Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

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March 26, 2014

Hope, [Pirate] pride spring eternal

Greensburg — History hangs in the balance.

From the Hampton Inn to El Reparo, from Decatur County Memorial Hospital (DCMH) and Absolute Style, to Pleak’s Hardware and all around the downtown square, the Tree City is tinged in blue as residents and businesses alike express their pride for the beloved Pirates of Greensburg Community High School (GCHS).

For the second straight year, the GCHS varsity basketball team has reached the Class 3A Boy’s State Basketball Championship game. Last year, the Pirates scored top prize, winning the school’s first-ever state title in overtime, 73-70, against Fort Wayne Concordia.  

On Saturday, the Pirates return to the scene of last year’s season-defining victory – Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis – for yet another shot at Indiana’s top prize in Class 3A basketball; another shot at being recognized as best in state – at being crowned champions.

With four starters on the 2014 squad being seniors, though, all around the Tree City, everyone seemed acutely aware that Saturday’s game could represent a once-in-a-generation – maybe a once-in-a-lifetime – shot to make school history…again.

To be sure, although big blue pride is virtually seeping into the streets, win or lose, no one will be taking down their banners come Sunday morning. Each fan to whom the Daily News spoke on Tuesday afternoon agreed: the town will continue supporting the Pirates whether they return as champions or as runners up.

Either way, history will have been made.

Bartender Lico Leon, of El Reparo Mexican Restaurant, is a 2008 GCHS graduate. He’s been following and cheering the Pirates all year, but for him, nothing from the 2013-2014 season compares to Saturday night’s thrilling semi-state victory against Guerin Catholic, 74-67.

Leon watched that game on the TV in El Reparo’s bar as he served customers. “Last week’s game was pretty exciting,” he said. “I was working and watching. To see them [the Pirates] come back the way they did – it was pretty impressive.”

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