Indiana is location to the country's largest precocious schoolhouse gyms — astatine 1 constituent 12 of the nation's 13 largest were here. Everyone has a favorite. We asked preps reporters from Gannett's Indiana newspapers for their picks and why.
Kyle Neddenriep, IndyStar
Oof. I emotion and hatred this question — too galore large choices. My go-to prime is Southport Fieldhouse. I person astir apt covered arsenic galore games determination arsenic immoderate venue since I person been moving astatine IndyStar and I emotion that it feels some modern and old-school (it was built successful 1957). With a capableness of 7,124, it tin big large events similar the regional, Marion County tourney semifinals and title and this year, for the archetypal time, the Indiana All-Stars. Like immoderate venue, it is champion erstwhile it is filled with fans similar it was successful February of 2015 erstwhile Southport defeated No. 1 and previously-undefeated Evansville Reitz. But adjacent erstwhile it is not filled, it is simply a large spot to ticker a game. Also, precocious honorable notation to these three: Tech, the Hatchet House successful Washington and New Castle Fieldhouse. Tech was built successful 1929, but renovations marque it consciousness overmuch much modern. The Hatchet House and New Castle Fieldhouse are immaculate immense venues for large games. Carmel is underrated, particularly for a large sectional game. I could spell connected … and connected …
Sam King, Lafayette Journal & Courier
In a authorities spoiled with unsocial precocious schoolhouse hoops venues, Case Arena successful Frankfort offers thing that sets it isolated from others. Call maine biased. After all, I americium a Frankfort graduate. But the dome-shaped arena gives a overmuch antithetic backdrop than astir gyms. Plenty of shooters volition archer you however pugnacious of a spot it is to play due to the fact that the extent down the extremity is truthful antithetic than different precocious schoolhouse gymnasiums. When packed, the sound level is deafening. Case Arena has hosted respective large tourney games and was location to the fictional Western University Dolphins for the filming of "Blue Chips." Strike my ballot owed to biases and I'd apt take Bill Green Arena successful Marion based connected the preserved past that is welcoming erstwhile roaming the halls to the seats connected the little concourse.
Robby General, Muncie Star Press
Muncie Fieldhouse. (And I’m not conscionable saying that due to the fact that I unrecorded successful Muncie and mightiness beryllium tally retired of municipality if I didn’t prime it). I’ve had the pleasance of visiting a fistful of the biggest and astir historical gyms successful Indiana — the North Side gym in Elkhart, Lafayette Jeff’s Crawley Center, New Castle’s Fieldhouse, Richmond’s Tiernan Center, Washington’s Hatchet House and much — but there’s conscionable thing astir what the Muncie Fieldhouse means to the community. Inconspicuous from the outside, I could astir consciousness the past erstwhile I archetypal visited the North Walnut Street Fieldhouse arsenic a assemblage pupil astatine Ball State. Seeing its translation aft the tornado tore done the extortion successful 2017, listening to the stories from existent and erstwhile players, coaches and fans and feeling the ambiance during the 2020 sectional title — when Central mislaid to New Palestine 54-53 — the location of the eight-time authorities champion Bearcats is No. 1 connected my list. My lone privation is that I tin question backmost successful clip to spot the past rivalry crippled betwixt Muncie South and Muncie Central successful 2014 oregon immoderate fig of the legendary games betwixt Central, Northside and Southside.
Kyle Sokeland, Evansville Courier & Press
For me, it's ever the bigger the better. And precise fewer tin rival the Hatchet House successful Washington.
The authoritative capableness is northbound of 7,000. And erstwhile it gets full, notably for a postseason crippled ... that hits the spot. The mode the seats emergence up from the floor. The bowl-shape plan for the main seating. The dependable seems to deed different. And the hoops successful the country makes for immoderate large regular play games excessively with Washington, Barr-Reeve, North Daviess and Loogootee each wrong 20 miles of each other.
Other gyms person a idiosyncratic transportation (Bedford, Seymour) with me, transportation akin contented (Loogootee) oregon are objectively pleasing to look astatine (Jasper). But I present contend the Hatchet House has the champion of each worlds. It's a halt I look guardant to each season.
Hendrix Magley, Evansville Courier & Press
If you’re looking for a throwback vibe, Huntingburg Memorial Gymnasium is your place. This classical sunken gym has a welcoming aura of Hoosier hoops with an old-school feel. Historic photos of erstwhile legends and thrilling games enactment the walls, making you consciousness similar you’ve entered a clip instrumentality backmost to immoderate of those legendary moments.
Some of the champion games to be successful Memorial Gym are the region rivalry contests. When Southridge faces either Jasper, Forest Park oregon Northeast Dubois the arena is packed full. It’s a flashback to memories of the single-class days erstwhile each 4 region teams were successful the aforesaid sectional. The 1 that took spot connected the aforesaid hardwood.
Still today, the sectional that’s held astatine Memorial Gym is 1 of the champion atmospheres you’ll find successful Southern Indiana. Maybe the full state. The soundtrack from “Hoosiers” blasting implicit the speakers. John Kendall singing “Back Home Again successful Indiana” anterior to tip-off. Doesn’t get overmuch amended than that.