One of the most frequently asked questions from the last four years of this photographic journey is, "what's your favorite gym?" Not wanting to offend anyone, I have declined to answer with any particular location. But now, after seeing and photographing more than 175 of Indiana's best, I think I should come clean. For a fan of Hoosier high school basketball and its history (real & film) both New Castle (the nation's largest) and The Hoosier Gym (in Knightstown) should not be missed. And if it were possible to travel back in time, the Wigwam in Anderson would certainly be on my list (as would Hinkle for a state tourney final). But when it comes to being a photographer, our demands are a little different than the average basketball spectator. In a perfect world, the gym would be filled during a rivalry or tourney game with passionate fans. The floor would be original, but well maintained, with a great logo at center court. There would be history hanging on the walls and the bleachers - wood, of course. Last, but not least, the school administration would have seen the wisdom in replacing the old mercury (or sodium) vapor lighting with fluorescents sometime within the last five years. With all of that in mind, I can offer up three gyms that are my favorites based on size & age. If you are looking for that old time fieldhouse feel, Kokomo is the place. For pure history, look no further than Rushville. And, as of this writing - for color (Kelly green), light (fluorescents), feel (it's sunken), photo access (multiple vantage points) the winner is - the Jim Mann Green Dome at West Vigo High School. But, wait a minute - what about Muncie Burris, Scottsburg, Southern Wells or Whiting? Maybe on my next list of favorites. CGS.
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Tournament time is special. The fans are more energetic, larger in number. The players, more intense - as so much more is on the line. And the gyms, seem all the more special for having been chosen to host these season ending games. Take for example the Berry Bowl, in Logansport, scene of the Girls 1A & 2A Semi-States this past Saturday. The 2A championship saw the Oak Hill Golden Eagles take the floor against the Lady Cougars from Central Noble - two teams who both posted 27 win seasons, locked in a low scoring affair with the Golden Eagles advancing to Indianapolis for their third time, in search of their first State title. The marquee game of the day, however, was the 4 o'clock match-up between the Union City Indians and the Marquette Catholic Blazers. On display here, two teams who refused to let their 2016-17 season end. This game had all you hope for a in classic high school tourney championship - scoring runs, momentum swings, coaching intensity, player passion and two overtime periods. In the end, Union City was able to rally last and make their way up the ladder one more rung and maybe, take a stand on the very last step in Indianapolis. CGS.
Friday, February 17, 2017
Just what you want from a championship matchup - two former state champs who only meet at tournament time locked in a game with multiple lead changes and momentum swings. In the end, the Lady Stars remain at home while North moves on to Richmond. CGS.