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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Research for scores produces some interesting sectional facts

Posted Wednesday, August 1, 2012, at 11:56 AM

Thanks to former high school referee Bill May and his book, Tourney Time, The Indiana High School Athletic Association Boys Basketball Tournament 1911-2005, I have finally accumulated all the sectional, regional, semistate and state finals scores of all of the area high schools and their predecessors.

I am still working on taking that data and compiling all-time tournament records for Bloomfield, Eastern Greene, Linton-Stockton, Shakamak, Union and White River Valley, but first things first.

Hopefully I will be a little quicker as I started this project a few years back and seemed to get stuck in the mid-40s.

But when I threw myself back into it, I completed almost seven decades of scores in less than three days.

Also, a gentleman named Bob Adams has put together a CD called "Indiana High School Basketball History." He has recorded the history of every high school in Indiana, how long they were in existence, who coached, what their records were and when and who they consolidated into.

If you use the information compiled by May, who organized a year-by-year breakdown of scores and tournament results, and Adams, I can come up with some interesting factoids.

When I am in any gym, I always try to notice what is hanging on the wall. Like at Shakamak, Sullivan shows the schools that consolidated into the high school.

Proudly displayed is a marker for the Paxton Pirates. At a closer glance, Paxton was only an IHSAA member for the 1920-21 and 1921-22 school years.

Their only sectional game was an 83-6 loss to Washington at the 1921 Sullivan Sectional.

Shakamak proudly displays a Wall of Heritage, which includes the Coalmont Cardinals, Midland Middies and Jasonville Yellow Jackets, who consolidated to form SHS in 1963-64.

It is ironic that Coalmont is actually located in Clay County and the Cardinals never played a tournament game in Greene County.

Adams shows them being a school existing from 1911 to 1963, but the Cardinals only participated in the state tournament from 1952 to 1963, from what I could find in May's book.

The played in sectionals at Brazil, Clay City, Spencer and in 1962 and 1963 at the Sullivan Sectional.

They won six sectional games and lost 10. In 1961 at the Spencer Sectional, they defeated Patricksburg 56-51 and Staunton 69-63 before losing to the host Cops.

CHS won its tournament opener in 1955 at Brazil, 1958 and 1959 at Spencer and in 1960 they defeated Spencer 52-50 before losing to Brazil 75-39 at the Clay City Sectional.

Their last game was a 58-51 loss to Pleasantville in 1963 at the Sullivan Sectional.

Shakamak was not placed in the Switz City Sectional when they became a school in 1963-64.

They were sent to the Sullivan Sectional, promptly winning titles in 1964 and 1966.

The Lakers were part of the sectional grouping with Union, Sullivan, North Central and Clay City through the 1976 season.

It was the 1976-77 school year when the landscape of the high school boys state tournament started to change. After more than a dozen years of playing sectionals at Sullivan or Clay City, Shakamak came over to play in Greene County for the postseason.

It also was the first time that the Thunderbirds were shipped to the Bedford North Lawrence Sectional, which also included the semi-newly formed Bloomington South, which came into being in 1972-73. Bloomington North, also in existence since 72-73, was playing at the Martinsville Sectional at the time before eventually moving to BNL.

That 76-77 season also was the first that included two Terre Haute Sectionals. It was not unprecedented for one big city to have two sectionals as Fort Wayne hosted a pair of tournaments prior to that.

But this put Clay City, Union, North Central and Sullivan in with Terre Haute South and West Vigo. Terre Haute North then was other sectional host as Staunton, Laboratory, Brazil, Montezuma, Clinton, Rosedale and Schulte were sent to North.

When North and South each were awarded a sectional, this actually was the beginning of the movement for class basketball in the Wabash Valley. An administrator at Sullivan started writing letters to the IHSAA about the perceived injustice.

It only took 21 more years before class basketball became a reality in 1998.

After three years at Terre Haute, the IHSAA relented somewhat and put Clay City, Sullivan and Union in a small school sectional every other year. The Eels, the Golden Arrows and South Vermillion were some of the sectional hosts.

West Vigo, South and North would compete with Sullivan, Union and North Central at Hulman Center in Terre Haute every other year.

This is why Union (1985 and 1989) and Sullivan (1987, 1991) only won sectionals in odd numbered years. North and South were just too tough to handle at Hulman.

Eastern was left at BNL from 1977 to 1981 before coming back to Switz City. They were shifted back to Bedford in 1992, where they stayed through the 1997 season and the end of the single-class playoff system.

The tourney landscape also changed in 1990-91 when L & M, Worthington and Switz City Central consolidated to become White River Valley.

Union was shifted to WRV in 1992 when Eastern was moved back to BNL. The Bulldogs have been part of the local Greene County sectional ever since, including when it became a Class A affair in 1997-98. It was only natural since Union has been part of the Greene County Invitational field since it expanded to six teams in 1978.

Statewide, Jasper had hosted a sectional since the late 1920's but Huntingburg later took that sectional site away in 1952, with the completion of the Huntingburg Memorial Gymnasium, which was reported to have over 5,000 permanent seats and cost $350,000 to construct. The rumor was that Huntingburg fans were tired of not getting a fair shake at Jasper and built a gym that would hold everyone in the town of Huntingburg.

Vincennes Lincoln had hosted sectionals forever, but class basketball changed that forever.

There has certainly been some local changes since the advent of class basketball as Bloomfield moved up to Class 2A in 2008 to join Linton-Stockton and Eastern Greene, who both have been part of 2A since the inception of the current tournament format.

WRV, Union and Shakamak have always been in Class A.

Paoli, Mitchell, Evansville Mater Dei and Holy Cross are but a few of the teams that are no longer part of the local sectional mix. Who knows what changes could be in store in the future?

B.J. Hargis is the sports editor at the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached at (812) 847-4487, ext. 12 or at hargisbj@gmail.com.

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