The question “What’s in a name?,” will be answered Saturday evening during the Indiana High School Athletic Association Class 3A Boys Basketball State Finals.

For the fourth-ranked Scottsburg Warriors (24-5), cementing their school’s name as a first-time state champion in their first State Finals appearance would be historic after more than 100 years of state tournament participation.

For the South Bend Saint Joseph Huskies (20-9), a first-ever state championship in their third State Finals appearance – and first in more than 30 years – would mark a new era under their newly unveiled moniker.

“Literally, three weeks ago, we became the Huskies, so right before sectional,” Saint Joseph coach Eric Gaff said. “I think the guys have kind of been a flashpoint for the community to get behind and kind of put our new stamp on this new identity we have.”

In 2023, the school retired its previous “Indians” mascot before officially choosing “Huskies” as its new nickname last month. Prior to the announcement, the team went solely by Saint Joseph, but since their name change, the Huskies have caught a lot of attention.

A 15-9 team entering the South Bend Washington Sectional, Saint Joseph has turned back the clock with five straight wins to reach the State Finals, including a 44-41 triple-overtime win against No. 7 Delta for the Logansport Semi-State title.

Saint Joseph’s semi-state championship marked the program’s first since 1993 and third overall after winning their first in 1989. A two-time regional champion since 2021, Saint Joseph captured back-to-back titles in 1992 and 1993 with another in 1989 and its first in 1969.

In 1989 and 1993, Saint Joseph advanced to the State Finals but lost in the semifinal round of the former single-class format.

Their second sectional title run in four years pushed the program’s championship total to 14, but a first as Huskies.

“We’ve definitely rallied behind it. We kind of made it our new identity. We have some new hand gestures (for the Huskie). Some new sayings when we’re breaking down in the huddle. We used it as fuel going into the games,” Saint Joseph senior Jayce Lee said.

“I’m just happy we found something that’s cool that we can get behind.”

Big wins by the Huskies in this state tournament have the community rallying behind them, regardless of their nickname.

Saint Joseph opened the postseason by upsetting No. 9 Mishawaka Marian in its sectional opener and are one win away from becoming the first 3A state champion with nine losses.

“We’ve definitely had some ups and downs this season, especially to start the season, but we still felt like we were a state team. Our record didn’t show that, but definitely the second half of the season we came together as a team and built a bond and chemistry that will last a lifetime. I think that’s what it’s really all about,” Saint Joseph junior Chase Konieczny said.

Lee and Konieczny, the younger brother of 2021 Indiana All-Star J.R. Konieczny, have played key roles in the team’s playoff success averaging 15.5 points per game and 20.7, respectively. Konieczny’s older sister, Nicole, led Saint Joseph’s girls basketball team to a 3A state championship in 2017.

Huskies’ freshman Elijah King is contributing 8.6 ppg this season, followed by junior Brashaun Woods (7.9 ppg) and sophomore Nick Shrewsberry (7.4 ppg).

Offensively is where the Huskies have dictated their outcomes. Ranked 13th in the state, the Huskies are scoring 67.97 points a game.

“They play so well together; it doesn’t matter who we go up against. They go as hard as they can and do the best as they can for one another,” Gaff said. “It’s going to be a heck of a game. They do a great job in the 1-3-1 zone, which will be tough for us to get through with their size and length, and then their offensive ability to make a lot of buckets. It will be a fun and exciting game. I think we’ll be able to put some pressure on them, and hopefully wear them down over the course of the game and give ourselves a shot at the end.”

The Warriors’ first-year 1-3-1 zone defense has locked down opponents this season, ranking Scottsburg 15th in the state with 42.24 points allowed while placing them fourth in the state for margin of victory at 21.28.

Scottsburg has posted four double-digit wins in the past five games, including a revenge victory over Guerin Catholic, 70-54, in the Seymour Semi-State title game. The Warriors lost to Guerin Catholic, the 2023 3A state runner-up, in the semi-state finals last year, 56-40.

“It’s awesome because last year we obviously made it to the final four and lost to Guerin Catholic by 16, so we were excited to be there this year. We thought we really could make it this time, and we did it,” Scottsburg junior Dare Bowles said.

“Before we even played our first game, we had Guerin Catholic film already up, and we were preparing for this, to make it since the very beginning of the season.”

The Warriors have turned the page since seizing the program’s first-ever semi-state title, third regional and fourth sectional since 2000.

Now, they have hopes of matching the girls basketball team’s 1989 state title under coach Donna Cheatham.

A school with a rich basketball tradition, Scottsburg is applying pressure on history, much like their beloved “Pressure Cooker,” also known as the Warriors’ Charles E. Meyer Gymnasium.

“It started when these guys were sophomores. We made it to the sectional championship game, kind of knew who we were, and I think slowly last year midseason, we figured out we could be pretty good and knew who we were,” Scottsburg coach Eric Richardson said. “We just wanted to build off our success from last year.”

Their state run is reigniting the past, which began with the school’s first state tournament appearance in 1916 and first of 24 sectional titles won since 1921. The Warriors’ consecutive regional titles marked the program’s seventh all-time since 1956.

Their semi-state win was the breakout Richardson, the program and the community anticipated.

“When you get a taste of being that close last year, you just want to do it again, and these guys were highly motivated to make that happen,” Richardson said. “They did a great job of getting focused early on, but (that loss to Guerin) definitely drove them the whole year to get back to this point and look beyond that final four run. They wanted to get to Indy here, get to Gainbridge.”

For the four Scottsburg seniors, Saturday is a chance to finish the job and add to their families’ legacies.

Senior point guard Caden Richardson, the son Eric Richardson, paces the Warriors with 5.7 assists per game. His grandfather, Rick Richardson, played for Scottsburg in the 1970s, and his father was part of the Warriors’ 1992 and 1993 sectional title teams. His uncle, Chad Lewis, was on the 1995 sectional championship squad.

Wyatt Zellers, a 6-foot-9 senior, is averaging 13.1 ppg, and is the son of Carla (Westmoreland) Zellers, who was on Scottsburg’s 1989 state title team, along with his aunt, Renee Westmoreland, the 1989 IndyStar Miss Basketball winner.

Senior Kody Clancy, who is leading the Warriors with 20.6 ppg, is the son of Patty Hutchison, the girls program’s second-leading scorer (1,533 points) behind Westmoreland (1,816) and a member of Scottsburg’s 1994 semi-state runner-up team.

“For our players they’re really excited to be here in Indy, and just for our community, they lined the streets to welcome us home from Seymour on Saturday, and they’re super excited,” Eric Richardson said. “It’s the first time Scottsburg has been here on the boys side. Our community is behind this team.”