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March 3, 2012

Proud of our people on and off the cup

WASHINGTON — The old sage frowns and says pass it all around, but All-World Junior’s pulling up from downtown.

--- Bruce Hornsby

The Old Playground

If the basketball universe has a center, then it is most likely in Southwestern Indiana.

And in that swirling vortex of all things hoops, Daviess and Martin counties are right in the middle of all the action.

This year, we again welcome those visitors from outside the area into our communities, as Daviess and Martin county schools again host sectionals and regional rounds of the IHSAA tournament.

As always, it is not only the talent on the court that is on display, but the hospitality of the North Daviess, Washington and Loogootee communities.

During these high holy days of hoops, the red carpet is always rolled out, with the schools, merchants, restaurants, hotels, police, fire and city employees all going the extra distance — all keeping our safety, security and entertainment foremost in their efforts.

So many work diligently behind the scenes in the athletic offices, ticket offices, custodial staffs and concession stands bringing off a flawless product that often leaves visitors saying the same thing: “What a great place to hold a sectional.”

We also appreciate the sportsmanship shown, as anticipation turns into action and eventually into the memories that make up our collective love of high school basketball.

The IHSAA has faced many changes since the birth of its multi-class tourney, roughly 15 years ago. Throughout much of the state, attendance and interest has dropped off at the sectional and regional levels. This has caused debate and divided camps on what is best for the tourney and its future.

However, for those who have attended the games in 3A Sectional 31 and Class A Sectional 63 over the last decade, they have been witness to some of the most dramatic finishes played out at anytime in the history of Hoosier Hysteria, as well as some of the most dominant players to ever play in the prep ranks.

For years, people have made the pilgrimage to our sectionals just to see what things were like back when Indiana High School basketball ruled the landscape. The  images of afternoon sectional games between Epsom and Alfordsville or fans waiting in lines for hours for a chance at a reserve seat may have faded into yellowed images in scrapbooks for many, but around here the game is alive and well.

Many people say that sports is a metaphor for life, however, we assert that during the month of March — life is metaphor for basketball.

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