NEW CASTLE — Coming into the regional at New Castle, the No. 8 Batesville Bulldogs knew they would have to play well to earn the title. They played very well and the result was a day culminated with Batesville players and coaches cutting down the nets as regional champions.

“It turned out to be quite a day ... I am very happy for the kids and everyone involved,” BHS head coach Mel Siefert said. “I thought we played well in both games. It is tough to play a couple games like this in one day.

“I thought the boys responded extremely well. They definitely made the most out of their opportunity to play for a regional title,” Coach Siefert added.

The Bulldogs opened the day with an 83-73 victory over Indianapolis Howe. After Brebeuf Jesuit upset No. 2 New Castle in the other semifinal, the Bulldogs returned to the Fieldhouse and rolled over the Braves 85-65 for the regional crown.

Championship game

Batesville 85, Brebeuf 65

Car after car made the trip from Batesville to Greensburg, north through Rushville and to New Castle. At times, the line of traffic resembled the scenes from the movie "Hoosiers" as the Bulldog fan faithful came in support of their team.

The "world’s largest high school fieldhouse" was more than half full with fans dressed in blue and white. The players did not disappoint the huge following as Batesville won the regional crown by 20 points, 85-65.

After a close first quarter, the Bulldogs pulled away to a 12-point lead at the half. The margin stayed at 12 after three quarter before the Bulldogs extended the margin to 20.

“Our fan support was great and that always helps ... especially in games like this,” Coach Siefert said.

“When we were finally able to establish a decent lead, I thought we did a good job of attacking the basket and pushing the tempo,” Coach Siefert said.

Brebeuf’s Keaton Gashaw opened the contest with a 3-pointer.

Alex Grimsley, who had to solid outings in the regional, scored in the lane and then hit 1-of-2 free throws to tie the game.

Gashaw came back with another triple, but the lead did not last long as Colt Ryan buried a long triple to even the game at 6-6.

Grimsley’s tip-in gave the Bulldogs their first lead of the game at 10-8. Ryan then found Grimsley on the break and the lead was four with 3:15 to play in the opening quarter.

Grimsley’s final bucket of the opening eight minutes had the Bulldogs up 18-15, but Ryan McDaniel’s 3-pointer knotted the game 18-18 after one frame.

Steve Vonderheide opened the second quarter with a traditional three-point play. After Brebeuf closed to one on a bucket by Jeff McClure, the Bulldogs began to take control—thanks to the outside shooting of Alex Siefert.

Back-to-back 3-pointers, around a free throw by Grimsley, from the senior guard pushed the Batesville advantage to 28-20.

The run was not over as Ryan nailed a triple from the left corner just in front of the Batsville fans and the crowd erupted. The Bulldogs’ lead was 11 and Brebeuf head coach Leo Klemm called for a time-out with 5:15 to play in the half.

The Bulldog lead grew to 16 points on another Vonderheide bucket. The Braves were not done though. Brebeuf scored six point in just one minute to cut the deficit to 41-31 with two minutes to play in the half.

Consecutive buckets by Matt Werner and Grimsley had the lead back to 14 before a score from Ryan Russell made it 45-33 at the break.

The Bulldog lead stayed at 12 points after three quarters with Vonderheide getting four points for Batesville in the quarter.

Brebeuf was able to cut the deficit to 10 points to open the fourth quarter, but a 9-1 run started by Siefert and capped by a three-point play from Ryan extended the cushion to 18 points.

That marked the beginning of the end for the Braves as Batsville was in control the rest of the way. Batesville seniors Jeff Hultman and Chris Munchel put a cap on the night with the final four Bulldog points in the 85-65 victory.

Grimsley finished with a game-high 28 points followed closely by Ryan with 24. Vonderheide and Alex Siefert were also in double figures with 16 and 12 points respectively.

“This was certainly a team effort,” Coach Siefert commented. “Alex (Grimsley) and Colt (Ryan) really turned it up and that set the tone for everyone.”

Batesville advances to the Seymour Semistate Saturday. The Bulldogs will face Evansville Bosse at 3 p.m.

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