Had the IHSAA sent Lake Central's boys basketball team to the moon for Saturday's semistate, the Indians would've taken it. Gladly.
L.C. would've traded in its school bus for a rocket ship and the Nikes for a pair of moon boots.
When a team hasn't won a regional since 1984, they'll play anywhere in the second half of March.
After the Indians' 57-55 win over Penn on a last-second tip-in by Tyler Wideman, the 30-year drought was over and the party began. The Indians got a police escort once they returned to Schererville and fans greeted them at the school.
"It was neat for the kids," L.C. coach Dave Milausnic said.
On Sunday, the IHSAA announced where the 16 remaining teams in Indiana's tournaments will play the semistate games. Region qualifiers — Bowman Academy (Class 3A), Marquette (Class A) and Lake Central (4A) could not all play at the same site this Saturday, since there are only two schools hosting semistates in the north.
Marquette and Lake Central will play at Lafayette Jeff and Bowman will play at Huntington North.
The Blazers (18-6) will play Liberty Christian (20-6) at noon at Jeff. Lake Central (21-3) will play Homestead (20-7) after the Class A game.
"I imagine it's easier for our fans," Milausnic said. "It's not that far. Our fan base is used to driving to Lafayette."
The "blind draw" semistate selection process was understood by Marquette coach Donovan Garletts.
"We didn't want to have to go to Huntington, but it was completely luck of the draw. It could have easily been the other way. Liberty will have to drive farther than us," Garletts said.
Marquette will make a decision after today's semistate meetings as to whether the team will travel Friday night and stay in a hotel in the Lafayette area or drive down on Saturday morning.
"I figured we’d play the early game no matter where we were. They always play the smaller schools first, from what I know," Garletts said.
Bowman Academy will play after the Westview-Cass game, which will tip off at 3 p.m. on Saturday. Bowman (21-4) will play Fort Wayne Dwenger (17-8). Bowman is two and a half hours from Huntington and Dwenger is about an hour away from the semistate site.
"It's a home game for them," Bowman coach Marvin Rea said. "I'll accept it, but I'm not happy about it."
This is Bowman's fourth semistate since 2010 and the Eagles have played at Huntington every year except 2012.
"We've worked hard to establish our program," Rea continued. "No disrespect to Lake Central, but this is their first semistate in 30 years. Their fans would've gone anywhere to see them play. They would've taken everyone to Huntington.
"My biggest fear is our fans will say, 'We'll wait and see Bowman in Indy. The drive's too long.' That's what happened when we lost to Morgan Twp. (2011). Our fans went to West Side that night. We need our fans. This is going to be a tough game and we need our fans to be there."