INDIANAPOLIS — Cody Zeller is a state champion for the third time. And this year, Zeller and the Washington Hatchets didn’t need overtime to win the Class 3A title.
The IU signee and McDonald’s All-America scored a game-high 20 points and grabbed 18 rebounds as Washington beat Culver Academies 61-46 on Saturday at Conseco Fieldhouse.
It was the 17th consecutive win for the Hatchets (24-4).
“He’s just a great young man. A high character man,” Washington coach Gene Miiller said of Zeller, who received the Arthur L. Trester Mental Attitude Award. “A great student and a very good basketball player. He’s the total package. He does everything well.”
The victory gave Washington its fourth state title in seven seasons.
Unlike last year’s meeting with Gary Lew Wallace, the result was never in doubt after the opening eight minutes. After trailing by one at the start of the second quarter, the Hatchets reeled off an 18-6 second quarter to take control.
Zeller, who scored 20 points and pulled down 26 rebounds in last year’s championship game, reflected on the repeat and his time at Washington afterward.
“It’s definitely fun winning it,” he said. “It’s better every time. I wouldn’t have done it without my teammates and coaches. In 2008, I don’t think I would have won it without that one teammate of mine.”
Watch the entire Washington postgame press conference after the jump.
Inside the Hall made the trip on Saturday to the Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium in Seymour for the Class 3A Semi-state championship game between Batesville and Washington.
McDonald’s All-American and Mr. Basketball favorite Cody Zeller scored a game-high 23 points, pulled down 18 rebounds, handed out five assists and blocked five shots in a 66-48 win.
Watch over 20 high-definition quality clips of the future IU big man (No. 40 in Black) in the embedded media player below (Note: You can expand the video to full screen by using the arrows in the bottom right hand corner of the video player):
SEYMOUR — Cody Zeller saved one of his best all-around efforts of the season for tournament time. And as a result, Zeller and the Washington Hatchets will have a chance for a second consecutive state championship next Saturday at Conseco Fieldhouse.
The IU signee scored a game-high 23 points, pulled down 18 rebounds, handed out five assists and blocked five shots in a 66-48 rout of Batesville in the Class 3A Semi-state title game at the Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium.
After Batesville outscored Washington 15-9 in the second quarter to tie the game at 27 at the half, the Hatchets used a 20-11 third quarter to pull away.
The win put Washington into the Class 3A title game for the fourth time in seven seasons.
Watch what Zeller had to say following the win in the embedded media player below:
(Note: We’ll have HD quality highlights of this game in the coming days on ITH)
Welcome to “That’s A Wrap,” our attempt to make some sense of the 2010-11 season. Sit back. Relax. Grab some popcorn. Get your read on. Today: Tom Pritchard.
Final Stats (31 games): 2.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 0.7 apg, 59.0% FG, 34.8% FT in 18.2 minutes per game
So is it me, or was Tom Pritchard one of the most quietly impressive Hoosiers on the court this season?
Granted, his offensive game was just as stop-and-go (putting it lightly) as ever. But Pritchard was quite possibly Indiana’s most improved and most consistent defender, and a significant minority of fouls he committed this season were in covering for a teammate that had lost his mark.
We also started seeing some of the Pritchard that Tom Crean and other Hoosiers have talked about – the one with strong footwork, underrated athleticism and some actual swagger around the rim.
Looking back, it’s probably fair to say that, in a sense, Pritchard came out of his shell a little bit, and began to define the final product he’ll become. Though it’s hard to picture him becoming a scoring force in his senior season, it’s certainly not beyond even the adventurous imagination to see him put up nicely improved numbers next year. And as his strength has improved, so has his rebounding, a significant need for Indiana next season as well.
All of this swells up to create the potential for Pritchard to play a critical role on the 2011-12 Indiana basketball team: foil to Cody Zeller.