Hanging on by a thread …

Inside the Hall’s Alex Bozich has left the building. So has Matt Dollinger, who did yeoman’s work today for the Gary Post-Tribune by writing three (yes, three) separate community reaction stories.

Lynn Houser and I work on. Tom Crean has also remained. It appears Matt, Bruce, Tubby and Roy have left the building, or at least not in their seats.

North Central is winning, 90-68, with 3:07 remaining. D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera has 16 points and six rebounds. Terone Johnson has 24.

I left Bloomington at 8:25 or so this morning. It is now 10:45 p.m. This seems like a long day. In fact, it is. Lots of basketball. Lots of great basketball. The Indiana high school state tournament is unlike the North Carolina state tournament (my only other frame of reference; I know, not very helpful) in every way. Tons of passion, tons of interest and tons of talent. Other state tournaments have all of these of course, but Indiana seems to have more of it.

It’s been real. It’s been fun. Let’s do it again next year.


  1. Having been to both, with a dog in the fight each time, there is no comparison. That being said, the current ‘class’ tournament is but a mere shell of the old ‘open’ format.

  2. Chet-

    100% agreement…Since the abandonment of one-class basketball in 1997, each year the passion for the game drains from Indiana the hopes a return to tradition handed away by swiftness of legislative pen the most unique place in the country to play high school hoops..A place where the biggest dreams a state of mind never be denied by smallest odds a tiny town’s chance a one for the ages team…A place where young Hoosier hearts infected by mysterious bug of statewide hysteria gave nevermind to any size reason be excluded a part in single great stage, for all the hours you shot countless baskets in your driveway under the long shadows of a late summer night, to be nothing other than the best at the game you love.

    Bring back one-class basketball with one state champion! Put “Hysteria” back into “Hoosier”!


    “One on One” with Mark Montieth – 12/20/09
    Listen to some Hoosier basketball legends and their great stories/trips down memory lane.

  3. I have long thought a compromise might make a lot of sense. With the old setup most schools used to brag about winning a sectional or regional championship. After all, there was only one state champion. Now, with class basketball there are 4 and it seems watered down.

    How about having sectionals and regionals drawn along class lines. That would give all sized schools the opportunity to compete against like-sized schools up to and including regionals. At semi-state, which is at 4 differents sites, you have a regional champion from class A, AA, AAA, and AAAA. Let the best team win. Then each semi-state winner would advance to state just like now. All games should be played on Friday and Saturday for sectionals. Regionals should be played either Friday and Saturday or Saturday only (2 games).

    (Each has A, AA, AAA, AAAA regional champions)
    Regionals by class
    Sectionals by class feeding into class regionals.

  4. HC, it is ‘senseless’ as well. We had the greatest system and best brand recognition in the country. I had attended Indiana high school basketball games my entire adult life and witnessed the Bailey years first hand at Bedford. I was at the 1990 finals in the Hoosier Dome. There was as much, if not more, excitement than at some Final Fours I have attended. Now it is but a shell of its former self. I rarely attend games these days and most years don’t even know who won the 4 watered-down championships. But the kids feel better about themselves! The ‘powers that be’ should be tarred, feathered and run out of the state.

  5. I’ve heard others talk about maintaining the classes at the sectional level and then merging the winners into a classless tournament the rest of the way. I think that makes sense. It lets everybody have a fair shot at winning a post-season tournament but also lets them test themselves and builds excitement. I think that’s a win-win situation.

  6. I have heard early rumblings that many want Bowman to be reclassified….Bowman could easily compete in the 4a

  7. My fix would be a 2A and 1A tourney around Christmas time…crown the champion in early Feb. (in hinkle or somewhere not as expensive)…then have the one class at the very end of the season….

  8. Basketball is such an unpredictable game…We only need look at Kentucky’s dismal performance last night against West Virgina. Even the far superior, talent-rich teams in any given tournament can have a hiccup game. Conversely, on any given night, five guys can find a magic moment and play the game to a level that will ingrain upon our memories the true mystery of sport.

    The class system stole the opportunity to share the court, one final stage, with the best. What seems to be a small offense to the most rare occurrence, discriminates against the hopes of five young men to shock our expectations and make immortal a dream..What a terrible crime against the greatest game ever invented to determine we should never care to witness such a moment.

  9. Any compromise would be an improvement on what we have now. I’m part of a small community in Southern Indiana. Back in the day we played our sectional 15 minutes away with all the other towns in the immediate area. Now our tournament site is over an hour away one way. We don’t know who we are on the court with. How dare the IHSAA decide that our kids can’t compete??? How arrogant is that?

    I say put it back exactly the way it was. Guaranteed in our area attendance, and interest will skyrocket. What we have now is horrible, and I have always thought so. Just my two cents…

    How about some football news?

  10. Jubilee thinks a little along the lines as I do with this exception. Consolidate to just two classes. Now I do not know what the split should be; whether you put the super big schools in a class together or make an exact 50% to 50% divide by enrollment or some other formula to create two classes. No matter how it is split some of the criteria to do so should encourage maximum achievement of establishing local rivalries, excite student and community interest, more attendance to every gym for every game, decrease distances traveled(expenses)by opponents to games and make sectionals then regionals(their are so many only someone with a dog in the fight cares) really mean something again. I think it gives everyone a little of what they have dead set their heart on.

  11. The thing is, as Chill stated, putting up a sectional banner at a many schools brought as much pride as a class state championship brings now. When I was in high school our 4 team sectional produced 3 trips to the final four, 2 to the final game and one championship. The one year the winner didn’t make it to the final four we had a Mr. Basketball on one of the teams (Mike Flynn). My junior year Jeffersonville was #1 in the state. New Albany upset Jeff in the finals of the sectional and went on to win state. I’m in my 50’s and I still remember it. Winning the sectional was a very, very big deal. Now it’s just a step.

  12. I actually don’t understand the system..Carmel is a 4A school..A massive school in booming Hamilton County(one of the fastest growing counties in the nation). They have over 4000 students(graduation class around 1000). I grew up in a tiny town in Northwest Indiana. The town has grown little over the past twenty-five years. The entire population of the town is only three times larger than the number of kids filling the halls at Carmel High School. My high school graduated about the same number(upper 300 range)of students 30 years ago as it does today.
    We were by far the smallest school within a very competitive conference made up of much bigger high schools from much more populous towns. Very little has changed..The town has experienced minimal growth..A beautiful new high school was built a few years back, but the graduation numbers are still relatively unchanged from decades past…The high school is currently classified as 4A in basketball. Go figure…? The system is inconsistent at its best. Does anyone actually have a clue the IHSAA’s determining factors for deciding what class a particular school competes in? Is it purely based on enrollment numbers? Such a huge discrepancy for a high school(graduation class approx. 370-420) from a small town, a town with nearly stagnant population growth, to be in the same 4A class as a monster school from rapidly growing Carmel(graduation class approx. 1000-1200). Not only does the 4-class system seem arbitrary and far more encompassing a wide range/variance in enrollment numbers for the schools in 4A classification, but it opens far too many possibilities for corruption in design to favor/limit the chances for success/failure a particular school based on endless manipulated factors of class relative to school size, a geographical location in the state, competitiveness a given conference, etc.

    My hometown high school has no better chance a trip to Indianapolis as a 4A team today than 30 years ago in a one-class, all-encompassing, statewide basketball tournament. Only the great heritage, hysteria, and mystique has been removed the achievement.

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