Participants Announced for 2023 HOF Classic
(New Castle) – With a star-studded field on both the girls’ and boys’ sides, two great days of basketball are on tap for the 2023 Hall of Fame Classic on Friday, December 29 and Saturday, December 30 at the New Castle Fieldhouse.
The prestigious event, spotlighting the best in Indiana high school basketball, will be held for the 40th time for girls and it will be the 47th edition for the boys.
2023 Girls’ Hall of Fame Classic
New Castle Fieldhouse – Friday, December 29, 2023
11:00 a.m. (ET) Columbia City vs Indian Creek
to follow Lake Central vs Jennings County
6:00 p.m. Consolation Game
to follow Championship Game
2023 Boys’ Hall of Fame Classic
New Castle Fieldhouse – Saturday, December 30, 2023
11:00 a.m. (ET) Kokomo vs Crispus Attucks
to follow Brownstown Central vs Brownsburg
6:00 p.m. Consolation Game
to follow Championship Game
Selecting from the best teams in the state, the girls’ tournament has included 20 teams that went on to win a state championship (including 2023 4A State Champion) that season, including 13 class champions and eight class runner-up teams in the past 20 years.
On the boys’ side, 19 participating teams have gone on to win their state championship (including the 2023 3A and 4A State Champions) with six more finishing as state runner-up that season.
Tickets for the tournaments will be available through participating schools and the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in the 2023-24 school year.
ABOUT THE TEAMS
Columbia City – The Lady Eagles look to follow up a 20-3 campaign, with their entire team back that lost to Homestead in the first round of Sectional.
The Lady Eagles were led by 5’9” sophomore Addison Baxter, who averaged roughly 19.8 points per game, along with 5’7” junior Kyndra Sheets, who brought in 15.2 points. Also big contributors for Columbia City were 5’10” junior Molly Baker with 12.2 points and 5’6” junior Tessa Tonkel with 8.2 points per contest.
Head coach Amy Shearer is 175-134 through 14 seasons with the Lady Eagles, collecting over 13 wins each of the last 5 seasons (last two seasons with 20 wins).
This will be Columbia City’s third trip to New Castle for the Hall of Fame Classic, playing also in 1988 and 1997.
Indian Creek – Coming off at 27-2 season, that saw a loss to eventual 3A runner up Corydon Central in the night cap of Semi-State, the Lady Braves bring back an extremely talented roster for the 2023-24 season.
A pair of juniors lead the way for Indian Creek. 5’7” junior guard Lauren Foster lead the way for the Lady Braves averaging 18.6 points, 3.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.4 steals during the 2022-23 season, while 6’4” junior Faith Wiseman (IU commitment) poured in 16.1 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists last season. Helping the Indian Creek cause this last season, was 5’6” sophomore Ayla Lollar who chipped in 7.2 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2.4 steals a contest.
In his 7th season at the helm of Indian Creek, Brian Ferris has compiled a record of 106-46 including three straight sectional championships, and a regional championship from this last season.
This will be Indian Creek’s second time in the Hall of Fame Classic, last playing in 2003.
Lake Central – With no seniors graduating from their 23-6 regional championship campaign, Lake Central returns an entire roster that was defeated by eventual 4A runner-up Fishers in the night game of this year’s Semi-State.
This team is the true definition of team, with no individual averaging over 10 points per game last season, but 5 ladies that averaged at least 7 points per game during the 2022-23 campaign. 5’10” junior Aniyah Bishop led the team with 9.7 points and 6.2 rebounds, 5’7” junior Riley Milausnic averaged 9.4 points, while 5’11” sophomore Ayla Krygier averaged 8.4, 5’5” sophomore Vanessa Wimberly averaged 7.4, and 5’8” junior Nadia Clayton added 7.2 points per game.
Head coach Joe Huppenthal is 122-60 in his 8 years at Lake Central, and 238-99 overall in his 15 seasons, including back-to-back sectional titles, and this past season’s regional crown.
This will make Lake Central’s second Hall of Fame Classic appearance, last participating in 1994, where they were crowned Hall of Fame Champions of that season.
Jennings County – The Lady Panthers look to improve on a 16-6 record from 2022-23, with a roster that returns their top junior scorer and a major contributing freshman.
Leading the Panthers is 6’0” junior Juliann Woodard, who averaged 22.8 points, 12.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 2.4 steals, and 2.4 blocks a game. Helping the Panther cause was 5’9” freshman Mollie Ernstes who averaged 12.0 along 5’6” sophomore Madelyn McIntosh who chipped in 6.0 points a contest.
Head Coach Kristi Sigler is 94-74 in her 8th year at Jennings County, including 16+ wins, each of the last 3 seasons.
This will be Jennings County’s third stop at the Hall of Fame Classic, previously in 1992, and 2001, where they were crowned the 2001 Hall of Fame Classic Champions.
Kokomo – Losing four seniors from a squad that went to the 2022-23 4A State Finals, Kokomo will look to improve on their 24-5 campaign from this past season, being crowned 2023 4A State Runner-Up.
They are led by 6’10 junior (Uncommitted #3 player in the country) Flory Bidunga who averaged 20.2 points and 13.8 rebounds per game. Helping the Wildkat cause was Zion Bellamy, a 5’8 sophomore who averaged 6.8 points, and two juniors, Reis Beard, and Karson Rogers, who averaged roughly 5 points per contest.
Head Coach John Peckinpaugh is 43-13 in his second year at Kokomo with a 65-37 overall with a previous two-year stint at Noblesville. Peckinpaugh led Kokomo to the, just completed, 2023 IHSAA 4A State Finals appearance, playing 2022 Raymond James Hall of Fame Classic Champion, Ben Davis.
This will be Kokomo’s third appearance in the Hall of Fame Classic, last participating 1988 and 2011.
Crispus Attucks– The Tigers return a majority of their roster from an 18-8 campaign, where they lost to Cathedral in this past year’s sectional.
6’2” junior Ron Rutland III led the way for Attucks averaging 18 points per game while dishing out 3.1 assists and collecting 3.8 rebounds. Dezmon Brisco, a 6’7” sophomore averaged 15.6 points, 11.1 rebounds 4 blocks, and 2.4 assists per game. Helping the cause as well was 6’4” sophomore Deandre Lott-hancock with 8.3 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. Chipping in 5.2 points per contest and 2.1 rebounds was 6’1” junior Jacson Payton.
Head Coach Chris Hawkins is 133-50 in his 7 years at the helm of Crispus Attucks, where he led Attucks to the 2017 State Title.
The Tigers will make their first appearance in the Hall of Fame Classic in 2023.
Brownstown Central – The Braves return all but 3 players from a successful 24-5 campaign that ended with a loss to 2A State Finalist Linton-Stockton in the Championship game of Semi-State.
Leading the way for Brownstown Central is 6’5” junior Jack Benter (Purdue commit) who averaged roughly 30 points and 7 rebounds per game. 6’4” sophomore Chace Coomer averaged 8.3 points, while 6’6 sophomore Colby Hall averaged 7.8 points per game for the Braves.
Head coach Dave Benter is 449-162 in his 25th season at the helm of the Braves. In his tenure the Braves have 9 sectional titles, and 3 regional crowns.
Brownstown Central will make the first appearance in 2023 in the Hall of Fame Classic.
Brownsburg – Led by a dynamic scorer, the Bulldogs return all but two players from a 22-5 squad who lost in the Semi-State Championship and 2023 4A State Champion Ben Davis.
They return 8 juniors, 3 sophomores, and 1 freshman. Leading the way are 6’7” junior Kanon Catchings (Purdue commit) who averaged 17.5 points and 5 rebounds a game, along with 6’2” junior Grant Porath who averages 10.13 points and 2.6 assists per game.
Head coach Steve Lynch just finished his 10th year as the Bulldogs coach, and amassed a record of 173-74 during that tenure, and 276-126 in 17 years overall including a 7 year tenure at Mt. Vernon (Fortville).
Brownsburg will make their 3rd appearance in the Hall of Fame Classic with previous trips to New Castle coming in 1991 and 2014, with both times earing Classic Runner-Up accolades.
12 of the past 15 Miss Basketball winners (Skylar Diggins, Courtney Moses, Bria Goss, Jessica Rupright, Stephanie Mavunga, Whitney Jennings, Ali Patberg, Jackie Young, Karissa McLaughlin, Amy Dilk, Jorie Allen and Ayanna Patterson) have had the honor to play in the Classic. 13 women to have played in the Classic were named McDonald’s All-Americans and 12 Girls Classic alums have played in the WNBA.
Girls legends who have played in the Classic include Stephanie White, Katie Gearlds, Shanna Zolman, Skylar Diggins, Jackie Young, Katie Douglas, Kristen Spolyar, Lisa Shepherd, Abby Conklin, April McDivitt, Kelly Faris, Jennifer Jacoby, Jodie Whitaker, Shrya Ely, Tiffany Gooden and Ali Patberg, among others.
33 men who went on to win the Indiana Mr. Basketball award have participated in the Boys Classic, including 14 of the last 18 award winners (Luke Zeller, Greg Oden, Tyler Zeller, Jordan Hulls, Cody Zeller, Gary Harris, Zak Irvin, Trey Lyles, Kyle Guy, Romeo Langford, Trayce Jackson-Davis, Anthony Leal and Caleb Furst). 26 men to have played in the Classic have been named McDonald’s All-Americans, while 19 have been NBA Draft picks.
Legends to have competed in the Boys Classic include Damon Bailey, Steve Alford, Glenn Robinson, Shawn Kemp, Greg Oden, Mike Conley, Zach Randolph, Eric Montross, Sean May, Delray Brooks, Tom Coverdale, Troy Lewis, Woody Austin, Josh McRoberts, Gary Harris, Luke, Tyler and Cody Zeller, Trey Lyles, Kyle Guy, Romeo Langford, and Trayce Jackson-Davis, among others.
Including entrants in the 2023 Classic, the event has included 100 different IHSAA-member girls programs and 110 different IHSAA-member boys programs in tournament history.
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Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame
One Hall of Fame Court
New Castle, IN 47362