INDIANAPOLIS — Westview's dream of a boys basketball state title got buried under a sea of 3-pointers, and not only by Trevon Bluiett, but by his teammates, too, as Indianapolis Park Tudor whipped the Warriors 84-57 in the Class 2A championship Saturday, March 29, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Bluiett poured in 38 points, five short of most ever in an Indiana boys title game — single-class or multi-class — and the top-ranked Panthers drained 14-of-27 shots outside the arc to win their third 2A title in four years.
Park Tudor finished one 3-pointer short of matching the most in a title game, regardless of class.
The Warriors, battling foul trouble all day, trailed 28-11 before the midway mark of the second quarter, but battled back.
They closed to 35-27 by halftime, and then to 35-30 in the opening minute of the third quarter on Damon Hershberger's traditional three-point play, but then it was as if the Panthers had merely been toying with the heavy underdogs.
Park Tudor (24-4) proceeded to go on a 13-0 spree for a 48-30 lead before the midway mark of the third period, and Westview (23-5) never got closer than 16 again.
The Warriors' deficit reached a high of 31 points with 3:06 to go. The final margin was the highest 2A spread in the 17-year history of class basketball.
"Once you get a little bit of a cushion, supporting-cast players shoot the ball with a lot more confidence and a lot less to lose," Westview coach Rob Yoder said of the Panthers' marksmanship. "Unfortunately, we couldn't keep it close enough to make those shots mean a little more."
Park Tudor, the state's top-scoring team going in at 82.0 points per game, hit 17-of-28 on 2s for 61 percent to go with their 52 percent on 3s.
Bluiett, who also had game highs of 12 rebounds and four assists, went 14-of-22 from the field, including 5-of-9 on triples. Teammates Bryce Moore and Alex Mack each added 3-of-4 efforts from 3-point territory. Moore finished with 18 points.
The 6-foot-6 Bluiett, a leading Mr. Basketball candidate bound for Xavier University, riddled the Warriors all afternoon with his quick-release shots from a variety of spots. He came out with 2:45 remaining and his team up 79-48.
"We had four guys we wanted to switch on him on screens and pick and rolls, and that's the way we started," Yoder said, "but foul trouble (particularly to Westview's two biggest players, Chandler Aspy and Judah Zickafoose, each 6-3) dictated that we had to go with one guy on him, and that's difficult. So Jordyn (Bontrager, giving away eight inches) drew that assignment. I think Jordyn was right there challenging him on a lot of shots, but he's a good player and made them."
"He's an elite player," Bontrager, the Warriors' premier defender, said of Bluiett. "Honestly, there was a stretch there that I couldn't stop him. Everything he shot went in. He's going to be a great player in college, and honestly, I can see him in the NBA."
Bontrager, "a very, very nice point guard," according to Park Tudor coach Kyle Cox, "(who) we harassed into a rough day," finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and four assists, but was just 4-of-16 from the field, including a pair of 3s.
A senior, Bontrager went into the game as the Warriors' leading scorer on the season at 17.2.
Aspy led Westview with 19 points while going 6-of-12 from the field and 7-of-8 at the line in 22 minutes, but the junior standout was saddled with two early fouls and fouled out with 3:39 left in the game.
"There were some calls I'd change the way I played them if I could, but every game there are different situations and you've got to overcome those as best as you can," Aspy said.
Judah Zickafoose grabbed a team-high nine rebounds for the Warriors, but struggled from the field at 1-of-9. Fellow seniors Jamar Weaver and Damon Hershberger netted seven points apiece.
"I think the first quarter we took some shots we'd probably like to have back, but that's attributed mostly to the adrenaline and just the excitement of being here," Yoder said. "I thought in the second quarter we got back to how we got here and took good shots, worked together, were a little more patient on the offensive end. At halftime we felt like we were in position to make a run and get into the game, but give Park Tudor credit. In the third quarter, they made a lot of shots. They made some shots I thought we defended pretty well."
The Panthers, who also had just four turnovers on the day, poured in 30 points during the third period.
"It was a good season, and we worked really hard to get here," Aspy said, "so it's hard to be too upset about it, making it to the State Finals."
Class 2A State Championship
PARK TUDOR 84, WESTVIEW 57
Park Tudor — Trevon Bluiett 14-22 5-7 38, Bryce Moore 7-10 1-3 18, Alex Mack 3-4 0-0 9, Dwayne Gibson 1-3 2-3 4, Austin Shelton 4-10 0-0 10, Kobe Webster 1-1 0-0 2, Sloan Stearman 0-0 0-0 0, Evan Frank 0-1 0-0 0, Andy Foster 0-0 0-0 0, Jaren Jackson 1-2 0-0 3, Nick Beeson 0-1 0-0 0, Brandon Tiassum 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 31-55 (.564) 8-13 (.615) 84.
Westview — Jordyn Bontrager 4-16 0-0 10, Judah Zickafoose 1-9 1-2 3, Jamar Weaver 2-3 1-2 7, Chandler Aspy 6-12 7-7 19, Damon Hershberger 3-6 1-1 7, Daron Miller 0-3 1-2 1, Brody Jantzi 0-0 0-2 0, Cody Litwiller 0-3 0-0 0, Andrew Yoder 2-3 0-0 6, Chase Anderson 1-1 0-0 2, Kade Miller 0-0 0-0 0, Tim Miller 1-1 0-0 2. Totals: 20-57 (.351) 11-17 (.647) 57.
Scoring By Quarters
Park Tudor — 12 23 30 18 — 84
Westview — 6 21 14 16 — 57
3-point goals: Park Tudor (14-27) — Bluiett 5-9, Moore 3-4, Mack 3-4, Shelton 2-5, Jackson 1-1; Westview (6-18) — Yoder 2-2, Weaver 2-2, Bontrager 2-7.
Rebounds: Park Tudor (26) — Bluiett 12; Westview (39) — Zickafoose 9, Bontrager 7.
Assists: Park Tudor (13) — Bluiett 4; Westview (19) — Bontrager 4, Jantzi 3.
Steals: Park Tudor (4) — Gibson 3; Westview (1) — Zickafoose.
Turnovers: Park Tudor 4, Westview 10.
Total fouls: Park Tudor 13, Westview 15. Fouled out — Aspy (3:39, 4th quarter).
Officials: Eric Coburn, Ron McGriff, Michael Zehr..
Records: Park Tudor 24-4, Westview 23-5.