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Princeton ends unbeaten season with 3A championship

Sunday, March 29, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Rontray Chavis carried the load for most the game, and his twin brother Dontray finished it off for the Princeton Tigers.

Rontray had 25 points and 14 rebounds, while Dontray hit the winning free throws with 2.9 seconds left in double overtime to lift the Tigers to an 81-79 victory over Rochester on Saturday in the Indiana high school Class 3A basketball championship.

"They bring everything to this team," Princeton senior Trevor George said. "They stepped up in this game like they do in every game. That's what they've done all year long."

George finished with 20 points and nine rebounds, and Dontray Chavis scored 14 for the top-ranked Tigers (29-0), who became the 11th school to finish as undefeated champions. Princeton had never won a state title in any sport before Saturday.

"What a game to be a part of," Tigers coach Tom Weeks said. "Indiana high school basketball, this is what it's all about. We're very fortunate to be on the winning side of a great ball game with tremendous heart from both teams."

Bruce Grimm Jr. had 40 points, including an Indiana High School Athletic Association record eight 3-pointers, for Rochester (23-4). As a team, the Zebras set a new IHSAA record with 15 3s.

"Bruce all year long has made big shots, made big plays," said Rochester coach Rob Malchow. "In games like tonight, he can step up and put a dagger in your heart as he did time and time again to extend it throughout the overtime periods."

Rochester, which led by as many as nine points in the first half and took a three-point lead into the fourth quarter, found itself trailing 61-58 with 8 seconds left in regulation after a pair of free throws by George.

With 3.2 seconds left, however, Grimm took the inbounds pass from Evan Hoff and drained a 3-pointer with two Princeton defenders jumping at him to send the game to overtime.

"That's a great shot," Weeks said. "In the state tournament, it doesn't get much better than that."

After the teams played to a tie in the first extra session, Jordan Simmons' rebound and layup gave the Tigers a 79-76 advantage with 1:21 left, but Grimm answered seconds later with another 3 to tie the score.

With time winding down, Princeton's Jalen Packer missed a jumper, but Dontray Chavis got the rebound and was fouled on the putback attempt. He coolly sank both free throws for the victory.

"In the overtimes, we were just running out of gas," Malchow said. "We physically couldn't keep blocking out the way we had in the first half."

Grimm, a senior guard, was named the 3A tournament MVP by The Associated Press, while Rontray Chavis, Dontray Chavis, George and Simmons made the All-Tourney team. Rochester senior Brody Schoen received the 3A Trester Award for mental attitude.


By The Associated Press



Grimm 14-29 4-4 40, Schoen 3-7 0-0 8, Bowers 3-5 3-3 9, Hoff 3-10 0-0 9, Lowe 3-6 1-1 8, Basham 0-0 0-0 0, Meadows 1-5 2-2 5, Harris 0-0 0-0 0, Smith 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-62 10-10 79.


Packer 3-14 0-2 8, T.George 6-11 7-7 20, Simmons 6-14 0-0 12, B.George 1-3 0-0 2, R.Chavis 11-18 2-3 25, Johnson 0-0 0-0 0, D.Chavis 5-10 4-5 14. Totals 32-70 13-17 81.



3-Point Goals--Rochester 15-33 (Hoff 3-8, Schoen 2-5, Grimm 8-15, Meadows 1-4, Lowe 1-1), Princeton 4-19 (Packer 2-9, T.George 1-3, R.Chavis 1-4, Simmons 0-1, B.George 0-1, D.Chavis 0-1). Fouled Out--None. Rebounds--Rochester 32 (Bowers 8), Princeton 43 (R.Chavis 13). Assists--Rochester 14 (Schoen 5), Princeton 15 (Packer, T.George, R.Chavis 4). Total Fouls--Rochester 17, Princeton 16. A--na.

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