Welage gave Greensburg its first lead of the game with 2:20 left, making the front end of a trip at the line.
McCall’s dunk, then a layup, gave FWC its last two leads of the game.
As he did just minutes earlier, McIntosh hit a jumper that proved to be the game-winner, 70-69 with 1:09 left. Welage was fouled grabbing an offensive rebound, and made it 71-69 on the back end of a pair with 42 seconds remaining.
Senior Ryan Gross kept it suspenseful with a free throw, 71-70, but a Rigney layup with 0:22 left provided the final margin.
Still with a chance to tie, senior Thomas Starks attempted a triple that hit iron. Greensburg, though, was unable to finish off the Cadets. A turnover with five seconds left gave FWC one more chance. However, McIntosh secured a rebound off another long attempt and the Pirates were finally able to celebrate.
Meyer, winning his first career state title after making it to the final with Southwestern (Shelby) in 2003, put the recipe for the win in simple terms.
“We get down 10 at half, but these guys never quit,” he said. “Guys make plays that have made plays all year, and we just got enough defensive stops.”
Meyer reflected on what the championship meant for Greensburg, a town that followed the team every step of the way.
“It’s awesome. It’s our first state championship,” he said. “I know there’s a lot of Pirate faithful that’s been waiting for this moment for a long, long, long time, and I played at Greensburg. You still see the same fans that are coming, but the support that we’ve had through this tournament run, and really all year, we would go on road games, and we’d have a bigger crowd a lot of times than the home teams did. It’s huge to our community, and it’s really amazing what a group of 16-, 17- and 18-year-old kids can do to a community, how they can become a rallying point. I’m so proud of these guys, and our community has deserved this.”
Contact Nick Gonnella at (812) 663-3111, x7003; email@example.com.