Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Like Liberty Christian & Marquette Catholic, Hammond Bishop Noll and Frankton, the basketball trail has led us to Lafayette. With Jefferson High School playing host to the 1A and 2A northern Semi-States we find ourselves inside a packed, hot, late sixties gym whose personality is fully revealed on days like this. The spectacle that unfolds in front of our lenses reveals what we have already begun to sense this season - 1A and 2A basketball (girls & boys) delivers. Larger, more passionate fan bases willing to travel many miles through all kinds of weather, that's small school ball. There, I've said it - class basketball has saved the sport in Indiana. Consolidation brought about the demise of the small school and tipped the balance of power once & for all in favor of larger educational facilities. To offset this, the IHSAA in a forward thinking moment created class basketball - and all the tradition bound thinkers cried "foul." If you don't believe that class basketball has been important for communities, ask Barr-Reeve or Jac-Cen-Del. How about Forest Park and Milan? And don't forget Frankton - on their way to Indianapolis with a fan base larger than their city. But, as with Christian and Noll, our 2014-15 season ends here, at the home of the Bronchos, but our journey continues during the quieter times of spring, summer and early fall to the sound of a single ball bouncing on an old maple floor. CGS.
Monday, March 16, 2015
If you were looking for a location to house Indiana's game, your search could end at Southport. Inside it's brick exterior is an old fashioned fieldhouse with a sunken gym. Banners hung high in the rafters speak of storied teams and players, while a new court welcomes rising stars. Built in 1957, the home of the Cardinals seats more than 7100, making it the 10th largest basketball facility in the state. Sixteen Sectional winners have practiced on this floor, with the 1990 squad making it all the way to the State Championship and on Saturday we were treated to two very competitive 4A Boy's Regional match-ups - Pike vs. Richmond, followed by Lawrence North and Brownsburg. By the end of the day the Richmond Red Devils were moving on to the Semi-State and Southport - well, they were doing what they do best, getting ready for another game. CGS.
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Huntingburg Memorial Gym is living history. Built in 1951 and now home to the Southridge Raiders, Huntingburg is one of Indiana's oldest sunken arenas. Saved years ago by community support this vast stage has seen some of Hoosier Hysteria's finest dramas play out. Take Ireland's victory over Springs Valley in the 1963 Sectional Final, 20 to 19 - one of the lowest scoring games since the 1920's. Or, how about tiny Milltown's win over Jeffersonville in the 1970 Regional Semi-Final, 72-69? Milltown, with a population of 97. On this late winter evening we saw a determined Evansville Mater Dei overcome a tough Forest Park 69-64, heard tales of tournament games past and came away with a little of the magic that this place holds. CGS.