Thursday, April 27, 2017

left behind

The next several posts contain images that were pushed aside to make room at tourney time.  Now, their time is here. First up - Rockport.  CGS.  

Saturday, April 1, 2017

gerstmeyer & the '50s

The 1950s were a heady time for Terre Haute Gerstmeyer boy's basketball - five straight Sectional titles (1953-58), four Regional crowns (1953-54, 1956-57) and four trips to the state finals. The years of Buddy Holly & Elvis Presley were good to the Black Cats;  the only problem - they would play some of Indiana's most revered teams at tourney time.  In 1953 they made it to the championship game before falling to the South Bend Central Bears, 42-41.  1954 placed the Milan Indians in their way, while '56 & '57 brought them to the semis against the Flying Tigers of Crispus Attucks.  The Black Cats had their share of Hall of Fame players, including brothers Harley & Arley Andrews (& uncle Harold Andrews) and Bobby Leonard (captain of the 1953 IU National Champs), but the most widely recognized Gerstmeyer grad is probably Major League Baseball pitcher Tommy John.  John, a four time All Star who pitched for 6 clubs, is best remembered for being the first to have revolutionary arm surgery that replaced a damaged ligament in one arm with a healthy tendon from his other arm.  Today, this surgery is considered almost routine for pitchers of all ages.  The Black Cats of Gerstmeyer faced their final defeat in 1971 when consolidation created the new high school of Terre Haute North Vigo and even though their school has faded from memory, their legacy of championship caliber basketball lives on. CGS.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

twenty years on

1997 was either the best of times or the worst of times for Indiana high school basketball.  It was the end of an era, the end of one class basketball in the state that had become famous for its system of play.  You can blame the change on many things (we think high school consolidation was a big factor) and the results - well, depending on what camp you are from, the new class system was either a rousing success or a compete failure.  It's true, Milan will never again be David to Goliath in a winner take all state tourney, but I do believe that a Milan 2A State Championship would be just as honored by Indian fans & players as the 1954 crown.  Whatever side of this discussion you are on there is no doubt who the last one class state champion was - Bloomington North.  So, it only seemed natural that as the twentieth anniversary came around we would make the journey to the home of the Cougars.  Although lacking another state crown, the last 20 years have been relatively successful for North, winning 6 more Sectionals, 4 Regionals and 1 Semi-State.  The 2016-17 campaign proved to be a mixed bag for coach Andy Hodson and his young crew - finishing with a record of 12-10 and a home court Sectional loss to rival Bloomington South.  But, even if they never win the state again, Bloomington North will hold a special place in the history of Hoosier Hysteria and in their trophy case - the last prize when there was only one to give. CGS.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

the season ends at lapel

Our 2016-17 season that began back in November at the home of the Salem Lions comes to an end at Lapel, the site of the 2A Boys Regional Final. It seems appropriate that the road to the final four would come through a gym filled with so much basketball heritage.  On this night, the Frankton Eagles claimed their second Regional title in a hard fought contest against a talented Covington Trojan team on a last second shot, 54-52.  The game had all that we have come to know from small school basketball - hard nosed play, great fan support, vocal student sections and talented cheer squads.  Throw in a great pep band and you have the best of Hoosier high school basketball.  So, like the young Frankton player in the last frame, pausing to savor victory on top of the rim, we'll take a pause and look back on all this season has given us and what lies ahead.  CGS.