By Mike Lunsford
TERRE HAUTE — I have a job to do just after Christmas, and believe me, it’s a tough one; it takes four days, involves putting in long hours, requires both physical and mental sacrifice, and perhaps even holds the chance for long-term injury. But a guy has to do what he has to do to bring home a paycheck.
If you happen to see me Saturday night, just after I’ve put in my last long, long day, just ignore the five o’clock shadow, the bleary eyes, my slightly shuffled gate, perhaps even some mental confusion and mumbling. Did I tell you the work involves laboring well into the night too?
I related this tale of woe to my wife the other night, primarily in hopes of getting an extra batch of chocolate chip cookies out of her, along with a dose of sympathy, but she didn’t buy much of it. She knows I’m “just” going to the Wabash Valley Pizza Hut Classic at Terre Haute North to sit and watch basketball games for most of a week … but it’s tough work, really.
Okay, the long hours are voluntary; I go to watch as many of the 28 games the Classic offers because I want to, and as for the mental and physical sacrifices, well, I do try to come up with a post-Classic column that catches the unique quality of each year’s tournament and that takes thought; there’s plenty of time involved with that!
And remember, I have a bad back. It takes a lot out of me to sit on those hard bleachers for hours on end. Why if it wasn’t for the fact that I have to walk all the way out of the gym to the hospitality room, even put my own pizza on a plate, I wouldn’t get any aerobic exercise at all.
Now, put on your reading glasses — the print is going to shrink after this paragraph — and take my annual Classic Quiz. After all, you don’t have anything to whine about; I’m the one doing all the heavy lifting here. Every other question deals with Arley and Harley Andrews while the others deal with last year’s tournament. Good luck:
1. Local hoops legends Arley and Harley Andrews helped with the tournament draw this year. In what two years did they play together on the Gerstmeyer teams that won the old Valley Tournament championship? (a.) 1950 and 1951 (b.) 1952 and 1953 (c.) 1953 and 1954 (d.) 1952 and 1954.
2. What player had the highest scoring individual game in last year’s Classic? (a.) Lucas Eitel, Marshall (b.) Jared Maners, Owen Valley (c.) Nate Blank, Terre Haute North (d.) Brennan Burks, Greencastle.
3. Many fans know about the infamous “clerical” error involving the Andrews boys in the 1953 state championship game against South Bend Central. But do you know what uniform numbers were confused and led to Arley being given a foul he didn’t commit? (a.) 23 and 32 (b.) 33 and 34 (c.) 34 and 43 (d.) 41 and 42.
4. What two teams were involved in scoring the fewest points in a game in last year’s Classic? (a.) Rockville and Riverton Parke (b.) Monrovia and Sullivan (c.) Bloomfield and Owen Valley (d.) South Vermillion and Bethesda Christian.
5. How many points did Arley Andrews score over a four-year high school career? (a.) 2,777 (b.) 1,986 (c.) 1,783 (d.) 1,570.
6. The West Vigo Vikings established a Pizza Hut Classic team record in last year’s tournament. What was it? (a.) Most points scored in a half (b.) Most steals in a game (c.) Most free throws attempted in a game (d.) Most 3-point field goals attempted in a game.
7. How many teams were in the Valley Tournament in the years the Andrews boys won the title? (a.) 52 (b.) 79 (c.) 93 (d.) 110.
8. Linton and Casey are the latest schools to join the 16-team Classic field. Who did they replace? (a.) Shakamak and Vincennes (b.) Greencastle and Crawfordsville (c.) Eastern Greene and North Central (d.) North Knox and South Putnam.
9. Which twin hit the 30-foot, game-winning basket, and against what rival, in the first Valley championship Gerstmeyer ever won? (a.) Harley against Garfield (b.) Arley against Glenn (c.) Harley against Wiley (d.) Arley against Garfield.
10. TOUGHIE: Excluding the two new teams to the Classic field, Terre Haute North, Terre Haute South, Monrovia and Bethesda Christian are the only four teams in the tournament to have never done what?
Now the answers…
1. b. I tried to fool you. The Black Cats won three in a row (’52, ‘53, and ‘54, but Harley graduated a year before Arley.
2. d. Burks scored 31.
4. c. You have to be crazy to have chosen any other pairing but the one including Bloomfield on this one.
5. a. Keep in mind that there was no 3-point line …
6. c. The Vikings took 42 free tosses.
7. d. The tournament had 124 entries in 1947.
9. c. Harley’s bomb put away the Red Streaks.
10. The Patriots (both North and BC), Braves and Bulldogs have never played a 10 a.m. game in the first round.
Well, I had better get some rest because the work starts early this Wednesday. But I don’t mind, really. Somebody has to do it.
You can contact Mike Lunsford via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org , or by regular mail c/o the Tribune-Star, PO Box 149, Terre Haute, IN 47808.