News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Given to Fly

December 30, 2007

Given to Fly: Plethora of reasons to enjoy Pizza Hut Classic

TERRE HAUTE — Not long after arriving at my parents’ home in rural northern Indiana on Christmas Eve, the Andy Williams song “It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” began coming from the living room speakers.

Filling the role of The Grinch, my comment was to the effect “It’s been 35 degrees and raining lately and before that much colder, is this really the most wonderful time of the year? I’d really enjoy some 85 degree temperatures and some sunshine.”

Well, eventually I got into a semblance of a Christmas spirit — it’s tough for a single guy in his 20s — and enjoyed the time with my family, which is easy to do.

But the perfect cure for the winter time blues was to spend as much time as possible at the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic.

This year’s version was the most enjoyable one I’ve witnessed, having spent time at much of the past few years’ tournaments. I try to take full advantage because it is often one of the only times I get to see much high school basketball because I have in-office duties on Friday nights.

Our Tribune-Star sports staff recently voted on the top stories of the year and the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic didn’t make my top five. I would like to retract that vote (even though it’s a little too late). This is definitely one of the top events in the Wabash Valley each and every year.

The Odum brothers of Terre Haute South took on the Eitel twins of Marshall for the tournament championship Saturday. This may have been the best story of the year in the Wabash Valley even though the game turned out lopsided.

As a former player at a school with an enrollment around 300, it would be nice to see a small school win this tournament at some point. But Terre Haute South’s dominance was impressive behind an aggressive, physical defense.

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