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Indiana boys basketball: year-by-year capsules (1940-49)
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Indiana boys basketball: year-by-year capsules (1940-49)

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YEAR 30 {1940}

Tigers bring first state title to Region

INDIANAPOLIS | When Hammond Tech finally won Northwest Indiana's first state championship, the Region was in an uproar. 

Thousands of Hammond citizens bombarded a train station to congratulate coach Louis Birkett and his players upon their return from downstate. Hammond Tech did not have a gym of its own to practice in, but the Tigers (25-6) conquered the odds to defeat Mitchell 33-21 in the title game at Butler Fieldhouse.

Center Stanley Shimala led Hammond Tech by scoring more than a third of its points in the games leading up to the championship. And Shimala fittingly scored a game-high 13 points to carry Hammond Tech past Mitchell. Forward Robert Kramer added eight points for the Tigers.

The Tigers had to overcome a formidable opponent to reach the championship game. Shimala scored 12 points, and guard John Thomas added 11 to help Hammond Tech defeat Lapel 38-36 in a semifinal.

In the other semifinal, Mitchell eliminated Fort Wayne South with a 23-20 victory.

YEAR 31 {1941}

Crawley wins first title

INDIANAPOLIS | Washington won its second state championship and gave its coach Marion Crawley his first by defeating Madison 39-33 at Butler Fieldhouse.

Leroy "Hook" Mangin scored a game-high 18 points to lead the Hatchets (27-5) in the title game. Forward Charles Harmon and center James Riffey added nine points apiece for Washington.

Kokomo advanced to the Final Four with the help of Carl "Hump" Campbell, whose birthday following the Muncie Semifinal made him too old to remain eligible for the state finals. Without Campbell, Kokomo was no match for the Hatchets. Mangin had a game-high 23 points in Washington's 48-32 romp of Kokomo in a semifinal.

Madison forward Bill Lodge scored 15 points in a losing effort against the Hatchets and 12 points in his team's 29-27 semifinal victory against Gary Froebel.

The Region connection

Gary Froebel conquered Rensselaer 36-32 in a semifinal of the Gary Regional. Gary Froebel went on to win the Hammond Semifinal.

YEAR 32 {1942}

Hatchets roll to repeat

INDIANAPOLIS | With seven of its starters returning from the previous season, Washington was favored to repeat as state champions, and the Hatchets delivered by meeting those lofty expectations.

Center James Riffey scored a game-high 10 points to lead Washington (30-1) to a 24-18 victory over Muncie Burris in the title game at Butler Fieldhouse.

Washington's Marion Crawley became just the second coach to guide a team to back-to-back state championships.

Muncie Burris guard Harold Salyer scored a game-high 20 points to lead his team past Connersville 42-27 in a semifinal. But Salyer was held to four points against the Hatchets in the title game.

Forward John Dejernett led Washington with 14 points in its 42-32 semifinal win against Frankfort.

The Hatchets' only loss of the season was a 32-31 defeat suffered against Evansville Central. Washington avenged its lone defeat by ousting Evansville Central from the postseason with a 22-20 victory in the Vincennes Semifinal.

The Region connection

Gary Horace Mann fell to Frankfort 45-32 in a semifinal of the Hammond Semifinal.

YEAR 33 {1943}

Tigers roar at new venue

INDIANAPOLIS | Fort Wayne Central won the first state title game held at the new Indianapolis Coliseum, prevailing against Lebanon 45-40.

Forward Robert VanRyan and guard Murray Mendenhall Jr., the son of Fort Wayne Central's coach, scored 11 and 10 points, respectively, to help the Tigers (27-1) conquer Lebanon.

VanRyan and center Robert Armstrong scored eight points apiece to lead Fort Wayne Central past Batesville 33-24 with a berth in the title game at stake. In the other semifinal, Lebanon edged Bedford 36-35.

This was the first season in which private, parochial, black and institutional high schools were allowed to participate in the tournament. Schools in those categories were admitted to the IHSAA on Aug. 15, 1942, and became eligible for participation in the 1943 tournament.

The state finals were moved to Indianapolis Coliseum in 1943 because Butler Fieldhouse was being used by the U.S. armed forces.

The Region connection

Lew Wallace lost to eventual state runner-up Lebanon 48-32 in the championship game of the Hammond Semifinal.

YEAR 34 {1944}

Evansville Bosse makes noise

INDIANAPOLIS | Evansville Bosse held off an upset-minded foe en route to capturing the state championship with a 39-35 victory against Kokomo at Indianapolis Coliseum.

Guard Bryan "Broc" Jerrel scored 11 points and forward Norris Caudell added 10 to lead Evansville Bosse (19-7) in the title game. Jerrel had 17 points, and center Julius "Bud" Ritter added 13 as Evansville Bosse eliminated LaPorte 41-38 in a semifinal.

During its journey toward a showdown with Evansville Bosse, Kokomo eliminated defending state champion Fort Wayne Central 35-28 in the Muncie Semifinal. Then center Tom Schwartz scored nine points as Kokomo defeated favored Anderson 30-26 to reach the state championship game.

With the state title on the line, guard Eugene Turner scored 11 points and Schwartz added 10 for Kokomo, but it wasn't enough to topple Evansville Bosse and coach Herman Keller.

The Region connection

LaPorte routed Gary Emerson 45-29 to win the Hammond Regional and advance to the Hammond Semifinal.

YEAR 35 {1945}

Bulldogs double up

INDIANAPOLIS | Evansville Bosse won its second consecutive state championship by defeating South Bend Riley 46-36 in the final state title game held at Indianapolis Coliseum.

Center Julius "Bud" Ritter and forward Norman McCool scored 14 and 13 points, respectively, to help Bulldogs coach Herman Keller become the third coach in history to win back-to-back state titles at the same school.

Evansville Bosse was barely able to hold off semifinal opponent Indianapolis Broad Ripple. The Rockets led until the Bulldogs tied the score 21-21 to end the third quarter.

Evansville Bosse eventually took the lead, but Indianapolis Broad Ripple charged back and cut its deficit to two points. The Bulldogs (25-2) then stalled for more than two minutes to secure their victory.

Forward Norris Caudell scored a game-high 15 points to help Evansville Bosse hold off Indianapolis Broad Ripple.

In the other semifinal, South Bend Riley defeated Huntington 39-28.

After the IHSAA's first commissioner, Arthur L. Trester, died in 1944, the Board of Control voted to attach his name to the annual Mental Attitude Award. Therefore, Max Allen of Indianapolis Broad Ripple received the first Arthur L. Trester Award for Mental Attitude.

The Region connection

Hammond absorbed a 37-25 defeat against South Bend Riley in a semifinal of the Lafayette Semifinal.

YEAR 36 {1946}

Anderson adds hardware

INDIANAPOLIS | Anderson won its third state championship with a 67-53 victory over Fort Wayne Central in the first state championship game held at Butler Fieldhouse since 1942.

The Indians had won two state titles before, but this was their first under the guidance of coach Charles Cummings.

In the title game, center John Wilson scored 30 points for Anderson (22-7), breaking the previous record for points scored by an individual in a state championship game. The previous record holder, Dick Porter of Lebanon, scored 26 points in the 1912 state title game.

Anderson also received offensive support in the title game from guard John Cochran, who scored 16 points, and forward Robert Ritter, who finished with 15.

Wilson scored 17 points to lead Anderson past Evansville Central 39-36 and into its showdown with Fort Wayne Central. In the other semifinal, Fort Wayne Central outlasted Flora 61-50.

The Region connection

East Chicago Washington suffered a 35-33 loss against Culver in a semifinal of the Lafayette Semifinal. Culver went on to lose to Flora 37-35 with a trip to the Final Four on the line.

YEAR 37 {1947}

Bears stun competition

INDIANAPOLIS | Shelbyville pulled off two upsets in the day same day to become a state champion.

Guard Emerson Johnson and center Bill Garrett scored 23 and 21 points, respectively, to lead the Bears (25-5) over previously unbeaten Terre Haute Garfield 68-58 in the title game at Butler Fieldhouse.

Garrett also scored 25 points in Shelbyville's stunning, 54-46 semifinal victory against highly favored East Chicago Washington. Guard Ray Ragelis led East Chicago Washington with 16 points.

In the other semifinal, Terre Haute Garfield kept its perfect record intact with a 59-50 triumph against Marion. Terre Haute Garfield center Clyde Lovellette had 19 points in the semifinal and a game-high 25 against Shelbyville.

Garrett, however, proved to be the big man who made the greatest impact. His 93 points in Shelbyville's final four games of the tournament eclipsed the previous record of 85 points, set the year before by John Wilson of Anderson.

The Region connection

East Chicago Washington beat Gary Emerson 51-42 in the championship game of the Hammond Regional. The Senators then went on to win the Lafayette Semifinal.

YEAR 38 {1948}

Sweet revenge for Jefferson

INDIANAPOLIS | Lafayette Jefferson ended a long drought when it captured its first state championship since 1916 by defeating Evansville Central 54-42 at Butler Fieldhouse.

Evansville Central had defeated Lafayette Jefferson 65-51 during the regular season, but the Bronchos turned the tables when it mattered most.

Forward Joe Mottram scored 12 points, center Ernest Hall had 11 and guard Bob Masters added 10 to lift the Bronchos (27-3) atop the throne.

Forward Gene Southwood led Evansville Central with a game-high 17 points.

Hall tallied a game-high 18 points, and Masters and forward Charles Vaughan contributed 11 and 10, respectively, to carry Lafayette Jefferson over Anderson 60-48 with a trip to the title game at stake.

In the other semifinal, Southwood and Lee Hamilton, winner of the Trester Award for Mental Attitude, notched 16 points apiece to lead Evansville Central past Muncie Central 48-40.

Lafayette Jefferson coach Marion Crawley captured his first state title with the Bronchos. He had won two titles with Washington earlier in the decade.

The Region connection

Hammond lost 44-39 to eventual state champion Lafayette Jefferson in a semifinal of the Lafayette Semifinal.

YEAR 39 {1949}

Wildcats shock everyone

INDIANAPOLIS | Jasper ended its regular season with a mediocre record of 11-9, far from the expected mark of a legitimate state title contender.

However, Jasper proved records can be deceiving by building an improbable playoff run and capping it with a 62-61 victory against Madison in the state championship game at Butler Fieldhouse.

Madison forward Dee Monroe set a new individual scoring record for a state title game with his 36 points. Jasper was able to overcome Monroe's performance, though, with 20 points from guard Bob White, 15 from forward Jerome Stenftenagel and 10 from guard Tom Schutz.

White and Stenftenagel scored 17 and 15 points, respectively, to lead the Wildcats (21-9) past Auburn 53-48 in a semifinal. Auburn's Jim Schooley, recipient of the Trester Award for Mental Attitude, scored a game-high 21 points.

Monroe scored 22 points to carry Madison to a 53-40 triumph against South Bend Washington in the other semifinal.

The Region connection

Hammond fell to Frankfort 47-35 in a semifinal of the Lafayette Semifinal.

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