Its Semistate Week, which means you better fill your tank if you want to drive to watch your school

In the film “Hoosiers”, the town caravan was quaint. In 2019, it’s wasteful and ridiculous.

Lafayette Central Catholic will play in Saturday’s Elkhart Semistate, and Penn will play in the Lafayette Semistate.  If you wonder how that makes any sense, I’m with you.

Of the 16 teams playing in what should be a must attend event for fans, 13 will need to drive more than an hour to get to those venues despite other semistates being held within minutes of some schools.

Center Grove and Ben Davis will both drive more than an hour and a half to play in Washington when the two schools are only 30 minutes from each other.

It’s an insane outgrowth of the four class basketball tournament in Indiana that disrupts enthusiasm for what used to be the country’s most popular state tourney.

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I’m not one of those “Everything was better back in the day” guys – I’m more, “OK, this is ridiculous, how can it be fixed?” kind of guy.

And the way it can be fixed is to move the tournament from four classes to two.  By doing that, we keep the tiny school from being shellacked 113-22 by the giant school, but we also maintain some measure of geographic logic that will keep fans from driving almost three hours to get to games – as New Albany did when they played in the Richmond Semistate.

I don’t mind scattered site semistates, although playing all four in Indianapolis would make travel mostly convenient as interstates 65, 70, 74, and 69 intersect in Indy.

Here’s the schedule for the IHSAA Boys Basketball Semistate games this Saturday with travel times for each school in parentheses:


  • Fort Wayne Blackhawk vs. Lafayette Central Catholic, 4p
  • Culver vs, Marion, 6p

(1:02 for Culver; 2:04 for Marion; 1:42 for Ft. Wayne Blackhawk; 2:20 for Lafayette Central Catholic)


  • Bloomfield vs. Barr-Reeve, 4p
  • Ben Davis vs. Center Grove, 6p

(1:46 for Ben Davis, 1:34 for Center Grove, :14 for Barr Reeve; :39 for Bloomfield)


  • Andrean vs. Frankton, 1p
  • Penn vs. Carmel, 3:30p

(2:10 for Penn; 1:04 for Carmel; 1:24 for Andrean; 1:26 for Frankton)


  • Shenandoah vs. Linton-Stockton, 1p
  • Crispus Attucks vs. Silver Creek, 3p

(1:12 for Crispus Attucks; :47 for Silver Creek; 1:57 for Shenandoah; 1:46 for Linton-Stockton)

If you believe this schedule makes any sense at all – I’m interested in hearing your perspective.  Please leave a comment.

2 thoughts on “Its Semistate Week, which means you better fill your tank if you want to drive to watch your school

  1. Tom

    In single class you played Evansville, Terre Haute, West Lafayette and Ft Wayne. Teams were glad to be playing there. Not one team will complain on Saturday about playing in the semi state: no matter where.
    Also, there are two teams playing – you must consider both. IE: LCC and Blackhawk – why should one travel and not the other. This Saturday they both will travel.

    1. Kent Sterling Post author

      Why? Because it is more convenient, fuel efficient, time efficient, and every other kind of efficient there is. Forcing teams to travel two hours or more in the State of Indiana is idiotic. There were a lot of fans complaining – and rightly so.


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