The Class 3A Championship Game will feature the Silver Creek Dragons (24-4) (# 2 in final AP Poll, and T-9th in the final IBCA Poll) and the Leo Lions (24-4) (# 9 in the final AP Poll).
The Dragons will be making their second consecutive appearance in the 3A State Championship Game, and are seeking a second consecutive Class 3A State Championship (with the caveat of the State Tournament not being played to completion in 2020).
The Lions, meanwhile, will be making their first appearance in the State Finals, and are seeking to become the first Boys team in school history to capture a State Championship.
I had the opportunity to witness the Dragons in-person at the Seymour Semi-State last week. Their “Big Three” of Trey Kaufman-Renn (6’9” Senior Center, Indiana All-Star, Mr. Basketball candidate and future Purdue Boilermaker; averaging 25 PPG and just shy of 12 RPG), Kooper Jacobi (6’7” Senior Forward, Indiana All-Star, future Toledo Rocket; averaging 21+ PPG and 11+ RPG), and Branden Northern (6’0” Junior Guard, Indiana Junior All-Star candidate; averaging 15+ PPG and a shade under 7 APG) more than ably carry the load for Silver Creek.
The defensive effort of 5’11” Junior Guard Trey Schoen sparks the Dragons on that end. Schoen’s defensive performance against Guerin Catholic in the Semi-State was instrumental in the Dragons’ victory.
The Lions (champions of the Northeast 8 Conference) figure to be well-prepared for this one, having navigated a difficult schedule that included 11 games against Fort Wayne opponents. Leo will look to carry forward the momentum generated from a comeback victory in the Semi-State Championship Game, one in which the Lions roared back from a 16-point deficit to defeat South Bend St. Joseph, 61-59.
The Lions are led in scoring by 6’1” Senior Guard (and IBCA Large School All-State selection) Blake Davison (just shy of 17 PPG). The Leo frontcourt features 6’6” Senior Forward (and IBCA Large School All-State Honorable Mention selection) Zack Troyer (11+ PPG, nearly 8 RPG) and 6’7” Junior Forward DJ Allen (IBCA Large School Underclass All-State selection) (13 PPG, nearly 8 RPG).
Each team has had multiple close calls in the State Tournament en route to the Championship Game, making each well-prepared for this one. Each team has earned the right to compete for the 3A State Championship. Will the Dragons emerge with a second consecutive 3A title? Can the Lions combat the star power and experience of the Dragons and claw their way to a championship?