On Tuesday night, as Kokomo High School product Skylarr Shurn was leading the Saint Francis women’s basketball team to victory in the NAIA Division II national championship game, a state away, another Howard County product, Northwestern’s Kylan Dubbels, was helping his Indiana Wesleyan squad to the men’s NAIA Division II championship.
Simultaneously, the two local players experienced the thrills and chills of a run to a title, and simultaneously, their former high school coaches shared the delight.
Shurn scored 30 points in Saint Francis’ 75-68 victory over College of the Ozarks Tuesday in the title game (she was originally credited with 33 points until it was discovered a teammate’s 3-pointer was mistakenly awarded to Shurn). That helped USF finish an unbeaten run to the title in a season that saw Shurn named the Crossroads League player of the year, NAIA championship MVP, and finally NAIA Division II national Player of the Year.
“I was very excited for Skylarr and Saint Francis has been great,” said Kokomo girls basketball coach and A.D. Jason Snyder, who coached Shurn and former USF teammate Kayla Drake when they were Kats. “Kokomo athletics has been very fortunate to have several girls play for [USF] coach [Gary] Andrews. Skylarr has been able to have a great couple years there, and being able to play with Kayla last year.
“I thought the game [Tuesday] night was lot of fun. they were challenged throughout like any championship game but the whole team, they really stuck together and were able to stick it out.”
Shurn, a senior, capped her career with a storybook run to a title and a pile of personal accolades.
“It was an outstanding way for her to finish her senior season,” Snyder said.
Shurn tried to grasp the magnitude of the title Tuesday night.