IHSAA: In Any Other State, It’s Just Basketball

Connor Fisher, Staff Writer

In 49 states, it’s just basketball, but this is Indiana. The atmosphere, intensity, and significance of basketball to high schools in Indiana goes all the way back to 1910 when Crawfordsville won state.

The IHSAA has the oldest and most prestigious basketball tournament at the end of every season. On top of that, the atmosphere of Indiana basketball is like no other. The significance and intensity of games gives many chills as students go bananas for their team. Much of the IHSAA’s prestige is known nationwide due to the Milan Miracle team in 1953-1954, which inspired the well-known movie Hoosiers.

The number of highly recruited players coming out of Indiana makes the game even more intense, as opponents enjoy the challenge of taking down some of the best players in the nation. One of the best high school teams ever in the United States was the 2006 Lawrence North team led by former NBA player Greg Oden and Memphis Grizzlies starting point guard Mike Conley Jr. Basketball in the state of Indiana is historic and meaningful, as shown by the incredible history of teams as well as the deafening atmosphere of a typical game.

Some of the best high school basketball in America happens right here in the city and suburbs of Indianapolis. This year, the two players likely to finish number one and number two in Mr. Basketball voting, CJ Walker (Florida State commit) and Kyle Guy (Virginia commit) went at it in the first round of sectional 10. Many basketball analysts who cover IHSAA basketball stated that the winner of this game will win Mr. Basketball. Another loaded sectional (Sectional 8) began with a double overtime instant classic type feel when Carmel took down Noblesville.

As regionals approach, many upsets and thrillers have taken place. In a game that included six dunks and 25+ point games for standouts, Kris Wilkes and Kyle Guy, a sellout crowd, rocking student sections, and more than ten different college coaches on hand, North Central pulled away late.

However, Brebeuf Jesuit teacher and former head coach Noah Haynes believes that “Hoosier hysteria has declined over the years because of the introduction of Classes.” Haynes also said, “Indiana has the largest high school gyms in the world because the school with the largest gym used to host the sectionals. In fact, Brebeuf’s sectional used to be played at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Butler’s campus.” The small schools took pride in upsetting the larger schools in sectionals and regionals. Now, smaller schools like Brebeuf still get to upset teams like Lawrence North and Arsenal Tech but only during the regular season. Even though it may seem like it is fairer for the smaller schools to have a chance at a state championship, the formation of Classes in high school basketball has caused less excitement and caused certain rivalries to fade.

Brebeuf Jesuit won easily in their first round matchup against Herron on March 1 at New Palestine High School. Following this incredible performance, the Braves took down their biggest rival, Chatard, at New Palestine as well. In the sectional championship, the Braves outplayed and took down a ranked Crispus Attucks team that Brebeuf beat in their first matchup of the year. The Braves next topped a park Tudor team many thought would be the eventual 3a champions in a thriller. It was one of the biggest upsets the Braves have pulled since PJ Thompson was here. Sadly the Braves success didn’t last long as just a few hours after that great win the Braves fell to Tri-West in a heart breaker. While it was a bad way to end the year, the team is very young with Simon, Malachi, Kobie, Mijay, and Max all returning after playing quality minutes. Beating Park Tudor will be a great building block for the future.

Basketball is different here than anywhere else. It started here, and it will never be matched by anyone.