MERRILLVILLE | The whistle blew and a bunch of anxious freshmen basketball players hustled to the center of the court. There was a fresh light at Andrean four years ago.
One of the 59ers' top players of all time, Carson Cunningham, was the new ninth grade boys basketball coach at his alma mater.
This is where the fog sets in. No one seems for sure if the following happened or not. Maybe. Or maybe not.
But Matt Harangody swears this was the first play that Cunningham ever taught the 59ers.
Off a jump ball, a pass would be made to one wing with that player breaking. He would then throw it off the backboard to another player attacking the basket from the other side.
"He said that's what I said," Cunningham said. "But I don't remember."
"Yeah, that was the first play he ever taught us," Harangody said before Thursday's practice. "It didn't work too well."
"If we did it, which I'm still not sure we did, I know we had a lot of other stuff to work on to get better," Cunningham said.
"We did it," senior Adam Bosak laughed.
"Yeah, that was the first play we learned," senior Mario Giannini said.
On Saturday at the Class 3A Crown Point Regional, Andrean will take on high-flying Culver Academy in the opening semifinal. For the 59ers three seniors -- Harangody, Bosak and Giannini -- this is a defining moment for Andrean hoops.
When Cunningham started four years ago, the varsity went 2-19. They are now coming off their second-straight sectional championship.
"When I started here, I know I had a lot to learn and so did the guys," Cunningham said. "Even though we only won seven games, we had a lot of fun. A ton of fun really. These seniors have worked very hard and they've done a great job leading our program back."
At the Rensselaer Sectional all three had moments where they shined. Giannini threw a 30-foot alley-oop to Bosak that he converted. Bosak played well against the Bombers Ben Davisson.
And Harangody, cousin of former Andrean star Luke Harangody, now of the Cleveland Cavaliers, is the lunch-bucket energizer bunny for this team.
"Matt's just full of vim and vigor," Cunningham said. "Every game we play he's all over the place, hustling and doing a great job."
Culver Academy has a 7-foot-1 center, Chier Ajou, who is from Africa. He is going to New Mexico. Junior point guard Jermaine Myers is being recruited by several D-I schools.
And Aramonti Phillips is an athletic 6-foot-5 forward. Myers and Phillips are both from Canada.
"It's a team with an international flavor," Cunningham said. "It is a good challenge for our guys. We know they've beaten some good teams and came out of a tough sectional.
"We have to come out with a high level of energy and be ready for a mighty challenge."