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Heritage wins ACAC title outright for first time in school history

February 22, 2021

The Heritage boys basketball clinched its first outright Allen County Athletic Conference championship this season, going a perfect 6-0 in the league.

"Winning the ACAC title is amazing," junior Dalton Wasson says. "We've always wanted it. It's our goal every season."

The Patriots pushed through a tough ACAC schedule, which included avenging an ACAC Tournament loss to Adams Central, and an overtime win against rival Woodlan and beating this season’s tourney champ, South Adams, before Christmas.

"The margins of winning are just so thin in our league," head coach Adam Gray says. "You know every night is going to be a battle. Especially in the conference this year, we were able to come out on top on every one of those."

The outright conference title joins Heritage’s three previous shared titles, which came in 2005, 2009 and 2017.  The Patriots also have won the ACAC Tournament in 1982, 1981, 1999, 2007, 2018 and 2019.

"They wanted to be the first team to go undefeated in the conference in school history," Gray adds.

For Heritage, the goal the last several years has been to win the ACAC. Gray says, this year, his Patriots grinded through summer conditioning, offseason workouts and getting better as a team.

Heritage have weathered a season with canceled games, added contests late in the season and periods of competitive layoffs to stand as champions. The Patriots will take the fortune they’ve had into the regular season into the playoffs. Heritage has a bye in the first round of the 3A Mississinewa Sectional 23, and will face the winner of the Oak Hill and Mississinewa in the sectional semi-final on Friday, March 5.

"We like to play fast. We like to score a lot of points," sophomore Luke Saylor says. "We got a lot of talent on the team, and we're all young. But we actually we could win, and that we're a good team."  Saylor leads the team with 19.2 points per game. He also chips in 7.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists. 

Heritage is one of 26 high schools that partner with Parkview Sports Medicine for athletic training, nutrition, sports performance, athletic rehab and other sports medicine services for Patriot student-athletes.

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