Saint Joe Huskies boys' basketball team falls short in state championship

NOW: Saint Joe Huskies boys’ basketball team falls short in state championship

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind -- The Huskies ended their season as best they could, making the trip to Indianapolis to compete for their first boys' basketball state title.

It was just the third time a boys basketball team from St. Joseph County played in the state championship in the last 23 years.

The Huskies battled as the underdogs against Scottsburg.

Early in the first quarter, with St. Joe trailing seven to zero, a spark came from the senior guard Jerry Barca, knocking down two threes to set the tone. With the help of a corner three from Jayce Lee, the Huskies scored three triples to start the game.

“I don't normally hit a lot of threes. I don't take a lot of shots. It's just a confidence booster to everybody. Like I'm here. I'm ready to play,” Barca said.

The Warriors only played six players, but Jack Miller was the difference maker. Miller scored a total of 32 points and did so in every way possible.

“I think he just played phenomenal. I thought he did a great job of taking what we gave him,” said St. Joe Head Coach Eric Gaff.

St. Joe trailed 34 to 35 at the half but not before senior Jayce Lee gave the team a boost on both ends.

Unfortunately, Lee also gained four fouls in the first half.

An intense matchup for both teams. The proof was in the eight lead changes throughout 32 minutes, and it came down to the wire.

"You look at the start of the game, you can see us just kind of ease ourselves into it. And once we settle, you know, we show what we're capable of. And we're able to close the gap and take the lead I think at one point, Gaff added.

The Huskies took a 50 to 49 lead after three quarters thanks to the efforts of Chase Konieczny. Konieczny, just a junior, ended the game with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Lee came back into the game late, but with four fouls his usual playing style was limited.

Ultimately, the Warriors led by jack miller pulled away late by getting forcing St. Joe to foul as the clock continued to expire.

The Huskies will go back to Michiana as the runner up in the 3A state finals.

Not the ideal ending, but surely a great season for the Huskies, as getting to Indianapolis is no easy task.

"It meant the world to me to be able to get here. Sucks that it's over. Just happy, I was able to do all my teammates, and my brothers around me. And I'm just grateful for the relationships and the bonds that I've made to this basketball team," Lee said emotionally.

"It's pretty rare that a season ends the way you want it to end. But that being said, I thought man was a heck of a season for our guys. And I thought they showed what they're made up for 32 minutes today so I'm real proud of the guys and looking forward to getting into summer and working our way back here next year, Gaff added.

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