INDIANAPOLIS – No one can say Greensburg isn’t a basketball town.
That much was proven more than true Saturday evening by a raucous sea of blue and white at Bankers Life Fieldhouse that spanned from courtside to the arena’s rafters.
They were there to cheer the Greensburg Pirates boys basketball team on to a second straight Class 3A state championship. They were collectively the team’s “sixth man,” lending support with a wall of cheers that shook the home court of the Indiana Pacers as much as any clutch jump shot from Paul George ever has.
The cheers began as soon as the Pirate starting five was introduced and didn’t let up until well after the final buzzer.
The scoreboard showed 89-76 as the final with Greensburg handily besting a very game Bowman Academy, but the outcome wasn’t much of a surprise for the Pirate faithful who had made the trip on I-74 into the heart of the state capital.
They were confident from the opening tip.
“I think if we can beat the press, shoot halfway decent and hit our free throws down the stretch we can win,” said Bob King, a 1965 Greensburg grad seated in the arena’s lower level.
King’s comments were seconded by Paul Davidson, a Greensburg Community Schools maintenance employee who attended Saturday’s game with two grandsons, Carson and Cooper Parmer.
“I think it will be our night if we can handle the full court press,” Davidson, a resident of Greensburg for about 35 years said.
The press is the hallmark of the Bowman Academy defense, a smothering full-court trap designed to force turnovers and frustrate shooters.
It did neither very effectively Saturday.
“It’ll be a close game and the Pirates win,” Carson Parmer said Saturday evening. Younger brother Cooper, age 7, stated he felt the Pirates would have to play harder to earn a victory.