Hoosier Hysteria

Little did I know before moving to Indiana, the state is crazy for high school basketball. My “research” before photographing this season was to watch the movie Hoosiers. The film conveys the essence and beauty of basketball in Indiana: everything from the misty, rolling farm fields with hand-painted signs supporting teams, the trail of cars that follow the players to playoff games, and the fact that everyone in each town cares about their team. The high schools play for more than the game itself; they play for the community’s respect and to carry on the team’s history.

Here at The Herald, I am learning more about developing the narrative arc throughout edits. With that in mind, here is an edit of my high school basketball season photos. I focused on moments surrounding the game that communicate what the sport means to the community.

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Southridge’s Joe LaGrange dribbled a ball in the hallway before facing Sullivan at Huntingburg Memorial in Jasper on Friday. Southridge won 47-32. Marlena Sloss/The Herald
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A sign that has been up since Monday reading “Jeeps all the way” hung on Michael Cave’s barn outside of Dubois before the sectional final game on Saturday. “We’re just big supporters of the Jeeps,” said Cave, who used to coach the JV boys basketball team. Marlena Sloss/The Herald
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Northeast Dubois head coach Terry Friedman sat for a moment before his team warmed up for the sectional final at Springs Valley High School in French Lick on Saturday. The Jeeps lost 68-54. Marlena Sloss/The Herald
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Southridge’s Colson Montgomery took a shot during the Class 3A regional semifinal at Huntingburg Memorial Gym in Huntingburg on Saturday. Marlena Sloss/The Herald
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For her child development class Forest Park sophomore Tori King cared for her infant simulator, who she named Russel, during the Rangers’ home game against Pike Central in Ferdinand Friday evening. “I think its a good experience for anyone who wants a kid,” said King. “I don’t want a kid now, but it makes me know that its a lot of work.” Marlena Sloss/The Herald
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Jaida Kendall of Jasper, 10, played in the hallway as the Wildcats faced the Princeton Tigers at Jasper High School in Jasper on Tuesday. Kendall is the daughter of Jasper assistant coach Phil Kendall. Marlena Sloss/The Herald
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Southridge freshman Kaleb Wibbeler, top, junior Patrick Sander, sophomore Sam Schroeder, and junior Matt Gentry formed a four-person tower during Southridge’s 47-32 win over Sullivan at Huntingburg Memorial in Jasper on Friday. Senior Tori Tretter said the four-person tower is a tradition for sectional games. Marlena Sloss/The Herald
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Southridge’s Noah Goeppner watched from the bench during the fourth quarter of the Class 3A regional semifinal at Huntingburg Memorial Gym in Huntingburg on Saturday. Southridge lost. Marlena Sloss/The Herald
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Southridge’s Matt Price sat in the locker room as head coach Ted O’Brien spoke after their Class 3A regional semifinal loss at Huntingburg Memorial Gym in Huntingburg on Saturday. Marlena Sloss/The Herald
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Northeast Dubois’ Brandon Merkel walked towards the bus after their 68-54 sectional final loss at Springs Valley High School in French Lick on Saturday. Marlena Sloss/The Herald

One challenge I faced, and can be hard in general, is photographing athletes after season-ending losses. As much as I could, I tried to be around the teams I covered when during happy and neutral times, so that it felt normal to document their losses too.

Photographers: what challenges do you face in high school sports coverage and how do you try to overcome them?

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