Noll's unbeaten run ends in title
Updated: March 28, 2011 9:38AM
INDIANAPOLIS - There were 13.4 seconds remaining, Bishop Noll had the ball and it was down one point in Saturday's Class 2A state championship at Conseco Fieldhouse.
Noll coach Drew Trost sounded like he would have asked for that scenario a thousand times.
"Obviously down one with 13 seconds left, our ball, that was the situation we wanted to be in," Trost said after a heartbreaking 43-42 loss to Park Tudor.
And, as the young head coach added, the ensuing play was just as he "drew up."
It was called for junior Ronnye Beamon, who drove from the right wing into the paint and floated a shot from about 10 feet with a little more than five seconds on the clock.
The ball was long, but hit off the glass just above the square and hit the inside front of the rim. It bounced high and came down on the rim again, but didn't fall through.
"Beamon got a good shot - it went around the rim and out and just didn't fall," said Trost, who had the side angle of the shot.
"It looked so good," said junior Jose Rosario, who had the angle from the opposite side of the court.
It was the exact same play Noll (26-1) ran on the previous possession that ended in a miss and rebound by Park Tudor that resulted in a missed free throw.
"I'm going to shoot that shot 5,000 times in practice over the summer," Beamon said. "I felt like it would go in. I made like three or four of them today."
The ball fell to the floor and there was a scramble. Noll senior Adonis Filer came up with it and tried to call timeout. The horn sounded, the referees waved their hands and left the court.
Filer could only look up in disbelief while laying on the floor, wondering what happened.
His one season with the Warriors after spending his first three years of high school at Mount Carmel in Chicago didn't result in the dream ending.
"I trusted Ronnye on that shot because he's made it so many times," Filer said.
Park Tudor (26-2) took the lead with 1:22 remaining on an offensive rebound and putback by freshman forward Trevon Bluiett that resulted in a free throw when Filer fouled him. When Bluiett made the freebie, it was a one-point lead for the Panthers, who hadn't led since early in the first quarter when the score was 5-4.
Tudor finished runner-up to Wheeler in last year's 2A championship in a game that came down to the last shot. So experience was on their side.
"Unfinished business was the theme this week," Panthers' coach Ed Schilling said. "It's a shame somebody had to lose this game, but I'm glad it wasn't us."
Schilling's experienced squad with no senior starters was down by as much as nine (16-7 early in the second quarter) and down by five with 5:06 left in the contest never wilted under the pressure or bright lights.
"That was a gutty performance to be down nine points and crawl back against the only undefeated team left in the state," Schilling said.
Ironically, it was the freshman Bluiett who was the most clutch, and he wasn't on the court for the loss to Wheeler a year before.
"Bluiett was huge in the second half," Trost said. "I think he only had four points in the first half and 16 in the second half."
Actually it was five in the first quarter. But he scored 10 of Tudor's 12 points in the third period and had the Panthers' last four points.
Park Tudor junior point guard Yogi Ferrell, who has verbally committed to Indiana University, had his team's other four points in the final eight minutes, as well as a picture-perfect assist to Bluiett to make up for three turnovers in the third quarter.
"They're a real good team and they really made some nice plays at the end of the game, especially Yogi getting inside and making some great passes."
Ferrell had 14 points, six assists and five rebounds.
Filer finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds and had a message for his teammates who will be returning next season.
"I told them to work hard to get back to this point and not take anything for granted," he said.