March Madness Continues for Purdue and Lafayette Area

Both men and women teams made it to the "Sweet 16".

March 31,1998

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.--The entire state of Indiana loves its basketball. This is especially true for the Lafayette area of northwestern Indiana which surrounds Purdue University.

This has been a rewarding season for local hoops fans who earlier witnessed the Boilermaker men and women both advancing to the "Sweet 16" of the NCAA Tournament (the women then made it to the "Elite Eight"). It was only the second time in school history that both the men and women made it that far together in the "Big Dance", and the Old Gold and Black were one of only five universities nationwide to accomplish that feat this season.

The fun doesn't stop there either! Two Lafayette-area high schools recently won championships in the state's new class tournament format. West Lafayette High School won the girls' Class 3A title two weeks ago. The Red Devils are coached by Steve Dietrich, who is Purdue's Captain of Detectives on the police force. Lafayette Central Catholic High captured the boys' Class A crown this past weekend.

It also was a great weekend for several of Purdue's incoming recruits. Kelly Komara of Lake Central High School won the state's coveted Miss Basketball Award. Rodney Smith helped Indianapolis Pike High to the Class 4A state championship. And football recruit A.T. Simpson played on Indianapolis Cathedral's Class 3A basketball state titlists.