of 1954. And general interest from casual fans has all but disappeared as the state tournament's attendance and revenue have dwindled. More smaller schools advance, but fewer people pay attention. Hoosier Hysteria The Indiana High School Athletic Association's decision to move to four classes affected almost all team sports, none more so than basketball because it was such a part of the state's heritage nationally known and revered. Crowds were so large and the fan following so passionate, the state's love for the game had a nickname: "Hoosier Hysteria." Debate about the change reached state government as Rep. Lawrence Buell, R-Indianapolis, tried to stop the move. Even legendary coach John Wooden, a Martinsville High School graduate, signed up with a group against the move, writing an articulate case for single-class basketball. Only Kentucky, Hawaii and Delaware currently have single-class basketball tournaments. Ten years into the current format, Bob Gardner, IHSAA commissioner at the time of the change, says four-class basketball has been an unequivocal success. "The increased opportunities for more young people to participate at higher levels of the tournament for high schools has exceeded our expectations," said Gardner, now chief operating officer for the Indianapolis-based National Federation of State High School Associations. "The reception to it, the opportunities that it has brought, the increased attention to students in the lower class as they've had teams with good tournament runs, has been even better than we expected it to be." Critics disagree. Many consider the four state title games in one day nothing more than assembly-line basketball. Two teams play, one wins and celebrates. Next. 317-251-0424 800-889-4247 s N. Keystone Avenue BEFORE AFTER victory and their fifth sectional title this decade. "I don't think there were any nerves," said Russell, who scored a team-high 14 points to go with McClure's 13. "We knew that once we could up the tempo of the game and keep the pressure on them and the pres put them up 35-30 with 4:31 to play. Lebanon cut the lead to two on two occasions, but Brebeuf's 6-for-9 shooting from the foul line in the final 1:19 was enough to stay in front. Lebanon ends the year 11-11 after going 6-15 last year, its first (Justin Brand) a heck of a we would to come out on Braves (13-9) Go to Indy-Star.commulti-media to view a photo gallery of this game. Tom Johnson said. "This senior group of kids, they have come such a long way since I got here 18 months ago. "Let's put it like this: I would rather be in the losing locker room with my guys than in the winning locker room with their guys." Brand, a 6-foot senior, scored 16 of his game-high 18 points in the second half to lead Lebanon. Both teams were dismal of play Class 3A No. 2 New Castle (23-2) in the noon semifinal of Saturday's New Castle Regional. Howe (13-8) and No. 8 Batesville (20-3) play at 10 a.m. The championship is at 8 p.m. Brebeuf shot 12-for-17 in the second half, including 6-for-7 in the fourth quarter. The Braves trailed 26-24 entering the fourth, but Russell hit two 3-pointers during an 11-2 run that STATE FINALS FANS AND DOLLARS Two-season attendance figures and profit to basketball state finals, 1978-2006. STATE FINALS ATTENDANCE AND Boys Girls 0,000 people 70,000 60,000 50,000 40,000 30,000 20,000 10,000 78 '80 '82 '84 '86 '88 '90 Market Square Arena" Market Square Arena" -Hinkle Fieldhouse STATE FINALS PROFIT TO IHSAA Boys Girls $400,000 0,000 $320,000 $280,000 Sources: IHSAA Financial Reports, IHSAA FANS AND DOLLARS Attendance and profit to the IHSAAfrom its boys and girls basketball series, 1978-2006 (includes combined figures from sectionals, regionals, semistates and state finals): Boys Girls TOTAL SERIES ATTENDANCE 200,000 78 '80 '82 '84 '86 '88 '90 '92 '94 '96 '98 '00 '02 TOTAL SERIES PROFIT TO IHSAA $1.4 million Switch from one-class to four-class basketball $1.2 million $1 million $800,000 '78 '80 '82 '84 '86 '88 '90 '92 '94 '96 ' Sources: IHSAA Financial Reports, JENNIFER IMESThe Star Many contend the sectional, the first round of the old tournament, was the most important. Even though many small schools were lumped in with one or two large schools, proponents of the former system relished the upset opportunity. In 1973, tiny Lafayette Central Catholic snapped Lafayette Jeff's state-record string of 29 consecutive sectional titles. In 2003, Central Catholic won the Class A state title. Garry Donna, who has published Hoosier Basketball Magazine for more than three decades, said one of his friends played on the 1973 Central Catholic team and had a son on the 2003 team. "I asked my friend, 'If you had to give up one of the two, which one would you give up?' " Donna said. "He said, 'That's $240,000 I 1 $200,000 V j $158f273 $160,000 I W Y - yl $120,000 - J '78 '80 '82 '84 '86 '88 '90 '92 '94 '96 '98 '00 '02 '04 '06 lon Switch from one-class y to four-class basketball io 474,881 ' 214,283 . i I 1 $600,000 AJ I Ai $400,000 0 fensively in the first half. Brebeuf led 6-4 after one quarter, shooting 3-for-13 to Lebanon's 1-for-ll. "What we did in the first half is we allowed their defense to dictate us taking outside shots, and that's not the way we play," Brebeuf coach Leo Klemm said. Klemm ordered his players to send the ball inside first and then work it back out. The plan put the Braves on top. They led by five before Brand's 3-pointer with 30 seconds left pulled Lebanon within 44-42. The Tigers forced a turnover with 24.6 seconds to play when Evan Acton was fouled. Acton missed the first free throw, then intentionally missed the second, banging the ball hard off the backboard and the front of the rim. McClure jumped for the rebound and was fouled by Acton. McClure hit the first of two free throws. Brebeuf's Ryan Mc-Daniel rebounded the second losing record since 1993-94. "I'm really proud of our kids," Lebanon second-year coach the IHSAA from its boys and girls LOCATIONS '92 '94 '96 '98 '00 '02 '04 '06 HoosierRCA Dome" Conseco Fieldhouse TTT Conseco Fieldhouse" EMILY KUZNIAR The Star not difficult at all. I'd give up this class championship. ... I wouldn't and I don't think anyone from Central Catholic would give up winning the sectional against Lafayette Jeff' " Bobby Plump, who hit the game-winning shot in Milan's state title game upset of Muncie Central that was the inspiration for "Hoosiers," said he hears similar tales on speaking engagements around the state. "I ask people all the time, 'Who won state?' " Plump said. "They know Lawrence North because of Greg Oden, but they don't know the other three. "The second question I ask, because Milan has a reputation, is how far has Milan gone since multiclass basketball. Invariably, the answer is, 'They haven't won anything.' When I tell them they've been to the semistate twice, I get, 'Oh, I didn't know that.' " Critics also point to the disconnect between the state's storied history and today's format. They say for previous generations, following the tournament was a part of Hoosier culture. Blake Ress, current IHSAA commissioner, doesn't dispute that. "But what do you tell the kid from Waldron or Lapel or Hauser or any of the people that have been successful?" Ress said. " 'We know you don't have a chance, but we've got to keep this aura because it's more important to have this aura around the Indiana tournament than it is for you to have a chance to be successful.' "I don't think that's a legitimate argument." Therein lies one of the key points. Those in favor of multiclass see advancement as proof of success. Those in favor of single class see opportunity as more important than a legislated guarantee that small schools will win more tournament games. Changing times The single-class tournament was so popular even the draw for sectional matchups was on statewide television. Now the state championship games aren't even televised across Indiana. Boys basketball state tournament at- K Switch from one-class I to four-class basketball A Switch from one-class to four-class basketball r but fell to the floor and was called for traveling. Brand missed a contested 3-pointer, and McClure made 1-of-2 foul shots with 3.6 seconds left to seal the outcome. "I never say it's a relief because I believe in our team," Klemm said. "I'm satisfied, but we're focused on the next game." Call Star reporter Jeff Rabjohns at (317) 444-6183. BREBEUF JESUIT 46, LEBANON 42 Brebeuf Jesuit Lebanon 46 42 Brebeuf Jesuit - McClure 4-4 5-7 13, Dillon 0-2 0-0 0, Gachaw 3-6 1-2 8, McDaniel 2-7 1-2 6, Russell 6-13 0-0 14, Krager 0-0 0-0 0, Kroot 2-4 1-2 5, Estes 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 17-37 8-13 46. Lebanon - King 1-5 0-0 2, Gibbs 3-8 2-2 11, Brand 5-19 7-7 18, Porter 1-4 2-2 4, Acton 2-6 0-2 4, Westfall 1-1 0-0 3, Batts 0-0 0-0 0, Necessary 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 13-43 11-13 42. 3-point shooting Brebeuf Jesuit 4-16 (Dillon 0-1, Gachaw 1-3, McDaniel 1-6, Russell 2-6), Lebanon 5-17 (Westfall 1-1, Gibbs 3-5, Brand 1-8, Porter 0-3). Rebounds - Brebeuf Jesuit 25 (McDaniel 8, Russell 6), Lebanon 29 (Acton 9). Assists - Brebeuf Jesuit 7 (McDaniel 3), Lebanon 7 (Acton 2). Turnovers Brebeuf Jesuit 13, Lebanon 12. Total fouls Brebeuf Jesuit 15, Lebanon 15. Fouled out Kroot, Acton. Officials: Larry Nixon, Casey Gaynor, Gary Wei-deman. Wooden opposed change Statement from John Wooden (pictured), the Martinsville High grad who coached UCLA to 10 national titles, from Dec. 28, 199S, when he joined with Friends of Hoosier Hysteria, the group trying to retain the single-class basketball tournament (In a recent interview, K-- -f Wooden said he still opposes class basketball): "Although there is no progress without change, all change is not progress. I feel a change to class basketball in Indiana high school tournament play would not be progress. More doesn't mean better, nor does bigger. The Indiana state basketball tournament is easily the equivalent of the NCAA Tournament and is more highly regarded than the tournament in any other state. As Cervantes said, 'The journey is better than the end.' And (Robert Louis) Stephenson said, 'It is better to travel hopefully than to arrive.' So is the quest for the Indiana state high school basketball championship as it has been since its inception." tendance was more than one million from 1960, the first year for which the IHSAA has data available, through 1984. In 1997, attendance dipped to 786,024. Last year, it was 474,881. More telling is sectional attendance. It was 491,259 in the last year of the single-class tournament, only 336,227 last year, a drop of 32 percent. "The tournament was made at the sectional level, playing your rivals," Plump said. "If you beat the favored team, you were remembered forever, whether you won the sectional or not. The further along you went, it created interest, not just in your area but across the state, because people knew the different sectionals. They don't know that today." Revenue has also plummeted, down about 40 percent from 1997 when it was at $924,016 compared to $557,494 last year. Jimmie Howell has been on both sides. A 1972 graduate of Lapel, Howell played in the single-class system, never winning a sectional. But he coached Lapel to the Class A state title in 2005. "As the years have gone on, I see how it brings communities together in the smaller classes," Howell said. "What it's done for our community is just phenomenal, the way our community followed the boys two years ago and is embracing the girls now (through a semistate loss last month)." There are some who have had success in the smaller classes who aren't in favor of it. Donna Cheatham, who has won more than 500 games as a girls basketball coach, has won state titles in both formats. She says the multiclass system is unfair to the athletes. "The worst thing the IHSAA could ever do is a class system because that makes us second-rate citizens," said Cheatham, currently at 2A Southwestern in Hanover. "If we're not second rate, how come they always play the 1A and 2A (title games) in the morning and 3A and 4A in the (evening)? How come they always get prime time, if we're all equal? "We're not equal, and college coaches don't even think we're equal anymore. I never had a college coach call and first say, 'What class are you?' But they sure do now." Call Star reporter Jeff Rabjohns at (317) 444-6183.

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