SPEEDWAY, Ind. (WISH) — This weekend, Hoosiers were supposed to crown four boys basketball state champions after another thrilling postseason.
Instead, 2020 makes a historic mark for the wrong reason: COVID-19. The championships are canceled.
The fun of Hoosier Hysteria is missing. It’s a noticeable absence for arguably the proudest prep basketball state in America.
On Monday, three seniors spoke on the “what ifs” that will stay with them forever.
Davion Bailey and Pike were the underdogs in the powerhouse Metropolitan Conference to survive Indiana High School Athletic Association sectionals.
Champ McCorkle put tiny Greenwood Christian Academy on the map, helping the Cougars to their best run in program history.
Jay Higgins and Brebeuf were winners of seven straight and in the midst of their best season since 2002.
Three teams were ready for IHSAA regionals when the news broke: no more IHSAA tournament.
“I looked at my phone and I saw 38 missed text messages from the basketball group chat,” Higgins said. “I knew then something couldn’t be good. I didn’t even have time to keep scrolling up to head coach (Todd) Howard’s main text. I already knew what was happening.”
In Greenwood, the favorites in Class 1A are still coming to grips with reality.
“I feel like a lot of people haven’t accepted it fully,” McCorkle said. “That is not happening yet. I am sure after a couple of months it will set in how devastating all of this was, especially for our nine seniors.”
For the first time since 1910, Indiana will not crown a boys basketball state champion. One of the toughest parts about this situation is that many of these teams haven’t had a chance to say goodbye to one another yet.
Higgins, a linebacker commit at the University of Iowa, tried to find the words earlier this week. This is an emotional exit for one of the Braves’ top athletes in recent memory.
“This year, I feel like our seniors are way more important than the game of basketball,” Higgins said. “Each of them are very talented individuals on and off the court. Some of the accomplishments they have made off the court will outweigh the games we play together.”
Use these three as an example: When the ball is taken out of your hands, complaining is never the right play.