The Austin Indiana History.Com Website was opened for public viewing in May of 2011.
Austin Indiana - Established in 1853
December 10, 2010
Austin, Indiana, is located in south central Indiana, just 35 miles north of Louisville Kentucky. The community of Austin was officially established in May 3rd, 1853, and is part of Scott County, Indiana. (The Austin city and rural areas are also part of Jennings Township). Scott County was formed on February1st, 1820, and was named after General Charles Scott (1739-1813) of Virginia. Scott was a Revolutionary war hero who participated in a number of engagements against the Indians in Indiana, and was the fourth Governor of Kentucky 1808-1812.
Purportedly the naming of Austin, Indiana, derived from War Veterans of the War with Mexico (1846-1848). An appreciative United States government offered Veterans of the war, land in Indiana as a gift for their services to their country. The Veterans arrived from Texas and after settling into the village, they named the community Austin, in honor of Austin Texas where several of them once lived.
The Quick Story of Austin Texas
Austin, Texas, became an official community in 1839, but was known as Waterloo prior to the name of Austin. In the early 1830s Anglo-Americans arrived in central Texas, and settled along the banks of the Colorado River. In 1839, when Texas was searching for a centrally located capital; Waterloo was renamed Austin, Texas, in honor of Stephen F. Austin (1793-1836). Stephen F. Austin was affectionately known as “The Father of Texas.”
Stephen F. Austin was born in the mining regions of southwest Virginia in what is now known as Austinville, also named after him. In the state of Texas, Stephen F. Austin along with Sam Houston are revered as the two most heroic and influential men in the history of Texas. The state office building is named after Austin, as are both Austin, Texas, and Austin County, Texas. Along with communities bearing the Austin name in Texas, there is the Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches, and Austin College in Sherman, Texas. Several grade and high schools are also named after Austin. So that’s how Austin Indiana got its name in 1853, after Austin, Texas, which originally was named after Stephen F. Austin, “The Father of Texas.”
In the 1951 photo at left is Austin High School Band Member Bob McClain.
The Early History of Austin Indiana
The story of Austin Indiana began in 1839, when a white settler named Isaiah Jones settled into the area and began clearing off the land where he built a log cabin home for his family. As Jones settled into his land he became friends with local Indians, most likely Delawares that lived nearby. Jones faced many challenges as he cleared away the forests, along with the rigorous life of the daily hard labor he constantly had to deal with the threat of panther and bear attacks to his livestock.
As Jones continued to farm the area, and other settlers moved into the community, the small village remained a farming community until 1848, when the Pennsylvania Railroad began constructing a road through the village. Over the next couple of years there was significant change in the community, and soon people began to live nearby the tracks being graded in the town. By the late 1840s the Texas natives were already calling the community Austin, and by the early 1850s the community was filled by residents with diverse backgrounds. There were the early settlers still living in the area, along with the Texas natives, and the Irish immigrants that came to Austin to work on the railroad. The Irish immigrants were known to be hard workers, hard fighting and hard drinking.
On May 3rd, 1851, and with the railroad grading nearly complete, a gentlemen named Morris Sarver purchased ten acres of land from Isaiah Jones. The land Sarver purchased was situated on both sides of the newly laid tracks, and to him should go the credit of having the first idea of a town on the railroad, even though he did nothing to develop the plan. In March of 1853, the land was sold to George A. and Katherine Rankin of New Frankfort, Indiana. George Rankin then formed a business venture with two men from New Frankfort, named Caleb H. Skeel and John Elsey. The three men now in control of the land and vision that once belonged to Sarver pursued the establishment of Austin as an official town.
1853: Austin is officially established as a Town
On May 3rd, 1853, Austin, Indiana, officially became established as a town, when Scott County Justice of the Peace John Cantwell, signed the voluntary act of the New Frankfort trio, George A. Rankin, John Elsey and Caleb Skeel. With that declaration the trio donated land and envisioned great opportunities as the now busy railroad ran right through the center of the town. The great steam engines made frequent stops in Austin, on their way to Indianapolis from Louisville, Kentucky.
The Conflict between North and South Austin
In 1854 and about a year after Austin became a town, the business district which was located where the main part of town is today, began to move to south Austin near the Austin Train Depot. The change created conflict between the citizens of Austin over the move, and hard feeling lasted for years. As the south side of town flourished, the north side of town was considered the rough part of town.
The streets that once were the business section of South Austin are now the streets of a residential area. The main area of the former business district is the area located on the west side of U.S. Highway 31, directly across from Austin High School. When the Austin Canning Company established its plant in central Austin  in 1899, the business district began to shift back to Main Street and is still the main section of town today, but even after that, conflict between North and South Austin lasted for several years.
Location: The Road from Louisville to Indianapolis
During its early existence Austin thrived off of its ties to the Pennsylvania Railroad. In 1926 the community received another boost when US Highway 31, which was the main transportation route from Louisville to Indianapolis, was graded through the center of Austin. In the late 1950s Interstate 65, was graded on the west side of Austin.
Logistically Austin is in an ideal location for current and future economic growth, as the small city is within close driving range of four major cities. Austin is 35 miles north of Louisville Kentucky, 77 miles south of Indianapolis, less than 2 hours away from Cincinnati and less than five hours away from St. Louis.
While the railroad and highway travel helped mark Austin, it is the development of Morgan Foods as one of the world’s leading food manufacturers that has stabilized the community in Indiana. Originally founded in 1899, as the Austin Canning Company, Morgan Foods remains the largest employer in Austin. As other communities of similar size and characteristics in Indiana have nearly vanished from the business scene, Morgan Foods has provided a sound economic base for Austin and Scott County for over a century.
During the 1930s and 1940s as the American economy struggled to recover the from the Great Depression of 1929, and the impact of World War II it was Morgan Packing Company (Morgan Foods) that offered consistent employment throughout the region. Many of Austin’s citizens today are descendents of families, who migrated from Eastern Kentucky, during that period looking for work. Also during World War II, Morgan Packing Company was not able to fill all the jobs needed to operate its huge canning empire. A willing U.S. government loaned the company help in the form of German and Italian Prisoners of War. The prisoners were guarded by U.S. troops in a POW Camp setup just north of the factory. Some 1,500 POWs worked at the factory on daily basis for nearly two years.
Currently (2011) Morgan Foods is one of four manufacturing plants in located in Austin. The Pepsi Americas Plant located on the west side of Austin has been a steady base of employment for the community, and is one of Pepsi’s most efficient operations in their huge chain of plants across the country. Pepsi located to Austin in the late 1970s, and is considered a valued friend and contributor to the community.
Austin Tri-Hawk Automotive (ATA) opened its doors in the early 2000s and offers another opportunity for employment in the area. ATA’s webpage describes their business as a self-sufficient American business with the financial backing of Japanese firms, which are some of the most successful automotive manufacturing companies in the world. ATA produces integrated assemblies, which requires involvement with robot-welding, retainer of fixture design and international coordination of related parts production.
GarTech Enterprises was founded in 1990 by Don Hounshell, a local resident who grew up in Austin and graduated from Austin High School in 1974. After a small humble beginning that started in his garage to supplement his fulltime employment, Hounshell and GarTech is a success story and a company on the rise. In 2004, Hounshell moved his business out of his garage and into to a new facility on the west side of Austin. The company specializes in producing parts for a variety of industries such as, automotive construction and mining.
In 1968 the town officially incorporated and the first town government was comprised of three town board members, Hubert Buchanan, Roy Schneck and Gilbert Warner. All three men were business leaders in the community. Buchanan was the owner operator of Buchanan Funeral Home, Schneck owned the Schneck Oil and Service Station, and Warner owned a grocery store, Warner’s IGA.
2008 Austin becomes a city
In 2008, Austin became Indiana’s newest city. Doug Campbell a Democrat was voted Mayor and five other men won City Council positions, Richie Buchanan, Chris Fugate, Roger Hawkins, Lonnie Noble and Jimmy Turner.
Austin Public School Systems (Scott County School District 1)
For over 100-years the school systems have been a source of pride and tradition within the community. With the new technology of the 21st century available, students at the Austin School Systems have opportunities to learn from teachers and programs that will enable them to meet the standards for a successful life.
The school system at Austin supports family values, and is willing to be more than just an educational facility by reaching out and helping those in need. Austin educators have discovered helping others and teaching students to contribute to society, is just as important as what is learned from the curriculum.
Native American Life in Austin Indiana
Long before the white-man settled in Austin in 1839, the area was inhabited by Native Americans Indians. Archeologists and Scientists have determined that thousands of years ago, around the ice age period that Austin was home to several different generations of Indians.
Around 15,000 years ago and near the end of the glacial period, Archeologists have found evidence that in south Austin the Paleoindians lived along the shore line of a great lake that was 17 miles long and covered areas in what is now known as Washington and Scott Counties. The lake no longer exists but the vast number of creeks and small rivers attest to its existence. The Paleoindians were believed to have migrated from Asia into North America.
After the Paleoindian era Austin was then inhabited by the Archaic Indians some 6-7,000 years ago. After that era the Woodland Indians lived in the area and still along the great lake, which was followed by the Mississippian Indians era and lasted until around 1650.
By the late 1700s and early 1800s three different Indian tribes lived in the area or nearby, the Shawnee, the Delawares and the Potawatomi. The last known Indians to live in the area were the Delawares in the 1830s, but by the time Austin was established in 1853, Indian life in the area existed no more.
The City of Austin
Like all other small communities in the United States, Austin is faced with many challenges. The people of Austin have long been known as hard working people and willing to lend a hand when a neighbor is in need. The city of Austin looks to the future with encouragement and promise. Yes that’s right, our little community is an official city, and while we like to say the "City of Austin", we are well aware of our heritage. As a community we are ready to take the steps to improve the quality of life in our city, while maintaining a small town atmosphere, after all there’s still only one stoplight.
 Austin Canning company was named Morgan Packing in 1917 (Morgan Foods) and is still located in its original location.
2008 - Robert F. Kennedy Jr. visits Austin Indiana
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. visited Austin, Indiana in 2008. Kennedy is pictured with Austin officials from left to right: Austin City Councilman Richie Buchanan, Austin Mayor Doug Campbell, Kennedy, Clerk-Treasurer Dillo Bush and Austin City Councilman Jimmy Turner.
Kennedy is the nephew of Former U.S. President John F. Kennedy and the son of Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy. John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, when he was the President of the United States. Robert Kennedy was assassinated in 1968, while campaigning for the Democrat presidential nomination.
The Early History of Indiana (Land of the Indians)
August 22, 2011
Written by Mike Barrett (2011)
Indiana became the 19th state on November 7th 1816, but before that Indiana was part of an official territory designated by Congress in 1800 as the Indiana Territory. Originally the Indiana Territory had been part of the Northwest Territory, which had been organized in 1787. When the original Northwest Territory was formed in 1787 the U.S. Census Bureau reports there were about 5,000 Europeans living in the territory, and nearly fifty-thousand Native Americans, which consisted of several different Indian tribes.
On July 4th 1800, Congress established Indiana as its own territory and designated Vincennes (Indiana) as the capital of the new territory. The name Indiana meant “Land of the Indians”, which was due to the fact that most of the area north of the Ohio River was still home to Native Americans. At the time the Indiana Territory was created it included all of present day Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin, and parts of three other present day states; Minnesota east of the Mississippi River, the Upper Peninsula of present-day Michigan and a small portion of Ohio. When the Indiana Territory was established there were only three American Settlements located in the territory; Kaskaskia (Illinois) and Vincennes and Clarks Grant, which are two present day communities of Indiana (Clark’s Grant is the Clarksville Jeffersonville area.)
Congress appointed William Henry Harrison as the first Governor of the Indiana Territory, and Harrison County (Indiana) is named in his honor. Harrison later became the ninth President of the United States.
By the time Indiana became a state in 1816, the Indiana territory had been reduced with Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio being recognized as their own territories or state. The state’s official capital was in Corydon located in Harrison County Indiana, and remained there until 1825 when Indianapolis became the capital.
As noted earlier in this document Indiana means “Land of the Indians”. The name apparently originated from Americans settled in Kentucky. The Kentuckians often referred to the land north of the Ohio River or North Bank as the "Land of the Indians". In 1768, several colonies purchased the Iroquois claim to the northwest and established the Indiana Land Company, which is the first recorded use of the name Indiana. The name seemed both logical and appropriate by Congress, and the new territory was named the Indiana Territory in 1800, and a few years later the 19th state of the Union was officially named Indiana in 1816.
The original inhabitants of the land now known as Indiana included the Native American Indian Tribes of: The Illini in Western Indiana, the Miami Indians in Northern Indiana and the Shawnee Indians in Southern Indiana.
As the years passed and more tribes were forced west out of the Northeast sections of America, and different tribes began to make Indiana as their homeland. Other tribes that relocated to Indiana were the Potawatomi, Kickapoo, Miami, Plankeshaw, Delaware and Shawnee.
When settlers first came to Austin around 1839, there is documentation of friendly encounters with the Delaware Indians that were passing through on hunting and fishing trips. The Delaware’s lived on reservations hundreds of miles away in Indiana, but during certain times of the year they occupied campsites in Austin and other nearby locations.
The Shawnee Indians were known to have permanent homes in the early 1800s in nearby counties of Jackson, Jennings, Jefferson, Switzerland, Ripley and Bartholomew. But like the Delawares they were known to live on campsites in Austin and other parts of Scott County for short periods of time. Historians believe the massacre of the Pigeon Roost Settlement in Southern Scott County was the result of a Shawnee Indian party attack.
Caleb H. Skeels Portrait Revealed Locally for First Time
May 2, 2011
Was one of the Founding Fathers of Austin
A portrait of Caleb H. Skeels (at right), one of the three men, who established Austin, in 1853, has been discovered through the Forney Clark Genealogy Website, and is being seen locally for the first time.Donna Forney Clark, of Arlington Texas, has granted permission to the Austin Indiana History Website to display the photo.
Caleb H Skeels was one of three men from New Frankfort Indiana, credited for the establishment of Austin.
“George A. Rankin associated himself in the project with two other citizens of New Frankfort, John Elsey and Caleb H. Skeels. Accordingly we find in Deed Book N, page 20, recorded a plat of the new town of Austin and the following statement by John Cantwell, Justice of the Peace, a lawyer, and one of the aforementioned proprietors of the town of Wooster:
State of Indiana – County of Scott
Before me, John Cantwell, a Justice of the Peace within and for said county, this day personally appeared George A. Rankin, John Elsey and Caleb H. Skeels, and acknowledged the laying off of said town of Austin to be their voluntary act and deed.
Witness my hand and seal this 3rd day of May, A.D. 1853.
John Cantwell (SEAL) – Justice of the Peace,” (Bogardus, 1953).
Skeels Family Notes
In 1903 George W. Roof, of Albion Indiana, compiled a hardback book of the Skeels Family History, which included the following information for Caleb H. Skeels.
“Caleb was a man of versatile genius. He was capable of turning his genius to profit was well as pleasure.His various avocations of farmer, agent, photographer, jewler, etc., gave him advantage of obtaining general knowledge, and studying human character. He had seen much of life’s sunny side, as well as the side of adversity. He was an excellent conventionalist, a jester and agreeable with his friends.”
“Roxy Jane” as his intimate acquaintances knew him, was on a canvassing tour in the interest of a map publishing company in Indianapolis.Roxy was a good talker and his map speech was a pretty, musical one and usually proved a winning card. He called at the law office of William H English, who was later the democratic nominee for vice-president with General Hancock at the head of the ticket.”
“With a polite bow Roxy was ushered into the presence of Mr. English, when he unrolled his map and began his persuasive speech. The listener apparently became more and more interested as Roxy proceeded; which mark of attention led the young canvasser to believe that he was drawing his auditor closer and tighter into his wily meshes.”
“Mr. English did not interrupt him until he had finished the finely worded language; and then it was that Roxy received the severest blow to his genius that had ever befallen him. The great statesman and politician across from his desk, and himself addressed the young map canvasser: My good sir, I do not want your map, but I should like to buy that song you sing so sweetly,” (Roof, 1903).
(Originally appeared in Skeels Family History 1720-1980 (which includes the text of a hard back bound book, compiled and printed by George W. Roof in 1903 in Albion, IN). Important contributors to Section II of the above text were: Hazel Brown McCollough & Mrs. J. Harry Kidwell & Mrs. Edmund Schafer & Col. Mortimer Bennet. Kenton M. Kidd organized and compiled the combined three book edition of Skeels Family History 1720-1980. Parts of the earlier books were set in type at South Side Press by Wayne Favinger, aged 15 yrs. (Forney Clark, 2011).
Caleb H. Skeels (Nickname: Roxy Jane)
Born: 1818 in Ohio
Died: 1884 in Noble County Ohio
Parents of Caleb H. Skeels
Nicholas Skeels born in Maryland in 1780
Mary Harding born in 1790 in Virginia
Caleb H. Skeels first wife: Indiana Ogden (Married in 1841 in Scott County Indiana)
Children from first wife:
Mary Missouri Skeels born in 1842 in New Frankfort (Scott County Indiana)
Virginia A. Skeels born in 1846 in New Frankfort (Scott County Indiana)
Alabama Skeels born in 1848 in New Frankfort (Scott County Indiana)
Maryland Skeels born in 1848 in New Frankfort (Scott County Indiana)
Caleb H. Skeels 2nd Wife: Elizabeth Busz (Married in 1858)
Children from 2nd wife:
Florida Skeels born in 1861
Bogardus, Carl R. (1953). Centennial History of Austin Scott County. The History of Austin. P 49-50.
Roof, George W. (1903). The Skeels Family History. Caleb H. Skeels. P. 32-33
Forney Clark, Donna. (2011). Forney Clark Genealogy.Com.
 A statue of William H. English was erected at the Scott County Courthouse in the 1800s
Austin City Hall
Building was constructed in 1972.
2010 Photo by Mike Barrett
1910 - Austin Indiana
1910 picture of downtown Austin Indiana. Taken from the belfry of the old Austin School building built in 1910. Building was demolished in 1960s.
2011 - Austin Indiana - 101 Years Later
2011 picture of downtown Austin Indiana. Photo taken by Mike Barrett from the ladder lift of the Jennings Township Fire Department, which was operated by Fire Chief Kevin Salyers.
Mayor Doug Campbell
Mayor Doug Campbell waves to the crowd during the 2010 Austin Christmas Parade.Campbell a Democrat became the first Mayor in the history of Austin, when he was elected in 2008, the year Austin officially became a city.
Austin Indiana Town Officials at dedication of Ray Manaugh Park in 2002. Left to right Clerk-Treasurer Don Campbell, Councilman Sonny Fugate and Councilman Lanny McIntosh.
1914-15 - First Austin High School Basketball Team
Left to right: Eldo Buzzard, Cecil Ford, Emery "Jack" Buzzard, Paul Erwin, Joe Cathcart, Gardner Harrod, James McDonald and Coach Roy Cox.
Austin Indiana in 1880
The article below is from the July 1st Austin Chronicle 1880 edition.The story was reprinted by the Scott County Journal July 7th, 1977 edition.
Austin Indiana 1880
“Austin has 287 inhabitants; two dry goods and grocery stores conducted by two of Indiana’s best and ablest country merchants, Thomas Hughbanks and John W. Montgomery both self made men. One drug store owned by Benj. F Henslee, an enterprising and reliable man who has made all he has since the since the Civil War. “
“One confectionary owned by Stuart Johnson, a clever reliable self made man.One hardware store owned by Robert Walker and one Government licensed Whiskey house owned by Albert H. Denney.Three millinery stores owned by Mary Rickets, Mrs. Dora Ogden and Mrs. Ann Wilson.Three dressmakers Mrs. Jane Crawford, Miss Mary Rickets and Mrs. Eva Rogers.”
“One Stave and Heading Factory owned by J.C. Thompson, a clever gentlemen and a fine businessman, giving constant employment to about ten hands and a portion of the time, 25 or 30.”
“One chair split and furniture owned shop by James S. Owens, giving employment to hands.Two wood shops owned by Benj. F. Foster and James Owens who make wagons and buggies.Two blacksmith shops where you can get a wagon ironed, or a horse shoed or any kind of work done by Adam Reynolds or the Ogden bros., Oscar and Eugene. One copper shop owned by James Spurgeon and one Hoop shaving shop owned by Elias Mitchell who employs four or five hands.”
“One Cabinet and Undertaker’s shop owned by Esq., L.H. Baldwin where you can get anything you want in the furniture line and just what no one wants (a coffin).A post office conducted by Oscar Ogden who is a dealer of cigars and stationary and knows how to do the clever.The Masons and Odd Fellows are both flourishing with halls of their own.A graded school conducted by Prof. A.N. Munden and Miss Alice Hoover having school ten months in the year, a free term, a spring term and summer normal, our schools under the supervision of Prof. Munden are SECOND TO NONE in the state of the kind.”
“Mr. and Mrs. Ira Herald and son buy all the old iron and copper in the country and pay you anything you want in tin or glass line.One hotel owned and conducted by Stuart Johnson and wife, where there is ample accommodation for man and beast.One lawyer A.N. Munden, one Notary Public John W. Montgomery, two Justices of the Peace L.H. Baldwin and J.H. Statton, one Constable Harvey Alexander.”
“Two physicians Henry R. Casey and Sion M. Rogers, both gone to farming (be) cause (of) no sickness.Two churches the Methodist and Christian, both having good houses in a flourishing condition.”
“One Newspaper, published by B.F. Foster and son and edited by Will M. Foster a young man of 18 summers, for whom we predict a brilliant and useful future, being a young man who never says I can’t.”
“This part of Indiana is splendid farming country.The average yield of corn is about 35, wheat 14, oats 25 bushels per acre.It is perhaps the best portion of the state, for grass often producing two tons per acres.Stock growing of all kinds is also very profitable here.This is the most splendid country for grapes as they grow and mature splendidly any place in this (Jennings) township.”
Austin, June 25, 1880.
1993-94 Jonathan White - Austin High School - Indiana Cross Country State Champion
1993 - Indiana Cross County State Champion - Open Class Competition
1993- High School All-American
Class A 1992 & 1993 Runner of the Year
1992 - Sectional and Regional Champion
1993 – Sectional and Regional Champion
1992 & 1993 – Mid Southern Conference Champion
His dedication to the sport of Cross Country brought Austin High School the school’s first state championship in any sport. White was an outstanding role model for athletes and his commitment to his goals fueled his work ethic. During his high school career he ran thousands of hours through the streets of Austin, and as he trained Jonathan never lost sight of his goals. Eventaully his reward came on a cold fall day in November of 1993, when he became the Indiana State Champion in Cross Country.
1996-97 Austin High School – Indiana Academic State Champions – Social Studies
1996-97 Austin High School – Indiana Academic State Champions – Social Studies – Left to right in photo: Front row: Julie Bagwell, Dara Morris, Stephanie Lord, Shane Deaton, coach Mary Pendergrass, back row: Academic Coordinators Euleda Turner & Mary Jo West, Chris Wass, Jason Bagwell, Principal Sherman Smith, Jason Johnson
1996-97 Austin High School – Indiana Academic State Champions – Fine Arts
Left to right: Academic coordinators Mary Jo West, , Euleda Turner, Camille Vuillemin Joey Coomer, Jay Parks, Jami Parks, Coach Jane Bicknell, Coach Mary Pendergrass
2010 CLASS 2A INDIANA STATE CHAMPS - AUSTIN LADY EAGLES - GIRLS BASKETBALL
Kneeling: Ashley Dowling, Chelsea Jones, Katy McIntosh and Michelle Goodin.
3rd Row: Ty Petersen, Scott Turner, Kamry Howard, Sam Wooten, Head Coach Jared Petersen, Ashley Stallings, Lanny McIntosh, Lyndsay Davidson, Alexa Hensley, Ryan Herald, Kourtney Mace and Krystal Napier.
2010 Class 2A State Finals Recap - IHSAA.ORG
March 6, 2010
Austin Bests Bishop Luers in Overtime for FirstState Championship
Chelsea Jones scored 4 of her game-high 23 points in a back-and-forth overtime session to lead the No. 2 Austin Lady Eagles to their first girls basketball state championship, a 70-65 victory over Fort Wayne Bishop Luers in the Class 2A title game.
Jones was part of a balanced attack that saw three players score in double figures, including 19 points from senior guard Katy McIntosh and 18 from senior forward Michelle Goodin. The trio helped Austin fend off Fort Wayne Luers’ attempt to win their state-record sixth state championship.
It was Bishop Luers that jumped out to an early 14-10 advantage, led by six first-quarter points from sophomore forward Brooke Ridley, but the Lady Eagles battled back to take a 29-26 halftime lead.
Although Austin stretched its lead to nine points by the beginning of the fourth quarter, Luers fought back with strong play both inside and out. Four straight baskets by center Miracle Woods and two threes from Hilary Watts helped the Lady Knights overcome the deficit to take a one-point lead with just over a minute to play in regulation. After two free throws from Brierra Young, Austin got the ball in the hands of their leading scorer, and McIntosh didn’t disappoint. The senior drove hard to the basket, made the runner, and got fouled. Her converted free throw sent the game to overtime, tied at 59-59.
The extra session saw both teams start out hot, but Jones and McIntosh went a combined 3-for-3 from the field to give the Lady Eagles and head coach Jared Petersen the push they needed to finish their state championship season with a 26-2 record.
For Fort Wayne Luers, the contest marked just the second time the team has lost in seven state finals appearances; Denny Renier’s team finishes the year with an 18-8 record. Woods led the Lady Knights with 17 points and 12 rebounds, while Young finished with 12 points and 4 assists.
Austin Head Coach Jared Petersen “I’m just trying to take it all in right now. I’m a little speechless, it’s a feeling I can’t describe. To be with these girls since they were freshmen, they were kind of thrown to the fire. And now as seniors to get over that hump is an unbelievable feeling.”
“We’ve had this goal since they were freshmen. Early on, we were blocked by Heritage Christian. This was our goal to achieve before they graduated. I hate to lose them but what a way to go out.”
On shot selection “These four seniors have been here before and I trust them. They have the green light. I don’t tell kids not to shoot because that’s when you mess with a kid’s confidence.”
On trying to rebound against a larger Luers team “We didn’t have the size to match up with them. We hoped to get them into a fast-paced game. We had no answer for their rebounding.”
On the 4th quarter start “I knew the charge was coming. I told the kids they (Luers) are not gonna quit-they’re gonna come and make a run. After they took the lead, we were finally able to get some stops. Stops are something we’ve preached on for years in that we gotta get some stops in the man-to-man defense. At some time in your career, we’ve gotta get some big stops to make a difference. Tonight we got the stops we needed to get into overtime.”
Fort Wayne Bishop Luers Head Coach Denny Renier
“Austin is a very good ball club. In overtime they got the lead on us and made some plays and we didn’t. I’m disappointed in the outcome, but I’ve never been around a bunch of players who fought like they do. With all the things that have happened to this team this year, they fought back to have the lead by three late in the game, but we just couldn’t hang on.”
“I’ve never come close to a year like this at Luers in terms of having injuries and the accident. And have all the things happen to these kids and get to the state finals and battle a good team to the end -- you have to be proud of them.”
“In the first half, McIntosh (13 points) and Jones (11 points) hurt us a lot. We played pretty well even though we are not a high-powered offense. We got inside to Miracle (Woods) a lot in the second half and they had trouble defending her. But we missed some easy shots.”
“To be down nine points at the end of the third quarter and to come back and take the lead says a lot about our kids. (In the comeback) we went inside and Brierra (Young) hit some big three’s. But we’ve been doing that all year. But again, we just didn’t have enough gas at the end.”
“They kind of fooled us at the end of regulation. They showed us zone and went man to man, and we didn’t get a good shot off.”