For the first time since 1990, this year’s tournament had no repeat regional winners as 16 teams battled for semi-state championships on Saturday, March 20.
Elmhurst High School boys basketball team was one of them at the Class 3A level in Lafayette Jefferson Crawley Center.
Keeping Elmhurst High School alive was the goal of the boy’s basketball team during the Semi-State North tournament. Elmhurst (18-5) took on Gary Wallace (18-4) for the annual rite of passage for High School Hoosiers to advance to the mix of eight teams in the State finals at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Saturday, March 27.
Prior to the 112-mile drive to Lafayette, coach Shabaz Khaliq said, “If we take care of the ball and rebound, we’ll be in the mix. They (Gary Wallace) are a team with a lot of talent and they have already played a tough schedule.”
Going up against No. 5 Gary Wallace, No. 9 ranked Elmhurst knew that upsets could occur.
The Hornets buzzed out of their nest and took an early lead.
After the first quarter, the scoreboard read a 22-11 lead, one that the Trojans never recovered from.
Elmhurst struggled at the free throw line making 9 of 24, shooting just 43-percent from the stripe as a team this season.
Wallace supported by an overwhelming loud and boisterous fan club, battled Elmhurst from start to finish. But the Trojans never gave up.
Senior guard Pervis Hall (15.8 ppg) put a team-high of 17 points on the board, starting with a three for the first points of the game. But that was Elmhurst’s only lead for the night.
Lew Wallace had a lot of sting and was very aggressive on the glass. They were led by Hornet player Branden Dawson, a 6-foot-6 junior forward, considered one of the best underclassmen in the nation. Dawson finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds.
Elmhurst trailed Gary Wallace 29-22 at halftime.
In the third quarter Elmhurst’s Hall came out strong when he cut the lead to five midway through the quarter. However, leading into the fourth quarter the Hornet’s were up 45-34.
The Trojans never could shake the Hornets.
Immediately after the loss to Gary Wallace 57-47, with shirts over their heads to hide their emotions, the Trojans charged to the locker room finishing the season 18-6.
Elmhurst High School Trojans—a special group of students and families to never be forgotten.
Elmhurst students have proved that they have not only above average ISTEP scores but also the makings of a proud, talented boys basketball team.
It was the last game of the season for the Trojans…the last and final game in the history of Elmhurst High School basketball. The closing of the school was announced at the Fort Wayne Community School Board Trustees meeting on Monday, March 22, 2010.
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