- Associated Press - Saturday, March 26, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - On the biggest stage, New Albany sophomore Romeo Langford came up big again.

Langford scored 12 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter to lead Class 4A No. 1 New Albany to a 62-59 victory over No. 4 McCutcheon Saturday night in the IHSAA Class 4A state championship game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

“I felt my team needed a little bit of everything,” said the 6-4 Langford, who had scored 46 points in a semi-state victory over Southport. “Even if I wasn’t scoring, I had to facilitate to my teammates.”

Langford, who missed five of his first six shots, finishing by hitting 11 of 21 from the field and 5 of 8 free throws. Isaac Hibbard added 17 points for the Bulldogs (27-1), who won their second state title. New Albany captured the 1973 title in the single class tournament.

“We’ve been waiting for this for a long time. 1973 was the last time we won it and we finally got it,” Langford said.

Bulldogs coach Jim Shannon said he had fantasized about a victory speech.

“Now I don’t remember what I was going to say because it’s so surreal,” Shannon said. “I don’t think it will sink in for a little while. My emotions are all over the place. We had to fight so hard to get that game. We are fortunate to have won that game.”

McCutcheon (28-4) led by nine (19-10) in the second quarter before New Albany rallied.

“We weren’t getting enough penetration and kicking,” Langford said. “And they were doing a match-up zone that we really weren’t ready for it.”

New Albany erased a 33-28 halftime deficit by outscoring McCutcheon 18-12 in the third quarter to take a 46-45 lead after three quarters.

New Albany scored the first six points of the fourth quarter, including two baskets by Langford, to take a 52-46 lead before McCutcheon answered with 3-pointers by Haden Deaton and Darnell Butler to cut the deficit to 52-51.

With New Albany leading 54-53, Langford sank two free throws with 49.5 seconds remaining. Deaton was fouled on a drive and hit one of two free throws with 39.3 seconds left to make it 56-55. Sean East nailed both throws to push New Albany’s edge to 58-54 with 26.2 seconds to go. Following a steal, Langford scored on a dunk. Gavin Dunbar was fouled on a 3-point shot and hit two free throws.

After one free throw by Langford, Dunbar sank a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 61-59 with 5.3 seconds to go. Langford hit one free throw with 2.6 seconds left to make it 62-59. The Mavericks then turned the ball over to end their hopes.

Deaton and Eddy Collins each had 14 points for the Mavericks.

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