VA
  • TGT on YouTube
  • About TGT
  • The TGT Team
  • How TGT rates
  • Responsible Gambling Advice
  • Contact Our Team
  • Writers Wanted
  • Content Disclaimer
  • Affiliate Disclosure
Contains commercial content
Billboard Left
Billboard Left
The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Legends of Hoosier Hysteria: The night a slow white kid became an Indiana legend

Legends of Hoosier Hysteria: The night a slow white kid became an Indiana legend

1982 IHSAA Basketball Championship
Publish Date: 03/21/2023
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

It might seem a little harsh to call Scott Skiles a fat white kid, but that’s the story you hear from Gary Roosevelt Head Coach Ron Heflin when he answers the question he was most asked when he arrived back in Gary, Indiana after losing to Plymouth High School, led by that fat white kid whose name was Scott Skiles. As Heflin said to everybody that asked that question, “that fat kid could play”.

 

Indiana was full of talent in 1982, and the Plymouth Pilgrims topped them all. In a 28-1 season, Plymouth’s only loss came to South Bend LaSalle. That LaSalle team, coached by George Griffith, lost in the South Bend Holiday Tournament Championship by 16 points to Plymouth. Those were the days when Notre Dame’s Joyce Center would field huge crowds for high school basketball. Heck, back then, every arena and school gym was packed for almost every Indiana high school basketball game. In the regular season finale, the two teams met again–at Plymouth. There was neither a seat nor standing room space available at tipoff time. The gym and the atmosphere was in a heightened state of euphoria and anticipation for the game that was to come. This time Reggie Bird, Demetrius Buchanan and Company for LaSalle dumped the Pilgrims 64-62.

They may have been among the best two teams in the state, and their 1982 battles weren’t quite finished. Plymouth’s magical season almost ended early; the Pilgrims barely captured the Elkhart Regional Championship with a 3-point victory over Elkhart Memorial, a team it needed overtime to defeat by two early in the season. The Pilgrims roared into the semi-state. Their reward game one against state giant Marion. Plymouth beat those Giants 56-55 in overtime. That set up a classic Fort Wayne Semi-state Championship against Griffith’s LaSalle Lions, the rubber game of their incredible season series. LaSalle jumped out to an early lead, but Edison’s crew ultimately won 77-71 and earned its trip to Market Square.

A daunting task faced the Plymouth Pilgrims when they arrived at Market Square Arena in long-time powerhouses Indianapolis Cathedral and Gary Roosevelt. Skiles and teammates Phil Wendel, Todd Samuelson, Ron Sissel were considered underdogs by almost everybody outside of Plymouth headed into the 1982 IHSAA Final Four and with good reason, as Roosevelt and Cathedral were absolutely loaded with talent.

Why was Plymouth special?

In Indiana basketball it helped to develop friendships—friendships kids such as Todd Samuelson, Ron Sissel, Phil Wendel, and Scott Skiles had, and that helped make them special. If they didn’t play in Centennial Park in Plymouth, they would play in friends’ driveways or in open gyms. Once they were old enough to drive, they sought out pick-up games in neighboring towns and cities. Plymouth was not a large city, and the kids there, like kids in other small Indiana towns, dreamed of someday doing what a small-town school like Milan had done in 1954. The 1954 Milan Indians team had grown up the same way, playing basketball together all over Milan with the dream of being able to do something special once they got to high school.

It is what made the IHSAA Basketball Tournament, so unique; no matter where you were from, you had a chance to be a part of something special. Sure, it didn’t happen very often but when it did, those kids that accomplished it became not just legends in the towns they were from; they would forever be legends in an entire state.

Head Coach Jack Edison, who was enshrined in the basketball Hall of Fame in 2005, prepared his players for every possible scenario that could happen at any time in any game. Maybe, more importantly, he was a coach that put his players first and he cared for them like they were his own.

1982 Final Four

Skiles scored 30 in the semifinal to lead Plymouth past heavily favored Indianapolis Cathedral 62-59. Next up came the task of beating Gary Roosevelt and Roosevelt was stacked! With the services of Renaldo Thomas, Anthony Stewart, Ronnie Bradley and Winston Garland, Roosevelt was the best team in the state in 1982.

The Panthers’ star power, however, didn’t translate to winning the state title as Plymouth (28-1) and its own standout, Scott Skiles, prevailed in a 75-74 double-overtime shootout at Market Square Arena. Skiles finished with 39 points, one point shy of the record for the highest-scoring total in a state championship game. Thomas scored a team-high 19 points, Stewart had 18, Bradley added 14, and Garland contributed 10.

A lot of people forget the one glaring stat from this game was Plymouth’s free throw advantage of 38-16, which looks a little shaky, to say the least. But on this night Scott Skiles was a man-child who would refuse to let his team lose. Hindsight is always 20/20, but looking back was it really that big of an upset? Sure Roosevelt had multiple division-one players but Skiles was hands down the best player on the court that night, and he would prove that later on when he starred at Michigan State and led the Spartans to the Sweet 16, losing controversially to Kansas in Kansas in 1986. Skiles then went on to an NBA career that would last a decade and then became a coach in the NBA.

The aftermath of the 1982 Plymouth win

Plymouth was a smaller school with around 800 students, and their win quieted critics, at least for a little while, the thought that Indiana should be like most other states and switch to class basketball. Plymouth showed that a smaller school could still win the Hoosier state’s greatest prize.

Like Milan in 1954, the 1982 Plymouth Pilgrims found cheering fans lining the streets as they caravaned home to Plymouth. I guarantee you that will never happen for the winners of a class basketball tournament. In 1982 Scott Skiles and Plymouth High School proved that size doesn’t matter when you have the will to succeed against all odds.

Billboard Left
Billboard Left
Read Also
The Complexities of Bob Knight: The Greatest Coach of All-Time
  Bob Knight, born in 1940 and raised in Orrville, Ohio, was ...
Top 20 Indiana High School Basketball players of all time: Big O, Larry, Damon and more
This list is based solely on what these guys did in their ...
BetMGM Promo
Top 12 Greatest IHSAA Boys State Basketball Championship Games in History
Once upon a time the Indiana High School Basketball tournament was the ...
Top 14 Greatest Pure Shooters in Indiana High School Basketball History
When you think of high school basketball, you think Indiana. The Indiana ...
Esteban de Jesus, Roberto Duran y AIDS (1972-89)
Many of us dream of celebrity sports fame, but only cruel individuals ...
Elmer Ray: The Humble Man of Hastings
"Men judge generally more by the eye than by the hand, for ...
Ranking the top 200 players in the NFL ahead of the 2021 season
This list isn’t based solely on performances from the 2020 NFL season. ...
The Army Boxer Who Knocked-Down Muhammad Ali (1960)
I had wanted to write a boxing story about Junebug Hudson for ...
Sportsbook of the month
PointsBet - Get your Bonus Bet now! Get your Bonus Bet now!
Top Brands
Top Bonuses
Stake.us
Stake.us
Stake.us Review
4.6/5
Wow Vegas
Wow Vegas
Wow Vegas Review
4.6/5
Fortune Coins
Fortune Coins
Fortune Coins Review
4.5/5
Golden Hearts Games
Golden Hearts Games
Golden Hearts Games Review
4.5/5
Pulsz.com
Pulsz.com
Pulsz.com Review
4.5/5
Stake.us
Stake.us Bonus
5% Rakeback
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
Wow Vegas
Wow Vegas Bonus
30 SCs on 1st Purchase + 4.5 SCs FREE
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
Fortune Coins
Fortune Coins Bonus
Get up to GC 360,000 + Free FC1,000
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Golden Hearts Games
Golden Hearts Games Bonus
Get $5 extra in FREE play
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Pulsz.com
Pulsz.com Bonus
5,000 Gold Coins + 2.3 Sweepstakes Coins
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Latest News
Arizona Cardinals part ways with wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins
The Arizona Cardinals made a bold decision during ...
Drew Allar taking over as the signal caller at Penn State
Happy Valley Is Witnessing A Change As Sean ...
The State of Indiana’s Top 20 Basketball players of all time
This list will comprise anybody born in Indiana ...
Betting Tips
05/27/2023 - 8:30 pm
Kaseya Arena
Tip:
Celtics to Cover
Celtics -3
FanDuel
05/25/2023 - 8:30 pm
TD Garden
Tip:
Miami to Cover
7.50
FanDuel
05/16/2023 - 8:30 pm
Ball Arena
Tip:
Nuggets to Cover
-5.50
FanDuel
Our Latest YouTube Videos
Video: Boxing History 101: Randall
Boxing History 101: Randall "Tex" Cobb the Man who shut up Howard Cosell
Video: Boxing History 101: Abe Attell A Complex Champion
Boxing History 101: Abe Attell A Complex Champion
Video: 1919 Cincinnati Reds: True Champions
1919 Cincinnati Reds: True Champions
Sportsbook of the month
PointsBet - Get your Bonus Bet now! Get your Bonus Bet now!
Find out what the legends have to say about sports this week....
Top Online Casinos
Top Casinos Bonuses
Stake.us
Stake.us
Stake.us Review
4.6/5
Wow Vegas
Wow Vegas
Wow Vegas Review
4.6/5
Fortune Coins
Fortune Coins
Fortune Coins Review
4.5/5
Golden Hearts Games
Golden Hearts Games
Golden Hearts Games Review
4.5/5
Pulsz.com
Pulsz.com
Pulsz.com Review
4.5/5
Stake.us
Stake.us Bonus
5% Rakeback
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
Wow Vegas
Wow Vegas Bonus
30 SCs on 1st Purchase + 4.5 SCs FREE
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
Fortune Coins
Fortune Coins Bonus
Get up to GC 360,000 + Free FC1,000
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Golden Hearts Games
Golden Hearts Games Bonus
Get $5 extra in FREE play
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Pulsz.com
Pulsz.com Bonus
5,000 Gold Coins + 2.3 Sweepstakes Coins
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Top Betting Sites
Top Betting Bonuses
FanDuel
FanDuel
FanDuel Review
4.8/5
PointsBet
PointsBet
PointsBet Review
4.6/5
Bet365
Bet365
Bet365 Review
4.5/5
BetRivers.com
BetRivers.com
BetRivers.com Review
4.5/5
Unibet
Unibet
Unibet Review
4.5/5
FanDuel
FanDuel Bonus
Get up to $1,000 back in bonus bets
T&Cs apply
4.8/5
PointsBet
PointsBet Bonus
5 x $50Bet Credits
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
Bet365
Bet365 Bonus
Bet $1 & Get $200 in Bonus Bets
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Bet $1 and Get $200 in Bonus Bets at bet365. Deposit required. Bonus Bets winnings are added to Bonus Bets balance. Bonus Bet wager excluded from returns. T&Cs, time limits and exclusions apply. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-Gambler 21+
BetRivers.com
BetRivers.com Bonus
100% up to $500
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Unibet
Unibet Bonus
100% up to $100
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
Our Team
Mike GoodpasterAuthor IconJosh SchwartzSamuel TeetsSimon Briffa
+8
Mike Goodpaster
Mike Goodpaster
Chief Editor
Author Icon
Christopher Carlson
Content Writer
Josh Schwartz
Josh Schwartz
Editor
Samuel Teets
Samuel Teets
US Sports Veteran
Simon Briffa
Simon Briffa
Sports Editor
Mark Lewis
Mark Lewis
Editor
Chris Benedict
Chris Benedict
Editor
Author Icon
Malik Zorrok
Author
Author Icon
Daniel Kornhauser
Author
John Raspanti
John Raspanti
Author
Author Icon
Buddy Gibbs
Author
Brian Coburn
Brian Coburn
Author
Peter Bonahoom
Peter Bonahoom
Author
Find out what the legends have to say about sports this week....

If you enjoy hearing from the legends of pro sports, then be sure to tune into “The Grueling Truth” sports shows, “Where the legends speak”

Contact us: contact@thegruelingtruth.com

Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.

This site is using Cloudflare and adheres to the Google Safe Browsing Program. We adapted Google's Privacy Guidelines to keep your data safe at all times.

21+NCPG
Move to Top
Close
Stake.us Exclusive Bonus
5% Rakeback
Promo Code
Copy
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 18+
Payment Methods
Bitcoin
Litecoin
Ethereum
Dogecoin
Highlights
  • Exclusive promo code: TGTSOCIAL
  • Play Plinko, Hilo, Crash and more!
  • Get Stake Cash bonuses every day!
Stake Originals
Dice
Crash
Plinko
Mines
×
Your Promo Code:
The bonus offer of was already opened in an additional window. If not, you can open it also by clicking the following link:
Visit Site