The fans of Broadway basketball had their fingers crossed on Saturday night as they were driving back to Lake County. Both Merrillville and Andrean won a regional championship.
The Pirates won the Class 4A Michigan City Regional, the first since 2003. The 59ers won the Class 3A Plymouth Regional, the school's first since 2000.
The two Merrillville schools, only about a mile apart, had to wait until Sunday to see which semistate they would be placed in.
The announcement from the IHSAA will put the two schools many miles apart.
“It would've been nice,” Merrillville coach T.J. Lux said. “I'm close with Carson (Cunningham) and our staffs get along great. It would've been fun.”
Bowman Academy and Andrean will play in Saturday's Huntington North Semistate. Merrillville will play at Lafayette Jeff.
Bowman (16-9) will get a retmatch against Tipton (25-2) in the 2A Northern Semistate. The game will tip off at noon. Following that, Andrean (22-3) will play Fort Wayne Concordia (22-4).
Merrillville (22-3) will play defending champion Carmel (23-2) in the Class 4A Northern Semistate at Lafayette Jeff.
“It would've been cool,” Cunningham said. “But we're just happy to still be breathing.”
In 2010 Northwest Indiana advanced three teams to the state finals, Bowman Academy (Class A), Wheeler (2A) and Lew Wallace (3A). Area teams will have to go 3-0 this Saturday to make that happen again.
“It would be great for region basketball,” Bowman coach Marvin Rea said.
The Eagles defended their Class 2A North Judson Regional title on Saturday night. Rea said he was happy when he found out his team was headed to Huntington.
“That's where we went the year we won state,” Rea said of 2010. “I'm a superstitious kind of guy. Plus with Carson being there, we're both Purdue guys.”
Last year at Lafayette Jeff, Bowman beat Tipton 69-64. Tipton junior Mike Crawford scored 40 against the Eagles in last year's semistate. Most of the Eagles who swung the game a year ago have graduated.
“We have to play great defense,” Rea said. “We can't let Crawford go for 40 again. But if he does we have to shut everyone else down, play Bowman basketball.”
For Cunningham the long drive east is perfect. In 2008 he picked up his first win as Andrean's coach at Huntington North against the hosts.
“I'm taking all that as motivation,” Cunningham said. “Plus, Chris Kramer's from Huntington North and he's a Boiler so it's all good.”