Indiana High School Athletic Association, Inc.

9150 North Meridian Street, Box 40650, Indianapolis, Indiana 46240-0650

Phone: 317-846-6601    Fax: 317-575-4244    Website:

Blake Ress, Commissioner


March 28, 2009



Jac-Cen-Del’s big second quarter propelled the Eagles past defending state champion Triton, 66-55, to win the school’s first-ever state championship in any sport in the Class A state championship game at Conseco Fieldhouse.


The top-ranked Eagles (25-2) led 6-5 after the first quarter but picked it up in the second hitting eight of nine field goals including 10 points from Blake Sutton to take control of the game. Jac-Cen-Del owned a 25-13 lead at halftime, was never seriously threatened in the second half and went on to post its 18th straight win to complete a 25-2 season.


Jac-Cen-Del led by as many as 20 at 44-24 after Matt Gehl hit a layup, was fouled and converted the free throw with 1:40 left in the third quarter. Triton rallied in the fourth cutting the lead to nine on two occasions but could never get any closer.


Gehl led all scorers with 26 points and 11 rebounds. Sutton contributed 19 points and five rebounds, Trevor Arnett had seven points and 11 rebounds, and Gerald Hardesty added eight points and six rebounds to the mix.


Gryffin Carpenter led the Trojans in scoring with 14 points.  Colton Keel had 12 points and 13 rebounds, and Joel Meister chipped in 12 points.


Coached by 13th year coach David Bradshaw, Triton shot 52.2 percent for the game and held Triton to just 29.5 percent. 


Third-ranked Triton, which was attempting to become the first school to win back-to-back Class A state championships, finished the season 25-3 under fourth-year head coach Jason Groves.




Following the game, members of the IHSAA Executive Committee named Gerald Hardesty of Jac-Cen-Del High School as the winner of the Arthur L. Trester Mental Attitude Award.


The award is presented annually to a senior participant in each classification who was nominated by his principal and coach and has demonstrated excellence in mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability.


Gerald ranks second in his class of 58 and is president of the National Honor Society and his senior class. He was selected to the All-County team this year and will play in the 40/8 All-Star game. Hardesty was voted most-improved player for the Eagles in 2008 and is captain of this year’s squad averaging nine rebounds per game.


In the community, Gerald is a 10-year member of 4-H and also works with the Catholic Youth Organization. He is a finalist for the Coca-Cola National Scholarship and the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship. He volunteers as a tutor, helped organize a food drive for the National Honor Society and helps out with the Biddy Ball program at Jac-Cen-Del.


Hardesty also participates in track and baseball and has been an All-Conference selection four years for the Eagle soccer team.


This is the first Mental Attitude Award in any sport for Jac-Cen-Del.


Gerald will attend Purdue University in the fall to study engineering.


He is the son of David and Jennifer Hardesty of Osgood.


Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, the IHSAA’s corporate partner, will present a $1,000 scholarship to Jac-Cen-Del High School in the name of Gerald Hardesty.


The award is named in honor of Arthur L. Trester, the IHSAA’s first commissioner who served the Association from 1929-44.




Visit our friends at Visual Sports Network, the IHSAA’s official photographer for all state championship events and one of the leading action photographers in the Midwest. VSN, which was on site Saturday, has captured hundreds of images from this year’s State Finals and will have them ready for viewing and purchase beginning Monday.





Triton Head Coach Jason Graves

(General comments) “We ran into a pretty good team today. They’re long, athletic, tall and contested our shots. I think that bothered us. … Especially in the second quarter, I think we got a little frustrated and lost our focus a little offensively. They’re a good ball club; give them credit.”


(On Jac-Cen-Del’s rebounding edge) “That’s what they’ve been doing all year. … Coming into the game I really didn’t want to play zone because I felt they’re too good of an offensive rebounding team. I felt that playing man-to-man, it would allow us to get on the boards a little.”


(On Jac-Cen-Del’s Matt Gehl). “He did a great job. He’s athletic, long and cuts to the basket well. He looks like he understands the game.”


(On his team’s development and return trip to the state finals) “Throughout the summer these kids really transformed. I could see the confidence in them and the fact they expected to win every game they went into.”


(On his team’s persistence at the end of the game) “That’s what this team was about. They always put forth the effort. In the offseason these kids worked so hard. We talked at the beginning of the season about not letting our expectations go down after last year. These kids waited patiently for their opportunity to come. And when it came, they really took advantage of it.”


Triton  forward Colton Keel

“I’m glad we made it this year with these guys. It shows we’re fighters and we know what it takes to win. We went 5-of-27 in the first half. That was probably the biggest killer. If we had hit half those shots, we probably could have been in it the whole time.”



Jac-Cen-Del Head Coach David Bradshaw

(General comments) “I couldn’t be happier. This is 25 years of teaching and coaching and it’s kind of a  dream come true. I guess you could call it a great silver anniversary present, not only to me but the entire community of Jac-Cen-Del.”


“This is a team that a coach really learns to enjoy.  … (The Jac-Cen-Del players) really don’t care who scores the points as long as they get the job done. That’s kind of been their motto since junior high, a very humble and unselfish approach.”


(Was he concerned about team’s slow start offensively?) “Not when I saw the defensive effort by our team. Our defense in the first quarter was absolutely tremendous … everything was to perfection almost. The No. 1 thing is, we really contested shots today. I bet you we really contested 80 percent of their shots.”


Jac-Cen-Del guard Matt Gehl

(On scoring none in the first half and finishing with 26) “(Coach Bradshaw) told me to keep my head up and let the game come to me. That’s what I did and I started scoring. I started pulling up for jump shots instead of trying to take it all the way … Let it come to me. I kind of did that.”


Jac-Cen-Del center Gerald Hardesty

(On winning the Arthur L. Trester Mental Attitude Award) “Obviously, it’s a great honor. Even just to be nominated was a great honor. It’s great for our school, too.”