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Indiana HS Basketball Tourney running thread...

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by vonnegutnaked2, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. Here's a running thread for what used to be the best high school tourney...as referenced early in the Minnesota hockey thread.

    I meant to start this one back during sectional time, but I was actually working then. Then, Hoosiers came on ESPN Classic last night and I felt compelled to start one.

    All of our local teams are out as of Saturday night, but I'll still follow the tourney from here on out and will use a rare Saturday off to attend the finals at Conseco. I'm hoping there are a few on board who have some thoughts about the coming weeks.

    Weather means that a few southern Indiana regionals are still finishing up tonight and tomorrow (can anyone recall the last time this happened?). Meanwhile, the northern sites and pairings are set.

    Saturday @ Laf. Jeff
    Class A: Triton vs. Laf. Central Catholic
    Class 4A: S.B. Riley vs. Marion

    Saturday @ Warsaw
    Class 2A: Westview vs. FW Bishop Luers
    Class 3A: Plymouth vs. FW Harding

    Starting with the big boys, I've thought all year Marion was the odds on favorite to win title number eight and tie Muncie Central for most championships ever. They've got tourney experience (losing to state champ in semistate last year), talent (2 kids bound for N.C. State) and a relatively easy road (playing all but two tourney games at home). The Giants have shaken off some injuries and, even though they had a tough one against New Castle, were able to have a couple landmines (East Chicago Central and Laf. Jeff) knocked off for them.

    As for the lower classes, I'm hoping to see Luers get to the finals just to see DeShawn Thomas play. He's been called the "next LeBron" and now there seems to be talk that he could be heading to Oak Hill Academy. I watched parts of Saturday's Regional at Tipton and he was just freakish. Meanwhile, I'd think the north Class A semistate is the pseudo title game. And finally in 3A, Plymouth (and Randy Davis) going back to the state title game would be quite a story...like the '76 Marion championship team meeting this year's IU fiasco.
  2. Pancamo

    Pancamo Active Member


    Maybe she will show up to make it interesting.
  3. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    She'll be there to get her boys up for the game.
  4. Ok, so I know this generated little buzz earlier, but I'm bringing it back up now that the finals have been set for Indy next weekend.

    Here are the state pairings (and one lowly poster's predictions)...

    Class A: Indy Lutheran (22-4) vs. Triton (24-2)
    Both teams make their state debuts. Lutheran had never even won a sectional prior to this season. I actually covered Lutheran's regional last weekend and was not all that impressed with the Saints. Meanwhile, Triton knocked off Lafayette Central Catholic in Lafayette today. I said I thought that game was the pseudo state championship and I'll stick with that. Triton by double digits.

    Class 2A: Winchester (23-3) vs. Ft. Wayne Bishop Luers (23-3)
    Not only do both teams have the same record, but they both lost their most recent games on the same night (Jan. 18). Winchester lost in double overtime last season in the state finals and have been my favorite all season to win the title. Meanwhile, Luers counters with the aforementioned DeShawn Thomas and a pretty good supporting cast. I've always been a big believer in past finals experience, so I give the nod to Winchester in what, for me, is the day's most anticipated game.

    Class 3A: Ft. Wayne Harding (22-3) vs. Washington (22-2)
    Harding beat Plymouth on Saturday, which meant a whole bunch of great story lines were taken away from this game. However, Harding will have the chance to become the first Indiana team to win a title in two different classes (the Hawks won in 2A in 2001). Washington is led by almost certain Mr. Basketball Tyler Zeller, who is bound for North Carolina and whose brother (Luke, now of Notre Dame fame) won the award in 2005 when he led the Hatchets to championship on a halfcourt buzzer beating shot. I'll side here with the state's best player...Washington wins it with Zeller.

    Class 4A: Marion (24-4) vs. Brownsburg (21-5)
    Marion can tie Muncie Central for the most championships ever, while Brownsburg is certainly a major darkhorse. The Bulldogs, who didn't receive one vote in the final 4A poll, knocked off previously unbeaten New Albany today. Marion has only lost once in the state championship game (1998, when horrible guard play wasted a mammoth Zach Randolph performance). I see them focused and handling Brownsburg to add an eighth banner.
  5. Bubbler

    Bubbler Active Member

    A -- Lutheran: I remember feeling so sorry for the Saints back when they were getting pwned by alma mater Lawrence North back in the late 80s in the County tourney.

    2A -- Luers: I covered a game at Luers one night after getting stoned to the bejeezus belt on some opium-laced weed provided to my buddies by the Ball State basketball team. I had a relapse in the third quarter and spent most of it open-mouthed, gaping at the cheerleaders, wishing I had a 2-liter of Squirt to wash away my cottonmouth.

    3A -- Harding: Covered a Harding-Southern Wells game when it was 31-below air temperature, coldest day I can ever remember. Still can't believe they played the game, and it was a miracle that my shit-ass car at the time actually started afterwards. Southern Wells might be one of the most remote high schools in Indiana. I would have been Jack Nicholson in The Shining in no time flat.

    4A -- Brownsburg: My wife is a Brownsburg grad. A few years ago, I would have been miffed that her Bulldogs would have caught my Wildcats in state titles, but the Greg Oden era took care of that and gave me lifetime bragging rights pwnage.

    In reality, of course, I could give two shits since the state tournament was ruined in the 90s. I was telling a colleague the other day that Indiana would be much better served by eliminating the semistates and have the final four teams from each class go to Indy. Tradition is dead, so the IHSAA should make a clean break.

    Of course it won't happen. If it was good enough in 1960, by God, it's good enough now!
  6. A -- Triton. If they beat C.C., that's good enough for me

    2A -- Luers.

    3A -- Harding. Bite me, Zeller

    4A -- Marion. Purple Reign, baby.
  7. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    Odd Marion story. A friend's father retired to Marion (don't ask), and one day lost his favorite cigarette holder down a sewer drain. He called the city in a panic to report it missing, and if they found it could they please give it back. Wouldn't you know, a few weeks later a city sewer worker knocks on his door and, in a little plastic baggie, is the cigarette holder.

    Marion may have its troubles, but by god if you lose something down a sewer you will GET IT BACK!
  8. crimsonace

    crimsonace Active Member

    Good ... I'm not the only one. The semistates are a huge waste of a week ... getting rid of them would also eliminate the annoying one-week overlap between the boys & girls tournaments.

    My thoughts:
    A: Triton vs. Indy Lutheran. Triton beat Lafaytte Catholic, which has become the beast of Class A since the tournament was destroyed 10 years ago (in part because they pull kids in from a huge geographic area, and beat up on farm schools with 100 students). That takes work ... Lutheran is the typical Class A private school -- one that isn't very good, but gets through by being just a little bit better than the public schools. Triton should be better and win. The northern team is almost always better in 1A.

    2A: Winchester vs. Luers: This game is interesting, if only to watch Luers' DeShaun Thomas play against a Winchester team that plays 10 players (and will play all 10 in the first three minutes of the game) ... shuttling them in & out and trying to wear the opponent down. Thomas is the best player in the state, and has singlehandedly resurrected the Luers program (which is a girls basketball & football powerhouse in 2A, but hasn't been much in boys basketball). Luers should win.

    3A: Fort Wayne Harding vs. Washington. Harding is one of the state's oddball schools ... located just outside of Fort Wayne city limits, they're an inner-city neighborhood school that is not part of the big-city school corporation. When the local factory shut down, Harding's enrollment dropped in half. They've become a 2A/3A basketball powerhouse, playing in a 4A conference, flying under the radar all season and then rolling through the tournament, making it to Conseco for the fifth time since 2001. Meanwhile, Washington is a known commodity ... UNC recruit Tyler Zeller is probably the state's top player, and they seem to grow 7-footers. It'll be a contrast in styles ... Washington with a good post game and weak guard play against a run-and-gun guard-oriented Harding team. The crowd difference will be noticeable, too ... Washington -- Southwestern Indiana is one of the last real big-time bastions of Hoosier Hysteria -- will bring 8,000 fans (and have 2-3,000 more wanting tickets). Harding will maybe bring 800. Washington should win.

    4A: Brownsburg vs. Marion. My dad's alma mater vs. my mom's alma mater ... and Brownsburg was almost mine (instead, we moved into the city and my alma mater ended up winning 3 Class 4A titles). Brownsburg has two mid-level DI prospects in 6-9 beast Julian Mavunga (Miami-Ohio) and guard Gordon Hayward (Butler). Marion has a really good player in Julius Mays and also a guy with good bloodlines in Jay Edwards Jr. Marion is gunning for its 8th title -- they won 6 real championships (3 with Jay Edwards Sr. as the star player) and then won a 4A title in Zack Randolph's senior year. Brownsburg was an old one-class wonder program that was pretty good in the old days, but struggled to shift from being able to walk over its small-school brethren in the early rounds into being competitive in the 4A tournament. They've lived a charmed life this year in the tournament, beating undefeated New Albany in the semistate, but the Indianapolis regional champion almost always wins in Conseco. Brownsburg in a mild upset.

    FYI, for Indiana sportswriters: "Class 3A champion" is much tighter writing than "Class 3A state champion." And it's also more correct -- Indiana hasn't had a state champion since 1997 (/yesi'mstillbitteraboutclassbasketball).

    I've gone to the Finals every year since the class mess started. This year might be my first to miss ... the games are semi-compelling, but not interesting enough for me to give up a Saturday watching them. Fifteen years ago, you would've been hard-pressed to find very many basketball junkies (and HS basketball junkies at that) in Indiana who would have said that.
  9. crimsonace

    crimsonace Active Member

    For those who aren't initiated, Plymouth entered the semistate with a 22-3 record being led by an interim coach, after 30-year head coach Jack Edison (who had coached Scott Skiles and the 1982 state champion, in addition to taking 2 teams to Conseco in the 3A tournament) retired & hand-picked his successor. Unfortunately, his son spent some time on the wrong websites and they had to promote an assistant (who won't take the head coaching job because he "likes his summers").
  10. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    His son spent time on SportsJournalists.com?
  11. crimsonace

    crimsonace Active Member

    No, he wasn't BD77 & Anodyne.

    I think they were porn sites he was on. (If their filter is anything like the one at my school, SportsJournalists.com would be blocked).

    Note to self: NEVER go to a porn site on the school computer, unless I really, really, really am in the mood to get fired.
  12. CollegeJournalist

    CollegeJournalist Active Member

    I don't understand why Indiana classified its basketball tournament. It's ridiculous. You don't need to be a big school to be successful in a sport that only takes 13 people to field a team. And only five of them need to be good.

    I'm biased, but no state tournament compares to Kentucky's, simply because all the schools play for the same title. Indiana and Kentucky used to have comparable tournaments. Now, Indiana's is a joke just like the rest of them.

    If you never go to Kentucky for any other reason, go to Rupp Arena for the Boys' Sweet Sixteen. It's an experience.
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