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Giants, Eagles moving up classes in basketball

BY SCOTT HUNT - shunt@chronicle-tribune.com

What was anticipated after the class changes for fall high school sports were announced was confirmed by the Indiana High School Athletic Association on Monday: Marion and Oak Hill are both moving to a different class in basketball starting in the 2019-20 season.

For at least the next two seasons, the Giants will compete against the largest high schools in Indiana in the Class 4A boys and girls state basketball tournaments. 

Oak Hill, who has won a Class 2A state title in boys (2018) and girls (2019) basketball in the past two seasons will now compete in the Class 3A tournaments.

Changes for both Marion and Oak Hill are strictly enrollment based. The enrollment figures the IHSAA used to do determine its latest class assignments were submitted to the Indiana Department of Education by schools last fall and account for the total number of boys and girls in grades nine through 12.

Marion had a total of 1,082 students and is one of four schools making the jump from 3A to 4A in both girls and boys basketball, joining Indianapolis Crispus Attucks, Gary West Side Leadership Academy and New Haven.

The boys basketball team from Culver Academies and the girls team from Northwestern will also jump from 3A to 4A due to the IHSAA's tournament success factor. Culver won the 3A state title in 2018 and was runner-up last month while Northwestern has won consecutive 3A girls championships.

Marion had been the only school in the North Central Conference competing in Class 3A for the past two seasons. MHS is now 97th in enrollment and out of the 101 schools that will compete in 4A basketball. Carmel (5,286), Ben Davis (4,499), Warren Central (3,821), North Central-Indianapolis (3,727) and Fishers (3,509) are the five most populated schools in Indiana, are also 4A.

Oak Hill submitted an enrollment of 548 total students and is one of 12 schools to either be joining or rejoining Class 3A. Mississinewa (812) remains in 3A.

At the top of Class 3A, Kankakee Valley (1,041 students), Connersville (1,028), Fort Wayne Dwenger (1,101) and South Bend Clay (988) all drop down from 4A, while Indianapolis Shortridge (1,027) moves up from 2A. Also moving from 2A to 3A in boys basketball are Indianapolis Washington (721), River Forest (550), Oak Hill, Monrovia (536), Speedway (522) and Eastern-Greentown (522).

Eastern remains 2A in girls basketball because Central Noble (2018 2A state champ, 2019 final four) and Winchester (2918-19 runners up) are moving up to 3A because of tournament success factor. Private-school Heritage Christian drops back into 3A from 4A.

Eastbrook (500 students) and Madison-Grant (367) will both remain in the 2A boys and girls tournaments for the next two seasons. 

Sectional assignments and groupings for all sports except baseball and softball will be announced at the end of April following approval by the IHSAA executive committee. Baseball and softball assignements will be released in August following he committee's first meeting of the new school year.