It’s Thursday of Sectionals week, the only night this week I don’t announce games.
Last night, I announced two from the Lake Central sectional and then came home to a flooded basement.
It was a bit of a high to stand there on the second floor balcony of the new Lake Central gym with color announcer and my good buddy, Dave Kusiak. We talked for more than three hours. Since we’re adjacent to a main walkway, we have to talk on the radio and on streaming video while passersby jab and shout at us.
Four students from my Sports Broadcasting class helped out:
WJOB’s Jimmy Mullaney, who just graduated from PNW broadcasting last year, helped keep students busy. They worked cameras, talked at halftime on the air and kept stats. You could tell that they liked it. I can’t think of better experience for a budding sports broadcaster.
Lake Central even had a full spread of Pepino’s subs, pasta and salad just steps from our perch.
In the first game, 12-12 Lake Central beat up 11-12 Crown Point pretty badly. For dozens of years, Lake Central has had to endure a harrowing drive down US 41 to play in East Chicago or Gary. Maybe the Indians were just happy to be playing at home. Whatever it was, coach Dave Milausnic (one of the many who jabbed me and Kusiak as he walked by) had his team playing some rather sticky defense.
Crown Point only had 15 points by the end of the third quarter. That’s not a lot of points in an Indiana high school sectional game. Justin Graciano the burly forward led LC with 12 points. I know his dad, Hector.
I can’t wait until the semifinals tomorrow when Lake Central matches up with Munster. Mike Hackett’s team beat Lowell 56-49 after being down by 13 points at one point. Munster’s marquee guard, Jevon Morris, did not play well for three quarters. Munster was down entering the fourth.
“Munster is not gonna win this game unless Jevon Morris takes this game over,” I said near the end of the third quarter.
Kusiak, my color announcer, kept referring to this comment as Morris did exactly that. He took over the game, scoring 22 on the night, including double figures in the fourth quarter.
This really will set up a good game between Lake Central and Munster on Friday night. Milausnic has been coaching LC forever. Hackett’s been at Munster even longer. I can remember when they were both the young kids on the block. Now they’re the elder gentlemen of northwest Indiana. Both teams will be well-prepared and ready to play. It also helps that the two schools don’t like each other.
In the opener on Friday night, it’ll be East Chicago Central vs. Morton. There’a a sad story line with the Governors. Their coach, Robert Hall, died on Jan. 8. Morton hasn’t won a sectional since 1976. Now, it’s Scott Lush coaching them. I hang out from time to time with Lush. He’s happier than a pig in shit to be playing on Friday night after upsetting Highland on Tuesday. It’s bittersweet, though. Coach hall should be there.
Ben Cowert, the Purdue MBA student who’s running my video at Lake Central, just texted me this.
Even though I’m at Lake Central where the big 4A schools are, so far we have gotten more views per game at the Hammond sectional. That’s where Griffith and Hammond play. They both get a lot of views whenever we do their games.
Also, if the three or four of you live around here you would know this – Griffith and Hammond have vowed not to play each other in any sport. That’s because there’s been so many fights and altercations at their games. But if they meet in the sectional finals on Saturday night, they have to play each other. Katie bar the door.
I don’t know why I just said “Katie bar the door.” I guess that I’m just a little excited with sectionals week going on. I did my radio show this morning and that doesn’t really seem to matter with all of the basketball going on. We’re running the Big Ten tournament on WJOB right now, Penn State vs. Northwestern. Also, we’re changing the course of history by moving the IHSAA basketball tournament from radio to video. It’s a lot to digest and a lot to do.
That’s why when I came home last night at 10:30pm and went downstairs for a cord, I flipped a lid when I saw an inch of water in the middle of the basement. It’s a simple fix. Dirk Feikema has to rod out the drain tile. But for last night, I had to sweep the water to the drain so it could go to the sump pump. And I had to move a bunch of wet clothes and shift around some speakers and stereo equipment.
I got to bed about 1:30am and woke at 4:30 for the show. Sleep is optional during sectionals week.
That’s why it probably wasn’t the best decision, but in a couple of minutes Alexis and I are gonna drive to Valparaiso to see the Bodeans at the Metropolitan Opera Housue. Our insurance guy and my buddy from high school, Jeff Biesen, got us second row seats. You can’t pass that up, even during sectionals week. I’m feeling good things as I fadeway to still the night. I’m also feeling a little bit closer to free but far, far away from my heart. Talk to you later.