GREENFIELD — Although there will be basketball played at Greenfield-Central High School this weekend, it won’t be between teams featured in Class 4A.
For the second year in a row, the school will host a Class 2A boys basketball regional beginning today at 10 a.m. Cloverdale, Northeastern, Indianapolis Broad Ripple and Indianapolis Howe all come to town in what is expected to be a very competitive tournament.
For the first time this season, second-year Greenfield-Central athletics director Jared Manning, who will spend more than 16 hours at the school today, will be in charge of programs other than his own.
“It’s an honor to be asked by the IHSAA to host any postseason event,” Manning said. “We’re pretty excited
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about it. This is our third or fourth time overall hosting this regional.”
The main gym at Greenfield-Central, according to Manning, seats up to 3,500 people, which would make it the 94th largest gym in the state. It’s size is nearly perfect for the amount of fans associated with a Class 2A tournament.
“They (IHSAA) come out and take a look at our venue and our track record on hosting an event and asked if we are willing or able (to do it),” Manning said. “We are both.”
Most seasons, venues like Richmond and Southport are chosen for the large school tournaments. The sectional for most sports, however, is rotated among schools in that particular field with capable facilities.
Although the thousands of people in attendance today will witness a smoothly run tournament, behind the scenes is anything but calm.
Manning, along with assistants Elizabeth Mercer and Connie Jo Harris, will be on the go from 6:30 a.m. to nearly
midnight this evening, managing anything from concession sales to problems in the parking lot.
With help from volunteers, as well, it makes for a very long but “good” day overall, according to Manning. At the end of the night, around midnight, his last duty is to handle any financial responsibility and send game and other information to the IHSAA.
Many variables would need to align, but Greenfield-Central hosting a semistate game down the road is not necessarily out of the question, either, especially with its successful history of hosting similar events.
In many cases, though, according to Manning, one location will host multiple semistate contests, making attendance much larger.
“We would not have the capacity to host those types of events,” he said. “It would probably depend on the year, the class and attendance during that year.”
Today at Greenfield-Central, Cloverdale (19-7) and No. 4 Northeastern (22-4) will meet in the first game. The Clovers feature Butler recruit, junior guard Cooper Neese, who is averaging 29.3 points per game this season. Junior Tyler Smith averages 20 ppg for Northeastern.
The second contest between Broad Ripple (18-7) and No. 7 Howe (20-7) will begin at approximately noon. Senior Brian Warren scores 23 ppg for Howe while junior Sam Colbert averages 14.6 ppg for Broad Ripple, winners of nine straight games.
The regional championship will be played at 8 p.m. Saturday night.
Mr. Jared Manning’s schedule today
• Arrive at Greenfield-Central
• Lay out breakfast for hospitality room
• Gym is mostly OK, make sure the sound system is hooked up, scoreboard is on
• Signs are up on each locker room door for schools and on bleachers for fans
• Tables set up for ticket takers and concessions
• Workers start to show up
• Make sure people sign it
• Meeting with supervisors for reminders on procedures and placements
• Student ambassadors matched up with correct teams
• Teams, referees start to show up
• Handle any media needs, radio stations and newspaper (WiFi access, other)
• Prepare for tip off
• Make sure people are in right spots (Security officers)
11 a.m. (halftime of first game)
• Make sure new teams find where they need to go
• Handle parking issues, they do come even with regular home games
• Make sure teams know what colors they are wearing
• Second game starts
• Repeat of first game duties
• Second game ends, lights go out for a while
• Take a breather, eat some lunch
• Fans, workers and teams begin to show
• Repeat the whole process
• Championship game
• Game ends
• Clean everything, sign people out including workers and officials
• Handle financial aspect of tournament, send information to IHSAA