- Associated Press - Friday, March 28, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Arsenal Tech coach Jason Delaney sees Saturday’s state finals as more than just an opportunity to revive basketball in the Indianapolis Public Schools.

It’s a chance for Tech to finally win a state title.

Since 1915, the Titans have been chasing this elusive crown. They made it three times between 1929 and 1952 but haven’t been back since 1966 - and they’re hoping to cap a historic season with the biggest celebration of all.

“It’s really been a special season to be a part of high school basketball in the state,” Delaney said. “It’s been a while since we’ve had a year like this one.”

It’s been a remarkable year around the state, and Delaney’s Titans (26-2) have had a big part in it.

Tech will become the first Indianapolis city school to play for a title in 34 years when it takes on Lake Central (22-3) for the Class 4A state in the final game of the day. Kentucky recruit Trey Lyles, one of the leading contenders for Mr. Basketball, has carried Tech by averaging 24 points and 12.9 rebounds.

And the Titans already know what to expect. Back in January, Tech beat Lake Central by 19 points. The Indians are led by 6-7 Tyler Wideman, a Butler recruit who averages 15.7 points and 7.1 rebounds.

But that big win was only a start for Tech.

The next day, Lyles & Co. defeated powerhouse Park Tudor 95-88 in overtime - a game in which Lyles scored 45 points and Trevon Bluiett, a Xavier recruit and fellow Mr. Basketball contender, had 51 for Park Tudor.

If basketball fans stick around Bankers Life Fieldhouse long enough Saturday, they’ll see the two high-scoring, high-profile stars one more time.

Park Tudor (23-4) is chasing its third Class 2A title in four years against Westview (23-4) in Game 2. Bluiett comes into the game averaging 35.6 points and with a personal challenge - one-upping Lyles.

“I know they’ve gotten to be pretty good friends and they try to outdo one another,” Park Tudor coach Kyle Cox said. “But what they’ve brought to the table this year for high school basketball in Indiana, it’s been pretty special.”

Delaney and Cox have also become fans of one another as they carry the banner for Indianapolis this weekend.

“I really hope they (Tech) can get it done and bring back that pride to the IPS community,” Cox said.

While Tech and Park Tudor have close ties and two of the state’s biggest stars, there are plenty of story lines to cap this remarkable season.

Story Continues →