INDIANAPOLIS — Trey Lyles’ run to the Indiana state championship game was cut short last year.
The University of Kentucky signee went down with a knee injury in the 2013 sectional playoffs, and Arsenal Tech lost its first game without him.
On Saturday night, the future Wildcat finally got the victory he’s been waiting for.
Lyles had 16 points and 12 rebounds in a 63-59 win over Lake Central to deliver the Indiana Class 4A title to Arsenal Tech, which has been around for 102 years but had never won a championship.
It was the fifth state title game appearance for Arsenal Tech, and the first since 1966.
Lyles and his fellow seniors — 10 of Tech’s 14 players fall in that category — were the ones to bring home the Indianapolis public school’s first title.
The UK signee got off to a slow start, scoring just one point in the first quarter. By halftime, he had seven points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots.
Lyles — one of the best offensive players in the country but not a standout defender — was relentless on the defensive end early against Lake Central. He contested several shots, regularly ended up on the floor chasing loose balls and always hustled back in transition defense.
He struggled on offense but made a free throw with 10 seconds left to give his team a four-point lead and set the final score. A few seconds later he grabbed an off-target Lake Central three-point attempt, threw the ball into the air and started celebrating with his teammates.
While Lyles and his teammates jumped up and down on the Bankers Life Fieldhouse court, a fan in the second deck of the arena waved a blue and white UK flag.