News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

December 28, 2012

It’s a Hoosier Classic: Event reminds us of Indiana hoops lore

TERRE HAUTE — Everything about the Wabash Valley Pizza Hut Classic is a reflection of the rural Midwest while recalling an earlier time for high school basketball.

Fans of all ages and backgrounds packed the noisy gymnasium at Terre Haute South Vigo High School all day Thursday for just day one of the four-day tournament. They were wearing sweatshirts and jackets emblazoned with “Rox,” “Knights,” “Warriors” or any of more than a dozen other team labels. The fans came from towns scattered across west-central Indiana and east-central Illinois to watch high school basketball, a quasi religion in this area.

In addition to bringing together teams from across state lines, the event is reminiscent of what Hoosiers call “single-class” basketball, when schools of all sizes competed for the state title. The Pizza Hut Classic features schools as tiny as Rockville, with an enrollment of fewer than 300, to those such North and South Vigo from Terre Haute where enrollments are closer to 2,000.

“They love single-class basketball,” said Gary Fears, organizer of the event and president of Pizza Hut THDMA Co-op, speaking over the nearly constant low roar of the crowd. Sitting near the sidelines during a late-evening game, Fears looked around the gymnasium with clear satisfaction. “They love a holiday tournament. We’ve had excellent crowds all day.”

The tournament brings together teams from 16 schools, 13 from Indiana and three from Illinois. By most accounts, there is no clear favorite to win, which may suit the competitors just fine. History shows the favored team tends to lose, said Lane Mahurin, a senior and center for the Rockville Rox and son of coach Dave Mahurin, who is also principal of the small Parke County high school.

Despite being one of the smallest schools in the classic, Rockville is considered to have a good shot at winning. The team went to the state championship last year in its division and many Rockville fans believe the team is even better this year.

“We’ve played together since kindergarten,” said Gary Ulrich, a point guard for the Rox and senior at Rockville. “Now it’s go time with no more next year.”

Rockville’s colors are blue and white but the team wore green and white shoes on the basketball floor. That was in honor of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where a gunman killed 26 people earlier this month, including 20 small children. Sandy Hook’s school colors are green and white.

“It think it’s really cool,” said Rockville team member and senior Garrett Baysinger when asked how he liked wearing green to remember the tragedy at Sandy Hook. “I feel like I’m lacing up for more than just myself.”

There are another eight games set for today at Terre Haute South in the classic. The first game starts at 10 a.m. The last tips off at 8:30 p.m.

A single-day ticket to the tournament is $7 per person. A tournament pass is $20.

“I encourage everyone to come out,” Fears said. “They’ll see some great basketball.”

Reporter Arthur Foulkes can be reached at (812) 231-4232 or arthur.foulkes@tribstar.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local & Bistate
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve 3 People Killed, Deputies Wounded in NC Shootout Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: 16 Killed in Gaza Market Strike 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit Raw: Smoke, Explosions Fill Gaza Skyline Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Plane Lands on New York Highway
NDN Video
Famous Internet Cats Help Big Cause With Viral Video Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity