North Vermillion embraces underdog role

CAYUGA, Ind. (WTHI) — In one of the most unlikely runs in this year’s Indiana high school basketball state tournament, the Falcons of North Vermillion have advanced to regionals.

Expectations were low for the team heading into the season. The Falcons graduated four seniors from last year’s sectional championship team, including two 1,000-point scorers. Head coach John Berning likened his squad to a junior varsity team at the start of the 2016 campaign.

Just four weeks ago, in mid-February, the Falcons sat with a 3-17 record on the season. But the boys from Cayuga, Indiana, have figured something out. North Vermillion has won five of its last six games.

Now the Falcons prepare for, perhaps, their biggest test yet. North Vermillion meets perennial powerhouse Lafayette Central Catholic in Saturday’s regional semifinals. It’s a rematch from last year.

Being underdogs is nothing new to this squad and North Vermillion is ready for the challenge.

“People have underestimated us this year,” said sophomore Kyler Stephens, “It feels really good to be the underdogs.”

“We’ve been underdogs the whole year,” Berning added. “We’ll embrace is. My team has learned how to win. We’ve become a varsity team and now we’ve become a pretty darn good varsity team. The sky is the limit.”