Cutting Memories: Braves celebrate Class 2A crown over Wapahani


Parker Hehman said cutting the nets down after the Southwestern Sectional title was a nice feeling, and pretty much expected. Cutting the nets after winning the Washington Regional was an even better feeling.

Then getting a piece of another net at the Southport Semi state was an even better feeling and meant the Braves were one step closer to attaining their goal.

Last Saturday when Hehman received the honor of cutting one of the nets by himself at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

“It means a lot more,” Hehman said. “It’s just a sigh of relief. We’ve worked for this since we were like three years old. Growing up in this community, seeing guys excel, and then just being the first team to do it, it’s just amazing.”

Hehman and his Brownstown teammates came up short in the regionals in 2021 and 2022, and losing in the finals of the Southport Semistate in 2023.

“That really hurt us last season,” he said. “We had extra motivation to come back. Being my last game here means so much for our community the first time ever it’s just awesome.”

The Braves defeated Wapahani 55-36 Saturday afternoon to capture the school’s first basketball championship.

The Braves controlled this game from the start, trailing 4-3 for 12 seconds early in the game. They built up an 18-7 lead by the end of the first period, then extended their cushion to 31-14 by halftime.

Wapahani rallied in the third period to cut the difference to 34-28 before the Braves regained their composure to take a 38-28 lead into the fourth, then used a 17-8 scoring advantage to win going away.

“That was one of the biggest keys to the game, the start,” Hehman said.

He said some of the Braves were nervous before the game, but “once the ball goes up its just another game, so just come out and play, do what we do.

“We knew we were going to come out on top, but we got away from that in the third quarter. But for three quarters I thought we played really well.

“When they have players as good as they are, like Isaac (Andrews), they are never out of the game. They always had five shooters on the floor. We just had a bunch of guys step up different games

“I didn’t have my greatest game, I only had two points, but I played hard on the defensive end. We made them make tough decisions. We tried to disrupt what they tried to do and that was pretty much it.”

This was Dave Benter’s 26th season coaching the Braves.

He said, “We’ve got the best player (Jack benter) I’ve ever coached, and the best leader (Hehman) that I’ve ever coached. Parker is the best leader I’ve ever coached, hands down.

“These two have been best friends since they could walk. They were never satisfied. They had high expectations.

“We’ve had great teams, but we’ve got so many different weapons (this season). We’ve played almost every top 4A team in the state the past two summers or during the season and we were as big as most of them, and when we were healthy we never melted under pressure.”

When Brownstown and Scottsburg won their titles on Saturday, they became the second and third schools from the Mid-Southern Conference to win state championships

Silver Creek won Class 3A championships in 2018 and 2021.

Brownstown won the MSC title this season and Scottsburg was second. Scottsburg won the 3A title Saturday night by defeating South Bend St. Joseph’s.

Brownstown finished second in 2009 and 2004. Those teams were also coached by Dave Benter. At that time the facility where the Indiana pacers play was known as Conseco Fieldhouse.

Jack Benter scored 25 points Saturday and finished 11th on the all-time scoring list with 2,549 points.

Wapahani’s Isaac Andrews scored 21 against the Braves and finish as the state’s 37th leading scorer with 2,151 points.

When the Brownstown girls reached the state championship game in Class 2A on Feb. 24 it marked the fifth straight year a MSC girls team reached a state championship game.

Corydon lost in the 3A finals in 2023. Silver Creek won the state in 3A in 2121 and placed second in 2022. Salem finished second in 3A in 2020.

Eastern won Class 2A in 1017 and North Harrison was second in 3A in 2016 and 2017.

Brownstown also placed second in 2011, Austin won the state in Class 2A in 2010 after placing second in 2009.

Corydon was also second in 3A in 2005.

Class basketball began in 1997-98. Scottsburg won the state in 1988 and placed runner-up in 1986.

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