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Wolves fall to Brownstown, finish in Final Four

Mar. 17—If the high school basketball players and coaches from Parke Heritage were hoping that top-ranked Brownstown Central might have an off game Saturday night in the championship game of the Class 2A Southport Semistate, their request wasn't granted.

The Braves, a championship possibility since Purdue recruit Jack Benter was a freshman, played extremely well and Benter was phenomenal. And all that needed to happen for them to win by a 66-56 score, because the gutty, undersized Wolves were right with the Braves — except for one crucial quarter.

Brownstown shot 50% from the field, 85% from the foul line and 47% from 3-point range. Benter had 38 points and eight assists, meaning he accounted for all but one of his team's field goals and nearly accounted for as many points as the Wolves scored.

"You have to tip your cap to their team," coach Rich Schelsky of the Wolves said after the game. "They're a great team, very well coached . . . and that was one of the single best individual performances I've ever seen."

But did the Wolves ever wilt? No, they did not. They just missed a few shots right after halftime.

Brownstown usually likes to establish Benter early, hoping to land a knockout punch before their other players are needed for complementary purposes, and there were some haymakers thrown Saturday night. Benter had 14 points in the first quarter and 26 by halftime.

But Parke Heritage senior Max Dowd, whose last day as a member of the Wolves included possibly the best two halves he's ever played (the first one each game) had 10 points of his own in the first quarter as Parke Heritage fought back from a quick 8-3 hole in the first 90 seconds of the game to take a 15-14 lead before trailing 18-16.

Every Parke Heritage starter contributed to the scoring in the second period. The Wolves never led, but it took Benter's last-second play to put Brownstown up by four at halftime, 35-31.

But in the third quarter, Parke Heritage was 1 for 9 from the field and scored just four points. That left it trailing 49-35, and the Wolves managed to get the deficit into single digits a couple of times in the fourth quarter but never got closer than eight.

"The biggest issue was the third quarter, when we stopped scoring," coach Schelsky said afterward. "We had to score tonight [against that team, one of the best offensive rebounding teams you will ever see], and we did a great job of that — except in that third quarter."

Treigh Schelsky led Parke Heritage with 17 points while Dowd added 14, B.T. Luce 12 and Renn Harper nine. Dowd's four seasons included a state runner-up finish and finishes the past two season in the final eight and then the final four.

"The end of the season always sucks," said Treigh Schelsky after the game. "But we had a goal: to get back here [to the semistate] and to get past the first game.

"Losing Max sucks. He was our glue guy and our energy guy," the young Schelsky continued. "But we have some young guys who will step up. So again our goal is to get back here and win one more game."

—Semifinal games — The Wolves beat Forest Park 64-54 in the second semifinal game Saturday afternoon, after Brownstown survived a last-second shot to beat Park Tudor 50-49.

Treigh Schelsky led all scorers with 22 points for Parke Heritage, while Dowd added 17 and Harper 16. Schelsky and Dowd were also the game's leading rebounders with eight each.

The lead changed hands eight times in the first half, with the Wolves on top 26-25 at intermission.

Harper had a pair of big 3-pointers early in the third quarter that helped his team extend the lead, and the Wolves shot 70% from the field in the second half and dominated the backboards the entire game.

"That's a good team, almost a carbon copy [of us]," coach Rich Schelsky said of the Rangers. "It was a battle of attrition.

"We had a really good second half offensively," the coach continued. "The guys executed our stuff really well."

Dowd, probably the team's fourth-leading scorer for the season, had 12 points, five rebounds, two steals and an assist before intermission. He'd said earlier in the week that he still had a scoring mindset if needed, however.

"I knew I could step up and today I knew I would have to do it," he said after the game.

FOREST PARK (54) — Howard 7-16 3-4 19, Wolf 0-2 0-0 0, Lueken 2-6 1-2 5, J.Berg 3-6 2-3 9, T.Berg 4-9 2-3 11, Burger 3-5 2-2 9, Frick 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 19-45 FG, 11-16 FT, 54 TP.

PARKE HERITAGE (64) — Schelsky 10-12 1-2 22, Harper 6-9 1-2 16, Crum 3-5 2-2 8, Luce 0-3 1-2 1, Dowd 8-14 0-5 17, Goins 0-1 0-0 0, Harpold 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-44 FG, 5-13 FT, 64 TP.

Forest Park 13 12 12 17 — 54

Parke Heritage 13 13 19 19 — 64

3-point shooting — FP 5-17 (Howard 2-8, Burger 1-2, T.Berg 1-3, J.Berg 1-4), PH 5-9 (Harper 3-3, Dowd 1-1, Schelsky 1-2, Goins 0-1, Luce 0-2). Total fouls — FP 13, PH 15. Fouled out — Luce. Turnovers — FP 6, PH 10. Rebounds — FP 18 (Howard 4, Lueken 4, Burger 4), PH 38 (Schelsky 8, Dowd 8, Crum 6, Harper 5, Luce 2, Goins, Team 8). Assists — FP 8 (Howard 3, J.Berg 3), PH 14 (Schelsky 3, Harper 3, Luce 3, Goins 3, Crum, Dowd). Steals — FP 7 (J.Berg 2, T.Berg 2), FP 4 (Dowd 3, Harper). Blocks — FP 0, PH 0.

Next — Forest Park finished 18-10.

BROWNSTOWN CENTRAL (66) — Benter 11-20 11-13 38, Coomer 3-6 0-0 8, Stahl 1-2 0-0 2, Hehman 1-3 5-5 8, Sheffer1-2 0-0 3, Hall 2-5 1-2 5, Wheeler 0-1 0-0 0, Pendleton 1-1 0-0 2, Hutcheson 0-0 0-0 0, Gwin 0-0 0-0 0, Covert 0-0 0-0 0, Wischmeier 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-40 FG, 17-20 FT, 66 TP.

PARKE HERITAGE (56) — Schelsky 5-11 4-4 17, Harper 3-7 1-2 9, Crum 1-2 0-0 2, Luce 4-11 2-2 12, Dowd 5-9 1-1 14, Harpold 0-0 0-0 0, Goins 1-2 0-0 2, McMullen 0-0 0-0 0, Brown 0-0 0-0 0, McCalister 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-42 FG, 8-10 FT, 56 TP.

Brownstown Central 18 17 14 17 — 66

Parke Heritage 16 15 4 21 — 56

3-point shooting — BC 9-19 (Benter 5-8, Coomer 2-5, Sheffer 1-2, Hehman 1-3, Wheeler 0-1), PH 10-22 (Dowd 3-4, Schelsky 3-7, Harper 2-4, Luce 2-7). Total fouls — BC 12, PH 16. Fouled out — Harper. Turnovers — BC 9, PH 6. Rebounds — BC 33 (Hall 7), PH 14 (Crum 5, Luce 5, Dowd, Team 3). Assists — BC 15 (Benter 8), PH 8 (Schelsky 4, Dowd 2, Harper, Crum). Steals — BC 4 (Benter, Hehman, Hall, Wheeler), PH 6 (Harper 2, Dowd 2, Crum, Luce). Blocks — BC 5 (Hall 2), PH 0.

Next — Brownstown Central (27-4) plays Wapahani for the Class 2A state championship on March 30 in Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Parke Heritage finished 24-6.