For those keeping score at home, the IHSAA moved the Class 4A Sectional 17 championship football game from West Side's field because it wasn't up to standards, so last Friday's game was moved to Morton.
The lights at West Side were unreliable and the 25-second clock did not function.
But in Friday's game, won by E.C. 46-44, the 25-second clocks at Morton were not on. And E.C. downed the ball with 13 seconds left in the game, giving the ball back to the Cougars.
"That could've been big," E.C. coach Stacy Adams said.
"Maybe they should've moved the game," West Side coach Jason Johnson said.
Coach of the Year?: There was a ton of mutual respect after the E.C.-West Side game. Both urban programs has remarkable seasons, something Adams spoke about after the game.
"A lot of people were saying whoever won this game the coach would win the Coach of the Year award," Adams said. "I have nothing but respect for the job (Johnson) did at West Side and I wouldn't mind sharing it with him at all."
When Adams was reminded that he earned The Times Coach of the Year award last year, he quipped.
"Does that mean I'm not going to get it again?"
An urban game of survival: After yelling at his players for their lack of energy during a recent practice, Lew Wallace boys basketball coach Melvin Yancey was asked if it's more difficult reaching today's teens.
"Kids in urban areas have urban issues — survival, food, obtaining money," he replied. "That's why we're trying to get them to do the right things; pick the right friends to hang out with."
There's no money in that, coach.
"But you sure sleep better," Yancey said, smiling.
21st Century boys getting new home court: The buzz around Gary 21st Century has been evident during boys basketball practice.
While the defending Class A Sectional 49 champions are still practicing in a gymnasium fit for an elementary school team, the Cougars basketball teams will have a new home soon.
A new gym is being constructed at the charter school's new building at 729 Washington St., just two blocks south of the old building. Two scoreboards have been put up, baskets are installed and the floor is under construction.
The first game on the new court is scheduled for Dec. 20 against Indianapolis Home School. Cougars senior Dantrell Hurt is ready for the new atmosphere. It's something the team has talked about since last season.
"I'm very excited," he said. "I'm ready for the new gym. Everybody is ready for the new gym."
The new gym will seat about 900 people, triple the current gym's capacity. Ten home games have been scheduled this season, seven of which will be played in the new gym if it opens on schedule.
"We plan to make it a tough place for visiting teams to play," Cougars coach Rodney Williams said. — Matt Douthett
Munster's Specht going to Bradley: Matthew Specht has verbally committed to play golf at Bradley. Specht has played golf and swam for the Mustangs for three seasons.
E.C. Central's Hawkins hurt: E.C. Central girls basketball star Tiajaney Hawkins injured her hand in practice Monday and is expected to be out three to five weeks.
Her right shooting hand was put in a cast Thursday, Cardinals coach Eric Kundich said, after a break was found in the middle finger on her shooting hand.
Despite the injury, the junior Hawkins played more than eight minutes in Wednesday's game, leaving after the pain became too great in the third quarter.
"They said this is the best-case scenario for her," Kundich said. "Nothing is wrong with her wrist and it isn't a tendon. She'll have a cast to her elbow, but the break is in her hand."
The Cardinals hope that Hawkins will have the cast off before the Dec. 3 game against Chesterton or Dec. 10 vs. Andrean.
A Times preseason all-area selection, Hawkins 13.7 points with 9.5 rebounds last year. — Hillary Smith
Dive into this reunion: Valparaiso diving coach Scott Valpatic doesn’t consider himself too old, but one of his former divers is now an assistant for the 1988 Vikings alum.
Eric Jetmund, a 1990 Portage graduate and sectional champion, reunited with his former coach. Jetmund previously worked at Chesterton, and his son Josh, a 2010 Wheeler grad, was a diver for the Bearcats.
“Eric was one of my first divers,” said Valpatic, who coached from 1990-98 with the Indians. “My first year of coaching was when I was a freshman in college.” — Jim Hunsley