Ever since he committed to play for Indiana University, the world of basketball in the state of Indiana has practically had all eyes on Park Tudor Senior Yogi Ferrell. Practically every game he has played has been written about, blogged about, chatted about across the internet, or even had television highlights show on television. Yet here Ferrell was, celebrating the pinnacle of his high school career, cutting down the championship net in his final game in a Park Tudor uniform when something strange happened. When the net came undone, Ferrell turned with his arms out to hear the crowd roar, and well, nobody was there.
No cheers, no wave of cameramen, not even a single teammate was around as Ferrell yelled at "Where's everybody at," with a smile on his face.
"I don't know, I was hoping to hold it up to hear people cheer," said Ferrell laughing. "But they were all focused on J.B. (Rapp) because it's his birthday, so happy birthday to him."
Saturday afternoon Ferrell and the Park Tudor Panthers etched their names as one of the great IHSAA teams, winning the Class 2A State championship for a second year in a row with a 79-57 victory over Bowman Academy.
"I am so proud of these young men," said Park Tudor Head Coach Ed Schilling. "They work so hard. They come in every single day, and obviously Yogi sets the standard. He raises the bar so high, and we just have a bunch of young men who want to play and compete and have fun with each other in a positive way. I just couldn't be happier with these guys."
Ferrell was the catalyst for the Panthers, playing a near-perfect game with 17 points, 12 assists, and 9 rebounds to cap off the final game before becoming an Indiana Hoosier. The point guard's quickness allowed him and the Panthers to break past Bowman Academy's press early and often, opening up opportunities for all of his teammates along the way. But perhaps none of those teammates took advantage as much as Senior Paul Bayt, who made six three-pointers to finish off with 18 points on the night.
"We knew they were a very athletic team and well-disciplined team," said Bayt. "And we just wanted to focus on executing plays, executing our offense and defense. That's what we did."
Bayt's three-point shooting helped catapult Park Tudor to a 40-23 halftime lead, and from there the game was never in doubt. Ferrell continued to open up Bowman Academy's defense in the second-half, allowing Sophomore Trevon Bluiett to take advantage down lo in the paint, and finishing with 25 points and 8 rebounds.
"Yogi is a five-star point guard," said Bluiett, who said later said he just wanted to win the State title for the seniors. "He can go against anybody in this class, and I'm going to miss him a lot. He is definitely the best player in the country, at least to me."
For Ferrell himself, it's exactly how he wanted to end his Park Tudor basketball career.
"This is exactly how I wanted to leave," said Ferrell. "I wanted to get this championship for myself, but not only me but for my guys, and my coaches too."
And for that, we were all watching.
Park Tudor trumps Bowman Academy for back-to-back Class 2A championships
Ferrell was the catalyst for the Panthers, playing a near-perfect game with 17 points, 12 assists, and 9 rebounds to cap off the final game before becoming an Indiana Hoosier.
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