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: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Fox Dons 'Bondage Strap' Skirt at Comic-Con Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Today in History for July 26th Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase
NDN Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot
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