Tuesday, March 20, 2018

the undercard

I compared last week's Marion-New Castle Regional matchup to an old fashioned title fight. Little did I know that a week later we would be traveling to Seymour for another heavyweight hard court battle between two of the best 4A teams in the state, Warren Central & New Albany.  Once the tourney schedule was released it seems that everyone in southern Indiana penciled in this Semi-State on their calendars and the 3rd largest high school gym in the nation was filled to the rafters.  But, if you looked carefully you could see that not all had come to see the Romeo Langford farewell tour as nearly half the crowd had travelled from the small towns of Morristown and Montgomery to cheer on the pride of their 1A communities, the Barr-Reeve Vikings & the Morristown Yellow Jackets.  Although the obvious undercard on this day, the game was anything but a warm-up for the main event.  These were two well coached, well prepared basketball teams with a history of hoop's success and for 90 minutes on Saturday afternoon they commanded the floor and the crowd's attention.  The Morristown 77, Barr-Reeve 70 final score doesn't really represent how close this game was until the very end.  And now, next up for the Yellow Jackets - a trip to Indianapolis and a chance for a state championship that eluded them in 1911, when they were one of twelve teams to participate in the very first Indiana state basketball tournament.  © Chris Smith

game winner

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

knock out

It had all the makings of an old 15 round heavyweight title fight, the kind once held at Madison Square Garden or Las Vegas Nevada.  Marion, the home of 8 state championships (two in class play), was taking on New Castle, the home of the world's largest high school gym, for a 3A Boys Regional Championship.  There was color -- purple & gold, green & white.  Large cheerleading squads and seats filled to the rafters in the Bill Green Athletic Arena, capacity 7560. Anticipation was high, the atmosphere electric.  And then something happened that often happens at highly anticipated athletic contests -- for three quarters the Trojans dominated the home team Giants and for awhile the fight no longer seemed fair.  By the fourth quarter New Castle was content not to lose and gave Marion a small sliver of hope.  But time was not on the Giants' side.  So New Castle will move on, hoping for a third state title, while Marion will sit at home, dreaming of a ninth. © Chris Smith

Monday, March 5, 2018

minutes to memories

After five years and countless miles the thrill of finding a great gym is still there.  And the beauty of capturing the space in a series of single images is even more important in this age of video and disposable smart phone selfies.  There still seems no better way to understand our history & embrace our memories.  On Saturday night, the Ralph Legeman designed sunken gym at Boonville was a perfect showcase for that, as two old Evansville rivals, Memorial and Bosse, faced off in the Sectional final.  The game had all the drama one would expect (Bosse 67 - Memorial 62) and if you looked hard, more than enough small moments to create a mountain of memories.  © Chris Smith