MARION – Seeking the first regional basketball championship in school history – boys or girls – New Haven suffered a 63-57 loss to No. 1 Carmel on Saturday in the Class 4A regional title game at Marion.
After winning its fifth sectional title last week, and first since 1996, New Haven (18-6) advanced into the showdown with the Greyhounds (23-2) with a 65-60 win over Northrop in the regional semifinal.
Unranked New Haven took a 50-46 lead over Carmel on V.J. Beachems jumper with 6:09 remaining.
After a timeout, Carmel went on a 12-2 run to take a 58-52 lead, but New Haven had one more push left.
Monte Stevensons driving layup got the Bulldogs to within 59-57 with 1:12 left, and when Carmel turned the ball over, New Haven had a chance to go ahead, but Stevenson missed a three from the left corner with 55 seconds left.
We had some good shots, New Haven coach Al Gooden said. Even Montes shot. He just missed it. He just missed it.
Being deliberate with its offense and getting help from New Haven fouls, Carmel made 10 consecutive free throws during its 12-2 run, from the 5:25 mark to 1:47.
Im proud of my kids, Gooden said. They battled. They played hard. They worked hard. They did the things we asked them. They had a great year. Nothing we can do to take away from them. Im proud of the group of seniors we have, also.
One of the seniors is the Notre Dame-bound Beachem, who had 17 points.
Its frustrating, he said of trying to contain Carmels patience. Thats why theyre state champions. They know how to win games like that.
Junior Steve McElvene added 15 points and 17 rebounds; this on top of his 24 points, 16 rebounds and eight blocks in the Bulldogs win over Northrop.
And Northrop coach Barak Coolmans parting words were similar to Goodens farewell.
Im proud of my young men, Coolman said. We played extremely hard and did some things well. We struggled in some areas, obviously. Their size hurt us.
Bruins senior Bryson Scott, who fell to the floor near the three-point line at the conclusion of the game and was helped off the court, sobbing, had 27 points and 17 rebounds for Northrop. Twin brother Brenton Scott added 22 points.