Cathedral High School basketball coach Andy Fagan insisted there is no added emphasis on Monday's City Tournament championship because the opponent is Tech, a team that has defeated the Irish twice already this season.
Cathedral sophomore Jalen Coleman had a slightly different take. "I can't wait, to tell you the truth," said Coleman, who led the Irish with 21 points in a 76-54 semifinal win over Northwest on Saturday at Tech. "We have everybody back now, not to use that as an excuse because we lost close to them, but our chemistry and bond is a lot stronger than what it has been. "We're ready." Class 4A top-ranked Tech (14-1) defeated Broad Ripple 55-42 in Saturday's first semifinal. Junior Trey Lyles finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds and Jeremie Tyler added 13 points, including a pair of 3-pointers during a 13-0 second quarter run. "Broad Ripple focused on taking away Trey tonight, but we have a cast of other guys who can step up," Tech coach Jason Delaney said. "It was great to see those other guys step up because in years past if a team would have taken Trey away, we would have struggled." Muta Irving led Broad Ripple (8-5) with 11 points. The Rockets got as close as seven points midway through the fourth quarter. Cathedral (9-5) outscored Northwest 28-11 in the second quarter to build a 20-point halftime lead and was never seriously threatened. Coleman, a 6-2 guard, scored 17 of his 21 points in the first half and senior Garrett Hall added 16. "Each night it could be somebody different for us and tonight it was Jalen, but a number of guys contributed," Fagan said. "Our guys did a nice job of making the right read and making plays." Northwest (7-6) took Tech overtime last week in an 88-80 loss, but were overmatched on Saturday. Sophomore guard Harris Brown scored 27 points, accounting for half the team's total. "When you don't cut or screen and you stand around against Cathedral, they are going to hold you to an unproductive offensive night," Northwest coach Mosi Barnes said. "We weren't ready for the stage tonight, including myself." Tech hasn't won the City Tournament since winning three in a row from 1989-91 under coach Frank Craig. The Titans have won 14 City titles in all, including the first tournament in 1930. Cathedral is the defending champion and has won five of the previous seven tournaments. Round 3 of Cathedral-Tech should be a good one. Tech won the first meeting 67-64 in overtime on Dec. 7 at Cathedral, then won 60-54 three weeks later in the championship of the Hall of Fame Classic in New Castle. Cathedral senior and Indiana recruit Collin Hartman missed both of those games with injuries. It's possible the teams could meet a fourth time in the sectional in a few weeks. "It's a friendly rivalry and it's good for high school basketball," Delaney said. "You have two teams that compete hard against each other and want to play against each other. Until last year we hadn't beat then for 13 years so it wasn't really a rivalry. "Cathedral is an outstanding program and we're kind of the new kid on the block, but I think our kids have done a nice job handling the exposure we're getting."