TERRE HAUTE — Knee surgeries. Heart attacks. The cops.
Nothing was going to keep the Mt. Vernon girls basketball team from a state championship.
The Marauders cleared the final hurdle Saturday, dominating Hamilton Heights 61-47 to win the Class 3A title at Indiana State University’s Hulman Center.
No. 2-ranked Hamilton Heights, with a pesky four-guard lineup, jumped out to a 5-2 lead on the strength of a pair of MV turnovers. But, after what the Marauders have been through this season — up to and including this week — it would take more than a few quick Huskies to derail what was very much a Mt. Vernon team of destiny.
The Marauders brushed off Hamilton Heights’ smaller lineup, with Erica Moore pulling down nine first half rebounds while bruising the Huskies in the post. And MV freshman Sydney Shelton scorched the opposing defense for 17 first-half points on the way to a 32-20 halftime lead for the No. 6 Marauders. Hamilton Heights never recovered.
In many respects, the Class 3A title game itself was the easiest part of MV’s run to the first basketball state championship in Hancock County high school history.
“If we wrote a book about it, you might not believe it,” MV girls athletic director and assistant principal Greg Roach said outside the postgame locker room. “They’ve just come through so many things, and I’m so proud of them. We all are. It’s unbelievable.”