BY PERRY HUNTER
OK, last Saturday’s semistate games were really held in Seymour, but it sure felt like Clark County.
I have been to a semistate two other times, where two schools located close to each other have been in the same gym.
In 2005, Loogootee and Washington were at the Seymour Semistate. There was so much black and gold there it almost made a Henryville coach feel welcome.
Two former sectional rivals (in the one-class era at Washington) cheered wildly for each other. It didn’t hurt that both won and headed to the IHSAA State Finals the following week.
Then in 2008 when Borden and New Albany were in the Southport Semistate, there was so much black and red that you would have thought one school took over most of the gym.
In fact, I heard that day from the team New Albany was playing, “How did so many New Albany fans get in?”
But last Saturday was different.
It was two teams that use red and white in their color scheme and in the same county. I know there were many people there supporting both teams that were not from Jeffersonville or Borden. I know that there might have even been a former Henryville coach wearing a Borden regional champion T-shirt, and was cheering loudly when Borden’s Jalen McCoy stole the ball at the end of their game with University, sealing Borden’s first trip to the state finals.
Class basketball sucks? (Sorry, Myra Powell) That’s what the people who are against class basketball say.
No, really, they say it a lot that is until their favorite local team is playing deep into the tourney, then they display situational values on the subject, but I guess we all do that in different situations.
Last Saturday, you couldn’t make me believe the previous statement about class basketball. The entire town of Borden plus some were there to cheer for their small-school heroes and then combine them with the Jeffersonville fans, and it was an awesome sight to behold.
Former Floyd Central athletic director and lifelong Borden resident Les Wright, who I interviewed at halftime of the Borden game for WBIS-TV, claimed that he is still a proponent of one-class basketball. But he claimed that you can’t help to see and know how good last Saturday was for the small community of Borden.
I couldn’t agree more Les — I couldn’t agree more.
My only desire would have been to see Borden’s fans cheer as madly for Jeffersonville as vice versa. They did cheer and some of them did stand at one point trying to urge on their Clark County friends, but it didn’t seem as passionate as the earlier game.
Maybe Borden’s fans remember the 50 point-beating one of their best teams took to Jeffersonville in the sectional in 1993 when Jeff was on their way to its own state championship.
However, I think Borden’s fans had used up so much of their energy and emotion watching their own team’s close victory that they were exhausted in every sense of the word. I was exhausted, and I am not from Borden or as emotionally tied to its team.
But at the end of the day, it was Indianapolis Cathedral’s team that defeated what seemed like a fragmented Jeff team, and not the lack of cohesiveness in the stands.
No matter what happened, and no matter if you agree with what I have written or not, it was nice to have been in Scott Gym last Saturday. It was nice to see small-school Borden and big-school Jeffersonville all dressed in white and cheering on each other’s teams.
It was nice to see Borden’s and Jeffersonville’s teams and coaching staffs experiencing a great season and having fun.
I just wish Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis will see the same thing this coming Saturday.
Perry Hunter is a Henryville High School teacher and a former coach of the school’s boys’ basketball team. You can visit his blog at coachperryhunter.blogspot.com.