The Indianola Indians finished the regular season in 2001 with a 15-6 record. They lost four times in the tough CIML Central Conference to finish in third place with a 6-4 mark. Not one media poll had them ranked at the end of the year. In the first round of tournament play, SE Polk, led by current Chicago Bears quarterback Kyle Orton, was the first opponent. It took 2 overtimes and a huge steal from Brian Benge for the Indians to pull out a close 70-68 victory. Next up was Des Moines Lincoln, led by Drake recruit, Josh Powell. After trailing by 2 at halftime, the Indians getting, a big game from 6th man, Lucas Cerveny, defeated the Railsplitters 70-63. It was on to the BARN!! The Indians were seeded seventh and drew second seed Eastern Iowa powerhouse Waterloo East. The Trojans were led by current University of Iowa point guard, Mike Henderson, and current Hawkeye reserve, Carlton Reed. Although they were huge underdogs, Indianola never trailed, and upset East 61- 45. Now it was on to the final four and Dubuque Wahlert led by Pete Eggers, the leading scorer for Drake University one year ago. Eggers scored 35 points, but it was not enough as the Indians prevailed in a thriller 70-68. In the championship game top seeded Urbandale, a team that had beaten the Indians twice during the regular season, was the heavily favored opponent. The game was close all the way with Indianola leading by one at the half. The Mc Kinney brothers, Tyler who started four years for Creighton University and Josh who started at Northwestern College, were leading the way for the Jayhawks. The Indians, usually a very balanced team featuring seniors Mark Campbell, Kurt Campbell, Kevin Jenkins, and sophomores Joe Hunt and Josh Baker, fought off all the Urbandale challenges to take a three-point lead heading into the final period. In the second half, it was all Indianola. Kevin Jenkins scored a career high 29 points, and the Indians succeeded in upsetting their third straight opponent 58-48 giving them their first and only basketball state championship. A stellar performance by Mark Campbell earned him selection to the All-Tournament Team along with being awarded All-Academic status from the IHSAA. Congratulations to those blondes we all grew to love in March of 2001. Hall of Fame State Champions from 2001, your INDIANOLA INDIANS.

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