Northeast Indiana’s Gary Merrell, Garth Cone selected to Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame

High School Sports

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Former area coach Gary Merrell and Pierceton High School graduate Garth Cone are among legends selected to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame’s class of 2022.

The class will be inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame museum in New Castle March 23, 2022.

Per the Indiana Basketball HOF:

“Gary Merrell achieved success throughout Indiana during his career.  A 1964 graduate of Northwestern High School, he averaged 20.2 points as a senior for the Tigers’ 16-6 squad.  Surpassing 1,000 career points at the University of Findlay, he was also recognized off the court for scholarship, leadership and citizenship and was a 1996 inductee in their athletics hall of fame.  An Indiana high school coach for 36 seasons at Carroll, Madison, Seymour, DeKalb, Heritage, Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian and Fort Wayne Smith Academy, his teams registered 482 wins, 10 sectional championships, four regional titles and a 2004 1A runner-up finish (Blackhawk Christian).  He remains employed in education and resides in Fort Wayne.”

“The late Garth Cone attained small school success as the noted coach of Alexandria High School.  Leading the Tigers’ program from 1977 until his untimely death in 2010, Cone’s teams won 419 games (61%), along with 16 Central Indiana Conference titles, five sectionals, three regionals, a semi-state and the 1998 IHSAA 2A championship.  Three of his team’s sectional titles (1989, 1994 and 1995) came in the one-class state tournament played at Anderson, each of them with small-school Alexandria knocking out the host Indians.  An assistant coach of the 1995 Indiana All-Stars, he served as President of the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association.  He was a 1965 graduate of Pierceton High School and a 1969 graduate of Taylor University, where he played under Hall of Fame coach Don Odle.”

NameHigh SchoolGraduation
Jerry Bass *Morristown1958
Wayne BoultinghouseRockport1960
Napoleon BrandfordEast Chicago Roosevelt1970
Al BrownConnersville1959
Garth Cone *Pierceton1965
Gary DuncanOakland City1963
Tony Etchison *Noblesville1991
Jerry FlakeWashington1965
Ray McCallumMuncie Central1979
Gary MerrellNorthwestern1964
Doug MitchellHamilton Heights1975
Craig NealWashington1983
Matt PainterDelta1989
Bill Smith, Sr. *Indianapolis Wood1960
James Strickland *Owensville1926
Clarence Walker *East Chicago Washington1946
John Sherman WilliamsIndianapolis Washington1982
Silver Medal
Mark BaltzLancaster (OH)1966

* indicates deceased

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