“Evan is a special kid — on the court and off the court, he is a real competitor, a really nice kid who will do just about anything we ask of him. He scored these 1,000 points within the realm of our offenses playing for coach Weaver and for myself. It’s a great accomplishment for a fine young man.”
Warden had another memorable 3-pointer later in Friday’s game. With Western trailing by four, he hit a 3-pointer and was fouled with :18.5 left in regulation. He hit the free throw to forge a 62-all tie and force overtime. Western went on to win in a triple-OT barn-burner.
Warden has been a part of a lot winning with the Panthers. As a freshman, he scored 5.5 points per game off the bench, helping the Panthers post a 19-5 record and win Mid-Indiana Conference and Class 3A sectional championships. As a sophomore, he was the No. 2 scorer (11.5 ppg) on a team that went 19-6 and won conference and sectional titles. As a junior, he was the leading scorer (13.8 ppg) on a 13-9 squad.
“Making a run in the tournament my freshman year was awesome,” Warden recalled.
Warden played a big role in that run. He exploded for 18 points in a 69-65 upset of Gary Lew Wallace and McDonald’s All-American Branden Dawson in a regional semifinal. He had 17 points in a 54-52 loss to Culver Academy in the regional final.
Now a senior, he is the No. 2 scorer (15.2 ppg) on a 13-6 squad. Junior Des Balentine (21.1 ppg) teams with Warden to form a KT All-Area backcourt.
“Me and Des have been playing together for as far back as we can remember,” Warden said. “We played on the same team for AAU travel ball. We know each other so well, we know exactly what we’re going to do. Our chemistry is from the way we’ve grown up together. We’re like brothers. I feel like that helps big time when we’re playing.”