I blog therefore I am.
This thought penetrated my skull on the long drive to LaPorte High School on Saturday afternoon. I had good company, my daughter Gracie, and the two of us were excited to watch the Crown Point Lady Bulldogs take on Hamilton Southeastern in the Class 4A semi state.
Gracie had played against C.P. in the regular season before an injury and she knew we were going to watch my alma mater play for a bus ride to Indianapolis and yet another state championship appearance.
Echoes of the past, a gym full of people screaming “We are C.P.” just before the nets are cut down, shot through my brain again, just like all those times in the 1980s and ‘90s. The pulse quickened as we walked into the orange-tinted gym.
Saw a lot of old friends. Saw a gym that looked 75 percent full of people in red and white, many with the “We are C.P.” emblazoned on their chests. Then, I saw about 15 students from HSE wearing chef aprons. I thought, wow, this could be a noise mismatch to the 10th degree.
But not once did I hear the age-old chant from the folks from The Hub. Not once.
That’s how good the Royals were. Period.
An early lead kept growing like Jack’s beanstalk. This children’s tale ended in a 61-28 loss. This game wasn’t as close as the score.
“We obviously wanted to get off to a quick start,” said HSE coach Chris Huppenthal, the former Highland coach, and Highland native. “But we knew they hadn’t played the schedule, the people, we played. We just didn’t feel they could match up with us.”
The Lady Bulldogs were 0-for-8 from behind the 3-point line, while the Royals hit five in the first quarter. C.P. shot 20 percent from the field. Crown Point had 0 assists while its foes had 15.
This is why the chefs were dancing and screaming “Why so quiet” throughout the fourth quarter.
On the other side of the gym, the sound of silence and Simon and Garfunkel were absent.
“They hit us in the mouth right off the bat,” Crown Point coach Chris Seibert said. “It wasn’t a good day for us. But like I told the girls after the game, this loss does not take away the season we had. It was remarkable. The kids have come so far. We just have to keep working hard to get better so we can get back here.
“Nothing is guaranteed.”
Freshman Lilly Stoddard had nine points along with senior Ellie VanDeel. Freshman Jessica Carrothers had seven. Two of C.P.’s best players are ninth graders. The junior varsity went 22-1. The ninth-grade team was 16-2. And there is more talent coming from the middle schools.
This was an incredible run by these talented young ladies. The tears will likely be there for awhile. But I hope the athletes and the fans give a standing ovation to these Lady Bulldogs for putting the program back on the map.
John Dillinger can move over now.
“This meant a lot,” Carrothers said. “We got Crown Point’s program back to where it hadn’t been for years. Look at all the people who’ve come back to support us.”
One day, young lady, you guys will play in a game this big and they will be chanting, “We are C.P.”
It’s going to happen.
For Huppenthal, coaching in his seventh semistate, he did not have a Steve Young “Would somebody please get this monkey off my back” moment. He took four Highland teams to semistates before getting pushed out by some stupid politics, which is popular these days. He took Kokomo to one and Saturday was his second semi state with Hamilton Southeastern. He was an 0-fer in wins. He had kissed his sister six times before getting this win.
“In the other six semistates I was in we were never the favorite,” Huppenthal said. “This time we were. And we got it done like I thought we would.”
He had a smile on his face after that statement and I had one, too, as I was leaving Seibert smiled and said, 'Hey, I heard you’re blogging now.'"
See. It’s getting around. Me? A blogger.
I blog therefore I am.