A grand return of Milan Indian basketball pride follows the 2011-12 Milan Indian basketball team's season efforts, and rightfully so.
The Indians ended their ORVC conference action on top, with a 6-1 count and an overall record at 15/5. However, a South Ripley Raider victory over the Jac-Cen-Del Eagles in their last conference and final regular season scheduled game set up a co-championship with SR finishing 6-1 in ORVC action and an overall count of 14-6.
The long dry spell that had plagued Milan basketball glory was lifted by this year's Indian boys squad, giving the community something to talk about in the present, rather than dwelling on the "54" team, a most refreshing highlight for current Milan students.
Indians proudly, connect the past to the present
The tribe's season included reflections of the "54" era with the mock games played in the Knightstown Community Centers "Hoosier Gym", during regular season action where Coach Josh Blankinship's Indians defeated Crispus Attucks on Saturday, December 28.
Games played were in recognition of the 25 year anniversary production of the movie Hoosiers, based on the Milan Indian "54" State Basketball Championship triumph, with proceeds raised to further the MILAN 54 MUSEUM.
Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School was selected to play the mock game against Milan as it is arguably the most celebrated HS in the nation, as its history dates back to the early part of the twentieth-century. The first all-black HS in the state of Indiana opened its doors for the first time in the fall of 1927. Attucks made Indiana basketball history as the first all-black high school team to capture back to back state titles in '55 and 56.
In '98. they too began a world class museum (Crispus Attucks Museum) highlighting the achievements of local men and women of Attucks and the community plus a rich collection of African art.
The 2011-12 Milan Indians played to a solid victory over Attucks as the main event, proceeded by a game between the Oldenburg Academy Twisters against Brebeuf Jesuit where Jesuit was the convincing winner.
2011-12 Sectional Rd. 2
The results of the tribes IHSAA Class 2A Boys Basketball Sectional #45 round two bid hosted by South Ripley High School found Milan a couple points short to the North Decatur Chargers at games end, 43-45.
ND Chargers 8 17 29 45
Milan Indians 7 19 32 43
No. Decatur Chargers 45
Sr Bobby Beeler 11
Sr Paul Badgley 11
Sr Jesse Elsner 10
Jr John Hammersmith 4
Jr Jason Kirschhoff 4
So Brock Ricke 3
Sr Jeremiah Volk 2
Non-scoring Chargers included: Mitch Knecht, Kevin Geis, Dylan Koors, Josh Weintraut and Devon Taylor.
Milan Indians 43
Sr Braden Voss 19
So Logan Alloway 8
Sr Kurtis Kimla 7
Sr John Herzog 6
Sr Nick Ryan 2
Sr Zack Lewis 1
Non-scoring Indians included: Nick Walter, Joey Davis, Willie Mays, Patrick Baker, Jon Spurlock and Logan Karsteter.
A low scoring opening quarter found the Chargers leading by half of their victory margin, one point, 8-7. Scoring for the Chargers in the first period were senior Bobby Beeler with two field goals and a field goal each by senior teammates Paul Badgley and Jeremiah Volk. Indian scoring came at the hand of sophomore Logan Alloway with a 3-pointer and a FG with one for two FT shooting by senior Kurtis Kimla.
Milan managed to capture the lead by the halftime break, 19-17 with their second period 12-9 run.
Indian sophomore Logan Alloway added a second 3-pointer in second period action, joined by a senior Braden Voss FG and 3-pointer, one for two FT shooting by senior Zack Lewis and a Kurtis Kimla 3-pointer. Recorded Charger scoring came from a pair of FG's by senior John Hammersmith a FG by Beeler and a 3-point delivery by sophomore Brock Ricke.
The Indians managed to add a point to their lead through the third periods action for a 32-29 score over the Chargers at the end of three.
Scoring for the tribe in the third period were Voss with a pair of 3-pointers and one for two FT shooting, a pair of FG's by senior John Herzog and a FG by senior Nick Ryan. Charger scoring came from a 3-point delivery by Badgley added to one for two FT shooting, a FG by Beeler and six for six FT shooting by senior Jesse Elsner.
Hitting from the charity stripe four of a total of seven times over the entire game, Milan found themselves beaten at games end with the Chargers delivering 16 for 19 attempts. Finishing on the short end of the stick by a two point deficit, 43-45, extra FT opportunities for ND obviously determined the outcome.
Milan scoring in the fourth period was result of a FG by Alloway, a pair of FG's and a 3-pointer by Voss and a FG by Herzog. Kimla missed the only FT shot the entire tribe team was given in fourth period action.
The Chargers on the other hand found a friend in the calls as they scored 9 of 12 points off free throws. Badgley scored a FG and 3 for 4 FT shots taken, Beeler made a FG/FT combination, junior Jesse Kirchhoff scored a 3-pointer, adding one for two FT's and Elsner filled in the rest of the dots for the win with his four for five FT connections.
A long and productive Indian season ended on a sour note, falling by a two, 43-45.
Great season guys!