In 1914 the gates were again thrown open and seventy-seven teams participated in the annual event. The games began at 7 o'clock on a Friday morning and ran continuously on four floors until noon Saturday, when three teams were left to finish the fight. In the afternoon the championship was really decided when the 1913 victors, Wingate, beat Lebanon the 1912 champs by a score of 14-8 in a hotly contested game. Len Lehman coached Wingate that year to a 19-5 record. Wingate defeated Anderson 36-8 in the final game in the tournament held at Indiana University.
It was very evident after the 1914 tournament that the mode of staging the annual classic would have to be revised. The teams had been forced to endurance much too strenuous for high school players. So in 1915 the state was divided into fourteen sections, the team successfully eliminating all comers in its respective section winning the right to compete with the other district champs in the final meet to decide the champion high school basketball team of Indiana. About 150 teams competed in the 14 district meets but the following teams represented the districts. Crawfordsville, Rochester, Hartford City, Thorntown, Bluffton, Westport, Bloomingdale Academy, Montmorenci, Evansville, New Castle, Bloomington, Fairmount Academy, East Chicago, and Manual Training. In the semifinals Fairmount Academy was beaten by Montmorenci and Thorntown defeated Manual Training 30 to 16. Then Thorntown won the 1915 championship by trouncing Montmorenci 33 to 10 in the deciding encounter. Chet Hill led the Thorntown team to a 22-5 record that year. The tournament was held at the Men’s Gymnasium at Indiana University.
More next week!